We recommend The Farmer's Dog

The Farmer’s Dog ~ A Smarter, Healthier Pet Food

We try to find the best available dog and pet food brands that contain more natural ingredients than their mainstream counterparts. We strongly recommend avoiding the big-name brands that include harmful ingredients in your best friend’s food. There are alternatives that are so much better than the Purina, Iams and Science Diets of the pet food world. That’s why we are proud to recommend The Farmer’s Dog…

The Farmer's Dog

What is The Farmer’s Dog?

The Farmer’s Dog is completely rethinking how pet food is manufactured and marketed by sending freshly made food directly to customers’ doors. Founded by Jonathan Regev and Brett Podolsky in 2015, the direct-to-consumer fresh pet food company creates meal plans that are made-to-order, designed by veterinarians, and customized using smart technology to meet the ideal nutritional needs of every dog.

How is it different?

The Farmer's DogThe pet food typically found on a retail shelf is arguably the most highly processed food in existence. By shipping directly to customers on subscription, The Farmer’s Dog is able to circumvent retail stores and make food fresh, reducing their costs for superior ingredients and offering customers unparalleled food quality at an affordable price point. Food never sits on a shelf for months (or years) at a time, and customers never have to worry about running out.  By leveraging smart technology and proprietary algorithms, The Farmer’s Dog can create customized meal plans based on a dog’s individual profile using data about age, breed, size, activity level, and sensitivities. The fresh, veterinarian-designed food is then pre-portioned and delivered in personalized and ready-to-serve meals within days of preparation.

Where can I get Farmer’s Dog?

We are strictly online and subscription only so we can utilize our knowledge of predictable demand to run lean on inventory and produce a fresh product. Shipping directly to customers also allows us to create a personalized experience while cutting out middlemen retailers and distributors.

Brett and JonathanWhat inspired the business?

The Farmer’s Dog was inspired after Brett’s battle to cure his Rottweiler Jada’s stomach issues illustrated the power of fresh food. After testing every pet food on the market without success, Brett resorted to a fresh, home-cooked diet at his vet’s recommendation and the results were staggering — Jada was cured.

After witnessing Jada’s transformation, Brett and Jonathan knew they had to create a solution for other pet parents who were searching for a healthy, trustworthy option. They designed a product they wished existed for their own dogs; a service that takes a fresh approach to pet food and gives pet parents the peace of mind that they’re feeding their dogs the healthiest diet possible.

Continued: You shouldn’t be the only one eating healthy >>

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Good long lasting beds for big dogs

Big Barker Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed for Large and Extra Large Breed Dogs

 

Dog beds for extra large dogsThis is the dog bed you asked us to make. It’s the best thing you can buy for a big dog. After selling thousands of dog beds & speaking to thousands of large dog owners, we know for certain that you need 3 things in an orthopedic dog bed:

— Must provide incredible support & comfort, must not flatten out over time
— Has to be easy to clean
— Must look great in your house

We make a dog bed hand crafted with absolute precision to provide perfectly distributed weight support for extreme comfort and extreme durability. This bed looks like a beautiful piece of furniture and feels like a high end velvety couch on your skin. Simple to clean, just unzip cover and toss it in the washing machine. Available in Large, Extra Large & Giant sizes.

— 10 year guarantee. Foam will retain 90% of original shape & loft for 10 years or your money back.
— American made orthopedic foam is highest quality you’ll find in a dog bed. Won’t flatten or pancake over time.
— Handmade in the USA by craftsmen with over 30 years experience in our small California workshop
— Easy to clean, machine washable. 100% Microfiber cover. Soft to the touch, looks great in your home.

Click here to read more about these sturdy dog beds on Amazon: Big Barker Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed for Large and Extra Large Breed Dogs >>

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Dog Seat Cover for Cars By Starling's

Dog Seat Cover for Cars By Starling’s Available at Amazon

 

TOP QUALITY DURABLE MATERIAL: The cover material is made of heavy duty polyester fabric, double stitched and reinforced. It’s perfectly safe for you and your pet, as it does not contain any toxic or harmful materials.

WATERPROOF & EASY TO CLEAN: Protects your car from all stains and mud and can be machine-washed. You can even clean it between trips without having to remove it – simply wipe it down with a wet cloth and let it dry.

Click here to buy at Amazon.com: Dog Seat Cover for Cars By Starling’s >>

FITS ANY VEHICLE: The seat cover is very simple to install and fits any car, truck or SUV that has adjustable headrests for your hammock’s buckles to snap onto. It even features side flaps to protect your automobile’s doors or accommodate wider than usual vehicle seats.

