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Welcome
Welcome to Power Paw Products, where nutrition & science promote the health and well-being of your cat or dog throughout their life span. Our products are based on experience with our own animals and our scientific knowledge in animal nutrition.

We believe that a simple diet is the best food for your Champion or Companion. Therefore, it is our goal to deliver the components of a natural, raw diet throughout our product line.

Benefits of our Products

The type of food and treats that we feed our dogs and cats should be minimally processed. Simple is better. The closer your pet's diet feed is to a whole, minimally processed state, the healthier your pets will be.

A raw diet provides optimal the nutritional value. The intense heat used to process commercial pet food reduces nutrients. Studies with rats showed that the digestibility of amino acids in cat food is changed significantly by heat processing. Taurine, an essential amino acid for cats, is reduced or eliminated in heat processing. Pet food manufacturers must add taurine supplements to cat food, which is generally unnecessary in a raw diet. Some raw feeders believe that supplements have reduced nutritional value compared to the same nutrients in raw food.

Most commercial pet foods contain a disproportionate amount of carbohydrates. Commercial pet foods, especially dry foods, also often contain a large amount of grains, which are inappropriate for dogs and cats. Studies comparing the source of protein in dry cat food concluded that the digestibility of meat-based protein is superior to corn-based protein. In fact, many dogs and cats are allergic to grains, grain by-products and a host of other additives. Because dogs and cats are carnivores, little grain is generally found in their natural diet. A raw diet more closely matching the diet of cats in the wild will yield many improved health benefits, including a noticeable reduction in the incidence of many late-life feline health issues.

In Nature, cats eat their prey whole. Cats and dogs are naturally equipped with very sharp teeth that are made for ripping and tearing meat, and crunching through the pliable raw bones of animals. They also have very strong stomach acids, as well as very short digestive tracts, that are made to efficiently process raw meat and bone. If you have ever known of, or seen a lion or wolf consume it's prey in the wild, this will make perfect sense to you.

So many cats have been fed a steady diet of canned or kibbled pet “food” for so long, that today an unprecedented number of them are developing tooth and gum disease. Because a cat with poor oral health harbors a mouthful of unhealthy bacteria, a major contributing factor to a myriad of other, more serious health issues and diseases. Additionally, a raw diet minimizes the occurrence of feline diabetes and obesity, caused by insulin overload. So called chronic stinky ‘kitty or doggy breath" is not just unpleasant, it’s a signal that a cat is not being fed properly. Feeding a raw diet with “bone in” and organ meat, which is based on whole, raw meaty bones and carcasses, often reduces or even eliminates this problem.

Feeding a raw diet, which requires gnawing and jawing to consume, means that cats must do some work to process those foods with their teeth and jaws before it’s swallowed. This working of the food not only allows ample time for the cat’s naturally acidic gastric juices to be adequately excreted, but in fact actually stimulates the excretion of these juices, giving the cat’s system the best chance of properly digesting his/her meal.

Dogs are carnivores. So why have dog owners been feeding grain-based kibble? The answer is simply economics. Pet food companies can improve their margins by adding grain-based products.

Feeding raw does mean a shift in how you shop for & store food, and feed your dogs. This might be considered the main disadvantage, though those who feed this way find it becomes second nature and is well worth the small amount of extra effort. However, our company is striving to make this change.

Similiar to cats, dogs are carnivores and do not have the digestive tract to enable them to digest grains. Lacking digestive enzymes such as amylase, dogs are unable to predigest complex carbohydrates in their mouth, taking a longer time to break down in their stomach and small intestine, if at all, thereby passing through inadequately digested and creating voluminous and smelly stools.

Dogs {canis familiaris}, like their wild cousin, the wolf {canis lupus}, have many similarities: a large mouth opening (to facilitate taking down and grasping large prey); the large primary muscle on the side of the head/jaw (enabling a powerful bite); short, pointed teeth (for ripping and tearing flesh plus crunching bone), teeth meeting in such as way to facilitate a cutting motion similar to shears; and showing submissive behaviours to their owners/pack leaders. This is not to say that wolves and domestic dogs are entirely identical genetically.

Dogs' genes differ only 1-2% from those of wolves, about 7.5% from coyotes, and even more from foxes. This makes our domestic dog very close to the wolf in its genetic make-up, consequently it is no surprise that wolves and dogs do share identical digestive tracks. So, why not feed dogs in the same manner that wolves eat?

Dry dog food, take a great deal of time to digest -- up to 15 hours, yet fresh (raw) foods only take 4 to 6 hours. This poses a problem for domestic dogs because the longer food remains in their digestive system, the greater the chance for gastrointestinal upsets and developing allergies.

