Updates from Dr. Anita Moore, DVM:
Want to save money on Vet visits? Feed your pet right!
Everybody asks me "Dr. Moore, what food should I feed my pet?"
To answer that question I have cobbled together my recommendations here on my web site. My recommendations draw heavily on articles by Dr. Karen Becker (www.mercola.com) and I highly recommend you take a look at the material she has written on pet nutrition. Hopefully what I've posted here will help to answer any questions you may have regarding what to feed and what not to feed to your furry companions.
Pet Foods Dr. Moore Recommends
I personally prefer brands such as Blue Buffalo, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Instinct, Innova, Precise, Solid Gold, Aunt Jeni's, Halo, Before Grain, Natures Variety, Merrick, Avoderm, Artemis, Wysong, Califonia Natura, Newman's Own, Wellness, and Bil-Jac to name a few. These have main ingredients that are recognizable food items. I'm not fond of products that list corn or soy as the first or second ingredient. Many brands I recommend are carried in the large pet food chains such as PetCo and Pet Smart as well as local stores such as Crunchies in Crofton, MD (http://www.crunchiespetfoods.com) and Fresh Pet in the Marlton area of Upper Marlboro, MD (http://www.freshpetmd.com). For those interesed in raw diets, I don't carry them but do recommend Aunt Jeni's diets, which are sold in frozen prepackaged form. They are available in Beef, Chicken, and Lamb varieties. I've seen them in the freezer section of Whole Foods Supermarket as well as Crunchies. If you are considering a raw diet, read on to learn more.
Raw Foods for your Pet
While dog and cat chow may be nutritionally “complete,” it is akin to drinking a meal replacement shake. What your pet needs is a biologically appropriate diet that includes a variety of raw foods. A growing number of holistic-minded veterinarians believe that processed pet food (kibbled and canned) is the number one cause of illness and premature death in modern dogs and cats. Your pets need living foods on a consistent basis to achieve optimal health. So, yes, assuming you are eating living foods, it's fine to offer your pets some of the very same things that you enjoy. In my opinion, the only reason not to feed your pets an ideal diet is cost. Raw food does cost more than processed food. However, raw fed animals have fewer health problems, which can mean lower vet bills over the long run.
Examples of raw foods your pet may enjoy:
Berries - packed with antioxidants
Raw nuts - but never feed your pets macadamia nuts
Salad - dark green leafy vegetables - without dressing
Foods to minimize or avoid: grains, oats, soy, millet, wheat, rice
Never feed these: grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and onions
If you do feed your pet processed foods, try to stick with USDA-approved canned foods, and supplement that with some raw food. And if you go with dry food (kibble), look for ones made from human-grade ingredients that have little to no grains, and provide lots of water. No matter which option you choose, you can always treat your dog or cat to berries, leafy greens, raw nuts and many other fresh fruits, veggies and meats on a regular basis.
To get information on what guidelines are in place for the manufacture of pet food, you can contact the Association of American Feed Control Officials or AAFCO (www.aafco.org). However, be aware there is nothing to stop manufacturers from producing and selling pet food that does NOT meet AAFCO nutritional guidelines.
You can begin to improve your pet’s diet by simply ignoring the advertising claims for commercial pet food. Look for the AAFCO certification to make sure it meets the basic requirements for vitamins and trace minerals, and check the ingredient label. As a general rule, the longer the ingredient list, the less healthy the product. You want to see meat indentified by type (e.g. beef, turkey, lamb, chicken), not by a generic term such as meat, meat meal, poultry product, turkey meal, by-products, and so forth. Also you don't want to see grains. Grains are cheaper than meat; they're added as filler and to form the product (i.e. kibbles), not because they're good for your pet. Organic grains are preferable where grains are included, but they are no substitute for meat content. Avoid pet food containing corn or soy in any form. And avoid those containing artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives; these usually go by the names BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin, and propyl gallate. When considering a product containing fish, look for a statement on the label that it contains NO artificial preservatives. Instead, look for foods preserved with vitamins E and C, often called tocopherols.
As discussed in "13 Pet Foods Ranked from Great to Disastrous", by Dr. Karen Becker, the best nutrition you can feed your pet is a balanced, raw, species appropriate, homemade diet. Raw food is unadulterated and still contains all the enzymes and nutrients your dog or cat was intended to eat. These are the healthy, ‘live’ organisms that are normally killed during cooking and other types of processing. For help in preparing raw food for your pet, take a look at "Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats". It covers how to buy and prepare fresh foods in quantity, and it also contains recipes – both raw and cooked.
