From Hairballs to Arthritis, Pet Nutritional Supplements Tries to Solve it All

We may have a lot of differences with dogs and cats in terms of anatomy and physiology but it appears we are no different in nutrition development. Just as dietary supplements have become a growing trend for us upright creatures, the current craze for our four-legged friends are nutritional supplements. Although veterinarians and other animal experts don’t seem to see eye to eye regarding this matter, nutritional supplements for pets have become a major force in the animal feed department.

Besides the vast number of producers and distributors of nutritional supplements for pets, these more natural alternatives to pet food come in increasingly specific varieties. Above and beyond the vitamins, minerals typical of a food supplement, there are those with anti-oxidants and immuno-stimulants, digestion and elimination supplements, and high energy nutritional supplements.

Our pets won’t get left behind when it comes to staying slim, too, as there are nutritional supplements for pets that are specifically designed for weight loss! Also, if your kitten or puppy does not get enough milk, there are supplements that act as milk replacer!

There are even nutritional supplements for pets that aid in keeping them well-groomed. Skin/coat supplements and laxatives and hairball treatments make it easier for you to keep your pet always looking trim. Unless you’re one who garbs your pet in cute shirts, their basic all-around outfit is their skin or fur.

In the same way that we suffer stress and pain, our pets do, too. But pet supplements providers have got this covered! There are nutritional supplements for pets that serve to reduce pain, stress, and anxiety. If your pet experiences arthritis and joint pains in particular, there are supplements especially for that! These are said to be pretty helpful also as prevention to strengthen your pet’s bones even before arthritis sets in.

It’s interesting to note the sort of disclaimer that’s always present in the promotional materials. Most nutritional supplements promise a lot of benefits but it’s always balanced off with notices that results may vary depending on your pet’s response. So one might say it doesn’t really guarantee you anything. Pretty consistent with human nutritional supplements. Basically, it leaves you to choose whether to give it a try and see if it works.

There are countless testimonies as to the effectiveness of certain nutritional supplements for pets, some even from certified experts and doctors. But, it’s still you who decides what’s best for your pet. At the very least, giving ALL or a random pick of these supplements might not be a good idea. Consulting your personal veterinarian is.

At the onset, you should consult your veterinarian about the diet of your pet. Some pet specialists argue that nutritional supplements for pets are unnecessary since the formulated pet food already has sufficient nutrients and you only have to choose the best kind for your pet. Whether they are right or not, it is smart to find out what is or what’s not in the food you’re already feeding your pet.

The Myth of 100% Complete Processed Pet Foods

Every day, people by the millions pour food from a package into their pet’s bowl. Day in and day out, meal after meal, pets get the same fare. This strange phenomenon is not only widely practiced, but done by loving owners who believe they are doing the right thing. Why? Certainly because it is convenient, but also because the labels state that the food is “complete and balanced,” “100% complete,” or that the food has passed various analytical and feeding test criteria.

Furthermore, manufacturers and even veterinarians counsel pet owners about not feeding other foods such as table scraps because of the danger of unbalancing these modern processed nutritional marvels. The power of the message is so great that pet owners en masse do every day to their pets what they would never do to themselves or their children -offer the same processed packaged food at every meal.

Think about it: Our world is complex beyond comprehension. It is not only largely unknown; it is unknowable in the “complete” sense. In order for nutritionists and manufacturers to produce a “100% complete and balanced” pet food, they must first know 100% about nutrition. However, nutrition is not a completed science. It is, in fact, an aggregate science, which is based upon other basic sciences, such as chemistry, physics, and biology. But since no scientist would argue that everything is known in chemistry or physics or biology, how can nutritionists claim to know everything there is to know about nutrition, which is based upon these sciences? This is the logical absurdity of the “100% complete and balanced” diet claim. It is the reason a similar venture to feed babies a “100% complete” formula has turned out to be a health disaster.

Claiming that anything is 100% is like claiming perfection, total knowledge, and absolute truth. Has pet nutrition really advanced that far? Does a chemist make such a claim? A physicist? Doctor? Professor? Did Einstein, Bohr, Pasteur, Aristotle, Plato, or any of the greatest minds in human history make such claims? No. Has the science of pet nutrition advanced to the point where everything is known about the physiology, digestion and biochemistry of animals, or that everything is known about their food?

Certainly not.

The fact of the matter is that the “100% complete” claim is actually “100% complete” guesswork. At best, one could say that such a claim is the firm possibility of a definite maybe.

