Author Archive for True Carnivores

Why won’t my dog eat?

Why won’t my dog eat?

It is not unusual for a healthy dog to occasionally go through periods of little-to-no appetite. If your dog seems normal otherwise and has a good amount of energy, refusing a meal or two isn’t a big deal! Instead of jumping to the conclusion that something is wrong with your pet, take a breather and read through the many reasons your dog may not want to eat.

 

They Are Just Not Feeling Well

Refusal to eat because of an upset stomach is not a health crisis, and not always a cause for concern. Dogs are scavengers! They get their noses into things they shouldn’t and investigate with their mouths. Your dog could have gotten into any number of things in your house or yard, or while out on a walk. Change in weather, flea treatments and other medications can also cause your dog to temporarily refuse food.

If his mood and activity are relatively normal, and he’s not repetitively vomiting or having watery diarrhea, missing a meal or two may be just what he needs. Give his digestive system a break and a chance to clear out whatever is irritating his stomach. Ensure he gets plenty of fluids (goat’s milk or bone broth work well to entice your dog to drink more while providing some nutrition), and your dog should be feeling much better soon.

If your dog is experiencing some loose stool, pumpkin can be beneficial and is a healthier alternative to starches like rice or oatmeal. The starchy nature of grains causes them to convert to sugars in your dog’s body, which can irritate their digestive system. Pumpkin is much less starchy, while also containing lots of vitamins and nutrients helpful to a dog who doesn’t want to eat. Pumpkin has lots of fibre, which will help bulk and firm up your pet’s stool, while having a soothing effect on the stomach. The slightly sweet taste and aroma is also enticing for a dog who might not be interested in his usual food.

Another cause of a change in appetite could any recent vaccinations. A common complaint after vaccines is a change in behaviour, temperament, and appetite. This is known as vaccinosis, and these changes aren’t always immediate. They can manifest themselves some time after the vaccines take place. We carry a fantastic product called Anti-Vaccinosis which will help to eliminate any negative side-effects of vaccines without decreasing the effectiveness of the vaccine.

They May Have Been Over-fed

We often have the idea or feeling that food=love and have the tendency to feed too much, or give lots of treats and snacks to our pets. In reality, our dogs have a stomach which is extremely elastic, and is made to eat large quantities of food in order to sustain long periods of time without any food. This is because their ancestor, the wolf, doesn’t have constant access to food like our pets do. When they are able to successfully hunt and capture a meal, they gorge themselves and then often go days before their next meal opportunity. While Fluffy or Fido may not look anything like a wolf, their DNA is almost identical, and their bodies work in pretty similar ways.

Now I’m not saying to let your dog gorge on a huge meal and not feed them for a few days, but take a look at just how much your pet is actually eating. All of those snacks and chews on top of their daily meals can quickly add up. It’s not hard to give another meal or two worth of treats throughout the day. How can you feed your pet “less” without starving them?

  • If you’re doing a lot of training and find yourself feeding lots of treats, replace meal time with training time! Those treats will now become his meal, and having him hungry at training time will also make those treats much more enticing. Check that your treats are healthy and balanced, since they’re making up a large portion of your dog’s diet. In fact, we often like to use freeze-dried or air dried raw foods as training treats! Check out some of our favorites here!
  • Try feeding fewer meals. Many adult dogs do very well having one meal a day instead of two. This is a more natural way of eating for them, and allows their body time to develop a stronger appetite before each meal.
  • Try doing a fast day or “bone day”.  A few times a month, try replacing your dog’s meal with a nice Image result for raw meaty bonesjuicy bone. His digestive system and organs will benefit from a period of rest to “cleanse” themselves.  In addition, a bone keeps him busy while giving him the satisfaction of chewing. It is no surprise that some of the healthiest dogs we see miss meals from time to time! Check out our guide to feeding bones here!

They Are Getting Bored

We wouldn’t want to eat the same thing for every meal, so why would our pets be any different? Variety is the spice of life!

