Pet Nutrition: The Real Poop

dog boarding kennel near Austin airport

By Adette Quintana

With the 2007 pet food recall affecting thousands of pets and weekly pet food recalls the importance of choosing a proper diet for our pets is brought to the forefront.

Pets, who are fed a super-premium diet, will typically live longer and healthier. Poor quality foods cause many types of health issues such as allergies, obesity, diabetes, CANCER, a general daily ill feeling, etc. It’s important to know THE PET FOOD INDUSTRY IS SELF REGULATED. Think about this. Poor quality foods (this includes all brands you can purchase at the grocery store) contain horrific fillers and by-products, including those involved in the recall. By-products are a toxic brew containing diseased and contaminated meat from slaughterhouses. It also includes dead animals picked up from the nation’s roads, rancid kitchen grease, and millions of pounds of dead animals from our country’s animal hospitals and shelters. Please do not support companies that have these products in their pet food. The goal is to purchase food from companies who care as much about our pets as we do and help our pets live a life where they feel good every day. Poor quality foods will affect not only our pet’s health & longevity but also their daily quality of life.

It is the pet owner’s responsibility to educate ourselves about the foods we feed our pets. We can help our pets live long, healthy lives simply by learning to read labels and choose foods with quality ingredients. We care about our nutrition. It only follows that we should care about what we feed our pets.

To keep up on the latest recalls and information join   Also follow Dogs Naturally Magazine ( on Facebook. This site has proven time and time again to contain the latest, greatest, up to date, dependable information I have found.  Dogs Naturally also offers online classes and events you can join to learn even more!!

Two basic rules of thumb when choosing foods are the following:


*FOODS WITH CHEAP FILLERS ARE TOXIC TO YOUR PET FOR MANY REASONS-Do not choose foods with any type of corn (corn gluten, corn meal, soy, wheat, etc)

Vet recommended foods such as Purina RX, Royal Canin, & Hills/Science Diet are also not recommended as they contain toxic fillers such as wheat, corn, saw dust (listed as powdered cellulose on the label), soybean mill run(this is the sweepings off the floor), calcium sulfate(this is plaster of paris– a firming agent!), etc.

The next step is to purchase foods with human grade ingredients, no artificial colors, flavors, fillers or preservatives. Preservatives added to pet food are highly toxic. Your pet could be consuming as much as 26 pounds of preservatives each year. It’s also scary to know the drug used to euthanize pets does not break down in during the cooking process making it a horrible ingredient put in foods by horrible companies that do NOT care about your pet’s well-being.

Avoid foods with wheat gluten, soy protein, meat by products and digest.

A healthy food will have whole meat listed as one of the first two ingredients.

