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Navigating The Massive Animal Supplement Market Don’t Get Fooled!

By:  Robert Mueller

Depending on your dog’s diet and health, they may need supplements.

Supplements for our pets are everywhere.  They’re sold online, in vet offices and pet supply stores. It really doesn’t matter what the problem is – there’s usually a supplement to help.  You can find supplements that will help relieve allergies, joint repair, obesity, liver and kidney disease, along with ones that replace the obvious deficiencies of vitamins and minerals in the commercial dog food formulas.  Once you decide that your dog needs extra help through supplementation, the quest begins to find the “supreme” supplement. And believe me this isn’t easy.  Finding the “one” that stands out among  “many” is quite a job because of the thousands of choices that exist in the marketplace today.

Why is there a need for so much supplementation today?

To answer that, we have to go back to the source…to the land.  Today, the pet food diets that are made from plant material are mineral deficient.  The soils in this country have been depleted of essential minerals and have also been treated chemically to the point that residual toxicity and mineral deficiencies are highly evident.

At BARF World®, many of the pet parents that come to us, find their dogs beginning to exhibit signs of toxicity and vitamin/mineral deficiency at 4-5 years of age. They see firsthand the residual effects and resulting disease and health degeneration and they are plenty worried.  Most times we can reverse the symptoms merely by making the change to the BARF Diet®, our natural raw meat diet.  But, many times it takes even more help, through supplements, to reverse the trend.

Research the right supplement
for your pet before you buy

Now here’s what makes choosing the right supplement even more difficult.  Supplements are a non-regulated industry. DSHEA (the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act) was written without including anything on animal supplements. As a result, the FDA only recognizes and monitors two types of animal products – animal food and animal drugs…but not supplements.  So it is virtually impossible to differentiate the hype from the truth.  It seems that everyone is able to make claims…and if you are not required by law to back them up you can basically say whatever you like. I know that sounds impossible in our highly regulated pet industry, but it’s the truth.  And there is a huge amount of money being made today in the supplement industry – for humans as well as for pets.

Here at BARF World® we approach supplementation differently.  We are determined to produce supplements that are “supreme” and that will substantiate whatever claims we make, whether or not law requires it.  Why? Because our ultimate goal is to return pets to perfect health and we believe diet and proper effective supplementation are key.

For example, right now we are currently working on a brand new supplement that will be a stand out winner for joint regeneration.  This new supplement is a remarkable improvement over the typical glucosamine/chondroitin supplements that continue to flood the market. Look, I can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet, but I will tell you that we have isolated a special ingredient with scientifically positive results that will help your pet like nothing you’ve ever seen before.  It’s simple in design with all natural ingredients and has proven scientific support to justify the claims!   Of course like everything from BARF World®, it’s backed by our money-back guarantee!

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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How the BARF Diet® Helps You Manage Urolithiasis

By:  Robert Mueller

This affects 3% of dogs and 7% of cats

What is Urolithiasis?

Urolithiasis is a general term describing a common disorder of the lower urinary tract in dogs and cats.  It refers to stones or uroliths that develop in the kidney, ureter, bladder or urethra affecting approximately 7% of cats and 3% of dogs seen at veterinary clinics.

It is typically a condition found in adult animals. There is a difference in the age and onset periods between the two species. This condition is rarely seen in cats younger than 1 year and most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 2 to 6 years of age. In contrast, for dogs the mean age at time of diagnosis is between 6 1/2 to 7 years.

There is also a relationship between gender and mineral prevalence. Struvite crystals are more common in females, while oxalate containing stones are seen more often in males. It is speculated that breed characteristics such as low activity levels and a tendency toward obesity may be influential factors.

Struvite Crystals are the size of a
grain of sand or smaller.

What are the signs?