  • Try rotating between a few different proteins to keep things interesting for your pet. Eating a variety of meats is often healthier for them too, as each animal has a unique nutrient makeup. Try to incorporate a good mix of red and white meats.
  • Think outside the box (or bag)! Feeding whole prey like an entire herring or quail, or a meaty bone like a neck or rib, is a great way to bring some excitement to your pet’s meal time. These are high value items to your dog, as he doesn’t get special treats like these every day! They are also great because having a “difficult” meal (as opposed to ground meat) is also mentally stimulating for your dog. Another great benefit is that crunching on bones cleans your dog’s teeth and keeps his breath fresh.

They May Be Stressed Or Anxious

Have you recently moved, or had a change in your family such as a new baby or dramatic shift in work schedule? Dogs can be stressed by change just like we are, and they also feed off of our own stress and energy levels. Sometimes these stressful periods will cause a dog to have a change in appetite or behaviour. Keeping to the same daily schedule of feeding times and walks throughout these times can help normalize daily life for your pet and ease some of their stress. You may also consider trying topical treatments or supplements.

They Could Be Simply Picky

We all want to do the best for our dogs, but sometimes we give in too much and end up fostering a picky attitude. Dogs who are offered many alternative foods or even treats when they turn their nose up to something, learn very quickly how to manipulate their humans. They know that when they turn down a particular food, something better (and probably less healthy)  is about to be offered next.

To break the picky cycle, offer your dog his meal and if he won’t eat, take his food away for a couple hours and try again later. Eventually he will learn that if he’s hungry, he will have to eat what’s in front of him. Think of it this way: if your children wouldn’t eat their veggies, you wouldn’t panic and offer them some chocolate, so why do this for your dog?

Next time your dog decides he doesn’t want dinner, don’t fret! Letting your dog get hungry is not a bad thing, and you aren’t being a bad pet parent! Look at your dog’s overall well-being, and try out some of the strategies we’ve given you. It’s also important to remember this: no healthy dog has ever starved itself to death!

Cool Cat or Hot Dog? Finding Balance with Food Energetics

Cool Cat or Hot Dog? Finding Balance with Food Energetics

 

“Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

What is Food Energetics?

Image result for yin yang cat dog

Food energetics is the concept that specific foods can alter the flow of energy within the body, with either cooling or warming effects. These warming or cooling properties can be used to bring balance to the body, and to promote healing or aid various bodily processes.
This concept comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine, where diet is used as prevention and treatment of diseases and ailments. The goal is to harmonize the flow of Yin (which is cooling) and Yang (which is warming) through foods which contain these same properties. Through observation, ancient scholars discovered that foods had predictable physiologic and metabolic effects on the body. They named these effects “food energetics.” Foods are classified into four categories: cooling, neutral, warming, and hot. We will be focusing on the foods which may be found in our pet’s diet.
So, what observations led to their discovery of food energetics? Initially, ancient scholars observed the human body and how it was affected by various stimuli such as food, herbs, and the environment. Then, they observed how animals and fish behaved, how plants grew, and how they all interacted in natural environments. For example, some fish live in the deepest, darkest, coolest depths of the lake; whereas, some fish live more toward the surface. The fish at the bottom of the lake prefer cooler temperatures and are less active. Conversely, the fish at the top of the water more towards the surface, they prefer warmer temperatures and are more active.
Can you guess which fish would be considered “cooling”? That’s right, the fish who is less active and prefers colder water.

Is your pet hot or cold?

