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Nutrition....the Foundation of Good Health
By: T. J. Dunn, Jr. DVM

Unfortunately for our pets who cannot make decisions about what they will eat, there are products being presented to them that are full of artificial colorings, flavor enhancers to entice them to eat, ingredients such as meat and bone meal that are so highly processed they have questionable nutritional value, and preservatives to allow a long "shelf life" at the grocery store.

This is a sorry state of affairs for our pets; and often the consumer believes they are providing good food for their dog or cat!

The field of canine and feline nutrition is clouded with misconceptions, misleading advertising and an overall lack of commitment to educate pet owners. During 30 years of experience treating dogs and cats, plus 7 years in Veterinary School, I have learned far more "on the job" than I ever did in the few classes that were offered in College. I am committed to passing on to you, the responsible guardians of our dogs and cats, some of the important aspects of pet nutrition I have learned.

There are so many topics to be discussed that it is difficult to select where to start. The Internet has many informative places to visit for background on how to read pet food labels, what responsibility the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has and even a web site about the Pet Food Institute.

Many of these sites have factual information and are not slanted by pet food manufacturers' marketing strategy, profit margins, or advertising agencies' creative design departments. Other sources of information available to the pet owner looking for good advice may not be quite so objective. The Golden Rule you should keep in mind is "Does the advice make sense?"

For example, if some pet food "expert" tells you that eating animal fat is bad for dogs and cats and that a plant source of fatty acids is much better, your common sense should tell you that dogs and cats successfully evolved over the eons by consuming animal fat in their diets. So does it make sense to say that animal fat is bad for dogs and cats?

Another example is the common notion that lots of protein in a pet's diet will cause kidney damage. Again, looking at the nature of the dog and cat as a meat-eating animal and having evolved by capturing and consuming other animals, we know their diets have always been high in protein.

Think about what makes sense IN NATURE. If you hear about a nutritional product that "just doesn't make sense" cautious about it's factual basis.

Here is the biggest and most common misconception of all ... the promotion of some low priced, grain-based foods as being a Complete and Balanced diet for dogs and cats!

Having done physical exams on tens of thousands of dogs and cats and learning from their owners what these pets are being fed has taught me that dogs and cats look, feel, and perform better if they are fed a meat-based diet rather than if fed a corn, wheat, soy or rice-based diet.

This does not mean that grains are bad for dogs and cats; they surely can contribute certain limited nutrients to a good diet (mainly calories in the form of carbohydrates). Nevertheless, many veterinarians believe that grains should not be the foundation of a diet intended for a dog or cat.

I'll give you one second to answer this question. (It's so simple that you won't even need the full time allowed!)

If you could pick only one product to properly feed your dog or cat, which would you choose... corn or meat?

It has been shown that all-meat diets are harmful over a period of time because of mineral and other imbalances. Properly formulated meat-based diets have ingredients added in specific amounts to insure a nutritionally beneficial diet. DO NOT feed your dog or cat a home-made ALL MEAT diet!


Are they getting a bad rap? As you read various pet food producers' advertising material you will often find such statements as "No By-Products Added!" or "Our food contains no animal by-products so you know it's top quality".

I will let you decide if By-Products aren't good for dogs and cats after you learn what they are. To most people the term "by-products" congers up images of whatever is left over after the animal is processed, or maybe whatever can't be used for human food, or maybe even what's cleaned up off the processing floor at the end of the day. (I hear this misconception all the time!)

It's time you learn what by-products are; so here is the legal definition as described by the official agency in charge of directing animal feeding practices in the U.S....AAFCO: Association of American Feed Control Officials.

By-Product... Secondary products produced in addition to the principal products. Well, there is nothing here to indicate good or bad quality of product. Maybe we should look at what the principal product is to find out what the secondary products are; then we can decide if the secondary products would make good food for meat-eating dogs and cats.

If Meat is the primary product (meat refers to the skeletal muscles of the slaughtered mammal) then ...
Meat By-Products - the non rendered (uncooked), clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hooves.

Think about this for a moment... in a free roaming and natural state, wouldn't dogs and cats feed on exactly these parts of a killed prey animal? Wouldn't a meat-eating animal consume the liver, stomach, lung tissue, and intestines of the prey? These tissues are what we call by-products! They happen to be very nourishing for meat-eating animals like the canine and feline! My conclusion is that Meat By-Products are a good source of nutrition for dogs and cats; what's yours?

