GMO Pet Foods

     There has been a lot of activity and interest about GMO food in the last few weeks. The recent débâcle with Monsanto getting the free pass by congress certainly was an impetus.
     What are GMO foods? If you are like me, this is a confusing area. The acronym GMO stands for Genetically Modified Food, which still does not tell us much. If you will bear with me I will try to give a simplified explanation. The word “genetically” refers to genes  or, more commonly, DNA. This DNA structure holds the information for forming and running the body. Think of it as a recipe book. You want to make a cake? You look at the recipe and put the ingredients together. You want to make a liver? Same idea. 
   But don’t fall into the mistaken idea that the physical organism is completely run by the DNA carried in the cells. It is much more complicated than that but, again, to make it more simple, it is like not all the recipes are read. There are other factors, other influences, that decide which recipes will be used. In homeopathy we refer to that deciding influence as the “vital force” or the “life force” referring to an energetic pattern that is responsible for the manifestation and maintenance of the organism. In non-homeopathic mainstream science the idea of a ruling life force is discarded as superstition or ignorance and there is little concern about interfering with the harmony of the organism by changing its DNA structure and its relationship with any governing energetic influence.
     This idea in mainstream science, of forcibly changing the DNA structure, is a reflection of the attitude that the way that the organism functions is under our control, that we can modify the genetic makeup and make it do what we want. This has led to the production of genetically modified plants and animals (and likely very soon, human beings). To give you an idea of what kind of changes are possible here is a listing of some of what has been done already:
  • Cats have been produced that glow in the dark when a UV light is shown upon them.
  • Goats have been modified so that their milk contains spider silk from which bullet proof vests are made.
  • Plants have been changed so that they produce, internally, an insecticide that kills the insects that eat the plant.
     Much of the work done so far is the changing of the genetic structure of plants so they grow differently, have resistance to herbicides, produce insecticides, and on and on. These changes, ones resulting in food plants that have never existed on the earth for the last 6 billion years, have been introduced into agriculture and into our food supply without the FDA requiring any testing for health effects in humans or animals. So it is important we understand more about this because well over 90% of what you buy in the grocery store contains these modified foods. 
     What about pet foods? I cannot be absolutely certain, as the information is simply not available, but I think that 100% of pet foods will contain genetically modified foods, even foods produced by companies that are dedicated to making healthy products. What is alarming about this is that research studies now being reported are showing very significant health effects in animals fed these foods. We need to know about this and we need to know what we can do to minimize these effects. 
More next time…
Richard Pitcairn, DVM, PhD
This entry was posted in Pet Food and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

169 Responses to GMO Pet Foods

  1. Graham King says:

    I have heard that in a trial (in France?) That dogs given GMO soy milk by the seventh generation were rendered infertile. If this in fact is true it is unbelievable that Monsanto, Bayer, Nu farm et all are allowed to continue with few restraints. Why were they allowed to patent seeds that existed for aeons?

  2. admindj says:

    Thank you for your article! GMO’s need to go! So dangerous for us!

  3. Mary says:

    What type of pet food to buy for dogs?

    • Mary,
      Our book has recipes for food you can fix yourself at home. That is what I recommend using.
      Good luck.

      Best to you,
      Dr. Pitcairn

    • Colleen Weaver says:

      Feed them your own prepared foods, easier then you think. The dogs do not complain and are greatful (as only dogs can be) for your efforts.

      You will also cook better for yourself and the rest of your family when you realize the value of a nutritional meal. PLEASE use organic when possible.
      By getting away from the commercial foods and feeding real foods to your pets you will see many positive changes in your pets’ health.

      Look up ‘Foods Pets Die For’ then look up the feeding trials the AAFCO feeding trials and I assure you, you will NOT be impressed with their standards of “quality”. In reality, it should really pi$$ you off!! Please stop
      supporting this low quality crap.

  4. Susan Bruce says:

    What do you think about grain free diets for dogs & cats? I have a fat dog. Don’t the carbs in a diet make him fatter, while feeding more protein & less grain make him thinner? Or is it a matter of feeding him a lower protein diet that will cause the weight to come off. I have used your recipes for a very long time now, but your book doesn’t address the grain free issue. Thank- you for your assistance. Susan Bruce

    • Susan, a good question and one I will have to address if another edition of the book is written. Brief answer is that grains are very well digested by dogs, do not make them fat and have the advantage of being obtained in organic form. Meat and bones are very contaminated foods and should not be fed in excess as those chemicals and contaminants will build up in the tissues of your dog and cause problems. If your dog tends to gain weight then you might get him evaluated by one of the veterinarians that has trained in holistic medicine because this could be due to something that could be corrected, like a hormonal imbalance.

  5. Beth Tessman says:

    I am adopting in a Six month old yorkie puppy who has had liver shunt surgery (cellophane instead of constrictor). My other yorkies eat a rotation raw diet. I am trying to figure out if he can have raw or the best diet for him. He is doing well but hid foster provider has him on Science Diet LD, antibiotics and lactulose. Yuck. There are no vets recommended for Minnesota and the internet mostly suggests no raw and low protein. I know you are busy but and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Can he eat any of your recipes? Thanks much. Beth in Minnesota

    • I can’t answer definitively as it would take careful evaluation of the details of this situation. I recommend you set up a consultation with one of the veterinarians that has studied homeopathy with me. You can see the referral list on this web site. Good luck.

  6. Nancy Blue says:

    I am fighting tooth-and-nail with others to at least label GMO foods. Maybe the newest CA ban will help get things rolling, but this is going to be a battle that takes time.

    I have your 3rd Edition and could not find anything on canine sebaceous cysts. I have seen my vet who prescribed some antibiotics and said to swab with pure oxygen and hope it dries up. Can you add anything else? Thanks.

    • Yes, this is a continuing battle but I think labeling is inevitable. The most disturbing thing, however, is that these modified plants have already been released around the world and can not be taken back. Labeling will help of course but we will also need testing of foods to make sure they are not contaminated.
      As for sebaceous cysts I don’t have any special treatment. In my practice I used homeopathy in individual cases and you might consider that approach with one of the veterinarians I have trained. Check the referral list.

  7. Reta says:

    Dear Dr.:
    I am sorry that my letter is a little bit long. I hope that you could get it through patiently. Thanks!

    I am Reta, comes from China. I have kept a poodle called Bobby since August 2011.Bobby weighs 7 kilos and it is over 3 years and 5 months old now.

    I began to learn how to keep dogs after I kept Bobby, and soon I found the difference between the natural grain and 4 D grain. I changed Bobby’s food into the import natural grain. I always believe that the nutritional content of dog food will be destroyed at high temperature. It is similar to the fact that the canned food is not so well as the fresh one. I read news that someone utilized homemade pet food when I surfed on the Internet at the beginning of 2012. I was in a state of exaltation about it, as a result of which I started to collect related information, consulted dog owners who had home-make experiences and experimented with new feeding practices with caution in the later several months.

    I officially started homemade food until October 2012, and I soon discovered its advantages:Boddy had stomach disease since childhood because his previous owner had been always busy and therefore Boddy had been starved often. After I adopted him,I only fed him something every night before bed and tried my best to shorten the feeding time,but this symptom had not been healed. However in just a few months after I started to feed the homemade food,I found that Boddy no longer vomited,and it strengthened my homemade determination.
    Since then I have been learning the pet homemade food from the related book I bought.

    By now I have been providing Bobby the recipe listed as follows:

    I prepare fresh food for two means a day, which the proportion of coarse grain, meat, vegetable is 1:1:1. After wash the vegetable, I then also sock it with Bragg organic apple cider vinegar and water to play a bactericidal effect. Coarse grain should be cooked thoroughly with water by the rice cooker, while the vegetable and the whole piece of meat should be steamed respectively by the electric steamer and then minced with a mixer before feeding.

    For additional nutritional supplements, I have been giving as follows: Prozyme, Seaweed & Rosehip, MissingLink, Cosequin ds, Sea Pet, nutritional yeast and Amazing Grass (besides Prozyme, the rest are supplemented once every other day), while Cosequin ds is a half tablet every other day]. And apart from that I have also made egg shell powder as a complementary source of calcium by 1/4TEA SPOON every week. As mentioned in your book that the calcium phosphorus ratio should be in 1.2:1 in daily nutritional intake of a dog and since most vegetables are high phosphorus, I try to choose some vegetables containing high calcium in my daily choice of the food (such as tofu, carrots, and celery and so on).
    Generally I take the meat bellowing listed as the main ones: Australia filet mignon, Local chicken, mule duck, Norwegian salmon, French silver cod and tuna.
    I choose organic foods for vegetables, whole grains, beans and eggs.
    The main dairy is the goat’s milk and yogurt, generally drinking once a week.
    I have let Bobby eat a small amount of garlic once about 10 days to prevent parasites and at the same time to sterilize in the body.
    Bobby is in good physical health, and each target of his physical examination is normal now.

