Pet Grub: raw meat diet, holistic health and nutrition for dogs and catsPet Grub

Healthy Food — Healthy Pets :: helping pets since 1994


Pet Supplements I Use

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Supplementation plays an important role in the health of our pets. Food supplementation helps replace the nutrients that have been lost by freezing, poor quality agricultural practices and by lack of freshness.

Supplements also help recreate what pets would get or eat in the wild. For example, when our carnivore friends eat the pancreas of their prey, then our pets would be getting lots of supplemental enzymes. This is because the pancreas is naturally high in enzymes. Therefore, supplemental enzymes, when added to our pet's food will help recreate what our pets would get naturally in the wild.

Many People Ask Me...

Are supplements really necessary?

Of course, when I get a question like this, I know that sometimes the person is slightly lazy and simply looking for an excuse to not give supplements.

Other times, I know the person is simply a little confused and simply needs some guidance.

I also know that financial considerations are another reason why people ask whether supplements are really necessary.

Truth be known, yes, supplements really are necessary especially a high quality calcium supplement — the only supplement that is absolutely necessary. If you are only going to give your pet 1 supplement, then it should be a calcium supplement such as finely ground egg shells — the extreme importance of calcium to balance the excess phosphorus found in meat cannot be stated enough.

Will your pet survive without supplements — yes, your pet will survive without supplements.

Will your pet be healthier with the use of good quality supplements, especially the calcium supplement? The answer is yes.

A wholesome homemade diet is the foundation to having healthy pets. Supplements help give your pet the extra nutritional strength they need and in some cases, the extra nutrition they require for optimum health.

One thing is for sure, you need to enjoy what you do. If giving supplements is a pain in the butt, then don't give them. All actions must be done with love and if they can't be done with love, then they shouldn't be done at all.

You should not feel forced to give supplements. You should not feel guilty if you do not give supplements. You should enjoy this whole process.

For those that realize the importance of supplementation, then the following guide is meant to help explain my method and approach to giving supplements.

The good news is that giving supplements does not need to be complicated nor expensive especially since, if you want, you can make your own ground egg shell powder (found in Part 1).

As always, my approach is simple. The best results come with simplicity because simplicity creates consistency — and it's the consistency that brings results.

The best results come with simplicity and consistency.

The following is a list of supplements I use in the order of importance for most situations. This order can; however, change based on the individual needs of the pet in question.

  1. Calcium supplement (finely ground egg shells)
  2. Digestive enzymes and probiotics
  3. Essential fatty acids
  4. Glandulars
  5. Trace minerals
  6. Whole food supplement and/or herbal blend
  7. Aloe vera juice

Additional supplements can be used depending on your budget or needs; however, either way I like to keep things simple and effective. I do not believe you need to use everything on the market.

I'm not into fads either because fads bring inconsistencies — and I would rather be consistent in what I do for optimal results.


Let's Keep Things Simple But Consistent

Personally, my preference are supplements that are concentrated whole foods. Whole foods contain all of the main nutrients plus all of the supportive nutrients needed for the full utilization of the supplement. These supportive nutrients are called nutritional co–factors. What this means to you is that if you ate a carrot, not only would the carrot have the beta carotene, but it would have all of the nutrients needed for your body to use the beta carotene.


Nutrients Do Not Work Alone

Nutrients are part of a team. Your body requires other nutrients to be present in balanced proportions in order to get the job done. If the nutritional co-factors are not provided in the supplement, then the body will actually take the nutritional co–factors from its own body. Therefore, some nutritional supplements can actually deplete the body of nutrients rather than supplying them.

When you feed a concentrated whole food supplement, the beauty is that since the nutrition is derived from whole foods, the supplement has all of the nutritional co–factors!


The Pet Supplements I Use

For the most part, I use the same supplements today that I used when I first started my animal nutrition center in 1995. Why? They got results then and they still get results now.

All of the supplements I provide are formulated specifically for pets which makes them not only easier to give, but more ideal as they are designed for or with carnivores in mind.

So let's take a quick look at what's available to you...

EggShellent Calcium:

I have, since about the year 2000, promoted finely ground egg shells as an excellent source of calcium. In the past, the only way to take advantage of the calcium in finely ground egg shells was to make it yourself. The option to make the finely ground egg shell powder is still available to you. So if you have a good grinder, enough egg shells, the time and inclination to make it yourself, then go right ahead.

