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It’s All About Choices

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

The dangers of obesity are not
exclusive to humans

Here in America, we are very fortunate to be able to choose what we want to eat, enjoy it when we are ready, and have it cooked (or not cooked) exactly to our liking. This is called freedom of choice. Our pet population however, does not have this luxury and is subject to what, when and how we elect to feed them. We are, in a sense, the masters of their fate.

Now this story can either have a good or bad ending. The good ending comes when we elect to feed a biologically appropriate raw diet that meets all of our pets’ nutritional needs – we can expect and will see great health benefits. We have chosen the right path, albeit a long hard journey, to eliminate what I call “junk food for dogs”.  The bad ending happens when people continue to feed kibble and other dry diets… often coated with flavor enhancers and heavy on the carbs to their pets.

As humans we are also faced with dietary choices, bombarded by the media and living very fast-paced lifestyles these days.  More often than not we may give in to our fast food cravings –filling ourselves with unhealthy, carbohydrate-laden foods – even though we know better.  Which is why in America today the human and pet populations are 40 percent overweight and that is really a very bad ending.

But it doesn’t have to end this way.  Remember – we are fortunate to live in a country of free choice! Once you see the damaging effects
of joint discomfort, energy decline, and other serious health issues in your pet you can correct the problem by taking the appropriate steps. And the best part is that you will benefit too.

You see, many of the preventive and causative factors of obesity are the same for humans and animals. Lowering the intake of fat and increasing the amount of exercise will produce immediate results. So if you’re a few pounds overweight – why not reduce fat in the diet and have your pet take you for a walk? I know your dog would like nothing better!

It is speculated that health problems in humans begin to increase when a person’s weight is 15% or more above their ideal weight. It is no different for our pets. Many problems start to materialize with weight gain – like hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, diabetes, pulmonary and cardiovascular disease, and orthopedic or structural problems. Along with all these possible disease states we see a higher surgical risk, and an increase in morbidity and mortality.

The cause of obesity can be explained by simple math – more energy is taken in than is expended. Excess energy that is created is stored primarily as fat, resulting in weight gain and a change in body composition. There are several other factors that are part of this equation but in most cases the simple math is a fair enough explanation.

A technique that most commercial pet food manufacturers use as a weight reduction method for sedentary pets is to decrease the level of fat in the diet.  This may be a good technique except for the fact that some manufacturers replace the fats with digestible carbohydrates such as corn and rice, and some use indigestible fiber, which results in increased fecal volume and defecation frequency.

The reduction of fats in a dog’s diet is effective for weight loss because it increases both the caloric density and the palatability of pet foods. On a weight basis, fat provides more than twice the calories of carbohydrates or protein. Therefore, decreasing the fat content decreases caloric density and may slightly decrease palatability. This is exactly why commercial dry pet food producers add fat sprays to the kibble. It is used to increase the palatability of a very bland grain based diet.

If you are trying to use a “reduced calorie” diet to drop some weight off your dog, then I suggest you use a strict portion-controlled feeding program. The trick is you must be able to provide a diet that is nutritionally balanced while lowering the amount of calories being consumed. Fasting or starvation is a type of calorie reduction but can produce immediate and long-term negative consequences thus it is a poor choice to use.  A better solution is to feed a biologically appropriate raw food diet.

The whole study of obesity is a complicated subject. There are a multitude of studies to support each of the factors affecting weight gain and reduction. No one answer is correct – there is no “perfect” solution. However simple math does offer a valid common sense approach – which is a controlled feeding program resulting in a gradual rather than rapid weight loss.

We must consider the feeding choices and make healthy decisions for our pets – after all we are the guardians of their health.  Let’s make sure we do everything possible to give the story a happy ending!

 
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Ticked Off About Ticks? Here’s A Safe And Natural Solution For You

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.


Tick feeding on a pet

No doubt about it.  Summer is officially here bringing all the wonderful activities… like delicious backyard BBQs, swimming at your local pool, camping under the stars, and family vacation road trips.  But along with all the fun stuff, summertime also brings some very unwelcome guests- those nasty, hard to remove ticks.

Ticks carry a multitude of diseases that can be transmitted and cause much discomfort not only to our pets but to us humans as well… like Lyme Disease, Tapeworms, and Cat Scratch Fever, just to name a few.

Earlier this summer, I had an opportunity to see the results of tick infestation first hand. Do you mind if I share my story with you?

We were at our summer cabin in Canada and we had a very tall grass problem. Our lawn mower had been broken for some time and the grass had really gotten out of control. My grandson, Jake, was helping to cut the grass with our newly repaired mower and of course we had our dog, Moxie, outside with us during the entire process.


Here’s Moxie

Now if your dog is anything like Moxie, you’ll really relate to this story. She was having a great time being out in the country, barking at the mower, running back and forth – you know – really loving it.  After 3 hours of mowing (and playing with Moxie), we’d made a pretty good dent in the work so we stopped and went inside the cabin.