Best-to-Worst Foods ranking (Dr. Becker):
1. Balanced, raw, homemade diet
2. Commercially available raw diet
3. Cooked, balanced homemade diet
4. Human-grade canned food
5. Human-grade dry food
6. Super premium canned food
7. Super premium dry food
8. Veterinary-recommended, e.g. Science Diet, Royal Canin, Waltham
9. Veterinary-recommended dry food
10. Grocery store brand canned food
11. Grocery store brand dry food
12. Semi-most pouched food
13. Unbalanced, poorly prepared homemade diet – raw or cooked
The one dead last, although homemade, could potentially be more harmful than any of the other choices. Nutritionally unbalanced food, whether prepared by you or a manufacturer in China, is not good for your pet. Adverse health effects can result from feeding your pet an unbalanced homemade diet, i.e. one deficient in calcium, trace minerals, omega fatty acids, or other vital nutrients.
Alternative Veterinary Medicine
A few years ago I completed a short course in alternative medicine specialties. The course provided a good introduction to homeopathy, Reiki, nutrition & raw diets, and traditional Chinese medicine (Chinese herbs and acupuncture/acupressure). I have since continued to pursue more alternative training and we have increased the number of nutritional support products offered at my clinic, such as Vetri-Science and Standard Process nutrition products. Standard Process incorporates "functional foods" to offer nutritional support for a wide variety of veterinary conditions. Functional foods are those known to benefit specific organs and tissues in the body. Milk thistle is an example of a functional food for the liver.
Standard Process (www.standardprocess.com) veterinary products
The Animal Clinic is proud to offer the following Standard Process veterinary products:
Adrenal Support (Stressed Animals)
Boswelia Complex (Kidney Support, Joint Support, Promotes resistance)
Cardiac Support (Heart)
Dermal Support (Skin & Skin Allergies)
Enteric Support (Stomach & Intestines)
Immune Support (Allergies, Immunocompromised Animals)
Renal Support (Kidneys, Urinary System)
Musculoskeletal Support (Joints, Discs, Ligaments)
Thyroid Support (Hypothyroid dogs)
Whole Body Support (All Organ Systems)
Vetri-Science (http://www.vetriscience.com) veterinary products
And we are delighted to carry the following Vetri-Science products, which by the way carry the seal of the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC):
Bladder Strength Feline Tablets (Cystitis Kitties)
Canine Plus Multi Vitamin/Mineral Soft Chews and Tablets (Unparalleled Nutritional Formulation)
Composure Canine Regular & Mini Soft Chews (Calming Formula For Anxious Dogs)
Composure Feline Soft Chews (Calming Formula for Hyper Cats)
Derma-Strength Regular & Mini Soft Chews (Skin Allergy/Atopy Dogs)
Derma-Strength Feline Soft Chews (Overgrooming/Allergic Cats)
Glyco-Flex II & III Canine Soft Chews (Arthritis/Hip Dysplasia)
Glyco-Flex II & III Feline & Small Dog Soft Chews (Arthritis/ Hip Dysplasia)
Nu-Cat Multi Vitamin/Mineral Soft Chews (My cat Sammy LOVES these!)
PerioSupport Anti-Tartar and Polishing Powder (Just add to Food and Water)
Renal Essentials Feline Soft Chews (Kidney Health - Astragalus Rhemania, L-arginine, EPA, DHA)
UT Strength Everyday Feline Soft Chews (Preventative/Maintenance Cystitis)
UT Strength Stat Feline Soft Chews (Cats in Cystitis Mode)
Vetri-Cardio Soft Chews (Supports cardiac health - With CoQ10, Hawthorne, Taurine, L-carnitine)
Vetri-Coat Canine (Healthy Shiny Haircoat)
Vetri-Disc (InterVertebral Disc Support for Back and Spine)
Vetri-HBR Feline Liquid Chicken Flavored (Hairballs/ Healthy Shiny Haircoat)
Vetri-Lysine Plus Feline (Recurrent Watery Eyes due to Virus)
Vetri-Probiotic Soft Chews (Supports Gastointestinal tract - One Billion LactoBacillis)
Vetri-Repel All Natural Flea & Tick Repellant
Cat and dog 3-year Distemper Vaccines
We now have 3-year Distemper vaccines available for the same price we charge for the 1-year vaccine. Other vaccines such as Lyme, Leptospirosis, Kennel Cough (for both dogs and cats), and Feline Leukemia still require yearly revaccination. Rabies vaccinations will continue to be done every 3 years. So this is NOT to say your pet should only come in for veterinary visits every three years. I still recommend that physical exams, heartworm testing and fecals (poop worm testing) continue to be performed yearly.
