Feeding our pets well is a natural offshoot from feeding ourselves well. When we experienced how much better we felt eating whole foods and not packaged, processed, “fake” food, Beth began to wonder what kinds of health issues our dog was having were related to the packaged, processed, “fake” food she was eating.
When next visiting the veterinarian with LJ, Beth was introduced to Dr. Ken Tudor and his Hearthstone Homemade for Dogs program. Dr. Tudor has been invited to contribute to the Misner Plan to address caring well for our pets. His plan is comprehensive and takes some getting used to, but once you are adept at following the many versions of the recipes he includes in his book, it is quite easy to integrate into your new cooking habits.
Dr. Ken Tudor’s 30 years in practice is highlighted by an interest in pet nutrition, especially homemade diets. Inspired by his gastroenterology professor in veterinary school, Dr. Tudor’s practice long mission has been to perfect these diets as an alternative to commercial dog food and aid the diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases. He recently founded Hearthstone Homemade for Dogs, a complete nutritional homemade solution for dogs. Dr. Tudor is a member of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition. He is presently serving on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to establish Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.
Dr. Tudor also co-founded a national campaign to help fight pet obesity in the US. In addition to veterinary practice, Dr. Tudor is a former director and primary instructor for the Veterinary Technology Program at Mt San Antonio College in Walnut, California. He also has graduate training in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition and has instructed classes in those subjects at the California State University, Pomona also in California. Dr. Tudor’s teaching highlights the origins of the homemade pet diet revolution and the important information pet owners need to offer this feeding alternative.
Here is Dr. Tudor’s powerful perspective:
The Homemade Pet Food Revolution
More and more pet owners are choosing to feed their dogs the same quality food they eat, and with good reason. The massive pet food recall due to melamine contamination in 2007 caused many pet owners to question the quality of commercial pet food. Smaller, yet constant, recalls still fill pages on the FDA recall website and create doubt that the quality of commercial food has improved since then. Realization that pet food is made from agricultural scraps from the meat, grain, food processing industries has led others to consider the homemade alternative for their pets.
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And still other pet owners, like Beth and Ivan Misner, co-creators of the Misner Plan, are drawn to homemade food for their pets after experiencing dramatic results for themselves with healthier dietary choices. And still more enjoy the flexibility to choose organic, non-GMO, free-range, preservative free and environmentally friendly choices not available with commercial pet food. No matter the reason, feeding pets a homemade diet is the best choice. Human food of any quality has superior digestibility and bioavailability than commercial pet food. Without the lengthy, high-temperature processing, homemade preparation also preserves fragile vitamins and nutrients that are “cooked out” of commercial pet food.
I joined the homemade revolution 33 years ago in veterinary school, when my gastroenterology professor introduced us to the magical powers of cottage cheese and rice for managing the symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions. I have used various homemade recipes to diagnose and/or manage other chronic problems in my veterinary patients ever since. As my career has evolved so has my approach to homemade diets and now I encourage all of my clients to consider feeding homemade. Not only are there immediately noticeable changes in their pets, but the long term health benefits will reduce veterinary bills long term and more than off-set the increased cost of feeding homemade.
My long career with homemade has also shown me that most pet owners join the revolution without the realization that creating a nutritionally complete diet for their pet is not that easy. Merely assembling a variety of wholesome meats, oils and carbohydrates is not balanced or complete. Adding a pet or human vitamin/mineral tablet and some calcium or bones will not solve the problem. Dogs need a specified amount of 42 nutrients daily while cats need 44. These include not only total amounts of protein, fats, minerals and vitamins, but specific amino acid and fatty acid profiles. This means that a homemade recipe has to be accurately crafted and carefully supplemented.
A recent study of 200 homemade recipes from veterinary textbooks, homemade pet recipe books and various internet websites found that only 15 were adequately balanced and of those 10 met only the daily minimal standards for some nutrients. Of 15 acceptable recipes only 1 was formulated by a non-veterinarian. It can take months to years for symptoms of nutritional deficiencies to appear. That may be too late to reverse the damage for some deficiencies. Since the homemade revolution, we veterinarians are seeing nutritional diseases that have not been seen in decades because although lacking quality ingredients, commercial pet food provides adequate quantity of nutrients.
Join the homemade revolution, but do it right. Make sure that the author of your recipe(s) specifies the exact brand of supplements and can document the exact amount of all 42 or 44 necessary nutrients in the recipe. Complete homemade provides the quality and the quantity of nutrients for the optimum health of your pet and your optimum peace of mind.
Dr. T (Tudor)
Hearthstone Homemade for Dogs