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Some signs that a pet may be “hot” and could benefit from a cooling diet include:
  • Seeking out cool places to rest, rather than a bed or crate
  • Panting when it’s not warm out, or seems inappropriate
  • Red, itchy eyes or skin issues like rashes or hot spots, or other allergy issues
  • They may be anxious, easily aroused or seem generally restless

 

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Some signs that a pet may be “cold” and could benefit from a warming diet include:
  • Joint or other inflammation issues like arthritis
  • Asthma or breathing difficulties
  • Poor appetite or a generally low energy
  • Urinary or digestive issues like IBD
Your pet may not fall under these “hot” or “cold” categories. Even for pets which do not suffer from any apparent imbalances, providing a diet which is more cooling or warming can be used to provide a seasonal balance. For example: on a cold winter day, we seek out foods which give a feeling of warmth and comfort, rather than foods which are light and refreshing.

Neutral foods

These foods can be used in combination with other foods to provide variety, or ease the harshness of a very cooling or warming diet.
  • Meat: Beef, Bison, Tripe, Pork, Goose, Quail
  • Fish: Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardine, Sturgeon, Tuna
  • Vegetables: Beans, Peas, Pumpkin, Yam, Cabbage, Carrot, Potato
  • Fruits: Papaya, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Raspberry
  • Grains: Brown and White Rice, Lentils, Rye
  • Other: Chicken Eggs, Cow’s Milk, Flax Seeds, Peanut

Cooling foods

These foods will cool pets with hot properties, providing relief of allergies and skin irritations
  • Meat: Duck, Rabbit
  • Fish: Cod, Crab, Clam, Whitefish
  • Vegetables: Bamboo, Celery, Cucumber, Kelp, Lettuce, Mushroom, Seaweed
  • Fruits: Apple, Banana, Cranberry, Mango, Pear, Strawberry, Watermelon
  • Grains: Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Wheat, Wild Rice
  • Other: Duck Eggs, Flaxseed Oil, Peppermint

Warming foods

These foods will warm pets with cold properties, providing relief of arthritis and digestive issues
  • Meat: Chicken, Pheasant, Turkey
  • Fish: Anchovy, Mussell, Shrimp
  • Vegetables: Black Bean, Squash, Sweet Potato
  • Fruit: Cherry, Date, Peach
  • Grains: Oats, Sorghum
  • Other: Coconut, Basil, Cinnamon, Ginger, Goat’s Milk, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Turmeric

Hot foods

These are the most intensely warming foods, and care should be taken that these foods are not overly used, even in cold dogs
  • Meat: Lamb, Venison
  • Fish: Trout

Using food energetics to heal your pet

The key here is balance. Having a “hot” dog doesn’t mean your pet should only eat “cold” foods. After all, variety is also important in a healthy, balanced diet. These classifications act as a guide to equalize your pet’s energy through diet. Reducing the foods which share the same energy as your pet, and increasing foods with an opposite energy will help to create that balance.

What is Colostrum? And why should my pet have it?

What is colostrum?

First, what is colostrum? Colostrum is the first milk that all mammals produce when they give birth. It is a complex liquid that nature designed specifically for the unique needs of the newborn. It cannot be made artificially or by using man made formulas. While colostrum’s original purpose is to provide a concentrated source of nutrients, energy and immune-boosters to newborn animals, Bovine colostrum is beneficial as a health supplement for cats and dogs of all ages.

Image result for puppy kitten milk

Why should I feed colostrum to my pets?

Colostrum provides a range of natural growth and immune factors that work to optimize the immune system, the health  of the gastrointestinal tract, oral cavity, musculoskeletal system, and skin and coat health. As your pet ages, the body gradually produces less of the immune and growth factors that help them maintain and support health. In aging and senior pets, colostrum helps to maintain normal body function and a state of health.  It also provides a form of additional energy. For working and performance pets, colostrum delivers a source of key factors that work to support natural stamina, endurance and normal recovery.

Uses of colostrum

Colostrum can be useful in the treatment of IBD, gastroenteritis, colitis, diarrhea, absorption deficiencies, pancreatitis, constipation, and food allergies. In addition to these, colostrum also provides immune-boosting, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal support to healthy cats and dogs.