Clinical signs of urolithiasis in dogs and cats are nonspecific and depend on the location, size, and number of crystals present within the urinary tract. Most crystals are the size of a grain of sand or smaller. Clinical signs of this condition include:

  • frequent urination
  • dribbling of urine
  • urination in inappropriate places
  • strong ammonia odor in the urine
  • hematuria
  • prolonged squatting or straining following urination
  • constant licking of urogenital region
  • depression
  • anorexia
  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • dehydration

Can I manage this condition through my pet’s diet?

A raw meat diet meets the requirements for dietary management of this condition. Maintaining a diet that has urine-acidifying properties, proper levels of magnesium, high digestibility, caloric density, and high water content seems to reduce the formation of stones.

A carnivorous diet such as the BARF DIET has the effect of increasing net acid excretion and decreasing urine pH. This urine-acidifying effect is primarily a result of the high level of sulfur-containing amino acids found in meat. In addition, a diet that contains a high proportion of meat is lower in potassium salts than a diet containing high levels of cereal grains like kibble, which has been shown to produce alkaline urine when metabolized.

It can be theorized then that inclusion of high levels of cereal grains and low levels of meat in some commercial pet foods may be contributing to the development of struvite urolithiasis. (Struvite crystals are soluble at a pH below 6.6 and will form at a pH of 7.0 and above). Alkaline urine is required for the initial formation of struvite crystals.

Water Content Is A Key Factor

An equally important consideration in reducing formation of stones is to increase water content. Kibble diets that have a low water content (usually 10%) tend to cause a decrease in total fluid turnover and urine volume resulting in increased urine concentration, both of which contribute to struvite formation. The value in feeding BARF, a meat based diet containing 70% moisture, is obvious.

Surgical removal of uroliths (stones) is necessary in most cases of struvite urolithiasis in dogs. A major advantage of this treatment is that the clinical signs are quickly relieved, and then treatment can be focused on eliminating urinary infections and preventing recurrence.  Properly formulated meat based diets, such as the BARF Diet, is the best way to control, aid, and prevent this condition in dogs and cats.

Urolithiasis is a complex condition with many varying factors that require   analysis and treatment by your vet. As always, we recommend checking with your veterinarian before making any changes in your pet’s diet.

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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There’s Protein and Then There’s Protein

By:  Dr. Richard Patton

All protein is made of building blocks called amino acids.

When shopping for pet food, people usually look for the amount of protein listed on the bag.  For comparative shopping, this can be useful information, but it ignores a very basic and important fact about protein.

Suppose I told you the score of the ball game between the Yankees and the Red Sox was 5.  You’d look at me as either stupid or withholding information. You’d expect more information… like the rest of the score.  Well, when evaluating protein, you need more information besides “amount” or “percent.”  The percent protein on the bag is nearly useless information; only half the ball score.  To make any sound judgment, besides the amount of protein, you must also know the quality of the protein.

There are two kinds of amino acids; those able to be made from diet components, and those required preformed in the diet.  These are called essential (meaning they must be in the diet) and nonessential (can be made by the animal itself from other ingredients in the diet).  The more essential amino acids there are in a protein, the higher the protein’s nutritional value.  For example, the protein in egg is very high quality.  This stands to reason, as an egg must become a complete creature without any further input.  Egg protein has a high level of essential amino acids.  Milk protein is high quality, also logical, as milk is the sole nourishment for a young mammal.

All proteins can be ranked for quality based on the amount of their essential amino acids.  This ranking is referred to as “Biologic Value”.  No protein contains more essential amino acids than egg protein, so egg protein is arbitrarily considered 100, or the best.  Milk protein is ranked at 93.  Beef and fish are 75. A Biologic Value of at least 75 is required to support the growth of young mammals.  Most plant proteins are ranked below 75, animal source proteins are 75 or higher.  Therefore diets strong in animal source proteins are going to be of higher biologic value.

The protein in rice is unique for a plant because it has a biologic value of 85.  This is fortunate, as half of the world gets much of its protein from rice.  It is possible, by careful formulation, to blend different proteins and achieve a sum that is higher in value than any one ingredient.  And this is what pet food formulators do… hopefully.  But when all you know is the amount of protein stated on the bag, it is not possible to assume anything about quality of that protein.  If a pet food’s major ingredients are quality animal protein sources, it is safe to assume it is better protein quality.

