Benefits from Good Nutrition:
from Cat and Dogs
DR. FOX: I started making cat food as you recommended and my 14-year-old cat's
eyes stopped watering and her horrible coughing stopped within 48 hours! When
I was feeding her Purina Indoor Salmon
& Rice, I may have been killing her.
My vet thought she probably had cat shelter herpes.
she is running around, chasing her tail and generally acting like a fool--she's
very healthy and happy.
S.W., Naples, FL
DEAR DR. FOX: I had a cat that would throw up shortly
after eating. Through trial and error,
I found he was allergic to food that had fish in it. After eliminating that
from his soft food diet, he was fine. I
had to read the labels closely because, although they perhaps said 'beef' or
'turkey', fish was sometimes included.
P.M.S., Bedford, TX
DEAR DR. FOX: Our cat had a weight problem. I began feeding her wet food
organic only. Because of carbs being
cut out and more protein added, she ate less but was more satisfied and became
N.B., Front Royal, VA
DR. FOX: I have an 11-year-old male cat, Jerry, who had his first cystitis
episode in 2001. At that point, he was
switched to a raw food diet and a small amount (10 pieces/day) of Wysong Uretica
dry cat food (formulated for cats with cystitis).
loved the raw food diet but 6 months later, he had another cystitis
episode. One holistic vet I went to
suggested taking Jerry off of turkey, though my regular holistic vet thought
turkey was an unlikely cause--he didn't think food allergies could cause
cystitis episodes. 6 months after that,
I tried a new cat litter made from corn gluten ("World's Best Cat
Litter"). A week later, Jerry was
blocked again and I made the connection that corn might be a culprit: Jerry
loves corn and even ate some of the litter.
Then, I discovered that the Wysong Uretica dry food contained corn (it
has since been reformulated, the corn removed and is now Wysong Uretic).
months later, my normal supply of chicken raw cat food was interrupted and I
had to put my two cats onto the dog version of raw food for a few weeks. I had
forgotten that turkey might be a
trigger and decided to give my cats some variety by giving them the turkey raw
food as well as the chicken. That was
the last time Jerry has eaten anything with turkey, as that triggered his 5th
cystitis episode. He recovered and has
been fine since.
be 12 years old soon and is very happy with a corn-free/turkey-free raw food
food often prescribed for cats with cystitis, Hill's Prescription Diet C/D, has
corn gluten as the second ingredient in the dry food and has both corn gluten
and ground corn in the wet food.
Besides the corn, the food is just garbage. I don't understand how the
company is still in business.
would advise your readers to feed only high-quality food with no corn, no
turkey and no byproducts or preservatives.
Make your own observations and don't assume your vet knows everything.
R.A.P., Bridgeport, CT
DR. FOX: I appreciate your advice that saved my cat, Putty, who was wasting
had been to the vet several times and had fecal and blood tests done. Several
solutions were prescribed, among
which were Prednisone, FortiFlora, Enisyl-F paste and Hill's Science Diet W-D
Feline Sensitive Stomach food. His
weight dropped from 17 to 10 pounds.
of these procedures or meds had any effect on his continued weight loss. It
was about the time I was finished with
these attempts that I had the good fortune to read a column of yours that
suggested the addition of several drops of fish oil containing omega 3 to the
animal's food each day. Within 6 weeks,
I noticed gradual improvement; and now, 14 months later, he's back up to his
normal weight of about 15 pounds.
R.S., Silver City, NM
DR. FOX: We'd like to add our testimony to the benefits of switching from dry
food to a diet richer in proteins and fat.
have two cats: Tanner is 5 and Rocky is 1 year old. Both had been accustomed
to Science Diet dry food. However, after reading your column and
Elizabeth Hodgkins' book Your Cat (which you suggested), we were
convinced to make the switch to wet foods.
took a few days to convince our cats, but they have made the switch
successfully and seem much happier for it.
was several pounds overweight, but lost several pounds due to the switch and is
no longer lethargic. Dr. Hodgkins said: "You will be amazed at the
immediate change in our cat's behavior."
