Nutrition

Want to see if your dog or cat has any nutrition related issues? Take a look at my clinical animal nutrition survey and decide for yourself if nutrition could make a difference.

When I see someone with an unhealthy animal, one question that I am usually asked is, “How did this happen?” The parent feels responsible but doesn’t understand what went wrong. Well…we are responsible, because we are the one who puts the food in the bowl!

There is no one food that provides everything a body needs. None are 100% complete. Every individual’s body has it’s own unique make up requiring special attention, more or less of certain nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino and fatty acids, etc. And some time, along the way, the organs and glands need a little boost with just the right herbs. It is a balancing act that is further compromised by exposure to toxins. No one is safe, they are everywhere. But we can do our part to improve body function and longevity. That’s what we want for ourselves and our fur babies, right? That is where my LifeExtend Method can help.

I will lead you through some good feeding steps and then you can decide which options fit your lifestyle and pocketbook the best. Food is natures best medicine and this is how we begin our journey to Healthy, Happy, and Naturally Rejuvenated Animals.

Nutritional Tips:

    • Options to feed – Air dried, dehydrated, freeze dried, raw frozen, canned, baked kibble, extruded kibble, human grade fresh, home-cooked
    • Review the label on what you are currently feeding. Can you identify everything there? Is the ingredient list compatible with health? If there are words on that label you don’t understand, look them up so you get the whole picture. The better foods would not contain: natural flavorings, dyes, carrageen, guar gum, gluten
    • The best would be home-cooked. Next human grade fresh.
    • Shop organic if possible. Many pet foods now have organically grown plants and use animals fed free range, drug and antibiotic free, and organically too. And if you home cook you can select from foods in those aisles.

Three LifeExtend Nutrition Steps

STEP 1: WATER

Nutritionally we want to start with the water. Sounds simple. Fill the water bowl daily with fresh water from the faucet. Spoiler alert! If you didn’t already know, that water is contaminated. A friend of mine has dedicated his life to researching water all over the world. Please take some time to visit www.idealearthwater.com and www.environmentalrescuealliance.org.  The bottom line here is get a water purification system, not reverse osmosis and get better, safer hydration.

STEP 2: FILL IN THE GAPS

Next comes the need to fill in the gaps to whatever food you are feeding. (Hang in there pardner, I am getting to the food part!).  Here are my go to items:

    • For the Fast Oxidizer it is Dr. Fricks Formula #1. This is good for 90% of dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, birds, and horses, based on my published research. And if you want to find out where your animal fits, visit the FUR ANALYSIS page and get started!
    • Those fast oxidizers generally also need some fatty acids. Visit my Standard Process website and order either Tuna Omega-3 Chews or the Cod Liver Oil perles.
    • Other base options are:
      • Platinum Performance Canine
      • Platinum Performance Feline
      • Platinum Performance Equine
      • Standard Process Complete DF for horses
      • Standard Process Canine or Feline Whole Body Support
      • EndoMet Megapan
      • EndoMet StressPak

These can be ordered on the Preferred Vendors page.

STEP 3: PICKING THE RIGHT TYPE OF FOOD OR DIET

How can we reverse the dwindling spiral? Start feeding REAL food.  I call REAL food anything that is less cooked, purchased at a grocery store, and still bears a resemblance of its former self. That means not processed.  Saying that, I understand that everyone’s life may not allow the time needed to do home cooking, or the money to buy good packaged raw or dehydrated food. Then where does that leave you? Shopping for a BAKED kibble or good ingredient list of canned food.

I will stroll with you through some basic information that can help you in making better choices. One thing to keep in mind. The money you don’t spend now on good food you will spend later on veterinary bills. Why? Because you love your animals. And when that time of illness arises, you will spend mega dollars to try to save his or her life. So, let’s do that starting NOW!

The majority of kibble (dry food) is cooked through an extrusion method.  Similar to the microwave, the extrusion process greatly reduces the nutritional value of the food.  It cooks at a high temperature and steam for a short period of time in what is called an expander. Then the dough is forced or “extruded” though small holes called “die” which cut it into kibble pieces. This has to be done while the dough is still compact from the high pressure – otherwise the dough would puff up (like puffed cereal).

After the pieces are cut, they are dried, after which an enrobing process applies a fat/oil and then sprays on synthetic nutrients to replace those lost in the processing.

The early stages of this process are the same for baked dog foods. The ingredients for the food are mixed together. However, baked dog food does not use an expander and it is not cooked with steam or under pressure. Pet foods that are oven baked are typically baked more slowly in an oven. They are cooked for a longer period of time than extruded pet foods. They do not use steam or high temperatures.

