Does your pet have the Autumn Itchies?

It’s November and for the past month we’ve had lots of folks asking for help for their itchy pets, so let’s talk about what some of the causes might be and what you can do about to help your dog or cat feel better.

Here in California we can almost consider Autumn our “Other Spring.” We get another round of plants blooming, which can trigger environmental allergy symptoms. Our pets will most likely show this as itchy skin because they have ten times the number of mast cells in their skin that we do – that’s why what gives us sinus problems gives them skin problems.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Autumn is also associated with the skin. The Element for the season is Metal, and the Meridians associated with this time of year are the Lungs and Large Intestine. So dryness, skin and hair, immune system – all of these come together at this time of year.

No wonder we’re feeling, dry, itchy, and susceptible. If our overall health is out of balance you will see this indications come to the front. They are symptoms telling you to take good care of the inside of the body.


Be sure your pet is getting enough healthy fats in their diet with Fish Oil and Coconut Oil
Fish oil is a must. We also recommend coconut oil, especially for older animals that may be having a harder time fatty foods, or for younger dogs who are too thin or feeling dry. Coconut oil also has benefits for the immune and endocrine systems. Your pet’s fur should become more in just a few weeks.

Bone broth provides many benefits
We have both frozen and freeze-dried beef broth available, but we also encourage you to make your own. It provides collagen which nourishes dry cells, and it’s a tasty way to ensure your pet is getting enough moisture in their diet.

Medicinal mushrooms provide deep sustenance to the immune system
Medicinal mushroom powders (we carry locally produced Mushroom Matrix) are easy to add to the diet, making an especially good combination with warm bone broth. Reishi mushroom is nourishing to the lungs, adrenals, and kidneys, as well as increasing the immune cells in the blood which help prevent disease. Combination formulas provide a well-rounded balance of benefits for all animals.

Reduce troublesome allergy symptoms naturally
Even with the benefits of nourishing foods, some pets need more direct help at reducing the symptoms of allergies. Vet’s Best Seasonal Allergy Support contains the most well-regarded natural antihistamines (like stinging nettle leaf and quercetin), and can help reduce bothersome symptoms without burdening the body with the side-effects of pharmaceuticals.

Stimulate the skin without drying it
Gentle grooming is a wonderful way to stimulate blood flow to the skin. Our favorite tool for this is the Zoom Groom because the rubber “teeth” are pleasant for the pets and easy to use no matter how long or short the hair. It can also be used (softly) on the legs and feet, areas that usually don’t get much in the way of rubbing. You might be tempted to wash your pet when their itchy, but be mindful of using the most gentle options to rinse off allergens without stripping the natural oils of the skin. Look for “non-soap” options or those containing nourishing oils.

Safe & Happy Holidays for your Pets

Halloween…. Thanksgiving…. Christmas, New Year’s Eve….. holidays are out of the ordinary for pets but problems are easy to avoid with a little bit of forethought.


It goes without saying that dogs and cats shouldn’t be able to get access to Halloween candy. If you are passing it out be sure you’ve got it safely up and out of reach while waiting for the next trick-or-treaters.

Decorations can seem like novel playthings to cats and dogs, so keep an eye out for anything that may attract the wrong kind of attention from animals. Fake cobweb material in particular could be problematic if your pet grabs it and gets it in their teeth or even swallows it.

Costumed visitors can be scary for pets. Some dogs may bark and growl from the anxiety, while others may hide. The best thing you can do for your pets is to let them hang out in a quiet part of the house away from the front door. Putting some calming music on can be really helpful. Give them a calming supplement like Sleepytime Tonic or Dr. Becker’s Calming Solutions treats and let them relax.


It’s sadly common for pets to end up at the vet for pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) because their family thought it was a good idea to share the scraps from their Thanksgiving turkey dinner. The amount of cooked fat in poultry skin, gravy, sweet potato casserole, and pan drippings can send their body into a tailspin that some dogs never fully recover from. If you want to share the meal give them plain meat and a little bit of plain sweet potato on top of their usual food. If your dog is already a raw food eater you can offer the raw neck and giblets before you start the cooking.

