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DR DAVID CLEVELAND 508-487-1956  or  508-487-1981
One of the first areas to consider in holistic pet care for dogs and cats, etc. is the importance of nutrition.  Take a car and remove a part – doesn’t matter which and see how well it runs and for how long!  Highly important structures are far more sensitive to this premise..such as the white blood cells of the immune system or the structures/cells of the nervous system and brain.  These are all finely tuned precision entities with a high turnover of cells.  Nutrition is the only fuel they have and what does our governments in its wisdom offer us humans (never mind animals) The RDA’s!!!!  (Recommended Dietary Allowance..totally inept and do not consider biological differences)


 Protein, probably the most important element in the animal’s food, can’t be compared from product to product, as some proteins are just not very digestible for them.  Soy and corn, for example are vegetarian sources and dogs and cats do not have the proper enzymes to break them down.  These are meat eaters and need just that.

A protein’s “biological value” or nitrogen balance index depends on its composition of essential amino acids.  The ultimate or standard being egg white or albumin at a value of “1”.  Fishmeal is 9.2, beef and milk 7.8, rice 7.5, soy is 6.8 and wheat 4.0.

The next factor is digestibility  - one item could be 70% and another 90%…. such as soy versus beef.

 The process a food goes through will alter its biological value making it less digestible.  Therefore the high heat process of canning or baking pet food causes some proteins to bind with certain sugars that the body can’t break down because the enzymes needed to do so, simply do not exist in nature.

“By-products” could be anything from poultry feather meal, connective tissue, and fecal waste from poultry and other animals, horse and cattle hair.  All of these add to “crude” protein by offer no nutrition.

 Manufacturers are allowed to use “4-D” sources of protein.  That is tissue from animals that are dead, dying, disabled or diseased when they arrive at the slaughterhouse.  They can also use moldy grains, rancid animal fats and even stale donuts.  The pet food industry has been built on getting rid of undesirable remnants.  Some experts contend that eating substandard, moldy, rancid, cancerous tissues definitely increases the potential to developing cancers and other chronic diseases.

 These tissues are often very high in hormones – reflecting the amount of hormones given animals to stimulate their growth and some meat meal comes from glandular wastes and fetal tissues from pregnant cows.  Processing does not inactivate these hormones.  These are particularly hard on cats.

 Dr. McGargle DVM, a researcher in the US showed that animals getting this meat meal get cancer more than others do.  True – chickens, hogs, cattle and some calves get this feed and have a distinctly higher incidence of cancer than turkeys, ducks and sheep which only get plant protein.  Also, the overall rate of animal cancers directly correlates to the introduction of meat meal.  No wonder pet food smells so bad!


 In the soft burger-type of pet food, the second or sometimes this ingredient will be a sugar of some type, primarily corn syrup or sugar itself, and even propylene glycol, (which is a de-icing fluid for your car windows).  It acts as a humectant or moisturizer and plasticizer – serving to keep the product “bendable”.  But corn syrup causes the same highs and lows as seen in high sugar consumption in people, with the same stress on the adrenals and pancreas.  It provides empty calories, devoid of any nutrients and results in increased insulin secretion and acid secretion from the stomach.  It also interferes with the normal production of intestinal flora.  Sweeteners contribute to hypoglycemia, cardiovascular disease, cancer, cataract formation, obesity, dental decay and arthritis.


 These can be anything from good oils or rancid animal fats (butter, shortening) that have been condemned for human consumption.  The essential fatty acids are for the most part destroyed in the processing. Fats are very susceptible to heat..and change their chemistry to become very offensive to the system, because they easily produce free radicals on heating.  Free radicals are responsible for much of the tissue damage leading to disease and cancers.


 Now, what we have is extremely low level food, with contaminants galore and to compensate for nutrient loss in the manufacturing process they add some chemically isolated vitamins and minerals with high tech names such as? Pyroxidine hydrochloride, calcium pantothinate, iron carbonate, potassium chloride and manganous oxide.  Now, it should look pretty…so they add a healthy dose of FD and C Red #4O

With holistic pet care for dogs and cats, etc. we are very concerned about these chemicals..which include:

 Propylene glycol – Normally this is used as a de-icing fluid for airplanes.  It is put into pet foods to maintain moisture and texture.  It is added to prevent bacterial growth but also inhibits the growth of friendly bacteria within the intestines. Propylene glycol decreases the amount of moisture in the digestive tract leading to constipation and cancer.

Ethoxyquin – This was originally designed as a rubber stabilizer and herbicide but before its approval, it was considered a poison.  At the outset, it was to be used as a grain preservative in feed for animals not expected to live for more than two years before they are slaughtered.  It has been reported to cause liver cancer in dogs and malformations or even death in newborn puppies.

BHT and BHA – This has been very poorly tested.  It is reported to cause liver damage, metabolic stress, fetal abnormalities and serum cholesterol increases.  It is added to preserve already rancid fats in the food.  Fats in this form are very difficult to digest and can lead to a host of health problems including diarrhea, gas, bad breath and vomiting.

 Artificial Colouring –  They are all coal tar derivatives which have been implicated in anything from cancer to birth defects.

 Sodium Nitrate – This converts in the body to nitrosamines, which are very carcinogenic.  They are added to retain the red colour to make the meat look fresh.  Yeah – Right!

 Heavy Metal Toxicity – Because meat is high on the food chain, contamination with heavy metals such as lead and mercury is very much a concern.  Spot checks on cat food have revealed lead levels ranging from .9 ppm to 7.0 ppm and dog food anywhere from 1.0 to 5.6 ppm  It should never be over .5ppm.  See my section on “Mercury Fillings” for the list of symptoms attributed to mercury in humans.  Lead is quite similar and all of this information applies to animals, particularly with their much small body weight.


Thimerosal is a mercury containing preservative used in vaccines. Mercury is a known neurotoxin. There is a vast amount of research/discussions going on globally at this point in time relating to mercury in dental amalgams, vaccinations and the environment in general. Many researchers are linking mercury to the tremendous increase in autism in children.To read more see my site under “Mercury Fillings” and “Mercury Detox”. If you do decide to immunize you animal, please, for their sake, insists on thimerosal-free vaccinations. They do exist..but they do not have the same shelf life,