Foods Dogs, Cats Should Not Eat, Dangerous, Toxic, Lethal and Foods That are Beneficial

Foods Dogs, Cats Should Not Eat, Dangerous, Toxic, Lethal and Foods That are Beneficial

In this article
1. Introduction
    1.1 A Comprehensive Guide
    1.2 People Food – is it Really Bad for Your Dog and Cat?
    1.3 Pet Food – is it Really Good for Dogs and Cats?
    1.4 Foods that are Normally Safe Can Become Dangerous if…
2. Foods to Avoid - Dangerous, Lethal or require Caution
3. Foods that are Beneficial
4. If You Think Your Dog or Cat has Been Poisoned – What to Do
1.0 Introduction
1.1 A Comprehensive Guide

The foods covered in this article include:
  • ‘People’ Foods
    • Whole fresh and raw foods
    • Processed foods
    • Hidden ingredients and food additives
  • Pet Foods, Pet Treats
    • Whole fresh and raw foods
    • Processed food
    • Highly processed food products
    • Hidden ingredients and food additives

1.2 People Food – is it Really Bad for Your Dog and Cat?

 ‘People’ food is a term that many people use – veterinarians included. A lot of people are under the impression that people food is bad for dogs. I believe that all depends on how the term ‘people’ food is defined.

If ‘people’ food is defined as processed food – the type of food that occupies 80% of today’s grocery shelves – yes, I would have to say it is bad for dogs and cats…just as processed food is bad for humans.

If instead ‘people’ food is defined as whole fresh foods, for example: meat, good source fats, dairy, fruit, vegetables, herbs, then there are plenty of ‘people’ foods that are good for dogs and cats. Other 'people' foods, including: grains, starchy root vegetables, and beans that cause inflammatory issues and disease, and foods that are toxic to dogs and cats. The lists further below (section 2 and 3 of this article), separate the good from the bad and the dangerous.

Feeding your dog real food ('people' food) does not create ‘bad manners’ in a dog, does not make a dog beg for food, be aggressive around food etc. It is instead the act of feeding your dog ‘at the table’, slipping your dog bits of food from your plate, letting your dog fixate on your food and be under your feet while you are preparing the food that makes a dog beg for food.

My dogs are raw fed. Their meals consisit of raw, whole fresh food which they eat in their own food bowls, My dogs do not beg for my food. They are permitted to be in the kitchen when I am preparing food, provided they behave in a reasonable manner – relax, sit or lie down out of the way.
A raw food diet does not make dogs or cats aggreessive.

1.3 Pet Food – is it Really Good for Dogs and Cats
There are many ingredients and hidden ingredients in pet foods and treats (off-the-shelf pet store products and veterinarian prescribed) that will adversely affect the health of your dog and cat. Having some knowledge of the good and bad ingredients found in pet food can mean the difference between great health and poor health, between a few visits to the veterinarian over the span of your companion animals life - or many visits, lesser quality of life and a shortened life span. The lists - provided further below in section 2 and 3 of this article, below will assist you in understanding bad, good and better pet food.

If the pet food you are using is not made with human food grade meat ingredients, all or a portion of the meat and meat by-products is condemned, denatured meat - the meat is toxic and carcinogenic. I recommend you read this article on condemned, denatured meat used in pet food.

1.4 Foods that are Normally Safe Can Become Dangerous, If:
  • The food has come into contact with a poisonous substance (i.e. chemical-based cleaners that you have used on food prep surfaces).
  • If the food has not been stored safely (i.e. raw food not refrigerated) and has become contaminated with harmful bacteria.
  • If the food has started to rot.
  • If the food is from a source (i.e. meat) which was from an animal that was fed growth hormones, antibiotics, and yes, genetically engineered  (GE), genetically modified (GMO) foods.
  • The food (i.e. meat, eggs, packaged vegetables) have been treated with bleaching agents.
  •  The meat has been denatured.
  •  If the food was grown with pesticides and herbicides;
  • If the food contains other health threatening ingredients;
  • etc.

2.0 Foods to Avoid – Bad for your Dog, Cat 

Alcoholic Beverages
Any type of alcohol can be poisonous to your dog and cat and aside from intoxication, can cause a coma or even death. Alcohol is also a carcinogen.

Baking Powder, Dry Yeast, other leavening agents
If ingested in large amounts (large amounts must be considered in relation to your dog's or cat's size), can cause problems with electrolyte levels (low calcium, low potassium, high sodium), muscle spasms and/or congestive heart failure. 
Never give raw dough (cookie dough, bread dough etc.) to your dog or cat. Heat is a catalyst for leavening agents. Raw dough can swell in your dog and cat's stomach, leading to serious if not lethal harm. Baking soda in small therapeutic amounts can be beneficial when used properly and appropriately.

Broth - Commercial v.s. Home Made
Commercially prepared broth such as that found on grocery store shelves - even the organic type usually include sugar. The non-organic type can include sugar, chemical preservatives, sodium, herbs or spices that may not be good for dogs and cats. Don’t give your dog or cat commercially prepared broth unless you've checked the ingredients list.

Make species appropriate homemade broth for your dog and cat:

Candy containing the sweetener Xylitol (Birch Sugar)
Candy with Xylitol can cause liver damage and death.

Corn, Soy, Other Grains and Grain-based Foods
Corn, soy, cereal grains, refined cereal grains, whole cereal grains are not good for dogs and cats. A dog’s, cat’s system is not evolved to consume or thrive on large quantities of grains. Grains do not provide appropriate nutrition are hard on the digestive and eliminatory system, and are the trigger from many health issues – for example: chronic ear infections, candida of the paws and skin, food allergies, inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, IBD, endocrine disruption, renal issues and cancer. Most dog and cat food and treats that do contain corn, corn derivatives, soy and soy derivatives (at least in North America) are made from Genetically Engineered (GE), Round-up Ready Seeds. These GE seeds are very high in glyphosate residue. Glyphosate is a carcinogen.You can read about the serious health threats posed by GMO corn here.

