The key to good health and a healthy body is directly related to what is put into that body, and this applies to both animals and people. Good nutrition is the basis of a healthy pet. It is essential to feed as healthy a diet as you can. Many commercial pet foods include by-products and also chemicals that are known to have serious side effects. By-products include chicken heads and legs, tumors, diseased organs, and many other things that are not considered good for human consumption.
If you wouldn’t eat it why should your pet? Chemicals to avoid include BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin, as well as any artificial coloring or flavoring. Ideally a natural home prepared diet is a lot healthier, providing that an appropriate vitamin and mineral supplement is added. With cats it is essential to add the essential amino acid taurine to their diet, as lack of this can lead to blindness.
Foods that are good to feed include natural whole grains, such as brown rice, organic vegetables, and meats such as chicken, beef or rabbit. There are many good books that suggest detailed diets and some suggestions are given below. If it is not possible to prepare a diet then a good quality commercial pet food should be considered. Look for a food that is preserved naturally and keep away from artificial additives or by-products. Read the labels, and don’t just look at the bag, as this can sometimes be misleading.
Many good natural pet foods are available, but even so it is good to add some natural foods in with the pet food, such as some left over vegetables or meat. Try and give as natural a food as possible and your pet will start to look and feel more healthy, vibrant and energetic.
There now is a shift towards raw food diets, such as the popularized BARF diet, which is an acronym for Bones and Raw Food Diet, developed by Dr. Ian Billinghurst an Australian Veterinarian. I think that most healthy dogs and cats do very well on a raw food diet as this is ideally what their digestive tract evolved to process. I would add that small, elderly or sick pets have special requirements and recommend working with a holistic veterinarian on their natural diet. Various raw food diet recipes are available for both cats and dogs. I recommend Anitra Frazier’s book The New Natural Cat and Give your Dog a Bone by Dr. Ian Billinghurst as well as The Ultimate Diet – Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats” by Kymythy Schultze which is very easy to follow and explains things very well indeed.
1. HISTORY OF FEEDING PETS
The ancestors of dogs, were probably first attracted to humans by the scent of garbage in their camps. They became established in the camp and began naturally protecting their territory. Early man soon recognized the benefits of this, and a bond began to form between humans and the evolving dog. Soon these animals were probably given scraps and leftovers from the camps. A recent study, led by biologist Robert K. Wayne of UCLA, suggests that canines may have been domesticated 100,000 or more years ago, most likely in Asia. Cats were domesticated much later in the Middle East about 9,500 years ago.
Modern pet food began in about 1890 when James Spratt, from Ohio, went to England to sell lightning rods. He noticed the dogs were being fed on not very good quality left over food and had the idea of making a dog food from wheat, vegetables, beet and meat. He called his new food Spratt’s dog cakes. His concept did very well and in about 1890 in USA the company went public. Several other companies followed suit, though none of the foods were very balanced nutritionally, but people liked them because they were convenient and not messy. In actual fact when dogs were given left over scraps of meat and vegetables they probably got better nutrition than from the early dog foods!
After WW II canned horsemeat came into the USA and soon after that other canned food became available, followed by dry meat based foods. In the 1950’s dry food became more popular, followed by the introduction of dry cat foods in the 1960’s and a lot more canned foods for both cats and dogs. As technology improved semi-moist type foods became available, as well as frozen diets, and a multitude of commercial pet foods of many kinds.
Breeders in many countries, especially England, and under the influence of Juliette De Baraicli Levy, the famous English herbalist, have continued to feed more natural raw food based diets, and in recent years as many of you know there has been a major shift back to a raw food based diet for both cats and dogs, popularized by Dr. Ian Billinghurt, as the BARF diet, which is an acronym for Bones and Raw Food Diet as well as Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
2. OVERVIEW OF 3 MAIN WAYS OF FEEDING
Both dogs and cats are members of the class Carnivora, which means they are basically carnivorous animals, and evolved to get their nutrition primarily from meat, bones, and organs of the animals they could catch or scavenge. Dogs have been more opportunistic carnivores and can survive as omnivores. They would scavenge other animal’s prey, as well as hunting in packs, though wild dogs in Africa can reach speeds of more than 40 miles an hour, and have been known to chase prey for over an hour. Cats would catch smaller animals and rodents and both species would hunt, eat and then fast until the next hunt.
