As an advocate for biologically appropriate nutrition, I come face to face with naysayers and unbelievers of raw food diets for our companion animals every day. I ask them: “What do dogs eat in the wild?” “What does a wild dog mother feed her puppies?” “Why do we insist on feeding our pets food that goes against their natural eating pattern?”
I had the pleasure of interviewing world-renowned animal nutrition consultant, Dr. Richard Patton, to help me answer these questions and gain a little more information on this hot topic.
Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and what you do?
“I am an animal nutrition consultant, this has been the case for 35 years. I see myself as an interface between the source of technological knowledge and its application in the market to recommend the best for the animal and the owner of the animal, It doesn’t matter what else is going on in the background. I inform people’s decisions. I explain, “If you go this way, this will be good and this will be bad. If you go the other way, then this will be good and this will be bad “and people will make the decision that makes the most sense to them.”
Who do you normally consult for?
“I have a fairly diverse clientele – there are companies that make pet food, then there is the occasional pet owner. I do a lot of work for horse stables, farm dairies, Washington NGOs and foreign governments, zoos and businesses. who make zoo food. I make the world safe for the polar bear, the cub and the Holstein cow. “
I love that, that’s beautiful! So what made you decide to become an animal nutritionist?
“It actually happened from the beginning. I think I was a sophomore in college and took a course (in animal nutrition). I felt particularly comfortable with the instructor and his approach. I think there was a subconscious wisdom … that He could be a scientist and a cowboy at the same time, and he has proven to be. I have been around the world almost invariably in boots, jeans and a sports coat. “
You must have seen many different cases of health problems in animals. What is the most common one that you see when it comes to small animals, mainly cats and dogs?
“I will answer your question, but first I would like to start with this: my job is to keep healthy animals healthy. When you are on the extreme of nutrition, that is the approach. Against the veterinary side and they are dealing with pets that are sick. and trying to make them healthy.
Now to answer your question: what I run into most often are skin problems of one kind or another. It also tends to be where I’m not the nutritionist.
I think these skin problems are becoming more prevalent for various reasons. There are more people with inbred animals and more people with large dogs and they are not willing to consider a natural, raw or freeze dried diet due to the cost. Many of these skin problems are due to excess soluble carbohydrates in kibbles. “
Do you think it is possible to reverse these skin and coat problems through nutrition?
“I will answer it this way: if a dog has a skin problem, the first thing I will do is try to put him on a raw and natural diet. Not because I am convinced that a raw and natural diet is better, I am convinced of that, but the reason I want them on that diet is because that’s the only way I know is best to minimize excess soluble carbohydrates. “
Which is one of the most important things that really deteriorates the health of our pets.
Oh, I think so! And I am not just a voice in the desert. There’s a proof of efficacy from a peer-reviewed journal ironically funded by Purina.
Yes. What Purina did was they took – I think it was 100 gold labs – and sent 50 to homes to be pets to grow up and live until they died and were considered “controls.” Then they sent another 50 to homes to live as family members until they died and called them “experimental.” What they did was feed the control animals whatever people wanted to feed. And then they fed the experimental animals 20% less of the same food; in other words, they had calorie restrictions.
This study took 15 years to complete and what it showed was that the animals that were calorie restricted lived an average of two years longer, and furthermore, their vet bills were dramatically lower (than the control group).
Calorie-restricted animals had a lower metabolic rate. This principle has been proven in everything you look at – they’ve observed it in insects, roundworms, and mice. In all cases, calorie restriction prolongs life, and it has now been shown in dogs.
Now here’s the rest of the story, and it won’t surprise you in the least.
During the marketing, they pointed to this research and said, “See, feed Purina, and live more.” And that to me is so irritating and a half-truth that you could effectively say, “Look, feed Purina and die first.”
So that’s just a caloric intake, it has nothing to do with raw. Who knows what they would have seen if it had been a third treatment of a natural raw diet. But the point is, a lifetime of improper nutrition ends up being shorter than necessary and more expensive. You can’t get off a trip to the vet for less than $ 1,500 because it’s a serious metabolic problem. “
I think now it seems that people are more aware. Before, we were blindly following the leader and now it seems that consumers are much smarter. Unfortunately, it is because they have been misled and are now searching for the whole truth. That’s what we find when people call us and are doing their research – they are no longer just satisfied with the truth they get from these commercial pet food companies.
When did you realize that raw foods were ideal compared to cooked foods?
“I don’t think there was a specific moment of epiphany. It’s just comparative nutrition for so many decades. If vitamin supplementation is so important, how do you explain the dingo and the coyote and the wolf and the wild dog that breed like And rabbits never seem to deal with a store-bought vitamin? You see, there are fundamental gaps in the logic.
Actually, the intestine needs a regular flow of bacteria of different types. I think the worst thing you can do is canned feed this or that because it is legal and literally sterile and I think this creates problems. Now I’m not an advocate that we should all go live like vultures. But I do think that we may be obsessed with our need for sterility and that is actually creating problems. “
Speaking of wild dogs, what lessons can we learn from them when it comes to longevity and nutrition?
“You may not know what your requirements are, but you can at least say, ‘Well, what do they eat in the wild? “And let’s get as close as we can to that. I think that’s what BARF wants to do. That’s what I like about the approach you have. What’s more,” What did evolution prepare us for over 4 billion? years to prosper? “
I have another question, a little more personal. Has pets?
Oh yeah. I have the privilege of being able to live in the doghouse.
That’s funny, men usually don’t want to live in the doghouse.
We have very expensive capes in the living room that are covered in sheets and people never sit there, dogs do.
How many dogs do you have?
When I got up this morning there were three of them. Who knows where we will be at the end of the day. My wife is a devoted “humanitarian”.
Don’t you mean “canineia”?
No, there is also a cat.
What do you feed them
They get bones at least twice a week and every night they get some raw or natural raw chicken necks and loins.