To our surprise we each had over 12 ticks on our bodies and we were fortunate to be able to remove them before they found “a new home”.

The ironic part was the fact that Moxie, who had been outside with us for hours was “ tick free”! You see Moxie eats a raw meat diet – THE BARF DIET – and I share this story with you as living proof that the BARF DIET does an excellent job of protecting pets against fleas and ticks.

What’s the secret?  Well, the tiny amount of garlic that is found in this raw diet is an extremely effective tick eliminator… but there are a few more things you need to know that help with tick control.

1) A Strong Immune System Is The First Step

The first step to tick prevention is to ensure that you and your pet build strong immune systems. A healthy, strong immune system and high nutrient levels of antioxidants, B complex, selenium and zinc in the body help repel insects in pets and humans. (Source:www.alternativemedicine.com).

2) Feed BARF!

A bones and raw food diet (BARF) is what your pet is naturally designed to eat. Feeding your dog BARF relieves stress on the digestive system and results in maximum absorption of nutrients to support a healthy immune system.


Ticks like humans too.

3) Supplement with E-BARF Plus.

This is a digestive aid and overall health support supplement to give your pet’s immune system an added boost during the flea/tick and allergy season. Plus it contains Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic Powder – two ingredients fleas and ticks absolutely detest!

Click HERE to order E-BARF Plus!

It is quite rare to find a BARF fed dog with a serious flea and tick problem. Fleas and ticks seem to prefer unhealthy animals, as they are less able to fight an infestation. Healthy puppies and dogs raised on natural raw food do not attract these pests the way other dogs do.

And guess what?  We’re well into the summer season now and I still haven’t found one single tick on Moxie yet!  That’s proof enough for me that raw food is natures best medicine…I hope you see it that way too.

ggggRobert 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!

 
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Cancer In Pets – Is it Preventable?

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

Cancer is on the rise in pets today

The rate of humans contracting cancer is ever increasing and unfortunately this trend is as prevalent in veterinary clinics as it is in medical facilities across the United States. It has been reported that cancer is a major killer in our pet population and is thought to be responsible for 45% of dog deaths  (in pets that have lived at least 10 years). In humans, the statistics support that one in four will contract cancer.[1]

Even with the advances in medical techniques and new technologies, the epidemic continues and we must ask ourselves, why?  Researchers are quite good at developing new drugs and new diagnostic equipment to help control and detect the cancer cells, but the real question is why the increase in the first place?

Could it be the continuous attack on and subsequent weakening of our immune systems due to the food we eat and feed our pets?  Could the answer to prevention of this disease really be something as simple as changing what we eat and the way we feed our pets?

Your Immune System Must be Strong To Do It’s Work

The immune system has been touted as the very best defense mechanism known to man and animals, helping to defend the body against germs, bacteria, yeast, protozoan, and viruses.  It is a complicated network of cells and organs that helps to defend the body against attack by foreign invaders. When the system is called upon to defend against an attack, it communicates the order to produce powerful natural chemicals designed to counter-attack the invading cells.   The cells communicate with each other through proteins called cytokines to mount this defensive attack. The mechanism is so complex that no one is quite sure fully of all the workings of the system other than to say it possesses an elaborate and dynamic communication network and memory system.


Sick (and fat) dog …what’s he eating?

Naturally the entire process is a lot more complicated than this quick summary, but the message here is that the immune system is the very most important agent of defense for the body and when and if it is compromised, the events leading to disease or autoimmune response issues begin to happen.

Cancer And The Immune System

Cancer is a disease process in which healthy cells stop functioning and maturing properly and there is an accelerated process of inappropriate, uncontrolled cell growth.  Naturally a strong immune system is vitally important, helping to defend against this process. There are several different forms of cancer, which adds to the complexity of the disease, each type having different degrees of successful cure rates.

Food Is The Best Medicine

When a cancer diagnosis is made, one of the first things recommended, as part of the treatment is usually a diet change of some sort, since good nutrition is vital to the healing process and is the best way to naturally enhance the strength of the immune system, which can then fight off the disease.

Pet foods and Cancer Prevention:


This is DEAD food!
  • Unfortunately most heat processed foods or “dead foods” are not on the list, whereas raw foods containing living enzymes and quality nutrients are right at the top. Buy live or “living” foods only.
  • Kibble is another dangerous enemy and one that is not recommended.  You must reduce the carbohydrate content in your pet’s diet since cancer cells survive on sugar.  A good way to start is to eliminate kibble entirely due to the high carbohydrate content in these diets.
  • Canned dog food is also heat-processed so all living enzymes are destroyed.  Often they are high in sodium content too.

Why A Raw Food Diet For Pets?