We took that to be hyperbole but, to our amazement, Tanner's behavior
changed within two days. Whereas
previously he just sat and watched Rocky play, he now began to initiate
play. His tolerance of the younger cat
has grown significantly and the two have become even closer friends than before.
L. & C.H., Washington, DC
DR. FOX: I would like to thank you for steering pet owners to a home-prepared
diet for their animal companions.
a year ago, my 12-year-old indoor cat, Chloe, began to throw up on a fairly
regular basis. As time went on, the
problem became worse. Eventually, she
reached a point where she was throwing up 2-4 times a day. I was constantly
washing blankets, cleaning
carpets and dreading coming home because I never knew what sort of cleanup job
brought her to the vet several times and spent quite a bit of money on blood
tests, X-rays and exams. The test all
came back normal. I had been feeding
her the commercial wet and dry cat foods and even tried the sensitive stomach
and indoor formula foods--nothing seemed to work.
I tried the recipe on your website and began to research and make other
homemade cat foods. I now feed her
almost exclusively home-prepared food and the problem has disappeared.
D.S., Columbia, MD
DR. FOX: We have three cats, all 'rescues', ages 16, 8 and 4.
three ate a primarily cheap canned food diet, supplemented with small portions
of dry food mixed in. They were fed
twice a day. During the course of two
years, the oldest had to be brought to the vet for enemas. The vet recommended
adding pumpkin to his
diet and that seemed to work well at first, but it appeared to be an overload
of fiber and his constipation got worse.
much research, I decided to dramatically change my cats' diets. They are now
on a no-dry-food, no-grain,
all-moist-and-raw-food diet. The
changes over the last three years have been remarkable. They are all incredibly
healthy, their coats
are shiny and soft, and they play with each other regularly.
older cat had occasional vomiting and 'accidents', so I added plain yogurt
(about a teaspoon) to his meals a couple of times a week--he is much better in
that regard now.
have all cats on a rotating list of canned foods (brands such as Wellness,
Nature's Variety and Evo). This
changeup in their diets has seemed to work well at keeping their digestive
systems happy and they seem to appreciate the changes in menu.
C.P., St. Paul, MN
DR. FOX: My partner and I adopted a 2-year-old male gray tabby cat from our
local Humane Society. They wouldn't
release him for adoption for several months as he was suffering from diarrhea
of an "unknown origin". We
finally convinced them to release him to our care. He had a good appetite and
was not dehydrated but couldn’t have
normal stools no matter what we tried.
we took him to our vet who tried a broad-spectrum de-wormer. When that didn't
work, he thought it might
be irritable bowel syndrome and suggested a good quality high fiber diet. I
always read labels when buying food for my
pets and my rule of thumb is if it doesn't look like something I would eat, I
won't buy it. So, we gave him 'high
quality' dry and wet food. If, after
several months, there was no improvement re: his diarrhea, we would switch to
I read a recent column of yours that referred to the raw diet website at www.felinefuture.com. I switched him to a mix I make at home of
raw ground turkey, raw ground chicken and the supplement mix and liver powder
from the Feline Future website. The
very next day after feeding him this diet exclusively, he had a solid bowel
movement and has continued this way every since!
We thought we just had a big 'mellow' cat, but he has
turned into an energetic, playful boy and he seems to feel so much better.
L.K., Naples, FL
DR. FOX: Three years ago, I adopted two kittens from a local cat rescue
they reached one year of age, I noticed one seemed to groom herself more than
the other and she would get a swollen lip from time to time. We thought it was
maybe a reaction to spider
bites because she was known to chase and try to eat spiders. I finally took
her to the vet and he said it
could be allergies and I should give her Sudafed.
some research and reading of your columns, I realized that just about every cat
food on the market today contains wheat gluten. I finally found one dry food
with no wheat gluten and some wet
foods that were wheat gluten-free or that ingredient was far down the list.
fat lip disappeared and I didn’t have to drug my cat to achieve this
outcome. Both cats are now very healthy
with nice shiny coats.