HAMMOCK DESIGN FOR YOUR PET’S SAFETY & COMFORT: Dog Seat Cover for Cars By Starling’sSpecially designed to cover your car’s entire back seat. Not only does the hammock protect your seats, it also prevents your dog from slipping out of the car. Your furry friend will feel and be safe and comfortable. Order today and you’ll also receive Pet Car Seat Belts & Pet Toy.

LIFETIME WARRANTY – PERFECT SATISFACTION: Starling’s Smart Product Company has your interest at heart and that is why we will render the best service to you. Starling’s offers a 100% LIFETIME guarantee for this product. If you are not completely satisfied, please let us know, and we will do our best to issue the problem. Enjoy this absolutely risk free purchase today !!! Enhance Your Pet Travel Experience Today and Grad Yours Now!

Anti-Dirt, Anti-Scratch Reinforced Back Seat Cover For Your Car

  • Anti-skid hammock design
  • Water resistant
  • Dimensions: 58’’x54’’x0.2’’
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Anti-slip PVC Bottom
  • Snap buckles & seat anchors

No matter how well-behaved your dog may be, a car’s back seat is not a place for him. Make it more comfortable and protect your car at the same time with this special seat cover.

Dog Seat Cover for Cars By Starling’sIt’s conveniently shaped like a hammock that covers the whole back seat, as well the back sides of the front seats and the central console. It also has side flaps to protect your doors from the inevitable mud, hair and scratches that come with every pet.

Along with your car seat cover you will additionally receive 2 pet seat belts and a knot rope chew toy to keep your furry pal busy!

Easy Fit Design You Can Install In seconds

The hammock car seat cover is made to fit in every vehicle. Installing it is as simple as fastening the snap buckles and seat anchors, and you’re ready to go!

Safety & Comfort For Your Pet

Even as your dog jumps in and out of the car, you can be certain the cover will stay fixed in its place. Its oxford surface will also ensure he never slips or falls. He’ll just sit there in comfort with a wide, happy doggy smile!

Enjoy Great Times With Your Pawed Buddy! Enhance Your Pet Travel Experience Today!

Package Contents:

1 – Pet Seat Cover
1 – Pet Car Seat Belts
1 – Pet Toy
1 – Storage Bag

Click here to buy the Dog Seat Cover for Cars By Starling’s at Amazon.com >>

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Get Up & Go Herbal Joint Support Supplement

Support Mobility and Relieve Aches and Discomfort with this Herbal Blend

 

Get Up & Go Herbal Joint Support Supplement

Only Natural Pet Get Up & Go is a holistically formulated supplement that features a collection of herbs that work synergistically to Get Up & Go Herbal Joint Support Supplementsupport your pet’s joints and mobility while simultaneously supporting a healthy inflammation response.

Available in either a highly palatable, turkey flavored soft chew (for dogs) or a turkey flavored chew-able tablet, Only Natural Pet Get Up & Go offers immediate support for your pet, whether it’s difficulty with mobility, pre-or-post surgery, or stiffness as a result of normal exercise and activity.

Made in an FDA-approved facility using only human grade herbs, Only Natural Pet Get Up & Go is an essential supplement for pets experiencing stiffness & discomfort, or as part of any comprehensive joint support program.

A Powerful Combination of Herbs Including Corydalis

Corydalis: Also used to relieve aches and discomfort. Corydalis is a primary herb used in most Chinese formulas for discomfort due to its analgesic properties.

Feverfew: Contains compounds that act to inhibit platelet aggregation, which may help relieve post-trauma or post-surgical discomfort. Also supportive of a healthy inflammation response.

Meadowsweet: Supports favorable inflammatory response. May stimulate digestion and aid assimilation of the formula.

Cranberry Extract: The natural antioxidants found in cranberry extract have been shown to fight free radicals and destruction tissue oxidation and promote a healthy inflammation response.Get Up & Go Herbal Joint Support Supplement

Bromelain: With a group of protein digesting enzymes found in pineapples, bromelain is known to be effective in normalizing the inflammatory response associated with infectious conditions and physical injuries.

Celery Seed: Has been used medicinally for thousands of years to aid proper fluid balance throughout bodily tissues. Supports normal detoxification processes.

Turmeric: In India’s system of Ayurvedic Medicine, turmeric has been recognized for thousands of years as a key balancing herb. Turmeric supports healthy inflammation response and is a potent antioxidant.

Wheatgrass: Promotes normal detoxification processes of the body.

Cayenne: Helps activate the other herbs within the formula and supports normal circulation. Cayenne is traditionally used in Chinese medicine for its warming properties and to relieve stagnation.

