Dr Smith Holistic Petcare

Heart Disease from Grain free Dog food.

Another health problem emerges from the latest of the  “Food Fads” for pets – Grain Free Food.

First Grain Free dog and Cat foods have both excesses and deficiencies of amino acids. A heart problem that is caused by an amino acid deficiency,  have been proven to be associated with feeding any grain free commercial diets in dogs. I’ll go into more detail later. This only the latest of problems with grain free foods.

I am calling it a fad here intentionally, which may dismay some of my readers. After all, this is an Alternative Veterinary Medicine blog. Well, I was reserved but open to the concept, as I am to many new ideas, and I evaluated the diets carefully. I compared the diets (the components & the companies dietary research) to over the over 80 years of veterinary nutritional research about canine and feline nutrition and digestive research up to now.

Here are the steps I go through to evaluate a food or supplement company.

  1. Claims of research. Look for listed research study on their website. Take the title and authors copy into the pubmed  search. This a link into the big library of science studies worldwide. If the study is not listed here it was not published in a recognized scientific publication. The facts they quote are not facts, just company talking points.
  2. Did they use at minimum 30 or more animals in each test group. Did they not reuse the same animals in a “wash-out” study. So if comparing one diets to another the barest of minimum is 30, 100-200 is better.  A common practice among feed companies is to design the feed trial to make sure that one diet is no different than the another diet.
  3. Done by Design: a. each group has less than 10-12 dogs,  b. the total feeding trial lasts just weeks to 3-4 months (not from birth through maturation, 3-5 years old,  males &  females -through puppy rearing). Most feeding trials are 6-16 weeks or less with adult. Puppies/kittens feeding trials are completed before 6 months of age, especially related to bone and cartilage growth because the diet effects can’t be detected until after 2+ years of life.  c. was the research done at a university in Central or South America. At present it is difficult to have quality over-site is some countries so unfavorable results are never published, not a practice done in major US universities. d. only one study for their idea that can’t be repeated, confirmed by other researchers.
  4. I have seen allot of “so called great ideas” come and go over 40 years in practice. I remember the very same sales pitch in the mid 1970’s for adding soybean protein meal to milk powder for baby calves & pigs. To increase their growth and save a little money on cost of milk. What happened? Baby calves & pigs drinking the milk powder that had more than 2.5-3% soy protein would die suddenly at 10-12 days of age from bleeding stomach ulcers. The research had been done in older animals with more mature GI systems, the babies unable to digest the soy protein which clotted in their stomach. Bacteria from the intestines migrated up into the clotted food mass and infected the stomachs causing ulcers and septic shock because of their young age. When farmer were careful to  buy milk powder with less 2% soy the baby calves and pig were fine.
  5. Note: At less than 12 weeks of age calves and pig  can’t digest food ingredients that are not from milk. As they mature with age their GI gradually turns into Omnivore and herbivore, capable of digesting soy with no problem.
  6. A lesson that has to be repeated in dogs, cats and people too. Feeding the wrong type of any food or nutrient will cause problems over time. An example,  short term a dog can eat anything, but long term too much fibrous, root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, yams, even potatoes, cause serious irritation to the gut and will mimic symptoms of irritable bowel disease. So if your dog have soft stools, that stink and tend to be sticky, stop the popular sweet potato diets.

Dangers hidden in popular “Grain-free” petf

oods

Reduce indoor allergy symptoms with a custom filters for your home.

One helpful tool to reduce allergies is to avoid exposure in the first place. In avoiding the great outdoors by staying inside, in “air conditioned” air addition of filters can greatly reduce allergen particles by trapping them before they enter or as they blow through your air system. These types of furnace filters for forced air systems – furnaces/air conditioners combos, are available at most hardware stores. But sometimes you not able to add a filter to the system heating and cooling in your space or may need more filtering if the duct have allot of dust build up. Then individual air duct filters can be helpful and addition house air filter can remove more particles, especially electrostatic filters trap more dust, molds, pollen and mites.