    Thanks again for your patience to read my description. I want Bobby to accompany me more than 10 years or 20 years if it is possible, so I am striving constantly to learn more knowledge. I believe that today’s hard work and perseverance will turn out more harvests and surprises in the future!

    Now I would like to consult with you that shall I continue such a feeding practice for a long term? And any further improvement I need to take?

    Best Regards
    October 30, 2013

    • Reta,
      You are doing remarkable care of Bobby. Just reading your foods used, it sounds all right though I am not able to analyze it. I can tell you that the recipes we developed for our book are balanced as best we can determine so if your amounts of each food type (vegetables, grains, meats, dairy, etc.) are close to that it should be all right. Calcium might be the chief thing that is of concern as it is difficult to provide enough calcium from foods which is why bone meal or another high calcium source is used. If you would like to avoid bone meal, you might check out Animal Essentials Calcium which is derived from seaweed. Good luck with your program.

      • Reta says:

        Dear Dr:
        I am so appreciated for your reply; I have referred to your introductions in the recipe for Bobby. I also consider that Calcium supplement is the key.
        I will buy the Animal Essentials Calcium recommended from you as soon as possible. As for bone meal, I found KAL bone meal in, however, VD was found, so I did not know whether it is natural bone meal or not, therefore, I did not buy them, and make eggshell meal by myself. Do you have some recommendations for band of bone meal?
        Again thanks very much for your patient guides.


        • Yes, we have brands listed in our book with information about their content. Some of this may have changed over the years, but should be fairly accurate.

          • Reta says:

            Hi Dr. Richard Pitcairn:
            Can I ask you another question?
            My pet dog bobby is 5 years old. He use Pet Shampoo from ProCare(Melaleuca).
            What about this product? and could tell you some better brand?

          • Reta,
            Sorry, I am not familiar with this brand. I think any naturally based shampoo, human or animal, should be fine. Avoid chemicals, use natural ingredients.

            With best wishes,
            Dr. Pitcairn

        • Colleen Weaver says:

          Love your books Dr. Pitcairn!!

          Although, I do have one comment. My degree is in Culinary Arts and I found your recipes a bit intimidating because you use standard measurements of cups and ozs. then you add in the cc’s, milligrams, etc. for ingredients that are not familiar to the average cook. I know from personal experience that many people do better with visuals, so I recommend you put out a video on preparing pet foods so people can get a better feel (for lack of a better word) of the ingredients and quantities. A video would also allow for adding input about the different substitutions and techniques that can be used and what the final product looks like. Cookbooks with pics. tend to sell better then books without. I could go on and on about the advantages of using a video but unfortunately, I am not good at typing.

          Best wishes,

          Colleen Weaver

          P.S. I really HATE this whole heartworm thing, can you say if the holistic approach works and what regime would you recommend for prevention as well as a cure?

          Thanks for all that you do!

          • Colleen,
            Perhaps you can help me understand where in our recipes there is confusion. As far as I remember the use of mg. amounts was for vitamins and that is because the label identifies them that way. Are you thinking of some other places that milligrams are mentioned?
            As far as heartworm problems in my practice I was able to treat that condition with nutrition and homeopathy and, as best I could tell, the results were very good with improvement of health.

  8. Pamela Howell says:

    Hi Dr. Pitcairn. I have taken my 11 year old, 74 lb. dog to Dr. Schacht in Charlotte, NC. He recommended your book when I asked about cooking food for my dog. I am trying to gather the supplements and I am a bit confused about the Calcium. I was planning on getting the KAL bone meal from the Group 1 list. As I look at the recipes I see that most call for Healthy Powder as well as Group 1 calcium or Animal Essentials Calcium. Does that mean I need the KAL bone meal and the Animal Essentials, and if so, can I use the seaweed product from Animal Essentials? Or can the KAL fulfill all the calcium needs? If I have the Healthy powder, the KAL, and a good multivitamin, will I be covering all the supplements? Thank You for any information you can give me to clear up my confusion 🙂 Pamela Howell

  9. Pamela Howell says:

    One more question please…is using only the Animal Essentials Seaweed for Calcium an option?

  10. Don Allen says:

    Years ago I used Balanced Diet for our dog and two cats and I liked it. It is organic and raw fermented nutrition. I saved the link and now have a dog again, so I plan to switch our new puppy over to BD.

    We also have horses and feed them diatomaceous earth for internal parasite control and garlic to ward off flies on other biting insects. The garlic works and I know there is a lot of debate regarding garlic and dogs, but when digging deeper I’ve found the opponents arguments to be superficial. What are your thoughts on this?

    • I looked at the web site for Balanced Diet. Looks like a nice product. I did not see anything about GMO considerations so can’t tell about that. Also it looks like the meat not organic so likely a lot of chemicals in it but, then again, very difficult to find organic meat anywhere. This may be as good as you can do without fixing meals your self.

      Regrading use of garlic in dogs I too have read warnings about it. We have use of garlic in our book and have never seen a problem but the amounts used are not high. The studies were garlic was given and there were harmful effects the amount of garlic was fairly large so may be a question of dosage. If you are not comfortable with it then just don’t use it, but my clients never saw a problem using our recipes as they are.

  11. Colleen Weaver says:

    Hello Dr. P.,
    Yes, the mg and cc (I would love to give you an exact example but unfortunately my books are currently packed away) is in reference to the vit. and supplements and most home or commercial kitchens do not have the appropriate measuring tools. When I would refer to your book for friends to start cooking for their pets, they seemed to be uncomfortable with the differences in the measurements and also because they were not familiar with such ingredients as nutritional yeast, vit. C, etc. that I would fail to convince them that preparing their pets food would be easy. This is one of the reasons I feel a video would serve everyone well. You could see that so many cc’s is about a pinch and having someone explain what the purpose, function and possible substitution of each ingredient is; would clarify a lot. It probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to you because you are very familiar with each ingredient. Men tend to make great chefs because they are more likely to wing it. They do not get hung up on such details but most women will tend to follow recipes exactly and it is the women who will most likely be the ones preparing the food whether it is for the pets or family.

    • I looked through our book, the vitamin supplement section, and don’t see anything like you are describing so we will have to wait until you have your books back. Regarding a video, a good idea and perhaps someone will do that. There might even be a video on YouTube – I have never checked.

  12. recipies for “Chihuahuas”
    As they originate from Eastern Asia rice is the base plus raw lamb liver,kidneys ,heart very finely cut up by hand . Some prefere it lightly fried .Ground reindeer or lamb meat!
    Grated carrots,aspargus,string beans
    For breakfast toasted stone ground organic rye sourdough bread with butter keeps them happy until late afternoon meal. Thank you Dr Pitcairn

  13. Laura Barton says:

    I have your Natural Health for Dogs and Cats 1995 edition. It recommends raw eggs for cats. My friend and I each have elderly cats, about 16 yrs old. They each have some health concerns. We have been feeding the recipe with raw eggs sometimes and they really like them. Her vet cautioned her to not feed raw eggs and he won’t eat the scrambled eggs. I can’t afford to buy any books right now. I wondered if your newer info recommends the same where raw eggs are concerned.

    Thank you so much if you can answer my question
    Laura Barton

    • The more recent editions have the same advice – to give the eggs raw. I have never seen a problem myself with doing this with my clients and this over 30 years. I suppose anything can happen but certainly has never been a problem in my experience.

  14. Cheryl Pittman says:

    Hello Dr. Pitcairn,
    I have read your book Complete Guide… From cover to cover and find it a great resource. I have a female doberman who has seizures. She is on phenobarbital and I feed her a homemade diet from your book (doggie oats). I was concerned if she was getting all the nutrients she needed, given her condition, and contacted pet nutritionist, Mary Strauss. She felt the recipe was good but was lacking in some areas. She tweaked it, having me add 2 oz beef liver (copper), using chicken thighs/ breast with skin (to replace the oil, and adding cod liver oil (V. d) she was concerned that the nutritional data was not spelled out. My dog continues to have breakthrough seizures. I give her NuVet Plus, taurine, complex B vitamins, Vitamins A&D, yogurt, and an egg daily. I started to give her Epiplus, and ordered Megapet vitamins from Darleen Rudnick. I made a homemade treat with wheat flour, yams, and applesauce. She had 3 seizures the next day. So I took oats out of her diet and replaced it with lentils. I have since discovered gluten free oats and plan to use that, along with kidney beans for a change of place. I usually add 3 lbs raw meat ( ground beef 93/7 and beef round (85/15) or chicken thighs.
    Do you have a recipe that targets seizure dogs?

    Thank you for your time, should you respond.


