- The most effective nutritional
program for your cat(s) is one where you provide whole, mostly raw select
foods. If the very highest level of balanced nutrition is your goal, a good
place to start is with a call to the Animal Healing
Center in Redmond, WA, requesting recipes they routinely provide to those
interested in home-cooking.
There are also several excellent books available from bookstores or online
contain recipes for all species of animals. While you're book browsing, please
pick up a copy of "Super-Nutrition for Animals." It will give you
an excellent understanding of nutrition basics.
- The brand name for a raw, frozen version of home-cooking.
Best used as a supplement to a home-cooking regimen for those times when you
can't prepare the animal's meal yourself. Chicken & turkey, along with
vegetables and herbs. Difficult to find due to the fact that the retailer
must provide freezer space to maintain their stock - and few do. The only
location we're aware of currently in the Seattle area is Raining Cats &
Dogs in Bellevue, WA.
One of the highest quality brands of packaged dry and canned
cat food available. Martha's rigorous testing and research has produced very
positive information and results. Widely available at premium pet food retailers.
- A limited-production brand that benefits greatly from some unique
concepts in packaging. Very high and consistent quality if you can
- Even the most well-intentioned nutritional program will
most likely be lacking in some essential nutrients and trace minerals. It
would be practically impossible to duplicate the perfectly balanced diet our
animal-friends found in the wild. But with the addition of Missing Link to
the animal's diet, you'll overcome those defficiencies completely. No matter
what else your beloved animal friend is eating, it should include a daily
dose of Missing Link without exceptions.
Super Nutrition For Cats
Excerpted from "Super Nutrition
by Howard Peiper, Nina Anderson, & Alicia McWatters
(reprinted with permission) Sixty three million cats in the United States
eat primarily what their owners give them. Many do not have a choice. If left
to their own devices, most cats and dogs would eat differently out in the wild.
Do they know something we don't? Do they really care that pet foods look appealing?
Of course, they are attracted by smell, but certain ingredients may not be good
for them. They eat it anyway because they have no alternatives.
Providing them with fresh meat from the grocery store may not be the best choice
either. Hormones and drugs are administered to feedlot animals on a regular
basis. FDA regulations state that ten days before slaughter (or before human
consumption), antibiotic therapy must cease. Are our inspectors enforcing these
regulations? Do these "pollutants" end up in the flesh of these feed
lot animals and in their meat which you give to your animals? If you prefer
to put together your pet's dinner, choose free-range or organically fed meat
Pet food manufacturers are allowed to use this same meat plus "road pizza,"
diseased and pus-laden animals, euthanized pets, all labeled "by-products."
Also included in pet food are turkey and chicken gullets. They are full of indigestible
and potentially harmful materials such as gravel and stones , which can cause
diarrhea and blockages in dogs and cats. Metal bands on poultry are not normally
removed before processing, and therefore can find their way into your pet's
dinner. Also sometimes found in canned pet food, are the identification tags
from euthanized pets a horrible, but realistic eye opener to the lack
of control in what goes in your cat or dog's dinner. Natural pet food manufacturers
are aware of the hazards of "tainted" foods and go to great lengths
to avoid these meat sources.
We start off by letting you know what ingredients many manufacturers
add to pet foods. You must be avid label readers if you are going to avoid veterinary
bills. Pet foods may contain not only preservatives and additives. But the actual
food may contain pus, fecal matter, road kill, viruses, cancerous tumors, infected
blood, rancid fillers and bacteria. These by-products according to Dr. P.F.
McGargle, a veterinarian who has also served as a federal meat inspector, "can
include moldy, rancid or spoiled processed meats as well as tissue too severely
riddled with cancer to be eaten by people." Dr. Alfred Plechner, D.V.M.
comments on by-products stating that "diseased tissue, pus, hair, assorted
slaughterhouse rejects, and carcasses in varying
states of decomposition, are sterilized with chemicals, heat and pressure procedures."In
some cases, additional processing with chemical sprays also occurs. Pet food
may also contain many of the preservatives, fillers and additives that go into
our food, but that does not make them healthy for your pet.
Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats.
Nutritional deficiencies can show
up in your pet in many ways. The easiest to notice is dry, flaky skin and sparse,
coarse, brittle hair coat. Becoming aware of what goes into your pet's food
is the first step. Pet food companies have done a lot of research to make sure
your animal receives the proper nutrients. We should thank them and learn from
them. Pet food manufacturers provide protein by including meat and certain vegetables,
If you decide to cook for your pet, you may leave out certain ingredients they
need. Cats and dogs need different nutrients in different amounts than humans,
therefore human diets may not be suitable for Fido or Fluffy. Both dogs and
cats need protein in their diets to provide specific animo acids which their
bodies are unable to produce in sufficient quantity. Cats, for instance, are
unable to manufacture taurine, therefore this must be provided by a meat based
diet. A taurine deficient cat can develop feline central retinal degeneration,
eventually leading to blindness, low weight, reduced growth and also cause a
fatal condition which weakens their heart muscle and cause death. Cats require
eleven specific amino acids.
