Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pet Foods Fund the American Kennel Club

If you have a purebred dog with "papers", the papers are likely to be the dog's registration with the American Kennel Club (AKC). AKC is the world's largest purebred dog registry and the major voice in the US for purebred dogs and their activities.

In its Mission Statement, the AKC says it stands, among other things, for canine health and well-being

How to fund all these lofty goals? The majority of AKC's funding comes from dog registration fees and from shows and events, but corporate sponsors make significant contributions. In budgets of $73 million in 2007 and 2008, $7.8 and $6.7 million, respectively, came from royalties and sponsorships. Who are the major sponsors of AKC activities and events? Pharmacuetical and pet food companies. Just look at the AKC web site. On nearly every page is an advertisement for a Bayer flea/tick medication or Eukanuba dog food, the major sponsor of the semi-annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championships.

Actually, the influence of the major pet food companies is much greater than appears on public web pages. In their 2008 Annual Report, the AKC acknowledges more reliance on pet food company dollars than is first apparent. Here are some quotations from the AKC 2008 Annual Report (emphasis added):

Marketing and licensing oversees corporate sponsorship of AKC programs and events. New in 2008: the AKC welcomed Royal Canin as sponsor of the AKC Breeder newsletter and the AKC Veterinary Outreach/AKC Veterinary network program; NestlĂ© Purina Petcare became the sponsor of the AKC registered Handlers program; AKC responsible Dog Ownership Day in New York and Raleigh welcomed local sponsors: Peter Cooper Village–Stuyvesant Town and Best Friends Petcare, inc., respectively. invisible Fence returned as RDO Day’s national sponsor.

Bayer K9 Advantix continued its support of AKC Veterinary Outreach and AKC Vet net, as well as an educational campaign for new AKC puppy owners. Ongoing in 2008 was the Chase AKC rewards Visa credit-card program, in which cardholders earn points redeemable at pet-supply stores and other merchants.


Veterinary Outreach, internal Audit, and Support Services comprise the Audit and Control division. The division is also the liaison between the AKC and PetPartners, inc., provider of AKC PetHealthcare.

Veterinary Outreach promotes the AKC to veterinarians and establishes alliances with universities, researchers, practitioners, and related professional organizations. New in 2008: Royal Canin joined Bayer K9 Advantix as program sponsors. Together with Royal Canin, the AKC distributes the “Practical Guide to Dog Breeding” to first-year veterinary students and breed identification cards and CDs to second-year students. Veterinarians in the AKC Veterinary Network are provided AKC materials on such topics as training, breeding, events, permanent identification, and pet insurance.

Veterinary Outreach, with support from the AKC, AKC Companion Animal Recovery, the AKC Canine Health Foundation, and Royal Canin, awarded $145,000 in scholarships to 23 students of veterinary medicine from AVMA-accredited schools. Twenty-five students received $1,000 AKC/Bayer K9 Advantix Veterinary Technician Scholarships, in cooperation with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.

In addition to Eukanuba's (Proctor & Gamble) major support of AKC's national conformation shows, Mars Corporation's Royal Canin brand is a major supporter of AKC's outreach services to veterinary students, with scholarship funds and various "educational" materials. AKC, a prestigious, nonprofit organization, conspires with a giant pet food company to educate veterinary students. One can bet the AKC/Royal Canin "educational" materials for vet students do not teach or promote an evolutionarily appropriate, raw-meaty-bones diet for cats and dogs.

AKC's publications for dog owners, breeders, and show participants are loaded with pet food advertisements from every major manufacturer and some smaller ones. Articles on feeding focus on ingredients and supposed nutrients in commercial dog foods. Any mention of homemade or raw foods is an occasion to warn readers not to try them for fear of feeding unbalanced diets, making dogs sick, creating allergies, and so forth. AKC publications serve their sponsors' and advertisers' interests.

What's missing from AKC's publications, programs, and educational programs? Any support for a species-appropriate, raw-meaty-bones diet for (purebred) dogs. Dogs are a carnivorous subspecies of gray wolves, and their diet ideally consists of whole prey. In the absence of whole prey, dog owners can feed a good diet of raw meats, meaty bones, and organ meats (see .