    • It is certainly possible the recipes in our book could be improved for your dog so I am glad you have that help. This issue is very complex and know ing the best diet is not easy. For example, beef liver has the most environmental toxic chemicals in it, so you have that trade off of improved nutrients and more toxic substances that build up in your dog and very possibly contribute to brain irritation. Another example is using chicken which has been reported (in the US) to have excessively high levels of arsenic in the tissues as they add arsenic compounds to make the chickens gain weight. One of the side effects of excessive arsenic is seizures. Do you see the difficulty? The best strategy I have come up with is, especially with this problem in dogs, is to use only organic ingredients — whether vegetable, grains or meats. It seems to make a big difference. Of course the food needs to be complete, but more important in a way, is that it is “clean” and does not contribute to the problem.
      I don’t have a special recipe of dog seizures, I had my clients use the same recipes but only organic sources and minimal meat to reduce nerve irritation (as I have described above). By the way, the nutritional composition of the recipes is on pages 68 and 69 of the book, which you can show to your nutritionist next time.
      The other thing to add to this discussion is to emphasize to you that seizures in dogs very often are related to the vaccines given — for Distemper and Rabies. It is very important to minimize vaccine use if they have this problem, in fact, the vaccine manufacturers say you should not use the vaccines if your dog is ill like this. So diet alone is not sufficient and this is where I have used homeopathic treatment to reverse that vaccine disease, which is called vaccinosis.
      I hope this helps a little. I know it is complex and also frustrating to deal with, but most of my patients with seizures did get better, often to completely normal with what I am describing here.

  15. Melissa Moore says:

    I am concerned with the recommended quantity for the cat food. I make a variety of kinds from your book, my cats are both considered large (12 lb). Your recipe daily feeding is 1 cup. My cats won’t eat more than 1/2 cup and seem satisfied. The concern is that since they don’t eat the full amount are they getting less nutrients/vitamins than neede For instance, should I double the supplements per recipe so they get more per feeding. Is it a problem that they don’t want the full amount (which does seem a large quantity for a cat). Thsnk you!

    • The recommended amount in the recipes is just a guideline. How much cats will eat at one time varies just as it does for human beings. Depends on activity, age, weight, etc. If they are satisfied and seem healthy I would not worry about it. The ratio of food nutrients and vitamins/minerals is balanced so I don’t see any need to give additional quantities.

  16. Betty Swank says:

    Dr Pitcairn, I am using your recipes for our 5 and 1/2 month old Boxer Puppy (Jonah). You call for vegetable oil. However, under “Oils” you discuss Udo’s Choice and adding 2-3 drops of cod liver oil. Would this be the oils I should use in the recipes where it calls for vegetable oil? Thank you for your time

    • Udo’s oil is a brand of vegetable oil, a nice formulation. You can certainly use it where vegetable oil is called for. But if too expensive you can use other vegetable oils. Avoid canola oil as most of it is GMO production.

  17. Marie-France Laroche says:

    Hello Dr. Pitcairn,
    In reference to your recipe “feline diet for kidney problems” from your book “complete guide to natural Health for dogs and cats” (2005 version), page 365, could I substitute white rice with some other grain?(Because he won’t eat rice) If so which one?
    Thank you for your help

    • Yes, you could use another grain – millet, barley, etc. See the other recipes for what grains are included in some of them. It might be a slightly different nutritional analysis but I think not important.

  18. Lori says:

    My 16 year old cat has renal failure and my vet has recommended kd feline prescription diet. I noticed in your book you have a recipe for kidney failure in cats. Should I switch to making my own food?
    More importantly, I want to make the switch to a holistic vet in my area and met up with Dr. Alberto Gil. He seems very knowledgable but I have not found any reviews online and was wondering if you would recommend us using him.
    Thank you for listening and I appreciate any information you can give me.

    • The Kidney Recipes in our book are quite helpful to compensate for kidneys that are failing as they have less protein in them, the by-product of which can accumulate and be toxic. The recipes are only useful for that cat that has uremia which is basically markedly elevated BUN and Creatinine. If your cat’s condition not that advanced then the recipes are not necessary. They don’t prevent the disease, just help to live with it.

      • Cami J Howlett says:

        Are you possibly saying you cannot reverse kidney disease with a change in diet?

        • I have not meant to communicate that if it was implied somewhere. Nutrition can very much help. As to how much reversion can occur, it is individual. In an early case of this, I expect to return to normal. A long term case may have quite a bit of damage to the kidneys so that complete reversal not possible. Still, there should be a significant improvement.

          With best wishes,
          Dr. Pitcairn

  19. Carol Minton says:

    Dr. Pitcairn, I have a 6 month old toy poodle puppy, very small about 3 pounds.
    I made your Quick Canine Hash which she seems to love. I have one concern, it calls for 5000 IU of vitamin A. Such a small amount of oil from the capsule how can it be distributed evenly through the batch of food?? I’m always thinking that she will get too high a dose from one meal and then none in another. The recipe states to cook the couscous, add the meat, healthy powder, calcium and serve. When does the vegetable oil and vitamin A get added?? I actually added the vegetable oil to the water when cooking the couscous thinking that it would be mixed best that way but I thought the hot water could destroy the vitamin A if put in then. I have decided to add some grated carrot to the hash when feeding instead of adding the capsule for now but I would appreciate your thoughts on it. One other question please, since the healthy powder is in the recipe I do not sprinkle it on top but I do sprinkle a little nutritional yeast as a natural flea deterrant on top, is that ok or would she be getting too much yeast if I do that?
    Carol Minton

    • I prefer that that oil and vitamin A be added when the food not hot, just to make sure it is not inactivated by the heat. Just drip it about and stir in. Carrots are also a good source of Vitamin A for dogs (not for cats that can’t use it). The Healthy powder can be sprinkled on top, or added in at the same time as the oil, etc., then mixed in.

  20. todd voorhees says:

    Hello Dr. Pitcairn! A couple of questions: Is brewers or nutritional yeast a reasonable substitute for torula yeast in healthy powder? And can cats eat camu camu powder? Its a berry that is antioxidants & vitamin C. I ask because I am going to be making some of the health powder and was thinking of using it vs. sodium ascorbate. I have two cats and one in particular is having some health issues(arthritis? trouble with mobility in hind legs since being diagnosed & treated for pneumonia. she’s only 7 or 8 years old!) she’s eating and I want to fortify her food.

    Best always.

  21. todd voorhees says:

    Regarding my previous post, I asked about camu camu and what I have is acerola berry powder. Can it be substituted safely for vitamin C in healthy powder for cats?


  22. Chris Barbato says:

    Hi Dr.,
    I have an English Bulldog male 4yr old, in he was diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer, he had a tumor removed that was found on his chest area in between. It was biopsed and was given a 3 grade. He eats a semi raw food diet: ground turkey, chicken liver, turkey thighs, sardines and vegs: kale, squash, tomatoes, garlic, bananas, oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, millet, eggs etc. I add ground kelp, Omega 3 Pet (evening), coconut oil (morning), he also gets 4 tea mix: dandelion root, rosehips, alfalfa, stinging nettle and I get herbal drops from Mc Dowell: maritime pinebark, mast cell mix, allergy mix. I have just found 3 very small tumors in the same area he will be undergoing surgery tomorrow what else can I add to meals. Is he missing anything?
    Thank you in advance for your help. I have read you book and love it.

    • Sorry you are having this trouble. The diet sounds very good, perhaps low in calcium as I did not notice any calcium mentioned. I am not able to analyze the recipe in detail but overall seems like it would work. The formation of tumors is not a nutritional problem so though a good diet keeps the body strong, it is not enough to deal with this. I used homeopathy in my practice as the preferred treatment so you might consider this. There are practitioners listed on my web site.
      Good luck

      • chris Barbato says:

        Thank you for your response, do you have any suggestions that might help with the tumor formations? I live in the city of Chatsworth Ca, any of the vets on your referral list is one more experienced or specialize in mast cell tumors?
        In regards to calcium I put the whole egg in, including the shells.
        Also 1/4 cup of homemade kefir made out of whole milk.

        Thank you again.

        • Yes, I suggest you work with a veterinarian that can offer homeopathic treatment. This will address the tumor formations. I don’t know where Chatsworth is, but if you found a vet on my list that has had training with me, they should be competent. Homeopathy is not a speciality in the sense of certain practitioners working primarily on tumors, rather it enhances the resistance of the entire animal and restores optimal health.

  23. Phil Stokes says:

    My 14 year old dashchund was diagnosed with diabetes 6months ago. His blood sugar was 700. I give him 20 units morning and night and 10 units at 2 pm and 2am. His blood sugar fluctuates between 95 and 200. It does spike to 300 every now and then. He will not eat prescription dog food. I prepare him burgers with ground beef, , ground turkey, brown rice and eggs. He won’t eat that now. What do I do now? Please help. What else can I do for him?

    • My suggestion is that you begin working with a veterinarian that has been trained in holistic medicine, especially one trained in homeopathy. There is a list of veterinarians that have trained with me personally and this is on my website page, the menu item “referrals.” If you go there and select your state you will see some possibilities, perhaps some close enough to you. If that does not work out, then access the page for a listing of veterinarians that will consult with you as to general health guidance (especially for nutritional guidance). Go to the menu item “health consultations.” Good luck, I hope you see fast improvement. Homeopathy especially is very good for this sort of thing.