The crowds that can fill a happy holiday house can be overwhelming for dogs and cats. Be sure they have a quiet place to retreat to, and ensure that kids understand that they need to ask permission before petting and not intrude on the chosen quiet space. Calming aids like those mentioned above can be helpful. It can also be a good time to have your foraging toys ready to go so when you sit down to dinner your dog can sit down to a stuffed Kong in another room.


Christmas has many of the same potential trouble spots as Halloween and Thanksgiving. If you’re expecting a crowd for Christmas use the earlier holidays to try out different calming aids and contingency plans so that when the big day comes around you’re well prepared.

Presents under the tree can prove irresistible to pets. It’s usually a good idea to supervise them when they’re around those temptations, and avoid risky decorations like tinsel and glass ornamentsDecorated trees can really confuse them sometimes because it’s bringing the outdoors in. It can seem perfectly normal to a cat to climb a tree and for a dog to urinate on it – but think of it from their point of view and resist punishing them – preventing an accident is a much more thoughtful way to manage the scene.

New Year’s Eve

Fireworks are the biggest risk to pet’s on New Year’s Eve. If you know that your dog or cat is sensitive to noises like that you can help them the most by planning ahead. Start using flower essence formulas like Pet Essences Fear & Anxiety two weeks before the big day. Once the evening starts use that same formula frequently, or use Five Flower Formula from Healing Herbs several times an hour. In addition some pets may need more direct calming aids like Sleepytime Tonic, Happy Traveler, Dr. Becker’s Calming Solutions Treats, and others available at Dexter’s Deli. Having the TV on or using music designed to have a calming influence on pets can provide an additional buffer to the loud noises at midnight. Many animals also benefit from the safe feeling of a Thundershirt. If you think your dog might panic it’s best to stay home – many pets go missing annually because they try to escape the mysterious sounds from the sky and go through windows and over fences. No party is worth losing your pet.

Choosing the Right Treat

Treats can be divided into a few basic categories:

+ Biscuits

+ Meat-only treats

+ Soft treats

+ Chews

You’re probably shopping for treats to fill specific needs:

+ According to their ingredients or nutritional profile

+ As a simple daily hand-out

+ As a training treat

+ To use as a meal enticement

+ To occupy your dog for a period of time chewing or using a foraging toy

+ To enhance their diet and improve their wellbeing

Let’s look at these categories and needs, and how you can better understand the choices available.


A basic biscuit is a great handout for dogs. You should look for a short list of wholesome ingredients. Any sweeteners should have nutritional value, like fruit or molasses. Some young, active dogs have trouble keeping weight on in the winter, and a daily biscuit can add just enough starch to their diet to keep their energy going.

A simple biscuit can be a nice stomach settler too, for early mornings or late nights (a bedtime snack for a dog who tends to vomit a little bit before breakfast).


These are an excellent option for many needs. They may be roasted, air-dried, freeze-dried, or dehydrated, so there are no preservatives. They are usually single-ingredient treats so dogs or cats that need to avoid certain ingredients are easy to shop for. There are often organ meat options which are extra enticing.

Meat treats provide an easy way to enhance the diet, and many are soft-enough to crumble over meals as an enticement. Many of them can make an excellent addition to your training treat pouch (for cats too!), and most make good dry pocket treats for walks. Some are in larger pieces making them last at least a few minutes longer than other treats, and they can be put into foraging toys along with less tempting treats to encourage play.

Soft Treats

Best for training treats and for dogs with dental issues. These are often made with a mixture of ingredients that allow for a soft texture. Be sure to read the ingredient panel, you want high-quality stuff, no propylene glycol or Red #42! You can also find some simple freeze-dried meat treats that are soft.  If your pet has health issue be sure the ingredients match their needs.

Some soft treats are designed to be very small training treats, but bigger ones can be easily broken into smaller bite-size bits for quick furbishing and to avoid overfeeding. Some even come in tubes and are designed to be sliced and diced for customized sizes. These can be refrigerated for longer shelf-life.