 

Image result for dog allergy

Colostrum and allergies

Allergy symptoms occur when the immune system overreacts to the presence of a substance (an allergen) that’s not normally considered to be of danger to the body. When a dog is hypersensitive to one or more allergens, the body assumes it’s being invaded by something nasty and calls up the defense forces to neutralize the offending substance. Unfortunately, the release of histamine during this response produces unwelcome symptoms such as itchy, irritated ears, scooting, itchy feet, hot spots and breathing difficulties.

Colostrum contains a hormone called Proline-Rich-Polypeptide (PRP). This hormone can either stimulate an underactive immune system or in the case of allergies and autoimmune diseases, regulate an overactive immune system. PRP’s ability to reduce allergic symptoms is thought to be partly due to inhibition of the white blood cell and T-cell overproduction that’s normally associated with allergies. PRP is also thought to help create special cells (helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells) that can suppress and switch off the immune response. Other studies have shown that PRP is highly anti-inflammatory, which helps not just with allergies, but other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

 

Colostrum and leaky gutImage result for leaky gut graphic

Most of the immune system function happens in the gastrointestinal (or GI) tract. One of the major benefits of colostrum is its ability to control the health of the GI tract and seal the lining so undigested food can’t pass through and cause inflammation and allergy symptoms. There are several recent studies that show colostrum can help reverse gut irritation and the chronic health issues it can cause including yeast. Because colostrum contains probiotics and has antibiotic activity, it can help restore a healthy gut flora, which is key to healing leaky gut. For more information on Leaky Gut, read our blog post.

 

Colostrum and illness

A 2007 study showed that colostrum was three times more effective than the flu vaccine in preventing the flu. The same immune-boosting properties that help prevent and treat cancer and allergies can also protect your dog from viruses such as bordetella (kennel cough), parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease and more.

 

Colostrum and would healing

Colostrum contains growth factors, which help the newborn grow and develop. These same growth factors can stimulate wound healing. Studies show that when applied externally, colostrum can speed wound healing, skin growth and cellular repair. Colostrum also contains antibacterial properties, which will prevent and heal infections.

Topically, colostrum can be used for:

  • Dermatitis and skin infections
  • Gingivitis and oral infections
  • Ear infections
  • Abscesses
  • Cysts
  • Insect bites
  • Surgical wounds

To use colostrum topically, mix the powder with distilled or sterile water until it forms a paste, and apply it directly to the infected area.

 

Colostrum and cats

Colostrum isn’t just for dogs! Add some to your cats diet as well and allow them to reap the same benefits!

 

In conclusion, colostrum is a versatile superfood which is beneficial to animals of all ages and life stages, and supports a wide variety of conditions. It is a palatable and easily-digested addition to your pet’s healthcare regime. Try colostrum with your pet to experience its wide range of benefits. 

Grand Cru vs Raw

Why does True Carnivores carry Grand Cru?

You might be wondering why after 21 years, a dedicated raw food purveyor might carry a kibble. Have we sold out? After all, feeding kibble goes against our stated values that the healthiest diet for your pet is one made from fresh, whole-foods. The great thing about Grand Cru is that it starts as a raw diet made with real, unprocessed ingredients right off the line. It is then slowly dehydrated which makes it cleverly disguised as a kibble!

How Grand Cru is made:

All of their recipes start with whole, unprocessed, human-grade ingredients which are produced in Canada, and they only use muscle meat, not trim or scraps. Their factory meets the same standards as those used to produce human food, and they use an external laboratory for quality testing.

Grand Cru recipes start out with 70% whole chunks of meat and 30% consisting of  fruits and vegetables that are then,  finely minced. The peas, legumes and other fresh . This mixture is then formed and slowly dehydrated over several hours at low temperatures. This process allows the nutrients to be preserved, while killing bacteria and pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli.