L.S., Virginia Beach, VA
DR. FOX: Your column helped solve my 16-year-old cat's throwing-up problem by
suggesting wet food over dry and recommending the book Your Cat by
Elizabeth Hodgkins (now on loan to my vet) which addressed the dry food
cat was throwing up 3-4 times a day, listless and seemed to be failing. He now
gets wet food 3 times a day and I
keep a bowl of Hill's ID laced with a capsule of fish oil available, too.
vomiting is down to a minimum now and he is happier and friskier than he's been
P.W., Palm Beach, FL
DR. FOX: I have recently switched my 11-year-old Sheltie, Tux, from eating
commercial dog food to your recommended homemade dog food recipe. The results
have been dramatic.
few months ago, Tux had a staph infection of his skin that cleared with
medication but left him with no appetite for eating. He developed a mast cell
tumor in his groin area that grew to the
size of an orange. His liver numbers
were off and the vet wondered if he might be a candidate for surgery, fearing
the cancer had spread to his liver.
started feeding Tux your dog food recipe and he loved it. He would stand at
the stove and bark when I
was cooking it. After 3 weeks, we
re-tested his blood and everything had improved/looked great, so we proceeded
with removing the tumor. It was a major
surgery but he came through it with flying colors. He healed quickly and his
skin and coat are beautiful. It looks like we will get to enjoy him for
more years to come.
again for encouraging pet owners to feed their animals high quality homemade
foods. This definitely saved my dog's
R.T., Minneapolis, MN
DR. FOX: Our Border collie mix, Lilly, suddenly began throwing up bile several
times a day--on walks, in the house, wherever.
Her throwing up continued after several diet changes to eliminate such
food items as corn. Of course, there
were numerous consultations with her vet along the way. He recommended Pepcid
AC, but she never seemed
to get better.
I bit the bullet and began cooking for Lilly from Dr. Strombeck's book Home
Prepared Dog and Cat Diets, which I believe I first learned of through your
column. Her coat improved immediately
(she had lost her shine). She stopped
throwing up, except on rare occasions when she grabbed something from the ground
started on the rice and cottage cheese diet for dogs with gastrointestinal
problems and she tolerated that well, so we moved on to the balanced
version. We tried adding beef and brown
rice, but she began to throw up again.
Back to the rice and cottage cheese, but now with chicken and, most
recently, sardines added. We also tried
adding organic baby food of sweet potatoes, but she threw up again. We've now
begun introducing some of her past
treats, e.g. Mother Hubbard peanut butter bones and some of the Wellness
non-sweet potato cookies and so far so good.
homemade recipes have made all the difference in the world.
D.E.C., Chevy Chase, MD
DR. FOX: I have a 13-year-old Pomeranian, Bear, who, for the past several years
(7 at least), has suffered from dry, irritated skin and hair loss. When I first
adopted him, he had the
thickest, most beautiful black coat.
This deteriorated to the point where the fur on his hindquarters and
sides was almost non-existent, particularly in winter. He was diagnosed with
alopecia". I was told that this
breed was particularly susceptible to this condition.
was given blood test after blood test.
He was prescribed special shampoos, skin conditioners and medications,
including Thyroxine and Prednisone to treat his problems. All the while, he
was eating IVD, an
expensive veterinary-prescribed low-ingredient dog food because he had
experienced digestive difficulties with regular dog food.
mother reads your column often and printed out your recipe for homemade dog
food. I was very skeptical because I
had assumed he had a genetic condition that couldn't be fixed by simply
changing his diet.
I wrong! The change was almost
immediate. Bear's fur began growing
back, thick and shiny, all over his body.
For the first time in years, his tail 'returned'. I can see that he will
soon again have the
'feather duster' tail he had as a young dog.
His dry, flaky, irritated skin is clear and healthy again.
cannot thank you enough for your recipe.
