Can These Inexpensive Foods Extend your Pet’s Life?

Updated: July 23, 2018

The recent controversy about Grain-Free diets has made the recommendations in this article particularly timely. Dr. Karen Becker’s highly informative article on deficiencies in amino acids due to processed Grain-Free foods is highly enlightening. She says that an easy way to introduce Taurine to your pet’s diet is to add a can of sardines or mackerel to their food 3 times per week.

Sardines and Eggs are Powerhouse Foods

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in the diets of humans, dogs and cats have been well established as beneficial. Fatty acids play a major role in the functioning of the immune system. Protection against heart, eye disease and reduction of inflammation; especially needed as pets age are just a few of the many benefits seen when these critical fats are included in our diets and those of our animals.

Puppies must be supplied with adequate DHA before birth in order for their brains and nervous systems to properly form.

Puppies that do not eat enough omega-3 fatty acids will never reach optimum potential. Omega-3s are critical to many functions of the body. Dr. John Bauer, a leading veterinary nutritionist, wrote, “evidence exists to support the role of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in kidney and cardiovascular disorders in humans and companion animals. […] fish oil supplements in dogs appear to help preserve renal function. Similarly fish oils […] can minimize loss of heart muscle in dogs with congestive heart failure.” 1 Dogs and cats need about 1-1.5 grams of long chain omega-3 fatty acids per 100 pounds of body weight. Long-chain omega-3s are as essential for pets as they are for humans. Fish oil as with other oils, has been shown to improve coat and reduce skin irritation from allergy.

Fish oil is an excellent source of both DHA and EPA they can be excellent but spoil easily; and quality varies considerably in supplements. Using whole foods is always the best way to obtain nutrients in as close to their natural state and form as possible. The larger the fish, the more time it spends in the ocean drawing contaminants. Sardiness and Mackerels are low on the food chain and thus contain less mercury and radiation (think: Fukishima).

Sardines with No Salt in Water are an ideal form of DHA & EPA oils

Sardiness and Mackerels: Omega-3s in Their Natural State

Sardines or Mackerel are an efficient and economical way to eat omega-3s (EPA, DHA) for all of us. They may be far more popular with cats and dogs than with humans, for whom sardines are often an acquired taste.

For small dogs and cats, one small sardine per day is enough. For big dogs, one large or two small sardines will be better.

Add a few sardines to your pet’s diet per week to provide the fatty acids, or you can make a once-a-week complete meal of them. Bones are included in sardines (canned Mackerel is boneless), adding a natural form of calcium to the diet. Sardines are real food in its whole form.

 Eggs: Another Perfect Food

Eggs are also a great addition to a dog or cat’s diet. They are a good source of protein and fat, and now eggs with higher levels of EPA and DHA are available. Omega-3 eggs are from chickens fed flax. Your dog’s body (or your body) will have to convert the omega-3 from ALA into EPA and DHA; not an efficient process. It is much better to eat foods with high EPA and DHA levels naturally. Cats are unable to make this conversion at all, which is why flax oil is not a good choice for cats. Dr. Josh Axe says, “…food labels now brag about their omega-3 content more than ever. While omega-3s are now artificially added to multiple kinds of processed foods — peanut butter, baby formula, cereal and some protein powders, for example — it’s still best to get your omega-3s from whole, real food sources, especially wild-caught seafood.”2

Adding a raw egg* every other day is a way to improve a dry food diet, and to provide variety in a fresh food diet. You can also feed eggs once per week as a whole meal. Adding a few pureed vegetables will provide fresh whole food nutrition at a very reasonable cost. While adding DHA eggs to your pet’s diet has many advantages; it will not take the place of high quality Omega-3 fatty acids found uniquely and more bioavailable in wild caught fish.

Whole eggs are loaded with quality protein and heart protecting monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Pets enjoy the richness of raw eggs. To avoid harmful bacteria raw egg shells may be washed with soap and warm water before using. Choose eggs from a reputable cage-free source for highest nutritional levels. Raising chickens to produce eggs or as pets has grown in popularity 3 in recent years; it is a certain way to know exactly what comes into your kitchen. Chickens allowed to eat a well rounded diet (as opposed to just corn) will produce higher quality nutrition in their eggs. A chicken exposed to sunlight will yield eggs containing higher levels of Vitamin D.