Once dehydrated, the formula contains 2-5% moisture in comparison to the 8-12% in conventional kibble, further reducing the risk of pathogenic bacteria and mold growth. This makes GrandCru a great option for those who are concerned about exposure to bacteria and pathogens.

Image result for grandcru canisource

How Grand Cru benefits your pets:

 

  • Maintains a healthy acidity level in your pet’s stomach.

Because this is a dehydrated raw diet, rather than a cooked and extruded kibble, it does not have the same alkalizing effect that dry food does. Dogs and cats naturally have a highly acidic stomach, with a pH of 2 or lower. This allows their body to breakdown and digest raw meat and bones. This low pH is also highly effective at killing bacteria, to protect your pet and keep them healthy.

When pets are fed a high-carbohydrate kibble diet, the pH of their stomach can rise to 4 or higher. This negatively impacts their body’s ability to breakdown and digest proteins, which can lead to intolerances and allergies. This higher pH is also less effective at killing bacteria, exposing your pet to more harmful pathogens.

This acidic property also makes Grand Cru safe and suitable to mix with a fresh or frozen raw diet.

 

  • Cleaner teeth and fresher breath

The lower carbohydrate content in this diet compared to other kibbles is beneficial to your pet’s dental health. This is because the body converts carbs into sugars for use as quick energy. Bacteria love to feed on sugars, and because kibble-fed dogs have a reduced acidity, their body is less able to fight off the bacteria. Over time this will lead to plaque growth and tartar formation.

The low-carb, raw nature of Grand Cru works in two ways to keep your pet’s mouth clean and healthy. There is less sugars for bacteria to feed on, and their mouths are more acidic which makes it difficult for bacteria populate and produce.

 

  • Improved digestion and healthier bowel movements

Grand Cru has a whopping  20-40% more calories per kilogram than other premium kibbles, so your pet will need to eat less of Grand Cru than they would a processed kibble because it is nutrient-rich and has no fillers.  This makes it easier for the body to digest, and leaves you with smaller, firmer, less smelly stools to pick up.

You’ll also benefit from fewer burnt spots in your lawn. Excessive nitrates in your dog’s urine are what cause those telltale brown spots in your lawn. Nitrates are caused by inadequately digested proteins. Because Grand Cru uses fresh meats which aren’t broken down by high heat processing, your dog’s body can use these proteins much more effectively. They have also added cranberries and elderberries for urinary health.

 

  • A softer, shinier coat and healthier skin

The low temperatures used to dehydrate Grand Cru help to preserve the oils, fats, and fatty acids naturally occurring in the ingredients, which are crucial to your pet’s skin and coat health. Human grade proteins provide all the amino acids that help grow and maintain a healthy fur coat, ground flax seeds, eggs and sunflower oil provide omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and antioxidants to eliminate free radicals.

 

Who is Grand Cru good for?

Grand Cru is a great option for many different circumstances, as it allows you to give your pets the benefit of a raw, whole-food diet while maintaining the ease and convenience of kibble.

  • If you’re travelling or in any situation without access to a fridge or freezer for frozen raw food.
  • If you’re especially concerned about bacteria and pathogens, such as immunocompromised pets or family members, or post surgery or illness.
  • As a transition step from a traditional kibble to a raw diet, or for those not ready to make the leap into fresh or frozen food yet.
  • As a backup for emergency kits, or when you’ve just forgotten to thaw food for the next meal!
  • Those wanting to feed a kibble in combination with a fresh or frozen raw diet. Processed kibbles are not suitable to mix, as they have an alkalizing effect which can cause digestive upsets.

If Grand Cru sounds like the food for you, please check out our cat and dog selections.

Comparing Proteins: A compelling reason to add variety (Part 1 of 2)

Comparing Proteins: A compelling reason to add variety

They say that variety is the spice of life, but it’s also the key to a healthy life! Variety isn’t just important to keep your pet from getting bored with their meals, it’s also important to make sure their diet is balanced and healthy. Different animals eat different things, and this means that their meat contains different vitamins and minerals, and have their own unique qualities. By providing your pet with a variety of different protein options, you can ensure that they are not getting too much of one nutrient, or too little of another.