The fact that both cats and dogs are true carnivores can be seen both by their digestive tract and teeth, as well as both cats and dogs having sharp claws for both hunting, and defense, as well as holding their prey for eating after that catch it. The cat cannot sustain its life unless it consumes meat in some form. Dogs, however, are able to survive on plant material alone, and they do not have to consume meat but they are by nature primarily meat-eaters and definitely do best when fed what their bodies have evolved to eat over many thousands of years. Just because by definition they are omnivores (can digest and utilize both plant and animal food sources) does not mean that plant material alone makes a good source of nutrition for the dog. This can be seen by studying both their anatomy, physiology and behavior.
Both cats and dogs have carnivorous teeth, each with a specific purpose. These are incisors for nipping and biting, sharp canine teeth for stabbing and holding prey, premolar teeth for cutting and slicing and molar teeth for shearing meat and crushing bones. They also have powerful jaw muscles that enable them to do this.
Their digestive tracts are short, and simple as opposed to the complex system of digestion required by herbivores in order to digest and assimilate indigestible plant materials, and dogs and cats need to consume preformed amino acids from their food. Their digestive tract contains specific enzymes such as protease for digesting protein, and lipase for digesting fat in the right proportions for a meat based diet, the diet they evolved to eat.
There are twenty-two different alpha amino acids that mammals need for various metabolic and energy activities. Dogs and cats are able to synthesize twelve of these internally and, therefore, are required to ingest the other ten in their diets. Because these ten amino acids are necessarily acquired only through food acquisition, they are termed essential amino acids. In addition cats have some specific needs such as the amino acid taurine, which is added to commercial pet foods, and is essential for the body including retinal function and a lack of taurine can cause blindness in cats.
Fats are also essential components of the diet, and would be obtained naturally from the fat of the animals they ate. Linoleic and (for cats) arachidonic fatty acids are necessary. (Linolenic is synthesized from linoleic by dogs and cats). These can be present in commercial food, or added to a home made diet, and many skin and allergy problems are caused or aggravated by the wrong type or amount of fat in a diet.
Vitamin and minerals are added to pet food diets, whether commercial or home made, because they are not getting the ideal diet they would get in the wild, and foods are not necessarily pure, or contain the optimal vitamin and minerals required, and the soil is often lacking in nutrients or pesticides and chemicals can affect the vitamin and mineral content of food. Even organic food is not free from pollutants or chemicals, its in the environment and even though harmful chemicals are not supposed to be directly applied to organically farmed plants and animals it is impossible to avoid some type of contamination.
Carbohydrates can be utilized by dogs and cats as readily burnable fuel for all kinds of metabolic activities. Cheap and easily produced sources of carbohydrates are items such as rice, corn, wheat, barley and soy, and often over-used as fillers in commercial pet foods. The animal will utilize inexpensive carbohydrate sources for energy if available to the animal before the animal will utilize protein. Canine and feline diets should NOT use grain as the foundation or primary ingredient. Dogs and cats really do best on diets with minimal carbohydrates and a preponderance of fats and high quality protein.
Having stated that proteins can readily be used as a source of energy for dogs and cats, that carbohydrates are of much less importance than in human diet and metabolism, we should place a major responsibility on the protein content of our ideal diet. We know also that ten amino acids are required from dietary sources, it therefore follows that we pick a protein source that has a full spectrum of amino acids. Ideally this is meat.
Pet food manufacturers know how to make a great diet but the problem is that it would be too expensive to produce, especially if eggs and beef and fish were in it. And to be competitive with other pet food producers, the price of the food dictates what the foundation (primary ingredients) of the diet will be.
So how do we meet these nutritional requirements in a diet? Obviously we can buy commercial pet foods, kibble, freeze dried, canned or frozen. Often they are nutritionally balanced, but when you look closely it may have the right nutrient requirements, but the ingredients are not even close to what an animal would eat in the wild. Furthermore it is often highly processed and has additives that might not be healthy for us or our animals.
We can make a home cooked diet, with meat, some grains, and vegetables, and add supplements to make it balanced, and we are getting closer to a more natural and holistic diet for our animal companions.
Or we can look at what animals eat in the wild, and try to mimic this as closely as possible, obviously not many animals can catch their prey in this modern world, but some outside cats can catch rodents and birds, and like to supplement their diet this way. We can get fresh organic meats, meaty bones, and add some vegetables and vitamins and minerals to the mix.