Get Up & Go Soft Chews use a holistic blend of herbs to support your pet’s joints through a variety of discomforts, including supporting overall mobility, a healthy inflammation response and normal recovery after surgery

Glucosamine + Asta combines a unique combination of the joint maintaining compound glucosamine and the powerful, free radical fighting antioxidant astaxanthin for overall joint maintenance.

Get Up & Go Soft Chews use a holistic blend of herbs to support your pet’s joints through a variety of discomforts, including supporting overall mobility, a healthy inflammation response and normal recovery after surgery

Glucosamine + Asta combines a unique combination of the joint maintaining compound glucosamine and the powerful, free radical fighting antioxidant astaxanthin for overall joint maintenance.

Everyday Joint Care Support & Maintenance Kit

Get Up & Go Herbal Joint Support SupplementHolistic Formulations: Combining effective joint products, including powerful herbs that support mobility and healthy inflammation response, with proven joint supporting compounds, your able to improve your pet’s quality of life and support overall mobility and vitality.

Shop at Only Natural Pet

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Only Natural Pet Glucosamine and Asta

A Powerful Joint Supporting Compound and Powerful Antioxidant (Article)

 

Your active or aging pet has extra strain placed on their joints, and providing the right joint support formula can make all the difference in their quality of life. Pet health experts know that the body’s supply of glucosamine, an important amino acid found in all connective tissue, can diminish as our pets age.

Less glucosamine means less joint support capability, resulting in further aches & discomfort in your pet’s joints. Glucosamine can help restore this essential joint component, and most veterinarians agree it’s the most fundamental of joint support ingredients. But contemporary research has also found that free radical damage can play a significant role in joint deterioration. In response to these findings, the newest joint support products available include antioxidants to take advantage of their free radical fighting properties, which can reduce oxidative damage to joint tissues.

Only Natural Pet Glucosamine + Asta delivers a focused approach to maintaining your pet’s joint health with the power of joint-building glucosamine plus the fast-acting synergy of super-antioxidant, astaxanthin. While not nearly as well-known as some other carotenoids in its family, like beta-carotene and lutein, this powerhouse health co-factor is causing a lot of excitement in the field of antioxidant research.

Derived from marine algae cultivated in the waters around Hawaii, astaxanthin has antioxidant properties found to be over 500 times stronger than Vitamin E in some studies, with an accelerated ability to destroy the free radicals at the root of many joint wear-and-tear problems. Astaxanthin also has the ability to support normal immune response in auto-immune reactive conditions, as well as its ability to help the joints and muscles recover after exercise.

Other research on Astaxanthin has demonstrated its unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and deliver its antioxidant effects throughout the central nervous system. Astaxanthin has been found to be better absorbed by the body than other antioxidants, and to support the body’s skin and eyes against the sun’s UV rays. It is demonstrating promise in the areas of cardiovascular health and has shown potential in supporting healthy blood sugar regulation in diabetic patients.

Take your pet’s joint support to the next level with the proven value of glucosamine combined with the cutting edge advantage of astaxanthin. When you give Glucosamine + Asta to your companion, you can stay one step ahead of your pet’s joint issues while supporting their overall wellness. This is a great, fast-acting formula for older cats and dogs starting to show signs of joint stiffness, and for highly active, working or athletic animals of any age.

This product was made in an FDA-approved facility using human-grade ingredients.

Available in 90 capsule bottles >>

Shop Now at Only Natural Pet
Only Natural Pet brand products are 100% Guaranteed!

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Only Natural Pet Ultimate Daily Vitamins Plus

Only Natural Pet Ultimate Daily Vitamins Plus for Dogs and Cats (Video)

 

The Benefits of Daily Vitamins

Just like with you, introducing a daily vitamin into your pet’s diet can have a huge effect on overall health. Only Natural Pet Ultimate Daily Vitamins Plus feature a full spectrum of vitamins & minerals for your dog or cat that support every major function of their bodies, from a glowing skin & coat to a healthy gastrointestinal tract. And since these formulas are made from all natural ingredients, you know they’re safe & effective.

Only Natural Pet Ultimate Daily Vitamins Plus for Dogs

Only Natural Pet Ultimate Daily Vitamins Plus


Only Natural Pet Ultimate Daily Vitamins Plus for Cats

Only Natural Pet Ultimate Daily Vitamins Plus for Cats

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Sojos Original Raw Dog Food Mix by Sojourner Farms

 

Eric and Kate here with DogPerDay. Watch this video below to learn more about Sojourner Farms brand raw dog and cat food, and find out how you can start your beloved pet on a truly healthy diet that will lead to a longer and happier life… and be sure to read some of the Testimonials that I’ve included below the video…

Combine with your own source of meat and veggies to create your own fresh, homemade pet food. When mixed with meat and water, 1 lb. makes approximately 4.8 lbs. of fresh, raw dog food.