Golden Paste is a natural anti-inflammatory which can easily be made at home with a mixture of Turmeric, healthy oil and black pepper (the pepper activates the Curcumin in the Turmeric which gives it anti-inflammatory properties). It is easily added to foods; dogs, cats and humans. It holds these benefits for those who use it regularly:

  • Joint pain relief
  • Liver detoxification
  • Antioxidants to fight disease, cancer and aging
  • Allergy relief
  • Help with epilepsy
  • Digestive disorders, gas and bloating
  • Heart health
  • Parasite control
  • Weight management

How to Make Golden Paste for Pets:

Australian Veterinarian Dr. Doug English who invented this recipe has seen great results in his practice for pets and humans. This is his recipe:

1/2 cup (125 ml / 60g) turmeric powder
1 cup water (250 ml) plus extra water in reserve, if needed
1/3 cup (70 ml) coconut oil (use raw, unrefined, cold-pressed)
OR linseed oil (flaxseed)
OR olive oil (use virgin / extra virgin)
2 – 3 teaspoons freshly cracked (ground) black pepper
Note: the amount of pepper has been increased since May 2016, on Doug English’s recommendations and review of greater success in a large number of cases using the extra pepper. Omit pepper if you cannot tolerate it. The absorption of turmeric will still be improved by cooking it and adding oil, but it will be less effective without the pepper.

Cracked pepper and ground pepper refer to the same thing. How finely it’s ground is up to the user. If you like to have crunchy bits of pepper in your golden paste, then grind it less finely. If you don’t (and that’s probably most of us), grind it more finely.

Note: the amount of pepper has been increased since May 2016, on Doug English’s recommendations and review of greater success in a large number of cases using the extra pepper. Omit pepper if you cannot tolerate it. The absorption of turmeric will still be improved by cooking it and adding oil, but it will be less effective without the pepper.

Cracked pepper and ground pepper refer to the same thing. How finely it’s ground is up to the user. If you like to have crunchy bits of pepper in your golden paste, then grind it less finely. If you don’t (and that’s probably most of us), grind it more finely.

Just starting out on Golden Paste? Start small, just 1/4 of a teaspoon twice a day and build up

RECIPE:

1) Bring the turmeric and water to a boil in a saucepan, then lower heat and simmer until you have a thick paste. This should take about 7-10 minutes and you may need to add the extra water along the way for good consistency.

2) Add the freshly cracked (ground) pepper and oil AFTER cooking, when it has been removed from heat and cooled down (still warm to touch but not burning), about 10 minutes later.

3) Stir in well to mix the oil in everywhere and allow to cool again (if coconut oil is hard, it should melt in the mixture).

Do not use pre-made pepper meal (pre-ground pepper that you buy for pepper shakers). The active ingredient in black pepper (piperine) is oxidised when exposed to the air and also degraded by light, so not much is left in the pre-ground pepper purchased in the store.

Do not add honey or any sweeteners. Sugars are not necessary and they provoke inflammation.

Try 1/4 of a teaspoon, twice a day (with food and water), and build up to 3 – 4 times a day, for the first 4-5 days.

If you need more effect, increase to 1/2 – 3/4 of a teaspoon 3 – 4 times a day. You don’t need much. Some move on to a full teaspoon for even more effect. See what your body needs and feed small amounts routinely to keep it in your system. As Duggie says: “Little and often is best”.

When adding turmeric to your diet for the first time, if there are any signs of loose stools or upset stomach then you may wish to reduce your serving to 1/8 tsp or so, and remain at a lower amount for a longer period. It will eventually pass and your gut microbiome will soon benefit.

The Golden Paste will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. Do not leave it out at room temperature.

Freeze a portion if you think you have made too much to use within 2 weeks. It has become popular to use silicon moulds to store the excess mixture in. It is then easy to pop out a single serve later on.

While there are many things pet owners do to extend the life of their pet; to improve your pet’s health and give them a longer happier life; we recommend adding Sardines (or Mackerel), eggs and Golden Paste to their diet every week.

*Raw eggs can carry Salmonella which can cause GI distress for dogs and cats.

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  1. December 1, 2007, Vol. 231, No. 11, Pages 1657-1661
    doi: 10.2460/javma.231.11.1657
  2. Dr. Josh Axe https://draxe.com/omega-3-foods/
  3. Backyard chickens in the United States: A survey of flock owners: Poultry Science Volume 93Issue 11
    November 2014  C. Elkhoraibi R. A. Blatchford M. E. Pitesky J. A. Mench https://academic.oup.com/ps/article/93/11/2920/2730497/Backyard-chickens-in-the-United-States-A-survey-of

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