I feel awful that my dog had suffered all those years and that we spent
so much money on vet visits and medications that did nothing to help his
problem. I promised our vet that I
would give her the recipe to share, since it has been so helpful to our little
N.W., Rhineback, NY
DR. FOX: About 5 years ago, my Golden retriever (7 years old at the time)
started getting a rash in her stomach area.
took her to our regular vet and he prescribed an antibiotic (Cephalexin). The
rash cleared for a while, but
returned. I took her back and he
prescribed a higher dosage. The results
were the same. I then took her to a
different vet, but they prescribed the same thing. Neither vet speculated on
the cause of the rash.
two years ago, this dog started having frequent spells of diarrhea. The vet
treated her, but the diarrhea
returned after a while. My dog's diet
at the time was a mix of dry dog food (Nutro) and canned dog food (Alpo). I
decided to eliminate the canned food from
her diet and substituted either cottage cheese or yogurt and ground beef or
chicken. She hasn't had rashes or
obvious to me that the rash and diarrhea were directly related to the
commercial canned dog food and this change in diet made all the difference.
M.M., Corolla, NC
DR. FOX: When our 4-year-old English
bulldog developed canine epilepsy, she was prescribed phenobarbital and
potassium bromide to control the seizures.
we started her on a diet of cooked ground beef mixed with Sojourner's food (all
natural, human-grad dog food mix--www.Sojos.com),
she stopped having seizures! We also
eliminated as much sodium chloride (aka table salt) from her diet by reading
the dog treat labels carefully.
C.G., St. Louis Park, MN
DR. FOX: I walk a friend's Golden retriever,
Bucky, daily because she is physically unable to do so herself. I also
brush his teeth and comb him every
column has been a favorite of mine and I started making your recommended
homemade, natural dietary supplement posted on your website. I vary the kind
of meat and vegetables each
now noticed that Bucky doesn't try to eat goose poop anymore (we have lots of
geese and ducks around here) and he seems more docile and doesn't pull hard on
his leash like he used to.
think this homemade diet has caused these welcome changes.
R.J., Stillwater, MN
DR. FOX: My 11-year-old Westie has been having seizures for the past two
years. My net put her on phenobarbital,
but this hasn't helped much.
read your column a few weeks ago re: food allergies, specifically gluten. I
read the label of my dog food and it was
loaded with corn gluten and gluten meal.
I changed her diet to no gluten and she improved greatly--usually just
one seizure a day and with less intensity.
My vet never suggested gluten as a problem. My poor dog suffered due
to ignorance--she was having seizures
every hour; small seizures, but seizures nonetheless.
she is a small dog, I now cook her food: rice with either beef or chicken and I
add a multivitamin. She's doing just
D.B., Nanjemoy, MD
DR. FOX: While visiting Houston, Texas, I adopted a Chihuahua mix (Basenji?)
dog from a shelter and named him Paco.
He was found wandering on the street, close to starvation and had a
severe case of heartworm.
was a frightened, nervous dog. I
brought him back to Massachusetts and worked with him diligently for a long
time. However, from the start he
suffered from colitis. He'd been under
my vet's care from the beginning, but we couldn't get the colitis completely
under control. I purchased a special
Science Diet food from the vet, along with pills and a liquid medicine. Nothing
worked well. He gained some weight, but seemed uncomfortable
all the time.
day, I happened upon your column and read a letter from someone who had changed
their dog's diet to your special homemade diet with good results. I printed
your recipe out, went shopping and
began to feed my dog your diet.
been 9 months now and he has not had one episode of colitis! My only problem
is keeping the amount of
food under control--he loves it so much.
He hated the Science Diet, both canned and dry.
is now 16 pounds and looks wonderful.
He runs every day for over an hour, is happy and cheerful and I feel I
owe it all to you. I've made you famous
with my dog-walking friends: everyone calls him "Paco the Wonder Dog"
because he is now so friendly, listens to every command cheerfully and we all
can see he feels great.
D.C., Northampton, MA
DR. FOX: I have switched my dogs to your dog food recipe.