Click here or on the image below to learn more about Sojos Original Dog Food Mix >>

Sojourner Farms Raw Dog Food Mix

Testimonials from Sojos!

“My little Chi-Pom named Joey was a mature-dog rescue when he was ten years old. Over the next two years, Joey seemed to get weaker and more problems developed such as recurrent stomach issues and losing the ability to climb stairs. I thought it might be age since I was feeding him cooked ground turkey, peas and brown rice (very healthy diet, I thought). When he started to not eat much, I decided to try raw food on the advice of a friend. Within a few weeks, Joey was eating all his food (the Turkey Complete Mix), climbing stairs, and had no more stomach issues at all… it was amazing! Joey is now twelve and looks and acts like a puppy… I will never go back to cooked dog food. Thank you, Sojos!”

~ Tony, Walnut Creek, CA


“My husband and I have spent the last 2 years trying to fix our English Bulldog’s itchy skin… We have tried every allergy friendly food on the market, took out our grass and carpet, had him on regular allergy medication and nothing worked. We have had him on a Sojo’s diet for the past week and I am so pleased to say that he is finally sleeping through the night without itches and his pink face is now normal! He finally looks comfortable. Thanks for helping our pup.”

~ Amanda, Mission Viejo, CA


Sojos Raw Pet Food Facts

“Cocoa had been overweight since I got her in 2006. Despite exercise and various ‘diet’ foods, she still wasn’t really trimming down and she was listless, didn’t play much. I decided to try Sojo’s Complete Turkey Recipe and she is now at her ideal weight and maintaining. She hops around, plays like a puppy (she’s 13 years old) and even the Vet remarks on how good she looks. Additionally, she doesn’t have that ‘dog smell’ that some other dogs have, and I suspect such odor has something to do with what the dog is being fed. She loves Sojo’s, and so do I!”

~ Suzy, Fargo, ND


“My lil yorkie Lily Bella started her life with a sensitive stomach. I tried many different foods but they never agreed with her. My vet told me she would probably have to be on prescription food for the rest of her life. That was not going to be a option for me since she was so young. I researched ‘all natural’ foods and tried Sojos and OMG the transformation was amazing! No more upset tummy for my little bean! Lily is absolutely crazy in love with Sojos! When I’m mixing her food she bounces around the kitchen dancing on her hind legs, barking, telling me to hurry up with her Sojos! Now there is never a health issue with her, no ear infections or upset tummies and her coat is shinny and beautiful and she has a sparkle in her eyes! Lily loves the grain free veggie mix. Thank you Sojos! You saved my Lily from a life of eating prescription dog food! p.s. She also loves your Good Dog dog treats!”

~ Judy, Greendale, WI


Why Sojos?

“Mason my Dachshund has had many health issues in his life. After having colitis twice a couple of years ago, I started feeding him Sojos and he has not had it since. He has also lost weight and had started growing some of his hair back! I have fed him every high end dog food including raw and Sojo’s is the best!”

~ Michelle, Scottsdale, AZ


“Hobie was a rescue and while he is a young dude, he spends most of his time sleeping in between his 4 daily walks. After trying a so-called ‘high end’ dog food, we noticed something different: he was gaining weight like crazy!! At his highest he was up to 64 lbs.! 15 lbs. up from his weight when he was rescued! Not only that, but he developed some kind of allergy where hot spots would pop up and his poor coat looked terrible! I talked to my local dog shop who recommended a different dry food and Sojos as a complement. Six weeks later, Hobie was down to a healthy 52 lbs. and has been there for over two years! He no longer has allergies and his coat is even and soft. He’s a happy boy and I’m happy he is healthy and doing well. Thank you Sojos!”

~ Alison, Torrance, CA


Click here or on the image below to learn more about Sojos Original Dog Food Mix >>

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Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength Dog Car Harness from Kurgo.com

 

Crash-Tested Dog Car Harness

This crash-tested dog car harness keeps you and your pup safe while driving. It has been designed as a dog safety harness, not a converted walking harness. The all-steel Nesting Buckle System is based on the engineering for harnesses used by rock climbers and linesmen ensuring strength and safety.

With five adjustments points, it’s easy to get a near custom fit for any dog, regardless of size and proportions. The chest pad reduces stress on the trachea and sternum while dispersing kinetic energy across the chest of the dog. This is important during those rare, but dangerous impact crashes.

