The Benefits of Organ Meats in Dog and Cat Foods

As veterinarians who are actively promoting the benefits of natural raw food diets, it is important for us to remember that raw meat and bones alone, does not constitute a balanced diet. Combining carbohydrates, vegetables and vitamin/mineral supplements goes a long way to creating perfect balance, but the addition of organ meats is the final step in re-creating the “ancestral” or “evolutionary” diet for dogs and cats.

Organ meats are highly prized in the wild environment, with carnivores actively seeking out the liver, internal organs and stomach lining and content in initial preference to the muscle meat and bones. Organ meats will make up about 20% of the “meat” content of a carcass, and offer a much higher nutritional value than plain muscle meat alone – they are the nutritional powerhouse of a prey animal

Liver contains more nutrients gram for gram than ANY OTHER FOOD. It is the most concentrated natural source of vitamin A, is high in B vitamins, especially B12, along with folic acid and iron. It also has tremendous levels of nitrogen containing compounds that are used to form DNA and RNA in the body.

Heart is also nutritionally rich, being the single biggest natural source of Co-enzyme Q10, along with high levels of collagen and elastin. Heart muscle is also high in vitamin B12, iron, potassium and has significant levels of selenium, phosphorous and zinc

Kidneys are low in fat, high in protein, and provide vitamin b12, riboflavin and iron, as well as useful levels of B6, folate and niacin.

The principle of Organotherapy, which involves feeding a specific organ meat to treat failure of that specific organ in a patient, is coming back into vogue after many years of neglect. By including a range of organ meats into our raw pet foods, we can rest comfortably that we are feeding our dogs and cats the absolute best formula, and one that is most closely matched to mother nature’s recipe.

This is why Vets All Natural’s new RAW kangaroo and RAW 76 range of meats have been specifically formulated to contain 20% organ meats, including liver, heart and kidney. This new addition has significantly improved the nutritional value compared to other plain kangaroo meats that contain only muscle meat, and represents a significant advancement in our formulation process. The organ meats are sourced solely from kangaroo (so we are not introducing any new protein species), and are fully inspected by government meat inspectors to ensure they are fit for consumption.

Vets All Natural Food

The Natural Choice for Healthy Pets

40 million years ago the earliest prehistoric dogs began evolving on planet earth. For the next 39.75 million years they roamed the planet as wild beasts, catching prey, scavenging, hunting as packs and evolving into their modern counterparts. Man and dog first formed a friendship back in the cave man era (250,000+ years ago), forged by a symbiotic relationship of combined hunting skills, early warning of danger and protection, companionship, and the cleaning up of all mans food scraps and waste. “Mans best friend” has continued to provide this service throughout the history of mankind; his role as hunter, pest controller, scavenger and waste disposal provided the dog with its natural diet of raw meats and scraps. It was not until just over 30 years ago in Australia, that the first commercial cooked dog and cat foods were released onto the market….and with that, began the slow and insidious decline in health of modern day dogs and cats.

The average veterinarian today spends more than half his or her working day treating a virtual epidemic of skin diseases, allergies, arthritis, teeth and gum problems, ear infections, anal gland impactions, urinary tract diseases and a huge range of degenerative diseases and cancers previously only thought to occur in man.

It is this background of information that lead respected Australian veterinarian Dr Bruce Syme to begin searching for a solution to this health crisis that did not depend on the continuous use of drugs (like cortisone and antibiotics), and then the need for more drugs to counter the side effects of the original treatments.

“ It was simply out of frustration, as a vet, that lead me to look for a better answer to these problems. I was embarrassed every time my clients came back for more consultations and more drugs for the same old problems..itchy skin, ear infections, arthritis therapy etc..”

And the answer to all these problems…Nutrition !

Dr Syme, along with a growing body of vets, breeders, and every day dog and cat owners, and a wealth of scientific evidence, believes that it is the practice of feeding cooked and processed pet foods, especially those using cheap meat and cereal by-products, that has resulted in the dramatic decline in health of modern dogs and cats.

“Cooking food does a lot more than just destroy vitamins” Dr Syme says, “ it destroys essential fatty acids, denatures proteins and enzymes, damages minerals and micronutrients, and severely decreases the nutritional content and bioavailability of any food source. In short, cooking pet food

creates nutritional deficiencies, which are often worsened by the use of cheap ingredients of poor quality and nutritional value.”

Although many premium brand dry foods are now using far better quality ingredients, they are all still cooked, processed, and use some form of artificial preservatives. Despite the claims that processed canned and dry pet foods will supply all of your pet’s nutritional needs, research has shown that many common brand pet foods supply as little as 26 of the 72 macro and micronutrients required for good health, and there is no legal requirement for them to do otherwise.

It is now an accepted medical fact that the top 8 killer diseases in western society (which include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, alzheimer’s and autoimmune disease) are a direct result of the highly refined and processed western diet we consume. It is also an accepted and proven fact that the addition of high quality fresh fruit and vegetables, and some basic vitamin and mineral supplements (along with exercise), to the average western diet will dramatically reduce the chances of developing any of these top 8 diseases. The simple fact is, that the combination of intensive farming techniques currently used, and the high degree of food processing and refinement that follows, has lead to wide scale nutritional deficiencies.

At Healthy Pets Vet Clinic we stock a wide variety of Vets All Natural food. Please come and speak to one of our friendly nursing team about the food or for more information Click here

Feeding cats a natural diet

The Cat family (felids) have evolved closely along side their canine counterparts, but have developed their own unique dietary requirements as a result of their own unique dietary intake. Cats, unlike dogs, are obligate carnivores, which means they must have meat in their diet to live (dogs can live on a vegetarian diet). Cats require significantly larger amounts of protein in their diet, as well as fats, and less carbohydrate and vegetable matter. Cats must have a dietary source of the amino acid taurine, which is only naturally found in meat (but easily destroyed by cooking), and the essential fatty acid arachidonic acid, also found in animal fats.