  24. Missy says:

    Dr. Pitcairn, thank you for your research! I have been using a holistic veterinarian and making food for my dogs and for years – they truly benefit from this approach to their health. I currently have a 3 year old pit bull mix and am wondering if I can substitute coconut oil for the vegetable oil in your recipes?

  25. Fran Coe says:

    Dear Dr. Pitcairn: I use your book COMPLETE GUIDE TO NATURAL HEALTH FOR DOGS AND CATS in caring for my cat and occassional foster dog. My cat, age 11, seems be a Sepia cat, and was treated with this by my homeopathic vet, Dr. Marcia Martin, with excellent results. She sometimes needs a’ booster’ dose (30c). ‘Angelina’ adopted us when she was about 8 wks old, appearing in our garage. She’s had her recommended kitty shots, spaced out to allow her immune sys. to recover. She doesn’t get yrly vaccines, is an indoor kitty. I feed her some of your recipes and ‘Honest Kitchen’ raw food, but she’s very picky. I have to add things we eat also to make her happy. I have 2 questions:
    1) I was giving her the Healthy Powder described in your book. I noticed the lecithin was made from soy; called the co. to ask if it was GMO. They can’t guarantee that it’s non-GMO. I’ve noticed several reputable companies are reputable companies are replacing soy with sunflower, esp for people/pets who are sensitive to soy. What are your thoughts on soy lecithin?
    2) What kinds of cat litter are best? My cat sometimes has crud in the corners of her eyes. I feel like she may be allergic to the litter. She gets regular baths, and I keep the floors clean; house is dusted. What are your thoughts on the cat litter?

    Thank you very much! Frances Coe

  26. Fran Coe says:

    Dear Dr. Pitcairn: I use your book COMPLETE GUIDE TO NATURAL HEALTH FOR DOGS AND CATS in caring for my cat and occassional foster dog. My cat, age 11, seems be a Sepia cat, and was treated with this by my homeopathic vet, Dr. Marcia Martin, with excellent results. She sometimes needs a’ booster’ dose (30c). ‘Angelina’ adopted us when she was about 8 wks old, appearing in our garage. She’s had her recommended kitty shots, spaced out to allow her immune sys. to recover. She doesn’t get yrly vaccines, is an indoor kitty. I feed her some of your recipes and ‘Honest Kitchen’ raw food, but she’s very picky. I have to add things we eat also to make her happy. I have 2 questions:
    1) I was giving her the Healthy Powder described in your book. I noticed the lecithin was made from soy; called the co. to ask if it was GMO. They can’t guarantee that it’s non-GMO. I’ve noticed several reputable companies are reputable companies are replacing soy with sunflower, esp for people/pets who are sensitive to soy. What are your thoughts on soy lecithin?
    2) What kinds of cat litter are best? My cat sometimes has crud in the corners of her eyes. I feel like she may be allergic to the litter. She gets regular baths, and I keep the floors clean; house is dusted. What are your thoughts on the cat litter?

    Thank you very much! Frances Coe

    • That she is very picky with appetite and has crud in her eyes means her health not completely restored yet. These are symptoms. So get back to Dr. Martin and describe this to her.
      You were smart to check on the soy. I don’t know, at this point, any company making non-GMO lecithin though I am hoping there is one. I have no experience using sunflower instead but it sounds nice.
      I always used a clay litter, but I am not very knowledgeable about the choices. I doubt, however, the litter is the problem.

  27. Roz says:

    Dear Dr Pitcarin – 10 weeks ago my 8yr old cock-a-poo was throwing up blood in the middle of the night. Took him to the vet hospital.. They diagnoised him with auto immune disease his blood platlets were 18,000. They put him on 5 different medications one of them being prednisolone 20mg twice a day. Our regular vet does not think Spencer had what they diagnoised him with. We have never found out exactly what was wrong. After many blood test and many medications our vet thinks it is a GI issue since Spencer has always had loose stools, gas and throwing up sometimes. He is off all meds except the Pred. We are weaning him off and this is our second week giving him 1 pill per day at 10 mg. What would your schedule be for weaning him off prednisolone completely. I am slowly putting him on your healthy diet.. His platelets are normal at this time. His stools are improving but not completely normal. thank you so much for your help..

    • Roz,
      You really need to have careful guidance in weaning off this drug. Pred. is very powerful and its action is to shut down the immune system. So when stop using it, then it takes some time for the immune system to recover and start working again. So you need a vet to recognize and handle infections and other problems that might arise during this transition. As for what was originally wrong, I don’t know what it was from what you say here, but there is this GI problem that is recurrent, then I advise getting homeopathic treatment as well to rebalance that system. Is this possible for you?

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  28. Katie C. says:

    I have been using the recipes in the book with great success, but my dog does not tolerate the food if I freeze it. I am thinking of trying to can the food I make and wonder if there is any experience with this. Mostly would I be able to can it with bone meal and healthy powder mixed in?

  29. Lori matsko says:

    I was looking for advice on diet and supplements to feed my 11 year old beagle who has cushings disease. She has been on trilosane for 6 months and has had the disease I would say 1 1/2 years. I don’t see much improvement and now her muscle is deteriorating in her hind end. Is there a better way through diet to treat this disease? I feel the medicine is very harsh on her. Thanks! And I hope to hear something!

    • Diet is usually helpful to some extent in any condition, especially if you can feed organic ingredients. However, in my practice I treated this condition with homeopathy with best results. I really don’t know if diet alone would be sufficient. You might try contacting a homeopathic practitioners for this approach.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  30. Brittany Gravely says:

    Dr. Pitcairn,

    Thank you for all that you have done for animals and their human companions! I am wondering if vegetables can be substituted for grains in some of the cat food recipes. My cat has grown pickier and now doesn’t seem to like the grain aspect so much. He does like squash and sweet potato and many different kinds of vegetables. What do you think?

    • Yes, vegetables can be used but there is more energy (nutrient energy) in grains so watch his weight and activity and make sure that has not changed. Also cats generally like fats so can compensate for using less grains by adding in more fat, like butter, half and half, oils, etc.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  31. Reta says:

    Dear Dr. Richard Pitcairn:
    My pet dog Bobby’s enamel have defected, the area of injury is similar to sesame seed,can it be repaired, and the method to repair enamel for human can be used for dogs? If can, could you tell me something to attention, or some better suggestions?

    • I don’t have knowledge about this. Perhaps a vet that specializes in dentistry. Generally, a very good diet with optimize repair of body defects, but I don’t know how much diet will correct this.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  32. Margaret says:

    Hi Dr. Pitcairn,
    We have a 15-ish year old female tuxedo cat we rescued from a very traumatic situation 2.5 years ago. She is a sweetheart, gentle and perfectly behaved, and with lots of love and good care she’s regained her confidence and ability to trust and now is a very snuggly girl (curled up next to my arm as I type). She was diagnosed with stage 2 CKD 5 mos ago. She’s doing very well so far on a diet of natural wet and dry foods plus lots of water but I’m looking for food options that may be more helpful than her regular diet and I refuse to give her any of the commercial CKD foods. Does your book offer specific recipes for and information regarding CKD? Thanks!

    • If you are referring to kidney disease, the usual type that cats have where the kidneys do not work well, get smaller, then the advice in the book will be quite helpful. The discussion starts on page 361 and there is a recipe for cats with this condition on page 365.
      Good luck.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  33. Lynn says:

    I am making my own chicken and pork bone meal. does the marrow in bones contain more phosphorus than the actual white bone? In general how much ratio ca and p in does marrow have, and what is ratio in the bone itself. I have been trying to getthis answer but have not succeeded yet. thank you

    • Lynn,
      I don’t know if the marrow contains more phosphorus, have never seen an analysis of that. In natural conditions, when a wolf eats the bones of an animal I am sure it includes the marrow which would be fatty and quite nutritious. So I assume the balance must be OK since this is the way they have done it very a very long time. The information I have on calcium and phosphorus ratios is in my book; and some additions, more recent, on this web site where the book is listed. This is all I have. If you find out more, let me know so I can learn as well.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  34. Jodi says:

    I have been making my own chicken and pork bone meal. does the marrow in bones contain more phosphorous than the white bone part? I am trying to estimate the ca and p for a teaspoon of the bone meal I make.
    if you have any links where I can find out more about ca and p analysis of different bones I appreciate it.

    • Jodi,
      I don’t know if the marrow contains more phosphorus, have never seen an analysis of that. In natural conditions, when a wolf eats the bones of an animal I am sure it includes the marrow which would be fatty and quite nutritious. So I assume the balance must be OK since this is the way they have done it very a very long time. The information I have on calcium and phosphorus ratios is in my book; and some additions, more recent, on this web site where the book is listed. This is all I have. If you find out more, let me know so I can learn as well.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  35. Janet,
    I think any of the recipes would be of benefit, especially if fresh and organic. Good luck with this. Nutrition is very helpful.

