By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.
The Humane Society of the U.S. estimates that up to 10,000 cats and dogs die each year from exposure to ethylene glycol containing antifreeze.
Ethylene glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze. Unfortunately, many older cars tend to have leaky radiator hoses and this can cause a pool of antifreeze on the garage floor. The antifreeze has a very palatable taste and animals love it. One lick of this highly poisonous substance can be enough to cause irreversible kidney failure and death in a cat, and it doesn’t take much more than that to have the same effect in a dog.
Common Signs of Digestive Problems
Nationwide, vomiting and diarrhea are routinely among the most common reasons that pets are brought to the veterinarian for emergency evaluation. These are, in fact, just the outward signs of any number of potential underlying problems – including irritation or obstruction of a pet’s intestinal tract, ingestion of a poisonous substance, dysfunction of one or more internal organs…or it could be the result of something even more common…and something that is easy to solve.
Here at BARF World, we routinely hear from pet parents whose dogs have digestive issues. Most of the time this is caused by the continuous ingestion of a processed grain based food. Eventually the dog’s digestive system breaks down, the result of feeding enzyme deficient food that in turn weakens the immune system of the animal.
Disruption of the Immune System
The immune system is an integral piece of the puzzle because it is Mother Nature’s very best protective mechanism to reduce inflammation in the body. All it takes to disrupt the immune system is to feed an enzyme deficient diet or to administer antibiotics, steroids, or multiple vaccinations. A long-term course of any of these plays havoc on the immune system and this opens the door for inflammation and ultimately disease. When the body is monitored and controlled by an efficient working immune system then it responds properly to all digestive and cellular functions.
So, What Exactly Is Wrong With My Processed Petfood?
First we must look at the quality of the protein in your petfood, which is governed by two factors: the presence (or absence) of essential amino acids, and the ability of the particular protein to be digested and absorbed.
Thus a protein can be deficient in two areas. It can be poor quality because it lacks one or more of the essential amino acids, and it can be poor quality because your dog is unable to digest and absorb it easily. A common example of a poor quality protein, deficient in both ways is the protein present in most dry dog food or any diet constructed mainly from cereals. This results in digestive problems in the animal.
Stress on the Pancreas leads to Pancreatitis
In addition to the quality issues, feeding a processed diet totally eliminates the availability of living enzymes in the food. This places stress on the pancreas to supply all of the needed enzymes to digest the food. Once the lifetime supply of enzymes is depleted from the pancreas (and there is a finite number of enzymes), then life ceases to exist – in other words, it will result in the death of your pet.
The Common Sense Solution
Now it only takes good common sense to realize that the easiest way to supplement the pancreas with enzymes is to provide them naturally in the diet. The best way to do this is with a raw food diet, which of course has not been cooked. The enzymes are left intact because no heat is applied during the manufacturing process.
When we receive calls here at BARF World about digestive problems (and digestive issues are among the most common calls for help that we receive), we suggest that the pet be switched to a raw meat diet. Ironically, often we must first “convert” the pet parent, who has been hoodwinked by the clever marketing tactics and packaging of most well-know brands of kibble and semi-moist foods. We usually advise a slow conversion to a fresh natural non-processed diet.
It has been my experience as a developer of raw food diets and a feeder of raw for almost 40 years, that a slow conversion to a fresh raw meat diet, in conjunction with the use of digestive probiotics, eliminates digestive problems very quickly. Within a week of switching to raw, the pet is well on the way back to happy normal life…and we have fulfilled our mission to return all pets to perfect health – one pet at a time.
Never forget that often the best way to solve a problem is to go back to nature…so using proper nutrition is the easiest and smartest way to start. Of course all animals are different and we always recommend contacting your veterinarian before making any changes in your pet’s treatment.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s BARF diets patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. To receive more articles like these in your email inbox,click here to sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” weekly e-zine absolutely FREE!