There are three basic sub-categories of chew treats: starch-based dental chews, dried parts (bully stix, ears, fish skins, etc), and raw bones. It’s important to buy a chew that matches your dog’s size, chewing style, and nutritional needs.

It’s important to supervise your dog or cat when giving chews so that you know how carefully they chew, how hard they chew, and if they have a habit of swallowing inappropriate items. If your dog is a resource guarder you should work with a positive reinforcement trainer on this issue before offering chews.

Starch-based chews made with ingredients like potato or rice are designed to dissolve in the stomach, making them safer for reckless chewers. You do need to account the amount of calories they consume in this way, and consider limiting chew time for that reason.

Dried parts like bully stix, ears, and fish skins are a good option for animals that need to avoid the ingredients in starch-based chews. They vary a lot in the toughness and digestibility, so learning your dog’s chew style is important.

Raw bones deserve their own detailed discussion, so we’ll put that discussion aside for another time.

It’s always important to get the right size of chew to prevent choking, and to take it away when it’s been reduced to swallowing size. It can also be a good idea to buy a larger chew and simply remove it after 20 minutes so they don’t eat too much of it at once.

It’s important to start interacting with your pet early on when providing chews so that you can calmly take away a high value chew safely. Trading for it with a smaller delectable treat is the best way to remove a high-value chew. Practicing this (including handing the chew back) is an important safety habit to have.

Dry Food Safety – Storage Is Up To You

Dry foods, while designed to be stable for storage, can actually degrade quickly once the bag is opened and oxidation begins.  This is especially true of foods containing fish and fish oil, which go rancid more quickly than other fats.

Trust your nose (and your dog’s nose)!

Rancid fats may make your dog sick, or they may just refuse to eat. If your dog refuses their food or throws it up give it the sniff test yourself. If this type of thing occurs when that large bag of kibble is almost gone it’s a pretty sure bet that the food has gone rancid and you need to up your game on purchasing and storing your pet’s food.

Aim to feed your pet’s dry food within two weeks of opening the bag.

Yes. Two weeks.

If you cannot reliably do that and cannot buy a smaller bag, freeze the food in one week packages as soon as you open it (use proper freezer bags to ensure no moisture gets in).

Always store dry food in a cool, dry place. That means for most folks the garage is off-limits.

Always keep the original packaging. This is important in case there is a recall or your pet gets sick and you need to return the food and report the illness to the company. The bag has the information the company needs to track the exact batch of food.

The original bag also provides a safer surface than your typical plastic bin, so if you’re used to dumping out your pets food into a plastic bin please keep it in the bag and put the whole bag in (and if you can’t fit it that might be a another clue that you need to freeze some of it or simply buy a smaller bag.

Always check the production or “best by” date when purchasing your food. Dry foods are generally considered shelf stable in a sealed bag for one year, so if there is only a “best by” date be sure it’s not coming up soon. If you do find a bag that’s close to or past the “best by” date inform the store. Even stores that are diligent about rotating their stock can lose track of a bag here or there and will thank you for bringing it to their attention. You may find that you need to special order your favorite food if it’s not a big seller, but that’s much better than buying a bag that’s been sitting around a store for months.

Dry food is convenience food, but it’s not indestructible. For more details about this issue read this short article by Steve Brown.

Is the FDA out for blood?

If you feed raw pet food you might be concerned about the recent uptick in recalls by raw pet food manufacturers. You might be starting to second-guess your choice of a raw diet for your dog or cat because you keep hearing about raw food being recalled.

Here are some important things to know to put these recalls in perspective.

The FDA has decided that, unlike other kinds of pet food or even the meat you purchase for yourself, they will have zero tolerance for any pathogenic bacteria in prepared raw pet food diets.

They are targeting raw and minimally processed pet foods only, looking for any sign of e.coli, salmonella, or listeria.