Here is a link to choose custom filters of all types with information on when and how to use them.https://www.permatron.com/register-vent-filters.

Another helpful website if you or your pet suffers from airborne allergies to mold, pollen, house dust or the HD mite is https://www.allergybegone.com/airfiltration.html.

FDA website-list of current recalls both pet and human, foods and other daily use products: vitamins, supplements & cosmetics.

Follow this link checking about once a week to see if any products you use are on a recall list. There is a delay of between 1 to 4 weeks for recall news to make it to the national news reporting. So stay ontop of recalls by checking yourself at https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm

If you want to look at past recalled products find an archive of recalled products here https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ArchiveRecalls/default.htm

We are surprised to see how many everyday items end up on the FDA recall

<p> lists every week or month in America.  This has evolved along with a money saving plan of deregulation that began in the 1980 through the 90s. We have been through a 20 year+ time span of dismantling of the Federal employment numbers that supported inspection of all these things. The laws are still in effect but there just aren’t enough people employed anymore to inspect all kinds of business that had been done prior to deregulation. The political idea was the private business owners are good people like you and I, therefore could be trusted to police themselves and would choose safety over profits. However, the Bankings and Saving & Loan breakdowns alone, has been proven this idea to be false.

The accumulation of over the years of missing oversight by enough Federal food safety specialists has lead to the frequent recalls now seen. We have the technology to make food in a safe way, but it adds a few cents to costs so food companies have dropped the past stringent safety measures in favor wait til a problem happens then pay the fines and cost of losses. Because it is still cheaper overall compared to improvements in manufacturing quality.

Without outside pressure by frequent surprise inspections, business will not be motivated to spend the the extra time or money to make products in a safer method. Quote from the chairman of board of one company “It is the duty to the shareholder to spend the least amount of money producing the product for sale.”This was said in an interview after a major food poisoning event sickened more than 50 adults and children and some died.

We all have a responsibility to vote for folks who will take food & drug safety seriously. Including truth in labeling and pricing.

The FDA website is full of resources to help you keep up to date on products that you care about. You can sign up for email alerts on certain products or type of products or be on general alert lists like: Food or Cosmetics or Pets.

ATTENTION- Food Recall!

Release Date: December 13, 2018

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is advising consumers of a food recall for Del Monte canned fiesta corn seasoned with red and green peppers.  Click the link above for more information regarding this recall.corn-recall

What’s on My Food

Look up which chemicals & how much are on foods in USA stores (if not purchased from a certified organic source).

Be alert to some  stores like Costco, who are selling  brands like Kirklandsfoods with

fake “Organic-like” labels.

http://www.whatsonmyfood.org

The Dog Trainer : How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking and Lunging on Leash: Quick and Dirty Tips ™

Some folks like listening instead of watching or reading here is a short podcast that I like on: “how to stop bad behavior on walks” & why these methods work in the long run better than just yelling and jerking on the leash.

Source: The Dog Trainer : How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking and Lunging on Leash : Quick and Dirty Tips ™

Flooding effects on Water quality of wells – Private or Public

We are all getting used to frequent and heavier rainfall than in the past. So how does this affect anyone with semi to rural property and private wells. The old thinking was that soil depth would filter out any contaminants by particle size and soil processes. Several studies done over 10 years ago, on wells under older central areas of the City of Madison, found E. coli contamination in the water. Most likely from broken old leaking sewer pipes in the old part the city. These particular wells were 450 to 500 feet deep below the street level. This single finding has changed the assumption about soil depth being enough to protect well water from run off contamination. The city over a long period of time dug up all the streets and yards replacing the pipes and sewers lines that were leaking many chemicals in addition to E. coli. Low cost loans programs were initiated so home owners could up date the aging internal plumbing that was also leaking inside the aging building and leaking into the water they were drinking. Check out linked article for more info on weather, rainfall and wells

heavy-flooding-can-damage-drinking-water-quality

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