So we have a range from dry kibble, through commercially available frozen foods, through a home cooked diet to a raw natural meat based diet. Only you can decide what works best for the animals in your care, and really not one diet is ideal for everyone, and I hope by giving you the choices, and the reasoning behind it as well as the Pro’s and Con’s you can decide what will work best for you.
3. PRO’S AND CON’S OF EACH METHOD
Commercial Pet Foods
- Already made up just serve it up as needed
- Often economical
- Less work involved in making or formulating a diet
- Your veterinarian will most likely prefer it
- Not natural for your cat and dog
- Can have allergies to components in the diet
- Not nutritionally ideal though acceptable in some cases
- Artificial additives or non food grade sources of ingredients including disease products, molds and other contaminants
- Lot of fillers and waste products
- Much easier to digest and assimilate
- More natural ingredients
- Can add supplements based on the individual needs
- More vibrant and better energy
- Healthier coat and skin, and overall health
- Better weight control
- Easy to do and don’t have to handle raw meat as much
- Keeps longer, and can freeze in batches, and cook in bulk
- Still may contain too much grain or carbohydrate
- Not live food compared to a raw food diet
- Carbohydrates cause gas, and are not so good for certain disease processes such as cancer
- Not always cheap
- Have to be organized and cook ahead of schedule
- Provides a fresh diet hopefully without preservatives (organic if possible)
- Can help reduce allergies and arthritis
- Fewer visits to the vet for health reasons and can live longer
- Less doggy odor
- Naturally cleans teeth
- Produces less stool, and stool is firm and disintegrates easily, smells less.
- Develops jaw, neck and shoulder muscles in chewing bones and tearing meat.
- Pets have more energy and easier to maintain weight
- Bitches have healthier pregnancies, with less complications, also weight and survival figures in puppies are better.
- It can be difficult to formulate a balanced homemade diet in the best of circumstances so you need to make sure it is a balanced as possible
- High protein and very high fat diets have been associated with problems as well as being low in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron, manganese and magnesium but its best to add supplements in that case to balance the diet. The studies on protein levels and kidney problems were done on laboratory rats not dogs and thoughts are changing on that now.
- Quality of ingredients may be lacking, so have to ensure good quality sources
- Raw bones are dangerous and can splinter or cause choking, people do tend to downplay this but it is a risk and does happen, and some breeds are more adapted to chewing a big bone, due to breeding and conformation.
- Health problems can occur if diet is not balanced and the nutrient ratio especially for calcium and phosphorus is not correct.
- You can see other health problems such as anemia, rickets, or other orthopedic problems which is why supplements and balancing are so important.
- E. Coli/salmonella often found in raw meat can be a problem in older animals or a weakened immune system, a healthy animal has a very acidic stomach and a good immune system and it causes no problems.
- Can be expensive
4. SPECIFICS ON EACH METHOD OF FEEDING.
a) Commercial Pet Foods
Rather than just list brands of kibble I am going to tell you what to look for and how to read the bag! Ingredients are listed in order of quantity, so the first ingredient should be meat, like lamb, beef or chicken, and it should not say meat by-products or meal, as this can include things you would not like to feed, like feathers, beaks, tumors or diseased organs. Reputable companies will have human grade meat and will say so on the bag. Be careful to look at all the ingredients not just the first one though, as Chicken might be listed first, so you might think that there was more chicken than any other ingredient. But then the second, third and fourth ingredients might be soy, corn, corn gluten, brewers rice, rice flour, and rice gluten. It is quite possible that there are more fillers than actual chicken in this product.
Avoid any artificial coloring, flavoring or preservatives especially Ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT which can cause liver problems and cancer. Animal Fat does not necessarily mean good quality oils, and can be by-products of animal processing, so be sure to look for specific oils like Flaxseed Oil or Salmon Oil.
Avoid the following ingredients:
- Beet Pulp which has too much sugar and fiber and is a poor filler.
- Beef Tallow comes from the tissue of cattle in the process of rendering and is low in linoleic acid, which is needed for skin and coat health
- Corn and Corn Gluten Meal which is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the germ,it causes the kidneys and liver work overtime and Corn is thought to be the #3 common cause of food allergies in dogs
- Rice Bran which is the outer coating of the rice kernel, with little of the starchy part of the germ and is basically floor sweepings. Rice Gluten is similar to corn gluten with little good nutritional value.
