Until the mid-20th century, companion animals typically ate a diet of table scraps, raw bones and offal from the local butcher.  The picture at the left shows the “Cat’s Meat Man” of Victorian England who plied his trade daily providing Londoners’ pets with fresh scraps and trimmings from the local markets and slaughterhouses. Without benefit of vaccinations and “modern commercial diets”, our grandparents’ pets lived and thrived well into their late teens.

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Why are our pets today plagued by so many health problems?

Today's pet food products have evolved, not to meet our pet’s nutritional needs, but rather for our convenience and for the profitability of the giant multi-national corporations that manufacturer them. Today's multi-billion dollar commercial pet food industry is a convenient and profitable outlet for the diseased animals and adulterated byproducts that are graded unfit for human consumption. Most canned foods and kibble also have a high grain and cereal content. These cereal-based carbohydrates are converted directly into sugar by our pet’s digestive system. This is a major contributor to the many maladies we see displayed in today’s pets including allergies, diabetes, obesity and even behavioral problems. On the biological clock, our pets are only minutes removed from their wild carnivorous forebears who roamed the prehistoric plains and savannahs. Their digestive systems and nutritional requirements are virtually unchanged from that of their ancestors who thrived almost exclusively on a diet of raw meat. A natural, raw meat diet continues to provide the nutritional foundation that our pets need and deserve.

Researchers confirm what we already suspected . . . .

Two European scientists, Dr. Gérard Lippert and Bruno Sapy, conducted an extensive statistical analysis of certain factors that impacted the longevity of domestic canines. An interesting aspect of this particular study is that it was not conducted in a laboratory environment but rather by collection of information gathered from comprehensive questionaires submitted to the owners of the household pets. The study compiled lifestyle and morbidity statistics from 522 canines who lived as regular household pets of Belgium families. The study ran from 1998 to 2002 and discovered overwhelming statistical evidence which indicated that the single factor having the most profound influence on a domestic canine's longevity is diet. The Lippert-Sapy study looked at pets who ate: 1.) a homemade diet made with products from the owner's meals, 2.) commercially manufactured pet food products, or, 3.) a mixture of both homemade and commercial diets. Pets eating the homemade diet exclusively lived an average of 157-months. Pets eating the mixture of homemade and commercial diets lived an average or 136.8 months. And finally, those dogs eating a diet of commercial product only lived an average of 124.7-months. The data reviewed in this study indicated that pets eating the more natural diet lived 26% longer (almost 3-years) than those eating solely commercial products. Overall, this presents a convincing argument for avoiding commercial pet food products. Interestingly, the study also looked at other possible factors influencing longevity such as social environment and housing (indoor vs. outdoor) and concluded that these factors have little impact on canine longevity compared to diet.

Some quotes taken directly from the study:

"The analysis shows clearly that the animals who receive varying home food will have the benefit of a longer life expectancy. This is probably a consequence of the basic quality of the food, and its better absorption as natural nutritional food. These characteristic could be missing with industrial canned food, as a consequence of the various physical treatments (high temperature, lyophilisation, extrusion, flaking,… ) or chemicals (hydrolysis, food additives, … ) and also the basic quality of the ingredients (quality of the basic protein, vegetable protein for meat eating animals, vitamin, difficult to assimilate, low digestibility, soluble sugar present in large quantity … ). High sensitivity with food and dermatological problems related with it are frequent reasons for a visit to the veterinarian (1% of dermatosis examined in our daily practice, 10% to 20% of the dermatosis of the consequence) and the number raises continuously.”

“Food is consequently of greater importance for the life expectancy of the dog (versus social environment, housing or even sterilization—editor’s note). We can consider that home made food is a protection factor for the domestic dog.” (emphasis by the researchers)

Click HERE for the complete text of the Lippert/Sapy study which can be found in the Additional Resources > Web Links section or our website.