By: Robert Mueller

Grains for dog food transported
and stored by the truck-load.

Unfortunately, I was not surprised last week when I heard of the numerous dog deaths and problems and potential lawsuits related to a well-known dry dog food.  It is always only a matter of time before these things occur due to the nature of the product itself. 

The dry dog food industry tries hard to convince the public that their products are safe and adequately formulated, yet as we have seen recently, there are always potential dangers with grain based, dry kibble diets.  My main concern relates to the quality of the ingredients that are used in the manufacture of most dry foods and how the kibbles are produced.

Many of the ingredients are genetically modified, and as such present an alteration of a naturally produced product. One of the ingredients most used in dry kibble products is genetically modified corn. The concerns regarding this ingredient are many, and the potential dangers resulting from the storage of corn, soy, wheat, and all the other grain based ingredients, opens the door for aflatoxins which are mold derived mycotoxins.

Sure there are different grades of retail pet food products just as there are different grades of any product we buy.  Some are grain free, or are touted as specific health generating products that will reduce obesity or arthritis.  There are also veterinary products that work to reduce symptoms of specific diseases. The problem is that they are all produced the same way. They are extruded using a high application of heat. The heat is what changes the physical structure of the proteins, reducing the nutritional value, and rendering the product to a state that cannot be utilized well by the body.  Nothing is better than when product is utilized in its original form – the way Mother Nature intended.  Once it is compromised, it is less effective as a nutritional food.

However, the application of heat is just one part of the equation. Once the product has been thoroughly “cooked” additional ingredients are needed to make the diet more palatable and tasty. Since most grain- based ingredients are bland by nature, they must be further enhanced with flavoring agents and fat sprays so that the dog will be enticed to eat the food.  It is mind boggling that they can still label these products “natural” as we often see noted on the outside of the bag!  Finally they add preservatives to the mix, which extend the shelf life of the product for months in pet stores, warehouses, and even in your homes. The chemicals they use to gain this advantage are not a healthy choice for your pet. 

A valuable lesson for any consumer of dry dog foods, is to gather a list of all the potential harmful ingredients that are commonly posted on dry dog food labels. One such ingredient that I have a potential dislike for is called bone meal. It is a good topic for another article, but suffice it to say that this item is made in rendering facilities and it contains ingredients that will sour your attitude for feeding a dry kibble to your dog. It is a great source of Calcium but when you find what they used to make it I am certain you will never want to feed it again!

Of equal concern, is the abundance of carbohydrates in most dry kibbles.  With a 40 to 50% level of carbohydrates in kibble you are feeding junk food to your pet every day. A dog has no nutritional need for this level of carbohydrates, which is one of the key reasons that 40% of our nations pets are now obese.

Another added concern with dry foods is the use of ingredients that have residues of pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals that are not destroyed by heat. This is a potential time bomb and one that dry food manufacturers are going to have to address.

For example, in the most recent lawsuits, there have been allegations that propylene glycol (one of the ingredients in most kibbles) is a known automotive antifreeze component and animal toxin.  The manufacturer countered by saying this is an FDA approved food additive for humans and dogs and is different than ethylene glycol, which is the toxic active ingredient in antifreeze. 

However, note that this ingredient is NOT ALLOWED in cat foods.

Juli Putnam, a spokeswoman for the FDA said in an interview to NBC News that FDA regulations do not allow the use of this ingredient in cat foods “because it has been shown to cause abnormalities in their red blood cells.”  But…”the FDA is not aware of any research that demonstrates the same effect on dogs”. 1

Please think about this!

Remember, when your pet eats the same food every day of the year he or she is continuously exposed to these damaging ingredients and toxins. It is little wonder that the vet clinics today are over-run with allergies, and degenerative conditions to deal with. Having been a producer and advocate of healthy, natural raw meat diets for over 40 years, I have consistently seen that it takes about 5 to 6 years of kibble feeding history to eventually present the problematic results of kibble. That is when most people come to us here at BARF World for help.  A conversion to a more sensible and appropriate, natural raw meat diet creates an amazing turn-a-round. The success happens because source of the problem, the dry kibble diet has been eliminated coupled with the magic of our raw meat formulations!

If you are currently feeding kibble or know people who are, I urge you not to be fooled by clever packaging and claims of healthy and natural diets. Read the ingredients and take responsibility for your pet’s life. They are counting on you.


