Whole Food Supplements for Your Pet

Dr. Brett is a strong proponent of whole food supplements.   Many of the processed foods that our pets eat have been stripped of nutrients and are not made of the foods animals are genetically designed to consume.   Often pets are overfed and undernourished because they are not getting the nutrients required from their food.  Proper nutrition plays a key role in the overall health of our pets and poor nutrition may cause health issues that we may not think are related to diet.

Given proper nutrition, the body has an amazing ability to heal itself. To do so, our pets need to eat a healthier diet, exercise, and take supplements that are made from whole foods. Whole food supplements supply nutrients they are not getting from their diet, the vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and phytonutrients that foods possess in a way that nature intended, in a whole food form.

Whole food supplements complete the nutritional gap.

Whole food supplements are made by concentrating foods for use in supplements. When processed correctly, they supply a multitude of the plant’s components. Foods provide nutrients that work synergistically. They work together to provide optimal nutrition for good health.

Processed foods are not whole foods.

How Wheat is Processed

  1. Start with a whole wheat kernel comprised of starch and nutrient-rich bran and germ.
  2. Bran and germ are removed, resulting in primarily empty starch (flour).
  3. Processed flour is bleached to improve the appearance and texture of consumer goods.
  4. Bleached flour is enriched by adding in a few isolated B vitamins and iron in an attempt to replace what has been removed.
  5. The result is nutrient-deficient consumer goods made with flour  that have the ability to sit on a store shelf for an extended period of time.

Selecting a Quality Supplement

There are many different kinds of pet supplements on the market, and it can be very confusing to determine the true value of a supplement.  Understanding the label will help you know if you are taking a quality supplement.

We often think that more is better when choosing supplements, however quality is far more important than quantity. A small amount of a vitamin in whole food form is far more valuable to the body than a large dose of an isolated vitamin, which is just a fraction of the whole.

Quality of Ingredients

Manufacturers who grow many of their ingredients have the unique ability to control the quality of the ingredient from seed to supplement. Certified organic farms further enhance the quality of these ingredients.

Also, different foods reach their peak nutrient value during different times within the growing season. Once harvested, food begins to lose its value. If there is a delay of hours, days, or months from when an ingredient is harvested to when it’s processed, many of its very delicate phytonutrients are lost.  Each ingredient has its own set of rules in relation to how to best extract and package its vital life. The manufacturing process needs to retain the vital nutrients within the ingredients. Too much heat will destroy enzymes and phytonutrients. Quality manufacturers develop their processes to account for this sensitivity.

Dr. Brett often prescribes Standard Process Whole Food Supplements because they grow their own organic food, have strict processing guidelines to maintain nutrients and have proven to be effective in helping to resolve medical issues and increase general health.  Standard Process has a veterinary line of supplements that Dr. Brett uses regularly along with some of their human supplements that are effective in pets.

Is That Little Grass Seed Really Dangerous?

Interesting Case of the Day

Teddy’s “Mom” called and said that he was shaking his head dramatically and non-stop since they returned from his morning walk.   They reported no odor,  no redness and no discharge to been found.

We scheduled Teddy in right away for an ear exam and upon general physical exam showed that everything appeared normal.  Initial otoscopic exam of both ears showed no obvious problems or foreign bodies.   As we continued to observe Teddy and were discussing the possibility of Teddy having successfully shaken out whatever was bothering him, he shook his head in the exam room and lowered his left ear.  Further exam with the otoscope revealed a thin fiber deep in the canal near the eardrum that resembled normal deep ear hair.

A short acting injectable anesthesia allowed for a safe removal of this tiny, inconspicuous danger.   With every movement the dog makes, this type of seed moves forward to the place of least resistance, like a hole (ear canal) or a groove (between the toes).  The seed has a casing called an awn that is designed to dig in to the ground for survival and propagation of its species and the seed uses the same technique to imbedded itself in animals.  These seeds can continue to burrow deeper and cause severe infection and pain.

Dogs with long ear fur, and longer fur in general, are more likely to pick up this type of seed.   Preventative measures are to have the paws and ears (inside and out) groomed short on a regular basis.   There are many types of seeds that have different shapes that burrow and these can be found in ornamental grasses and wild grasses.   Try to stay out of areas with long grass and burrs.   If you find them in your yard, remove them.  And of course, check your dog after exposure to wild grasses and if you find any in your pet’s fur, remove them.

Our Pet Clinic

  • Full-Service Animal Hospital
  • Compassionate, Personalized Care
  • Friendly, Knowledgeable Staff
  • Conventional Veterinary Medicine and Complementary Care
  • Family Owned and Operated
  • Serving Tucson for over 30 years

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Rosemont Pet Clinic
5065 E. 5th Street
Tucson, AZ 85711
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Monday: 7:30am-6:30pm
Tuesday: 7:30am-5:30pm
Wednesday: 7:30am-6:30pm
Thursday: 7:30am-5:30pm
Friday: 7:30am-5:30pm
Saturday: 7:30am-12:30pm
Sunday: Closed