Don't give your dog or cat: bread, pasta, corn chips, cereal, conventional pancakes and waffles etc.
Try making species appropriate pancakes and waffles that you can share with your dog.
You'll find recipes here.

Dogs and cats should never have any type of chocolate. Milk chocolate is not as dangerous for dogs and cats as semi-sweet or unsweetened bakers chocolate.  Theobromine, a natural compound in cocoa beans, is toxic to dogs. Symptoms of theobromine posisoning include:  irregular heart rate and rhythm, restlessness, hyperactivity, diarrhea, vomiting, panting, muscle tremors, abdominal pain, bloody urine, increased body temperature, seizures, coma and death.

Can result in increased breathing and heart rate, restlessness and affects the central nervous system.

Fat - in large quantities
Large amounts (relative to the dog's and cat's weight, health and genetically inherited constitution) can cause very serious and, at worst fatal damage. Large amounts of fat such as butter, margarine, lard, fat trimmings and oil are a health hazard. Excessive consumption of fat can cause failure of the internal organs such as the pancreas and liver. It is important to note that a dog's species appropriate diet is about 30% good source fats such as those discussed in this article. There is NO safe threshold for bad fats such as GMO soybean oil, GMO canola oil, animal fats from denatured, condemned meat.

Fish - in large quantities
If fed exclusively or in large amounts can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. Kept to 20% of the daily diet, fish such as small wild-caught fatty fish can be very beneficial to dogs and cats.

Fish - Raw is safe if prepared properly, but can be dangerous if not prepared properly
My dogs and cats eat raw fish. Raw fish is excellent for dogs and cats provided the fish is parasite-free. Make sure you freeze fresh fish for at least 21 days before serving it raw to your dog and cat. This ensures that any parasite that may be present in the fish is killed. Raw fish can contain flukes, a parasite that infests the liver of animals including dogs and cats. This parasite can cause liver damage and subsequently death. If you know for certain that the fish in your area is not infested than there is no threat to your dog's or cat's health.

Fish Meal – can pose extreme health risk
Check the ingredient list on your dog's and cat's kibble and treats - if the food and treats contain fish meal you need to check with the manufacturer to ensure that they guarantee there is no ethoxyquin in the fish meal.  You have to research this as the ingredient list will not list ethoxyquin on the ingredient list - it is a hidden ingredient. Ethoxyquin is a powerful and lethal pesticide that is also used to stop fat from going rancid. Ethoxyquin is a carcinogen. Ethoxyquin is now banned from use in human food. You can read about ethoxyquin here.

Farmed Fisha source of toxins
Choose wild, or wild-caught fish - never feed your dog of cat farmed raised fish, or pet foods and treats that contain farm raised fish. Toxins ingested from consuming farm raised fish are discussed in this article.

Food Coloring
Avoid pet food products that contain coloring. Chemical-based food coloring is concocted from chemicals that are carcinogenic and cause numerous health issues the least of which is the inability to concentrate. Chemical-based food coloring is known to cause various types of cancer including bladder cancer and brain tumors. If the food coloring is not listed as ‘natural’ then it is chemical-based.

Food Flavoring, Artificial, and Natural - toxic, carcinogenic
Avoid treats, pet food products and supplements that contain artificial and/or 'natural' food flavor. Both artificial and natural food flavoring contain allergens, toxins and carcinogens. 'Natural' flavor is actually not natural and is comprised of multiple (up to 100) chemical substances. For more information on the use of flavoring and flavor enhancers you can read this article. I also recommend you read this article that explains the difference between chemical, natural and organic flavor.

Grains, Cereal Grains, Whole Grains, Grain Derivatives
Grains are trouble for so may reasons. There are no 'good' grains for dogs and cats. For a detailed description of some of the serious health problems caused by grain-in food and treats see section 3.0 below, specifically 'Dry and Wet Processed Dry Food and Treats. Grains are not part of a species appropriate diet and and are the number one cause of ear infections and many more serious ailments and diseases in dogs and cats. In 2012 (and I am sure 2013 will statistically play-out the same way) the top non-life threatening reason for bringing a dog or cat to the veterinarian was an ear infection. A large majority of these infections are yeast infections caused by a food allergy to grains. Even if the grains are organic they still cause major health issues for dogs and cats as both species - although capable of adapting to some degree to a high-carbohydrate diet will not thrive on the diet. Grains are inflammatory, get converted to sugar very quickly, spike insulin levels and cause a wide range of health issues and disease in dog and cats. Animal-feed grade grains and beans (pulses) can be contaminated with aflatoxins (a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor). Many pet food manufacturers use toxic synthetic chemical fungicides on grains, legumes, and tree nuts to kill aflatoxins. Corn and soy are typically very high in pesticide residue - and that is just the tip of the iceberg of health issues. The toxic loading from grains and grain derivatives is incredibly damaging. Go grain-free or you can expect to adversely effect the quality of your companion animals life in the long and short term. Check out these commonly prescribed veterinarian foods - heavily grain-based and seriously bad for your dog and cat. Does your dog or cat have:
Behavioral problems
Digestive and/or Bowel Issues
There are just a small sampling of the health issues triggered by, exacerbated by and/or caused by grains in the diet.

Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and kidney damage. Not all grapes, and not all grape seed products are toxic to dogs. Grape seed extract and grape seed oil are NOT toxic to dogs. Read more about grapes and dogs here.

Homemade Dog and Cat Food if not nutritionally balanced or species appropriate
If you are making your own homemade raw or cooked and fresh dog or cat food it is of the utmost importance to ensure that the food you are making provides a nutritionally complete diet. Many homemade food diets are not nutritionally complete - this gap exposes your dog and cat to multiple health issues.Make sure you do your research to ensure you create a truly balanced and healthy homemade food. To see what a nutritionally complete homemade cooked and fresh food is comprised of you can look at this recipe.

