Hi everyone, thanks for joining me today. My name is Meghan Waals, I help Jean out with some day to day operations of the business. I have been raw feeding since 2010 after my oldest cat Tayla stopped eating kibble and canned cold turkey. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology pre-veterinary with a minor in evolutionary studies as well as a courses in chemistry, microbiology, diet formulation and will soon be working on a certification in Carnivore Nutrition.
Raw feeding is a huge passion of mine so I have spent many years studying textbooks, books, reading studies, analyzing the pet food industry, the raw food industry, anatomy and physiology and talking with veterinarians and other specialists.
Finally I run The Nutrition Code a resource based website helping to educate other animal lovers about a species appropriate raw diet.
I have helped to convert cats, dogs and ferrets to a raw diet all of various ages, species, breeds and health stages.
Now that you know a little bit about me, Today we are going to talk about illness and disease in our carnivore companions.
A huge reason for switching to a raw diet for many pet owners is because their companion has allergies, cancer, kidney failure, diabetes and many other diseases that are way too common now a days.
What most people don’t know is such things as commercial diets, vaccinations, pharmaceutical drugs, chemical flea, tick, heart worm, parasite medications and many other stressors in our pets lives are main culprits for the manifestation of illness and disease.
Today we are going to focus on diet.
With a proper species appropriate diet illness and disease can not only be prevented but remain in maintenance or even be reversed. We are able to do this by understanding not only the mechanisms of what many of these illnesses are and where they stem from but also what adjustments we need to make in the diet.
Cancer is a big one not only because it is so common but because there are so many different types. Some of the most common ones include Mammary cancer, Mast Cell, and Osteosarcoma. With cancer, the diet should be completely raw as this reduces stress on the body. Raw meats, organ and bone also maintains the integrity of protein structure. Animal based protein is important because the cancer also feeds off of protein which means if there is not enough the cancer will take it from the body resulting in muscle wasting and weight loss. Finally meat also has healthy and easily utilized fats. Cancer cells can’t thrive on fat. The diet should not include carbohydrates including fruits, veggies and grains which not only tax the body, but the sugars increase the fuel supply to cancer that feed off of sugars. Finally you want meats and meals that are cooling or meals that are neutral.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, food has energies that affect the body. Hot and warm meats stir things up while cold and cooling meats settle things down. Neutral and Cold/cooling meats include:
You can create neutral meals with equal parts hot/warming and cold/cooling meats
Some other considerations to take when it comes to specific cancers include
No red meat for those with mammary cancer which includes
ONLY 5% liver for those with Mast Cell. No more No less
And for osteosarcoma vitamin K is essential for remineralizing and preventing bone deterioration. Great natural sources include
Diabetes is another condition that is common especially in many of the obese companions. One factor could include not only the impact of being overweight but also the shear amount of sugar in our pet food products.
Just like with cancer and all the illnesses we mention today the diet should be completely raw with no carbohydrates and low in sugar. The diabetic diet should also include foods high in chromium and Vanadium to aid the pancreas with natural insulin production. These foods include
Epilepsy is brain disorder that results in seizures. Things to note in this diet is the avoidance on bone broth. The longer bone broth cooks the higher the glutamic acid content which often can lead to seizures in those with seizure disorders and even leaky gut syndrome as many also suffer from leaky brain syndrome.
The diet should also be high in taurine as well as Carnitine. Sources of Taurine include hard working muscle meats such as heart, thigh meat, shoulder meat and tongue. Great sources of Carnitine include red meat like beef or pork, cod and chicken. Fatty acids such as those found in grass fed meats, eggs, fish and krill are also highly recommended.
Kidney is also another very common disease especially with cats. Most commercial diets that are kibble are way to dry. This not only taxes the kidneys heavily but also prevents the flushing of bacteria which otherwise results in UTIs, crystals, stones and many other urinary based issues. A raw diet however provides at least 60% moisture compared to dry food which only contains 7-10%. While raw diets do have more moisture it is still recommended to add additional fluids to further aid the kidneys which are now impaired. You can do this with plain water, bone broth or defrosted juices from your meat supply.
Some other considerations include reducing phosphorus. The easiest way to do this is replace bone with eggshell. This is not a 1:1 interchange. You will need to increase the meat by 10% and feed 1/2 tsp of eggshell per lb of meat and organs. So instead of 80% meat 5% liver 5% other secreting organ and 10% bone, you will feed 90% meat 10% organs and 1/2 tsp of eggshell per lb of meat and organ.
You will also want to limit but NOT eliminate red meats, fish and organ meats. Finally moderate to high levels of fat is recommended which can be found in:
Dark thigh meat
With Liver diseases the thing we have to be most aware of Is avoiding foods high in copper such as
It should be noted though that chicken and turkey liver are pretty low in copper. To further help bind cooper we can also feed foods high in zinc such as
Those that suffer with liver shunts or end stage liver disease should also avoid foods high in ammonia. While red meat and organ meat are the highest in ammonia they should be restricted rather than removed. Low ammonia foods include:
Pancreas conditions especially pancreatitis is another common diseases which is often caused by the over stressing the pancreas with inappropriate fats as well as high carbohydrate loads in the diet. It is absolutely essential no carbohydrates are in the raw diet as the pancreas only makes a VERY small amount of amylase to deal with the load. The harder the pancreas works unnecessarily the more likely inflammation and disease will occur
One of the other biggest considerations is limiting fat. We absolutely don’t want to eliminate it as it’s essential for our carnivore companions but we do want it to be from lean cuts of meat such as
Beef or Pork loin or round, shoulder, flank, steak or roast
Chicken and Turkey without skin
Most fish except obviously the extremely fatty fishes
Grass Fed and/or wild meats such as venison and rabbit
This may all seem very overwhelming and you probably feel like you should have been taking notes. No worries we actually have you covered. After we are done the video I will be uploading not only text documents to the files about each diet, but also infographics as well. In addition each text document and infographic has 1-2 recipes cards on it. This will give you the basic ingredients to prepare your own meals using ingredients that Jean supplies that can be fed to your companion. Please note that you should include 3-4 recipes in your rotation. Feeding just one can cause imbalance. Finally, if you want these recipes in a custom format specifically for your dog, cat or ferret each recipe is available on my website The Nutrition Code via the recipe generator. This is generator includes about 50 recipes formulated for cats, dogs and ferrets. It comes in an excel spreadsheet formate. All you have to do is plug in your pet’s weight and the percent you want to feed and everything is done for you. There is an additional option to include the cost per lb of each ingredient which will tell you how much it costs to feed that recipe per day and per week.
View it here (may require you to join the group) https://www.facebook.com/meg.gage.3/videos/g.1585137645066869/10215896623518955/?type=2&theater&ifg=1