Because it’s designed with comfort in mind, our Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Harness can also be used as a no-pull walking harness. There’s a halt ring on the front chest plate. If your pup tries to pull, it will just turn him around effectively training him that pulling will get him nowhere!

medium-small-dogmedium-dogsmall-dog

Click here to get the Tru-Fit Dog Car Harness from Kurgo.com >>

For maximum crash protection and to limit excursion, you should use the included carabiner to attach the harness to you car seatbelt system. If your dog cannot tolerate this level of restraint, you can also use the included 10-inch dog seat belt tether to provide a bit more range of movement.

  • Protects dogs, drivers and passengers on the road
  • Broad, padded chest plate for extra protection and comfort
  • Compatible with any vehicle seat belt system
  • Includes a carabiner and 10-inch dog seat belt loop
  • Functions as an auto or walking harness
  • Five adjustment points for a perfect fit on all shapes and sizes
  • All-metal hardware
  • Crash-tested
  • Machine washable. Line dry.
  • Size Chart

black-harness2  red-harness

Measure chest and neck to determine harness size. The fit should be snug but not restrictive.

Trufit-Car-Harness-Size-Chart

Measuring-Your-Dog

Crash Testing Information

This harness has been tested at a University of Michigan lab, an accredited National Highway Traffic Safety Administration facility, using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for child restraint systems. It has been tested for dogs up to 75 pounds.

Click here to see Crash Test Report >>

5 out of 5-Star Testimonials…

Best harness I have ever used!! My 90lb 18 month Pitbull has destroyed or broken every collar and harness he has had. Some have also caused him unnecessary discomfort. This harness is on him all the time and he seems to be perfectly content with it. It holds him well, it allows him to move freely and its incredibly strong. Combined with the seat belt harness its a great way to keep the dog from jumping around in the car and hopping from the front to back constantly. I also recommend Kurgo due to their excellent customer service. I had an issue with a different order and they prompty and fairly took care of my needs. Excellent work Kurgo!!  ~ WileyOompa, Raleigh, NC

Safety First We love this harness. This is the fourth one we have purchased. We have one for each of our dogs. They are all standard poodles and range in size from 40 pounds to 80 pounds. Our dogs go everywhere with us and they know when they get in the car they wear their harness and are buckled in. We wouldn’t dream of riding in the car without our seatbelts, and we won’t let our dogs either. Safety first. We have purchased extra seat belt tethers so that both of our cars are equipped with them. The tethers make buckling the dogs in so easy. ~ Kimberly, California

Fantastic safety harness! I bought this to keep me and my dog safe on road trips and the occasional trip into the city. The construction is rock solid with double stitching and heavy duty metal buckles. The harness is easy to slip on and off. My dog seems to be very comfortable with the harness on. The breast plate is large enough that it spreads any force all along my dogs chest rather than a single point. It fits perfectly after adjusting it. So well in fact that I can grab the top strap and lift my 80 pound dog up without him showing any discomfort at all. I got the red harness to go on my black dog and it looks great on him which is an added bonus. I recommend the “Direct to Seat Belt Tether” to go with this harness if you intend to use it as a safety device in your car. ~ sleeper692, Portland, OR

We’ve bought THREE! (for one dog) When we bought the first two, we got one with plastic connections and one with metal. Not thinking about the metal being stronger, we used the metal on our golf cart and the plastic in the car. Since we live four blocks from the beach, the metal rusted, so the harness needed to be replaced. After reading the crash test results, I realized that the one in the car needed to be metal, so I bought him one with metal to use in the car and we’re using the plastic on the golf cart (he LOVES to go bye-bye on the golf cart!!) Strongly recommend these harnesses… they are easy to hook up and are easily adjustable to fit him perfectly. ~ Cooper’s Mom, Port Aransas, TX

Click here to get the Tru-Fit Dog Car Harness from Kurgo.com >>

Recommended Accessories

Direct to Seat Belt Tether: This dog seat belt attaches to your dog’s harness with a carabiner and clicks directly into the female slot of any car’s seat belt, making it quick and easy to restrain your pup to avoid distracted driving.

Swivel Tether: Our strongest tether system, featuring a carabiner used by arborists. Its swivel action also makes it harder for those escape artist pups to get free from their restraint or twist their seat belt tether.