May cause panting, elevated temperature, increased heart rate, seizures and death. Hops herb when **used appropriately** as a medicinal herb is generally safe for dogs.

Liver and other organ meats - in **large** quantities
In large amounts can cause Vitamin A toxicity, leading to kidney damage/failure.  

Liver and other organ meats ARE an ESSENTIAL part of a species appropriate raw diet for dogs and cats. Liver should represent 5% of the animal protein intake.

Macadamia Nuts
Can cause vomiting, lethargy, hypothermia, abdominal pain, stiff joints, lameness and tremors.
Marijuana and other hallucinogenic drugs
Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate. 
Dog and cat appropriate CBD oil when used properly can be very beneficial to help treat a range of health issues and conditions.
Moldy Foods
Can have various effects on dogs and cats, including mild issues such as vomiting and diarrhea, to serious and life-threatening issues including organ failure.

There are many types of mushrooms that are toxic to dogs - typically the same mushrooms that are toxic to humans. More on that here. Symptoms or poisoning may vary - depression, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, tearing, hallucinations, defecation, liver failure, seizures, drooling, urination, kidney failure, heart damage, hyperactivity and in some cases, death.

There are many types of mushrooms that are non-toxic to dogs. Medicinal mushrooms can help support your dog's health. Examples of dog-safe medicinal mushrooms include: oyster mushroom, lions mane, shitake, turkey tail, and other medicinal mushrooms. More on that here.

Mushroom broth recipe for dogs here.

Nightshade Family Plants – Leaves and Stems
Goji Berries, Eggplant, Peppers, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatillos
The leaves and stems of these plants can cause problems with the digestive, nervous and urinary tract systems. Eggplant should never be given to dogs and cats.
Potatoes are not appropriate food for dogs and cats. Find out more here.
Goji berries can be very beneficial but do have interactions with some conventional drugs, always check for drug interactions.

Onion, Chives, Leeks, Shallots
Contain thiosulphate, the substance responsible for causing ‘Heinx Factor’ anemia in dogs and cats. Can also cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. Garlic when used within the proper daily dosage is highly beneficial for dogs - not dangerous. 
Peanuts and Peanut Butter 
Peanuts and peanut butter should NEVER be given dogs and cats. This includes all types of peanuts and peanut butter: pure, unsalted, organic, etc. Find out why peanuts and peanut butter are bad and appropriate alternatives in this article.

Pits from Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, Plums, etc.
If ingested in large amounts can cause respiratory difficulties such as breathing, coughing and sneezing. The flesh of these fruits are good for dogs, and yes some cats enjoy eating them too.  
Raw bitter and extra bitter apricot seeds (kernels) are used for medicinal purposes, and are, for most individuals - safe for use when proper dosage requirements are adhered to. 

Plants that are toxic if ingested by dogs and cats
The ASPCA provides an extensive listing Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants (ASPCA), however it is important to note that the list is not 100% accurate. Some of the plants on the list are herbs that are not toxic to dogs and cats.

Preservatives – Chemical Based
Chemical-based preservatives (i.e. BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, Sodium Metabisulfite, Propyl Gallate, and TBHQ) found in many processed foods for people and in many dry and wet dog foods and treats including veterinarian prescribed dog foods are toxic and carcinogenic. You can read about these preservatives here.

Can be poisonous to pets and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and kidney damage. Not all grapes are toxic to dogs, however it's best to avoid giving your dog grapes. Learn more here.

Rhubarb Leaves
Can cause problems with the digestive, nervous and urinary systems. Rhubarb is, however a medicinal herb, which when used properly for certain conditions is beneficial for dogs and cats.

Table salt and iodine salt are not good for dogs in any amount. You can read about that here. Too much salt can cause salt poisoning, and death. Full spectrum salt, given in small amounts can be beneficial to dogs.

Seeds from Apples, Pears
Seeds from apples and pears contain amygdaline, which when consumed is converted by the body into hydrogen cyanide. HOWEVER
a dog would have to consume an impossible quantity of apples with seeds for the body to produce enough hydrogen cyanide to cause adverse effects.

My dogs
self-harvest whole wild apples and consume many apples at a time, complete with the apple seeds. My dogs have never experienced illness from eating apples complete with the core and seeds.

A list of safe fruit for dogs is provided in this article.

If a product is really wholesome why does it require sweeteners to be appealing to your dog or cat?  Cats have in the realm of 450 taste buds and are not – in general, attracted to sweet tasting substances. Dogs have on average 1700 taste buds and do discern sweet, sour, salty tastes – just not to the same degree that the average human does – we have between7,000 to 9,000 taste buds. The sense of taste is the only sense that a human posses that is stronger than a dog’s - all of our other senses (sight, hearing, smell, etc.) is less than that of a dog.

Sweeteners are not required in your dog’s or cat's diet! In fact they are not good for your dog or cat. Sweeteners like grains are inflammatory – the vast majority of chronic diseases are triggered by inflammation. Sweeteners are encourage the growth of bad bacteria in the mouth – putting oral health at risk and also feed bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. If the product you are going to buy has any of the following ingredients in it, you know what to do - re-shelve it!
  • Corn syrup
  • Di-alpha tocopherol acetate
  • Fructose
  • Sorbitol
  • Sugar
  • Molasses that is sulphured and derived from GMO beets, GMO sugar cane, or conventionally grown sorghum
  • Pasturized honey
  • Unpasturized honey (even if it is organic) if it has been subjected to intense heat via i.e. steaming, cooking, baking
Remember daily intake of sweeteners is just as bad for dogs as it is for humans. Sugar suppresses the immune system - making it easier for cancer to take hold. Sweeteners also cause allergies, arthritis, cataracts, hypoglycaemia, heart ailments, nervous energy, tooth decay, obesity and so on. The more your dog’s health is compromised the harder it is for your dog’s body to fight disease!

