Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Basic for a HomeMade Cat Food By Meg Smart



 Basics of a Homemade Cat Food

Homemade cat foods are difficult to make not because they are complex to make, but because cats have unique nutritional requirements, which ideally are met by a “prey diet”.  Carbohydrates although apparently tolerated by cats may be  potentially detrimental to the long-term health of many cats.  Although not proven conclusively carbohydrates or dry cat foods are believed to contribute to lower urinary tract disease, inflammatory bowel disease, skin problems, obesity, chronic renal disease and diabetes mellitus.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My theory about the Jerky Treat Threat

Is protein the root of the problem with the Jerky Dog Treats? or Possible mulfactorial causes.

 By Marion Smart DVM, PhD Professor of Nutrition Western College of Veterinary Medicine

The effect of dietary protein intake on renal function has been studied and reviewed extensively.[i] [ii]Although we have a better appreciation of the problem there is still much controversy surrounding the topic. This debate is related to:
·         external factors such as:

o    dietary protein quality, the source, the amino acid profile,

o    impact of heat processing, high pressure sterilization and irradiation on the protein structure, and digestibility

·         . Internal factors such as:

o   to the digestion and bioavailability of dietary protein

o    the gastrointestinal microbial utilization, metabolism and by-product production of the endogenous and exogenous protein that reaches the colon

 This paper explores the possible explanation of the illness in dogs associated with the Irradiated dehydrated Jerky treats originating from China and Thailand. The assumption being the cause is multifactorial.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Supplements for Joint Support and Health in Dogs and Cats By Karen Choptain DVM For WCVM 4th Year Small Animal Nutrition Elective

The Use of Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplements for
Joint Support and Health in Cats and Dogs

Presented to: Dr. Meg Smart, Small Animal Nutrition Elective
By: Karen Choptain

The use of nutraceuticals and dietary supplements, either in manufactured pet foods or as adjuncts to diet, are not necessarily new to the domestic animal world. There have, however, been more recent use of advertisements and promotions of diets and supplements being sold that tout the benefit of such products to aid in the area of joint health and stabilization.  These products have become quite popular with the public, as they allow for adjunctive therapy or alternative therapy in cats and dogs that suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease (DJD) (1).
What is a nutraceutical?  A nutraceutical, as defined by the North American Veterinary Nutraceutical Council, is “a nondrug substance that is produced in a purified or extracted form, administered orally, to provide compounds required for normal body structure and function with the intent of improving health and well-being” (1,2). More specifically, a nutraceutical used in the aspect of joint support can be referred to as a chondroprotectant.  This term has been applied to substances such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, combination products of the two, New Zealand green-lipped mussels (GLM), omega-3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E and other dietary compounds such as P54FP, Avocado/soybean oils, Boron, Boswellia Resin, Cat’s Claw, Creatine, and Special milk protein concentrate (3).  Chondroprotectant agents base their purpose on providing the following three primary effects: 1) to support or enhance metabolism of chondrocytes and synoviocytes, 2) inhibit degradative enzymes within synovial fluid and cartilage matrix, and 3) inhibit formation of thrombi in small blood vessels supplying the joint (1).
In humans, the use of dietary supplements is regulated under the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (1). This is in order to allow consumers the opportunity to purchase a variety of products that are marketed for joint health and support.  The products themselves must be safe; however, they do not have to achieve pre market approval, in contrast to pharmaceuticals or “drugs”.  The aforementioned act does not apply to dietary supplements in the veterinary market. While the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association withholds the right to remove products from the market, providing the product is safe and does not pose a threat to human safety it may be sold (1). The product also may not advertise claims such as being used to treat, cure, prevent or mitigate a disease (1).
In addition, label claims and quality control of these products has been documented (1, 4, 5). Due to the lack of quality assurance, the consumer cannot be guaranteed that the product itself is of the concentration listed on the label or of its purity (1).  A large variety of products are available to consumers.  Despite the number of products, there is a drastic lack of scientific evidence that promotes any of these products over the other.  This paper serves to provide some clarity to the commercial foods and supplements that are available to consumers and critically evaluate their efficacy for the use of joint support and health in cats and dogs.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Discriminating against raw foods is it fair? A survey of raw pet food Manufacturers By Meg Smart DVM PhD

