Overweight Pets

Dr. Karen Becker over at Mercola.com has written a fabulous article on  overweight pets and the completely wrong-headed approach being taken by the pet food industry to a problem that they themselves created. I agree with every word! Please take a few minutes to read her whole article: If Your Pet is Overweight, Please Stay Away from These "Fixes" Rather than provide wholesome nutrition in the form of species appropriate, meat-based food, the pet food industry continues to load our pets up with genetically modified corn and soy grown in ...

2017-03-23T14:50:39-07:00

Report from AAFCO Pet Food Committee

The meeting of AAFCO's Pet Food Committee (PFC) was held Wednesday afternoon, with a very busy agenda. This committee is responsible for updates to the model pet food regulations that form the de facto standards for commercial pet foods. Sure, it sounds dry and boring--and indeed the pace of change often seems to match glacier movement before global warming! But if are interested in why the food you feed your pets is the way it is, it's important to understand this process. But first, a little political drama: the chairman ...

2017-03-23T14:05:03-07:00

Hot News on Pet Food!

Little Big Cat is coming to you today from beautiful Reno, Nevada; I'm attending the mid-year meeting of AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If that organization sounds familiar, it's because you've seen it on virtually every can, bag, roll, and every other form of commercial pet food you've ever bought. AAFCO sets the standards for pet food regulation in the U.S. (and essentially for Canada). Although AAFCO is not itself a regulatory body, its members--volunteers from each state--are the regulators and enforcers of state laws affecting animal ...

2017-03-23T14:05:19-07:00

No Milk Today

It's true that cats love milk. Most cats will drink it if you let them. And who hasn't shared a little milk with their feline friend now and then? So, what's the problem? Cow's milk is not a natural food for any cat. Even kittens, who naturally drink nothing but milk for the first few weeks of their lives, specifically need milk that is higher in protein, certain fats, and other nutrients, than the stuff we get from dairy cows. In other words, the only milk they need is the ...

2019-06-30T13:40:30-07:00

Vegetarian Cats?

By Jean Hofve, DVM There are several companies and websites that promote vegetarian (no meat or fish) or even vegan (no animal products at all) diets for cats. These products appeal to people who have chosen a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons, and want to apply the same principles to their cats. As a feline veterinarian, I absolutely do not recommend trying to turn your cat into a vegetarian or vegan, but if you are determined to do so, here is my best guidance for you. Products The ...

2018-09-18T06:14:50-07:00

Dr. Jean Takes on More Absurd “Experts”!

Pet food. The truth about it is often hard to come by, especially because all the money and power are concentrated on making you, the consumer, believe that pet food companies know exactly how to make perfect food and are all about your pet's health and well-being. Of course, we know that corporations are, by law, responsible first and only to their stockholders, and profit is their only goal. Pet food is just a means to this end. However, there are a few folks out there trying to educate people ...

2017-03-23T15:03:35-07:00

Study Supports Raw Meat Diet for Cats

A study was just published on the relative digestibility of different diets in cats. The researchers found that the raw-meat based diet (RB) and cooked meat diets (CB) were both better digested by cats than an extruded (dry kibble) food, even though the kibble started out higher in protein. Hill's Science Diet did similar research many years ago, and also found that cats did better on a raw meat diet. This research was never published. I've long said that one of these days, the big pet food companies will introduce ...

2017-03-23T15:05:04-07:00

Healthy Weight Management for Dogs and Cats

By Jean Hofve, DVM Nutrition experts like to portray weight control as a simple matter of “calories in minus calories out.” But as anyone who’s ever been on a diet knows all too well, it isn’t quite that easy! There are many factors that affect weight, such as genetics, metabolic rate, weather, and even breed. Ultimately, the only ones we humans can control for our pets are diet and exercise—so let’s see why and how to manage our pets’ weight.  In our busy lives, we may sometimes use treats or ...

2017-03-21T18:26:50-07:00

Top 4 Pet Supplements

By Jean Hofve, DVM There are four nutritional supplements I recommend for every cat and dog, no matter what diet they're eating or what else they're taking. These four supplements will help your pet live a longer, more comfortable life! Now, I know it can be hard to get a pet to take supplements, and four is a lot for a cat or small dog. So I've listed these in order of priority. If you can only give one thing, make it Omega-3s. Then the others. If I could add ...

2018-06-07T22:31:06-07:00

Don’t fall for universal pet food marketing tricks

Updated 8/10/16 (original publication date 9/1/11). Any good veterinarian is learning all the time. These issues do not apply to any individual, but the criticisms of the pet food industry are 100% valid. Here are some of the worst myths propagated about how to choose a wholesome pet food. Myth: A whole food protein source must be first in the list of ingredients.  This very old trick, begun by Pedigree in the 1990s, consists of listing a named meat, such as chicken, at the top of the ingredient list of dry pet foods. This deceit has been so successful ...

2017-03-23T15:12:21-07:00

“Expert” answers pet food questions

Today's New York Times featured Dr. Tony Buffington, of The Ohio State University, answering questions about pet food. (Click here to read the full article in the NYT.) For fun, I thought I'd take a shot at answering the same questions, so you can compare and contrast! Q. I buy grain-free food for my 5-year-old Labrador retriever mostly to avoid foods with fillers and/or unreliable ingredients. Your thoughts on such a diet? Also, is dog food irradiated in the United States? - JK, Flemington, N.J. I have an issue with ...

2017-03-23T15:16:45-07:00

Lifestages, Lifestyles, and Cat Food

The number and types of commercial cat food seems multiplying like rabbits. One online store carries 353 different dry foods, and 735 varieties of canned food! Here’s a sampling of the lifestages cat food is made for: Babycat (0 to 4 months) Kitten (0 or 4 to 12 months) Adult (1 to 7 years) Mature (7 to 10 years) Senior (over 10 years) Young adult (from time of spay/neuter to 7 years) Young male (from time of neuter to 7 years) In contrast, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) ...

2012-04-06T09:48:58-07:00

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are natural compounds that are important in the neutralization or scavenging of “oxygen free radicals,” which are normal by-products of body metabolism. Controlled amounts of free radicals are normally made by the body as weapons against viruses and bacteria, and are used in hormone production and numerous cellular reactions. However, excess free radicals can damage cellular DNA, destroy cell membranes, and lead to chronic inflammation, degenerative diseases, immune system damage, and even cancer. Excessive amounts of free radicals can result from exposure to radiation, including sunlight, environmental pollution, and ...

2015-06-02T13:50:08-07:00

Omega-3s are Essential for Cats and Dogs!

No doubt you've heard of Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, and essential fatty acids. You may even take them yourself. But did you know that they are essential for pets, too? The term "essential" means that the body cannot manufacture the nutrient, but must obtain it in the diet. For example, humans and dogs can make Vitamin A out of beta-carotene, but cats must consume pre-formed Vitamin A directly from their food. Among fatty acids, arachidonic acid is essential for cats but not for dogs; while certain Omega-3s and ...

2017-10-14T08:35:14-07:00
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