Unlike the negative impacts on health caused by other sweeteners, organic unpasteurized honey that has not undergone any heating process does offer many health benefits. Organic unpasteurized honey (bee pollen and propolis) when provided in the proper dosage offers many health benefits for dogs. You can read this article for an example of the benefits derived from including organic unpasteurized honey in your dog's diet, dosage and cautions.

Tea Derived from Tea Plants
i.e. Earl Grey Tea, Orange Pekoe Tea, etc.

Can have varied effects on dogs and cats. The caffeine and tannin found in tea derived from tea plants are toxic to dogs and cats. There are many herbal teas that offer great health benefits for dogs and cats.

Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.

Vitamins and Other Supplements
Many made-for-pet vitamins are actually health threatening as a majority of these products contain toxins, carcinogens and known allergy triggers. It is important to know how to read ingredients and also know how to identify unlisted ingredients. Vitamins made-for humans can contain inappropriate levels of certain elements such as iron. Overdose of elements such as iron can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.

Tree Nuts that are stale and/or contaminated with mold or fungus (e.g. aflatoxins)
Can cause gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as respiratory issues such as sneezing, breathing and coughing. Aflatoxins, a naturally occurring fungus that grows on grains, ground growing nuts, pulses, seeds and tree nuts. Aflatoxins damage the liver leading to liver issues, and death. As well, aflatoxins are a carcinogenic fungi that can cause liver cancer. Avoid all animal-feed grade tree nuts. Fresh (not stale), human food-grade tree nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts (in small quantities - representing no more than 2% of the overall diet) are generally safe for dogs (not appropriate for cats).

NEVER give Macadamia nuts to dogs (or cats), as these nuts are **toxic** to dogs and cats.

Yeast Dough - raw, not baked
Can be dangerous as it will expand and result in gas, pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines. Baked is also not good for dogs and cats if it is made from grains.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol -- an artificial sweetener created from birch, raspberries, plums and corn.1 This sweetener is found in many human "sugar free" products, such as gum, candies and other sweets. Signs of toxicity can be seen as quickly as 30 minutes after xylitol ingestion in dogs. The xylitol causes a rapid release of the hormone insulin, causing a sudden decrease in blood glucose. The following are symptoms of Xylitol poisoning: vomiting weakness, ataxia (uncoordinated movements), depression, hypokalemia (decreased potassium), seizures, coma, liver dysfunction and/or failure. Ingestion can be fatal.

3.0 Foods That Are Beneficial

for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ       
Flesh of the avocado fruit is rich source of many beneficial nutrients for dogs - you can go here to read about the health benefits, and how to include avocado in your dog's daily diet. Your dog should not eat the skin and pit of the avocado. The leaves, bark of the avocado tree, the skin and pit (seed) of the avocado contain persin  - a fungicidal toxin.
for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^
When on a raw diet, raw bones are very important as they provide an excellent and necessary source of:
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous
  • Trace minerals
My dogs get dog-safe raw meaty bones in their diet daily. My cats also enjoy cat-safe raw meaty bones. Learn about safe raw meaty bones for dogs and cats in this article.
A safe substitute for raw, fresh or frozen bones is high-quality healthful source bone meal or or microcrystalline hydoxyapatite - MCHA (freeze dried bone).
  • Do not ever use the type of bone meal sold in garden centers - garden center bone meal is poor quality from unspecified sources and can be full of toxins and carcinogens;
Never give your dog or cat cooked bones!
Load Bearing Bones
  • Load bearing bones are dangerous - as they can splinter and cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
  • Large, fresh raw or frozen-raw bones such as beef or bison femur bones are good for a dog to chew on to exercise their jaw;
  • Good for dental care - If the bone has some meat and cartilage attached the dog will get her teeth 'brushed' naturally be gnawing on the bone.
    • However these are hard bones that can splinter
    • These type of bones should not be given to a dog that chews with great intensity:
      • The pressure can result in chipped and broken teeth
      • The bone may splinter and chip into fragments that can cause severe internal damage to a dog
      • Instead, select safe raw meaty bones from the list provided in this article.

    Broth - Bone Broth
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^  

    Homemade bone broth when made properly is an excellent source of nutrients and can be:
    • Given to dogs and cats after fasting from a bout of diarrhea;
    • Given to support renal and eliminatory health;
    • Of particular importance for dogs and cats on a dry dog food diet;
    • For dogs and cats recovering from surgery or a traumatic event;
    • For older dogs and cats with a suppressed or lessened appetite.
    • You can use this bone broth recipe.

    Dairy Products 
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^ 
    If consumed in reasonable amounts - particularly on a daily basis some dairy products are very beneficial for most dogs and cats. If your dog or cat is not lactose intolerant, plain yogurt or kefir is an excellent immune system booster. A little hard cheese or cottage cheese on a daily basis is a good source of nutrition. If your dog or cat is lactose intolerant – some can tolerate hard cheese as during the cheese making process most of the lactose is removed. My dogs and cats eat Goat milk. kefir or yogurt on a daily basis. You can read here to understand which dairy products are good for your dog and cat, how to select a good product and safe daily dosage.

    Dry and Wet Processed Food (Kibble) and Treats 
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^  
    • Species inappropriate.
    • These products cause a wide range of health issues and disease, lessen quality of life and drastically shorten and dog and cat's life-span.
    The Good and the Bad
    'Biologically Appropriate', 'Nutritionally Complete', 'Species Appropriate'
    At best even the 'better' products are not species appropriate, nutritionally complete, and biologically appropriate. Pet food manufacturer's can use these popular, hot, key words however they want to in order to sell their products. The words/terms 'Nutritionally Complete' and 'Biologically Appropriate' as pertains to the pet food industry are terms are not regulated by government bodies such as Health Canada, and the FDA. These terms are also not regulated by AAFCO and if they were the regulation would not be one to be trusted as AAFCO is not an objective non-governmental organization (NGO). AAFCO is a private organization made up of those who are in the pet food industry and their associated lobbyists.