All cancer treatments must start with good nutrition. A raw natural food diet is imperative to good health. All processed foods must be eliminated. If a food will not rot or sprout, then do not buy it. The cells of the body have similar biochemical needs to a bacteria or yeast cell. Foods that have extended shelf life are not going to nourish the body. Bottom line- if it comes in a can or a paper bag, then it is dead food and eliminate it from your pet’s diet. Living foods deteriorate and rot over time, they they are the key to perfect pet health.

Additional Recommendations for Cancer Prevention:

  • Don’t buy synthetic vitamins in pill form. Get vitamins naturally from the living food.
  • Eliminate exposure to external pesticides, herbicides, and environmental toxins.
[1] Pasternak, Henry. Healing Pets with Nature’s Miracle Cures. Highlands Veterinary Hospital, Pacific Palisade, CA, 2001

ggggRobert 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!

 
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What’s Really Causing Those Hot Spots and Itchy Skin?


The paws are usually the first to go…

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

Recently one of our customers asked me:  “Rob, can you just tell me what’s causing my dog to itch and scratch so much…why the hot spots and what can I do to stop it?  I can’t bear to watch it anymore…it really hurts me to see my dog suffer.”

I thought for a while before I replied to her because the solution she was looking for was complicated… like isolating the cause of cancer. There is simply not a one-word answer…because skin and allergy issues are normally the result of several triggers…and in the end it all results in a compromised immune system with increased body inflammation.

Your pooch is significantly affected by environmental triggers like pesticides and herbicides because of the closeness of his nose to the ground…but there are also several other triggers that can contribute to the itchy skin and hot spot conditions.  A few of them might surprise you.

  1. Toxin Buildup & Detox – Any abnormal foreign chemical can result in a build up of toxins in the body.  These can come from flea sprays, shampoos and dips, drugs, flea collars and heartworm drugs.  When and if you “detox” your dog, remember that toxins in the body are mainly released through the skin and not through the feces or urine, so you my see increased skin problems even during a detox.
  2. Dry Pet Foods – Chemicals from preservative agents used in dry pet foods (Ethoxiquin, BHT, PABA etc.) that are added to increase the shelf life of the product allowing the food to be exposed to the environment for months without spoiling affect the immune system.
  3. Fungicides – It is theorized that fungicides are the precursor to cancer and it may be possible to actually destroy a fungicide (and prevent cancer) by raising the PH with sodium bicarbonate.  I mention this now because of the negative effect that fungicide has on the immune system and being a foreign agent in the body.
  4. Drugs – a double-edged sword. We love to see the scratching stop but using drugs such as cortico-steroids and antibiotics destroys the bacterial flora in the gut (both good and bad bacteria), and long-term use is very damaging to the body. It’s little wonder that these inflammation reducing agents are called Band-Aid fixes and should only be used for short application.
  5. Environmental Pollution of our water, food and air causes major issues for our animals.  Our pets indiscriminately search for food and water and drink whether it is contaminated or not.  Air pollution affects our pets in the same way that it affects you and me.  All of these cause immune decline and inflammation.
  6. Exposure to radiation  – that which is used on food and also from the sun.  It all leads to internal destruction of all internal systems.
  7. Stress doesn’t just affect humans…but it also affects our pets as well.  The emotional connection to internal damage is one of the most powerful triggers we know.
  8. Vaccinations – we give our animals far too many vaccinations, mainly because of the multiple varieties.  It really knocks down the immune system, when multiple vaccines are administered to your pet.

Now, is it any wonder why our pets have so many allergies and skin ailments to deal with?  And how do you isolate which one is affecting your pet?  It is not easy but once you know what to look out for and what’s triggering the skin rash and itchiness you can take the appropriate steps to fix the cause of the problem.  The best way to start is by feeding a RAW food diet.

Why A Raw Food Diet Works To Stop Itching & Scratching

Sores that are frequently licked or scratched are uncomfortable but could also be life-threatening if infection sets in.

We are what we eat.  We know this is true for humans, and we can assume that a dog is a product of what he eats.  The difference, of course, is that while we can choose what we want to eat, our pets don’t have that same luxury.  They rely on us.

In many cases dogs are fed kibble or dry food composed of inferior quality ingredients that have been cooked or heat processed. Heat processing alters the protein molecular structure and renders the product harder to assimilate and utilize in the body leading to a higher accumulation of toxins, inefficient organ system function and not surprisingly, allergies and skin conditions.  Normally it takes 4-5 years for degenerative disease and allergy symptoms to manifest – which is why we don’t begin to see itching, and scratching and hot spots in most dogs until they are about 5 years old.

All of this can be eliminated by feeding the animal what it was designed to eat, a raw food diet, and life expectancy of the animal will be extended as an added benefit!

Consider switching to raw as the first step in ending the allergy problems of your pet.

ggggRobert 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!

 
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