Yellow-Lab-with-Harness

Click here to get the Tru-Fit Dog Car Harness from Kurgo.com >>

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“Easy Raw” Dehydrated Raw Dog Food by Only Natural Pet

 

I love this store’s philosophy of providing non-mainstream dog and pet food. If you don’t know this already, avoid the big-name brands that you are familiar with, including ones that sound nice, like “Science Diet,” and ones that use nice-sounding words like “all natural” and “gluten free” just to trick you into thinking it is healthy for your pet. Watch this video below, then click here to start your dog on a truly healthy diet with “Easy Raw” Dehydrated Raw Dog Food by Only Natural Pet >>

Click here or on the image below to start your dog on a truly healthy diet with “Easy Raw” Dehydrated Raw Dog Food by Only Natural Pet >>

EasyRaw Dehydrated Dog Food

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Top 10 Myths About Pet Food and Nutrition

By Dr. Jean Hofve, Holistic Veterinarian, contributor for Only Natural Pet

Whether it’s weeding through the “prescription” diets offered or just understanding the difference between raw food and dry food, separating the fact from the fiction will go a long way in letting your pet enjoy a happy, healthy life. Here are the top 10 food myths that we hear and the truth behind them:

1. The best foods are those endorsed by veterinarians

While large brands sold in veterinarian’s offices may be marketed as premium, top of the line foods, one look at the ingredients tells a different story. These formulas, made by large conglmorate food manufacturers, derive far more protein from grains or grain by-product sources such as corn gluten meal, brewer’s rice, and wheat, than from healthy meat sources.

These brands, and so many like them found in grocery stores, also contain poultry by-product, which consists of the leftovers unfit for human consumption, like feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs, and intestines; everything BUT clean meat. It’s a cheap, low quality source of protein that is far less digestible than clean chicken meal. These ingredients are a tell-tale sign of poor quality food and are no different than discount brands at the grocery store. Although the formulas may contain a few specialized ingredients to position them as a special diet for health conditions such as joint support, urinary tract health, etc., a better way to treat these conditions is with a truly healthy food and one or more daily supplements.

When looking for the best food, meat and a named meat meal, like chicken meal or lamb meal, should be listed before any grains. Our dogs and cats are designed by nature to eat protein from meat sources, not grains. The high grain content of many pet foods is a primary contributor to the growing obesity and allergy problems in pets (this does not mean that all grains are bad for dogs and cats; see myth #7). For more information on selecting a truly premium food for your companion, see our articles, “Quick Guide to Natural Pet Foods,” and “What You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Food.”

2. Dry food cleans your dog’s and cat’s teeth

This one is very common, even among some veterinarians, but it is most definitely not true. Dogs and cats have very pointed teeth; even their molars are sharp edged, not flat. These teeth are designed to bite, tear, and chew raw meat, so when a dog or cat eats kibble, they either swallow it whole or shatter it. Kibble does not scrape down onto the lower parts of the teeth or near the gums, which is where dental problems start. In fact, kibble can contribute to dental problems when the shattered bits lodge between the teeth, promoting bacterial growth. Just like with your diet, carbohydrate food debris breaks down into sugar, which dental bacteria feeds upon.

“Dental care for dogs and cats is vitally important because poor dental health can lead to chronic disease conditions.”

However, kibble isn’t going to help. Healthy teeth start with a natural diet, healthy chews, and regular brushing. Please see our article, “Dental Healthcare for Your Companion,” for detailed information on caring for your four-legged friend’s teeth.

3. Pets need life stage appropriate diets, like puppy, kitten, and senior formulas

Life stage diets were created as a marketing tool! The more formulas manufacturers develop, the more shelf space they command. While it is true that puppies and kittens need more food for their size than adults, they don’t need a specially formulated puppy or kitten diet. A high-quality, varied diet is the best option for your young pets. For puppies this can include dry food, canned, freeze-dried, dehydrated, and raw food.

For kittens, kibble is not recommended to be a large portion of the diet as it can contribute to dehydration, urinary tract issues and less than optimal health over time. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they eat mostly meat and very little carbohydrates. High meat, grain-free foods are a good option if you’re supplementing with kibble, but canned, freeze-dried, dehydrated and raw are the best choices.

Feeding younger animals more frequent meals, like 3 times per day, is helpful while they are in their biggest growth phase. After three or four months of age, two meals per day is sufficient for most animals. Puppies and kittens should be kept slim, just like adult animals; keep an eye on your little companion’s waistline and don’t let them get round.

Senior animals tend to slow down as they age, so while their calorie requirements may shrink, their need for the healthiest food you can provide is never greater. As animals age, they require excellent nutrition to keep their immune system as strong as possible and their joints in good working order. Continuing to feed a high quality, varied diet is the best thing you can do, just feed a little less of it; older dogs and cats are the most susceptible to the many health issues that obesity can contribute to, including diabetes, arthritis, and urinary tract problems.