    The pet food industry does not have the engineered technology to make processed dry food species appropriate, nutritionally and biologically complete. The very nature of the process required to make dry food destroys the viable, essential elements that make food species appropriate and complete. Even if the whole food that goes into making the product is species appropriate, is organic, is a viable health promoting microbe, has essential enzymes, has antioxidant or other health enabling properties - once that item is super-heated and otherwise processed the former healthful qualities are degraded.

    The Bad - Unlisted Ingredients
    Hidden ingredients can make their way into your dog's and cat's food in many ways. When these substances are consumed on a daily basis ailment and chronic disease results. Here are a few examples of the many toxic unlisted substances in processed dog and cat food...
    • One - A substance that is added to a food as part of an initial harvesting and preservation process. 
      • An example of this would be fish meal that has been preserved with the potent, very toxic and carcinogenic chemical ethoxyquin. You can read about the health and life compromising effects of ethoxyquin here.  
    • Two - Carcinogenic substances that are formed during the high-heat processing required to make processed food - these substances include:
      • Carcinogens called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) created from cooking meat and other foods (e.g., beans such as chickpeas and lentils) at high temperatures. Acrylamide and heterocyclicamine are two examples of AGEs
      • The known carcinogen BPA leaches into canned food from the lining of the can;
    • Three - A substance that remains as a residue in meat and associated animal by-products due to bio-accumulation from feed that the source animal (i.e. cow or chicken) was fed while alive. Here are a few examples...
    Example One - Glyphosate Residue
    Glyphosate residue (an herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto's Round-up) can be consumed by your dog or cat when he/she consumes products that contain meat obtained from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO for short, also called large factory farms). Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide and is the active ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Round-up. In North America (and some other parts of the world) 80% of corn and soy crops are grown from Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) Round-up ready seeds. These crops are heavily dosed with multiple application of Monsanto's Round-up herbicide. Round-up is toxic to humans, animals and insects such as bees. Glyphosate even when diluted 100's of times below the strength of agricultural crop application has been proven to damage cells, kill cells (animal and human) and have hormone damaging effects. Animals (i.e. cattle, chickens) raised in CAFO are feed GM corn and soy and by-products. The meat of animals fed GM corn and soy may have a bio-accumulation of the toxin glyphosate

    To make matters worse Monsanto's GM alfalfa has now been approved for use in some locations in North America - i.e. Ontario Canada. Alfalfa is a common animal feed crop. The high plant protein content in alfalfa has made alfalfa a favorite for dog and cat food manufacturers - regardless of the fact that alfalfa is a biologically inappropriate food for dogs and cats. Many pet food manufacturers use alfalfa as a minor to major ingredient in dog and cat food because...
    • Alfalfa is:
      • Readily available;
      • Inexpensive;
      • A cheap source of plant protein (ranging from 14% to 22% plant protein);
    • Alfalfa affords the opportunity to increase profit.
    ... However alfalfa does not support the health of your dog or quite the opposite. 
    • Alfalfa does not offer species appropriate protein to your dog and cat, dogs and cats have a biological requirement for meat protein, not copious quantities of plant protein;
    • Alfalfa contains glycosides in the form of saponins. Saponins are anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrietns are substances that act to interfere with the body's ability to absorb essential nutrients;
    • GMO alfalfa contains even higher levels of herbicide residue than non-GMO alfalfa.
    Example Two -  some FDA and Health Canada Approved 'Food' Additives for Beef Cattle (and Other Animal Feed) 
    Antibiotics (to prevent spread of disease enabled by overcrowded 'living' conditions), and beta-agonists (to increase growth rate/size):
    Bacitracin zinc, bambermycins, chlortetracycline, erythromycin thiocyanate, lasalocid sodium, lincomycin, melengestrol acetate, monensin, monensin sodium, oleandomycin, oxytetracycline, salinomycin sodium, ractopamine hydrochloride, tylosin, virginiamycin, zilmax.

    Beta agonists  - also called beta-blockers are used to promote the growth of lean muscle weight during the final period of life prior to slaughter. These drugs increase an animal's weight - on average by 30 pounds. Beta agonists adversely effect an animal's heart, lungs, muscles and other tissues, cause behavioral problems, seizures, death...

    Example Three - Ractopamine, examining a beta agonist in detail...
    Ractopamine - is a beta agonist that is banned in 160 countries, but is approved by Health Canada and the FDA and is used by about 80% of CAFOs in Canada and the USA. Ractopamine a beta agonist drug, is added to CAFO fed to increase the growth of animals thus supporting a larger profit margin for the operation. Ractopamine is a known and well documented poison responsible for: aggression, anorexia,  birth defects, bloat, cardiovascular system risk - including elevated heart rate and heart, excessive hunger, hyperactivity, lameness, reproductive function reduction, respiratory issues, stiffness, stress and most frequently reported - death. It is also being studied for its role in causing chromosomal abnormalities, behavioral changes and food poisoning. Up to 20% of the Ractopamine consumed remains in the meat found on grocery stores shelves and in products that the meat is used in - including dog and cat food.

    Example Four - Zilmax, examining a beta agonist in detail...
    Zilmax is another beta agonist drug used in Canada and the USA to increase growth rate in CAFO animals. Zilmax delivers 125 times the potency of Ractopamine. Zilmax causes severe behavioral problems, muscle tremors, rapid heart rates even up to 2 weeks after use of the drug has been stopped.  Like Ractopamine, Zilmax remains present in the meat and liver of the slaughtered animal.

    These substances - ethoxyquin, glyphosate, ractopamine and zilmax are all examples of toxic hidden ingredients that are NOT biologically appropriate or species appropriate for any animal, including dogs and cats.