Dogs need ten amino acids in proper balance as well as a high supply of methoinine
and tryptophane. Although dogs tolerate vegetarianism better than cats, you
still may be creating deficiencies that can lead to illness. Vegetarian diets
must contain an excellent source of protein, such as wheat or barley grass,
sea vegetables or nutritional yeast.
Animals need carbohydrates which provide the body with energy. If a diet consists
of an excessive amount of carbohydrates, the animal can develop diarrhea. Grains
commonly used in pet food are wheat and soy. These are highly allergenic and
may make a dog chew at the root of his tail and lick his feet. Amaranth and
barley would be a better choice. Beet pulp is an excellent source of fiber which
paces the rate of digestion and permits water to be properly removed from the
colon. It also removes scale from collecting in the colon, is a source of vitamin
B and contains micro nutrients.
White rice or Brewers rice are commonly used fillers. They are devoid of nutrients
and should be avoided. All grains lost vitamins in storage, and many vitamins
in meat may be destroyed in the canning process. To compensate, some manufacturers
over-fortify their food with copious quantities of vitamins that most likely
are not even assimilated by the body because the enzymes needed for this process,
are destroyed when the food is cooked. Allergenic foods may ferment in the colon,
sometimes for months crating a very toxic environment. Not only does this create
allergies, but it jeopardizes the health of the animal. Detoxifying is the only
way to remove this debris, and switching to a premium "no-filler"
food may be necessary to accomplish this task and maintain a healthy pet. Their
diet also must consist of fats and oils which facilitate the transport and storage
of fat soluble vitamins.
Some pet food companies use sunflower, safflower and corn oils, high in Omega-6
essential fatty acids (EFA). Both dogs and cats need EFA's for healthy metabolism,
although the unbalancing of essential fatty acids, (Omega-3 and Omega-6) can
lead to disease. If oils high in Omega-6 are not balanced by Omega-3, found
in flax, for example, they can cause tumor formations. Flax can stimulate the
immune system and act as an antioxidant, as well as balancing the effects of
too large a quantity of Omega-6 oils. Fats, which provide EFAs are carriers
for fat soluble vitamins, but may become rancid in stored meat or processed
food. Rancid fat contributes to cancer and degenerative diseases such as heart
problems and arthritis, according to the Surgeon General. Preservatives such
as BHT and BHA are normally added to fight this problem, but a more natural
choice would be vitamin C and E.
Manufacturers of the natural pet food products are diligent in preparing properly
balanced meals and eliminating the hazardous additives and by-products. It is
prudent to trust their formulas. Their research has given them the tools to
provide the nutrients each specific breed of animal needs. Supplementing pet
diets with certain nutrients is advisable, but let the experts provide the basics.
Yummy Treats and Vitamin Pills.
scraps have gotten a bad rap as being a no-no for animal diets, yet most people
are trained by the animals to share their dinners. If your animal is getting
proper nutrition through natural canned or dry food, plus supplements, a few
table scraps (organic, of course) won't hurt, (depending on what you give them.)
Never feed cats or dogs pork, as it is high in preservatives and carries a risk
of trichinosis. Raw poultry should be avoided to guard against bacteria infection.
Turkey is OK although its high amounts of tryptophan makes lazy animals more
lethargic. Tuna fish and cow's milk can trigger allergic reactions in cats and
dogs causing skin problems, hyperactivity, and asthma. The oil in tuna can rob
your cat of vitamin E resulting in muscular disease called steatitis. If you
give your cat tuna, supplement it with vitamin E.
Chocolate is a no-no for cats, as it contains theobromine which can be fatal.
Most veggies are a healthy snack. Most whole unrefined grains are good for pets
if they want to eat them. Vary them, because any grain (especially wheat or
corn) eaten on a regular or daily basis, can create allergic reactions. This
includes bread, cookies, chips, pasta, doggie cookies, etc. Refined grains and
flours (white) should be avoided as they have little nutritional value and actually
tax the body as it tries to digest them. Avoid treats with sugar as this substance
plays as much havoc on your pet's system as it does on your own.
Supplementation is absolutely necessary for animals not fending for themselves
in the wild. Cats require a higher concentration of vitamins and essential nutrients
than any other animal in the world, including man! Mineral deficiencies, enzyme
deficiencies, and essential fatty acid imbalance contribute to a compromised
immune system in all species. An excellent indicator of nutritional deficiencies
is the skin and coat of an animal. This includes disorders such as excessive
shedding, hairballs in cats, bald patches, skin allergies, doggy odor, drippy
eyes and hot spots.In order for nutrients from food or vitamin supplementation
to do their job in the body, they must be assimilated. Giving an animal vitamins
that they can not break down (due to a lack of enzymes) just means that you
will have a nutrient rich litter box. Overcoming deficiencies in the basics
of body chemistry will prevent this.
To order "Super-Nutrition for Animals," call (800) 903-3837.