One might think that a premiere nonprofit organzation, devoted to the welfare of purebred dogs and their owners, would address the epidemic among dogs of periodonatal disease, caused by being fed commercial pet foods that coat their teeth with gummy sludge that harbors bacteria that infect gums and cause a host of auto-immune and chronic diseases. AKC is silent on the established fact that, by age 3 years, 85% of dogs suffer from periodonatal disease that threatens their health and their very lives. All the AKC would have to say to purebred dog owners is "Feed raw meaty bones" that will clean dogs' teeth in the way Nature intended for carnivores. They could change the lives of millions of suffering dogs.

AKC's major pet food sponsors would not stand for such disloyalty, of course. So, AKC's vast silence about the harmful effects of commercial pet foods -- inappropriate strarchy, cooked junk that destroy pet's health -- continues, and the AKC continues to host dog shows and to tell vet students to promote Eukanuba and Royal Canin brands of health-destroying kibble.

Are these facts consistent with AKC's lofty mission to "advance canine health and well-being"? I don't think so. AKC needs to rid itself of financial dependence on pet food and pharmacuetical company funds, so that it can fulfill its mission. The health and well-being of millions of dogs are at stake.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why Vets Give Bad Advice on Feeding Pets

According to Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM, author and former scientific officer at Hills Pet Food Co. (Science Diet), veterinary students are victims of a professional education that sold its soul to global pet food companies. Veterinary schools depend on pet food companies to supply instructors for pet nutrition courses, to support veterinary research (pet food companies control what's studied), to fund faculty and student positions, and to fund professional conferences.

Thus, in the few class hours spent on pet nutrition, veterinary students are taught about nutrient percentages in commercially cooked foods. They learn to accept and promote totally inappropriate, high carbohydrate diets for cats and dogs, as long as the bag says the food is "100% complete and balanced". The myth of compete and balanced commercial pet foods is a very damaging hoax, whose victims are our pets.

Vet students never hear about feeding dogs and cats a species-appropriate diet of animal proteins and fats, minerals and vitamins, all of which are provided in the diet they evolved to eat -- whole prey. Both dogs and cats are carnivores, who need the equivalent of whole prey for a healthy and long life. Pet owners can supply their friendly carnivores with the equivalent of whole prey with raw meaty bones and organ meats. Instead, most veterianrians recommend and sell baked-dead kibbles and canned, cooked mush, because Dr. Hodgkins says, they don't know any better.

I find it hard to believe that most vets are not aware of the benefits of raw feeding, because tens of thousands of testimonials can be found in Yahoo groups. Detailed information about raw feeding can be found on a host of web sites, such as http://www.rawmeatybones/, and

You might think that seeing many healthy pets on raw diets would challenge vets' opposition to raw foods. Pets fed raw-meaty-bones rarely need to see vets, so perhaps vets do not observe the benefits of raw feeding. The host of periodontal and chronic illnesses they see daily among pets fed commercial foods might be enough to show them the harmful effects of cooked carbohydrate diets, if pet food sales did not contribute 25 to 40% of their incomes.

Practicing vets' ignorance of the benefits of raw-meaty-bones stretches my imagination where periodonatal disease is concerned. February is Dental Awareness Month for pets. A local veterinarian stated in a February 2009 newsletter, “Dental disease is not just important to senior pets. The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 85% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3. Dental disease does not just affect the mouth. Bacteria from these inflamed oral areas can enter the blood stream and affect major body organs. The liver, kidneys, heart and lungs are most commonly affected.” Veteriarians know the terrible effects of junk pet foods on pets' health.

What a sad commentary on commercial pet foods that vets recommend and sell. Eating commercial pet foods makes a gummy sludge that remains on your pets’ teeth and harbors harmful bacteria that infect their gums -- much as eating breads and cereals would infect your mouth, if you did not clean your teeth.

The same veterinary offices that sell you foods that make gummy sludge are happy to clean your pets’ teeth. Rather than pay $175 to $300 annually to have your pet’s teeth cleaned, simply feed your pets raw chicken parts, raw beef bones, raw pork ribs, and the like. Cats and dogs who chew raw meaty bones do not have dental problems, because chewing raw bones scrapes their teeth clean of food debris left by eating other foods. It’s that simple.

