On the first Friday of the month Dr. Michael Fox joins Heidi Holtan and John Bauer for a call-in segment about pets. Whether it's questions about food, behavior or a sweet story, Dr. Fox ALWAYS has something interesting to say!
If you have a question for Dr. Fox you can call in starting at 8:15 on Friday morning, or join the Facebook discussion of pets on KAXE's page. You can also email us or post your quetions here!
Pet food comes up quite often, and Dr. Fox has studied the pet food industry exclusively and usually mentions that you should be making homemade food for your animals. Why? Here's his reason:
Home-prepared foods for our animal companions, ideally with organic ingredients that were locally produced, are important because you then know what your animal is being fed if a food-related health problem such as an allergy to a particular ingredient or digestive upset were to arise. With most processed commercial pet foods containing all kinds of human food-industry by-products and ingredients considered unfit/unsafe for human consumption, many of questionable nutritional value after repeated processing, you just don’t know. Aside from coloring agents that may cause problems other than saliva-staining of animals’ faces, and paws, most commercial pet foods contain artificial preservatives like BHA that is linked with cancer of the bladder and stomach; BHT that may cause cancer of the bladder and thyroid gland; and Ethoxyquin, one of Monsanto’s many allegedly harmful products that renderers (meat and poultry processors) add to the fat/tallow that is put into pet foods to prevent rancidity. Ethoxyquin is a recognized hazardous chemical, a highly toxic pesticide. Most pet food manufacturers have recently phased out using BHA and BHT and now use ‘mixed tocopherols’ (a claimed source or form of vitamin E), citric acid, beta-carotene and Rosemary extract as preservatives.
Have you ever tried it? Here is his recipe for dog food. Click here for the cat food recipe!
Dr. Michael Fox's Homemade 'Natural'
Food for Dogs
Pinch of salt
1 T. vegetable oil (flax seed oil* or safflower oil) and 1T organic butter
1 T. wheat germ
1 T. cider vinegar
1 t. brewer's yeast
1 T calcium carbonate/citrate/ or lactate, or oyster shell or 3 Tums tablets
1 t. dried kelp
1 lb. lean hamburger, or ground lamb, mutton, or one whole chicken or half of a small turkey.
Combine all above ingredients. Add water to cover ingredients, simmer, stir, and add more water as needed until cooked. De-bone chicken parts and do not feed cooked bones since they can splinter and cause internal injury. The recipe should be thick to be molded into patties (add oat bran or rice or buckwheat flour to help thicken).Mix well into the stew while it is still very hot, a cup full of raw, grated carrots, sweet potato or yam. Serve 1 cup full of this recipe for a 30 lb. dog with the rest of his/her rations, and freeze the rest into patties and store in the freezer. Serve thawed, or frozen to gnaw on outdoors in hot weather.
For variation, you can use cottage cheese, plus well-cooked lentils, chick peas (garbanzo beans), lima beans or other pulses, or a dozen organic eggs as meat alternatives. Don’t forget, lightly cooked, or if organically certified, raw calf and beef liver, heart and kidneys are good sources of animal protein and other essential nutrients. All pet food ingredients, ideally, should be organically certified. (Note: some dogs are allergic or hypersensitive to some foods, especially soy, beef, eggs, wheat and dairy products.).
* Add flax seed oil after the cooked food has cooled down to room temperature.
*** Also give the dog a daily multi-vitamin and muti-mineral supplement, such as Pfizer’s Pet Tabs, or a good quality human ‘one –a day’ supplement equivalent, crushed up in the food, calculating one half of the human daily dose for a 50 lb dog.
For dogs under 30 lb, and for over-weight and less active dogs, use 1 cup of uncooked rice in the recipe.
--TRANSITION YOUR DOG GRADUALLY ONTO THIS NEW DIET---MIX INCREASING AMOUNTS OF YOUR DOG’S NEW FOOD WITH DECREASING AMOUNTS OF THE OLD FOOD OVER A 7-DAY PERIOD TO ENABLE ADAPTATION AND AVOID POSSIBLE DIGESTIVE UPSET.
IT IS ADVISABLE TO VARY THE BASIC INGREDIENTS TO PROVIDE VARIETY AND TO AVOID POSSIBLE NUTRITIONAL IMBALANCES, AND TO MONITOR THE ANIMAL'S BODY CONDITION SO AS TO AVOID EITHER OVER-FEEDING OR UNDER-FEEDING, BASED ON THE AVERAGE DOG CONSUMING ONE CUPFUL OF THE FOOD TWICE DAILY PER 30 POUNDS BODY WEIGHT.
--NOTE: DIFFERENT ANIMALS HAVE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT NUTRITIONAL NEEDS ACCORDING TO AGE, TEMPERAMENT, AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND HEALTH STATUS.
This recipe is safe for all puppies as well as for adult dogs unless they have a genetic predisposition for nutrient-related disease, or have a pre-existing medical condition such as pancreatic of kidney disease. In which case, consult with your veterinarian, and always remember to transition on to any new food gradually. Giving probiotics daily during such transition can be helpful. Normally, when healthy animals are fed a wholesome, balanced diet, they absorb what nutrients they need. An unbalanced, high-cereal content diet leads to unbalanced physiology, nutrient excesses and deficiencies leading to obesity and a host of health problems as documented in the book NOT FIT FOR A DOG; THE TRUTH ABOUT MANUFACTURED DOG & CAT FOOD.