By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

No one likes to be left alone at home – especially such an important member of the family…but in this case it just might be the smartest thing to do for everyone!

Think about it for a minute…no matter how smart and clever your animal is…they simply don’t understand what’s going on when the fireworks begin exploding with sudden and unpredictable bursts of loud noise.  It can be terribly frightening and send your dog into a tizzy – and even worst cause unnecessary anxiety and trauma.  No matter how happy and good-natured your pet usually is…things can change dramatically when the fireworks begin.

So what’s the solution?

Leave Your Pet At Home

Well for sure the easiest and most logical thing to do is leave your pet at home if you’re off to celebrate the fourth in another location.  Dogs love the security of their own home…so make sure you take care of all the basics with plenty of fresh water and his or her familiar bed available.  Leave the television or radio on to keep him comfortable and make sure the house or pet area is secure.  More dogs go missing on the Fourth of July than any other time of the year…so check again to make sure there is no way your pet can escape from the home or an outdoor enclosure.

Most dogs are just as happy staying home on the 4th

Taking Your Pet Along

If your pet is not frightened by loud noises or crowds and you decide to take him to the celebration with you, then naturally it’s best to keep them on a leash and close by at all times. It goes without saying (we hope) that your identification tags are all current just in case you are separated during the event.  Never let your dog loose – or take him anywhere near the fireworks –no matter how small the fireworks may appear to you.  Remember – he has no idea what is going on except for sudden and inexplicable very loud bursts or noise and light.  Be sure to bring along some treats and a flashlight.

If You Get Separated…

Begin a quick search of the area and don’t hesitate to ask others if they have seen your pet. People are generally very nice and will help you in your search.  If you are in a public location go back and check in the area where you parked the car, calling out your pet’s name.  If your pet is still missing begin to call local animal shelters and the animal control facility as well as vets.  They may already have your pet.  And don’t forget social media – like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about your lost dog or pet.  If you’re not familiar with these then ask a younger friend or family member to do it for you.

To avoid the possibility of losing or stressing out your pet…why not just leave them at home this year if you’re only going to be away a few hours?  Sometimes this can be the smartest thing to do!

Have a great 4th of July and remember to celebrate with intelligence and care…always keeping the safety and happiness of your pet in mind.

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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Why A Raw Food Really Works To Solve Your Pet’s Digestive Problems

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.[1]

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.

[1] The Preventive Vet, “Pet Emergency Statistics,”

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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Canine Parvovirus AKA “Parvo” Things All Dog Owners Should Know Especially If You Have A New Puppy

By Dr. Cathy Alinovi, D.V.M.

Parvovirus is an intestinal virus that attacks the cells that line the intestinal tract – all the way from the mouth to the rectum. The symptoms range from vomiting to diarrhea, which may include blood. Untreated it can even result in death. You may also have heard this virus referred to as “Parvo”.

While more frequently seen in unvaccinated and under-vaccinated dogs, primarily puppies, there are certain breeds like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers that are predisposed to the disease and are more likely to die from parvo infection. Puppies that are not vaccinated against parvo have a 50/50 chance of surviving – really very scary odds, which become even worse the longer you wait before taking your pet to the vet.

Treatment is basically supportive care.  Additional fluids to replace what is lost with vomiting, medicine to control vomiting and occasionally your vet may prescribe antibiotics when intestinal damage is so great that bacteria have entered the dog’s body.

Alternatively, I’d like to mention an herbal blend that I have had very good luck with called Great Sassurea Coptis.  This is given rectally and has antibacterial properties that help take down fever and can slow diarrhea.

If You Have A Puppy

Prevention of Parvo is by vaccination – not over-vaccination.  If you understand how maternal antibodies works, you will understand how to protect your pup without over-vaccinating and potentially causing harm. When a puppy nurses for the first time, the milk is full of protection from disease, including parvovirus. However, this built in natural protection, called antibodies, slowly dissipates and is completely gone by the time your pup is 17 weeks old.

Another thing you must be aware of is the functionality of your puppy’s immune system.  You pup is not able to respond to vaccines until he’s at least 6 weeks old. And every time you vaccinate against parvovirus, part of the mother’s natural protection is destroyed.   So vaccinating is really a double-edged sword – it does create long-lasting antibodies but it also creates a weakness in the body’s immune system.