    The Bad - Listed Ingredients
    It is really important to learn to read the label of ingredients on a pet food product. Unless the product states that the ingredients used where human-food-grade, ingredients used can be very degraded - this in addition to the hazards posed by hidden ingredients as noted just above. Health Canada, the FDA (and similar government departments of other countries) and associations such as AAFCO allow many toxic chemicals, degraded and otherwise inappropriate ingredients into pet food. Ingredients that cause so many health problems, short-term and chronic. Even the most expensive brands of dry food include some ingredients that cut corners to save the manufacturer money while  posing health risks for your dog and cat, for example;
    • Using whole white fish which may be high in mercury, rather than using wild salmon. 
      • And BTW if you live in the USA or Canada genetically modified (GMO) salmon has just been approved for use;
    • Using a poor source GMO Omega-6 fatty acid - oil (i.e. corn oil, canola oil, cotton seed oil, safflower oil, soy oil) that is inherently high in pesticide residue rather than a good quality oil such as organic coconut oil or olive oil.
    How to Choose A Better Dry Food (Kibble, Treats) Product
    'Good' highly processed pet food does not exist. 

    Problamatic components including grains, starchy root vegetables, beans, poor quality meat, food additives are discussed throughout this article

    Learn about:
    • The health deteriorating ingredients in veterinarian prescribed dog and cat food here
    • Condemmened denatured meat used in many pet food products
    • Dead dogs and cats used in dry pet food products.
    • Explore the many articles on this blog site for additional infromation on the many issues with dry food products, see the list of articles on this topic further below.
    • Go to the blog tags and find the many healthy homamade treats recipes on this blog site.

    Basic Supplements to Improve A Dry Food Diet

    Additional supplementation 
    Depends on the what conditions your dog or cat is exposed to. So for example if you are:
    You then need to supplement with a wider variety of foods, herbs and nutraceuaticals to compensate for the additional toxic burden placed on your dog or cat. The best solution is to fed your dog and cat a specieis appropraite raw food diet.

    More on processed dog, cat food in these articles

    Corn and Soy are Very Bad for Your Dog’s (Cat’s) Short and Long Term Health

    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^ 

    Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition for dogs and cats. My own dogs get a raw egg as part of their daily diet.
    Learn how to include eggs in your dog and cat's diet - serving recommendations, recipes and more tips in this article.
    Eggs contaminated with salmonella are typically eggs sourced from factory farm battery cage or 'free-run' poultry. If you are going to use factory farm  eggs make sure you thoroughly wash the shell before cracking the egg or before giving the whole egg with shell to your dog. Raw eggs can be given daily provided that you give both the egg white, and the egg yolk. Egg whites contain avidin, which when ingested over the long-term can cause a biotin deficiency, if your dog's or cat's intake of biotin is low. To avoid deficiency of biotin, simply feed your dog of cat the egg yolk, and egg white together. The yolk of the egg contains sufficient biotin to offset the actions of the avidin. My dogs eat raw egg - I simply crack the shell, and then place the entire egg in their food bowl.
    Learn more about biotin and avidin, salmonella and chemical washing of eggs in this article.

    Cooked eggs - serving recommendations and recipes here.
    Egg Shell - dry finely ground can be used as a substitute for bone when making homemade dog and cat food
    Make homemade eggshell powder with this recipe.

    Natural Egg Shell Membrane (NEM) is an excellent anti-inflammatory – you can read about that here

    Fat - is absolutely necessary in a dog's and cat's diet
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^   
    The key is to ensure you provide your dog and cat with good source Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in the correct ratio on a daily basis. Omega-3 fatty acids are the body’s and brain’s natural anti-inflammatory – providing protection against inflammatory diseases. For a comprehensive guide to adding good fats to your dog's, cat's diet read here.
    On a daily basis my dogs get healthy fats from:
    A dog’s ancestral diet - and therefore a species appropriate diet consists of +/- 57 to 60% protein, 30% fat and 10 to 14% carbohydrates. 

    Many commercially made dog and cat food products (kibble and treats) contain poor quality fats. Commercial dog food and raw food preparations do not provide a safely balanced ratio of Omega-3 fatty acids to Omega-6 fatty acids. For this reason it is important to supplement your dog's diet.

    Fish - in reasonable quantities
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^  
    A small amount of raw-frozen-thawed or gently cooked wild-caught deep cold water fatty fish such as anchovies, sardines, smelt, are very good for your dog (on a daily basis is fine - in small amounts) provided the amount of fish does not exceed 20% of the daily diet, Deep cold water wild-caught fatty fish are nutrient rich and a good source of omega fatty acids.

    You can read more about sardines for dogs here.

    Fruit and Vegetables
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^  
    Many fruits and vegetables are good for your dog and cat. Fruit and vegetables when integrated properly into the diet contribute antioxidants, vital mineral and vitamins. For example cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli offer anti-allergenic properties. Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower offer important anti-carcinogenic benefits. Berries are also high in antioxidants and anti-carcinogenic properties.  Some of these foods also have additional medicinal properties as natural pain killers, anti-inflammatory effects and enzymes that support digestion. Tart red cherries and papaya are good examples. For an extensive list of fresh foods,  for information on how to properly prepare (to aid digestion and maximum absorption of nutrients), introduce and feed fresh fruits and vegetables to your dog and cat read here.

    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ   
    Garlic contains only trace amounts of thiosulphate – the compound responsible for causing the Heinz factor in dogs and cats. Garlic offers amazing health benefits to dogs when provided in the correct daily dosage.. When garlic is ingested in appropriate amounts there are no harmful effects, only beneficial ones. Garlic is known for its anti-carcinogenic, diabetes, liver, heart, kidney disease fighting properties as well as its use as a natural flea, and insect repellent and wormer for dogs. 
    Cats are more sensitive to the active ingredients in garlic. Cats should never have more than 2 or 3 thin slices of a garlic clove a week. Garlic must be used with extreme caution with cats and only by those persons that understand how to strictly monitor use and side effects. 
    Puppies under 6-months of age should not be given garlic.