6-year-old Aussie has arthritis in her knees and legs and was going lame. My
vet put her on Rimadyl, but that didn't
help much. Since I have been feeding
her your recipe and stopped feeding her dog biscuits, she has dropped 14 pounds
and now hardly notices her arthritis.
my dogs love this recipe and are healthy and happy.
L.B., Eugene, OR
DR. FOX: I have two dogs.
is 15 years old and ½-Brittany/½-English Springer. I rescued her from being
chained to a doghouse when she was 1
year old and she is my best friend.
is a 10-year-old Welsh Springer. She
must have a companion or she eats the furniture (she has outlived
several). Delta was carefully bred by a
wonderful breeder and is very healthy.
however, has always had skin problems.
I put her on the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet (BARF) at an
early age, but my vet didn't approve so I eventually gave up on this. After
years of medicines and special baths
(which left her with chronic ear infections and smelly, broken-out skin), I
went back to bones and raw food.
make my own dog food. I am not doing
the raw wings (like the BARF diet recommends), but I buy ground beef and turkey
and mix it with vegetables I have put through the food processor. I add yogurt,
flaxseed oil, uncooked oats,
garlic and olive oil. I make it into
1-cup patties and give each dog ½ patty, twice a day. They love the food.
get table scraps like meat and vegetables, but no bread. I've eliminated any
dog food that has gluten
in it (I think Holly has a wheat allergy).
Special dog foods like Science Diet weren't helpful.
skin and ears are now perfect!
M.E.C., Fort Myers, FL
DR. FOX: I have a 4-year-old Lab who had constant ear infections. My sister
has a good friend who is a Lab
breeder and veterinarian and she advised me to change my dog's food.
was feeding Science Diet Light (Labs always have weight problems). The vet recommended
no beef or chicken, so I
switched to Nutru Natural Choice Lamb and only gave him lamb treats. The ear
infections cleared up and I had no
problems for 2 years, but he gradually gained weight, so I switched to a Light
version and he now has no problems with his ears and has lost weight.
regular vet said he looks good and to continue doing what I' doing.
S.F.G., Milford, CT
DR. FOX: I have two small Maltese/Poodle mix dogs, Sonny (14 lbs.) and Cher (8
lbs.), both 4 years old.
more than a year now, I have been feeding them your fresh food recipe and they
are better than ever. The benefits are
truly worth the extra effort to make the food once a week. I will never go back
to commercial dog
faces are no longer constantly wet, the dark discharge from their eyes is much
less and their fur has much better texture.
They don't have bad odors any more and are much easier to groom, as
before they matted terribly and hated to be groomed.
have also discontinued giving them once-a-month flea/tick medicine--neither I
nor the groomer has seen any evidence of fleas or ticks.
B.J., Alexandria, VA
DR. FOX: I rescued a Rhodesian ridgeback/Lab mix. She is 3 ½ years old.
couple of months ago, I noticed she was limping then holding her leg off the
ground. I had just started her on a new
dog food that was supposed to be the best (one of the Wellness dry foods) and
it happened it happened 3 weeks into this new diet. I took her to the vet right
away, thinking she had maybe fractured
her leg or something. They did X-rays
and told me that she did no have hip dysplasia or a fractured or broken
sent me to an orthopedic specialist to check for fragment ruptures. He palpated
the her knees and said, right
away, that she needed TPLO (tibial plateau leveling osteotomy)
surgery on both hind legs. I mentioned the change in diet and he said
it was just coincidence.
I took her home, did some research and
changed her to a dehydrated raw food diet (made by Honest Kitchen) and added
chicken breasts. I also gave her the
no-grain food made by Evo and added fish oil.
The change in her was nothing short of
miraculous! She was off the
anti-inflammatory meds with a week.
Now, 2 months later, she is taking short jogs with me and running up and
down the stairs (which she could barely do before). She is getting stronger
every day, so I've decided to not go
ahead with the surgery. The specialist
checked her out and said he could hardly believe the change and that she didn't
need the surgery after all.