The good news is that since egg shells are such a concentrated source of calcium, you really don't need a lot of egg shells to make your own supply. If making your own finely ground egg shell powder supplement is not possible, then EggShellent Calcium is now available.

Please remember, if you are only going to give one supplement to your pet, then this is it. Your pets must get extra calcium in their diet to counter balance the excess phosphorus in meat.

Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics:

Since the digestive system of prey naturally contains tons of enzymes, your pet would get lots of its supplemental enzymes in the wild while eating their prey's digestive system. Also, fresh raw meat also contains enzymes. So, we use supplemental enzymes to recreate the enzymes our pets would naturally get when eating a fresh kill.

My preference, when giving a supplemental digestive enzyme, is to give a pancreatic derived enzyme. The alternative to a pancreatic derived enzyme is a fungal (vegetarian) derived enzyme. Although fungal derived enzymes are also effective, the truth of the matter is that pancreatic (meat) derived enzymes are simply more natural and more effective for our carnivore friends.

FloraZyme LP has always been my favourite digestive enzyme supplement for pets. The pancreatic derived enzymes in this supplement really help make a difference.

Probiotics, also known as friendly bacteria, include acidophilus, bifidobacterium, etc. Friendly bacteria is important because this helps digestion and to prevent disease.

Most pets need supplemental friendly bacteria, especially if they have taken antibiotics or eaten commercial pet foods. The preservatives in commercial pet foods are designed to control bacteria and that's essentially what antibiotics to do.

It takes at least 1 year to re–colonize the intestinal tract with friendly bacteria. So this is a supplement that should be given for at least 1 year if not longer.

In the wild, our pets would naturally get friendly bacteria when eating the intestinal tract of its prey.

FloraZyme LP also provides friendly bacteria (acidophilus & bifidobacterium). Therefore, this supplement provides both digestive enzymes for improved digestion of food and friendly bacteria to help keep the intestinal tract full of friendly bacteria.

Two links are available for extra information about enzymes:

Essential Fatty Acids:

This is one supplement that I do not provide and is best bought from your local health food store. All health food stores sell oils rich in essential fatty acids.

Essential fatty acids are essential to good health. This is why they are called essential fatty acids.

EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) are only available through foods. Most foods that we feed are not good sources of EFA's. Foods in the past were a better source of EFA's than they are now. This is due to poor agricultural practices that have drained the soils of all their goodness.

For those that like to give their dogs a treat, I sometimes buy an EFA in a soft gel capsule. I then give this soft gel capsule to my dogs and they love it. They get to squish the EFA's out of the soft gel with great pleasure. This makes a healthy treat that my dogs love.

I haven't tried giving soft gel capsules to cats, but I am sure some cats will like this too. Although cats have a harder time chewing their food. Cats generally chew with their molars as a way of cutting the meat off their prey.

Glandulars:

Glandulars are a concentrated supplement that contain raw glands and organs. Glandulars help the body and essentially recreate the glands and organs that your pets would naturally be eating in the wild.

For general health and well being, Pet GO Powder or Pet GO Wafers can be given. These are a glandular supplement that provide an overall balance of various glands and organs.

In cases where the pet is sick then giving a more specific glandular supplement should be considered. More information about glandulars is provided later.

The more specific glandular supplements include:

  • Immu GO: beneficial for the support of the immune system
  • Rena GO: beneficial for the support of the kidneys
  • Thyro GO: beneficial for the support the thyroid, adrenals, pituitary and in general, the whole endocrine system

I only really give the Immu GO when the dog or cat is really sick. Why? Because a wholesome raw meat diet will naturally stimulate the immune system. I do; however, like to give Rena GO and Thyro GO in rotation a great way of helping our pet's health. Supporting the health of the kidneys and endocrine system is simply a good idea. In cases of illness, then these become even more important. As Hippocrates said, let thy food by thy medicine and thy medicine by thy food.

Trace Minerals:

As you get older, you begin to realize the importance of some supplements / nutrients. For me, the realization that trace minerals play a significant role in the health of us humans and pets has really hit home.

Trace minerals are involved in literally every action within the body. Unfortunately, foods today are missing many of the important trace minerals or do not provide enough. Giving a trace mineral supplement is extremely easy. Trace minerals are important to helping prevent or even reverse such problems as diabetes, skin and coat problems, stress and so much more. The importance of trace minerals should not be underestimated.

PetiGreens:

Although carnivores do not eat a lot of herbs naturally, they do eat some. Plus, a herbal supplement recreates the herbs that would have been found in the prey's digestive system.