Many vets acknowlege that pets fed raw meaty bones don’t have dental diseases that cause major health problems for even young animals. To counter the benefits of raw meaty bones, they raise two major objections: Bacteria and broken teeth.

Let's look at bacteria. Remember that dogs and cats are well-equipped by evolution to thrive on raw meaty bones. Their short, acidic gut digests and passes foods through rapidly, not giving bacteria time to colonize and multiply internally. Pets with normal immune system are very unlikely to become ill from meats and meaty bones you purchase from the grocery store. Don’t let bacterial fear mongers overcome your common sense. Does your cat eat an occasional bird or mouse? Does your dog chew happily on long-buried bones or scavenge morsels from the garbage? Will they get sick from chewing raw meaty bones from the grocery store? Mine don’t, and yours won't either.

The threat of broken teeth is actually a minor health threat, compared to the rampant periodontal disease caused by commercial pet foods. The solution is to provide MEATY bones, not bare bones, for pets to chew on. It is not desirable to feed weight-bearing bones from large animals, such as cattle. Wolves do not eat them and neither will your dog, but he may try, if you don't give him some meaty bones to chew on. He may crack a tooth trying.

Vets' ultimate mantra against raw feeding is there is no research to show that raw meaty bones diets are superior to commercial kibble. They are correct. So, why are there no studies comparing pet health outcomes with a raw meaty bones diet versus Science Diet or Pedigree? Of course, cats and dogs have been eating and thriving on raw meaty bones throughout their evolutionary history, but nevertheless, contemporary studies comparing raw meaty bones with commercial kibble would be informative. So, why are there no studies of the relative benefits?

Do you think that Hills (Science Diet), Mars (Pedigree, Whiskas) or Proctor & Gamble (Iams, Eukanuba) wants to fund such a study? They already know that raw meaty bones are a superior diet. They are busy trying to hawk their baked carboyhydrates as "Natural" and "Meaty", and "Fresh". Do you think pet food companies would allow their vet school beneficiaries to conduct such a study? Over their corporate dead bodies! If you know anyone with a $1 million or so to fund a comparative diet study, I know exactly how to conduct it.

So, vets are schooled to believe in commercial pet foods, warned away from raw-meaty-bones, and taught to profit from selling junk pet foods to unsuspecting pet owners. Are these the people you want to give you diet advice for your pets?

How To Feed A Puppy to Healthy Adulthood

  • As a breeder, I offer the following advice to puppy buyers, in the hope they will continue to feed my beautiful puppies a raw-meaty-bones diet that will nourish them to heathy adulthood:

    History: I began breeding Labs 8 years ago. At first I fed the dogs commercial kibble that I was told was “premium quality”, guaranteed to be “100% compete and balanced”. Several dogs had itchy skin, ear irritations/infections, and poor coats. One had sore joints. Veterinarians prescribed anti-histamines, steroids, and antibiotics. The poor dogs were constantly receiving some kind of medication to alleviate their “allergy” and joint problems.

    Fortunately, against vet advice, I also fed the dogs some raw meats and raw meaty bones three or four times a week to keep their teeth clean and gums healthy.

    After 7 months of feeding commercial pet foods, and observing “allergy"problems, ear infections, itchiness and other irritations, I consulted an alternative vet, who told me she will not even treat dogs that are fed commercial pet foods, because those foods cause so many health problems.

    Thus began my voyage toward raw feeding. The alternative vet recommended a BARF (Bones and raw food) diet, which I prepared at home. Almost immediately, the dogs' “allergies”, ear infections, and itchiness disappeared, and they became notably healthier and happier.

    The “super-premium”, “100% complete and balanced” kibble that other vets recommend and sell was causing my Labs’ health problems (and even worse health problems for tens of millions of other pets).

    Today I feed my 14 dogs (and cat) Raw Meaty Bones (RMB). Remember, you are feeding a friendly wolf, whose normal diet consists of whole prey – raw meat, organs, and meaty bones. Dogs are actually a sub-species of grey wolf. Dogs did not evolve to eat or digest grains and cooked foods. Commercial pet foods are not digested well and come out as huge, smelly poops. RMB-fed dogs have 1/3 as much poop, and it doesn’t smell! The health benefits of feeding a species-appropriate diet are enormous.

