Thank You Dr. Karen Becker For All You Do For Us Pets!
Who is Dr. Karen Becker?
Dr. Becker is both a traditional vet and an integrative holistic veterinarian based in Arizona. She is considered one of the leading experts in the field and is the most followed veterinarian in the world with a FaceBook following of 2.1M.
After all, an important purpose of Meow Mini Mart was, and still is, to share with you the simple changes that can improve the health of your cat!
Dr. Becker talks continuously about the benefits of the ancestral diet for both cats and dogs…i.e. the BARF diet – Biologically Appropriate Raw Food…as well as every issue dealing with the health and safety of your pets.
Starting with a shift from a commercially processed pet food diet to a fresh, raw, human grade whole protein diet is the beginning of a healthier and improved lifestyle which will lead to a nice long life for us!
Mom’s biggest hope is to inspire you to try the raw food diet for your cat. She tells me that the biggest challenge is explaining “the why”…why is it better?...and what is wrong with the commercially prepared processed foods?…so she turned to a previous post of Dr. Becker’s that ranks 13 pet foods from best to worst.
What are the benefits of a BARF diet?
Mom said the article has the BEST explanation of why the ancestral diet is key to ensuring that your pet will live a healthy life – hopefully free of human ailments like obesity, diabetes and cancer. She said she could never state it as well as Dr. Becker can, because, after all, she is the expert here!
Mom’s highlights from this article are:
Remember that your cat is a carnivores – we do not move our jaws from side-to-side, like omnivorous mammals (you humans) or vegetarian animals who do a lot of chewing…we move our jaws up and down, grab our food, tear it into chunks with our sharp teeth and swallow without chewing.
All carnivores have short digestive tracks because nature designed us to get the food in – and out – very quickly in case it was contaminated with pathogens…it isn’t designed to ferment foods like the GI tract of vegetarian animals.
Our ancestral diet has lots of variety of fresh, living whole foods. The food is moisture-dense, because prey is about 70% water, high in protein and minerals, and moderate fat. The only carbs cats in the wild consume are whatever was in the GI tract of the prey, plus a few nibbles of grass which provides added fiber and enzymes.
Processed pet food has created generations of nutritionally deficient cats all of which can lead to the increase of many diseases for us!
What is the difference between commercially processed food and raw food?
While the pet food industry is starting to address these issues by introducing limited ingredients, grain-free, etc, they are still mainly focused on cooked foods like kibble and canned food which is the opposite of a fresh whole protein diet. Instead of corn, wheat and rice, they are often substituting other things like lentils and garbanzo beans which actually can cause GI inflammation and irritation.
In addition, these processed foods contain synthetic vitamins and minerals to meet the basic nutritional need. They are baked at an extreme high heat which denatures proteins and can also introduce carcinogens into your pet’s body on a daily basis…yikes!
By comparison, the BARF diet for a carnivore is high in moisture, high in whole protein, moderate in fat and low in carbs. The vast majority of commercial pet foods are the opposite – low in moisture content, with low to moderate amounts of poor-quality protein and fat, and high in starches or carbs.
If you haven’t yet, you can take a look at Dr. Becker’s list here.
Start by changing your pet’s diet from commercially processed canned food or kibble to a fresh, whole protein, biologically appropriate raw food. It’s a win-win for both you and your pet! Remember your pet will have an improved, healthy life – and you will have fewer vet bills, less stool and less odor in the litter box, as well as sweeter breath! All good things! Meow!