All “Complete and Balanced” Pet Food Isn’t Right For Every Pet

When a bag, can, or other container of pet food says complete and balanced, what does that mean?

It simply means that the mix of ingredients in he pet food has enough of the nutrients needed in the diet to prevent most diseases due to deficiencies of proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Diets are tested to ensure they won’t make your pets sick.

Most dogs and cats seem to thrive on commercial pet food. However, individual dogs and cats may need a different type of diet to stay healthy, prevent disease, or treat medical issues. Dry food is the most common food purchased for pets, but not all pets can tolerate dry food and some need to eat a different type of diet. Some dogs or cats may need more oils for a dry coat, less carbohydrates to lose weight, a different meat or gluten-free diet for allergies (skin, ear, or bowel issues), more moisture (canned, homemade or raw) for the prevention or treatment of urinary crystals or stones, or holistic, homemade, or raw pet food for severe allergies, bowel issues or seizures. Most commercial dry food is geared for the average pet without health issues. These mixes of ingredients may not be healthy for a pet with allergies to wheat, obese pets, or those with urinary problems. Even raw food aficionados forget that not all dogs do well on a raw diet if they are fed a raw diet with beef or chicken, and they are allergic to a certain meat. The type of meat, the presence of grain or glutens, the amount of oils, and the percentage of moisture all can affect the health of your pet.

Where do you turn for advice? Can you ask your vet? Most veterinarians are trained to advise a different prescription diet for each medical issue. These diets may work, but may not be readily eaten by some pets. Some of the dry medical diets aren’t really much better for the pet’s health than most commercial foods. One urinary diet may help with crystals, but has wheat in it, that may cause skin problems. Prescription diets may be too expensive for some people and the pet suffers because they are offered no alternatives.

What are you supposed to do? Can you ask your vet about other types of diets that may work? How about homemade or a raw diet? Feeding canned food versus a kibble diet for weight loss? Feeding raw, meaty, bones to keep teeth clean? Most vets won’t know practical nutritional advice, because most were not trained to give it. Millions of pets are thriving on different diets, but most veterinarians are only trained to give advice on commercially “complete and balanced” diets and their prescription diets. Don’t blame your vet for not giving you alternatives like a homemade or raw diet or even simply supplementing your pet’s diet with healthy “human food”. We just weren’t trained to do that.

10 years ago, I started questioning the way we feed our pets. I had to reeducate myself and learn nutritional principles. I read books on the diet of the wolf and 100’s of labels on commercial food and raw food. I read books on feeding raw food and home cooking, as well as many books on human nutrition. As a result, I started advising my clients to feed different ingredients depending on their pets needs. For example, many purebred dogs and some cats need to avoid wheat-filled treats and food. Avoiding glutens in sensitive pets may cure ear problems, skin problems, bowel issues, and even seizures. With the success of nutritional counseling, I saw that different types of ingredients and moister food (canned, homemade, or raw), helped with weight problems or helped control medical problems like preventing urinary crystals from forming in both dogs and cats. I came to realize that our pets are individuals, and that each may need more than the common commercial kibble for optimum health. Some pets may need different ingredients in the dry food. Other pets may need to eat moister canned food, raw food, or home cooked food to be healthier, leaner, or to help with medical problems.

After my research and success, I wrote “Dog Dish Diet: Sensible Nutrition for Your Dog’s Health” in 2009. I updated a couple sections and published the second edition in 2011. Many clients wanted more slow cooking recipes that were in the book, so I published an eBook. “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet” with slow cooking recipes and nutritional advice for both dogs and cats. There isn’t a day that goes by when a client or reader tells or emails me that they changed the type of food or the ingredients in the diet to help with a medical problem. I am so happy to know that I have truly helped pet owners become part of the health care team to treat or prevent chronic medical problems. I’m convinced that the right mix of ingredients may often prevent those problems or the need for medication.

If you want to treat or prevent medical problems in your pet, check out my blogs, you tube videos (, and my books, Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet .

Here’s a you tube video on “ingredients” in pet food.

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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Q&A: How can i stop the circulation of mites among my pets?

Question by Cookie: How can i stop the circulation of mites among my pets?
A few weeks ago my mice got mites and i cleaned out their cage and sprayed them and they all got better. Then another cage of my mice started mice and I got rid of them as well. However my cat is now showing signs of them and I am planning on taking him to the vet however how can i stop the mites once and for all?

Best answer:

Answer by Lizzy
When you notice one animal (or one group of animals) has it, you have to keep them isolated. Make sure you stay on top of cleaning everybody’s cages and be sure that you yourself are washing up in between handling them. With a cat it’s slightly more difficult to confine them, but try to keep them limited to only certain areas and make sure you are constantly cleaning and vacuuming. Also, be careful of handling the pets with mites. They can get onto your clothing and thus spread when you come in contact with the other animals.

Add your own answer in the comments!

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Puppy Cupcakes- now with video!

Shortly before we moved, I got to shoot a cooking series with the incomparable Robert Semrow of Pet World Insider. He was an awfully good sport since I made him bake for this one:

For the original post, see here:



Which reminds me I am over due for a new cooking piece, aren’t I? Now that I have a kitchen unpacked and all. Hmmm….Easter….