4. Table scraps and other “people foods” are bad for your dog and cat

Most holistically trained veterinarians encourage the practice of feeding “people food” to our pets. Healthy leftovers are an excellent supplement to your companion’s regular fare.”There are only two rules with people food for pets:

  1. It must be healthy for them: meat, steamed and finely chopped veggies & fruits, baked sweet potato, rice, oatmeal; no junk food; and
  2. If you give them some of what you are eating, remember to feed less of their own food so that they don’t put on extra pounds.”

It’s important to note that not all healthy foods for us are healthy for our pets: onions, grapes and raisins can all be toxic to dogs and cats. If you’re not positive it’s safe, don’t feed it.

“Even beyond leftovers, home-cooking is becoming popular among dog and cat lovers. Homemade food has never been easier to create.”

There are a number of homemade pre-mixes available to which all you need to add is meat and an appropriate oil for healthy fat content. Pre-mixes contain vegetables, vitamins and minerals, and sometimes grains to make the meal complete. Sojos has varieties with and without grains. Honest Kitchen offers Honest Kitchen Preference, a grain-free blend. Dr. Harvey’s makes pre-mixes for home cooked food that contains organic grains with an amazing blend of herbs, and also a grain-free pre-mix. You don’t have to cook every meal for your companion to benefit from fresher food: even the occasional homemade dinner is a wonderful healthy treat!

5. Your dog and cat should only eat food labeled as “complete and balanced”

Pet food companies have a pretty big interest in perpetuating this myth. Is every meal you eat complete and balanced? Even the most health-conscious among us don’t worry about meeting the proper balance of nutrients at every meal. We know that over the course of the day or week our diet will be fairly complete, so we don’t have to worry about eating exactly what the food pyramid recommends on a daily basis. Many of us take vitamins and supplements to fill in any gaps because even eating a very healthy diet of whole foods may not provide all the vitamins and minerals our body needs to stay healthy.

Variety is the key to a healthy diet for dogs and cats as well. If you’re feeding at least 50-60% commercially prepared foods that are designed to be “complete,” then you are well on your way to providing a majority of the balance of nutrients. Adding canned, raw or cooked meats, people food, fresh vegetables or other non-formulated foods to your companion’s meals will boost the overall nutrition of the diet as long as it is not overdone. Providing a daily multi-vitamin adds extra insurance. One caveat here: meat is higher in phosphorus and lower in calcium, so when adding more than 15 – 20% extra meat to your companion’s diet on a regular basis, keep the calcium and phosphorus ratio balanced over time by including raw bones or adding a calcium supplement.

6. Feeding raw food is dangerous due to the risk of Salmonella and E. Coli

The digestive tracts of dogs and cats are very different than those of humans. The human digestive tract is approximately 25 to 28 feet long with a stomach acidity between 1.5 and 2.5, whereas dogs and cats have a much shorter digestive system at an average of 10 to 13 feet for dogs (shorter for cats) with an acidity of less than 1. This means that raw food moves through your pet’s system in less than half the time it would through a human’s system, and the high acidity kills most bacteria. Even if the food was contaminated, it is likely that the microbes would not enter the animal’s bloodstream. Commercially prepared raw food manufacturers take measures to control against the presence of unwanted organisms such as salmonella and e. coli, so if you’re concerned about contamination, frozen raw diets are a good option.

If you eat meat, then you are aware of the precautions to take when handling raw meat. The same precautions apply to raw pet food: wash bowls, utensils and your hands after feeding and handling the meat. Keep the meat frozen until two to four days before feeding, and thaw in the refrigerator. Don’t leave the food down for your pet for more than 30-40 minutes, and throw any leftovers away after this time. If you use common sense, feeding raw food is no more difficult or dangerous than any other pet food, and the health benefits are unparalleled. For more information see “All About Raw Food” in our article archives.

7. High protein diets are hard on your pet’s kidneys, especially as they age

This myth is a result of poor quality food manufacturers. The truth is that high plant protein diets are hard on your pet’s organs; high animal protein diets aren’t only healthy for your aging pets, but essential. Poor quality, mass produced pet foods are packed with protein from soy and corn. Unfortunately, your dog and cat are unable to properly digest and assimilate these sources of protein. It lets the food manufacturer boost the protein content of the food without actually offering your pet any substantial protein they can use. High plant protein diets can put added strain on your pets because their bodies aren’t designed to process those ingredients. As they try to assimilate protein from these sources, their organs need to start working overtime.

AnimalProteinIcons

“Animal protein is hugely important to our pets throughout their entire lives. High quality protein from actual meat sources contains important amino acids that your pets need to thrive.”

