Recently, I read with disgust, a Facebook discussion in a private group comprised of holistic veterinarians.  One of the holistic docs had recently attended a continuing education seminar on the alleged link between grain-free dog foods and a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.  In that presentation, the speaker, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist (who also taught at the University of Minnesota’s college of veterinary medicine and has her own nutritional consulting service and who is NOT a holistic doctor), stated that unless you are a boarded nutritionist, you have ZERO ability to balance a diet properly.  She was implicating that dilated cardiomyopathy was a result of a taurine deficiency in grain-free pet foods.  Read on to find out what the real agenda is.

In doing further research, this nutritionist was / is being sponsored by two of the Big Pet Food Giants:  Hill’s (Science Diet) and Nestle-Purina. I’ve heard through the grapevine that she is affiliated with five Giants.

Let me tell you something that perhaps you’re not aware of.  Early in a veterinarian’s education, the Big Food Giants come into the veterinary schools, teach a minimal course on nutrition (which they sponsor), and literally brainwash the students that their food(s) are the ONLY ones that are nutritionally balanced and are of the highest quality.  They provided each senior veterinary student  with a 40-pound bag of food (free) every month, to bond us to their companies and to make sure we carried our loyalty to their products into our future veterinary practices.

Heck, I bought into that before I got smart.  Yep, I admit I got suckered into the hype and commaderie.  Why question the research when these companies sponsored our continuing education classes, gave us free food plus a host of other “gifts” throughout the year, wined and dined us at continuing education seminars, and had veterinarians with a host of degrees behind their names that were promoting their products?

It wasn’t until I turned to natural medicine and therapies that I really got educated.  This all came about after I was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer in 2007 that changed the course of my thinking, my diet, and my overall health.

You see, I was horrified at the prospect of chemo and radiation.  I saw my mother go through barbaric treatments when she had uterine cancer four years before I was diagnosed with an aggressive adenocarcinoma in my right breast.  Watching her suffer – being poisoned by chemotherapy and being “burned” by radiation – made me vow that if I ever got cancer, I would never subject myself to that.  Furthermore, as a medical professional, I knew what these things did to the body and I was convinced the conventional treatments would kill me before the cancer would.  So I did all my research into natural healing in lieu of chemo/radiation, especially changing my diet.

Long story short, things that had plagued me for years, like severe allergies, acid reflux, fibromyalgia, asthma, and sinus infections cleared up as I changed my diet, increased my exercise level, supplemented with products from nature instead of pharmaceuticals, and basically adopted an attitude of gratitude for everything in my life, whether I labeled it “good” or “bad”.   After a year of practicing a much healthier lifestyle, I felt better than I had in thirty years!

So my animal patients started receiving the same kind of therapies I used on myself to restore my health, especially diet.  I found out that getting back to the basics (eating as naturally as I could) is a HUGE part of healing.

I started preparing my own animal’s diets keeping in mind their needs for  protein-based, low carbohydrate meals and the changes I saw in them were astounding.  Once I got them off of dry kibble food and transitioning them onto a homemade diet, their haircoats, skin, energy levels, and behaviors changed immensely for the better.

So let’s get back to the speaker I mentioned at the start of this blog.  She is promoting Hill’s and Purina foods and claims she feeds her own five dogs what I consider to be one of the worst foods on the market, since it’s filled with corn, corn and wheat by-products, meat by-products, dyes, fillers, and artificial flavors and preservatives.  She is a BOARD-CERTIFIED nutritionist folks, so why, with her education and knowledge, be telling pet guardians that these foods are good??

It’s simple:  MONEY.  Pet parents spend more than 62 billion dollars on pet food each year!!  You better believe that the Big Food Giants know this and capitalize very well on this fact!  I would imagine that Dr. “X” is paid handsomely for her speaking engagements and her allegiance to the corporations that produce sub-quality foods and treats.

I can’t stress enough to do your OWN research and find out why it’s important for pets to be fed as close to what they would eat in the wild as possible.  Obesity, arthritis, developmental joint disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer incidences could be greatly reduced if we fed out pets a diet free of chemicals, genetically-modified grains, artificial flavors and dyes, inflammatory-producing grains and starches, and preservatives.

Check out my course on the home page of www.barbfoxdvm.com. for simple, common sense feeding of your dogs and cats.