In my opinion, the BEST websites for reliable information regarding pet food are , & However, I’m not in 100% agreement with the food recommendations on this site.

~~~It is vital to rotate your pet’s diet. Feeding the same food every single day for years is not only boring for your pet, it also limits the nutrition they are getting~~~ Your pet will not get an upset stomach from this. The reason they get an upset stomach when fed something new is because they are always fed the same exact foods. This would happen to your stomach as well. Variety is key!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE PRICE OF THE SUPER PREMIUM FOODS IS VERY COMPARABLE TO VERY POOR QUALITY FOODS. This is because our pets require about ½ the amount of the super premium foods than the poor quality foods. This is due to the fact that they are eating actual food and will absorb and benefit from the nutrition these foods provide. This also leads to less poop.

It is also vital to add fresh foods to our pets’ diet each day. This will also help stretch your pet food budget. Fresh foods (mix-ins) include, but are not limited to, yogurt, cottage cheese, canned mackerel, canned salmon (bone-in), raw eggs, clams, sardines, supplements such as fish oil, vitamin E, probiotics, kelp, organic coconut oil, organ meats (beef heart), & healthy wet food. Tripe is also fabulous. For more healthy foods to add to kibble visit

Please note: It is an old wives tale that dry food cleans dogs teeth and wet food adds tarter to their teeth!!! Wet food is actually much healthier because it is not cooked at such a high heat.  The high heat used to cook dry food cooks out most, if not all, of the nutrients.

Does your pet eat grass? The reason may be a lack of vital nutrients and enzymes. All these fresh foods will help with this.

Do not ever feed your pet onion, grapes, raisins, chocolate, avocado, peach seeds, apple seeds or cherry seeds.

Cats REQUIRE wet, fresh food. , & are fantastic resources. Cats are obligate carnivores!! Raw food is the #1 choice to keep your catty healthy. A super premium wet food will give your cat the intestinal support his/her system needs, with fresh foods added. Dry food has the opposite effect. Fresh, wet food will also help prevent urinary issues. If your cat is picky about wet food, you can add a little no-salt chicken broth to help with the transition. It’s also important to add fresh foods to your cats’ diet such (but not limited to) sardines, clams, raw egg, mackerel, and organ meats. Raw meats are excellent & what I recommend the most!!

HOME COOKING & RAW are wonderful alternatives to store bought foods. I believe these are definitely THE BEST ways to feed your pet. There are many easy and healthy recipes..even crock pot recipes!! My favorite resources for information on all dog food information is www.DogsNaturallyMagazine, &  You can also purchase premade raw at local pet food & supply stores.

Healthy Supplements are also important. Visit

For Dogs: I VERY HIGHLY recommend you purchase Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals. By Lew Olson. ::Amazon (please join Amazon Smile & choose to benefit I Once Was Lost Animal Advocacy with your purchases).

***Join K9 Nutrition and CatNutritionInfo for the BEST and most current information!!!***

For great, easy recipes, purchase The Healthy Dog Cookbook by Jonna Anne with Mary Straus (Canine Nutritionist) For Cats: Visit , , and

A few of super premium excellent foods are: (Again, RAW and HOMEMADE are the #1 choice)

:::Purchase “The List” from Truth About Pet Foods. This list is updated yearly and includes an extremely detailed investigation of each pet food. I highly recommend any food on the Truth About Pet Foods list.:::

Darwin This food is not only extremely healthy but it’s also HUMANELY SOURCED!!!!

Frenchie’s Kitchen (this food seems to always make “The List”) here is an excerpt “Frenchie’s Kitchen Pet Foods are a lightly cooked food for dogs, made in a USDA human food facility in California. The owner is on site when every batch of pet food is made. As with many of The List pet foods, Frenchie’s Kitchen got its start because its founder’s learned (the hard way) what some commercial pet foods can do to pet health. A belief in ‘food therapy’ is the foundation of this pet food. The company utilizes whole food ingredients to provide pets nutrition (no synthetic supplements). This company has filed the necessary paperwork with the FDA to obtain its ‘Letter of No Objection’. This will allow the company the right to inform consumers to the food grade (not feed grade) of ingredients on labeling. Frenchie’s Kitchen donates a portion of all sales to no-kill shelters and rescues across the US” Bonus: They are located in Corpus Christi,TX

Big Dog Natural:: I have admit this is my FAVORITE! Wholesome Fermented Air Dried Pet Food WOW! **WE ARE NOW SELLING THIS VIA OUR WEBSITE HERE: Order Big Dog Natural

Orijen www.


Fromms We recommend each variety of Fromms EXCEPT THE CLASSIC

Texas Tripe This is a FANTASTIC way to feed your pet raw food!!

Pure Vita -this is a less expensive & still a good choice food. It’s not my favorite but I will agree to it if it’s the only price point option.

Dehydrated foods are also a GREAT choice. Try Honest Kitchen.  Some of their varieties are complete. Others, you add your own meat –raw or cooked (I prefer raw for pets)

Grandma Lucy’s is SUPER

Also, add tripe to your pet’s diet. Yes, it’s stinky- Phew. However, it’s super healthy.

You can keep up with the latest pet food test results


***Please don’t be fooled by foods that advertise ‘Grain Free’ It’s the SOURCE and QUALITY of the food that matter***

Raw meaty bones are a great idea. They clean teeth and contain great nutrients. They are also a great entertainer for a bored pet. You can find these at Whole Foods stores (ask the butcher where they are located). All the healthy pet food stores also carry them.