    How To Feed Raw Meaty Bones
    In Hawaii, we may not find the variety of meats that are available on the mainland or in Australia, especially various kinds of game, but we can feed a healthy variety of meaty bones and organ meats.

    You don’t have to cook anything. You just shop for meats and meaty bones, and hand your dog large hunks of meat and meaty bones, preferably outside where he’ll make less of a mess.

    Because I have so many mouths to feed, I buy beef soup bones (very meaty), whole beef hearts, whole beef livers, and green tripe from a local wholesaler. I buy cases of whole chickens from COSTCO. Also at COSTCO, I buy whole beef rounds, beef and pork ribs, and pork loins. At Thanksgiving, I stock my freezer with turkeys on sale.

    Depending on how many pets and how much freezer space you have, you may want to order wholesale or purchase what you need at your local grocery store. Local grocery stores and meat shops can supply local meats that are not treated with hormones and antibiotics, and local fish, inexpensive beef hearts, meaty bones, fish trimmings, and scraps.

    Puppies under a year should be fed approximately 2 to 3% of their adult weight (70 lb for a Lab) every day, which is 1.4 to 2.1 lb of food per day. They are growing very fast and need a lot of animal proteins and fats.

    · From 2 to 4 months, puppies should be fed three times a day, so you can divide 1.4 to 2 lb of food into three servings. If he does not eat it all in 10 to 15 minutes, put away the remainder for another meal. Adjust how much you feed to his appetite. Young puppies do not usually overeat.
    · Older puppies, 4 to 12 months can be fed twice a day. Again, divide 1.4 to 2 lb of food into two servings. At this age, he will probably eat it all and act like he needs more. If he seems slim, increase his food allowance. If he is chubby, don’t give into his “I’m starving” tactics. Most well-exercised puppies don’t get fat on a RMB diet, because they are growing fast and need all the protein and fat calories to grow.

    Adult dogs, over 12-months, should be fed 1 to 2 % of their adult weight once a day. WATCH YOUR DOG’S WAISTLINE. DO NOT OVERFEED. Adjust feeding to your dog’s activity level and metabolism. You should be able to feel his ribs as you pass your hand lightly along his side. If you have to press hard to feel ribs, he’s overweight. Reduce his portions. You should not be able to see his ribs, however. If he is too thin, increase the amount you feed. My dogs do not get fat on adult portions of raw meaty bones, but your dog is an individual with his own individual metabolism. Just keep an eye on his waistline.

    Here are suggestions for a varied diet for a Labrador retriever in puppyhood and adulthood. Vary his food from day to day and week to week, just as you vary your family’s food. You can mix and match within the daily ration. You don’t have to “balance” every meal – just try to get some poultry with bones, red meats and meaty bones, and organ meats into his weekly diet. Raw eggs three or four times a week are great in the diet.

  • ¼ to ½ a Chicken. Raw chicken is a great basic food for your puppy,
    because he can chew up and digest the meat and bones
  • Whole Chicken frames (carcasses after most meat is removed, have lots of
    edible bone)
  • Meaty Beef Bones (lots of meat to chew off ribs or round bones with
    marrow). Do not feed hard beef leg or knuckle bones with little or no
    meat on them, because dogs can break their teeth trying to chew
  • Beef hunks large enough that dogs have to tear them and chew, not swallow
    them whole.
  • Beef or Pork Liver, Kidney, and Green Tripe hunks that require chewing.
    Organ meats should be 10 to 20% of the dog’s diet. More may give
    him loose stool.
  • Beef Heart chunks, great for chewing
  • Whole small Fish and big hunks of larger Fish. Trimmings and guts from
    large fish are fine.
  • 2 to 4 Raw Eggs with crushed shells (good vitamin and calcium source)
  • Pork and beef ribs – meaty slabs of 3 or 4 ribs. He won’t eat all the rib
    bones, but he’ll enjoy chewing on them. Throw away leftover
  • Lamb or mutton hunks and meaty bones (expensive here)
  • Pork loin hunks, pork shoulder, if not too fatty
  • Whole rabbits, quail, venison parts, and other game you can find.

