Wake Up Call
A Brief History of Pet Food
In 1860, James Spratt, an electrician from Cincinnati, Ohio was selling lightning rods on London’s docks. He watched as sailors and merchants, leaving the ships, would toss their leftover sea rations (known as ‘hardtack’) to the dogs. Spratt surmised that, if the dogs are eating the hardtack, this must be what dogs need in their diet (never mind that dogs will eat almost anything humans eat – good for them or not!)
So the entrepreneur took the hardtack ingredients (wheat, vegetable protein and beetroot sugar), added beef blood to the ingredients and called it “Spratt’s Patent Meat Fibrine Vegetable Dog Cakes.” Before long, his dog biscuits had become the staple dog food for show dogs and, then, most dogs, from London to New York and beyond.
The problem with this is that in 1860 no one questioned whether Spratt’s formula for pet food was good for dogs or cats. Yet, from the inception of Spratt’s biscuits until the present day, almost every dry and wet pet food company has patterned their recipes after Spratt’s original pet food formula. Many pet food companies in business today use different variations of this formula but the end results are all the same. They all end up with a little biscuit-type, dry (kibble) and wet pet food. These ingredients are extremely difficult for their digestive systems to process and are harmful and toxic to dogs and cats bodies.
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The Carnivore in Your Home
Findings established in a study conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles by renowned biologist Robert Wayne reveal that dogs are in fact carnivores. By applying the modern forensic techniques of genetic fingerprinting to wolves, dogs, coyotes and jackals, Dr. Wayne was able to establish that the dog’s DNA has only a 1% difference from that of the Gray Wolf, whereas the coyote has a 6% difference. The one percent difference only defines size, shape, coat type and breed. Domestication has not changed the genetic makeup, the nutritional requirements or the digestive system of the dog. It has merely altered temperament and behavior.
A few defining characteristics of carnivores to note:
• Sharp canine teeth
• Lower jaw is fixed, does not move from side to side
• Jaws designed and used for grabbing, tearing, crushing and gulping
• Short digestive tract
• Anal glands
Unlike herbivores and omnivores, carnivores (dogs and cats) can not “chew” their food. They are able to move their jaws up and down (a crushing motion) but can not move their lower jaw from side to side (a chewing motion) as herbivores and omnivores can. They also lack the enzymes in their saliva that breaks down food. Instead, these enzymes are located in the stomach where the food is completely broken down, this is why they gulp their food.
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Your Pet’s Digestive Process
(Warning: Poop Talk!)
Dog and cat digestive systems are designed to break down meat and bone when the meat and bone is in its raw form. The entire process takes 10-12 hours. The raw meat should be completely absorbed into the body during that time, leaving about 5% to 7% waste.
After consuming dry commercial pet food it needs to soften, while sitting in your pets stomach, before your pet’s digestive system can begin to process it. This process alone takes about 25 hours. That is at least twice the time that their bodies would normally spend digesting, metabolizing and expelling raw meat and raw bone. Dry pet food spends this time sitting in their stomachs, soaking up the water they drink and drawing away the much-needed body fluids from their stomach. During this time of soaking up water and body fluids, the dry pet food is expanding to more than twice its original size and three times its original weight. Only then does it become soft enough to go through the digestive process. That is like your dinner remaining in your body for the next three days before eliminating it. Uncomfortable? Dogs and cats on a dry commercial pet food diet experience that discomfort and pain every day!
Dogs and cats can feel this discomfort and pain and know they will feel better if they can eliminate the cause of it. Have you ever seen your dog or cat eat grass? Dogs and cats eat grass because they inherently know that if they eat enough grass it will help them vomit or pass what is in their stomach and intestines that is causing the pain or discomfort.
But, with a raw meat diet, elimination becomes much easier. When that remaining matter is expelled from the body, it comes out hard and compact like clay. Before exiting the small intestines, this hard matter presses against the anal glands expressing a lubricating liquid for a smooth exit. This process keeps the glands from needing to be ‘expressed’ by a human, or other invasive means, to avoid infection. The hard-compact (raw meat) excrement is odorless and easy to clean up. Within an hour or two, after sitting in the sun, it will be completely dried out. Eventually, it disintegrates into a powder and is absorbed into the ground. This substance is 100% natural fertilizer, beneficial to your garden.