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Why You Should Hire A HVAC Miami Company

During the upcoming summer months, it is important to have the number of a quality commercial AC repair company. Anyone who lives in south Florida knows how hot in can get during the summer, and how important it is to have a properly functioning air conditioning unit. A reputable Miami HVAC company will be able [...]

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Nice Topical photos

Check out these Topical images:


Image by Alex Hughes Cartoons


Image by Alex Hughes Cartoons


Image by Alex Hughes Cartoons

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Hi Bad Rappers, Have you guys ever considered usi…

Hi Bad Rappers,

Have you guys ever considered using crowdfunding to raise money for your terrific work? I can see excellent possibilities for you in this arena. You've got a great cause and a following to match. is a good option, or I know of a brand-new site for rescue animals and it's free–they don't take a percentage. It's called

If all this is new to you, feel free to contact me and I'll walk you through the paces. I LOVE dogs, especially the mighty Pit.

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Helpful Tips on Caring for Senior Pets

A relationship with a companion animal can be one of the most rewarding experiences we humans encounter in our lifetimes. In the last 20 years, medical science has repeatedly shown that having a dog or cat in your life can result in health benefits for you, including improved, self-reported mental and physical health, and even fewer doctor visits compared to no-pet people. Additionally, caring for pets can help us to develop a greater sense of responsibility, elevate our own sense of self-worth and foster a mutually beneficial bond that enriches not only our lives but those of our pets, too.

Read More…

The Perfect Pet Food Blog

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Dogs, Daycare, and Dress-Up

When I received this submission from photographer Jesse Holland, I couldn’t refuse.  Not only does it feature one of my favorite subjects (dogs!), I love the premise behind it.  Jesse was approached about doing a shoot that involved two friends who run a doggy daycare center and grooming business.  Since their work days are spent wearing t-shirts, jeans, and yoga pants, Jesse thought it would be fun to give them a chance to play dress-up for the day and take some photos of them in their element (along with their dogs, of course).

I asked Jesse what made this particular shoot one of her all-time favorites.  “As a pet and wedding photographer I don’t get a chance to step out and do a lot of  ‘fashion’ shoots.  So when my friend Elena approached me about doing a shoot with Cara and Trish from Top Dog, I was immediately on board.  Normally when I interact with all these women, we are wearing rain boots and yoga pants as we walk our dogs along the beach, so it was nice to see them get dressed up and get them in front of the camera.  I am sure most of their customers usually see them covered in dog hair, so this was also a chance to show off another side of who they are, outside of the business they run.   Besides, who doesn’t love dogs and great looking ladies?”

Jesse’s friend Elena, who initially approached her about doing the shoot and styled hair for the project, says that she really wanted to work together on something with this group of close friends, who are all huge dog lovers.  “I have shared laughter and tears with Cara and Trish at Top Dog.  Jesse and I worked on a wedding together last summer and I fell in love with her work.  Her dog Charlie has since become part of our pack and is a welcome addition.  Having Melanie Baird and Erin Bradley on board (for makeup) made so much sense.  I am fortunate to be part of such a wonderful community of women. We support and love each other, and for me, I continue to be inspired by my friends.”

Photography: Chasing Charlie // Location: Top Dog // Hair: Elena at Conscious Hair  
Makeup: Melanie Baird and Erin Bradley // Wardrobe: Outlooks for Men and private collection

Big thanks to Jesse for sharing these gorgeous (and simultaneously adorable!) images with Bubby and Bean readers. You can view more of her work via her website, Facebook, and Twitter

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A few nice Pet Scratch images I found:

Pet Scratch

Image by dcwriterdawn
The official pet of my new veterinarian’s office

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Gaming the system

Raising kids is a lot like raising dogs. There’s a lot of responsibility, a lot of poop, ridiculous amounts of cleaning, and no small amount of frustration. Regardless, the benefits far outweigh the costs, and with a little consistency and training, it’s all good. Training being the key component.

My son likes Legos and chihuahuas, two things I kind of like but wouldn’t really say are my “thing”. He is his own kid. I realized he was fascinated with mechanical devices more than biological creatures, so I built enough mystique around the Keurig: “oh no, it’s MUCH TOO HARD for a kid to work” etc etc until he insisted- insisted!- that I teach him how to use it, and now he delivers me coffee every morning.

My daughter likes Barbies and Golden retrievers, which, for those of you who know me, you will know must be genetic. So when she came home with an assignment to “write a presentation on the ‘How To’ topic of your choice,” she announced she wanted to do it about dogs.

“What are you going to instruct your class in?” I asked.

“How to groom a dog,” she said.

So she sat down and typed up her outline. “Get the dog wet, shampoo the dog, dry the dog” and so on and so forth.

I looked at the presentation software they were supposed to use.

“Did you know you can put pictures in here?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “That wasn’t part of the assignment.”

“But you want to go ABOVE and BEYOND, right?” I asked. “I mean, you want to knock this out of the park! Right?”

“Oh!” she said. “I do. Absolutely.” She paused. “But I don’t have any pictures of me grooming Brody.”

I paused, looked at the ceiling as if deep in thought, and then said, well, if this is really important to you, I bet I could find a camera.

And that is how I conned my kid into not only washing Brody, but blow drying him, brushing him out, cleaning up, and thanking me for the opportunity.

Maybe I can pay the teacher off to repeat this assignment once a month through the end of the school year. :)

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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