I wrote this up a while back for a nutrition lecture I was giving, and I thought it might be useful to post it somewhere for more people to use. These are some of our favorite resources for people to use when trying to educate themselves about their pets.
Watch the documentary “Pet Fooled” on Netflix! Tremendous opportunity for learning and spreading knowledge to others in your life who might not realize that what they’re feeding can hurt their beloved pets.
Excellent Link for Dog Nutrition (though cat folks can definitely glean some knowledge here too: http://www.dogaware.com/
The woman who compiles this site has encyclopedic knowledge about diet and nutrition for dogs and writes a lot of the food articles in The Whole Dog Journal.
Key links on her site that might be useful to you:
Lots of links to common health problems in dogs
including a ton of info on kidney disease and diet, specifically a lot about protein and its relationship to kidney disease: http://www.dogaware.com/kidney.html#protein
there are a lot of good articles that she wrote for Whole Dog Journal on home cooking: http://www.dogaware.com/diet/homemade.html
Sites online specifically for cats:
CatInfo.org – written by a vet, this is a comprehensive site that covers the basics of feline nutrition, with excellent discussions of common health issues such as diabetes, UTIs, and hyperthyroidism. She also has great info on Making Cat Food with good tips about transitioning a picky cat’s diet
Holisticat (includes an email list)
CatNutrition.org: feeding cats for health
How to Prepare Fresh Cat Food (technical but very complete)
The Feline Future Cat Food Company (Instincts TC) – a mix to which you add your own meat. I don’t carry it but it seems great. Good answers to peoples’ questions on this site about raw foods.
Feline Instincts – a mix to which you add your own meat. They also have a kidney diet
Truth About Pet Food: This woman works tirelessly to advocate for safety and quality in pet food on behalf of pet food consumers. For example, many laws that exist to protect our pets’ safety are not enforced by the FDA, and she seeks to change that. Articles like “A Graphic Description of what the FDA allows in Pet Food“, and “Truth in Advertising Laws Do Not Apply to Pet Food” as well as the most timely reports of recalls I’ve ever seen.
http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/ – site where you can look at just about any brand of food and read their ratings for it.
A Vegetarian Diet for Dogs? http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/vegetarian-diet/
Books I have in the store (I can always order books that I don’t keep in stock):
Dr Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health – an excellent all around book that discusses other issues besides diet. It is considered a staple of a good pet care library. Pitcairn uses raw meat but not bones in his diets (although in this case you can cook the meat if you prefer).Â He offers recipes for dogs with health problems.Â One note, his diets are heavily grain-based, though you can substitute pureed or cooked veggies, such as sweet potatoes, for some or all of the grains. He also has a website
Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet by Kymythy Schultze, AHI – one of the best books on the whys and hows of making your own raw food at home. My favorite.
Raw Dog Food: Make it Easy for You and Your Dog by Carina MacDonald A very approachable and and easy book on raw feeding
Whole Health for Happy Cats: A Guide to Keeping Your Cat Naturally Healthy, Happy, and Well-Fed (Quarry Book) by Sandy Arora and Regina Schwabe (Paperback – Oct 1, 2006)
The Natural Cat: The Comprehensive Guide to Optimum Care by Anitra Frazier and Norma Eckroate (Paperback – Nov 25, 2008)
Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine, by Marion Nestle — excellent discussion of the pet food industry and what happened during the recalls.
Other good references out there:
The BARF Diet by Ian Billinghurst, DVM — one of the very early pioneers of returning to a whole food (Bones and Raw Food = BARF) diet.
See Spot Live Longer by Steve Brown and Beth Taylor
The Whole Dog Journal is an excellent monthly publication that has articles on behavior, nutrition, training, and occasional reviews of products available for dogs.Â Â http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/