Using some gentle herbs can help improve the overall health and well being of your pets. I choose to use herbs for general health that aid in detoxifying, help purify the blood, assist the liver, kidney, the thyroid and more.

In some situations I use herbal tinctures and in others, I use herbal powders. I would use a herbal tincture if I specifically wanted to help the kidneys, liver, lymphatic system, etc. I use a herbal powder when I simply want to provide more nutrients from herbs while assisting the healing process and/or want to take preventative measures regarding good health.

A whole food supplement will contain both medicinal and nutritive herbs. So for general purposes I like to use a whole food supplement.

I don't put as much emphasis on herbal powders as much now as in the past because we now have glandular supplements for pets, but nonetheless, herbal remedies and powders can still play a valuable role, especially in the life and health of some pets.

Aloe Vera Juice:

Providing aloe vera juice as a supplement is a great idea. Not only does it have some nutrition, but it helps the body cleanse of toxins, it helps to soothe and heal the body (inside and out).

Aloe vera is best bought from your local health food store due to its weight. The cost of shipping for a product like aloe vera juice would be too much.

When buying an aloe vera supplement, please remember that many aloe vera juice products contain sodium benzoate, also known as benzoic acid. While this is a natural ingredient used as a preservative, it is toxic to cats and therefore should be avoided if you have cats. If you have cats, you must read the label!

The amount of aloe vera to give depends on the weight of the pet. Below you will find a chart on how to convert a suggested human dose to a pet dose. This is the approach I take to giving aloe vera juice.

Since aloe vera juice is a good cleanser of toxins, you might want to start off with about half of the amount then slowly, over a week or two increase to the suggested amount. You can then increase or decrease slightly to find the ideal amount. You will know if you are giving too much because your pet will probably have loose stools.

Read my article about aloe vera (Animal Tales) to learn more about the benefits of aloe vera juice.

Vitamin C:

I personally don't give a vitamin C supplement.

Why? Two reasons.

First, pets would naturally get a lot of vitamin C in the wild! Let's consider the following — the Inuit and all the traditional people who live in the northern parts of the world where no vegetation grows survive quite well without vegetables. Now, we need to consider two things here — we humans require and need vitamin C for good health and generally speaking we get vitamin C from fruits and vegetables. So how did the people of the north survive without vitamin C?

The answer is they didn't! They did have vitamin C and in fact, they had an abundance of vitamin C. The people of the north got their vitamin C from eating raw meat! Raw meat is a high source of vitamin C.

Since raw meat naturally contains vitamin C, this is my first reason for not giving a vitamin C supplement.

Second, our pets can actually manufacture their own vitamin C within their body. Thus as long as you are feeding a wholesome and healthy diet, then your pet should not need any additional vitamin C.

Hopefully this information has helped you learn which supplements I use, which ones I like and why.

Not everyone will want to or even need to use all of the supplements, but these supplements each have their own benefits. Hopefully you can now make wiser decisions when purchasing supplements.


Converting A Human Product to A Pet Product:

If you are using products designed for humans, then you will need to convert the human dose to a pet dose. This needs to be done for both herbal and nutritional supplements designed for humans such as aloe vera juice, etc.

We cannot give human doses of vitamins or herbs to our pets.

It is not suggested that you use a human calcium supplement for your pets. Human calcium supplements don't provide enough calcium to start with. So if you were to use a human calcium supplement and convert it using the chart below, you would be giving an extremely low amount of calcium. Our pets need something like ground egg shells which is extremely high in calcium. You can learn more about calcium and why using a human calcium supplement is not wise in Part 1 of my book.

Here is my little guide to converting a human product to a pet product:

I base the weight on a human being 100 pounds in weight.

So a pet that is...

  • 100 pounds or more gets the full human dose
  • 90 to 100 pounds get 90% of the human dose
  • 80 to 90 pounds get 80% of the human dose
  • 70 to 80 pounds get 70% of the human dose
  • 60 to 70 pounds get 60% of the human dose
  • 50 to 60 pounds get 50% of the human dose
  • 40 to 50 pounds get 40% of the human dose
  • 30 to 40 pounds get 30% of the human dose
  • 20 to 30 pounds get 20% of the human dose
  • 10 to 20 pounds get 10% of the human dose

This guide doesn't apply to homeopathic remedies.

My guide is general in nature, so contact your holistic vet for more help if you want.


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Jesse — creator of Pet Grub, Juicing Book and Time Genie. Also visit the The Hormonal Nightmare to learn about balancing your hormones.