THE WYSONG e-HEALTH LETTER 982
~Thoughts for Thinking People~
Putting Some “Old Wives' Tales” to Rest and Answering Your Questions
(Dr. W.) If your desire is optimal health for your pet then you must break the routine of "100% complete" processed foods meal after meal. Animals thrive on the foods they are genetically adapted to and that means fresh, whole, non-processed real foods like you would find them eating if you released them back into nature...or as close to that as you can get and at least once in awhile.
These questions and answers will help clear the air and dispell some of the popular myths about this kind of feeding.
- Doesn't raw meat abound in trichinosis and diseases which can infect humans or animals?
Even though raw meat is the natural diet, fish, rabbit and pork may all need to undergo cooking to destroy parasites such as trichinosis and tapeworm. These three meats should be used least frequently in the choice of meats for your pets, but are very good occasional supplemental foods. It can be argued that an animal in proper health may not succumb to parasites – they may enter the body but will be defeated by the body's natural defense mechanisms, defense mechanisms which are brought to their most perfect state by raw foods. The long-term benefits of raw ingredients far exceed their dangers.
- How do I feed specifically for age?
You shouldn't. The “life-stage” basis for feeding animals serves to justify marketing approaches, not sound nutritional logic. In the wild, the young's diet would be the same as that of the very old. As puppies are weaned, for example, they are in fact fed the regurgitated diet of the mother. Older animals don't suddenly find new food sources previously undiscovered. The key to ultimate health is natural food variety, not so-called scientifically designed life-stage manufactured diets.
- I've heard raw egg is dangerous. Is this true, and if so, why?
This may be true if egg whites are fed in great excess, or as the sole food. The avidin in raw egg white could cause a biotin vitamin deficiency. However, no wild animal would ever have an all-egg or almost-all-egg diet, nor would they eat only the white, so this is not a valid concern. Biotin perhaps lost by feeding raw egg white is in fact replaced with the biotin in the yolk of the whole egg. Raw eggs are an excellent part of your pet's menu. With regards to Salmonella, animals with properly balanced digestive tracts generally do not succumb to this food-borne illness. ( See Probiotics Monograph .)
- There are such strong warnings about feeding cats dog food and vice versa. Should I be worried about giving my cat and dog similar foods?
In fact, there is little if any substantive difference between dog and cat foods. The same ingredients are used in each. Any danger is removed by following the principle of variety, and never singularly feeding any commercial food, regardless of its label claims.
- Since my pet is overweight, my veterinarian continually warns me against supplemental feeding.
Increasing exercise and decreasing food intake is the key to weight reduction. Additionally, decreasing carbohydrates, which are predominant in grain-based manufactured foods, is essential. Meat, fat and bone, the natural diet, is the perfect weight control base diet. Archetype™ is the best commercial product that has not been heat-processed to help with this condition. Home-prepared meat-based diets using Call of the Wild™ are also beneficial for weight loss.
- Whenever I give home-prepared foods, I get varying degrees of firmness in stools. Shouldn't stools be firm and hard?
Ingredients are put into pet foods specifically to produce just such smaller, harder stools. This is for the convenience of the pet owner, to promote sales, and has no correlation to nutritional soundness. Much looser stools would be seen in the wild setting. Adjusting from one diet to another is often accompanied by stool changes, and thirty days or more may be required in some cases to reach an equilibrium. Supplementing with a Wysong Biotic™ Supplement, Pet Inoculant™ or live, active-culture yogurt and cottage cheese should help to keep the digestive tract balanced.
- Does eating raw meats bring out a “killer instinct” in dogs and cats?
The better the diet, the healthier the neurological system and behavior. The way pets are raised and trained when young, and the way they are treated throughout their lives, determines how they will behave. Making sure your pet is well fed, knows his property boundaries, is properly trained, and is not hungry from even subtle deficiencies caused by exclusively feeding packaged products is critical to a well-adjusted, content and happy pet.
- I would like to make my cats and dogs vegetarians. How do you feel about this?
Let it first be said that we are totally sympathetic to humane treatment of all animals. However, our commitment is to the truth. The truth is, with regard to food for carnivores, that their health is best served by incorporation of meat products in the diet. This absolute dependency has been made clear in numerous scientific studies. (See “The Truth About Pet Foods” .) Pets turned loose in the wild will kill prey. The food a creature is genetically adapted to (meat) is the healthy food. If we were to advocate a vegetarian diet as the exclusive food for pets, we would face an ethical dilemma of knowing we would be sparing food animals, but then be the direct cause of disease and suffering in a pet.
