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November 7, 2017

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My Dog [My Cat] is a …

            Ok no name calling even though T-Rex came to mind in answering “My Cat is a …”.   Have you seen your dog tug a toy, or cat play with their mice … I wouldn’t want to be snack size and within reach of their ‘play’ area.  What are they practicing for?  They are such great hunters.   😍

 

            What do you feed your pets at home?  Have you thought what they would eat on their own - I mean a world without us!  What happened to “Keep It Simple Stupid”!?  We have unnecessarily complicated nutrition at the cost of our pet’s health.  In fact, the proper nutrition for any animal is … Species Appropriate Nutrition.  What is that? Just a label, a label that hopefully rings a bell - Ding! Keep it simple … species appropriate.

 

            This week my daughter has mastered the art of manipulating her parent for what she wants.  Somehow, I agreed to adopt a hamster.  A hamster!  Ok they are fragile … I remember as a kid I gained the skills to save my sick hamsters with raw veggies.  What a concept - raw veggies instead of the pellets from the commercial bag food.  Fast forward to today, how do I keep the hamster healthy? I will feed this rodent a species appropriate diet when s/he comes home.  They are herbivores, right?  Wrong - they are omnivores!  They are so cute.  Who would have thought they are omnivores who eat meat?

 

            We have a distorted view of ‘domesticated’ animals.  They are ‘simple’ enough that we fill up their bowl from the bag or cans that are conveniently prepared for us.  They don’t have a choice, they are captive in our care. 

 

            Imagine eating only twinkies every meal every day … we are not in Zombieland!  There is more to life than the same thing over and over.  Moving beyond the thought of eating out of a bag or can each day of our lives. 

 

            What are we supposed to feed our cats and dogs?  If a hamster is an omnivore, what are cats and dogs?  They are carnivores!  If you think that is a weird thought … look at their anatomy!  There is a reason I call my Finn (young cat) a T-Rex.  He is a modern T-Rex lol.  Look at them play.  I wouldn’t want a 200 lbs version of him around – like a cougar.  What would happen?  I would be a snack!

 

            We think we have ‘domesticated’ our carnivores.  Have we? … I mean … have we changed their mitochondrial DNA?  The dog’s DNA has not changed because of us.  Per Wayne, “[…] studies have shown that from a genetic standpoint, the domestic dog shares more than 99.8% of its mDNA with the wolf”, (Case, 2008).    Our ‘domesticated’ carnivores have not evolved to new nutritional needs.

 

Let’s focus on their anatomy …

 

            Their teeth are designed to rip and tear the flesh of the prey and to crush through bones.  Carnivores cannot chew and grind their foods.  Their mouths do not accommodate this action.  Plant matter needs to be chewed to be easily digested.  Chewing allows the nutrients to be better absorbed.  If a carnivore rips and tears apart a plant matter, a basic requirement for the digestion of the plant matter is non-existent.

           

The saliva of a carnivore contains enzymes that neutralizes potential harmful bacteria and pathogens.  Carnivores lack the digestive enzyme amylase in their saliva.  Amylase is the digestive enzymes that breaks down carbohydrates.  Without this enzyme in their saliva, the digestive process of carbohydrates starts with the pancreas.  When carbohydrates are consumed, additional stress is put on the pancreas.

 

            Wonder why I say don’t worry about salmonella?  Because of the enzyme that metabolizes the pathogens and … the rest of their digestive system.

   

         The digestive system of a carnivore is significantly different than an herbivore or omnivore.  The purpose of the digestive system is to process a prey based diet instead of plant.  “The stomach volume of a carnivore represents 60-70% of the total capacity of the digestive system”, (Karhu, 1996).  As mentioned earlier, the stomach acidity is at a pH level of 1 to 2.  The colon of a carnivore is short.  “The large intestine (colon) serves a single purpose - to reabsorb the water out of the waste material. Anything left over at the other end of the long tube passes out and turns into manure”, (Raising-Rabbits.com, 2016).  Having a short colon helps carnivores quickly pass bacteria and potential pathogens.  Tad-dah why worry about pathogens in raw meat?  They can handle it, they are met for it!

 

            Both cats and dogs are carnivores.  Dogs are seen as opportunistic scavengers.  In the wild, they are not considered pests to farmer’s crops.   Feeding vegetables to carnivores goes against nature’s laws.  A species appropriate diet provides the foundation for health and for the pet to thrive instead of surviving.  A healthy pet equates to less diseases, less visits to the veterinary and a happier pet. 

 

            How simple is their anatomy!?  It’s simple and we have to trust them, our .  Our pets know and they are waiting for us to provide them with what they need.  Meanwhile, they tolerate our behavior 😉

 

           What would happen if your companion would escape and had to fend for him or herself?  There’s one thing I can guarantee: the escape artist would NOT cook their food!  They may be domesticated but they have not evolved abilities to start a fire.

 

            If carnivores are not met to eat processed meat and vegetables with added synthetic supplements, what are they to eat?  Would a zoo feed their tigers a high quality kibble?  The answer is: No!  Common sense would be that this type of diet would be expensive in veterinary costs and also expensive to replace diseased exhibit animals.  A wolf would not be seen scavenging a garden.  “The wolf is a carnivore, an animal suited for catching, killing and eating other creatures”, (International Wolf Center, 2016).  It is concerning that we expect our mini-tigers and mini-wolves to thrive on a diet other than a diet that is suited for them, a raw carnivore diet!

 

            Ready to change your pet’s diet?  I’m excited!  Ok … let’s do it right for the sake of your companion’s health.  Contact me for a Nutrition Consultation … I will hold your hand and share information to empower you with the tools to take care of your companions.  Your pet(s) depend on you, you are their best advocates.  You owe it to them - to provide them with the best foundation to a healthy life!

 

P.S. I love life!  Important message about holistic practitioners being killed off > Click Here

 

“Don't believe what I post research what I post,”

~ Anonymous

 

Chantal L Regan

Certified Animal Naturopath

Student of Animal Acupressure

 

Mind Animal Spirit LLC

www.mindanimalspirit.com

 

 

 

References

 

Case. (2008).  ASAS CENTENNIAL PAPER: Perspectives on domestication: The history of our relationship with man’s best friend  Retrieved October 23, 2017 from https://www.animalsciencepublications.org/publications/jas/articles/86/11/0863245

 

Karhu, E (1996). The Comparative Anatomy of Eating. Retrieved January 9, 2016 from http://www.ecologos.org/anatomy.htm

 

Raising-Rabbits.com (2016). Carnivore Digestive System. Retrieved January 9, 2016 from http://www.raising-rabbits.com/carnivore-digestive-system.html

 

International Wolf Center (2016). Hunting & Feeding Behavior. Retrieved January 10 2016 from http://www.wolf.org/wolf-info/basic-wolf-info/biology-and-behavior/hunting-feeding-behavior/

 

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