As more and more research is completed on the effectiveness of various nutrients and micronutrients, so new recommendations emerge for supplementing the diets of cats and dogs, and of course, humans.
Holistic vet and PETPlus formulator Dr. Suzi McIntyre keeps abreast of this new information, so she is constantly improving the formulation of PETPlus.
Did you know that enzymes are essential to health but that they don't exist in processed food?
Raw food is full of enzymes. Enzymes are essential for life, so every living cell has plenty. But enzymes are destroyed by heat and exposure to various chemicals. This is why processed food contains no enzymes.
Fortunately though, the body is capable of making enzymes, and does so in order to digest the food.
The body can make enzymes but it is seriously hard work which can wear it out!
But making enzymes is an energy expensive process, and particularly hard work for the pancreas. As a result, pancreatitis is becoming increasingly common, as an overworked pancreas becomes inflamed, painful and unable to fulfill its function.
PET Plus Enzymes
In PETPlus, we've used Proteases and AstraZyme for protein digestion, Amylases for carbohydrate digestion, Lipases for fat digestion and blend of highly active enzymes for the digestion of vegetation.
On a processed food diet, these enzymes are critical for the proper digestion and assimilation of the nutrients, as enzymes are rendered inactive by the heating involved in the production of processed foods.
Also, many pet processed foods are bulked out by cheap cereal based fillers which are very difficult for dogs and cats to digest and totally inappropriate for a carnivore.
The addition of PETPlus to processed food facilitates digestion, easing the load on the pancreas and enabling your pets to gain more nutrition from their food.
Cats and dogs need vegetables in their diet. Who knew?
Fed a raw food diet, the enzymes in PETPlus help with the digestion of the raw food, especially the vegetation. Dogs and cats are not good at digesting vegetation, but they need it!
Cats and dogs would normally access most vegetable nutrition from the intestinal contents of their prey, where it has already been well chewed, partly digested and is full of vegetation-digesting enzymes and probiotics.
So the blend of highly active enzymes in PETPlus for the digestion of vegetation is especially important.
Dogs And Cats Need Probiotics
Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus Plantarum are a complementary pair of the best probiotics for dogs and cats. They colonize the gut easily, create an environment that discourages pathogens and do not transfer antibiotic resistance, unlike some other probiotics.
We decided not to use several other probiotic species as Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus Plantarum work well together. They are found in the intestines of all carnivores and the herbivores they eat.
This dramatically impacts their ability to digest food and so aids a healthy digestive system. This is of great benefit to everyone within sniffing distance!
Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Brewer's and Nutritional Vegetarian Yeast) is also an important probiotic and has been a major ingredient of Pet Plus since its original creation in 1996.
Probiotics have also been shown to be critically important in maintaining a healthy immune system. This is especially key in these times of increasing antibiotic resistance.
If your immune system can protect you from pathogenic invaders, the need for medication, like antibiotics, is vastly reduced.
Cats And Dogs Need Prebiotics And Antioxidants
Fructo-Oligo Saccharides (FOS) are known to be the very best prebiotics, providing so much support for the existing healthy gut flora that supplying probiotics is almost unnecessary!
We decided to do both with PETPlus, to give our dogs and cats the best of both worlds! Frutafit Inulin IQ is the patented source of the most effective of all the fructo-oligosaccharides in a whole food form.
We've chosen this prebiotic nutrient to support the probiotics as it is plant based, very palatable and completely natural.
Alfafa, wheatgrass, barley grass and beetroot fibre are all included
Alfalfa, wheat grass and barley grass have been pulverized and juiced then carefully dried so that all those fabulous nutrients, which would otherwise be hidden inside the cells, are preserved without chemicals and readily available to our pets. The beet root fibre is also a great source of fibre.
Together, these five ingredients are an essential support for the probiotics and provide an enormous number of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
As part of a group of nutrient dense aquatic plants, the single-celled Chlorella algae is attracting a lot of well deserved attention.
It contains a staggering array of nutrients and micronutrients of great benefit to us all - people, cats and dogs! Chlorella is the richest source of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a photosynthesizing molecule closest in structure to the oxygen carrying haemoglobin molecule in animals.
Chlorella is an excellent source of essential fatty acids (EFAs), notably the anti-inflammatory Omega 3. Chlorella also contains numerous minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, proteins and plenty of probiotic-supporting prebiotics.
All this is readily available for absorption by our dogs and cats as we have chosen the very best quality cracked cell wall Chlorella for Pet Plus. As this nutrient dense plant is incredibly green, the Pet Plus powders are green when dry and stay green when mixed with wet food!
Cats also love Chlorella, as I discovered when I dropped one of my Chlorella tablets on the floor and he quickly gobbled it up. I was amazed!
Have you noticed that blueberries are everywhere?
Bilberries (Or Blueberries)
You have probably noticed the sudden increase in popularity of bilberries. They are rich sources of antioxidants, resveratrols and numerous other highly active 'superfood' micronutrients.
These things work together to protect our cells from free radical damage, inflammation and numerous other challenges.
Hemp Seeds And Flax Seeds
Excellent sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs), hemp and flax seeds supply the perfect balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 for dogs and cats. Omega 3 is especially important these days as it is has potent anti-inflammatory properties, protecting the integrity of cell membranes throughout the body.
Other EFAs form the building blocks for hormone production, essential for the body's internal communication mechanisms. Hemp and flax are also rich sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, complete proteins and phytonutrients and support the probiotics.
As the seeds themselves would be difficult to digest, we have powdered them.
Brewers Yeast And Nutritional Yeast
Repelling parasites and supplying plenty of B vitamins are the main roles of these yeasts. Technically known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, they are also important probiotics. Tasting delicious, they also provide many other important nutrients as well as enhancing the flavour.
Dogs and cats love the taste of nutritional yeast!
They are completely harmless, being unrelated to the pathogenic yeasts, which occasionally colonize inflamed areas of pet bodies, most notably the ears.
Cats and dogs love the taste of nutritional yeast, helping them to enjoy Pet Plus in their food. Cats happily lick PETPlus off their fur, while dogs are quick to lick it off the floor when the opportunity arises.
Coenzyme Q 10 (Ubiquinone)
Efficient energy production by the cells is critical for health. Coenzyme Q10 (20mg per teaspoon of PETPlus) is an essential co-factor for the release of energy from food in the mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of every cell.
This fuels all the body's systems, enhancing the smooth running of the whole body, especially the immune system and the cardiovascular system.
Taurine For Cats
Taurine is essential for feline health. Cats are unique in their inability to make it themselves from other dietary ingredients. So a plentiful supply has always been provided in Pet Plus for Cats.
It's presence is associated with a healthy cardiovascular system, eyesight and neurological function. It prevents the cardiomyopathy, retinal degeneration and epilepsy which can occur when dietary taurine is deficient.
Taurine For Dogs
An increasing number of dogs seem to be suffering from taurine deficiency, so we have now added taurine to PETPlus for Dogs. However, this now means that the formulation for dogs is now the same as for cats, so there is now only one type of PETPlus, so it will no longer be separately labelled as PETPlus for Cats and PETPlus for Dogs. It is labeled as PETPlus for Dogs & Cats!
Please see the article I've written which explains why dogs also need taurine.
Summary - Synergy With Nature
The key to successful nutritional supplementation is to use the ingredients found in nature in their whole form.
There are at least 15,000 micronutrients in raw food which all work together, synergistically. If we isolate these to make individual vitamins, we are removing the very things we need!
Always go for whole food based nutritional supplements and avoid isolates! Why? Because Nature knows best!