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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The Balancing Act Of Water

By:  Robert Mueller

Approximately two-thirds of your
pet’s body is made up of water!!

The importance of water and its effect on all body mechanisms is one of the most critical balancing acts that the body performs.

It’s important to recognize the relationship between urinary infections, urinary blockages from crystal formation and dehydration or reduced total fluid intake and turnover. Take cats as an example. In comparison to dogs, they are more susceptible to urinary urolithiasis. A cat can try to increase its voluntary water intake when eating a dry cat food but will not be able to sufficiently compensate for the lower moisture content in the food. A dog however is better able to compensate for low moisture levels, (which is why cats have a higher level of urinary problems than dogs).

Problems With Low-Moisture Foods

Dogs and cats that are given a continuous diet of low moisture foods may eventually be subjected to elevated levels of urolithiasis. A suggested recovery program for both cats and dogs with low moisture intake from their diets is to switch to a higher moisture content diet (the BARF Diet) that offers a more utilized and absorbed intake of water than you can get from voluntary ingestion of water. When water content is increased in the body, the urine will contain a lower concentration of the mineral components that lead to urolith formation. And the increasing urine volume stimulates frequency of urination thus decreasing the time available for struvite formation.

Other body mechanisms that are affected by low moisture intake are cellular function and cellular formation. One has only to look at the following to understand the importance of an adequate supply of water in your pet’s body:

 

  • Approximately two-thirds of an animal’s body is water.
  • Brain is 90% water
  • Bones are 22% water,
  • Muscles have 75% water content
  • Blood is 83% water.

Here’s what else water does for your pet:

  • Transports nutrients and oxygen to the cells, moisturizes the air in the lungs
, helps with metabolism
, helps the organs to absorb nutrients.
  • Regulates body temperature
- detoxifies
- protects and moisturizes the joints.

Overall, water makes up around 80%

of your dog’s body mass.

A separate report can be made on the requirements of the kidney and the delicate balancing act it performs in regulating the water balance in the body. Lack of water, known as dehydration, has harmful effects such as lethargy, constipation muscle cramping, irregular blood pressure, kidney problems, digestive system malfunction, and dry skin.

Dry Skin

A majority of new cases that we see every day are allergy and dry skin related issues. We are amazed to see the dry skin condition change when the pet is switched to food with higher moisture content. In fact, this is one of the first observable differences that our customers see when making the switch to the “water rich” BARF Diet.

A little known fact is that the skin is the largest organ in the body and it requires its share of water too. This is why hair coat is an important indication of adequate hydration. Is your pet’s hair coat dry and coarse instead of soft and shiny?

Sometimes the easiest cures come from the simplest solutions. Increase the water content and watch the entire operating system improve dramatically. Decrease the water content and witness the devastating effects of dehydration. If you have ever been rehydrated with IV fluids you will you remember how much better you began to feel as the fluids entered your body.

A Detoxifying Agent

The body uses water to help flush out toxins and waste products. Feeding a diet with 70% moisture will automatically induce a detoxifying effect. The quick release of toxins from the body may cause a skin condition to worsen temporarily, but eventually, the reduced toxins and waste products will promote better health and vitality. Itching and scaling skin conditions improve quickly by merely switching to a high moisture diet. Naturally some skin conditions take longer than others to correct due to the amount of toxins and waste material to be removed.

A Hydrated Immune System is God’s Best Medicine

The immune system is nature’s secret to good health. A hydrated immune system is God’s best medicine. Our overall goal, in recommending a biologically appropriate raw food diet, is to improve hydration and thus improve the immune system. You can now see the importance of water to your pet’s body and the benefits it produces and the importance of feeding the water-rich BARF Diet.

-Robert Mueller

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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