You can find these foods at many locations around Austin.  If you are not in the Austin area, you can find healthy pet foods online.  Also, do a search for Raw Food Co-ops in your area.  This is a fantastic way to purchase raw food ingredients at a great price as well as network with other pet lovers who know the value of proper nutrition for their pets.

Healthy Pet – 4301 West William Cannon Drive 892-8848

At the intersection of Wm Cannon & Mopac. Next to the new Whole Foods.

All Tomlinsons– Several locations around Austin

Just For Pets– 3742 Far West Blvd #104  342-2220

Gallery of Pets – NE Corner of Duval/183 11689 Research  345-8920

Bark N Purr– Burnet/45th 4604 Burnet  452-3883

Fetch– 3636 Bee Caves Rd Suite 107  306-9466

A VERY helpful link regarding pet foods, recall info, over vaccination info, etc is the following:

THE BEST site for Pet Food Recall Info and fantastic research on

all aspects of pet foods is

**Vaccinations DO NOT need to be given yearly and are actually very harmful when given yearly.** Please DO NOT over-vaccinate your pet!!!! This means vaccinate puppies and kittens then STOP**

“Dr. White Coat is slow to adapt to this vaccination safety issue, even as the professional organizations recommend against repeated, especially annual vaccinations. In 2000, the American Association of Feline Practitioners came out with an official statement against annual vaccination in the cat. They based this position on research from Cornell where kittens, vaccinated once, measured seven years later still showing evidence of immunity from those vaccines. Veterinary schools across the country are currently reevaluating their recommended vaccination protocols.Quite frankly, though, I don’t think you can afford to wait for the whole profession to catch up. Your animals are at risk to become chronically ill if you continue this baseless practice of annual or even every three year revaccination. Oh, and by the way, there’s money involved. What was the incentive to watch out for vaccination safety issues and stop revaccinating again? Years from now when we look back incredulously at how such a practice was ever thought to be wise, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to smile and pat your healthy twenty-something pet and say, “We knew. We stopped. That’s why you’re still here.” Dr Will Falconer Dogs Naturally Magazine

You can request Titers Tests from your vet to check the level of immunity. Research Dr Ronald Schultz to learn about the studies conducted over 30 years to prove the duration. Also, visit (search ‘vaccination’ for several articles and research such as  ,  (click on Vaccination Newsflash), and  (do a search for vaccinations) for more information on this important subject

Book Recommendations:

Dr. Pitcairn’s Natural Health for Dogs and Cats

Foods Pets Die For and Protect Your Pet by Ann Martin


The Ultimate Pet Food Guide. Everything you need to know about feeding your dog or cat. By Liz Palika

Healing Pets with Nature’s Miracle Cures by Henry Pasternak

Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals. By Lew Olson

Available at Amazon

The Healthy Dog Cookbook by Jonna Anne with Mary Straus (Canine Nutritionist)

Natural Immunity. Why You Should Not Vaccinate! By Pat McKay

Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats by Catherine JM Diodati, MA

Website Recommendations:

These and other websites listed in the article will set you well on the path to proper nutrition and care for your beloved pet.

*Excellent, high quality pet vitamins and supplements along with fantastic customer service

* THE site I refer to MOST often for trustworthy, up to date, easy to understand information on proper pet care regarding vaccinations, vet care, nutrition, supplements, etc.

* – up to date, reliable dog care information – What’s Really In Pet Food – yes, dead dogs and cats are in the poor quality pet foods!  Join K9 Nutrition and CatNutritionInfo  – vaccination, recall, food and care updates.  – Information for our feline friends  – helpful up to date information for catties.  – great information. Be sure to join for Newsletters. I trust Lew Olson implicitly! – A newsletter, by Lew Olson, regarding fresh food ideas to add to kibble. Again, kibble should be your last option. The high heat cooking process destroys most of the ingredients.  Wet food is a much better option.  Raw and Home cooked are the BEST!! – Search “What’s Really In Pet Food” for more information on the truth about pet foods. – The latest and most up to date information on recalls and news regarding the pet food industry. Also, join Truth About Pet Food Facebook Page. FANTASTIC information and links.

I am always available for questions.  I know finding the BEST nutrition/vaccination plan for your pet can be frustrating.  I’m here to help.  If you find a food you feel is great & it is not on my list, please contact me to confirm if it is quality or not.  Pet Food labels can be very misleading.  For example, many horrible foods now have “Grain Free” on their label.  This is NOT a guarantee of quality or safety.

Also, PLEASE stop vaccinating your adult pets.  If you are worried about their safety, you can request a titers test.  It’s also important to only board your pets or use groomers, & vets who respect the important choice to not over vaccinate.  Use this as an opportunity to educate.  Many are willing to learn and accept titers test results.

Once you begin learning about proper pet nutrition you will more than likely find yourself on the path to more holistic care all around.  Helpful links to get you started on that path are

Also, there is NO NEED to use toxins on pets to control fleas/ticks. Did you know when you apply topicals or flea collars you are actually POISONING YOUR PET’S BLOOD to kill fleas/ticks. GASP!!!! There are plenty of natural products that are effective and safe. Our
favorite is Entomobiotics V512 (  ) fantastic, EFFECTIVE snake & creepy crawler deterrents). This is a local, family owned company in the Austin area.  This is also sold at Chuckling Hound Luxury Pet Resort

Watch our Facebook page for announcements on upcoming Pet Nutrition & Holistic Care Classes

Feel free to contact Adette with any questions

Updated January 2017