    Grape Seed Oil and Extract
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^  
    While grapes are toxic to dogs and cats the oil and extract from grape seeds have beneficial properties for dogs and cats – you can read about that here.

    Herbs and Spices  
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^    
    While there are some herbs and spices that are toxic to cats and dogs there are many herbs and spices that offer extensive health benefits to dogs and cats. When using a dog or cat safe herbal tea it is important to understand the cautions, drug interactions and dosage and how these elements may relate to the individual animal's specific conditions.To see a long list of herbs and spices that are good for dogs and cats and bad, complete with links to some of the beneficial uses, you can read here. Prior to giving your dog or cat herbs make sure you check all cautions, drug interactions, and any conflicts with your dog's or cat's current medical condition, if he/she has any condition. Also note some herbs that are fine for dogs are not safe for cats - make sure you check first.

    Herbal Teas
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^    
    There are many herbal teas that are very good for dogs and cats. Rooibos Tea is one such example – you can read about the health benefits of Rooibos Tea here. When using a dog or cat safe herbal tea it is important to understand the cautions, drug interactions and dosage and how these elements may relate to the individual animal's specific conditions. For a list of other herbs that can be used as herbal teas you can read here. Prior to giving your dog or cat herbs make sure you check all cautions, drug interactions, and any conflicts with your dog's or cat's current medical condition, if he/she has any condition. Also note some herbs that are fine for dogs are not safe for cats - make sure you check first.

    Homemade Dog and Cat Food
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^ 
    For a nutritionally complete homemade dog food you can take a look at this recipe.

    Honey – unpasteurized (raw) organic
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^    
    Unlike the negative impacts on health caused by other sweeteners, organic unpasteurized honey that has not undergone any heating process does offer many health benefits. Organic unpasteurized honey (bee pollen and propolis) when provided in the proper dosage offers many health benefits for dogs. You can read this article for an example of the benefits derived from including organic unpasteurized honey in your dog's diet, dosage and cautions.

    Liver and other organ meats - small amounts are beneficial
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^    
    Liver and other organs are an essential component of a species appropriate diet for dogs and cats. Organs are a rich source of nutrients and essential amino acids. Liver should represent 5% of a dog and cat's daily intake of animal protein. Another secreting organ (i.e. brain, kidney, pancreas, spleen, testicles, thymus gland), should represent an additional 5% of the daily animal protein intake.

    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^    
    Medicinal mushrooms can help support your dog and cat's health. More about the health benifits of medicinal mushrooms, and  a mushroom broth recipe for dogs and cats here.

    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^      
    Raw almonds, pure almond butter, pure fresh or dry coconut flesh, pure coconut water when offered in small amounts daily are a good source of supplemental nutrients for dogs. All peanut butter including pure, organic is NOT good for dogs. Find out why here.

    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^    
    (Food or parts of food that provide health or medicinal benefits when ingested  this includes food and parts of food used to prevent, treat, remedy illness and disease)
    For example:
    Apple Cider Vinegar (organic, unpasteurized, unfiltered);
    Aloe Vera Juice; (100% juice, food grade)
    Coconut Oil (organic, cold pressed, unrefeined)
    Dairy in the form of yogurt or kefir as a probiotic
    Honey (organic, unpasturized)
    Sauerkraut (fresh, organic)

    Raw Food Diet 
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^    
    A properly desinged, balanced raw food diet is the best diet for your dog and cat.
    However, if the ingredients used are not examined for their actual quality and value the raw food diet can be seriously compromised.
    • Raw, species appropriate food (i.e. fresh meat, fresh bones) when:
      • From a truly good source
      • When stored properly
      • When prepared properly
      • When selected properly
      • Is the best diet for your dog and cat.
    • However if the origin of the raw food, its preparation. etc. is not safe then the end product - the raw food is not safe either. 
      • If the source of the raw meat is an animal that came from a large factory farm, or from a smaller farm that is not organic in its practices...
        • The animal (chicken, cow, lamb, etc.) was fed a diet that included:
          • GMO corn, GMO soy
          • Antiobiotics
          • Growth Hormones
          • All of the above are toxins, some are carcinogens
          • All of these substances end-up in your dog's and cat's system when they ingest the food

    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^    
    Some seeds are very good for most dogs and cats…here are a few examples:
    Anise seeds (beneficial and medicinal properties);
    Chia seeds (omega-3 fatty acids);
    Flax seeds (omega-3 fatty acids);
    Fennel seeds (beneficial and medicinal properties);
    Pumpkin seeds (nutrient rich and a natural dewormer)
    Sesame seeds or tahini (omega fatty acids, vitamin and mineral rich).
    Starchy seeds such as amaranth, quinoa and millet are NOT appropriate for dogs and cats and should NEVER be included in the diet. Read more here.

    Vinegar – specifically organic unfiltered unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Cococnut Sap Vinegar
    for Dogs ᵔᴥᵔ and Cats ^._.^    
    Organic unpasteurized, unfiltered ACV and as well coconut sap vinegar offer a long list of health benefits and is safe for most dogs and cats when added to the daily diet in the correct dosage. Allow your dog and cat to self-select supplemental food items such as ACV, never force them to take items they do not want. Learn about self-selection here.
    Read about ACV here.
    Read about coconut sap vinegar here.