    You can add or substitute turkey parts, chicken gizzards, chicken livers, goat, venison, and any large meaty parts. Think whole prey and how to simulate that in your dog’s RMB diet.

    Some poultry and beef parts are too small to be safe. Puppies will be tempted to swallow them whole and may choke. Do not feed chicken necks, chicken wings, or any small bones he can swallow.

    Never feed cooked bones – they splinter and can damage your dog’s throat or intestines.

    Other Foods
    My dogs love avocados, which are a good source of vegetable fats and vitamins. Some also like bananas, apples, papayas, and various cooked vegetables. These can be used as treats or occasional supplements to meaty meals. I also add 2 or 3 Fish Oil capsules once a day for more Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (probably not necessary but an old habit).

    Do feed kitchen and table scraps occasionally. My dogs love meat trimmings and leftovers, cooked vegetables, pasta, cheeses of all kinds, yogurt, and so forth. Table scraps should be a minor part of the diet, a little variety to round out his nutrition. Dogs do not need sweets, especially chocolate, which is poisonous to dogs.

    Feeding large hunks of meat and meaty bones cleans his teeth, gets his digestive juices working, and provides all the vitamins and minerals he needs.

    Remember you are feeding a carnivore, who will live a long, healthy life with a diet that is high in animal proteins and fats and low in carbohydrates. Even the most “super-premium” kibbles and canned foods are largely cooked carbohydrates, an inappropriate diet for carnivores, a diet that causes periodontal disease, that stresses their immune systems, and makes them susceptible to major chronic disorders, such as diabetes, cancers, heart, liver, and kidney diseases.

    You will save a lot of money on vet bills throughout his life. His teeth and gums will stay healthy and will not need expensive veterinary cleanings under anesthesia. He is not likely to develop chronic debilitative diseases that cost a fortune to treat and cause unnecessary suffering for the poor animal.

    For more detailed guidance on why and how to feed Raw Meaty Bones, look at or read Tom Lonsdale’s books, Work Wonders, and Raw Meaty Bones. There are dozens of raw feeding Yahoo groups that provide helpful advice (NaturalRawDog, rawfeeding, RawPup, to name a few). Your puppy will thank you for his raw meaty bones with great health and happiness.

What's Wrong With The Pet Foods You Buy?

Feeding your dogs and cats from a bag or can is simply all wrong.

Commercial kibbles and canned mush coat their teeth and gums with a sticky sludge that leads quickly to periodontal gum disease. Periodontal infections are painful and life-threatening. Infected gums spread toxins to other organs, such as heart, liver, and kidneys, leading to the chronic debilitative diseases, such as diabetes, cancers, and heart disorders, so common in pets today. The American Veterinary Dental Association reports that 85% of dogs and 75% of cats fed on commercial kibble and canned mush have serious periodontal disease by age 3 years.

In addition to destroying pets’ health through periodontal disease, commercial kibbles and canned mush do not meet your pets’ dietary requirements. Bags and cans of pet food are based on cooked carbohydrates. Cooking destroys much of the nutritional value of foods. Carbohydrates, such as grains and other vegetable matter, do not meet the nutritional requirements of carnivorous pets. Cats and dogs need raw meats and bones to clean their teeth, to meet their dietary requirements, and to give them a healthy life.

Commercial pet foods were devised to solve a waste disposal problem. Instead of paying to dispose of human food waste, food processors profited by turning human food waste into pet foods. Since the 1950’s, some pet food manufacturers have used better ingredients, but bagged and canned pet foods of any kind are unnatural nutrition. They are cooked at high temperatures and use high percentages of cereals, which are not only cheap but are required to extrude kibble shapes from industrial machines. Bags of kibble and cans of mush give pets a slow, lingering death, rather than a healthy, vital life.

If not kibble and canned pet foods, what do our dogs and cats need to thrive? The best information on pets’ dietary needs comes from their evolution – what are they designed to eat?
Domestic dogs are a subspecies of grey wolves[i]. Domestic cats are close relatives of African wildcats, also called desert cats[ii]. Wolves/dogs and cats/wildcats evolved to eat prey animals. Natural diets of carnivores consist of whole animals – meat, bones, and organs. Appropriate pet foods, therefore, must consist of raw meaty bones and animal organs. Dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems are designed to metabolize meat proteins and fats and to handle bacteria safely. Carnivores’ digestive systems are not designed to digest cereals and grain byproducts, which stress their health.