Diets high in starch are a nutritional problem for our pets.  Excess starch erodes a pet's health in subtle ways, including blood sugar spikes, digestion issues & dermatitis.

“Grain free” kibble can also have starch.  Kibble using pea protein, sweet potato and quinoa may be termed “grain-free” but can also have high starch content.  Raw diets and freeze-dried raw are one-sixth the starch content of kibble.

All but less than 10 brands of bagged dog food use what is called EXTRUSION processing. This type of food does several less than optimal things:

        • The high carbohydrate starch content drives obesity
        • The easily emulsified stomach gruel changes the normal digestive signals to liver, gall bladder, stomach, and intestines, altering absorption, intestinal lining continuity, and the microbiome
        • Many ingredients have been exposed to glyphosate. Here is a brief synopsis about round-up. [INSERT – Glyphosate in the Food Chain]. Shopping for organic ingredients will help reduce the presence of this chemical.
        • The end results are potential to become obese, develop pancreatic malfunction, endocrine disruption, indigestion, diarrhea, gas, leaky gut, immune dysfunction, inflammatory conditions, allergies, skin issues – over and over again

Sound like any pet you have known?  If you are still certain that kibble is right for you and your dog, here are the 2020 top baked food brands. Not in any order but I have used and sold the first two.

        1. Lotus Oven-Baked Dry Food
        2. Stella & Chewy’s
        3. AvoDerm Oven-Baked Original Formula
        4. Leonard Powell Signature Series Oven-Baked Dinner
        5. Evolve Lamb & Rice Maintenance
        6. Cloud Star WellMade Baked Chicken Meal, Peas, & Lentils Recipe
        7. I and Love and You Baked & Saucy Beef & Sweet Potatoes
        8. Wellness TruFoods Baked Blends Adult 

There is much debate between veterinarians, owners, scientists, and nutritionists as to what the actual diet of our modern-day dog’s ancestors was. What can be agreed upon is that the diets of wild canids did not resemble what most dogs are eating today. Diets of our dogs’ ancestors varied tremendously by location, time of year, sex, health status, availability of prey and other foods, and many other factors. Today, most owners just open a bag and dump the food in the bowl. This is not to say that there aren’t foods available to the public that can promote health but public awareness about them and economics can become limiting factors for pet parents. For those that are willing to improve the nutritive value and follow a specialized nutritional balancing program, home prepared recipes can be an option.

Steve Brown, diet formulator for Steve’s Real Food® for Pets, nutrition consultant for Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, has spent many years researching and educating veterinary professionals and pet parents on the benefits of feeding whole foods to dogs. His book Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet ©2010 Steve Brown, highlights the three weaknesses of many modern dog foods.

According to Brown, most dog foods come up short in comparison to the canine ancestral diet in three major ways:

      1. Not enough protein
      2. Unbalanced and incomplete fats
      3. Can’t be nutritionally balanced without some fresh foods

A quick comparison of natural nutrient selection vs AAFCO vs a popular brand of dry dog food will show us how far away from the ancestral diet we have come.

Selecting ingredients that are similar to what the breed ate in their country of origin may lead to better compatibility based on genetics. The following table is an example of this feeding method. Other considerations regarding current food allergens would need to be taken into account.

        • Welsh Corgi: Welsh Highlands
          • Cabbage, potato, oats carrots, beef, rabbit, fish
        • Beagle: England
          • Beets, potato, lamb, rabbit, poultry
        • Chihuahua: Mexico
          • Mango, avocado, poultry, rice
        • Keeshond: Holland
          • Fish, poultry, dairy, rice, beets
        • Shiba Inu: Japan
          • Sweet potato, green vegetables, cabbage, rice, poultry, lamb, fish
        • Malamute: Alaska
          • Saltwater and freshwater fish, poultry, lamb, rice
        • Lhasa Apso: Himalayas
          • Lamb, goat, poultry, fish, rice
        • Basset Hound: France
          • Venison, rabbit, poultry, lamb, beets
        • Greyhound: Egypt
          • Poultry, lamb, dried fruits (dates, figs), nuts (almonds), barley, rice
        • Labrador Retriever: England
          • Fish, poultry, lamb, dairy, olive oil, green vegetables
        • Weimaraner: Germany
          • Pork, poultry, beef, lamb, potato, cabbage, alfalfa, barley
        • Bernard: Switzerland
          • Dairy, lamb, poultry, roots, green vegetables

Another tool to help guide you in finding an optimal diet that better matches the needs of your cat or dog is done by assessing the oxidation rate in a hair tissue mineral analysis. Oxidation is the amount of time it takes for a body to convert the food eaten (fats, carbohydrates, protein) into energy or fuel for that body.   This is an area of expertise that I can help you with. Look at that section of this website. Basically, each of us falls into either a fast, slow, or mixed oxidation rate. Both fast and slow oxidizers suffer from inefficient energy production, but for opposite biochemical reasons.  Fast oxidizers burn their food quickly and slow oxidizers are the opposite.  Each dog or cat will find optimal digestion by being fed the recommendations that have been established based on each individual’s metabolism type.

