In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from July 29, 2017, Kate and Don interview Kymythy Schultze, a Clinical Nutritionist, and Animal Health Instructor, and the author of Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet, The Natural Nutrition No-Cook Book, and Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health. Kymythy’s first book Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats has long been the first book I recommend for clients that want to prepare a homemade diet for their pets. I like that it is short, simple, and easy to understand while at the same time being complete. Kate and I recently read Kymythy’s book, The Ultimate Diet and Natural Nutrition for Cats and were equally impressed.
We start our show by asking Kymythy how she became interested in nutrition and she explains how her interest started with her health problems which improved as she began paying attention to what she ate. As her health improved, Kymythy began looking at how better nutrition could improve the life of her pets and the wildlife she rehabilitated. Kymythy went on to become a Certified Clinical Nutritionist for humans and then studied animal nutrition at Cornell University’s school of veterinary medicine. Kymythy notes that while her formal education was invaluable, she has also found that like with so many other things, common sense plays a huge role in nutrition.
Kate asked about common nutritional traits between dogs and cats. Kymythy noted that both cats and dog carnivores, but that the dogs are more opportunistic and will sometimes eat things that are not good for them. One only needs to look at their physical anatomy to tell that the dog and cat are predatory carnivores.
We discuss the terms “biologically appropriate food” and “species appropriate nutrition” and what they mean. Kymythy explains how nature and evolution have designed animals to eat specific things. Cats and dogs are designed to eat meat. From their canine teeth to their digestive system they have evolved to kill, eat, and digest food that may even be teeming with bacteria.
In her latest book, Kymythy talks about a reader in Scotland who expressed concern about the big pet food companies, many who actively deny the fact that cats and dogs are carnivores, and the influence these companies have on what veterinary students are taught about nutrition.
We asked Kymythy to tell us about the nutrition classes she took at Cornell. She expressed concern, which we share that so many of the “self-described experts” and veterinary nutritionists are being trained by the pet food companies that promote heavily processed food. When these students go on to become veterinarians, they then go on to promote foods from these same companies. Kymythy noted that only one of her professors at Cornell was NOT a paid employee of a pet food company. One has to wonder how these professors can be unbiased in what they teach.
Kymythy told us that real, fresh food was never discussed in her classes at Cornell. The only foods discussed were highly processed commercial pet food. I have noted some of Kymythy’s comments about her Cornell experience below.
“Food, in its natural form, really wasn’t discussed.” “How nutrition was approached was all about excess and deficiency. About specific nutrients like calcium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, that sort of thing. It wasn’t about food.” “We didn’t really learn much about food. We learned about products, and excess and deficiency.”
“It was a real eye-opening experience for me, it really was, going to Cornell, because it was not what I thought it was going to be. I thought we were going to be talking about food. Because I consider that nutrition. And if we’re gonna talk about nutrients let’s talk about nutrients from real food. It really surprised me that really was not included at all. It was more talking about individual nutrients in excess or deficiency states and products, what products to use. That was the bigee. It wasn’t that a dog or cat may need more of this type of food, it was what product would be best to use in this case.“
In segment two we focus on cats, asking what nutrients they need to be healthy. Kymythy explained that if we look at what many of our cats do when left on their own, kill and consume small rodents and birds, the answer is pretty obvious. Their natural behavior tells us they need muscle meat, organ meat, and bones. The best diet for our cats is one that will mimic that as closely as possible. Kymythy mentions the last cat of hers that passed lived to be 32 years old on such a diet. She notes that having cats live into their late 20’s is the norm for her. Kymythy stressed that length of life should not be our only concern and that quality of life is equally important. The quality of the nutrition we provide for our pets plays a huge role in the quality of their lives.
Our discussion then shifts to water as a nutrient and its extreme importance to cats. Unfortunately, processed food does not contain water in the necessary quantities to meet a cat’s needs. Because of their low thirst drive, acts may not ingest the amount of water they need to be in optimal health. That is why cats need to have wet food in their diet. A natural diet, like a piece of meat, would have a high moisture content compared to a bowl of kibble with very little moisture. If your cat is going to a water bowl frequently it is likely they are not getting enough water in their food and may be dehydrated.
Kymythy also discusses how young kittens imprint on food and how it can be difficult to change a cat’s diet as they get older. Cats imprinted on kibble can almost become addicted to dry food, which is not in their best interest. While transitioning to a better diet and be difficult, Kymythy has never had a cat that she could not transition to a more nutritious food.
In the third segment of the show, Kate asks Kymythy if a cat that has been fed kibble all its life will have difficulty digesting a raw food. Kymythy indicates that feeding a poor diet can have a negative effect on the gut flora; probiotics, and enzymes. She explains that simply adding appropriate probiotics and digestive enzymes to the new food may help them make the transition.
Kymythy summarized the initial steps people can take in improving their cat’s health.
- Feed a species appropriate diet, compromised of meat and bone
- Learn all you can
- however, be cautious, especially on the internet
- Kate and Don recommend reading Kymythy’s book- Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health by Kymythy Schultze
- Kymythy emphasizes “There are things you need to know, but it is not complicated.”
Contact Info for Kymythy
You can learn more about Kymythy and her books at the following places. Please note that Kymythy also offers private nutrition counseling for pets.