Your dog or cat have bad breath? It may be time for a dental prophy.
Other products available at the clinic:
Glyco-Flex Soft Chews - Great for arthritic cats & dogs; handy palatable joint supplement
Odor Destroyer - Spray deodorizor that really works for urine, anals, and other nasty smells
Urine-Off - Another spray product that chemically breaks down urine - does better cleanup
For fleas - We carry the new and very effective Vectra flea control drops
Standard Process - holistic veterinary supplement for common diseases
Flower Essences - for behavioral problems, e.g. spraying, anxiety, thunderstorm phobia
- John Paul Pet Shampoo - tested on humans first! (Tea Tree, Oatmeal, Calming formulas)
- Humilac Spray by Virbac - dry skin conditioner
A brief discussion of nutritional support products offered by the Animal Clinic of Wayson's Corner is provided below, including typical uses.
Standard Process Veterinary Products
Canine Adrenal Support: This is a nutritional supplement formulated with ingredients known as functional foods. These are foods that have shown to benefit various organs and tissues in the body. In Canine Adrenal Support the body’s basic nutritional needs are addressed in addition to those of the adrenal glandular system. The goal of Canine Adrenal Support help maintain the adrenal gland’s response to metabolic demand, normalize adrenal function, support the body’s ability to handle stress, and to promote the adrenal gland’s ability to rebuild and regenerate. Canine Adrenal Support is useful for either low (Addison’s disease) or high (Cushing’s Disease) adrenal cortisol output and in situations causing adrenal stress.
Canine/Feline Cardiac Support: This is a nutritional supplement formulated with ingredients known as functional foods. These are foods that have been shown to benefit various organs and tissues in the body. Canine Cardiac Support is formulated to provide support for the myriad of tissues involved in cardiovascular health: myocardium, nerve and conduction, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands, vascular endothelium, inflammatory mediators, blood quality, and blood flow dynamics. These functional food ingredients enhance cardiac (and other tissue) ability to respond to metabolic demands while promoting the heart’s ability to rebuild and regenerate.
Canine Dermal Support: This is a nutritional supplement formulated with ingredients known as functional foods. These are foods that have been shown to benefit various organs and tissues in the body. The ingredients in Canine Dermal Support are a combination of plant and animal tissues, and provide nutritional support to key organs and glands like the liver, small intestine, adrenal glands and the immune system. Support of these and other tissues can be beneficial in the management of the itchy, allergic dog.
Canine/Feline Enteric Support: This is a blend of ingredients that provide support for a wide range of intestinal situations. These ingredients are known as functional foods, and include a broad grouping of tissue concentrates, whole vitamin complexes, and botanical components. In addition to support for enteric disorders this product can be used in conjunction with many common drug protocols. Proper intestinal function is essential for optimum health. Intestinal function has a direct and indirect impact on multiple body systems. Canine/Feline Enteric Support is formulated to help normalize intestinal function, promote healing and repair of digestive tissues, and to enhance the ability of the intestinal cells to function and to react to daily metabolic and immune challenges.
Canine/Feline Hepatic Support: The liver is a complex and critically important organ with multiple functions within the body: detoxification, enzyme production, protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, hormone conversion, vitamin/mineral storage and more. The ingredients in Canine/Feline Support address all aspects of these functions, as well as the associated organs that interact with the liver (kidney, thyroid, adrenal, spleen, circulation). Hepatic Support is formulated with ingredients known as functional foods. These are foods that have been shown to benefit specific organs and tissues in the body. The goal of Canine/Feline Hepatic Support is to normalize liver function, to support repair and regeneration, and to reestablish liver health. Canine/Feline Hepatic Support can be used for general hepatic support, for reduced hepatic function, for dogs and cats on drugs known to stress liver, for dogs and cats vomiting due to liver disease, and for dogs and cats with intestinal dysfunction.
Canine/Feline Immune Support: The immune system is not one discreet organ, but a range of tissues and cellular functions. These tissues include: bone marrow, thymus, small intestine, spleen, lymph tissue and liver. Canine/Feline Immune Support provides a combination of vitamins minerals, tissue substrates, and phytochemicals (plant based chemicals) that have an immunomodulatory effect. The nutrients in Immune Support, known as functional foods, have been shown to contain a wide range of trace nutrients that benefit specific organs and tissues. Canine/Feline Immune Support is formulated to normalize immune function by supporting the entire range of tissue and cellular functions that make up the immune system. Immune Support can be used for general immune support, for dogs and cats with reduced or increased, or chronic immune system disorder, autoimmune diseases and in pre or post surgical cases.