(For hundreds of pages of definitions, rules for processing, amounts of preservatives and additives allowed, feeding trial protocols and much more, you should consider purchasing an Official Publication of AAFCO Phone:1-404-656-3637. Ask for the AAFCO Official Publication of the Association of American Feed Control Officials)

If you are interested in learning more about sensible nutritional practices, I would recommend these two books, The AAFCO Publication and Canine and Feline Nutrition by Case, Carey and Hirakawa; C.V. Mosby, for your library. You could spend lots of interesting hours discovering what many veterinarians and other animal caretakers have not ... that sensible nutritional practices are based on proven scientific research.



More on Grains

Contrasting Grain-based and Meat-based diets fed to Dogs and Cats

Pet food manufacturers know very well how to make a great diet just like the one we put together.  The problem is that it would be expensive to produce, especially if eggs and beef and fish were in it.  And to be competitive with other pet food producers, the price of the food dictates what the foundation (primary ingredients) of the diet will be.

ENTER CORN... it's cheap, takes up lots of room in the bag of food and in the pet's stomach so it will "fill 'em up", it's a good carbohydrate source so the pet will have some energy, it has a few amino acids in it so the corn will contribute to the protein totals on the guaranteed analysis list, and there's a cheap and steady supply of corn.

So the pet food manufacturer makes a corn diet, adds some "meat and bone meal" (which has been cooked at least twice before it gets in the bag and may contain too much calcium) to "complete the amino acid profile" and adds a few other calculated substances so that COMPLETE AND BALANCED can be stamped prominently on the pet food label.

The natural world was set up in such a way that, in reference to dog and cat food, cheap ingredients based on plant products and resulting in cheap pet foods always turn out to be a poor choice when attempting to nourish a meat eater.  Conversely, expensive substances such as eggs, meat, poultry and fish are far better choices when designing a good diet for meat eaters.

NOTE! "Expensive" and "costs" are human terms and have no relationship to what Nature set up regarding what constitutes an ideal diet for a meat eater.

The above is adapted from an article written by T. J. Dunn, Jr. DVM



Your Education is important for your Pet

The Poisons in pet Food


Tippy & Alfred eat ...... Life's Abundance Premium Pet Foods!

If you would like to know more about a very high quality food that has the right amount of meat proteins to carbohydrates, and one that contains no corn, wheat, or by-products, then please take a few minutes and check out our site:


 Here's one Alfred's satisfied feline customers

Begging for more of the Life's Abundance Cuisine


Tippy and Alfred both feel sooooooo much better now that Dave took them off those crappy corn based foods.

They tried to tell Dave that they needed protein from a high quality meat source...but Dave used to be a cheapskate and wouldn't listen.......

And even though Dave "thought" he was saving money by buying a cheap food, it was actually costing him in the long run....Big Time!

Dave spent right around $1750 at the vets trying to keep the guys well.

Well Dave woke up when Tippy and Little Cat C had some serious health problems. Tippy went through two major surgeries and almost died the second time around.

We couldn't have bared the loss of our best friend, and Dave asked the vet what was the problem. Point blank, he told Dave, "It was because of the garbage food Tippy was eating."

Dave felt about 6 inches high, but it sure did wake him up!!!

We searched and searched to learn and educate ourselves, and finally ran into Life's Abundance. The difference in Tippy's and all our cat's health after switching was just Totally Amazing!

It was like miracles happened, especially with Little Cat C.

She had major skin and coat problems, skinny as a rail and Dave thought for sure she was going to check out.


Today Little Cat C has all her hair back, & is now a really nice cat (except when she comes in with wet paws and walks all over Dave's important papers.....)

So while we are not allowed to make any medical claims that a certain brand of food can alleviate, or cure any disease or medical condition.....we can tell you we have testimony after testimony of how pets have gotten better after switching to a high quality meat protein diet.

All we can suggest is, hey, try a bag of food and the right supplement, and see what happens. While a good quality food does cost more up front, Dave is actually saving tons of money cause Tippy and her cat friends no longer visit the vet for health related problems.

Try some of Tippy & Alfred's Favorite Dining Cuisine here


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