- Sorghum is the ground grain of the sorghum plant and it is low in digestibility
- Soybean Meal is the product obtained by grinding the flakes which remain after removal of most of the oil from soybeans by extraction. It is “a poor quality protein filler and one of the main causes of allergy of dogs.
- Wheat and Wheat Gluten – filler and highly allergenic.
- Any other filler that you don’t know the name of!
Good Things to look for:
- Food Grade ingredients
- Organic ingredients
- No by-products
- Meat based not fillers
The same things apply, there are a few more natural canned foods out there that have human grade meat and vegetables as ingredients. Watch out for salt and other additives.
Semi-moist foods include chemicals such as propylene glycol, color enhancers, and lots of sugar, making them very poor choices in spite of their convenience of use, they also work out very expensive.
Frozen commercial foods can overlap into raw food and can be an easy and better way to feed your cat or dog than commercial kibble or canned foods. If they are raw based and balanced and mostly meat, with organic natural ingredients and appropriate vitamins and minerals they can be a good compromise and are worth looking into for people not going to feed a home prepared raw food diet. Freeze dried foods are also available, both raw and cooked and are another newer alternative to dry pet food.
b) Home Cooked Diets
Made from scratch v. mixing with a formula
My basic recipe is 1/3rd grains, 1/3rd veggies and 1/3rd meat. Some larger dogs love their vegetables whole or raw and this is fine, while some smaller breeds may enjoy them made into more of a puree in a food processor. It is also fine to finely grate raw vegetables such as carrots or zucchini. The staple grain is usually brown rice, but other organic whole-grains such as oatmeal, barley, millet, corn or amaranth can also be added for variety. Virtually all vegetables are acceptable, although favorites include carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, yellow squash, zucchini and Brussels sprouts. Avoid tomato, onion, peppers and potato. For a meat source use beef, chicken, turkey or rabbit, buffalo or venison as a protein source. Organ meats such as heart, liver or kidney can also be fed once or twice a week. Liver is very nutritious and large quantities are not required, or recommended because of the high levels of vitamin A but a small amount once or twice a week is a good addition to the diet. A large raw organic beef leg bone fed once a week is an excellent dietary addition and keeps your dogs teeth free of plaque and gum disease. Many strict raw feeders do not recommend cooked diets or any grain, but I think for older, sick animals this is at least a good transition and has helped many animals live a much healthier life, if they are not able to go to a raw food diet for various reasons. We can talk about the supplements later.
There are various grain mixtures available which you can add meat or vegetables, and they often have included vitamins and minerals, I think this can be easier than making your own food from scratch, but really think the grain based diets are not as good as raw food diets, with more protein and vegetables.
c) Raw Diets
BARF – Bones and Raw Food Diet
The closest way to feed your dog compared to what a wild dog would eat, or what your dog’s distant ancestors would eat is definitely a raw food diet. I have to say this is really the ideal way to go, and the animals I have seen who are fed a raw food diet are extremely healthy and vibrant with wonderful coats, bright clear eyes and glowing with good health. Obviously the earlier you start the more these benefits will be apparent but it is never too late. It may seem overwhelming but there are lots of helpful resources and email groups too where you can get help and support, as well as learn specifics about the diet.
As a general rule, a normal active dog needs about 2 % of its body weight per day. A highly active dog may need about 3 % of its body weight per day. No two dogs are alike in their metabolic rates, age, or activity levels, and it depends on the type and breed of dog as well. Puppies can use up to 10 % of their growing body weight. It is important the calcium phosphorus ratio be correct, and it is important to feed bones in proportion to meat, and if you feed eggs then include the shell, or supplement with bone meal or another source of calcium if you do not do that. It can be overwhelming to start and it is best to start simply and gradually. Maybe start with chicken or turkey and feed wings, necks or backs for the first couple of days. Let their body get used to the new foods.
Also start with bland veggies with a bit of lean ground meat. Wait to add liver, other organ meats and eggs, and add one item at a time so you can see how your dog does with it. The bulk of the diet is raw meaty bones, and the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio should be between 1:1 to 2:1 (bone to meat ratio). Ultimately a good balance is 60% raw meaty bones 15% vegetables/fruit and 25% meat and organ meats.
The raw meaty bones can be fed whole, but some people grind the bones, and this is good for smaller dogs, or ones that bolt their food, or people who feel worried about feeding bones. Dogs do well with the bones most of the time, but they must be uncooked as it is cooked bones that splinter and cause damage. The vegetables are usually made into a mush in the food processor which enables them to get maximum nutritional value from them. I would also suggest introducing one item at a time so you can see how they do does with it. I would start with some digestive enzymes and probiotic or yogurt to help their digestion deal with the transition.