Canine Musculoskeletal Support: The musculoskeletal system is comprised of a variety of structural tissues and support organs including muscle, ligaments, tendons, nerves, cartilage, blood vessels, heart, liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands. The functional food ingredients in Canine Musculoskeletal Support provide nutrient support for all the interactive components of the musculoskeletal system with cellular nutrition for daily function, repair, regeneration and recovery. Canine Musculoskeletal Support can be used for general growth support, injury/surgery/recovery for musculoskeletal system, athletes and performance dogs as well as for senior dogs.
Canine/Feline Renal Support: Nutritional Support for the kidney is designed to support the cellular health of the kidney, which can facilitate normal kidney functions (filtration, absorption, detoxification, mineral reclamation, hormone production, and fluid balance). Canine/Feline Renal Support provides important nutritional factors for direct renal support and also for indirect support of associated organs and tissues (liver, heart, bone marrow, circulation, and nervous tissues). This multidimensional support using functional foods can be of critical importance in successfully managing cat and dogs with kidney disorders providing the nutrients necessary to support regeneration, repair and detoxification. Canine/Feline Renal Support can be used in dogs and cats with kidney disease, liver disease, age related kidney disease and dogs and cats exhibiting increased drinking and urination.
Canine and Feline Whole Body Support: General Support of a variety of body systems is essential in all patients, ranging from the growing kitten, to the aged patient, performance dogs, patients with multi-system dysfunction, or those with chronic debilitating illnesses. Canine/Feline Whole Body Support provides balanced nutritional support for daily maintenance, as well as cellular nutrition for many endocrine tissues (and promotes a more complete recovery of the function of the remaining viable cells in a compromised patient). Whole Body Support can also be used as a broad spectrum nutritional base in combination with more specific support (e.g. Hepatic Support for liver disease,Thyroid Support for thyroid dysfunction, Adrenal support for adrenal dysfunction).. Canine/Feline Whole Body Support can be used in growing/ performance and senior cats and dogs, for endocrine support, for pregnancy and lactation, in illness and surgery and as a daily multi vitamin/mineral supplement.
Bladder Strength Feline Tablets: These tablets are recommended for support of bladder function and bladder health. Can use in cats prone to cystitis.
Canine Plus Multi Vitamin/Mineral Soft Chews: This is a chicken flavored Vitamin/Mineral supplement that incorporates a delicate balance of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that work synergistically together. It contains water and fat soluable vitamins including Vitamins A,C,D,E and a complete and balanced Stress B Complex including all 11 B Vitamins in their proper ratios, Linoleic Acid (Omega 6 Fatty Acid ) for skin & coat, 11 minerals to support proper composition of body fluids, formation of red Blood Cells, bone and maintenance of healthy nerve function, antioxidants A,C,E & Selenium . It is also enteric coated to preserve digestive enzymes for proper use in small intestine. It is appropriate for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds. It provides rapid conditioning of sick or post-operative dogs and is beneficial for breeding dogs, pregnant and lactating bitches and stud dogs.
Composure Canine Regular and Mini Soft Chews: This is a calming formula featuring C3 Calming Complex. C3 is combination product designed by Vetri-Science for anxiety, including L-Theanine and Thiamin (B-Vitamin) to support balanced behavior. Composure soft chews are for dogs exhibiting nervousness, hyperactivity, anxiety, or responding to environmentally induced stress (vet’s office!). It is an advanced formula to support balanced behavior, containing a combination of factors not found in other calming formulas.
Composure Feline Soft Chews: This is a calming formula featuring C3 Calming Complex. C3 is a combination product designed by Vetri-Science for anxiety, including L-Theanine and Thiamin (B-Vitamin) to support balanced behavior. Composure Feline Soft Chews are for cats exhibiting nervousness, hyperactivity, anxiety, or responding to environmentally induced stress (vet’s office!). It is an advanced formula to support balanced behavior, containing a combination of factors not found in other calming formulas.
Derma-Strength Regular and Mini Soft Chews: This unique product contains Perilla Seed, HA (Hyaluronic Acid), MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) and essential fatty acids for advanced skin and coat support and seasonal allergies. This product is recommended for support of skin and coat in dogs with food or environmental sensitivities or seasonal allergies.
