Here's what the experts have to say about switching to a grain-free, raw food diet for your pet...
"I've been feeding a species-appropriate raw diet to my dogs and cats for over 30 years, and I'm extremely selective about the ingredients that go into their meals. I don't usually use meats that are packaged specifically for pets as sometimes the quality is not up to my standards. When I came across the "Love Your Pet" company I talked at length with the owner, Valarie. I was pleased to hear about the high quality of the meat, how it's sourced and processed. So, I took the plunge and ordered some of the elk, venison, and bison. It arrived promptly and in good shape. My dogs LOVE it! And because it's grass-fed and finished, they utilize it extremely well and their stools are smaller than ever. Recently I ran out and prepared their meals using a good quality turkey that they've had before. I could have sworn they paused before eating and gave me a look that said "Hey, where's the good stuff?!". Needless to say, they were very happy when the next shipment of "Love Your Pet" meat was delivered! Keep up the good work Valarie! And keep that "Love Your Pet" meat coming!"
- Kymythy R. Schultze, CN, AHI
Clinical Nutritionist, teacher, and author of "Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet" and other nutrition books for pets and their people.
A Holistic Vet's Take on a Raw Pet Food Diet
Article by Dr. Doug Knueven. Used with permission.
Most pet foods that claim to be “natural” or “holistic” are indeed not! All you need to do is look at the official definitions of these terms to understand what I’m saying.
The standards for pet food labels are set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO’s definition of natural is:
“a feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.”
I don’t know about you but that does not sound very natural. Besides, AAFCO only addresses the naturalness of ingredient processing. The statement says nothing about how natural it is for a pet to consume specific ingredients.
For example, it is totally unnatural for dogs and cats to consume grains. However, if the grains are processed according to AAFCO’s definition of natural, a pet food containing them can call itself natural.
My definition of natural nutrition is:
“A diet consisting of ingredients that a particular species has evolutionarily adapted to eat with the macronutrient (protein, fat, and carbs) and micronutrient (vitamins and phyto-nutrients) balance that is ideal for their health.”
Such a diet is by definition a balanced, raw food diet. No dog or cat evolved eating kibble or canned food.
The concept of a “holistic” pet food makes no sense whatsoever. The term holistic means that it addresses body, mind, and spirit. All pet foods address the body. I suppose some might have ingredients that affect the brain and thus could be said to address the mind. However, no pet food addresses spirit.
AAFCO has no definition for the word holistic so any pet food company can use it as they wish. Basically, if you see a pet food labeled as holistic it means that the pet food manufacturer thinks that they can sell more food by slapping that word on the label.
Don’t be fooled by pet food labels with their trendy words. Now that holistic medicine is starting to catch on, everyone is trying to cash in. The only natural pet food is a balanced, raw diet.