- Shortly after I fed fresh foods, my pet stopped eating completely for a few days. Is this normal?
Dogs and cats in the wild on natural diets do fast once in a while, sometimes once or twice a week, as part of a natural cycle. Also in the wild, food just may not be found for a day or two. All creatures, including humans, are designed to fast. Although sometimes alarming to the pet owner, a day or two of fasting promotes healing (notice that a first step in recovery from illness is loss of appetite), and gives the digestive system the rest that it needs.
- What is the recommendation on bones for dogs? None? Raw? Cooked?
Look to the wild for guidance. First of all, bones would never be cooked. Only raw bones would be part of the wild diet. Cooked whole bones should not be fed because they can splinter into sharp fragments and be too easily consumed in excess. If raised with regular access to raw bones, pets will rarely overconsume, which can happen when an animal deprived of its natural diet by being fed only from bags and cans is suddenly offered a bucket of real food – bones. Large beef knuckle bones are difficult for an animal to get into trouble with and they can provide nutritional benefits, healthier teeth and gums, and relieve boredom. Raw chicken necks and wings are excellent supplements and great for cats and for puppies and kittens to wean on. When first introducing bones, just make sure your pet does not overconsume, since this can cause constipation. To begin, you may wish to offer the bone two or three times a day for short intervals only. After a while, assuming you are converting to a more healthful all-around diet, your pet will regulate its bone consumption.
- What about food poisoning? Can't my pet get Salmonellosis, E-coli, or other food-borne illness if the foods are not cooked thoroughly?
Yes, this is possible. Food should be cleaned thoroughly not only to help remove possible pathogens, but to remove pesticides. Disinfecting with Citrox™ in lieu of cooking is the choice many have made. Others choose to lightly cook by baking, stir frying, broiling or boiling. In this case, prevent overcooking which will help preserve some of the nutritional advantages of the food. Being sure the products are fresh and cleaned will remove most danger. Also maintaining a healthy digestive tract through supplementation with probiotics such as found in Wysong Biotic™ supplements ( Call of the Wild™ , AddLife™ , F-Biotic™ or C-Biotic™ ), Pet Inoculant™ or live active yogurt helps to combat harmful pathogens. (See Probiotics Monograph .) The advantages of an all-raw diet far outweigh the disadvantages. Concerns should also be allayed by remembering that in the wild animals regularly consume scavenged, filthy, rotten, decaying meals with absolutely no ill effects.
- If I prepare foods at home, how can I be sure my pet is receiving the proper balance?
The natural diet is naturally balanced. An animal in the wild does not make sure it eats from the “four food groups” daily, yet it thrives if enough of its natural food is present. Of course, in the home setting, you are making the choices rather than your pet, so variety is required. Additionally, mixing home prepared foods with the prepackaged Wysong foods and supplements helps ensure balance and diversity.
- I notice that pet foods have all of those vitamins and minerals in them. Do I need to get a vitamin/mineral supplement for my home-prepared meals and supplements?
Again, if we look to the model in the wild, the answer becomes obvious. Supplementation of modern pet foods is done only because many of the nutrients are destroyed, altered or stripped from the product during processing – or were never present in the inferior starting ingredients. If you are feeding all muscle meats, use Call of the Wild™ to help balance the high phosphorous content. If you are able to feed high quality fresh and whole products, and combine these with Wysong packaged diets, there should be no additional need for vitamin/mineral supplementation. This is, of course, a general rule and there may be exceptions since each individual animal's needs vary. If there is a question, request information about Wysong supplements which are composed of natural source nutrients.
- Where is the best place to buy meats and produce? Is what is available at the supermarket fine?
Other than growing your own, there is no sure way to know the quality of the food you eat. Short of this there are other options: buying from organic producers, finding local farmers who will sell to you and can give you a specific food history, and making sure food bought from the grocer is cleaned thoroughly, are the best alternatives. In any event, raw grocery foods are far superior to processed foods which often use the inferior by-products of these same grocery foods. The choice is yours. Buy the factory waste from the human food industry, packaged prettily with outrageous claims of “completeness,” or buy the real thing.
- I want to do my very best for my companion animals, but I'm so busy! How often do they require raw or home-prepared foods?
You can still give processed foods on days that you're just too busy. Your pets will not suffer if a day or two goes by and all you have time to do is open a can or bag of processed food. Just do what is right as often as you can – and use shortcuts such as large batches of home-prepared foods made up on a day when you do have time, but frozen in individual single serving sizes for those very busy days.