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 Diet® 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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An Introduction to Animal Chiropractic Treatments

Who Says You Can’t Treat An Old Dog New Tricks!

By: Robert Mueller

Small adjustments to the vertebrae can make a huge
difference inyour pet’s mobility.

Small adjustments to the vertebrae can make a huge difference in
your pet’s mobility.

For the last hundred years, humankind has been helped by chiropractic therapy, despite discrimination by the American Medical Association. This applies to services provided for humans as well as to our beloved members of the animal kingdom. And it’s really just because many physicians and veterinarians have no direct experience with this type of treatment.

A few months ago I was invited to attend the chiropractic veterinary association conference in Phoenix, AZ by Dr. William Ormston. I have to confess that the high level of experience and education required to gain certification as a chiropractic veterinarian pleasantly surprised me. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

I was only at the conference for a short time before I witnessed several cases that were helped and cured by the gentle adjustments given to the animals. The body is a complex chemistry of nerves, muscles, and bones that have to work in harmony to provide adequate quality of life. Chiropractic treatments are another method of treating the whole being – and yes a chiropractor can work effectively to restore health function to an animal.

When an animal’s vertebrae are out of alignment, it keeps the spinal cord from sending certain nerve impulses to the rest of the body. It was interesting for me to learn about a specific vertebra, called the atlas vertebra, located in the upper part of the neck, beneath the brain stem. It is called the “giver of life”. The nerves that go through the small hole in this vertebra, can easily become restricted when an accident or impact occur. As a result the animal’s immune system is compromised leading to disease and unprotected illness.

Here’s what the atlas vertebra looks like:

Most vital signals pass through this small opening- any obstruction could have serious consequences.
Courtesy of

Most vital signals pass through this small opening- any obstruction could have serious consequences.
Courtesy of

The basic principle of chiropractic care, whether for animals or people, is to work with the peripheral nerves at the root level., which is where the nerves exit between the vertebrae. A misalignment, or subluxation between two vertebrae puts pressure on the nerve root, thus interfering with its function. This is called a “pinched nerve” and is usually associated with pain.

If you notice that your dog or cat is persistently chewing at a spot, perhaps on his chest or back, he may be trying to tell you something about his physical state. An animal has a limited means of communication and it pays to heed his message. Here is the link to Dr. Ormston’s site where you may want to look into animal chiropractic benefits and if treatment is recommended for your pet:

So the next time you observe the symptoms of pain personally or in your animal, I recommend that you investigate a holistic approach first rather than just opting immediately for conventional treatment. A certified chiropractic veterinarian is well trained with at least 100 hours of animal chiropractic training – and this certification also requires continuing education classes.

Of course feeding ourselves as well as our pets a proper and wholesome, nutritious diet is another part of the perfect health puzzle that cannot be overlooked! The BARF Diet is a biologically appropriate diet that is formulated specifically to fulfill all your pet’s health requirements.
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 Diet® 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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By: Robert Mueller

If we gave dogs the choice,
the answer would be simple.

Ask any supplier of a quality pet food and each will reply that they have the best, most highly beneficial pet food. I have to believe that each manufacturer has some claim to benefits that prove beneficial over other competitor’s diets. Most quality products contain ingredients that are from animals, not plants, because the animal sources are species appropriate for carnivorous pets. So, if you try to make a comparison of the broad category of all pet foods, you are comparing raw meat based diets to dry, grain based, heat processed pet food.

To be fair, let me try to give a pro and con analogy for each category to determine the main advantages or disadvantages of each type.

Dry, grain based, heat processed pet food- (Kibble)


  • It’s convenient!  This is the number one advantage over other products because it allows you to self-feed your dog and not worry about spoilage.
  • Less expensive- Compared to a high quality raw meat diet it should be less expensive to feed, especially for large breed dogs.
  • Long shelf life with easy storage
  • “Adequate”nutrition- even though it is plant based food.
  • Available as a grain free source in certain brands


  • Perceived as a “safer” diet choice- but actually has safety problems with Salmonella contamination along with added problems from aflatoxins, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, fat sprays, and added chemicals, that may contain more harmful toxins than meat based proteins.
  • Aflatoxins are present in corn- based ingredients. They are naturally occurring mycotoxins that grow on certain corn crops, and are especially toxic when grown in drought conditions. . They are highly carcinogenic and they poison the liver and are known to promote tumors. There is a shift of concern now to the dangers of mycotoxins, rather than worrying about bacteria spoilage in animal proteins.
  • Most inexpensive grain based dry diets are made from vegetable cereals, corn, wheat fillers and rice bran. A diet containing these ingredients will create the most damage to health.
  • Preservatives are a major concern for dry kibble diets. If you think it is safe to feed a dry diet from a bag that may be used for months without spoiling, you are opening the door for future vet visits.
  • A collection of potential poisons that exist in every bag of kibble. These come from all the additives and foreign elements that are present in the ingredients. A continuous ingestion of the poisonous nature of these ingredients will lead to health problems 5 to 6 years down the road, no matter what the manufacturer may promise.

