Freeze-dried diets for dogs and cats have become more popular. However, we have a valid concern with this type of diet, and that is moisture content. Freeze-dried diets have a moisture content as low as just 2%. Compare this to dehydrated diets at 5%, kibble pet foods at 5-10%, canned foods at 75-85% and raw pet foods at 70-75%.
When it comes to joint support, many of us have become too comfortable with the current model of reactionary medicine. By this we mean reacting to a symptom, such as limping or some form of discomfort, making a veterinary appointment, and then using a medication to suppress that symptom. This is far from optimal when the goal for most of us is a high quality of life and maximum longevity for our canine and feline companions.
There is a lot of confusion about omega fatty acids. All too often they are referred to as “essential fatty acids”. However, “essential” should only be used when discussing alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (LA) (an omega-6 fatty acid). These two fatty acids are referred to as “essential” because they must be ingested as the body can not synthesize them itself.
Have you ever heard the term Biological Value? It is a very important term that everyone should be aware of because it pertains to how the proteins your dog or cat eats are utilized by the body. Not all proteins are the same when it comes to your animal, but they are considered the same when listed on a pet food nutrition panel. Feeding your animal a diet with a majority of protein that has a lower Biological Value, unless expertly combined as with a vegetarian diet for people, is not optimal because deficiencies will occur due to essential amino acids that are missing or present in low numbers. Most animal protein sources have high Biological Values and are considered to be complete proteins because they contain all essential amino acids in a balanced profile, while most plant sources have to be properly combined to attain this status and often require additional supplementation as well.
If you have a dog or cat as a family member, then chances are you are familiar with corticosteroid drugs. This class of drugs were historically used to relieve life-threatening inflammation such as that which may occur with serious brain or spinal cord injuries.
Autoimmune conditions in animals occur when a dog or cat’s immune system produce antibodies (called autoantibodies when they cause autoimmune disease) that attack the body’s own tissue. Autoreactive (act against their own tissue) white blood cells can cause chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and in other cases severe tissue damage that can result in a life-threatening condition as occurs when the body attacks its own red blood cells in immune mediated hemolytic anemia.
Fish oil is often recommended for dogs and cats for the omega 3 fatty acids it contains. Omega 3 fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties that can be useful for inflammatory conditions like allergies, arthritis and heart disease. However, there is more to this story than just ‘fish oil = healthy, anti-inflammatory qualities’, and our discussion on this topic will help to educate you and support our evolving, less than enthusiastic position on fish oil for general use as a supplement.
We are whole food proponents and have been for quite some time... but weren’t always. For a period of time, like most people, our supplement regimen consisted of a popular multivitamin supplement along with a variety of additional supplements that were “in the news”. I was quite happy with that regimen until I started to educate myself and realize that those educational articles in the monthly “health” magazine were not truly educational articles written for my benefit, but instead primarily advertisements.