Derma-Strength Feline Soft Chews: This is very similar to the Derma-strength Canine formulation in that it contains Perillia Seed, HA (Hyaluronic Acid), MSM (Methly Sulfonyl Methane) and essential fatty acids but it has them in much lower doses to accommodate the feline’s sensitive physiology. This product is recommended for cats with skin issues and skin allergies due to food or environment.
Fast Balance GI Anti-Diarrheal & Probiotic Paste: This product can be used in both dogs and cats with diarrhea. It is recommended to help support proper GI Structure and function during times if digestive upset and stress associated with “Garbage Gut”, food sensitivities, age and traveling. It also supplies a probiotic combination of Mixed lactic acid bacteria, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Bacillus Subtilis, and Aspergillus Oryzae to help reestablish gut flora for proper GI Tract function.
Glyco-Flex II: This product can be used in the both the cat and dog for arthritis, post orthopedic surgery and for general joint support. It is also useful for the sporting, agility and working breeds of dogs as well as adult and maturing dogs for joint support. This is Vetri-Science’s flag ship product in that it contains the Perna Canaliculus (Green Lipped Mussel) in the form of GlycOmega which is one of the reasons for its success as a joint supplement. GlycOmega contains the entire green lipped mussel organism and it has important fatty acids and bioactive components missing from other joint supplements. This supplement also contains MSM (Methly Sufonyl Methane) and DMG (N,N-Dimethyl glycine) and glucosamine for maximal joint support. My cats love these chews! WARNING This product is NOT to be used in DIABETIC animals owing to the fact it contains glucosamine (sugar containing amino molecule: glucose + amine).
Glyco-Flex III: Similar to the above; for pets with advanced cases of Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia.
Nu-Cat Multi Vitamin/Mineral Soft Chews: This is a complete vitamin and mineral supplement containing Taurine, New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel and digestive enzymes. My cats love these!
UT Strength Everyday Feline Soft Chews: This product is, as its name implies is for everyday preventative for cystitis for normal and cystitis prone cats. It is a urinary tract support product designed to promote a healthy urinary tract. It contains D-Mannose, N-Acetyl-Glucosanime, Cranberry Extract, Bromelain, Corn Silk and Ganeden BC (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086). All of these ingredients are designed to promote a healthy bladder. Do NOT Use in DIABETIC cats as it contains glucosamine (Sugar containing amino molecule: Glucose + amine)
UT Strength Stat: This product is a fish flavored tablet designed for cats in the middle of a cystitis episode. UT Strength Stat helps to maintain proper urinary tract function, and may reduce the likelihood of crystal and stone formation. The superior combination of ingredients work together to provide pH balance and to support proper kidney, bladder, and urinary tract function. It contains Cranberry Juice Extract and vitamin C to acidify urine, L Methionine, to support kidney function, Marshmallow Root Powder and Corn Silk Powder which provide polysaccharides to coat the bladder wall , Olive Leaf Extract and Uva Ursi, which help maintain kidney function and reduce stone formation Dandelion for diurectic effect, and Chanca Piedra to support the breakup of kidney and bladder stones.
Vetri-Coat Canine: This product is recommended for dogs with dull dry coats, dry skin, flaking skin, hair loss and to keep hair coats of show dogs glossy. It is a blend of natural oils from coconut, fish, olive, and flaxseed with vitamin E added. These oils naturally contain Omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids. These oils are cold pressed which mean that the dog will receive the full advantage of natural compounds since none are lost by processing.
Vetri-Lysine Plus Feline: This product contains L-Lysine an amino acid that competes with L-Arginine (this amino acid is required by the herpes virus to replicate) and DMG (N,N-Dimethly glycine). DMG is an intermediary metabolite that supports immune response. These ingredients support proper response of ocular mucosa in chronically infected feline herpes cats. This product can be used in cats with recurrent watery eyes due to FHV (Feline Herpes Virus) or calici virus.
Vetri-Probiotic Everyday for Dogs: This dog-bone shaped soft chew supplement contains FOS (fructogalactosides) and viable naturally occurring gut microorganisms lactobacillus acidophilus,plantarum, casei, brevis, Bifidobacterium bifidum,longum and streptococcus thermophilis There are approximately 286 million CFU (Colony Forming Units) per soft chew. These organisms promote digestive health and gut flora microbial balance.
Vetri-Repel All Natural Flea & Tick Repellent: This unique spray on repellent contains Lemongrass Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Sesame Oil and Castor Oil blended into purified water. This syngeristic blend works as a natural force field to shield you dog or cat from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Vetri-Repel is pleasant smelling and does not contain any drugs or synthetic chemicals.