Pet Food and Nutrition

Dr. Jean Hofve has more than 30 years of veterinary experience, and is a respected authority on holistic pet health and nutrition.  Her books, articles, and videos on pet food and nutrition have appeared around the world. She has been an official advisor to AAFCO, the organization that sets standards for pet food for almost 25 years. She has long been a voice for animals and against the powerful pet food lobby.

Holistic Health Consulting – Standard Process Products

In my first job out of veterinary school, I quickly learned how to use high-quality, whole-food nutritional supplements to help my patients. The company we used was Standard Process. (Read more about them here.) They started out with supplements for humans, but so many veterinarians used them they also developed a line for pets. Their products are absolutely amazing, and I have had incredible results with them. Thirty years later, I still use Standard Process for myself, my pets, and my friends' pets. But somehow, that's not fully satisfying. Though ...

2024-04-20T22:57:27-07:00March 14th, 2024|

What Cats Should Eat

When revisions are made, Amazon automatically updates your copy! How do you know which food is the best to feed your cat? The answer depends on many factors, including your cat's age and health... as well as the your wallet! However, whatever your budget, if you learn the basics about how to assess the quality of any given cat food, you’ll be able to find a few foods that suit your cat. And you can easily improve the quality of any cat food with a couple of simple ...

2024-06-01T15:20:30-07:00May 12th, 2023|

Grain-Free Dog (and Cat) Food, Taurine, and Heart Disease

FINAL UPDATE 12/27/22  The FDA has closed its investigation into this matter, saying there is "insufficient evidence" to establish a causal link between diet and DCM in dogs. They will not be providing any further updates.  NOTE: We now know that, as suspected all along, the purported link between grain-free pet foods and heart disease was entirely speculative. I can say with confidence that grain-free foods DO NOT cause heart disease in dogs or cats. There was and is no scientific evidence to support FDA's original theory, much less its naming ...

2022-12-30T22:31:45-07:00August 3rd, 2018|

Cat Feeding Myths

I admit, it really irks me when companies who know nothing about feline nutrition give bad advice to their customers. This is the case with Assisi Animal Health, which manufactures a device called the Assisi Loop. Now, the product is a good one and I've heard great reports about it. But they should stick to what they know! Here are a few of the things they got wrong in a recent article published by Business Insider. "Your first look at a bag of cat food should ensure that it has the American ...

2017-08-31T10:50:25-07:00August 31st, 2017|

Pet Food: Processed to Death?

Many thanks to Susan Thixton at TruthAboutPetFood.com for letting us reprint her excellent article here, which applies 100% to cat food as well as dog food. The multiple rounds of heat processing that pet food undergoes causes many deleterious changes that can harm our pets. And it's worse than most people even imagine. How many times are Ingredients cooked in Kibble Pet Foods? Do you know the processing involved in the manufacturing of kibble pet food? How many times are the ingredients cooked? The answer might surprise you. Pet food ...

2017-03-23T14:13:18-07:00September 19th, 2016|

Coconut Oil and Pets

Updated 5/17/20. Questions about coconut oil keep coming up, so I thought I'd explain in why I recommend not giving it to their cats and dogs. Humans have lived with coconut palms for millennia. Primates, including early humans, ate, and still eat, coconuts. Coconut is a natural food for us. The carnivore's natural diet is high in both protein and animal fat. Wild animals But there are only three essential fatty acids (EFA) that cats must obtain from their diet: linoleic acid (LA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acid (AA). ...

2020-05-17T09:59:08-07:00June 29th, 2016|

Pet Food Contaminants

Updated 3/23/18  As part of my duties as an AAFCO advisor and member of several Working Groups, I attend numerous webinars and teleconferences. In one group, the discussion centered around the use of 4D meats and other rotten junk in pet food, and the consensus was that as long as these things are rendered (heat-processed) to kill pathogens, they're perfectly fine for pet food. Well, that just isn't true. So I put together the following document to show that there are MANY potential toxic principles in pet food that need ...

2018-03-23T21:59:08-07:00March 24th, 2016|

FDA Finds Toxic Sludge Going Into Animal Food

Many thanks to our good friend Mollie Morrissette for her excellent reporting on this issue. This is one more reason for why it is so important to have consumer representatives at AAFCO meetings--we provide a layer of protection (and a warning to these guys that we are watching!) when feed suppliers want to use harmful or non-edible feed materials. A similar ingredient ("Fat product, feed grade") was discussed at the last two meetings, and despite opposition from industry, was finally banned. Company warned to stop using revolting feed additives: Industrial grease, ...

2020-05-18T13:55:32-07:00February 25th, 2016|

Yucca

Photo credit: Jean Hofve Updated 6/6/20 There have been a few myths about the desert plant Yucca schidigera floating around the internet. In particular, some are suggesting that yucca is not safe as a daily supplement, even though it's present in many pet foods. So it's time to set the record straight! Yucca is an extremely versatile and useful plant, but in large doses it is seriously irritating to the entire GI tract. There's a lot of it growing wild around my Colorado home, and it's definitely not ...

2020-06-06T18:41:28-07:00November 29th, 2015|

Selecting a Good Commercial Pet Food

Updated March 2024 Holistic veterinarians agree that the very best diet for your animal companion is one that you make yourself. A homemade diet, carefully balanced nutritionally, and using raw and organic foods, is closest to what Mother Nature intended. However, many of us do not have the resources to make our pets’ food, especially for multiple animals or large dogs. So, for those of us who rely, partially or entirely, on commercial foods for our animals. To make wise selections, the primary tool is the pet food label. It ...

2024-03-21T11:05:40-07:00February 18th, 2014|
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