Ava and Dr. Bill Ormstron Talk

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Become a Label Guru

Recently I received a free sample of a new dog treat. It had the word ‘gentle’ in the name and I thought, “Oh neat, this sounds good!” Then I turned it over to read the ingredients. Starch, cellulose, partially hydrogenated oil, preservatives, and a slew of synthetic vitamins met my eyes. Disappointed again.

I’m not saying that one treat is going to cause your dog harm. But over time the added effect of similar ingredients in processed diets and processed snacks can take its toll. Sparing your pet from chemicals, additives, and suboptimal ingredients requires of you to become a label reading guru. Just because the word natural is on the package does not mean that the entire product, or any part, is truly from a natural source. Beef flavoring can be labeled natural because beef is natural, but the flavoring is factory made.

Vitamins that end in a chemical sounding word such as mononitrate, hydrochloride, pantothenate, tocopherol, are chemical derivatives or isolates and not the real thing. The real thing is vitamins and minerals that come directly from a plant or animal source. Ascorbic acid for example is the synthetic form of vitamin C. While whole vitamin C complex does have ascorbic acid as the outer antioxidant protective layer, that is only 8% of the whole complex. The remaining ingredients carry the bioflavinoids, organic copper, and the factors that make this vitamin a viable part of cartilage, cellular viability, and white blood cell protection in immunity. Ascorbic acid alone delivers none of that.

Synthetic vitamins are foreign compounds, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup are carcinogenic, dyes and certain preservatives are toxins. None of these should go into our bodies, or those of our dogs. The faster the body metabolism (This can be directly measured by the standard life span. Shorter life expectancy correlates with faster metabolism.), the greater negative effect toxins of any variety can impart on a body.

An article in one of my journals this year quoted a nutritional veterinarian as saying that wheat gluten is a perfectly good source of protein for the body. No one with Celiac Disease could ever be convinced of that. More and more information and clinical cases continue to surface that supports this in animals too.

There are always two sides to every fence. You just have to figure out if you are coming or going and which side looks greener.

Dr. Ava Frick owns Animal Fitness Center in Union, MO. She was Hartz Mountain 2006 Veterinarian of the Year Runner-Up and recently KSDK TV titled her as “St. Louis’ own Animal Whisperer.” She can be contacted at: 866-836-3900 or www.avafrick.com.