Cats have evolved as a fine tuned hunting machine, which parallels their need for fresh meat and animal fats in their diet. The structure of their bodies, teeth, claws, and digestive tracts are finely tuned to catch and process live prey. Cats, unlike dogs, will rarely touch carrion (old dead meat/carcass), and will not scavenge like dogs. They always prefer fresh meat/prey, and as such, are rarely poisoned or take baits. This is also why they can be fussy eaters, and will rarely be tricked into taking medication mixed in their food.

They have evolved to exist in the most arid environments, which is why they thrive in the Australian bush. Their urinary system has evolved to enable them to conserve water very effectively, producing a highly concentrated urine (the strong smell we all know well) and requiring only minute amounts of water each day. They do this by absorbing up to 80% of their water requirements from their live prey, and hence they need to drink very rarely. This is why I believe that the practice of feeding dry food rations to cats is totally wrong, and results in the high levels of urinary tract disorders and renal failure we see in cats today. Unless cats adapt quickly, and dramatically increase their water intake to compensate for the lack of moisture in the food, their urinary system is forced to produce more and more concentrated urine, which results in crystal formation, PH imbalance, and renal overload.

Cats are unable to properly cope with long term dry food intake, and will not live to their full potential on this type of ration, no matter how good or expensive the product.

So what should a modern cat eat ? A diet based on high levels of fresh raw meats (high in protein and fat), with a correct balance of carbohydrate and vegetable matter. Because raw meat does not equal an entire carcass, complete with organs, digestive tract, bones and fur or feathers, additional supplements are required to “top up” the basic diet. Additional yeast, kelp, lecithin, calcium, and vitamin C can provide all the extra natural elements (vitamins, minerals, and trace elements) found in a natural live prey diet. It is important to remember that cats do ingest grass and other green matter as part of their natural diet, so this must be accounted for also, in the form of vegetables and wheat grass.

All these elements and necessary supplements are provided for in Complete Mix for cats. The feeding chart is calculated on the higher need for raw meats and fat, and the mix itself is balanced to provide all the additional elements in the correct amounts. Naturally, many cats may put up a fuss if their regular food is changed, but if you are serious about good health and long life for your cats, persevere with the new diet and you will eventually convince your feline companions that fresh is best.

Note : for really fussy cats, try soaking the mix in chicken stock, and mix a few sardines in with the whole meal. Get them used to eating raw meat first, and add the mix gradually, over a week or so. You  can always come and have a chat with our healthy pets team for more information.

Christmas time for pets

What to get your pets for Christmas ?

Many people like to spoil their pets for Christmas, and why not, they are members of the family too. Giving your pet a special treat is great, but what about a gift that keeps on giving – what about pet insurance ?

Have you thought about what you would do if your pet is bitten by a snake, and you are faced with the need to make an immediate decision on spending up to $1500 to give them anti-venom treatment and supportive care ? Or what about a car accident, with broken bones and a referral surgeon that could cost $5000? Or even just a nasty grass seed up the nose, with a general anaesthetic, fibre-optic scope and a $400 bill.

How nice would it be to know that your pet is covered by pet insurance, and you can say “yes” without thinking. Accidents, emergencies and severe illnesses are a reality of pet ownership, but many of us never plan for them to happen, and can be faced with very difficult and heart wrenching decisions when faced with sudden, un-expected vet bills or treatment costs.

For as little as $10 per week, you can have total peace of mind, so don’t wait for trouble to strike your furry family, why not sign up for pet insurance.

Things to beware of at Christmas !

Christmas is a time of fun and family, but it does present a few new dangers to be aware of. Feeding left over Christmas lunch or dinner to dogs is a common cause of Boxing day blues – rich fatty foods like pork crackling, sausages and ham can cause a nasty upset tummy or even pancreatitis, which can be severe and even fatal. And left overs often include toxic foods like onion, sultanas, grapes or macadamia nuts, which can cause severe illness. Chocolate is another common danger at Christmas, and don’t think that dogs can’t tell what is wrapped up in a pressie under the tree – they have a keen sense of smell thousands of times greater than us mere mortals.

Cooked bones like ham bones and turkey left overs are another common cause of danger, and I have seen first-hand what problems can arise from giving Rover a special treat like this. As much as it may pain you to throw away those tasty morsels, it is far better than an un-expected trip to the vet with a vomiting dog and a potential bowel obstruction !

Wishing you all a fun and safe Christmas this year from Dr Bruce and all the team at Healthy Pets Veterinary Clinic!

Allergy season

Allergies

Spring and Summer can be a rough time for many pets, with the onset of the flea and allergy season. Itching caused by allergies can be very frustrating for all involved, pets, owners and veterinarians. Because allergies are an abnormal immune reaction, there is no single simple answer to them, much like it is with hayfever or asthma – sometimes the best we can hope to do is control the symptoms and minimise drug use.

At Healthy Pets Veterinary Clinic we strive to provide a “minimal chemical approach” to managing allergies, and we can offer a wide range of options that include diets, supplements, topical treatments and medications.

The goal of allergy treatments is to settle the over-reactive immune system and prevent self trauma from itching and chewing.

please click on this link for more detailed information on natural approaches to allergies :

Allergies.pdf

 

The Clinic offers a wide range of products and services that can assist in managing and alleviating the annoying symptoms of allergies. Your pet does not have to suffer hot, itchy skin, so make sure you book in to discuss treatment options for your dog or cat.