Raw Meat Diets


  • Higher quality protein than a diet of plant based ingredients.
  • More complete digestion and utilization of ingredients.
  • Faster digestion cycle leads to better utilization of ingredients.
  • Simple and easy feeding procedure.
  • Has living enzymes to help with digestion (reduces stress on the pancreas).
  • More energy, better hair coat and skin condition, less stools, less stool odor, better breath, less dental problems, increased longevity than seen in kibble fed dogs.
  • Biologically appropriate for the species.
  • Ingredients are fresh and raw and not processed with heat.
  • Far less protein degradation and fermentation in the digestive track.
  • Preserved by freezing or freeze-drying, which eliminates having to add preservatives and harmful chemicals.
  • Most raw food diets are made from the highest quality USDA procured human based ingredients rather than plant based inferior ingredients.
  • The right gas for the gas tank- most appropriate way to run the body engine.


  • Potential bacterial presence (Salmonella, E-coli, Listeria).  These are potential hazards primarily for humans and pose far less problems for dogs and cats whose systems are better adapted to handle the bacterial load in raw animal protein.
  • Less convenient because of the freezing required which preserves the freshness.
  • Freezing adds to the cost because this is a more involved and expensive manufacturing procedure.
  • Distribution and storage costs are higher with frozen food.
  • Higher costs are involved to manufacture the diets.
  • More education is required to understand the advantages over kibble.

Many of our customers have made the decision to convert to the raw based BARF Diet, primarily because their pets had symptoms they could not resolve using conventional medications, treatments and dry kibble diets. Our testimonials are the proof that the BARF diet works to relieve many conditions that are aggravated by the continuous feeding of inferior dry formulations. We call this success “The Magic Of Meat”. The results we see are not really because the meat is “magic”, but rather because the harmful toxins in the dry-based foods have been removed from the dog’s body. If you’re still feeding a kibble diet, isn’t it time to try the BARF diet and watch your pet thrive again?

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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By:  Dr. Richard Patton

Bacteria must be measured on a qualitative and quantitative level.

People charged with overseeing the safety of our food supply have a crucial role in society that is not properly appreciated.  In a westernized community, food borne illness is so rare that citizens take food safety for granted.  In the United States, the probability of a lethal food poisoning from any one meal is one in 73 million1.  Such stellar success actually makes it difficult for authorities to get anyone to listen to them, except in moments of high drama or sudden fear.

So maybe we should be more attentive when they sternly rap the desk with a hickory rod and promise dire things.  Perhaps it is understandable when authorities get a bit over-reaching when nobody will listen to them.  Understandable, but not acceptable.

After a long career in science, the last person I will listen to is the one telling me they know what’s good for me or that they know the answer to my question.  The person I want to listen to, intently, is the one who says, “I don’t know the answer.  But, I can tell you this…” The person willing to admit ignorance on a subject indeed compelled to, is the one who has studied it carefully and deeply, and the one best able to inform others.  Sadly, we are surrounded by evidence of the myopia of establishment thinking and dogma. You don’t have to cite the world-is-flat doctrine or the Spanish Inquisition for proof.  For example, according to the all-knowing authorities in the 1960s, butter would kill you and margarine would prevent death by butter.  Today, exactly the opposite is known to be true. Butter is a rich source of anti-cancer nutrients, while margarine is proven to be full of carcinogens.  Simple total blood cholesterol is now understood to predict nothing, but for decades entire societies remade themselves at the altar of cholesterol.