This testing is not being done on dry or canned pet food, even though they have also been found to have these pathogens (not to mention the added danger of aflatoxins and mycotoxins in dry pet food, and the ongoing problem of dangerous hidden ingredients from large, less-than-honest companies).

This testing is also not being done in response to complaints. Yet they make no move to recall dry foods that are implicated in the deaths of many pets (even getting the attention of Congress).

The rates of contamination are quite low in raw pet foods, much lower than the meat you buy for your own meals. How does a 7% rate of pathogenic bacteria in pet food vs. a 39-81% rate of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meat for human consumption sound to you?

The FDA does not believe raw meat foods for animals are consistent with the goal of protecting the public from significant health risks.” They say it’s all about safety for the pet owners, but apparently they feel that you have the ability to handle raw meat in your home when feeding yourself, even though the rate of contamination is much higher in meat intended for people (in their full statement they do reiterate the commonly-known precautions of handling any raw meat, yet state in terms specifying raw pet food… huh?)

Pathogenic bacteria in dry food is actually more dangerous to pet owners because most of us don’t use the same care in handling that they do with raw food, and reports of dry pet food as a source of human illness have been appearing for many years.

We know that healthy dogs and cats are well-suited to handling small amounts of these pathogens as they occur in nature (we sure know that they survive eating dirt and licking their butts). It has been proven that healthy animals neutralize pathogenic bacteria. This is especially true of raw feed dogs because their diet helps their GI tract maintain a healthy gut full of beneficial bacteria and a digestive system with a proper pH level to help kill of pathogens naturally.

You are also safer from pathogenic bacteria if you take care of your gut, with a healthy diet and plenty of foods that provide naturally occuring beneficial bacteria, so remember to take what you learn about fresh food for pets and apply it to your own wellbeing.

All manner of foods, for people and pets, can be sources of pathogenic bacteria when mishandled: spinach, peanut butter, and even pet food. The natural world is full of bacteria. Our own bodies are actually outnumbered within; we have 10 times more bacterial cells than human ones! The key for humans, cats, dogs, everyone – is having a healthy balance of bacteria.

Small raw food companies, people we have known for years, are on the verge of being driven out of business due to the high cost of responding to the FDA’s witch hunt. Other companies have felt forced to change the processing of their diets and use high-pressure-pasteurization, which kills ALL bacteria, both good and bad, thus reducing one of the important benefits of raw foods.

We all need to be concerned about what (or whom) is driving the government’s decision-making-process. Is it the economic influence from the large multinational corporations like Nestle, Mars, Smuckers, and Proctor & Gamble (who own most of the largest pet food manufacturers)? Is their influence on the self-policing AAFCO part of the problem? We recently wrote about the problems we see with how these companies make pet food. 

Follow sites like Truth About Pet Food and Whole Dog Journal for well documented information about all of these issues, and ask us any time you’re in the store if you have concerns about your pet’s food.

People often ask us “Why does the food you sell cost more?”

It’s a good question, because the mainstream pet food industry keeps the public in the dark about what actually goes into pet food (and it’s often impossible to tell by looking at the food itself, whether it’s dried pellets or canned meat).

The food we sell costs more than many foods on the market for some very basic reasons. Here are a few:

  • They are not made from diseased animals.
  • They don’t contain inedible fillers like peanut shells and the hulls swept up from grain mill floors.
  • Their ingredients are specifically identified (no “meat and bone meal,” for example, which could be any species at all).
  • To the best of our ability they are sourced from ethical and humane conditions, for the animals and the people working to harvest and process the fish, meat, and vegetables that go into the food.

When a company representative come to our store to pitch their new food we ask a lot of tough questions, and expect clear answers.

We will also stop selling a food that has lost our trust. This most often happens when independent companies are purchased by large corporations who are not focused on providing healthy pet food, but are focused on using pet food as a small part of their supply chain.


Two of the most recent stories that illustrate these points (in different directions) concern Weruva and Merrick, two popular canned food lines that we’ve carried for many years.