    With best wishes,
    Dr. Pitcairn

  36. tara says:

    Looking for any and all recommended natural treatment for Cushing’s in my dog. Are you familiar with Adrenal gold from petwellness.I am currently trying many supplements and acupuncture.Tried raw diet but commercial brands bound him up with too much bones.

  37. Kim Hall says:

    I started using your book about eight years ago and I can tell you that your recipes and health information have done wonders for my animals. I’m getting ready to make a batch of healthy powder and just realized I bought lecithin powder instead of granules. Do you think it is safe to use the powder form and if so should I cut down on the amount as it does seem a lot more concentrated?

    Thank you in advance for your help,

  38. Heather W. says:

    We’ve raised our new pups since 2009 following your Guide. I have made the Mexi-dog casserole for them all of these years, substituting masa corn flour for the cornmeal (because it has been soaked and dried), and full-fat cottage cheese for the cheddar. I also add in all chicken bones/scraps from making 24-hour bone broth. My question is what function does the cornmeal/masa provide? I am wanting to go completely grain-free (as some health issues are arising and I want to rule that out). Thank you.

    • Heather,
      The cornmeal, as well as other grains, provide nutritional energy as it is most easily converted to blood glucose and is quite digestible by dogs. Meat and fat also are converted to glucose but not very efficiently with considerable waste products. I don’t advice moving to a grain free diet if this means feeding much meat. Not healthy.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  39. Sage Jensen says:

    Dr. Pitcairn,
    My question is regarding the range of B-vitamins in commercially available nutritional yeast (preparing food/supplements for my 95-lb Staffordshire terrier mix dog). Many nutritional yeast brands are fortified with B-vitamins and there is a vast difference in the quantity of B-vitamin complex in nutritional yeast brands. Your book does not appear to specify a fortified yeast (for use in the Healthy Powder), but most brands add B-vitamins and the quantity of B’s vary quite a bit. Do you recommend a fortified or non-fortified nutritional yeast? Is there a concern with a dog getting too much B-vitamins? Thank you!

    • I have used what must be unfortified, as they have in Whole Foods. But I don’t think it matters as you cannot really give too much of the B vitamins by using either fortified or not.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  40. Katherine says:

    Dr Pitcairn,
    I told my vet that I feed my cat coconut oil (He loves it!) and diatomaceous earth because he is a mouser and I know he eats them. She told me that I should not do that. Is there a good reason not to feed these things to my cat or is my vet uninformed about these substances.
    Thank you!

    • Katherine,
      The coconut oil is fine for cats. I don’t see the need to use the diatomaceous earth every day. It is unlikely your cat will get worms that easily and if he did you could use it then.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  41. Hi Dr. Pitcairn,
    I just purchased your wonderful book on Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats. But in looking over the recipes I notice you recommend corn oil, which surprised me, because corn is genetically modified. Do you plan to update some of your recipes? Also, regarding species-appropriate diets for our pets (I’m especially referring to cats), since they are obligate carnivores, my understanding is that they should not be given some of the items listed in your recipes, such as grains. Do you ever recommend a balanced raw diet (emphasis on “balanced”) for cats and dogs? I think this can be a complicated subject and maybe lots of people get it wrong, but … not sure what to think about this.
    Many thanks!
    Cecile D.

    • Cecile,
      You can purchase organic, non-GMO corn oil. Yes, we are in the middle of producing ed. 4 of our book in which we will address these issues in more detail. Our recipes, in this next edition, will be moving more towards grains, beans, vegetables and such like. Feeding primarily meat is harmful to dogs and cats, creating much of the chronic disease we are seeing today.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  42. Sage Jensen says:

    Two questions (for dogs):
    1. Is there an alternative to using soy lecithin for inclusion in the Healthy Powder that would also provide the properties found in soy lecithin? I have been unable to find an organic lecithin source (though GMO-free brands do exist, just not organic). If there is an alternative, what ratio should it be added to the Healthy Powder?
    2. Each recipe calls for vegetable oil, though no specific recommended sources are given. Are you looking for this added oil to contain linoleic and linolenic acid as described in the Oils section in Chapter 3 (3rd edition), or is the vegetable oil simply an addition of healthy fats to the recipe and should be used in addition to the omega 3/6 supplement? If it is in addition, what specific kind of vegetable oil (olive, coconut, safflower, broad spectrum, etc) do you advise?

    Thank you!
    Sage & Rufus the Wonderdog

    • Sage & Rufus,
      I have realized that soy lecithin is not available in organic form. Unfortunate and one can only hope this will change. I have seen some posts on line that organic soy lecithin will be coming. I don’t really have an alternative to suggest right now. We might be able to come up with one as we are working on the 4th edition of our book and this needs to be addressed. Still to do.
      Regarding vegetable oil, our recommendation was for it to provide essential fatty acids as well as additional energy source. I prefer organic coconut and olive oils myself, but safflower probably fine if good quality — organic and mechanically expressed and kept from going rancid.
      Good luck.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  43. Harold Goldstein says:

    Hi Dr. Picairn,
    I have been making my cats food from the recipes provided in your book with wonderful healthy success! Thank you! I do add garlic to the Beefy Oat recipe and have never observed any issues with any of my cats. A friend pointed me to some recent articles saying that garlic was dangerous even deadly for cats and dogs. What is your opinion since you recommend garlic homeopathically.

    • Harold,
      I have never seen a problem in either dogs or cats using garlic in moderation, like we suggest in our book. There was a study where they gave very large amounts to dogs, every day for a week, and saw some effects but none of them serious. If you have been doing OK with using it, I would not worry.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  44. Harold Goldstein says:

    Sorry to trouble you with one more question. There seems to be a movement promoting “grain free” foods. All of your recipes have some type of grain in the ingredient list. I have been using the recipes and have healthy cats! Thank you! Can you shed some light on this idea that grain free foods promote health? To me it appears that it would unbalance the nutritional value of the diet.

    • Harold,
      I recommend the recipes in our book, using grains. Of course, the grains must be whole and organic to be healthful. Also need to be well cooked. Dogs and cats can digest them just fine.
      The movement to using primarily meat and bones will undermine health as these things are full of hundreds of chemicals that accumulate in the body and cause illness. Some of them are carcinogens. It is an unfortunate recommendation and most veterinarians and nutritional advisors simply ignore the toxic aspect.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  45. Candyce Conley says:

    We live in a small town in E. Washington, one vet. Others are 34 miles away and I am desperately seeking answers for our Boxer (3 years old) diagnosed with Masticulatory Muscle Myosis. The best our vet can do is steroids, afraid she missed the diagnosis until our dog was well-advanced. I don’t blame her, well yes I do. But, she has cared for all our dogs and I need her good will. 34 miles is a long way in an emergency. I asked about homeopathic treatments such as Turmeric, she did not seem to think it will help. Our dog is going down hill, with significent loss of muscle mass in her head. We are seniors on a fixed income, but want to help our dog. Can you recommend a practioner near us and reply to my email address? Dayton, WA 99328. Thanks so much.

    • Candyce,
      I have been able to resolve this problem in other dogs using homeopathy so worth trying it. I don’t know of any veterinarians in your area to send you to. There are some on the western side of the state if you are willing to travel. Another option is to use one of the Health Consultants listed here on my site (referral menu) as they can advise from a distance often times, especially if you have a vet there that can do checks and provide information.
      Good luck. I am sorry you are having to deal with this.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  46. Raina Lorraine says:

    Dear Dr. Pitcairn,
    I am considering adopting a 2yr (ish) cat (not yet neutered) from our local shelter who has just tested positive for FIV. He feels strong and I am researching to determine if it is viable to continue with the adoption or relinquish my hold – in which case the cat will be euthanized.
    My question – is there a standard protocol for working with FIV?
    Many thanks for the work you are doing!
    Raina Lorraine

    • Raina,
      There is not a standard treatment in the sense of one medicine always used. If homeopathy we work out the particular remedy that is applicable. As well, very good nutrition is helpful. Check the referral listings on this website to find someone near you to work with, or if not available, perhaps one of the health consultants. Good luck.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  47. Dania Gold says:

    Dear Dr. Pitcairn,
    I got your book and I’m really looking forward to start preparing my cats food according to your recipes, but I’m having difficulties obtaining adequate bone meal.
    In the book you list (in groups 1&2) 5 sources/manufactures for bonemeal. As for now 3 out of the 5 no longer manufacture it.
    A representative at Solid Gold told me they stopped manufacturing/selling it since they could not find a source they were comfortable using. The ones that are still available are KAL and NOW.
    The thing with those two are that the cal phos ratio in them changed form what you list and is now about 3:1 (cal:phos).
    Also, NOW bonemeal is manufactured form US cattle and KAL does not list the source, and I couldn’t find a way to contact them and ask.
    So my questions are:
    – Is it adequate to supplement my cats with bonemeal that has cal-phos ratio of 3:1? is there anyway to add more phosphorus into their diet?
    – Is it safe these days to use US cattle sourced bonemeal? I found my inquiry with Solid Gold concerning.
    – Are there any other brands of bonemeal you recommend?