Raw  Pet Foods

AVMA and AAHA Partnership
On July 18, 2012 the and American Veterinary Medical Association  (AVMA) announced the formation  of  partnerships o in preventive health care  for pets in order to address the declining health of the nation's pets. Members of the partnership include the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), Association of the American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and health industry leaders including Abbott Animal Health ,Banfield Pet Hospital, their healthcare LLC animal health division, Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc, ButlerSchein Animal Health, Elanco Animal Health, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Merek Animal Health, Merial,MVVI Veterinary Supply, Novartis Animal Health US Inc., Pfizer Animal Health and Veterinary Pet Insurance all sponsoring initiative at various levels. This partnership was formed because of a decrease in regular veterinary visits and an increase in preventable illnesses in dogs and cats.
A task force assembled by the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association  developed and approved concise easy to understand  comprehensive preventive health care guidelines for dogs and cats. For more information visit the website www.PetHealthPartnership
At the AVMA 2012regular annual session  passed resolution five, that the AVMA discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal based protein source that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.
AAHA has come out with a similar statement indicating raw protein diets are now demonstrated to be a health risk for several groups:
·         the pets consuming the diet
·         Other animals in contact with those pets
·         humans, and family members
·         The  public

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Puppy Diets Part A Kibble: Part B Raw and Homemade. by Meg Smart Sept 12,2012

Part A: Kibble


Growth is a complex process involving metabolic changes, environmental influences, genetics, nutrition and unknown factors. The eventual size of the dog is determined by its genetics, but  the age it reaches its adult size can be in part controlled by nutrition. The only nutritional trial to follow Labs from weaning to death was done by Purina. Although flawed,  this trial gave us insight into in the role that nutrition plays in growth. They took two groups of puppies and fed one group all the food they could eat in a 15-minute period per day, over their lifetime. The second group was fed 25% less. The initial diet was Purina Puppy Chow; the adult diet was Purina Dog Chow. The onset of hip dysplasia and arthritis was delayed in the second group; the second group lived significantly longer.

Friday, August 31, 2012

An Evidence Based Rebuttal to the AVMA Position on Raw

A rebuttal to the AVMA position on raw pet foods

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Michael Fox comments on Pet Foods

                                   TYING UP SOME LOOSE ENDS
                                             By Dr. Michael W. Fox

Obesity , metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, cancer, fatty liver disease, pancreatitis, hypertension, heart and kidney disease and diet-related arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and neurological and immune system dysfunctions are  modern day health issues that people and companion animals share when their diets consist of highly processed  agribusiness food industry products, byproducts and various additives.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Practical Advise on feeding your dog


All the discussion and controversy centring on what is the most appropriate diet to feed your dog should make one appreciate how adaptable and diverse a dog's nutrient requirements are. To understand this let us follow the dietary evolution of the dog for over the fourteen or more thousands of years that they have associated with humans, "a relationship for mutual benefit". We found a loyal and eager companion and worker; they found a welcome and safe home where survival did not depend on hunting. Prior to this the dog (aka wolf) feasted and flourished when prey was abundant; starved, and suffered from diseases and parasites when it was not. Only the strongest and the most adaptable survived. The first processing of food occurred when ancient man discovered fire; this process may have introduced a host of potentially nutritious vegetables and roots which were not well digested in the raw state. Thus man and his dog evolved from a hunter and gather to an agrarian life style, domesticating animals and growing crops. Highly processed and dissected and reconstituted (convenience) foods have only been part of our diet and that of our pets for a little over 200 years.  Less than one percent of the time, that dogs have been associated with man.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Comparative Analysis of Over the Counter and Veterinary Diets Recommended for Canine Growth

Marion Smart DVM, PhD, Jack Mills,DVM and Cory Haggart 24/03/2012

The pet products industry is expanding, and the promotion of pet nutrition is highly competitive as the players in the industry jockey for the consumers’ dollar. This competitive environment offers the veterinarian a challenge, as a client asks on a daily basis “What is the best diet for my pet?”  Can a veterinarian give unbiased advice?  With hundreds of new diets and diet related supplements released annually, each promising to embrace the latest concepts in nutritional research, how can a veterinarian keep up without becoming a victim to the same promotional advertising that their client is questioning?
For large breed puppies, the industry has accepted that growth must be controlled and that the calcium and phosphorous levels must be adequate and not excessive for proper skeletal development. Terms or variations of these concepts such as a “precise balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals”, “managing caloric intake”, “Scientifically formulated for proper bone and joint development”, “one hundred percent complete and balanced” are found in the promotional materials provided with the growth diets. In this information or the statements of nutritional adequacy, no references are sited of the companies’ research. The only supporting evidence of adequacy on the label is that the diets have met AAFCO feeding trial standards for growth or are formulated to meet AAFCO recommended minimum nutrient requirements for growth or all life stages.
Developmental orthopedic diseases (DOD) in dogs, osteoarthritis and joint health are popular topics within the lay and veterinary communities. This paper is a review the science behind the nutritional requirements for puppies in particular large and giant breed puppies. The energy density, protein, fat, and calcium and phosphorous levels of 44 veterinary and OTC growth diets, 15 alternative diets and 16 adult premium diets were compared to the published requirements and trends identified. The goal of this study is to help veterinarians make a more informed reply to the owner’s question “How should I feed my large breed puppy?