Each time regulatory agencies convene to decide how much of which nutrients comprise “100% completeness,” debate always ensues and standards usually change. This not only proves that what they claimed before was not “100% complete,” but this should also make us highly suspicious about what they now claim to be “100% complete.”

Additionally, consider that in order to determine the minimum requirement for a certain nutrient – say protein – all other nutrients used in the feeding trials must be adequate and standardized. Otherwise, if vitamin E, for example, is in excess or is deficient, how would you know if the results of the study were because of the effects of protein or due to something amiss with the level of vitamin E?

If the minimum requirements for all 26+ essential nutrients were all set and absolutely etched in stone, then there would be no problem. But they aren’t. They are constantly changing. This means each time any nutrient requirement is changed, all test results for all other nutrients using the wrong minimum for this nutrient would then be invalid. Most nutritionists simply ignore this conundrum, feeling like cowboys trying to lasso an octopus – there are just too many loose ends. But they continue to perpetuate the “100% complete” myth, and excuse themselves by saying they make adjustments when necessary.

The point is, don’t believe the claim on any commercially prepared pet (or human) food that it is “100% complete and balanced.” It is a spurious unsupported boast, intended to build consumer trust and dependence on commercial products – not create optimal health.

Unfortunately most people think animal feeding is a mystery. It is not. Animal nutrition is not a special nutritional science to which common sense human nutrition principles cannot be applied. Use the same common sense in feeding your pets that you use for feeding your family. Nutrition is not about some special ingredient or the absence of some boogeyman ingredient. Fresh foods fed in variety are always superior to processed food artifacts.
If you feed processed foods, use discernment since just about anyone can create a commercial pet food. The pet food industry has hundreds of brands with officious and beguiling labels, all stamped with the approval of the FDA, USDA, State Feed Regulatory Agencies and the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Business profiteers and the occasional movie star are the most common force behind the labels. All one needs is a little money and they can go to any number of toll manufacturers and have them slightly modify a shelf formula. Dress it all up with a fancy package, a clever brochure and some advertising and voilĂ , another brand is added to the 20-billion-dollar pet food industry.

Nutrition is serious health business. The public is not well served by exclusively feeding products from companies without any real commitment to health … or knowledge of how to even achieve that.

For the past 25 years I have been a lonely voice in the wilderness trying to get people to understand the deadly health consequences of feeding processed pet foods exclusively. People want convenience in a bag and the industry wants the flow of billions to continue uninterrupted. In the meantime the scientific literature offers compelling proof that millions of animals have been maimed and died as a result of feeding thoroughly tested “100% complete” foods with the full imprimatur of government regulation. (Exactly the same thing that abounds in the FDA-pharmaceutical industry.) Examples of pet food disasters include dilated cardiomyopathy from taurine deficiency, potassium imbalances, fatty acid and carnitine deficiencies and numerous other problems that would be expected on a steady diet of dead, devitalized, carbohydrate-based processed foods. Moreover, the whole panoply of human chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, obesity, arthritis, autoimmunities, dental deterioration and organ failure are at epidemic levels in the pet population … as should be expected on such a diet.

Not only is feeding the same processed food day in and day out a formula for disease, it is a cruelty to our pets. We take them from their interesting and active wild setting and confine them. That is one thing, but to not even offer them interesting natural meal variety is really quite inexcusable. The answer, like everything else good in life, is a little attention and common sense. Knowledge is the best beginning point.
To learn more, obtain a copy of my book, The Truth About Pet Foods. I will also see to it that you get a free copy of my CD, “The Thinking Person’s Master Key to Health,” and the brochure, “How to Apologize to Your Pet,” which will give you specific guidelines for how to prepare meals and treats to achieve Optimal Pet Health.

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Science, Volume 237, pages 764-8

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 199, pages 731-4

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 201, pages 267-74

Feline Practice, Volume 20, Number 1, page 30

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 202, pages 744-51

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 191, pages 1563-8

Journal of Nutrition, Volume 129, pages 1909-14

Journal of Nutrition, Volume 126, pages 984-8

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Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 198, pages 647-50

Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice, Volume 19, pages 527-37

Veterinary Forum, Volume 9, pages 34-5

Veterinary Forum, Volume 9, pages 26-8

American Journal of Veterinary Research, Volume 62, pages 1616-23

Petfood Industry, May/June 1998, pages 4-14

Journal of Animal Science, Volume 75, pages 2980-5

Veterinary Business, Volume 2, page 1

Waltham International Focus, Volume 3, Number 1, page 9

An Expert’s Guide to Pet Nutrition And Health

We know that you want your pet to be happy and healthy. We know that you will do anything to make sure they stay that way. One of the most important things you can do to make sure your pet lives a long and happy life is to watch it nutrition. The thing that makes pet nutrition so difficult to understand is the wide variety of nutritional products on the market; if you are at all confused about your pet’s nutritional needs you should consult your veterinarian.

