~Thoughts for Thinking People~



An important advance in nutrition is the discovery that there is a difference between overt nutrient deficiencies (causing conditions such as rickets, anemia, blindness, etc.) and nutrition necessary to optimize health and prevent a host of more indirect, subtle and chronic diseases.

Pet foods which are designed to achieve "average" levels of nutrition for prevention of classical nutrient deficiencies (so-called "100% complete" foods) fall short of this newer knowledge. They are most certainly not "100% complete." Being just barely good enough is not really "100% complete." Being just barely good enough nutritionally is like barely good enough parachutes or fire extinguishers. The risk is too great.

The confusion, even blindness, of researchers and regulatory agencies (however well intentioned) is apparent in the following incredible contradiction by authors with DVM, PhD and specialty board certification in veterinary internal medicine and nutrition:  "These protocols (the authors are discussing AAFCO feeding trial studies) were designed to assure that pet foods would not be harmful to the animal and would support the proposed life-stage. These protocols were not designed to examine nutritional relationships to long-term health or disease prevention."  (Veterinary Forum, Oct 1992:34.)

In other words, a food could cause disease and destroy long-term health yet at the same time "not be harmful," "support life" and be classified as "100% complete"! So after a pet has been fed the "proven" food for a period of time equal to the duration of an AAFCO study (26 weeks), all bets are off. The "100% complete and balanced" food may then be starving or poisoning the animal with the blessings of the academic, professional, scientific, governmental and industrial pet food establishment.

When researchers set nutrient requirements they use statistics. A bell curve is created which is a statistical distribution to determine what the requirement would be for the average majority. If an animal falls in the middle of the bell curve for every nutrient (each nutrient has its own bell curve) all may be well. But each edge of the bell curve also represents a number of animals for which the "average" dose is either too little (creating a deficiency) or too much (creating possible toxicity). There is a good chance that any specific animal (as opposed to a statistical average) will be on the edges of the curve for at least one of the nutrients.

The point is (again), do not rely on so-called "100% complete" foods. Strive for the optimum diet. First off, do not feed foods from manufacturers who do not understand this important concept. Remember, a food can be no better than the underlying philosophy of the producer. Secondly, think variety, whole, natural, fresh. Never feed the same food meal after meal, regardless of its merits. No single food is perfect, and such singular feeding can create toxicities (anything can be a poison at high enough dose), food allergies and sensitivities.

No, health for your pet is not as simple as pouring a food from a package with wild claims of completeness in a bowl day after day. That's a no-brainer when you think on it. But millions of loving pet owners have been duped into it.

It will take a little rethinking and some work to do it right. We're here to help. Use the website ( and our literature, to begin. If you do not find the answers there, ask us. We answer everyone.