Large Breed Puppy Diets Applies to Extruded Diets (Kibble) Prepared by Meg Smart DVM PhD Clinical Nutritionist WCVM Saturday, March-24-12

Puppy Diets
Growth is a complex process involving metabolic changes, environmental influences, genetics, nutrition and unknown factors. The eventual size of the dog is determined by its genetics, the age it reaches its adult size can be in part controlled by nutrition. The only nutritional trial to follow Labs from weaning to death was done by Purina. Although flawed this trial gave us insight into in the role that nutrition plays in growth. They took two groups of puppies and fed one group all the food they could eat in a 15-minute period over their lifetime. The second group was fed 25% less. The initial diet was Purina Puppy Chow; the adult diet was Purina Dog Chow. The onset of hip dysplasia and arthritis was delayed in the second group; the second group lived significantly longer.
No matter what diet you choose you must feed the appropriate number of calories per day and monitor the weight and body condition of the puppy. Ideally, if you look at the puppy from above it should have a waist, the hipbones and ribs can be felt. The skin should be moveable over the hips and ribs with some fat. The ribs and hips should not be hidden or covered by a layer of fat.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cats Require the Protein from Whole Meat

A study was published in October 2011 on the digestibility of three different feline diets -- a raw beef-based diet, a cooked beef-based diet, and a high-protein extruded (dry food/kibble) diet. The study involved 9 shorthair domestic cats, adult females.(1)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Is Nutrition the Key to Wellness? Food for Thought

This article was written for The Guardian A health manual brought to you by Pet Planet.

Is Nutrition the Key to Wellness? Food for Thought  

Meg Smart DVM, PhD Nutritionist WCVM Oct  3/2011

Instinctively, we all know about nutrition but do we think about nutrition? Nutrition is often taken for granted. Basically, nutrition is wellness and the essence of life. When something goes wrong like the melamine disaster we suddenly become aware of how little we know about our food and were it comes from. But we soon become complacent as we believe new regulations or some nebulous independent organization will protect us. After forty years of experience and interest in nutrition I have come to the following conclusions:

Pet Food Industry and Nutrition: A Necessary Review For Veterinarians by M.E. Smart , J.A. Mills and C. Haggart First Published on the Veterinary Information Network 2007 updated Mar 13, 2011

This paper reviews the current status of the pet food industry from a veterinarian’s perspective. Summaries of market features, regulation and non-regulation are presented. In addition to a review of the industry, we also discuss the value of information currently provided to veterinarians and their clients, and some of its consequences.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Basics of a Home Made Dog Food

Are you afraid to make homemade meals for your dog? Are you concerned about lifetime adequacy of commercial pet foods and the safety of commercially available kibble or raw diets? Does your family eat healthy foods rather than highly processed or fast foods? 

If you answer yes to these questions, then let me set the record straight. Naturally the commercial pet food companies will be against you feeding a home made diet.

Your veterinarian has seen health problems associated with poorly made diets or with table scraps, may be reluctant to help. For a veterinarian to recommend a popular commercial diet or sell a diet from the clinic is more practical than taking time to discuss an appropriate homemade diet with you.

Comparing Pet Foods: The Math is Simple, But The Thought Process is Complex: Many Ways Exists to Solve the Problem

Written by Marion (Meg) Smart DVM PhD


Interpreting the pet food label and some simple calculations to use when comparing nutrient levels. 

Client Information: Nutritional Support for a Pet with Cancer

This Article was written by Meg Smart for the Keeshound Journal Febuary 16th /2012

For Client Information in consultation with their Veterinarian

Tumours require nutrients to grow, the host requires nutrient to maintain their quality of life, and this immediately creates a conflict within the body. Some basic questions arise from this conflict. Can we through nutrition:

  1. Slow the growth or starve a tumour?
  2. Make the tumour more sensitive to our therapies?
  3. Modulate the immune system to control or eliminate the tumour?
  4. Neutralize free radicals without compromising the effectiveness of some treatments?