Cats can also be fed the BARF diet, raw muscle meat, along with organ meat from the same source chicken, beef, lamb raw bones (neck and back bones in poultry), either ground or whole added supplements, including, but not limited to cod liver oil, fatty acids, enzymes, and taurine and also the veggie mush which can be frozen in ice cube trays. They will also eat some fresh, raw vegetables, including broccoli, carrots, squash, and other vegetables, as well as raw fruits (apples, cantaloupe cranberries, and bananas for example. It can be harder to transition cats to a totally raw food diet though, and might take some time and patience. I do not recommend starving your cat into eating a diet, as this can lead to health problems, as they do not do well with prolonged fasting, and can get some serious complications including hepatic lipidosis, as their body goes into starvation mode.
OTHER ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF FEEDING RAW FOODS
There are some good commercial mixes that you can add to simple meats and vegetables, for both dogs and cats. The advantages are it is nutritionally balanced, it is a lot simpler and easier to mix a formula in than get 12 or 14 ingredients. These do work well and are also very palatable and I think for cats these diets are definitely worth considering for that reason alone as well as the fact that cats have specific nutritional requirements that makes it harder to balance a home made diet from scratch. They especially need taurine, but also the right balance of Vitamin A as they cannot synthesize their own or utilize any other source, unlike dogs. They can also get Vitamin A A toxicity so too much liver is not a good idea. Cats cannot make their own Arachidonic Acid even in the presence of adequate linoleic acid, unlike dogs because the liver enzyme to convert linoleic to Arachidonic is lacking. There are also some good raw food recipes for cats using ground meat, grated vegetables and supplements which are a lot less extreme than giving raw chicken wings and necks. I do have clients with cats that do great on a BARF type diet but many more are using a balanced supplement and meat and vegetables to get a good raw food diet that is easy to make, and nutritionally balanced.
COMMERCIAL RAW FOOD DIETS
There are also some prepared raw food diets available, either frozen, freeze dried or fresh (which is limited to the local area) and these are an easy alternative, though fresh organic food is better for all of us. The other disadvantage of pre-prepared total raw food diets is they can be very expensive, which can be prohibitive for a pack of large dogs.
FEEDING SPECIFIC FOODS FOR DISEASE CONDITIONS
Once you are comfortable on a raw food diet it is possible to incorporate some Chinese Medicine which is based on feeding specific foods for different disease conditions in the body. Some conditions are classified as hot, and so you would feed cooling foods such as bamboo shoots, banana, kelp, seaweed, and lettuce. Other conditions are considered warming like chicken, garlic, ham, peach, shrimp, beef kidney, chicken liver, and turkey and these help with conditions like sluggish digestion where the body needs to be warmed. Sour foods like citrus and tomato help the liver and with fat breakdown so can be helpful in those conditions where liver function needs to be enhanced. Traditional Chinese Medicine is quite an art, but just switching a couple of simple foods that have a beneficial effect on your particular animal or their health condition can really help. Most meats are neutral or warming and temperatures and tonify or strengthen a weak or debilitated patient.
Chicken: warm, sweet, tonifies Qi, nourishes Jing and essence.
Beef: neutral, sweet, tonifies spleen, stomach, Qi and blood.
Turkey: warm, sweet, tonifies Yin.
Lamb: hot, sweet, tonifies Yang
Pork: neutral, most cooling of the meats, sweet, tonifies, Yin and Blood.
5. SIMPLIFYING AND COMPROMISING
I think it is easy to get overwhelmed with diets, and it is a good idea to sit down and make a list of requirements for your animal companion, but also yourself, how much time do you have? Is it easy to get the ingredients locally, can I order a prepared food locally or on line. Do your research and start simple, and as that becomes natural then add in more steps, more variation, more supplements and find what works best for everyone concerned. In the wild dogs and cats would not have a gourmet menu every meal. It is better to find one good organic food source for example for meat, and feed that than switch around with less quality meats for the sake of variety. So keep it simple, do it a step at a time, compromise things that do not matter so much, but not the things that do like additives and hormones, in whatever diet you choose.