Based on these facts, please be aware that breeders who vaccinate every two weeks aren’t doing pups any favors with regard to protection from parvo infection. That’s because it takes 2-3 weeks for the body to even respond to the initial vaccine.

The final parvo vaccine should be given at 17 weeks old. Two or 3 doses prior to that are more than enough so please don’t allow over-vaccination of your pet.  On a side note – there is controversy about whether earlier vaccines are necessary, but this centers on issues about your environment -particularly how many unvaccinated dogs live around you.

The final thing you must know is that once your pup has been vaccinated against parvovirus, immunity can last a minimum of 6-8 years. This means if your dog is vaccinated at 17 weeks old, he does NOT need annual boosters. Overuse of vaccines weakens the immune system and if you are concerned you can have the antibody levels checked at your vet’s office.

If your puppy is not fully vaccinated against parvovirus (isn’t yet 17 weeks old), avoid public dog places and build your dog’s immune system by feeding a healthy raw food diet; wash your hands after playing with another dog.  Two weeks after your dog receives that final parvo vaccine, public playtime is on!

Dr. Cathy Alinovi is the owner of Healthy Pawsibilities in Indiana. Certified in Veterinary Food Therapy, Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Therapy, and Aromatherapy, Dr. Cathy’s approach provides whole body support through both the best in veterinary medicine as well as high-quality, all-natural foods, supplements, and health care products.  She offers phone consultation services as well as in-office appointments. Visit for more information.

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My Dog Has Pancreatitis. Can a Raw Dog Food Diet Help?

While it’s true that our dogs are carnivores, it’s important to note that they are also very resourceful scavengers and, as such, can survive eating foods that are essentially detrimental to their health and longevity.  Yes, your dog can live off of kibble and canned pet foods (which are high in carbohydrates) and they may even appear to be quite healthy and happy on this type of diet for the first few years.

But here’s something important that I must share with you.  In my 30+ years experience of formulating and feeding raw food diets for zoo carnivores, racing greyhound, and household dogs and cats, I’ve come in contact with many different breeds, conditions, styles of feeding, and opinions from pet parents, vets, and specialists.  Yet one of the things that is constant and remains very clear is the fact that the signs of degenerative disease most often appear in dogs around the age of 5-6 years old that are fed a commercial pet food diet.  Unfortunately pancreatitis is one such degenerative disease.

What is Canine Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis literally means ‘inflammation of the pancreas’.  A dog that has been diagnosed with pancreatitis is essentially suffering from an inflamed pancreas that is either damaged or stressed, which prevents it from functioning properly.

The pancreas has two functions: first, it has a major role in the regulation of the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and secondly, it produces digestive enzymes.  When the pancreas releases enzymes prematurely, they begin to digest the pancreas itself.  This is what we see in cases of pancreatitis in dogs.  Signs of pancreatitis in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.  If pancreatitis is suspected, your veterinarian will most likely conduct a blood test to check to see if your dog’s enzyme levels are elevated.  They may also request a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI for further confirmation of the disease.

Canine pancreatitis can range from mild, moderate, or severe.  If left untreated, this disease can cause various health complications – such as damage to the surrounding organs, heart arrhythmias, sepsis, or Malabsorption Syndrome – some of which can be fatal.

What Causes Pancreatitis in Dogs?

Canine pancreatitis is usually seen in middle-aged dogs that have spent a lifetime being fed a diet mainly consisting of cooked and processed foods.  Some alternative veterinarians believe it is because high-carbohydrate based pet foods, which are hard for pets to digest, overstress the pancreas, quickly depleting its enzyme reserves.

Pets on steroid treatments (which are commonly used to treat allergies in dogs or canine arthritis) are also susceptible to developing pancreatitis, as are overweight or obese dogs.  Dogs that are regularly fed table scraps, which are usually very high in fat, are also susceptible.

The common anti-seizure medication, potassium bromide, taken by epileptic dogs to treat epileptic seizures has also been linked to increased instances of pancreatitis in dogs.   However, not all dogs with pancreatitis contract the disease from food or medication.  Certain breeds are more prone to contract the disease, such as Yorkshire terriers and Schnauzers.