Weruva sources and packages it’s fish in Thailand. While the waters off Thailand have traditionally considered some of the healthiest for ocean fish stocks, unethical fishing practices that also include slave labor on the boats have made it even more important to have the facts. There is also the general concern about sourcing food products from so far away.

From our very first meeting with Weruva they have been open and accountable, ready to talk about how their fish are caught and prepared, and the conditions of the workers in their Thai facilities. They are one of the few companies that address these serious issues openly on their website and when asked by customers and retailers.

Weruva’s products aren’t cheap, but that’s because they don’t cut corners, and as a result they produce a food that you could eat yourself (yes, the writer has tasted their cat food, the only time she’s done so through all the years in this industry).

Our response on Beneful adWe have carried Merrick canned foods and chew treats for many years, and they have always been popular. We stopped carrying many of their chew treats when they started irradiating them, but continued with their canned foods because they were so palatable and popular, and because they were made start-to-finish in the U.S. by the company themselves. Like many other companies, though, they grew larger and larger, and were sold to Nestle. Other examples of these kinds of sales: Natural Balance is owned by Smuckers (note how this is hidden through an additional layer of brand packaging), Zukes is owned by Nestle, and Natura is owned by Mars (after being purchased by Proctor & Gamble).

In our experience these sales to huge multinationals results in a lowering of quality and in many cases an increase in recalls due to poor manufacturing oversight, usually within two years of the sale. We simply don’t believe that these companies have our pet’s best interest at heart.

Don’t expect to find Merrick in our stores for much longer, and as always, we’re on the look-out for new and better products for your pets.

One of our newest foods, Open Farm, really goes the extra mile to ensure that their products are ethically produced, providing third-party humane certification for their source farms.

And of course many of our raw food companies respond to these issues as well, especially our regional companies like Smallbatch, Halshan, and our own Dexter’s Naturals.

We want our customers to know that we pay attention to the ethical treatment of not only your pets, but also the animals raised to feed them and the people employed to make the products.

We believe that knowing what your pet is eating is worth the extra cost.


Probiotic Foods

Beneficial bacteria and live enzymes are the building blocks of not only healthy digestion, but also healthy immune & nervous system. Feeding supplemental foods like raw green tripe, raw cultured goat milk, and fermented fish broth ensures that your dog or cat is getting the most easily absorbed probiotics and enzymes possible, along with other nutritious components.

Start slow, as you would with any new food or supplement.

These foods are all excellent for sick animals because they are highly nutritious and easily digested (they also smell interesting, which can encourage animals who aren’t feeling well).

Raw cultured goat milk is a balanced source of highly digestible protein, enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Unpasteurized milk retains all naturally occurring enzymes, including lactase, making it much more digestible than pasteurized milk.  It’s high in caprylic acid which helps fight yeast problems. Its broad array of nutrients are easily and quickly absorbed, making it perfect as a convalescence food and as a milk replacement for puppies and kittens. It can be fed as a meal on days when you want to lightly fast your pet. Probiotics are added to the products we carry for increased health benefits. Both of our raw milk brands are sourced in the U.S. from free-ranging, grass-eating goats, and are tested for e. coli, salmonella, and listeria.

Primal Goat Milk: Probiotics added are: Lactobacillus acidophilus (improves immune response to pathogenic bacteria and fungi), Lactobacillus lactis, Lactobacillus salivarius (inhibits h. pylori in lab tests), and Enterococcus facium (needs to be replaced continually in the body, but found to be resistant to many antibiotics and better than L. acidopholus at shortening diarrheal episodes). Cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric are added as warming digestive aides.

Answers Goat Milk: Probiotics added are: Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides. A small amount of honey is added to act as a prebiotic, and a small amount of cinnamon is added as a warming digestive.

Answers Fermented Fish Broth
Like all fermented foods it contains high amounts of naturally occurring enzymes and probiotics. It’s high in gelatin which is healing to the intestinal lining, and contains beneficial amounts of chemical components that support healthy joint and matrix functioning. It contains actual thyroid gland (from fish), and is beneficial for animals with chronic renal failure who are on low protein diets (the broth is high in beneficial amino acids that aid kidney function). It’s also a good source of fatty acids.