    Thank you very much,

    • Dania,
      Yes, there have been changes in what is available. If you go to this page on the site – – you will see that I have a document that brought up to date what I know about availability. Granted it is not real recent but might be of help to you. Bones of US animals is not good to use, too much lead and other heavy metals. I preferred the Animal Essentials brand in my practice. It is derived from seaweed. I assume still available. Sorry it is so difficult. You might just have to use whatever you can get. We have to stop contaminating our environment. It is getting very serious.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

      • Lisa, Jamie & Liv says:

        Never mind, I see now that it is in group III, my bad. My computer was not playing nice with the PDF display. A little finagling and I got it to work and scroll down. Which would you now recommend to be better- the animal essentials or the KAl bone meal powder?

  48. Dania Gold says:

    Thank you very much for the reply and the reference.
    I just discovered online a bonemeal that seems right, it’s New Zealand cattle sourced bonemeal, it’s not certified organic but it’s free range, pasture fed cattle and on the site they show a lab’s analyses certificate testing for contaminates, I hope that certificate can be trusted… The company is Traditional Foods Market. The only downside is that it is very expensive.
    Ideally I would love to go with Animal Essentials seaweed calcium but the lack of phosphorous concerns me since I don’t know how to supplement that lack.
    Thanks again,

    • Dania,
      Sounds like a good product. Often we have to take the word of the company as to the quality of their product. With any of them we ask for info on what testing they have done and then assume it is accurate. Regarding Animal Essentials, if you look at the chapter that discusses use of calcium supplement you will see that how to use it is explained. We formulated the recipes so that there would be adequate amounts of both calcium and phosphorus if you used their product.
      Good luck with the transition. Fun.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  49. Paige says:

    Dr. Pitcairn,

    I’ve been making the raw food diet for my cats since 1998 (at least), and still use your 1995 book. I’ve euthanized two cats since starting the diet… the female was 21, and the male was 19! So yay! Two questions:

    1). I noticed a recent update to the Beefy Oat recipe includes 3c oats instead of 4c. When I made the switch, their fur started to get dull and they were lethargic. I’ve since switched back. I also add huge amounts of raw veg when I grate the meat.. probably more than the recommended 1 tsp per serving. Is this ok?

    2). Could you recommend a multi-vitamin? My local veterinarian would like to have them on one, even though I include the Healthy Powder. I would feel more comfortable as well.

    Thanks for all you’ve done!

    • Paige, the situation with food has become more complex. What we recommended before was, best we could determine, good advice. With time, there has, however, been increasing problems with the contamination of food with chemicals. They are highest in meat and other animal products and this is a challenge as to how to best feed the cats. The 4th edition of our book is coming out in March and we have revamped many of the recipes in light of this, emphasizing the use of vegetables, beans, grains and less (or no) meat.So what you are doing is very much in line with this. You are intuitive. As to vitamins, we recommend the Vegecat supplement and otherwise the emphasis on organic and fresh foods rather than a formulated supplement. I hope the book will add much to this understanding for you.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

      • Paige says:

        I admit, as a vegetarian myself, feeding them less meat suits me fine!

        All the best and I’ll definitely pick up your book in March.

        A tremendous thank you for your response,

  50. Maureen Sousa says:

    I have a 13 year old Havanese that has had food allergies his whole life, & a few years back started cooking for him & seemed to be doing well, but now has a heart murmur that the vet has said has turned into heart disease. He put him on enalapril & furosemide but had bad reactions & stopped eating.. I have taken him off them & now looking into some herbals to try & help him along better.. he is eating again, but really cannot tolerate a short walk any longer… wondering if there is a homecooked recipe that could help with his heart function?

    • Yes, putting him on a plant-based diet will help. The 4th edition of our book is coming out in a week or so, from Rodale Press. It has many new recipes of this sort and information on why this is important. I hope it helps with your situation.

      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  51. Lisa, Jamie & Liv says:

    On the doggy oats recipe, if I use carrots, how many should I use to ensure the proper amount of Vitamin A, etc.? (it says the vit A supplement is unnecessary if using carrots- and we are big veggie eaters here so have an abundance of carrots)!

    Thank you so much, I am wanting to start now to get my dog on a good homemade menu rather than the store-bought kibble! I have pre-ordered your book and anxiously await the end of march for its arrival. I am hoping this will help her patchy hair and scratchy skin ailments.

  52. Alex, Stevie and Sophie says:

    Hi Dr. Pitcairn,

    We’re just learning about MDR1 and are concerned about our 2 year old shepherd/collie mix. We’ll be getting her genetically tested but wondered how we can safeguard her through diet right away. I’ve got your book and will be trying recipes to see what they’ll eat, but wonder about meat choices. Can an MDR1 dog get sick from eating meat from a source that was treated with antibiotics/worming meds? Do you have any suggestions for choosing protein sources that minimalise these risks? Thanks.


    • Alex, I think most dogs will have health issues with meat from animals not raised organically. Most of the chemicals given to the factory farmed animals are retained in the meat that is later eaten. You might want to follow the advice in the 4th edition of our book. It is the best I can offer at this point.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  53. Lisa says:

    Is camu camu safe for cats?

  54. Lisa says:

    I ask because I am looking for a natural wholefoods’ source for vitamin c complex. I just found out that ascorbic acid is synthesized from corn. You mentioned that Acerola cherries should be okay to a person on the forum. Is there anything else you can recommend. This is a great discussion and you give out very helpful information. I had your book but gave it away. Recently found a kitten and want to do home feeding again. Definitely buying your book this week. Thank you.

    • As I replied above, don’t have any specific information. With most of my clients we did not have to use additional vitamin C if the animal was on a good, fresh diet as recommended in the book. Maybe that will suffice.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  55. Wendy says:

    Dr. Pitcairn – I have begun to rotate through the dog food recipes in the 4th edition, having previously used those in the 3rd edition. Would there be any drawback to using a dehydrator to make dry treats out of portions of some of the “mushier” recipes such as the V-burgers? I used to use some of the treat recipes in the 3rd edition but see you are now recommending use of raw veggies and fruit as treats. While my 11 yr old dog will eat raw veggies/fruit, she sees these as rather “low value” treats when it comes to trick training. Thanks in advance for your response.

    • I have not had experience with this method (dehydrator) but I don’t see why it would not work. Give it a try and let me know.
      Yes, we are emphasizing the raw foods for better nutritional value. You could experiment with a variety of fruits, etc., as maybe some will be more attractive than others.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  56. Carol says:

    My 18 year old cat diagnosed with hyperthyroidism 1 week ago-vet recommends methizole 2.5 mg. twice daily then t3,t4 level in 30 days. Want to cook foods that are organic and balanced. Are you familiar with Thyroid support gold for cats? Would appreciate your advice.

    • Carol, I am not familiar with Thyroid Support Gold. Have actually never heard of it. If you have seen our book you will understand that we emphasized nutrition and homeopathy. I did not use supplements, not found to be needed in my practice.

  57. Patricia Odoerfer says:

    May I ask if in the healthy poweder recipe, may I subsitite sunflower lecithin for soy lecithing? I am trying to avoid GMO foods as much as possilbe. Awaiting your reply, thanking you in advance,

    Patricia (from Canada)

  58. This is Great Source of Information.

  59. Paige says:

    Dear Dr. Pitcairn. I’ve posted here previously, and look forward to your kind response. I’d like to use your original Healthy Powder recipe with the new recipes in your 2017 version of Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Could you please recommend a rough equivalent or general guideline for substituting the nutritional yeast and Vegecat (which has been unavailable for some time now)? I use variations of the Beef and Corn recipe in the evening, and one of the vegan recipes in the morning, as recommended in the Cat Day. THANK YOU for being available to us!

    • There is no easy comparison of Vegecat and Healthy Powder. What Vegecat provides is the taurine which is considered essential for cats. Perhaps there is another source of taurine I don’t know about but the Vegecat supplement is the easiest way to provide that since they have already put it together for us. Good luck. Sorry it is not easier.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  60. Dustin Briltz says:

    Hi Dr. Pitcairn,

    My wife and I were hoping to gather your expertise regarding vegan cat foods that have been approved for consumption by cats. We were hoping to ask you about what your thoughts are with regards to vegan cat foods that have been approved for market and what your opinion is regarding some specific ingredients that are included within them. It would be greatly appreciated if you could correspond with us as we very much care about the well being of our cats and want the very best for them.