How Hard Is It to Feed Right?

Commercial pet foods are advertised as convenient time-savers for busy pet owners. You don’t have to mix or cook anything. If you didn’t open the bag or can, experts imply that you might have to cook complex meals for your pets. Hog wash! No animal evolved to eat cooked foods. Feeding a variety of raw, fresh meats and bones covers all the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats, just as it does for their wild relatives.

Here’s the hard part: You have to unlearn the propaganda you have been fed about “100% complete and balanced” pet food concoctions (absurdly false claims). Unfortunately, many veterinarians are brainwashed and motivated to believe pet food manufacturers’ claims. From nutrition teaching in vet schools, usually given by pet food representatives, to the profitable sales of commercial pet foods in their vet practices, most vets support manufactured pet foods.

You know better how to feed your family, including your pets. Think about good nutrition for yourself and your children – fresh foods are best, and a variety of foods is important. You wouldn’t feed them processed cereal at every meal, even if it claimed to be “100% complete and balanced”, would you? How absurd for a cereal to claim to be the only food you and your children need to eat, day after day! It’s no different for your pets. Use your good, old-fashioned common sense!

To feed your pets an excellent raw diet, all you have to do is to SHOP. You don’t have to make anything. You buy chickens and chicken parts, meaty beef bones, pork with bones, whole fish, beef heart, liver, and so forth, just as you shop for fresh foods for other members of your family. Pets are not gourmet eaters, so find sources for meats people do not relish (chicken and turkey frames, necks, beef hearts, kidneys, tripe, pork hocks, heads, cheeks, etc.). These cheaper meats are just as nutritious as filet mignon and rack of lamb. Premium kibbles cost $2/pound. Raw meaty bones need not cost as much.

Feeding raw meaty bones is convenient and simple. You just hand pets appropriately sized[iii] hunks of meat and bones, which they will savor, gnaw, and digest. Every few days, add some organ meat, such as raw liver, chicken gizzards or tripe, and treat your dogs to occasional table scraps of cooked vegetables and raw fruits. Raw eggs with their shells smashed can be fed several times a week. Their diet will be completely nutritious and naturally healthy. If you feed your pets outside or on a washable surface, you don’t even need dishes for rmb. Just hand them the hunks.

You will see huge improvements in your pets’ teeth and gums, coat, and general health. Itchy skin and “hot” spots will disappear, because they are caused by your pet’s immune responses to inappropriate food. Stool will no longer be malodorous and huge. Raw meaty bones digest into small, inoffensive stools. The benefits are many. The diet is easy. Try it and see.[iv]

[i] Domestication of some grey wolves took place roughly 15,000 years ago in central Asia. Breeding between some dogs and wolves continued over the past 15,000 years. Wolves feed primarily on medium to large grazing animals, but will generally eat any meat that is available, including spoils of other animals’ kills, and garbage. Wolves and domestic dogs are carnivores that also consume minor amounts of vegetable matter.

[ii] All house cats descend from a few self-domesticating African Wildcats around 8000 BC, in the Middle East. African Wildcats eat primarily mice, rats and other small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Domestic cats are a small predatory carnivorous species that hunts mice, rats, birds, snakes, and other unwanted household pests. Domestic cats are carnivores whose diet must consist of meaty bones and organs.

[iii] The appropriate sizes of raw meaty bones and raw meat hunks depend, of course, on the size of the pet. Puppies, kittens, and toy dogs should be fed raw chicken wings, necks, and drumsticks, and other similarly sized foods. Medium and large dogs should be given whole chickens, large hunks of meaty bones, such as beef and pork rib sections, whole carcasses of rabbits, and any other prey animals you can find. Bones that are too small rarely, but do occasionally, get caught in a pet’s esophagus, causing choking.

[iv] Very helpful information about raw feeding can be found at, at numerous raw feeding web sites on Yahoo groups, and in books, such as Tom Londsale DVM, Raw Meaty Bones, and Work Wonders, and Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM, Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life.