Green Tripe
Our raw green tripe is from grass-fed cattle and contains the stomach and partially digested grasses that, with the digestive chemistry, are the source of naturally occurring enzymes, probiotics, and other nutrients. It is not nutritionally complete on its own, but is very useful as a regular part of any pet’s diet (many owners feed a weekly meal).

Download a PDF of this information

Emergency! Get Prepared.

The recent fires in San Diego County have reminded us all of the importance of being prepared for emergencies, especially evacuations. Pets have been separated from their families because of something as simple as not wearing a collar. Planning ahead for such unexpected events is easy to put off, but we hope we can provide some reminders here for you so that your pets will be safe in the event of an emergency evacuation.

Keep your cat carrier or dog crate
Some of us clean out our garage or closet and wonder whether we want to keep storing that pet carrier we haven’t used in years. YES! You do want to keep a carrier at home in case you need to evacuate your pet. Emergency shelters are more likely to accept pets than they used to be, but they will (almost always) require you to have your pet contained in order to have them with you. Plastic carriers usually come apart to make storage easier, and there are fold-down metal or fabric options too (the latter should only be used for pets who are well acclimated to confinement. Be sure you have your contact information ON the crate too. Use clear packing tape to thoroughly cover a written sign (include your pet’s name too), or attach a specially made tag to the wire grate.

Even if your pet eats raw food you want to keep shelf-stable food on hand in case of emergency. Cans last the longest, but dry, freeze-dried, and dehydrated food can also be stored. Note the “best by” date and be sure to feed or donate the food before it expires, then rotate in a new batch. You should try to store enough food for a week. Putting a gallon of water aside for your pet is a good idea too.

Be sure your pets are wearing collars with ID tags, and that the information on your pet’s ID is current. It’s not a bad idea to have an extra collar or harness (harnesses are more secure in emergencies) with tags stored in your pet’s emergency stash. Have your pet microchipped, and be sure to follow-up and complete the registration for the microchip to have current and complete information. This should include contact information for someone outside your household who could help your pet in the event that you can’t be reached. San Diego County Animal Services is now using Find Rover, a free facial recognition app for smartphones, to help reunite owners with their pets, so consider uploading your dog’s photo today as a “just in case” precaution.

Tape an envelope to your carrier (or to your backup food) to store important information such as alternate contacts, veterinary and insurance information, medication information, dietary or supplement needs, behavioral concerns, and any health conditions that might not be apparent. Have copies of photos of your pet that can be used to clearly identify them. Take a photo from the side and from the front, and print them together on a page. Consider storing a copy of the photos with your own emergency information or in the glove compartment of your car.

Have a spare set of dishes (stainless steel dishes are durable and nest together for easy storage), an extra leash, poop bags, First Aid kit (with how-to booklet), towel, grooming wipes, and any other supplies you think you could need (or could loan to another pet owner). Have a pet rescue sticker on the front of your house.

Talk To Your Neighbors
Be sure you and your neighbors are familiar with each other’s pets. Exchange contact information and form partnerships in case someone isn’t home at the time of an emergency.

Links to More Resources

New Year’s Patio Pawty Celebrates Local Animal Welfare Groups


On Sunday, January 5th Dexter’s Deli will be hosting an afternoon party to celebrate the success of our Holiday Drive and the hard work of the four local recipient groups.

We’ll be donating checks of $1,000 to each group, as well as in-kind donations of food from our generous natural pet food companies.

Guests will enjoy light refreshments along with music by Adrian Demain and visual art by Nicole Boramanand, Kristina Sacher, and Susan Schelling.

Sociable leashed dogs are welcome.

Free no-limit parking is available at City Hall in 11th St. as well as nearby residential streets. Parking on Camino Del Mar is metered.

9 Commercial Pet Food Myths

Here are the top myths we hear from our customers.  It’s not their fault. These ideas are being spread primarily through marketing by the pet food companies, but unfortunately some of the myth-making is being done by veterinarians who don’t continue their own education on food to go beyond the limited one they get in school.  We want our customers to make informed decisions about feeding their pets. We strive to educate them with sensible information and build their confidence about natural nutrition.



