“If diet is used correctly for prevention and treatment, other medicines are required less, if at all.”
Holistic practitioners have always seen marked improvements when pet owners make appropriate dietary changes. Food acts according to its various therapeutic properties, its actions may seem more subtle than those of homeopathy or herbs but food is the true ‘foundation’ for all methods of healing, whether alternative or conventional. The food pets eat will profoundly affect all systems of their body.
“Knowing only vitamin, mineral, and general nutrient properties is not enough.”
The NRC guidelines address the average need for an animal in a specific group and should only be used as general guidelines, not to address nutritional needs for individual animals. Biochemical individuality suggests that two animals may have very different nutritional requirements because of a variety of factors. Because of these factors, nutritional supplementation can optimize the total nutritional intake and cover potential deficiencies that may be present. The combination of basic and preventive nutrition is a safe, effective approach that both reduces potential health problems and optimizes the well-being of the animal.
“All nutrients are available in fresh, unadulterated whole foods. It couldn’t be any simpler.”
Despite what is printed on the bag or the can, there is not one commercial pet food that is 100% complete for your pet. That’s like saying science is smarter than nature. The only time nutrition becomes rocket science is when you feed manufactured pet foods. Many veterinarians who recommend home-prepared diets find that pets who eat the better-quality, human grade ingredients therein exhibit even more dramatic health benefits. Many question whether a manufactured diet can ever contain “complete’ nutrition. An example can be found in the fatal consequences of dietary taurine deficiency that occurred in cats being fed, interestingly, a high-quality premium commercial diet. In the horse, borderline deficiencies or marginal levels of certain nutrients in grains and hay may be common because of improper farming practices or deficiencies in local soils.
“Nutrition is the whole flow of substances taken in as food and used in the body to build its structures and sustain its functions.”
Preventive Nutrition: Nutritional needs vary greatly depending on type of species, age, size, physiologic state and biochemical individuality. Nutritional supplementation not only enhances recovery from stress, illness, and injury but also helps prevent the onset of many degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, gastrointestinal problems, and skin disorders. Nutritional Supplementation can be effective in over-coming nutritional deficiencies caused by unique biochemical needs. For instance, certain rats with a hereditary requirement for high levels of manganese develop severe inner-ear problems when fed commercial rat chow. When they receive manganese supplements, the inner ear problems do not develop. Preventive nutrition recognizes and compensates for deficiencies of key nutrients that can eventually lead to multiple and possibly irreversible health problems. Nutritional research in the cat, dog, and horse has identified many connections between deficiencies and health problems.
“Synthetic vitamin supplementation can be confusing and dangerous.”
Keeping it Good, Easy and Real: Highly processed commercial pet foods need to be “fortified” with vitamins and minerals to have any value. Both the food devoid in nutrients and the added synthetic vitamins cause ill health and disease in the unlucky ones who have to consume it.
Excessive amounts of some vitamins (A & D especially) can become toxic. Cells do not do a good job of recognizing and releasing synthetic vitamins. Signs of deficiency and those of excess are often similar.
Pet owners who aren’t able feed fresh food, should never supplement synthetic vitamins with foods which already contain synthetic vitamins. It is imperative to only supplement with ‘whole food vitamins’. Don’t be misled to believe that commercial foods contain adequate amounts of nutrients. Synthetic vitamins are poorly absorbed.
It is safe and a good idea to add small quantities of organ meats and blended fresh veggies to your pet’s food. Organic is always best. (Avoid grapes, raisins and onions.) Your pet may benefit from specific combinations of whole food supplementation depending on if he or she has a particular imbalance. For example, feeding small amounts of liver, milk thistle (herb) and beets are excellent if your pet has liver disease. Another example of target prescribing with whole foods for canine renal support would be to add bovine kidney, kidney bean, pea vine juice, beet root, and alfalfa.
Standard Process is a company, that specializes in human and pet, whole food supplements. They have made supplementation easy for humans and pets. Holistic M.D.s and Veterinarians have been recommending these products for people and animals for years.
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