A sweet cat’s tale of living longer, living better through great nutrition.

By | NPP Products, Nutrient Absorption

As obligate carnivores, a species appropriate meat based diet is very important for cats of all ages but especially for the seniors. At Natural Pet Pantry, we hear so many stories of kidney or liver failure, crystals and diabetes in cats. After a bit of conversation, we usually find that these cats are being fed highly processed dry kibble. Regardless of the quality of the kibble, cats need to obtain almost 100% of their moisture through their food. Cats fed a dry diet are often dehydrated and this chronic condition creates havoc for their kidneys, liver, urinary tract and immune system. A definite sign of dehydration is when your cat “drinks tons of water”. They also do not need vegetables, fruits or carbs to thrive. As with dogs, as cats age, even with a raw diet, adding a digestive enzyme to the mix is very beneficial.

Here’s Little Miss Pumpkin’s story as told by her foster mom. “Pumpkin came into my care when her person was evicted from her home and had to go to a shelter. Pumpkin, about 13 years old, had been living in a car for a few weeks and was painfully thin, weighing only about 4 lbs. Soon after bringing her home, she became very ill and had to be rushed to the ER. It turned out Pumpkin was suffering from kidney failure as well as having hyperthyroidism. It was touch PUMPKINand go for about 48 hours but she pulled through. She was then transitioned to Natural Pet Pantry’s raw food and today is thriving. She is up to almost 7 lbs thanks to her NPP raw food diet; which she loves. She even insists on 3 meals a day! I believe it is much better than the prescription food the vet had recommended and I don’t think she would be doing as well as she is without the raw food. Her personal favorite is the turkey!”

“Senior Dogs & Cats…Living Longer, Living Better” Part 1

By | NPP Products, Nutrient Absorption


 Less Processed = More Easily Digested & Absorbed

As dogs & cats age, their digestive systems don’t work as efficiently or effectively. Providing a less processed, more nutritious, more digestible food will help take the load off their aging digestive systems

  •  A raw diet is the gold standard of food for our pets because it is loaded with unadulterated nutrients and intact naturally-occurring enzymes. Natural Pet Pantry’s raw diets for dogs & cats are locally made from fresh, whole foods & we have recently added Certified “Ugly” Organic veggies to our raw diets for dogs.                                                                                    
  • Not ready for raw? Another great option is Natural Pet Pantry’s steam kettle cooked stews for dogs. All the same fresh, whole foods with “ugly” organic veggies.
  • Raw Goat’s Milk (Mother Nature’s Most Complete Food!) requires little or no work to break down and digest. Natural source of probiotics, enzymes and vitamins.
  • Adding digestive enzymes will increase the bioavailability of nutrients in the food to better battle the effects of aging. These enzymes help in digesting raw diets & are essential when feeding cooked stews. 

To find out more about the benefits of these foods & supplements, stop by either of our Natural Pet Pantry locations. 

Bio Buzz

By | Nutrient Absorption

Rabbit-LettuceIf you’re new to the concept of raw feeding, you’ve undoubtedly seen some frequently used ‘raw feeder’ terms and words that may not always be used consistently or accurately. The overuse of buzz terms can dilute a once powerful message by creating reader immunity or confusion, so the following is intended to inject life back into some important raw feeder terminology.

Let’s start with ‘biologically appropriate’, ‘species appropriate’ and ‘bioavailability’. Biologically appropriate simply means that which Nature intended for a specific biological makeup, or species. Biologically appropriate and species appropriate are used interchangeably and have the same meaning. Biologically appropriate food has high nutrient bioavailability. At a very high level, bioavailability refers to the proportion of a nutrient that is absorbed from the diet and used for physiological function. Nutrient bioavailability of a food is governed by both internal and external factors. Internal factors are specific to that which consumes, or eats, the food; for example, a dog. A dog’s internal factors are dynamic and specific to its state of physiological function at the time of eating; including age, health or disease status, and current life cycle (heat cycle, pregnancy, whelping, etc.). These internal factors impact bioavailability rate from the receiving end. A healthy young dog will have a higher bioavailability rate (greater nutrient absorption), than a sick dog with compromised physiological function. An external factor is a factor affecting the food. A vegetable that’s harvested and eaten at its nutritional peak has higher nutrient bioavailability than one prematurely harvested and left to sit for weeks before eating. The external bioavailability of all organic (whole) foods, including meats and vegetables, begins declining from the moment of harvest. Inorganic (processed) foods maintain their original low bioavailability for extended periods because they’re a) an unnatural food product b) loaded with preservatives or, c) an organic whole food processed with heat that destroys its enzymatic function (vital life force) responsible for activating the digestion of itself.

With that, for optimum nutrient absorption to occur, a biologically appropriate food with high bioavailability needs to be fed. A steak has very low bioavailability when fed to a rabbit. A rabbit has high bioavailability when fed to a dog or cat. Nature intended for dogs and cats to eat rabbits. Rabbits are intended to eat vegetation. A rabbit eating un-harvested vegetation directly from the earth is receiving a biologically appropriate food with extremely high nutrient bioavailability.

In contrast, processed kibbled pet foods containing unnatural ingredients like synthetic vitamin and mineral mixes, poor quality protein sources, or species inappropriate grains have very low external and internal bioavailability when fed to dogs and cats. The majority of any bioavailable nutrient in kibbled foods is compromised or destroyed during high heat processing. High heat processing is necessary in killing dangerous pathogens found in ingredients of questionable origin and quality. Add to that, a host of dangerous chemicals and other toxins commonly used to support long term storage (preservatives) and entice both pets (artificial flavoring) and humans (artificial coloring), and you have the perfect recipe for poor health. These widely used pet food production methods result in an unrecognizable food product with low bioavailability and high toxin content. The net result is reflected in your pet’s health as its body is continually taxed using precious energy stores for breaking down unnatural food and eliminating toxins. When toxin loads exceed the kidneys’ manageable amount for filtering, a toxin buildup begins. The physiological response to toxin build up is a release of impurities through the skin, eyes and ears. Toxin overload and food allergens are commonly visible in pets with chronic skin problems, and eye and ear discharge.

It’s impossible to have this knowledge and not be compelled to make dietary changes that can profoundly impact the lives and health of our pets and ourselves. Even the smallest of changes, if done consistently, will be reflected in what you see when you look at your beloved pet.

So the next time you read ‘Farm to Table’ and roll your eyes, remember there’s science behind this concept-turned-movement embraced by nutrition savvy ‘Tree Huggers’. And chances are they can outrun someone whose chip eating habits leave orange particulates on fingertips.