  1. “Dry Food Cleans Their Teeth”
    Dogs and cats only crunch kibble enough to gulp it down, if they crunch it at all. They aren’t going to spend enough time on those little bits to have any effect on tarter building up on their teeth. In fact, the starches in dry food are just what will encourage tarter – the opposite of what the myth says. Chewing is how dogs and cats naturally keep their teeth clean. The second way for our pets is for us to help them out with regular brushing and dental care.
  2. “100% Complete & Balanced”
    Would you eat Total Cereal with milk as your sole diet? Of course not.  Commercial dry foods rely on the idea of nutritionism: promoting laboratory nutrient analysis over the importance of live, natural, whole food synergy and safety. While bags of nuggets may be able to sustain an animal, they are not providing optimal natural nutrition. The bottom line is to get out of the mindset that scooping nuggets out of a bag is all you need for a “complete” diet.
  3. “Don’t Change Foods”
    We don’t believe that you should rely on one company to decide what constitutes a healthy diet for your pet. Rotating foods regularly (at least 4 times a year) can prevent allergies and sensitivities that are due to over-exposure to specific foods, and will provide a variety of nutrient profiles for balanced health. Dogs and cats should be able to switch foods without experiencing digestive problems. If your pet can’t switch easily you should explore supplements and other ways to improve their digestive health before giving up on variety.
  4. “Grain Free Is Better”
    While dogs and cats aren’t physiologically designed to eat grains, this decent idea has become a bit of a fad, resulting in mediocre foods being made to fulfill demand. Many of these foods are still high in carbohydrates and high on the glycemic index, which is much more of a concern overall.  If you’re using grain-free dry food in the hopes of avoiding health issues, remember myth number one and go beyond the bag.
  5.  “Never Feed People Food”
    What is “people food” anyway? That entirely depends on the people. Processed foods aren’t good for anyone, but healthy, species-appropriate fresh foods are the #1 way to improve your pet’s health. Don’t give your pet your mealtime cast-offs, some of those could indeed be bad for their health (like a handful of cooked chicken skin). But don’t be afraid to give sensible bites of sensible foods (natural, fresh, whole… not sauces, fats, and sugars).  If you’re worried about begging at your dinner table simply put the food in your pet’s dish along with their meal and ignore your pet while you’re eating.
  6. Senior Food
    Too many “senior” foods lower the protein levels, which is a bad idea for animals that need help maintaining good muscle condition and energy.  It’s a myth that older animals need lower protein diets to protect their kidneys. Older animals may need more digestible protein and increased fiber, both of which can be easily added with fresh meat, eggs, and vegetables.
  7. Diet Food
    Many diet foods are low in protein and loaded with fillers that no dog or cat should be eating. Many animals put on these diets become hungrier because their body is telling them they aren’t getting the nutrients they need, and they often don’t even lose weight. Our pets shouldn’t be put on crazy crash diets anymore than we should be. After you’ve ruled out medical reasons you can do well by reducing calories a little while increasing exercise. Some of the best weight-loss stories we’ve seen have been animals switched off dry food and onto fresh raw diets that are naturally low in carbohydrates and high in whole nutrients.
  8. Prescription Diets
    Despite being sold by veterinarians most of these diets are filled with caloric place-holders that aren’t fit to be called food. They often also conform to outdated beliefs about certain health issues, and may cause other problems in the long term. If your pet truly needs a highly-specialized diet for the long-term there are many holistic veterinarians and practitioners who can design a healthy and appropriate diet that will be truly beneficial.
  9. Hypoallergenic Food
    Animals can be allergic to anything, and claiming a specific meat is “hypoallergenic” is misleading. True food allergies are rare, and food intolerance are better tested via elimination diets or a saliva test called Nutriscan. The bottom line for immune dysfunctional pets is that feeding only processed diets will never get them to optimal health.