    6.0 Holistic Support

    Holistic Wellness Services and Holistic Behaviorist Services 

    Holistic Wellness and Behaviorist Services

    Do you need holistic advice to support your companion animal's health and well being? Become a client. Book your consultation. My professional holistic nutrition, wellness and behavioral services are available to you:
    🌿 Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats 🐕 🐈
    🌿 Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs 🐕

    My Holistic Client Services are Available Worldwide:
    🇺🇸 USA
    🇨🇦 Canada
    🇬🇧 UK and other European countries
    🇦🇺 Australia and other Oceania countries
    🇭🇰 Hong Kong and other Asian countries
    🇨🇷 Costa Rica and other Central American countries 
    🇪🇺 European countries
    🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago and other South America countries
    🇿🇦 South Africa and other African countries
    🇸🇪 Sweden and other Nordic countries
    🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates

    Available Holistic Consultations and Sessions:
    📱 FaceTime
    📱 Facebook video or voice calling
    💻 Skype
    📱 WhatsApp
    📞 Phone
    📧 Email 
    🚶🏻‍♀️ In-Person

    Menu of Holistic Wellness Services for Dogs and Cats 🐕🐈
    For more information go here. 
    ✅  Maintain Health, and;
    ✅  Address Health Issues and Conditions:
    ✓ Treatment and Remedy 
     Pre-Surgery holistic support protocols
     Post-Surgery holistic healing protocols
     Pre-Vaccine holistic support protocols 
     Post-Vaccine holistic support protocols
     Natural Insect and Parasite Prevention
     Natural Treatment for Insect, Parasite Infestation, Co-Infection, Disease
    ✅  Custom Designed Whole Food Diets - raw or gently cooked, and;
    ✅  Advice and Recommendation: 
    ✓ Premade Diets - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried 
    ✓ Supplemental Fresh Foods - raw, gently cooked
    ✓ Super foods
    ✓ Treats - raw, dehydrated, freeze dried, gently cooked
    ✓ Herbs 
    ✓ Alternative Medicines

    Menu of Holistic Behaviorist Services for Dogs 🐕
    For more information go here
    In-person Sessions - available locally
    Voice and Video Sessions - available worldwide 
    ✓   Obedience Training
    ✓   Behavior Modification
    ✓   Psychological Rehabilitation

    Affiliations to Companies
    ✓ None.
    ✓ I don't sell food or supplements.
    ✓ I'm not aligned with any companies.
    ✓ I choose to maintain my objectivity in selecting best-solutions for my individual client's needs.

    Contact me

    Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld  

    7.0 If You Think Your Dog or Cat Is Suffering from Poisoning
    Food, chemicals, insect/snake bites...

    The following provides a list of some of the interventions that they may ask you to do, they may also request that you bring your dog in ASAP.

    To induce vomiting, give your pet 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (1 tablespoon per 15 pounds of the dog’s body weight) with an eye dropper, syringe, or turkey baster by dribbling the liquid onto the back of his tongue or into his cheek pocket until swallowed. Collect any vomit and take it, along with the poison container or other substance that you think you dog may have ingested and take it to the veterinarian

    To dilute caustic poisons such as pine oils, detergents, bleaches, and swimming pool chemicals, feed your dog large quantities of water, milk, or egg whites. Activated charcoal (or even burned toast) may be recommended to absorb insect repellents like DEET.

    To remove absorbed poisons...absorbed poisons are substances that get on your pet’s paws and coat and are absorbed through the skin. Road salt is one of the most common of such substances and can cause serious and lethal damage over time. Remember your dog walks, on lies on and licks the floor - don't use chemical based cleaners to clean floors, other horizontal or vertical surfaces that your dog comes into contact with. Absorbed poisoning can happen through ingestion when the animal grooms himself. For oil-based toxins (petroleum products) use a gentle dish washing liquid like 'Dawn'. Dust or vacuum powdery poisons away because water can activate certain toxins. If the poison is in your dog’s eye, carefully flush the eye with water or a sterile saline solution. To remove toxins from a dog's paws you can use the following Foot Soak Recipe...

    Warm Water and Iodine - Foot Soak Recipe, To Remove Toxins

    Iodine is non-toxic for dogs (but should not be ingested, just used topically) and is anti-fugal and anti-viral. To remove toxins (road salt, herbicides, fertilizers or pesticides) from the surface of your dog’s paws - this soak can also be used to reduce itchy, inflamed, and other wise irritated paws…
    • Fill the container you are using with warm water;
    • Add enough iodine to make the water turn the colour of ice tea;
    • Have your dog stand in or otherwise keep their paw in the water/iodine solution for 30 seconds
    • Then pat your dog’s paws dry.

    ‘Inhaled poisons’ include aerosol sprays, carbon monoxide, gases, and other fumes inhaled by your pet that you may not consider poison to dogs because you use them safely on a regular basis. Quickly get your dog into fresh air and administer Rescue Breathing if necessary.

    For snakebites, carry your dog if at all possible, to prevent increased circulation of venom throughout his body via walking. Get him to an animal emergency centre ASAP.

    For insect bites, administer 1 mg of Diphenhydramine (i.e. Benadryl), an antihistamine, per pound of your dog’s body weight. Applying a cold pack to the bite can alleviate swelling, but immediately seek professional medical help if you detect breathing problems. You can also wipe or spray the bite with Apple Cider Vinegar.

    If you think your dog is suffering from symptoms related to poisoning from any of these foods, plants or chemicals call your veterinarian or contact a pet poison control centre right away.

    Holistic Diet, Nutrition, Wellness Services Tailored to Your Individual Dog and Cat

    For information about my holistic diet, nutrition and wellness services, visit my holistic wellness services page.

    Maintain good health | Address acute and chronic health issues | Pre and post surgery support and recovery

    My holistic wellness services are available worldwide via video consultation.

    🌎 USA | Canada | UK | Europe | Australia | New Zealand | Asia | South and Central America | Africa | UAE

    📱FaceTime | Facebook | Skype | WhatsApp

    To set-up your holistic wellness consultation get in-touch via email, go to my contact me page.
    Holistic Behavioral Services for Your Dog

    For information about my holistic behavioral services, visit my holistic behavioral services page.

    For dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds.

    My behavioral services are available worldwide via video consultation.

    🌎 USA | Canada | UK | Europe | Australia | New Zealand | Asia | South and Central America | Africa | UAE

    📱FaceTime | Facebook | Skype | WhatsApp

    To set-up your holistic behavioral session get in-touch via email, go to my contact me page.

    Popular Posts