BeefImage result for cattle silhouette

Beef is an easily available, highly nutritious red meat choice for your pet. Grass-fed beef is a more nutrient-dense option, being higher in minerals and essential fatty acids (like omega-3s and CLA), and lower in fat than grain-fed beef.

Benefits:

  • One of the best sources of zinc, B vitamins, and niacin. Zinc is essential to growth, a healthy immune system, and wound healing. Niacin helps to maintain a healthy heart. It is also useful in the treatment of arthritis and management of diabetes.
  • Rich in selenium, an antioxidant which defends against cancer and boosts the immune system
  • Grass-fed beef is one of the best sources of a potent fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). This fatty acid has positive effects on asthma, diabetes, inflammation, reducing body fat and helping to fight cancer.

Things to note:

  • Grain-fed beef can be high in fat, and have an unbalanced omega 3-6 ratio which can cause inflammation. True Carnivores has many grass-fed beef options available for your pets.

Bison/BuffaloImage result for bison silhouette

Bison is an excellent alternative for dogs with beef allergies or sensitivities. Nutritionally, bison is similar to beef in the amount of protein, B vitamins and iron, but is slightly lower and fat and calories.

Benefits:

  • Bison do not marble their fat (store fat within muscle tissue), so the finished meat product is lower in overall fat than beef.
  • Bison has yellow fat, containing high levels of beta-carotene (the nutrient found in carrots and other orange and red vegetables). Beta-carotene is converted to Vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin and eyes, and boosts the immune system.
  • An excellent source of a potent fatty acid called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which This has positive effects on asthma, diabetes, inflammation, reducing body fat and helping to fight cancer.

Things to note:

  • Bison are not as commonly farmed as cattle. There are approximately 500 thousand bison in North America, compared to over 50 million cattle. This creates a high demand on their meat, so bison is sometimes more expensive or harder to source than beef. Luckily in Vancouver, we have a consistent supply of Bison from several different pet food companies.

CamelImage result for camel silhouette

Camel is an exotic protein choice, great for pets with red meat allergies or sensitivities. It has a similar mineral composition to beef, while being substantially lower in fat.

Benefits:

  • Contains high levels of palmitic acid (omega-7) and oleic acid (omega-9). These acids have antioxidant properties, as well as benefitting heart and brain health.
  • Camel is incredibly lean, rivalling kangaroo with only 1-2% fat. This makes it a great option for overweight or less active pets, and those dealing with pancreatitis or IBD.

Things to note:

  • Camel farms are few and far between, and farming them for the production of meat is even less common. They are typically farmed for their milk, and use as riding and pack animals. This puts a very high demand on their meat, making it difficult to source and costing a premium. Thankfully True Carnivores carries a fantastic camel diet for your pets.

ChickenImage result for chicken silhouette

Chicken is easily the most widely available and economical protein option available. Because of its high demand, intensive farming practices are commonly used. Look for non-medicated chicken to ensure a healthy, nutritious product for your pet.

Benefits:

  • Chicken’s affordability makes it easier for people on a budget or with a lot of dogs to be able to afford a raw diet.
  • Their small size means the entire bird is consumable, and offers many bone options for even small dogs and cats.
  • Great source of niacin and vitamin B6
  • Good source of selenium, an antioxidant which defends against cancer and boosts the immune system.

Things to note:

  • Because of its common useage in pet food, chicken is the most common protein allergy or sensitivity in dogs and cats.
  • Chicken is often considered an inflammatory protein or “hot” food. This is because chicken is very high in omega 6 and low in omega 3 fats. The imbalance of these fats can cause inflammation and skin and coat issues. When feeding chicken, take care to add extra omega-3s to your pet’s diet to balance the inflammatory omega-6’s. Whole fish or fish oils are a great addition.
  • White meat is low in zinc and iron, making it nutritionally incomplete as the entire diet on an everyday basis. Be sure to add organs and red meat for a better balance of nutrients.
  • We recommend feeding chicken as part of your pets diet, rather than the entire diet.