When choosing a healthy, high protein diet for your pet, avoid any bags that feature corn or soy as a prominent ingredient (or better yet, avoid them altogether). You want named meat meals (like chicken meal or lamb meal) or quality meat as the primary protein source. This is a sureproof way to make sure your pets are eating the diet nature intended.

8. Ash Content is an important guideline in choosing your cat’s food

Concern about ash content in pet foods came about as veterinarians and cat guardians were looking for the cause of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD – formerly known as FUS). In the 70”s & 80’s, veterinarians thought ash was a factor in causing crystals in urine. There are, however, a variety of causes and ash is no longer considered a factor in causing FLUTD. The main problem was the formulation of commercial pet foods: most pet foods were creating a more alkaline urine (higher pH) which leads to an increase in struvite crystals. Most dry kibble diets are formulated with a high vegetable and grain content which creates a more alkaline urine. An all meat diet such as a cat would eat in nature creates a more acidic urine.

A high protein diet is the best way to maintain a low urinary pH naturally. Cats eating canned diets have fewer problems with FLUTD than those eating primarily dry kibble diets. This is due both to the higher meat content of canned diets as well as the higher moisture content; increased hydration also prevents crystal formation. A frozen raw food diet is ideal for maintaining a lower urinary pH and providing proper hydration. Focusing on low-ash foods will not solve FLUTD problems, but a healthier diet and proper hydration will.

A more effective means of preventing FLUTD than stressing about the amount of ash in your companion’s food is focusing on stress reduction for your pet and you. Stress is an often overlooked contributing factor to FLUTD, along with lack of exercise. When our companions are stressed, their immune system are compromised. Furthermore, when you are stressed, your companion is far more likely to be stressed. Flower Essences are an excellent stress reduction and emotional support tool; cats are especially responsive to flower essences and can benefit greatly from their use. There are flower essences designed for every emotional state, so look through the large selection and choose the one or two remedies that best match your companion’s issues. Dosing is as simple as adding a few drops to the water or massaging them onto your pet’s ears or paws.

If you would like to learn more about handling your cat’s FLUTD, please read our other articles: “Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease,” “Ash, Magnesium and FLUTD,” “Flower Essences and How They Work,” and “Treating Mild Anxiety.

9. Changing formulas or brands of pet foods is hard on your dog’s or cat’s digestion

A healthy dog or cat can eat a different food at each meal without issue as long as they are high-quality foods. Holistically minded guardians and veterinarians know that variety is important for several reasons, the most important being to avoid the development of sensitivities to any particular food or protein type. When the same food is fed for many months or years at a time, animals can develop allergies or sensitivities to specific ingredients in the food. Plus, many holistic veterinarians believe that feeding the same food for many years is a contributing factor to inflammatory bowel disease.

Variety provides a wider range of nutrition for your companion as well. Even though a food may be formulated to meet AAFCO standards, that does not mean it meets the standards of every dog or cat. As a matter of fact, many foods that meet AAFCO standards cannot be tolerated by our pets due to the heavy use of grains and grain by-products. A diverse diet will meet the nutritional needs of your companion over time, and, besides that, would you want to eat the same meal everyday? Remember, every meal doesn’t need to be perfectly balanced as long as the diet is balanced over the course of a week.

Whenever feeding any diet, it’s important to remember to include supplements. Digestive enzymes are hugely important and will help your companion transition from one type of food to another with ease. They help animals maintain a healthy digestive tract and get the most nutrition from their food. Essential fatty acids, especially from fish oil, provide the omega 3 fatty acids missing from most processed pet foods that nourish the skin, coat and digestive tract. Probiotics are important for animals on medication or those experiencing digestive upsets. For animals in need of increased support due to chronic digestive issues, Only Natural Pet GI Support provides herbs and nutrients to soothe and heal the lining of the digestive tract.

10. It’s fine for dogs and cats to eat each other’s food

While there are a few canned formulas available that meet the needs of both species, most foods are designed specifically for cats or dogs. Cats require a higher percentage of protein and fat than most dogs and they have specific requirements for additional taurine. Dogs that eat too much cat food are at risk of weight gain and even pancreatitis. Cats that eat dog food are at risk of weight gain when the food is high in carbohydrates, as well as more likely to develop deficiencies in important amino acids like Taurine.

(Reprinted on DogPerDay.com with permission from Only Natural Pet. The articles and information in the Only Natural Pet Holistic Healthcare Library are presented for informational purposes only and are not intended as an endorsement of any product. The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian. Instead, the content offers the reader information and opinions written by our staff, guest authors, and/or veterinarians concerning animal health issues and animal care products.)

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