    Kind regards,


    • We did as much research as we could about this and put it in the 4th edition of our book. There is not much to access regarding this as there has not been much interest in feeding cats in this way. As I suggested in the book I think this may be a good approach for cat care because meat is so very contaminated now. To address your question I have had some experience with clients using Ami vegan cat food from Italy and seen good results in the sense that cats often like it and have visible improvement. I don’t have enough knowledge about the other brands out there is say anything about them at this point. Sorry I don’t know more but have been retired from practice for some time now and not having client feedback as I did before.

  61. debra shaub says:

    Dr. Pitcairn,
    We are with a holistic vet. Our cat is 2 last year he had surgery with a regular vet because he was vomiting and not going to the litter box to have a bowel movement. We were making homemade food–org. chicken, vitamins minerals, chick,, liver. He loved it but vomited after a few months. Prior to that he vomited regular food after a month.

    Since with the holistic vet–we let her know all he can tolerate is Beechnut turkey and gravy. She added RX Vit feline minerals. He takes an herbal supplement to have a bowel movement.

    We have tried slippery elm for digestion. Seems he has a belly ache and is in the haunched position a lot. he is down a couple pounds, has black spots on his gums and has skin acne on his chin. He had been so healthy on the home made food until he began vomiting. All bloodwork looked good and the vet who did surgery said he got some different things out that he ingested like bits of rug along with his feces.

    Could I make an appointment or please have some homeopathic advice. The holistic vet says to let him vomit. It is horrific to do so.

    • It is not obvious to me why there is this vomiting. Sounds like you were feeding well. The only question that comes up for me is when you say you were including “chicken liver” if that was not organic could be a factor. I know that most non-organic chicken has excessive levels of arsenic in it as reported by the FDA. And arsenic poisoning does cause vomiting like this. If it was organic, thane has to be something else. In my practice, I would try homeopathy with this. I think would be the best shot. See if you can find one in your area. I do have a listing on my website.
      Good luck.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

  62. Linda Bondy says:

    I use your dog loaf recipe, etc., and thank you for your research. My questions are;
    My friend has 2 big dogs but hasn’t time to make your Dog loaf so…I suggested using healthy powder but didn’t know how much could she add to their daily wet food. ALSO, my other friend has an old cat with thyroid problems. Could she add a bit of healthy powder to her food? If so how much?
    A grateful fan.

    • Good questions but no easy answer. The Healthy Powder was designed to be a good form of supplement to our recipes. They complete the nutritional optimum. In adding to other recipes we don’t know the nutritional makeup of them which will vary, so there cannot be one answer to this. My thought is that using a small amount for the health aspect would be OK, like a teaspoon of the powder for the average size dog? Could try that.
      As for the cat, what would make the most difference is getting off a commercial food that would have animal products in it, especially any kind of fish. This thyroid issue can be from the mercury or other contaminants. You might check out the 4th edition of our book which has updated recipes and suggestions for feeding for this condition.
      Good luck.

  63. Alexandra says:

    Hi DR. Pitcairn,

    I have a little 6 lbs chihuahua with microvascular dysplasia, heart murmur and slightly effected kidneys (little elevated sdma). Recently she’s been having some unexplained loud heart beats and noticable pulsing of her body. This comes and goes. Sometimes it will last for hours, but lately the episodes have been shorter. Blood tests are normal, except sdma slightly elevated at 16. I’ve been home cooking for her and recently realized she must be deficient in linoleic acid, as I was rotating between coconut oil & fish oil for about a year and a half. After reading your book I realized how important oils are, and that this could potentially be the cause of her recent heart issues. I also started adding some vitamin E to her food. I started with the Animal Essentials Calcium & Nutritional Yeast, and she did great for couple of days, then I added the Lecithin and kelp and she looked like she was in a lot of pain by the evening ( possibly too much phosphorus?). I’m wondering if for 6 pound dog the dose of healthy powder could be adjusted? Also, I have a question regarding the B-Complex. I like the brand “Garden Of Life” as it is organic, but was wondering about one of the ingredients: green onion bulb.. since onions are toxic to dogs, would this be appropriate supplement to use? Do you have a brand of B Vitamins that you use and like? One more question on the oils, I started giving her borage oil – about 1/8 tsp per day and slowly increasing. I’m also looking for cold pressed safflower oil but having trouble finding it anywhere. Would you recommend using expeller pressed safflower or sunflower oil? and what would be the right amount for her size daily? Thank you so much in advance!

    • Sounds like a complicated issue. I would not be thinking that the diet would be causing this. Can’t be sure and would be best for you to work with a veterinarian directly on this. There is a list of recmmended veterinarians that have trained with me in homeopathy. I would suggest doing that if you can.
      As for some quick thoughts — I don’t have a favorite brand of B vitamins. I prefer organic if a choice. As for using the amounts of ingredients you ask about I would follow the recipes in the 4th edition of our book as what is in there is the best that I understand. The recipes are balanced and complete and I prefer not altering them which gets confusing.
      Wishing the best for you.
      With best wishes,
      Dr. Pitcairn

      • Alexandra says:

        Thank you so much for your advice! I will look into further consultation with one of the recommended veterinarians.
        Thank you kindly.

      • Alexandra says:

        Hi Dr.Pitcairn,

        We got an answer to the unexplained symptoms my little girl has been having. She went into congestive heart failure, and looking back at all of her tests over the years and emergency visits, we are pretty sure it’s due to her high blood ph. Her bicarbonate levels were high with low sodium/chloride & higher potassium. These were always the markers that she had trouble with. Looking back at her diet over the years I realized she was on kibble that was high in calcium (too high for her needs), as well as it was calcium carbonate, an antiacid, therefore raising her blood ph. She is currently on diuretics, which are raising her blood ph even more. She’s been having a lot of trouble with breathing, even with no fluid in her lungs due to high bicarbonate. After trying different foods I realized the main issue was with calcium. I found organic kibble from Petcurean “Gather” which is the lowest in calcium without prescription, and it made a big difference. She is much better now, but still unable to have much activity without running out of breath. I don’t know if this is due to calcium all together, or specifically calcium carbonate, since it’s an antiacid. I’m looking into going back to home cooking and read in your latest book about the Veg-e dog supplement. Do you know of a supplement we could use that does not contain calcium carbonate? I’m trying to find one just like the veg-e dog but wanted to adjust the calcium levels, and try different forms to see if it makes a difference. We found an amazing holistic vet we are working with, thank you for the recommendation. Any advice on the supplement would be very much appreciated.

        Thank you,


        • I am sorry to hear of this trouble. I have never heard of, or had experience, of calcium levels being a cause of heart disease, so I am unsure how to advise you. I have seen great results using the recipes in our last edition, for all sorts of conditions, so I would just use them as they are. However, go by what your vet tells you is best. As a further comment, if you don’t make progress consider getting homeopathic treatment. That has resolved many heart conditions in my experience.
          With best wishes,
          Richard Pitcairn

          • Alexandra says:

            Thank you for the quick reply. We tried homeopathic treatment but it didn’t work. I think possibly due to the ph needing to be corrected first so it can be effective. It might also be more complicated to use while on diuretics. I’ve been doing a lot of research for the last couple of months. My dog’s bicarbonate was typically in range when testing but on the higher end, same with potassium. It would go out of range couple of times when she had an emergency. For years i was taking notes and trying to figure out what was causing her tiredness, lack of energy and digestive symptoms. I could never figure it out until now. Looking back, she was always great when i home cooked for her with no supplements and no alkalizing foods. Her heart was slowly getting larger and progressing for at least the last 7 years. High bicarbonate causes gas that puts pressure on the left ventricle of the heart, causing murmurs and eventually heart failure. Her levels were typically on a higher end but within the range. After reading that it takes about 14 hours for blood ph to drop after diuretics, and realizing we always did blood test at the vet after fasting for over 12 hours, I wonder if her bicarbonate has always been out of range most of the time, but due to fasting didn’t show out of range. I tested her with the calcium supplement, and she was much better on lower dose. Calcium is very alkalizing, and the two different brands of kibble we used had high amounts. Could it be that over time low gas pressure from high bicarbonate build up in the body can eventually cause heart failure? Maybe taurine isn’t the entire thing in the kibble controversy.. just thinking there might be something to this..

            Thank you!