DuckImage result for duck silhouette

Duck is a great alternative for pets with poultry allergies. Because ducks are entirely dark meat, they contain more minerals and nutrients than birds with white meat.

Benefits:

  • Duck is an excellent source for selenium, zinc, vitamin B-3, 5, and 12. Both zinc and selenium are antioxidants that help to boost the immune system. Selenium also helps to maintain normal thyroid function.
  • Duck has a better omega 3-6 ratio than turkey and chicken, making it less inflammatory and needing less work to make it nutritionally balanced.
  • Duck is a popular option for elimination diets, as it has cooling properties which help to calm down skin irritations and allergy symptoms.

Things to note:

  • Duck is a higher-fat protein and care should be taken with overweight or less active pets and dogs prone to pancreatitis.

Elk & VenisonImage result for deer silhouette

Wild game is an excellent protein choice for your pets. As they are not domesticated and subject to typical farming practices, they tend to be very healthy animals. Even though elk and venison are now “farmed”, they are not raised in the same fashion as farm animals like pork or beef. They remain undomesticated and graze on rangeland, eating a variety of grasses and scrubs. This yields a very lean meat, with a superior mineral and nutrient profile.

Benefits:

  • Elk and venison are one of the best red-meat omega 3 sources. Their omega 3-6 ratio is well balanced, and supplementation is usually not necessary.
  • High in zinc and copper. Zinc boosts immune system, and aids in wound healing, while copper has anti-cancer properties, improves nerve function and promotes collagen production to ease arthritis pain.
  • Elk and venison are very lean, making them an excellent choice for overweight or less active pets, as well as dogs prone to pancreatitis.

Things to note:

  • Because of their undomesticated nature, they are not widely farmed. This makes their meat more expensive, and also highly seasonal. The production of elk and venison mainly occurs during the fall. This can lead to a shortage of product through spring and summer.

GoatImage result for goat silhouette

Goat is a great novel protein choice for pets dealing with allergies. Its low fat content also makes it great for pets that need help maintaining their weight.

Benefits:

  • Very low fat (only 4-5%), making it a great choice for pets that need to lose weight, are less active, or dogs that are prone to pancreatitis.
  • Higher iron levels than most other red meats. Iron is important for red blood cell production, boosting the immune system, and helping to regulate body temperature.

Things to note:

  • Although it is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide, goat is not a commonly consumed meat in North America, so there aren’t many goat-based pet foods on the market currently. Thankfully, True Carnivores carries a wonderful whole-prey goat diet for cats and dogs.

Herring

Herring is a great way to boost the omega-3 content in your pet’s diet! They are a small, oily fish which is low in mercury. Try feeding them whole to give your dog a tasty treat or for supplemental feeding.

Benefits:

  • High in omega-3 fats, which are an antioxidant and reduce inflammation, as well as improving the condition of the skin and coat.
  • Their small size makes them a great meaty bone option for small dogs and cats, and an easy meal replacement option.
  • Rich in selenium, an antioxidant, and potassium, an electrolyte which helps regulate blood pressure.

Things to note:

  • Herring contains and enzyme called thiaminase, which binds to Vitamin B1 (thiamin) and can lead to a deficiency which affects brain and nerve function. It shouldn’t make up the majority of your pet’s diet, but a few fish meals a week is perfectly safe!
  • Fish is high in phosphorus, which is not recommended for pets with kidney issues.

After comparing the benefits and drawbacks of all these protein choices, we hope you can choose a few to add to your meal rotation that will work for your pet to give them all the nutrients they need for a long, healthy life!

To view part 2 of our protein comparisons, please click here