Fast oxidizers have greater caloric needs. Fats provide more calories and longer-lasting energy. In contrast, sugars burn too fast, provide fewer calories and often further enhance the oxidation rate.  For this reason, fast oxidizers should avoid starches and carbohydrates as they convert to sugars. Even complex carbohydrates are recommended only in small amounts.

Slow oxidizers require more protein and less fat in their diets.  Protein with every meal is most important to maintain their blood sugar level and support adequate adrenal and thyroid gland activity.  Animal protein is important because it provides nutrients such as zinc, alpha lipoic acid, sulfur-containing amino acids and L-carnitine.  Meats also provide other less-known nutrients that the slow oxidizer requires.  Digestive enzymes are often helpful to help to obtain all the nutrition from their food.  Keep in mind that processed meats (extruded, dry food diets) are no longer the “real” meat.

Mixed Oxidizers can be fed a blend of the recommendations for a Fast or Slow oxidizer.  As this animal is in transition, it will find one of the other rates soon.  Hedge toward the stronger of the two based on TMA ratios, the animal’s appearance, digestion, and any other symptomatology that is pertinent.  Trying a little bit of each until you find out right where the animal does the best would also be a good way to determine what to feed.

A too fast or too slow oxidative rate creates body duress of some type, lowered resistance to infections, gall bladder and liver problems, and being over or under weight.

SPEED

pH

Activity

Appetite

Fat metabolism

Carbohydrate

metabolism

Protein

type

FAST

acid

hyper

voracious

good

moderate

High purine

SLOW

alkaline

hypo

picky

poor

poor

Low purine

OPTIMAL DIET FOR A FAST OXIDIXER:

This is the type most commonly seen in dogs.

Can include raw, freeze dried, dehydrated, canned, and/or home cooked foods.  Avoid any extruded kibble due to its inflammatory stimulus (like putting another log on the camp fire).  Small amount of baked kibble for treats may be used.

PROTEINS: High to moderate purine.  For very fast oxidizers I try to keep them on cool to neutral energetic meats until the sodium and inflammation is lowered.

FATS: Butter, oils, fatty meats, avocado (no pits or skins), and peanut butter (if not allergic and no sweeteners). High fat content dairy products like cheese and cream (if not allergic).

CARBOHYDRATES: Cauliflower, beans, peas, lentils, broccoli, barley, sprouted grains (sprouting destroys the phytates that bind calcium and block zinc absorption).

ALLOWED IN MODERATION: Root vegetables (carrots, beets, yams, potatoes), lettuce, green peppers, cabbages, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

AVOID: White rice, grain flours, and any treats or snacks containing sugars, glucose, maltose, fruit juices, honey, and corn syrup

 OPTIMAL DIET FOR A SLOW OXIDIXER: May include some baked kibble, canned or dehydrated formulas or home cooked.

PROTEINS: Low purine variety

CARBOHYDRATES:  Vegetables, some unrefined like organic whole oatmeal

FATS:  low

ALLOWED IN MODERATION:  Fruits, lean beef, lamb 

HIGH PURINE PROTEIN

MODERATE PURINE PROTEIN

LOW PURINE PROTEIN

Red meat, beef, lamb, venison, salmon, tuna, herring, anchovies, brains, liver, caviar, artichoke hearts

Meat, shellfish (clams, crabs, lobster, oysters, shrimp), asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, lentils, yeast, whole grains and cereals, beans, peas, mushrooms, peanuts, lentils, cauliflower, spinach, and asparagus

Fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, low fat dairy

Raw is a diet primarily of uncooked meat, edible bones, and organs.   There are some Prepared or Packaged Raw diets that also include fruit and vegetables.  Natural enzymes and beneficial bacteria are found in raw pet foods, undamaged by any heat application.

Freeze-Dried Raw has a freeze drying process that is widely appreciated as the most effective method of food preservation; it imparts the greatest shelf life and the least nutrient damage. The food is not heated; moisture is removed using a very high vacuum, preserving the natural ingredients.

Benefits of Raw and Freeze Dried Raw

      • Palatability is great!  - pets like it, Yum Yum   
      • Superior digestibility – leads to improved stools & better overall health
      • Shinier coats & healthier skin
      • Cleaner teeth & breath
      • Improved weight control
      • Increased immunity
      • High energy levels

HERE’S MY FAVORITE!

BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. They are the pioneers in raw nutrition. Their formulas mimic what nature designed our animals to trhive on in the wild.

www.Barfworld.com

866-282-2273

For CATS and DOGS too!                                       USE CODE #1611

The benefits of home cooking is key to those pets with digestive, immune, and skin problems. Eliminating additives, preservatives, chemicals, natural flavorings, reducing potential allergens, and selecting the ingredients you like to shop for can be the FIRST step toward a healthier body. Often reducing the need to use chemical drugs to abate a body reaction.

I can customize balanced recipes for your dog or cat. I can test for food allergens and you select from those safe ingredients which you know your pet likes best. There are many sites on the internet where you can find recipes as well. But in looking, some are good and others not so good, often leaving out the importance of an oil and a good multi-vitamin-mineral supplement. For those reasons I have included here a link to a veterinarian who has a great method of providing home cooked preparation meals.

Introducing…

The Original CrockPET Diet

https://drruthroberts.com/the-original-crockpet-diet/

What’s behind the science of The Original CrockPET Diet?

There are so many reasons homemade dog food and cat food is the healthiest option, the most important being that you know exactly what your pet is eating. The basis of your pet’s health begins with the food they eat, and ingredients truly matter. Controlling the ingredients of your pet’s food not only assures the quality of their diet, but their health as well.

While the importance of which ingredients go into your pet’s food is of the highest priority, it’s also vital to keep certain things out of their bowls. And it’s not just mysterious ingredients you’re protecting them from, it’s harmful chemicals, bacteria and other dangerous contaminants. Home cooking guarantees that you know what is in your pet’s food, but also what is not.

The food our pets eat can be the very best medicine, or a slow poison. Changing an animal’s diet can bring about a significantly positive change in their health, and their overall quality of life. Homemade pet food can actually function as true food therapy, and allows pet parents the opportunity to activate this healing lifestyle for their pets, right from their own home.

If you don’t have time to cook and are uncomfortable with raw, but would like the benefits that they offer there are several companies now providing home delivery on dry ice of whole food prepared diets, ready to serve. One company I like serving human-grade ingredients, lightly cooked then frozen so you can serve fresh, is www.RaisedRightPets.com/IVE.  They offer some coupons and discounts for first time orders.

Lastly, I want to leave you with a list of food ingredients from which you can select when creating a home-cooked recipe. Variety is key. Don’t get stuck in one menu plan. That is where nutrient deficiencies will arise.  If your dog is not allergen sensitive to the food items, then you have more latitude. But if not, select from ones that do work and go from there. Have two or three recipes that you rotate between. Changing the protein and vegetable ingredients. Follow some of the above suggestions for seasonal and breed feeding as well.  For cats, being carnivores, they are all about the meat! They need meat and bones to gnaw on. Raw and real food is the way to go. Adding a vitamin/mineral supplement that is appropriate for your feline friend. A weekend project in the kitchen will go a long way to achieve Healthy, Happy, and Naturally Rejuvenated Animals.

Depending on where you live there will be a more or less change in environmental temperatures and humidity that causes shifts in the Yin and Yang of the body and we can feed to support those changes. Foods can be classed based on their energy produced during digestion. Some will make more heat, others less. It is wise to feed cooler foods during hot weather and warmer foods in cold weather. Especially for animals that spend more time out of doors.

FOOD ENERGETICS CHART

ENERGY COOL NEUTRAL WARM HOT
MEAT / DAIRY / EGG Duck, Rabbit, Duck Egg, Tofu, Yogurt Anchovy, Lobster, Mussel, Prawn, Shrimp Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ham, Pheasant, Turkey, Goat’s milk Lamb, Mutton, Sheep Kidney, Venison
FISH Clam, Cod, Crab, Scallop, Whitefish Carp, Catfish, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardine, Sturgeon, Tuna Anchovy, Lobster, Mussel, Prawn, Shrimp Trout
VEGETABLE Bamboo, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Chlorella, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kelp, Lettuce, Mushroom, Tomato Beet Root, Broad bean, Cabbage, Carrots, Green bean, Kidney bean, Pea, Pumpkin, Potato, Red bean, Shiitake mushroom, String bean, Yam Black Bean, Squash, Sweet Potato Cayenne pepper
FRUIT Apple, Banana, Cranberry, Kiwi, Lemon, Mango, Orange, Pear, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon Papaya, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Raspberry Cherry, Date, Peach
GRAIN Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Mung Bean, Wheat, Wild Rice Brown Rice, Lentils, Rye, White rice Oats, Sorghum, Sweet Rice
NUTS, SEEDS, SPICES Flax seed, Sesame seed, Peppermint Flax Seed, Peanut, Peanut oil, Sesame seed oil