6. HOW TO MAKE A KIBBLE BASED DIET BETTER
If you do decide to do kibble, and no raw, you can definitely add some steamed or pureed vegetables into the meal daily, and also some supplements like Salmon Oil, Yogurt, Probiotics, digestive enzymes and specific supplements that would benefit your animal companion. Try and get as good a quality kibble as you can, FDA meat based with minimal fillers and supplement, supplement supplement!
7. VEGETARIANISM IN COMPANION ANIMALS – YES OR NO?
In nature neither dogs nor cats consume vegetable matter or fruits, though they would probably eat the stomach and contents, so would get some pre-digested vegetable matter that way. They really are true carnivores and survive naturally in the wild, on raw meat. Furthermore as I already mentioned their dentition, digestive tract and behavior all reflect this. Humans have introduced many of our own foods to them, such as grains and vegetables. In some cases this is beneficial, because dogs living as companions with people do not have to hunt many hours a day, and so they benefit from the laxative effects of vegetables and the fiber in grains, both in moderation and in balance with the rest of the diet. In addition the vitamins in vegetables have beneficial effects.
However in some cases feeding these unnatural foods can cause harmful effects. These are often used as inexpensive substitutes in pet food and deprive the animal of its normal nutritional requirements and can cause allergies and other conditions. Soy products, rice, corn, wheat, peas, and potato are poor, inexpensive fillers used by commercial pet food companies. The cereal grains used in pet food are commonly unfit for human consumption due to yeast, mold, and fungal contamination which can produce potent toxins. Dogs and cats have not evolved rumens, which are specialized stomachs seen in herbivores, in order to ferment cellulose and other plant material, nor have their pancreases evolved a way to secrete the enzyme cellulase to split the cellulose into glucose molecules. Dogs and cats have not become efficient at digesting and assimilating and utilizing plant material as a source of protein.
There are some vegan diets available and they are balanced, I think they can work for dogs, and cats can survive on them but they do have their problems and are not the ideal diet for dogs or cats, but especially not cats. The main problems are urinary tract issues such as crystals, and also skin problems, even with adding oils and supplements. However I know that people choose to feed non animal based diets to their animals due to the sad facts of the meat industry and also feeding trials in the pet food industry which are not always humane. It is very hard to do feed a balanced vegetarian or vegan diet to dogs, but especially cats, but I do respect their choices to do so and there are some reasonable vegetarian foods available.
8. SUPPLEMENTATION – YES OR NO?
I definitely recommend supplements! We are living in a far from perfect world, the food sources are not perfect either, we are bombarded with chemicals in food and the environment, and many of our animals are sick, over-vaccinated and need supplementation. Even animals raised holistically on a totally natural raw food diet benefit from appropriate supplementation and I highly recommend it. Many BARF feeders do not supplement but they are also feeding an extremely healthy diet and making sure the vitamins and minerals are supplied by the foods on a daily basis. That’s great if you can do it, but I do recommend supplements myself in general.
9. WHAT SUPPLEMENTS ARE BEST?
I recommend basically the following, and in addition specific supplements and remedies for your individual animal and any health conditions that are present:
- Probiotics for healthy bacterial growth and gastro-intestinal function and yogurt.
- Digestive Enzymes to utilize maximum nutrition from all diets
- Salmon or Flax Seed Oil, for healthy balance of oils, and I really recommend Salmon oil more.
- B- vitamins for healthy skin and metabolism
- Kelp or sea minerals
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Apple Cider Vinegar
10. READING LIST AND SOURCES OF FURTHER INFORMATION
Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats -The Ultimate Diet by Kymythy Schultze
Give your Dog a Bone by Dr. Ian Billinghurst
Grow your Pup with Bones by Dr. Ian Billinghurst
The BARF Diet: Raw Feeding for Dogs & Cats Using Evolutionary Principles by Dr. Ian Billinghurst
Switching to Raw by Susan K. Johnson
Raw Meaty Bones by Tom Lonsdale
Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
Anitra Frazier’s The New Natural Cat
The Healthy Dog and Cat Cookbook by Joan Harper
The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat by Juliette de Bairacli Levy
Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats by Diane Stein
Nature of Animal Healing by Martin Goldstein
Dr. Anna Maria Gardner is a holistic veterinarian, based in Washington State, and is certified in acupuncture and homeopathy. She lives in Washington with her daughter, two dogs, seven cats, sixteen chickens, two goats, a donkey, a horse, two ducks, a pair of geese and one bossy parrot.