Complete & Balanced vs Complimentary
Clients wanting to understand the difference between complete and complementary dog and cat foods is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive, so we’d like to explain in a simple and clear way.
Complete products are supplemented with vitamins and minerals, this enables the recipe to meet all of the cat’s or dog’s needs within each and every meal. From a nutritional point of view, a complete food could hypothetically be given every day, forever. However, this would not be advisable because feeding the same food every day would fail to provide the variety necessary to contribute to the nutritional well-being and the individual needs of the animal. It is easy enough to observe our pets’ behavior to realize how their nutritional requirements change: for example, in winter they live a more sedentary life, while in summer their activity levels increase. As you can see, the different needs of our pets need to be matched to the their particular, nutritional requirements that a single food, even if declared as complete, cannot meet.
Complementary products are foods which, individually, are not sufficient to meet all the nutritional requirements of a dog or cat in a single meal because they have no supplements added. But this is exactly what happens in nature and in our (human) diet too: we do not ask if our lunch is complete, because we know that our diet provides us with balanced nutrition, with no deficiencies or excesses, if we alternate between different food sources.
So how to choose?
The ideal solution is to propose a diet that closely reproduces the same variety of food sources as found in nature, replicating the natural balance of meats, vegetables and carbohydrates.
Deciding which food to feed your pet, can become a confusing and daunting task with so many different brands on offer. Ultimately our choice of nutrition is an integral segment of this process so that our companions can live a long and healthy life. Having a pet is not a privilege, instead it is a symbiotic relationship of companionship and trust that extends beyond all the boundaries of everyday life. Animals are part and parcel of our ecosystem and like no man is an island so too this world would not be in balance if we only existed without the animal kingdom.
Unfortunately, commercial pet food companies have cleverly decided how we should feed our pets. Through extensive marketing drives, scare-mongering, glossy packaging to mention a few. Creating the idea that the consumer is incapable of providing wholesome meals for their pets without the collaboration from corporate executives. It is highly unlikely we would consume the same processed foods everyday of our lives. Appropriate, sustainable nutrition can be achieved by choosing a diet that varies, is fresh, unadulterated and is brimming with living enzymes that are required to sustain life on a daily basis.
Although we cannot copy the footprint of Mother Nature we can surely mimic what dogs and cats evolved were designed to eat naturally. By providing for them a biologically appropriate meal that allows their systems to work effectively and hopefully building their immune system through a diet that puts very little stress on the body and ultimately helps protect them from degenerative diseases and other health complications associated with poor nutrition. “It is not the germ, it is all about the terrain.” Louis Pasteur.
Some potential benefits pet parents have observed when feeding Doggobone
Healthy, shiny coat with little or no odor.
Better breath, reduced tartar build-up and healthy teeth.
A noticeable Reduction in allergies, skin ailments and ear infections.
Smaller, biodegradable, less odious stools.
Ideal weight control – Raw food, keeps your pet’s weight in control by feeding the amount of food appropriate to your pet’s needs. The body is not maintained by the amount of food fed but by the amount of nutrients in the food that are absorbed by the body.
The potential benefits of feeding raw are too numerous to mention and your pets will love the food you provide for them and besides loving us unconditionally we will also be better equipped to manage their care effectively. So while the responsibility for providing good nutrition for our pets might seem complicated it is no less when our own nutritional needs need to be satisfied. We can accomplish this by consuming a variety of fresh foods ourselves and for our pets.
Technically, our domesticated dogs and cats may or may not differ from their wild counterparts in many ways as science has tried to prove, but their dentition and digestive system has in essence remained unchanged. By domesticating them and feeding what we have been accustomed to eat in no way means that just because their bodies are able to utilize some of the nutrients from the food being fed that it is the appropriate nutrition for them.
Therefore feeding a species appropriate raw food should be the first choice of nutrition for cats and dogs. It also imperative to remember that feeding pets this way is not re-inventing the wheel but rather returning to how they should have been eating in the first place.
Making the Transformation
We recommend a 6-day feeding schedule with a day of fasting on the 7th . Fasting is an age-old practice and has been known to aid digestion and help cleanse the body of toxins. It is not un-common for animals in the wild to fast. For those who are concerned about fasting their pet we suggest feeding plain yougurt as the alternative to food. It is not advisable to fast puppies under the age of 6 months and ensure your pet has clean fresh water available at all times.
Rapid Switch: If your pet has a strong immune system and is generally quite healthy, an immediate conversion can be done. On the first day fast your pet for 24 hours to allow the body to cleanse itself of toxins and to make your pet eager for their next day’s meal.
Kindly Be aware that the normal detoxification process may cause temporary symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea and will differ from animal to animal.
*This may also be the result of eating too fast, gulping, or possible temperature variations.
*There is no need to be alarmed if these symptoms occur, as your pet’s digestive system gets used to the change.
Slow Switch: This method is strongly recommended for pets with compromised immune systems or sensitivity to dramatic changes in diets. The raw diet should be introduced slowly to prevent major detoxification symptoms.
Day 1: On the first day fasting is recommended to allow the body to cleanse itself of toxins and get your pet eager for raw.Day 2: Start out with 10% being the raw diet and 90% of the old diet.
Because the digestion time is different for processed diets and raw diets we suggest that you separate the feedings and feed the raw in the morning and the kibble at night.
Day 3-10: Increase the raw diet each day by 10% and decrease the old diet by 10% for the next 9 days.Day 11: You should be feeding only the RAW DIET.
Similar rules apply for cats when transitioning them to a raw diet. Cats get fixated on the food they are being fed and it will take much longer for them accept a new diet extra patience on the part of the ‘pet parent’ is vital during this phase, which can take anything from 3 days to 9 months. It is not recommended to fast your cat for more than 12 hours.
Dr. Becker discusses Raw Food Diet
dr. becker discusses raw food diet (part 2)
Dr. Becker discusses Raw Food Diet (Part 3)
Dr Richard Patton endorses Doggobone
Dr. Becker's holistic Tips for Pet allergies