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Why is Commercial Pet Food Bad For Your Pet?
$70 billion dollars. That’s how much money pet owners spend on commercial pet food and products every year in the U.S.A., that is not including the other 194 countries on the planet. The major producers of pet food make a lot of money and a good deal of that money is spent on marketing to consumers. Why spend so much money on marketing if the quality of the food speaks for itself?
The Meat Source
Consider the actual meat source incorporated into commercial pet food. The meat found in most commercial pet food is USDA Feed Grade (animal grade) meat and is not classified as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). The commercial pet food meat source usually consists of the leftover scraps collected off the floor of the slaughterhouse or meat processing plant. Protein amounts on pet food labels’ “Guaranteed Analysis” can claim anywhere between 20 – 40% protein. However: On the average, less than 1% of that protein comes from the animal parts and pieces that were scraped off the slaughterhouse floor. More than 95% of that protein is derived from all the other toxic and harmful ingredients used to make the commercial pet food.
Calcium Is Not Calcium
Dog and cat muscle and bone structures grow in proportion to their bodies. Without natural calcium, vitamins, proteins and minerals derived from raw bone and bone marrow in their diet they develop Rickets. Rickets is when their bones do not grow strong enough to properly support the weight of their bodies. Veterinarians have seen an epidemic number of side effects from Rickets in pets, such as hip dysphasia, joint and muscle problems, mild to severe arthritis, brittle and weak nails and brittle or rotten teeth, just to name a few.
Calcium is one of the most important ingredients in a carnivore’s diet and is usually not even included in the ingredient list of most commercial pet foods. If you read the ingredients list on most commercial pet food packaging, you will see one or two of the following ingredients:
• Calcium pantothenate, a dietary supplement used to fortify cereals, grain-based and carbohydrate products;
• Calcium carbonate, a chemical compound found in rocks used as a supplement or as an antacid that is hazardous if used with excessive consumption;
• Calcium propionate, a salt used as a mold inhibitor and preservative in a wide variety of products;
• Calcium iodate, a compound of calcium used as a dough conditioner;
• Calcium phosphate, a family of minerals used in baking as the acid in a leavening agent.
None of these calcium derivatives are from bone and bone marrow, the ideal source for calcium. Commercial pet food is and has been void of calcium since 1860. Don’t let these ‘calciums’ fool you!
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What Exactly is a ‘Raw Meat Diet?’
Carnivores thrive on a 100% raw meat diet, which supplies your dog and cat with all of the living proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and probiotics they need to live healthy, long lives. Raw meat, however, is not the only required ingredient. This diet also includes raw bone and bone marrow, adding much-needed calcium and other mineral and vitamin nutrients to their diet.
The bacteria found in raw meat and bone is essential to their nutrition because it helps the dog and cat process and digest food. However, once raw meat and bone are cooked, all those living organisms are destroyed, rendering that meat nutritionally worthless and rendering the bone dangerous to your pet. After the commercial pet food cooking process, any meat source that may have originally been in the commercial pet food becomes nothing more than filler. The common food born bacteria so toxic to humans (E coli, botulism and salmonella) does not affect carnivores’ digestive systems. Their stomach acids are strong enough to kill these bacteria, and their digestive system works too quickly to be affected by the bacteria.
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What about vegetables?
Dogs and cats cannot digest vegetable fiber in its whole, raw form. For example, if you feed your pet a piece of raw carrot, your pet will expel a piece of raw carrot. However, if ground to a pulp, as is found in the stomach lining of carnivore’s prey, they can digest it. Carnivores will also forage for berries and avocados because they taste good and they are soft enough for their digestive system to process correctly. Nonetheless, there is no nutritional value in fruits and vegetables for carnivores.
What about grains and carbohydrates?
Pet food companies use grains such as wheat, corn, soy, rice, oats and barley (carbohydrates) as binders and fillers. The problem? Carnivores can’t process or break down grains and carbohydrates like omnivores can. When carnivores eliminate these things, it leaves a toxic residue in their digestive tract that their bodies cannot absorb. This residue, along with the other toxins in commercial pet food, creates a yeast infection that the body tries to expel, resulting in ear infections, warts, excessive shedding, cysts and other skin irritations.
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