Consider Your Pet’s Age

Different age pets have different nutritional requirements. Most pet food manufacturers make it easy to make sure your pet’s age nutrients are covered, they have designed foods for each of your pet’s stages of development. All you have to do is make sure you pick up the right bag of food while you are at the pet store. One of the biggest nutritional differences between young pets and old pets is the amount of protein they need. A young pet that is still growing needs more protein then a old pet.

Taking Medical Conditions into Consideration

If you have a pet that has a special medical condition such as chronic urinary infections or a heart problem, you will have to take extra care with its nutrition. We recommend that you seek the assistance of your pet’s veterinarian when you are trying to determine a balanced menu for your family pet. Your veterinarian will be able to give you a list of foods that your pet will be able to safely eat. They will also give you a list of foods and treats that will be detrimental to your pets overall health.

Changing Your Pet’s Nutrition

There are times in your pet’s life when you will have to change your pet’s food. Some pets are so into their food that they don’t seem to notice the change in food. Other pets notice the change and refuse to eat. If you need to change your finicky eaters’ food, we recommend that you do so gradually. We suggest you start mixing the two types of food together, start with just a small amount of the new pet food and increase the amount with each feeding. After a few days, the pet will be eating the new food.

Hope for Pets Nutritional Supplements

In a recent survey of about 100,000 people, the majority of dog and cat owners stated that they thought their pets were in very good health. But when veterinarians are asked the same question, most believe that pet disease is very widespread.

Whom should we believe?

Well, the statistics speak for themselves. 25% to 40% of puppies die before weaning. 60% of dogs who are older than six years of age will get cancer. 70% of senior dogs suffer from joint disease. And obesity is the number one health problem facing our canine population.

The primary cause of these widespread health problems is the food we feed our dogs. As with humans, processed foods can be very detrimental to a dog’s physical well-being – and the vast majority of our dogs receive a diet of highly processed foods throughout their lives. So they become chronically undernourished.

Dogs are carnivores. In fact, puppies do best with a diet consisting of 42% protein. But the protein they receive in today’s packaged foods is usually derived from cereal grains and from poor quality meats. What they really need, being carnivores, is a high level of meat proteins rich in essential amino acids, the building blocks for all of the body’s cells. Instead they survive on processed cereal grain proteins, are undernourished and often overfed, leading to obesity.

So if dog owners can’t purchase the optimal dog foods in their local supermarkets or pet stores, what are they to do?

Dr. Bill Barnet is a leading doctor of veterinary medicine who has been studying for the past 25 years the problem of pet nutrition and how to ensure our pets lead long and healthy lives. As a result of his research, he became convinced that dogs needed to have made available to them nutritional supplements (even more so than we humans do). So he focused on developing a dog nutritional supplement that owners could add to their pet’s daily meals.

Dr. Barnet recently introduced to the pet food market the results of his many years of research and product development. He calls it Hope for Pets – a powder that one sprinkles over the dog’s meals twice daily. Hope for Pets contains 16 separate sources of the vital proteins dogs require (including five amino acids which can have many benefits, including acting as antioxidants to enhance the dog’s immune system). He purposefully created it in a highly concentrated, low calorie form. It also contains APG-36 (which helps fight viruses, molds and harmful bacteria), glycomerine (to fight against joint pain), essential fatty acids and many other powerful vitamins and minerals. He has combined these various ingredients in a concentrated, synergistic manner to achieve a well-balanced highly beneficial nutritional supplement.

Hope for Pets can be used by pets of all ages, even from birth. Dr. Barnet believes that it can help our dogs lead much healthier lives and that it can help to extend their life expectancies, so dog owners can enjoy their pets for years to come. Hope for Pets assists your dog in digesting the nutrients in the food you feed him and also helps to promote the health of your dog’s coat and skin. Dr. Barnet will be releasing a similar product for our feline population in the near future.