How to Treat Pancreatitis in Dogs

The common treatment for pancreatitis in dogs is the use of medication to treat the various symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea.  Conventional veterinarians will usually prescribe a prescription dog food or recommend feeding a bland, low fat dog food.  Unfortunately, these diets are high in carbohydrates and not very appetizing for the animal.

It has been my experience that feeding a natural, raw food diet is very beneficial when treating pancreatitis in dogs.  Raw, uncooked foods contain an abundance of live, active enzymes.  These living enzymes help with the digestion process, and also reduce stress on the pancreas that is forced to produce additional enzymes to break down the food. This makes a raw food diet the best dog food for pancreatitis.

Again, it’s important to remember that dogs with pancreatitis should be fed a low fat dog food in order to reduce further aggravation to the pancreas.  Stay away from meat proteins that are high in fat, such as lamb and pork.  Instead, feed meats that are lower in fat, like chicken or beef – and if they are raw and uncooked, it is even better.

I’ve seen firsthand how effective it is to feed the BARF Diet (aka biologically appropriate raw food) to dogs suffering from pancreatitis.  It improves their appetite, digestion, and absorption of nutrients.  Here’s a recent testimonial from one of my clients who decided to feed raw to her pancreatic dog – you’ll be amazed by her story…

I cant thank you all enough for saving Charlie’s life! Our doggie just turned 7 and he became so ill that he almost didn’t recover.

End of July 2013 he was shaky and couldn’t hold his head up or go near water or food. We rushed him to the hospital and discovered he was diabetic with his glucose at 800. The vet said we have 2 choices, to either administer insulin every 12 hours for the rest of his life or have him put down (that was never going to happen). So he stayed in ICU for 7 days and finally came home. Two weeks ago, my mom called and said Charlie is vomiting uncontrollably and has diarrhea also, so I rushed him to his vet and after blood work he was diagnosed with pancreatitis.

The range is to be under 200 and his was 839. The vet gave him tons of injections and sent him home with tons of anti-biotics and many other meds. A week later he started vomiting again and I rushed him back to his vet. Blood work was repeated and his pancreatitis range was now at 1000. The vet called me in with the saddest look on his face and asked what my plan was for Charlie. I began hysterically crying as I couldn’t imagine our life without him.

The vet said he will go home with way more anti-biotics and meds than before and IV’s 2 x a day. He also thought it may be pancreatic cancer. I left there and called Evan at Barf world and all I can say is that call saved our Charlie’s life. He got Robert on the phone right away, who faxed me a protocol for pancreatitis. Charlie’s was one of the worst cases. Robert informed me as to how serious this was and how much I needed to follow this protocol. I was drained from daily vet visits and administering meds/Iv’s. I wasn’t able to sleep or eat all week from worry. Needless to say I was a basket case because Charlie was to repeat labs the following week and I knew it was going be the worst news ever. So I took him in on Monday and went back on Tuesday without him to be read the results.

The vet called me in as the staff looked on holding their breath. I had called them numerous times a day and they really felt my pain but couldn’t help Charlie. When I walked in the room, the vet had a look of confusion on his face. I just knew in my heart that the end for Charlie had come. But it wasn’t the end for him!!! The vet said his pancreatic range was 54. I jumped up and down, screaming with joy! Even his staff rejoiced! I told them all that the folks at Barf World saved his life by sending me crucial info. Had I followed this protocol 2 weeks ago, Charlie wouldn’t have suffered the way he did and I wouldn’t be out thousands of dollars in vet bills. All I can say is these people at Barf world know more than any vet and I will only feed the raw diet to our little guy for the rest of his life.

Barf world, I cant thank you enough for the phone calls and concern. Ive never seen compassion like this before.”

- Lucy Saponjian (Van Nuys, CA)

The opinions and recommendations above are based on my 30+ years of experience feeding a raw diet to many different breeds of dogs suffering from a variety conditions, including pancreatitis.  However I recommend that you always consult your own veterinarian when making changes to your dog’s diet, and especially if you suspect pancreatitis in your dog.


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!

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