Levelheaded professionals do not attack raw pet food with fear mongering.  Raw food, human or pet, may be a vector for pathogens, but it can also be a source of beneficial bacteria, undamaged vitamins and enzymes, higher palatability and greater digestibility. There are people who have been selling raw pet food for decades and never had a single problem with salmonella or listeria. Everybody counsels that proper food handling is imperative, just as for any raw meat.  What I’m saying:  In considering the place of raw pet food in the larger picture, I do not blindly accept the perceived wisdom of its market competitors or its market policemen.  The perspective from these sectors is part of the fact gathering and due diligence, but so too is the point of view and insights of raw food proponents.

“dry pet food is too high in soluble carbohydrates and not the best diet”
- Dr. Patton

In the US, there is a pet for every other person.  They are everywhere.  From this we can conclude pets must be of import and value to people, bringing something worthwhile to their lives.  It follows that there would exist an industry catering to pet owners. This is what happens in a free market society; entrepreneurs are rewarded for filling needs.  Pet foods are a major portion of this support industry, with dry pet food the leading type.  Dry pet food predominates because it is acceptable nutrition, economic and convenient.  No argument here.  Dry pet food is the cheapest and needs no refrigeration.

Dry pet food is acceptable nutrition but it is not the best nutrition.  This should be another “no argument here,” but instead we run headlong into the entrenched thinking of the establishment.  At this point, I consider any observation from the dry pet food industry as inadmissible; these people have an ax to grind and should recuse themselves from the debate about acceptable vs best pet nutrition.  It is allowed, without hesitation, they have a sound argument for convenience and economy, but dry pet food is too high in soluble carbohydrates and not the best diet.  Some people want the best nutrition for their pet and are willing to work harder and pay more to have it.

Keeping the home environment free of food danger is central to the mandate of regulatory agencies, and they see raw pet food as a vector for pathogenic bacteria getting into the home kitchen.  Evidence they generated supporting their case: 7.6% of raw pet foods bought by the Center for Veterinary Medicine from on-line suppliers tested positive for salmonella (and 16% for listeria) compared to 0% of dry foods2.  In the US each year, salmonella causes 1.2 million illnesses in people, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths.  Chickens are the source of the vast majority of these cases.  Over 92% of non-human, non-clinical positive lab reports for salmonella are from chickens.  According to Dan Engeljohn, Assistant Administrator of USDA/FSIS field operations: “Salmonella will never be eliminated.  Salmonella is so ubiquitous in the market that you wouldn’t have any raw poultry unless it was all irradiated” (sterilized with radiation).  As a matter of fact, the agency has a “performance standard” for rates of Salmonella contamination on whole, raw chicken, allowing a prevalence of 7.5 percent. In practice, however, inspectors consider poultry plants to be in compliance when five in 51 tests, or nearly 10 percent, are positive for Salmonella3.

Dog food regulations for salmonella are more strict than those for human foods.

Oh. So the federal regulatory agency considers 10% salmonella occurrence in grocery store poultry as “background noise” but 7.6% in pet food as cause for alarm?  That’s hardly an even-handed approach to consumer protection.  The thing that is most irritating about this report from a federal agency is it is biased and out of context in its focus on raw pet food.  Granted, salmonella is bad, regardless what vector it rides into people’s kitchen, but the real issue here is chicken, from any source, from raw pet food or from the grocery store.  A more useful trial from the consumer’s perspective would be to sample grocery store chicken and raw pet food with chicken as an ingredient, and contrast the percent salmonella positives.  We already know what each assays independently—they are identical. For proper scientific validation, all that is lacking is to have the two together in the same trial.  An additional trial, incumbent upon the agency to run, is to look at salmonella in raw pet food with and without chicken as an ingredient.  Without chicken, it may be devoid of salmonella, which we are entitled to know.

If raw pet food with chicken as an ingredient and grocery store chicken are identical in percent salmonella positives, then the logical nature of this discussion should be to alert the consumer (and cook) of the hazard of raw chicken and to provide education and guidance on how to properly handle and prepare chicken.  Of course included in this discussion should be raw pet food that contains chicken as an ingredient.  The point: It is behavior unbecoming a federal agency to make recommendations against raw pet food yet say nothing against grocery store chicken when both are identical in their failings and chicken is many times more commonplace in the American kitchen than frozen pet food in the freezer.


Here is an additional reference stating the 7.5% permissible level of salmonella in whole chicken.

ggggDr Richard Patton has been an animal nutritionist for over three decades. “Most everything I have learned has been from my clients.” admits Patton.

His book, Ruined By Excess, Perfected By Lack, discusses the worldwide problem of overweight behavior—both of pets and people—is a critical aspect of any proper diet.

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