Website – www.kymythy.com
Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)
Book Review – Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health by Kymythy Schultze – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/07/31/book-review-natural-nutrition-for-cats-the-path-to-purrfect-health-by-kymythy-schultze/
Pet Nutrition – What Should I Feed My Pet? – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/06/04/pet-nutrition-what-should-i-feed-my-pet/
What do you feed your dog? – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/05/31/pet-nutrition-what-do-you-feed-your-dog/
Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – Part 1 – My story with Gus – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/04/03/pet-nutrition-some-myths-and-facts-part-1-my-story-with-gus/
Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – Part 2 – In the Spring 2017 issue of Maine DOG Magazine, Coming here soon! –
Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – Part 3 – Look for this article in the Fall 2017 issue of Maine DOG Magazine, Coming here soon! –
Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet? – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/09/11/pet-nutrition-should-i-feed-my-pet-a-raw-diet/
Video – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – A video of animal nutritionist, Dr. Richard Patton’s presentation, The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition, presented for Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, ME on April 28th, 2016. – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/09/10/pet-nutrition-the-science-and-dogma-of-pet-nutrition-with-dr-richard-patton/
Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Changes in Pet Food and Nutrition – part 1 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/11/23/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-changes-in-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-1/
Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Pet Food and Nutrition – part 2 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/12/15/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-2/
Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Patton – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/03/16/book-review-ruined-by-excess-perfected-by-lack-the-paradox-of-pet-nutrition-by-richard-patton/
Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 1 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/06/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-1/
Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 2 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/07/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-2/
Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 3 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/08/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-3/
Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2012/05/04/nutrition-why-rotating-diets-makes-sense/
Nutrition – Determining True Pet Food Costs – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2008/11/08/nutrition-determining-true-pet-food-costs/
Pet Nutrition – How Much Fat Is In Your Pet’s Food? – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/10/12/pet-nutrition-how-much-fat-is-in-your-pets-food/
Pet Nutrition – New Zealand dog diet study a wake-up call for dog nutrition – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/05/19/pet-nutrition-new-zealand-dog-diet-study-a-wake-up-call-for-dog-nutrition/
Pet Nutrition –Vital Essentials® Pet Food – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/14/pet-nutrition-vital-essentials-pet-food/
Shared Blog Post – FDA on a Witch Hunt Against Commercial Pet Food? A Little Spritz of This Makes Pet Food Far Safer – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/11/28/shared-blog-post-fda-on-a-witch-hunt-against-commercial-pet-food-a-little-spritz-of-this-makes-pet-food-far-safer/
Pet Nutrition – From Dr. Karen Becker – A Vegetarian or Vegan Diet Is Not Healthy For Your Dog or Cat – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/09/27/pet-nutrition-from-dr-karen-becker-a-vegetarian-or-vegan-diet-is-not-healthy-for-your-dog-or-cat/
Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)
What do you feed your pets? – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/04/22/podcast-encore-what-do-you-feed-your-pets/
Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/03/podcast-pet-nutrition-with-dr-richard-patton/
Podcast – Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry with Kohl Harrington – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/05/06/podcast-pet-fooled-a-look-inside-a-questionable-industry-with-kohl-harrington/
Podcast – Raw Diets and the Carnivore Meat Company-Vital Essentials-Dee Ferranti and Jodi Langellotti – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/17/podcast-raw-diets-and-the-carnivore-meat-company-vital-essentials-dee-ferranti-and-jodi-langellotti/
Podcast – Holistic and Complementary Wellness for Pets – Nutrition and Raw Food for Pets with Bette Schubert from Bravo Pet Foods – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/10/02/podcast-holistic-and-complementary-wellness-for-pets-nutrition-and-raw-food-for-pets-with-bette-schubert-from-bravo-pet-foods/
Podcast – The Rationale for Feeding Pets Raw Foods with Bette Schubert from Bravo Pet Foods – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/03/podcast-the-rationale-for-feeding-pets-raw-foods-with-bette-schubert-from-bravo-pet-foods/
Podcast – Bravo’s Raw Pets Food, Treats, Chewables and Bones with Bette Shubert – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/08/10/podcast-bravos-raw-pets-food-treats-chewables-and-bones-with-bette-shubert/
Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Gary Bursell of Steve’s Real Food for Pets – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/16/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-gary-bursell-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/
Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Nicole Lindsley of Steve’s Real Food for Pets – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/23/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-nicole-lindsley-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/
Podcast – Pet Obesity with Dr. Chris Barry – Kindred Spirits Veterinary Clinic – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/24/podcast-pet-obesity-with-dr-chris-barry-kindred-spirits-veterinary-clinic/
Beginnings – Getting Your Dog and Cat Started on a Raw Diet by Melinda Miller and Honoring Your Cat’s Natural Diet by Terri Grow < Click here for a free download >
Feline Nutrition: Nutrition for the Optimum Health and Longevity of your Cat – Lynn Curtis
Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purr-fect Health – Kymythy Schultze
Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats – The Ultimate Diet – Kymythy Schultze
Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – Dr. Richard Patton
See Spot Live Longer – Steve Brown and Beth Taylor
The Truth About Pet Foods – Dr. Randy Wysong
Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet – Steve Brown
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