One of the first concerns people raise about the raw diet is Salmonella and E. coli. Yes, raw food can become contaminated with Salmonella, but remember that cooks handle raw meat in their kitchens everyday. Proper handling is required when preparing raw meat meals for a dog, just as it is when preparing our own meals. Surfaces, utensils, and hands must be thoroughly washed with hot water and soap preventing an environment for bacteria growth. So why don't dogs fed raw diets, or those that dig up putrid bones left buried for weeks or months, get ill? Dogs have acidic stomachs and short intestinal tracts designed to deal with bacteria and process raw meat quickly, therefore Salmonella doesn't have time to grow, or 'blossom'. It is true, however, that Salmonella bacteria can be carried right on through the animal's digestive system and excreted in the feces; this is true whether a dog is fed raw or kibble. It is also for this reason that we must implement proper hygiene after contact with, or clean up of our pet's stool.

Have you ever wondered how people fed their dogs before the proliferation of commercial kibble? Yes, kibble is convenient and the companies have done an excellent job of marketing both to the public and providing their [dog food companies] studies and reports to veterinary colleges. Is it coincidence or cause-and-effect that, since the advent of feeding a diet of dog kibble, domestic dogs began developing a multitude of allergies, skin and coat conditions, and high incidences of diabetes, cancer, and weakened immune systems?

Have you noticed how kibble-fed dogs and cats all eventually develop tartar build up on their teeth, some excessively so? The enzymes and acids contained in raw meat and bones help to prevent tartar build up, not to mention the natural action of ripping meat and gnawing on (uncooked) bones -- nature's toothbrush.

But, aren't bones dangerous for our dogs? This has been drilled into us for years. Even the commercial pet industry sells their tartar/dental aids as a bone replacement, knowing the value of bones for that purpose. Raw bones (uncooked) are nutritional, malleable, and digestible plus are a source of valuable nutrients. Cooking, however, alters the composition of bones making them brittle and dangerous. NEVER EVER FEED COOKED BONES, OF ANY KIND OR SIZE.

A good raw diet contains raw meat, bones, and some organ meat plus pulverized fresh vegetables (to mimic the predigested contents of a wild animal's stomach/intestines such as a rabbit or deer, for instance) the benefits are: clean teeth, healthy mouth and improved breath, healthier skin and coat, reduction or elimination of 'doggy' smell, much less volume and smell of stools, increased alertness, stronger immune system, and fewer visits required to the vet. Also, many raw feeders discover the elimination or decline in allergies, hyper activity and phobic problems, weight problems, arthritis, ear/eye ailments, and indigestion.

Feeding raw should decrease the need for visits to the vet, though many raw feeders and canine nutritionists agree that maintaining an annual check up with your vet is important. This visit should include obtaining blood and having it sent to a lab that assesses the internal well being of your dog, including organ function and vitamin/mineral ratios. It's a good idea to have blood work done in this way prior to commencing a raw diet, then repeated six to eight months after the dog/cat starts the diet. This will demonstrate to you and your vet that a raw diet is beneficial to your animals's health. It is also a check to ensure that you are not over or under-feeding certain nutrients and for determining what is normal for your dog.



Sources:

• Belfield, Dr. Wendell O., DVM, "Raw Meat Diets for Companion Animals?" Your Animal's Health http://www.belfield.com/article11.html • Belfield, Dr. Wendell O., DVM, "Food Not Fit For A Pet", Your Animal's Health, volume 3 http://www.belfield.com/article3.html • Belfield, Dr. Wendell O., DVM, "Skin Allergies - A Nutritional Approach to Treatment", Your Animal's Health, July/August 1997. http://www.belfield.com/article6.html • Billinghurst, Dr. Ian, B.V.Sc., B.Sc.Agr., Dip.Ed. (Australia). Give Your Dog A Bone, 1993. • Lonsdale, Tom. Raw Meaty Bones: Promote Health. Rivetco P/L (2001) • McKay, Pat. "Healthy Foods! Happy Dogs!" http://www.patmckay.com/ • New, Lesley. BSc. Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Alberta, "Salmonella Facts for the Health of You and Your Pet" • Olson, Lew. "Anatomy of a Carnivore". B-Naturals Spring 1999 Newsletter. • Volhard, Wendy. "Canine Nutrition - Volhard Holistic Care". September 9, 2003. http://www.volhard.com/holistic/artbywv.htm#nut http://www.dianeschuller.com/dogs_on_raw_diet.html




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