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The Importance of Proper Animal Nutrition


By Karen DeVault, RN, BCHHP, CCWFN, Holistic Alternatives, LLC

nutrition is paramount to good health. In order to address the health
of an animal we must first consider a very fundamental issue: the diet.
Assuming you agree, consider that processed food has become today’s
staple diet for animals. It is made for convenience and long shelf life.
As a Whole-Food Nutritionist, I honestly can’t even call processed
food, “food.” A more suitable name is “industrial byproducts” because
processed foods are in fact, denatured, refined, cooked, then mixed with
chemical concoctions consisting of preservatives, artificial flavors
and sweeteners, colors, dyes, synthetic vitamins, sugars, and
hydrogenated oils, just to name a few. To make matters worse, many
processed foods are made from adulterated or genetically modified
ingredients. They are cooked at high temperatures, which destroy
enzymes, fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Our pets are
fed cooked, dead food day, after day, after day. Some pets are being fed
the same brand and variety their entire lives. Do you eat the same meal
every day? Would you even want to? How healthy would you be if you did?

to Integrative Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets,
“The pet food industry is rapidly becoming big business. Big business to
the tune of $15 billion worldwide. What most pet owners don’t realize
is that the pet food industry is actually an extension of the food and
agricultural industries. Pet food provides these giant multinational
corporations a very convenient and very profitable ‘built-in’ market for
wastes left over from their human food production. But here’s the
problem… your beloved pet was never designed to eat ‘wastes.’”

may be one of the ingredients listed on a bag of pet food. That may
sound appealing, and even healthy, but aside from the fact that it’s
been processed, do you ever wonder exactly what part or parts of the
chicken is used? Meat meals, byproduct meals, or meat-and-bone meals are
not uncommon in pet food. These kinds of ingredients found in processed
pet foods are rendered, not fresh. Rendering means the ingredients are
put into a large vat and boiled for several hours. Temperatures can
reach up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit! Many valuable nutrients like
vitamins, enzymes, co-enzymes, phytonutrients, and proteins are
inactivated or even destroyed at temperatures above 118 degrees. Now add
the above-mentioned chemical ingredients and we have a recipe for
degenerative diseases, including (but not limited to) cancer, arthritis,
allergies, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. According to Dr.
Becker, denatured proteins not only lead to food allergies and
intolerances, but also inflammatory bowel disease.

With the
destruction of important nutrients through food processing, our pets
suffer from nutritional deficiencies just like we do when we eat a
consistent diet of processed foods. In order to be healthy, every living
creature needs living foods because that’s what we were designed to
consume, and it’s what our bodies require for healthy cell division.  I
know we all agree a body that is fed wholesome foods is healthier than a
body that’s nutritionally depleted. Raw food is living food, whether
it’s for a human or an animal. There are tremendous advantages of
incorporating a raw diet, yet most people don’t have the time, know-how,
or inclination to create their own raw meals. Fortunately there are
options so no one has to succumb to dead, processed foods ever again.

are reputable companies that have made it simple to feed a raw food
diet. Nutrients can degrade with time, even when kept frozen, so storing
raw food for longer than a few months is not advisable for optimum
nutritional value, including enzymatic activity. Darwin’s Natural Pet
Products is currently working with veterinarians to design a
prescription line that will include specific formulas to address the
health of the kidneys, liver, heart, and endocrine system.

For pet
owners who might want to make their own pet’s food, Dr. Karen Becker,
DVM has a book of raw food recipes. It’s titled, Dr. Becker’s Real Food
For Healthy Dogs & Cats. It can be purchased on her website or at

The animal’s diet is not the only tool you have that can
change the quality of your patient’s life. In addition to getting the
bad out (processed food), and putting the good in (living food), what
else can be done to meet an animal’s nutritional demands?
Supplementation! This can be as beneficial and necessary for our pets as
it is for us, and it’s as equally important to consider the quality of
the supplement as the diet itself.
Standard Process, Inc. produces
supplements from whole foods, botanicals, organ and tissue extracts,
(including protomorphogens, which are the blueprints of a cell). These
whole food concentrates are created from a low-temperature, high vacuum
process to ensure the preservation of the ingredients’ nutrients
including very important enzymes, which are responsible for metabolic
reactions, from the digestion of food to the synthesis of DNA.

products address health at the cellular level. Without specific
nutrients in specific quality and quantities, cell function may be
impaired. The longer this goes unaddressed, the more impaired the cell
becomes, which can then lead to physical symptoms. Medication may halt
unwanted symptoms, but what’s being done to address the underlying
issue? Ask yourself, “How can I address this nutritionally?”

choosing supplements, quality is far more important than quantity. In
today’s culture, we tend to have the mentality that “if a little is
good, then more must be better.” That’s clearly not the case when it
comes to vitamins! When large doses of isolated vitamins are taken, our
bodies can actually be harmed instead of helped. In contrast, when a
vitamin is in its whole food form, it is far more effective than a large
dose of an isolated (a fraction of the whole) vitamin. Standard Process
concentrates foods for use in supplements, which supplies a multitude
of components that work synergistically to provide optimal nutrition for
good health.

Standard Process whole food supplements also provide
glandular therapy with the use of glandular extracts. This type of
therapy provides essential nutrients to the animal’s glandular tissues
that have compromised function. These nutrients are critical to the
animal’s recovery and healing, and the return to its normal function.

we address the nutritional requirements a body requires, whether it’s
for an animal or a human, we then provide the building blocks that are
so critical to maintenance, regeneration, and repair.

©2013 Karen
DeVault is the owner of Holistic Alternatives, LLC. Karen graduated as a
Registered Nurse from St. Joseph’s College of Nursing in 1983. She’s
also a graduate from the Global College of Natural Medicine where she
received certification as a Holistic Health Practitioner, and is
board-certified through the American Association of Drugless
Practitioners. Karen is a graduate from the International Foundation of
Nutrition and Health as a Certified Clinician in Whole-Food Nutrition,
and specializes in Nutritional Therapy.
Please visit her website at
www.karensholisticalternatives.com.  Phone: 563-340-5999. Email:
holistic.alternatives@yahoo.com  Karen does not diagnose, treat, cure or
prevent disease. Her services are not a substitute for regular medical