          • Alexandra, I don’t know the details of the treatment that was done but if I may speak from my experience with homeopathy if this problem was not corrected then the homeopathic remedy needed to cure it has not yet been found. These metabolic factors can be influences but from the homeopathic perspective they are seen to be the RESULT of this illness, not the cause. Well, in my humble opinion, I don’t know everything 🙂

  64. Jesi Pung-Paquette says:

    Hi Dr. Pitcairn
    Your book was recommended by my Vet to help establish an elimination diet for our growing 5 month old blue pit (current weight 26lbs). At one point she had a recipe that you had formulated for her but was unable to find it. I was plaining on using Quinoa for my grain, Venison for the meat, and safflower oil. I could not find calculation in your book to help balance out a meal. I know that venison is similar to turkey when is comes to protein value but has way less fat. And if I use the same measurement of 3 cups as you did with Millet and Brown Rice than Quinoa has 666 calories, 24.42g of protein, 15.54g of fiber, 10.65g of fat (including saturated), 118.2g of Carb. I was trying to compare what I can use for our dog to your Dog Allergy Diets 1 and 2 and need some help with ratios specifically for a growing puppy. I see that you have percentages given on the other page but given my different ingredients I don’t want to mess this up. I hadn’t decided on which brand of Bone Meal product to go with out of Group 1 so if you think one would be better with my other ingredient’s that would be great advice also. I do not plan to feed raw so I know that can also change the nutritional value. So any advice in regards to measurements for this diet would be great. I didn’t want to just do a 1:1 substitute with my ingredients to either Allergy Diet option you have in the book.
    Thank you, I look forward to your help with this

    • Best I can advise is to use the recipes as formulated in our book. It is difficult to compare recipes where they are changes as it takes much calculation. That said, I don’t see a problem with substituing meats or grains. You can just try it. I might mention that our 4th edition of the book that came out in 2017 has new recipes, more plant-based, and is what we currently advise. You might check it out.
      Good luck.

      • Jesi Pung-Paquette says:

        Thank you for your quick response. I actually just saw that there was new edition that came out. I will have to get that and see if it can guild me a little better in figuring this out. Do you have a easy way of calculating or a formula in the new edition to aid in making those substitutions? Given she can only do venison and quinoa with the choice of Oil (safflower) I figured it cant be to difficult but I am finding to be more difficult that I thought…given I am no nutritionist!!

        • No, unfortunately, we do not have an easy way, or formula to work these things out. Took us a lot of research and calculation to work out our recipes to be optimal. That is why I suggest just staying with them. In the new edition you will see some recipes that do not include meat and perhaps that will meet your needs?

  65. Sarena says:

    I heard Dulse has low iodine and kelp has a risk of having too high iodine. Which should I use? How much mg of iodine for the 1/4 cup kelp powder should i use for the healthy powder recipe?
    I dont need a vitamin b complex because of the nutritional yeast and egg?

    • I have never heard of any concern about using kelp because of iodine content. Even if it were higher, the body regulates how much iodine is taken in from food depending on need, so I would not be concerned about it.
      Vitamin B may not be needed. Depends, of course, on the quality of the yeast and eggs. You can certainly try it without using the vitamin and see how it goes. The main thing that guides me in what to use is to have a variety of foods to cover all the likely needs and also emphasize organic.
      Good luck.

  66. Sarena says:

    Hello Dr. Pitcairn,
    I like how your recipes use less supplements and instead use nutrients in food they would have found in the wild.

    Are your feline recipes 100% complete and balanced? Making homemade foods for my kitten makes me nervous but I want to give it a try because its healthier.

    Also, can I add 1/4 cup of kibble at night along with your supplemented recipes during day? My concern is over supplementing or under supplementing. Are there any vitamins that I should be concerned on overdosing?
    Thank you for your guidance.

    • Serena,
      We did a lot of research to make these recipes as complete as we could. My feedback on them so far is fine. You certainly can add kibble as you suggest. I don’t think you have to worry about unbalancing anything. The body will take from the food what it needs, or if there is too much won’t absorb it. It is a clever mechanism.

  67. Janita says:

    Dear Dr. Pitcairn,
    My 13 year old calico cat has hyperthyroidism and kidney disease. She is getting homeopathic treatment – the latest remedy was Sulphur 1M. I have just bought your book “Natural Health for Dogs and Cats” and want to know which recipes would be best for her – the ones using the code K? Also, would the Standard Process supplements to support kidney and thyroid function be beneficial? Thanks, Janita

  68. Janita says:

    Dear Dr. Pitcairn,
    Vegecat apparently no longer includes the essential fatty acid arachidonic acid in their formula. Would the Standard Process Cyrofood be a good substitute for Vegecat, or can you make a recommendation? I just want to make sure I give my cat with kidney problems and hyperthyroidism a complete food.
    Thanks, Janita

  69. Arafel says:

    Hi there, I have your 4th edition, and one recipe (Lentil Stew) for dogs calls for flaxseed oil. Can I use Udo’s oil intead? (it’s flax, sunflower, and sesame seed.)

    • Sure, it should be fine. I have not done any analysis comparing the two, but my sense is that they are close enough

      • Arafel says:

        Thank you so much! One last question: I have some Standard Process Canine Whole Body support. Can I use it in place of the Vegdog for now (I’d like to use it up before buying Vegdog if possible since it was so expensive). Or in addition if you think it’s not a replacement for Vegdog? Thanks again so much! My Holistic vet recommended your book and am just getting started on vegetarian meals for my sweet pup.

        • The Vegedog people worked with us to make their product accurately balance our recipes so that is the preferred supplement. However, if you want to use up the Standard Process I don’t think it will hurt to do it for a short time, like a month or so. Again I have not done an analysis to compare the two but unlikely SP would be the equivalent.

          • Arafel says:

            Great, thank you! I only have a little bit left, so will be done with it before a month is out.

  70. Dina B says:

    Hi Dr Pitcairn,

    Years ago, before internet was widespread…I actually didn’t even have a phone at the time, only a pager haha–I bought your book–it was maybe 1994-95, something like that. And checked out from the library Juliet de Baircli-Levi’s book Natural Rearing of the dog and cat and read both books from cover to cover.
    I had never heard of any of this info, and I remember being struck by the logic of you saying immunity from a vaccine depends on the immune response of the animal, not the vaccine itself. I was shocked b/c I had never heard of that but it made so much sense
    Ihad a very sickly 7 year old ridgeback on prednisone for allergies and a labrador getting seizures from her rabies shot and with tapeworm, also allergies, and pregnant. (i adopted her pregnant to rescue her from a bad situation). After reading your book, I didn’t vaccinate the pups, but was still ignorant and cautious enough that i bought them and offered to the pet parents if they wanted, explaining to them that their pup’s immune system was too immature really. That was the last time any of my animals have ever even been in proximity of a shot lol.
    Short version of the rest of the story: I was skeptical of homeopathy b/c I’d never heard of “energy medicine”…although later I found my grandfather used homeopathy regularly. But I gave both my dogs the remedies that matched their allergy symptoms according to your directions in the book, and they literally stopped itching in a minute or two, for the first time in months they weren’t scratching, and they promptly fell asleep.
    I began feeding them according to your and Juliette’s combined recommendations, as well as all 13 puppies. They were all exposed to parvo from the neighbor’s puppies who came over uninvited to play. All those puppies died, mine didn’t even get sick. I let them self wean. My Ridgeback’s arthritis improved and she never got pancreatitis again. She had a rough start so her health was never 100%–her mother was a stray living on white bread…but she had a much better quality of life because of the info in your book, and my subsequently finding a holistic vet to take her too. My labrador was much younger, all her puppies were super healthy and lived long lives, her seizures never completely stopped but were rare over the years, and both dogs lived until they each were nearly 16 years old. My lab even had pyometra and I treated her according to her recommendations, and brought to the vet for spay, and he said the infection had cleared up already, before proceeding with the spay.
    I’ve never gone back to anything conventional, always raw food for every pet since 1995, except for my current cat who will not touch anything wet. Thank you for being my mentor, guide, and first veterinary bible for nearly 30 years. My highest love is animals, and all of mine are better off with my having the knowledge that you shared with the world so long ago. I found myself on your website after someone asked me for info re: a vaccine injured dog and decided to write this thank you letter while here. Thanks again

  71. Dina B says:

    I meant to say, I treated my lab for pyometra according to your recommendations, not “her” recommendations. I believe it was Sepia if I recall correctly. Homeopathy still is my go-to medicine for everything acute, in myself and my pets. thanks to you
    thanks again,

    dina b

  72. Stephanie Hunt says:

    Hi Dr. Pitcairn,

    I’ve read about onions being toxic to dogs but in the 1982 edition of your book that I own, you write that “onions and garlic are good to include occasionally in the diet. They help to purify the system…” I’m confused.

    I’m also wondering if there are more natural and effective ways to protect dogs (and subsequently me) from ticks. I live in VT and my dogs have been wearing Seresto collars for years which are effective but very toxic. I tried an essential oil spray with geranium, lemongrass and cedarwood oils but it didn’t keep ticks off the dogs and I was then finding them in the house. The risk of Lyme is too high to be pulling ticks off the dogs and me everyday. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I think I need to buy a newer edition of your book. 😉

    • You might find the 4th edition of our book helpful. We tried to update our advice as best we could.
      Regarding feeding onions and garlic, I did not see any problem using very small amounts. However, no need to use it if you would prefer not to.
      As for ticks, there is advice in the book as well;, pages 419-420 in the 4th edition. Best I know to suggest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *