Pet Food, Bloat, Obesity, Oh My!

Singing Neo Mastiff puppy

When I first ventured into natural animal health, my first focus was to remove toxins – get rid of the things that were causing my Neo Mastiff Shadrach to have skin issues. So, my journey began looking at things I’d never have thought about before such as wall paint, floor cleaners, air fresheners, etc., but it sure didn’t end there. As I DUG in deep, I learned that the foundation of good health is the proper nutrition which I’d always assumed could be attained in a bag or can of some science formulated nourishment – was I ever wrong. Of course, I knew that with human health and had educated myself for years on that topic but somehow was missing it in animal health – most likely due to the “training” I received when I worked in veterinary medicine. While I still feel that training was invaluable, the missing link always was REAL nutrition, especially since what very little is taught to veterinarians on nutrition in school is taught by the pet food industry. Hmmm.

Yes, I know toxins are in everything. However, as Maya Angelou said, when we learn better, we do better – or that’s the correct response anyway. So let’s deep dive into this food issue once again – something I’ve been blogging, podcasting and educating on since 2004. Remember, it is so important to Be a Label Detective (an article my colleague Dr. Jeannie Thomason and I wrote several years ago in fact for Animal Wellness Magazine).


In this article by Nel Liquorman (who has been writing on this topic for as long as I have if not longer), she goes into Pet Food Nutraceuticals which is supposed to be good but isn’t necessarily. You see what may be good for humans isn’t always for animals and in fact, can be quite harmful to them. It depends on the species for one thing. For another it depends on the quality of the ingredients as always. Ingredients these days even if considered “natural” does not mean they are good or quality for our animals or ourselves. As I’ve often said, even arsenic is natural so we can’t assume “natural” always means good. Nel lists several ingredients we’d probably think are okay for us but aren’t for our carnivore pets. Plus the amounts and no doubt, the quality are contributing culprits here which have caused deaths in animals. You can read the article to learn the details as she even brings up the big 2007 pet food recall that was actually a turning point for many pet owners to look to better ways to actually nourish their pets. Don’t let the new AAFCO Guidelines fool you either – it’s the fox guarding the henhouse with them. They work to support the pet food industry, not to protect your pet. Always keep that in mind.


This next article goes into something that never should be in a carnivore food source (if you can call it that since it is just packaged junk food which I call kibble poop – can’t stress that enough). The publisher of the DogPlace, Barbara Andrews wrote this article “Acacia, Bloat and Canines” on the ingredient acacia being added to pet food which is a plant fiber (in the pea family – definitely not something that should be in a carnivore diet which our dogs and cats are by the way). This ingredient is contributing to bloat which can be and often is deadly to dogs. It’s being used because it is a cheap filler ingredient which is the case with most packaged junk food products being touted as nutrition for our beloved pets. We must advocate for them by being informed and then applying what we learn. The article has an illustrated graphic of what happens inside of your dog when bloat ensues. When I worked as a vet tech years ago, I can tell you that many of the dogs we got in for bloat didn’t survive the surgery. I’m certain they have better methods now, but it’s never good to take those kinds of chances not to mention the pain and suffering your dog will endure whether or not he/she survives. It’s also much more proactive to simply feed your dog and cat what they are designed to eat as carnivores.


American Bully dog

This one is so upsetting to me – seeing animals that are meant to be in shape for the “hunt” as the natural predators they are – which their pet status does not negate. Cats and dogs that can barely move because they are so obese is heartbreaking, but it also then translates to other issues such as joint problems, back issues, not to mention diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and so on. This is not an issue for their wild cousins who hunt and eat what they are designed to eat. We have a choice here to help them live their best lives eating their natural diet, rather than feeding convenient (for us) junk food laden with toxic chemicals, in addition to toxins masquerading as medications that would be entirely unnecessary if we’d simply honor this for them as the carnivores they are. Let’s give them what they deserve starting with feeding them what they are designed to eat and thrive on! Dr. Karen Becker wrote an article on this subject and in it she calls this a growing canine epidemic but I can assure you it is a feline epidemic as well, especially since so few cats are even allowed outdoors these days due to laws mandating them to be confined indoors. They need fresh air, sunshine, and quality EXERCISE in order to live and be well. Those are not optional but rather are laws of health. I’ve seen so many ways to help cats with the exercise issue from “catios” to walking them on harness – just search on YouTube and you’ll find a LOT of videos on this to help you. One guy got really inventive with his cat with all kinds of games and ways of interacting and engaging his mind and body. Another young woman plays hide, chase, and other similar type games with her cat which she started since he was a kitten – really the cat started it and she engaged him!

Never forget though that NUTRITION is the first law of health – cats and dogs are CARNIVORES not CORNivores!


Another article by Dr. Becker goes into a known carcinogen that is now in pet food which isn’t any real surprise to me since most of what is in that so-called “foodIS garbage. This one is glyphosate which is found in herbicides such as Monsanto’s Roundup. Dr. Becker states that recent research shows that the exposure to this toxic ingredient in pet food is showing levels 4-12 times higher in dogs and cats than in humans per kilogram. Also, the highest incidence of this is coming from grain-free kibble, but it’s also in regular kibble as well as canned food. Here’s the part that really got my attention though: “dogs fed raw food had no detectable levels of glyphosate in their urine“. You can read her article in its entirety here

Years ago, on our Animal Talk Naturally podcast (we began with this very topic on pet food in 2005) we did an interview with a museum curator who wrote the book, The History of Pets in America. She had done a study on when and how kibble began. Not only is what she shared still true, it’s only gotten worse. You can listen in to this podcast here on my DOGgone Truth podcast:

Something else to be aware of is the toxins in these junk pet foods (processed) also contribute to the aging factor in our pets – the same happens in processed junk food for humans as well. Hidden Toxins That Can Spark Tumors is an article featuring veterinarian Dr. David Turner – notice toxins of many kinds are in all processed pet foods. For the record I use the word “food” lightly. These are really “food like products”. They were never designed for health and wellness regardless of the label on the package and the one promoting it.


8 Laws of Health

So let’s go back to the 8 laws of health which I’ll list here for you but you can also look under the laws of health category on this blog to find a lot more information on this. Once again, I will state at the risk of being redundant, NONE of these laws of health are optional:

Nutrition: For our pets, we’ve been conditioned to feed them a “balanced and complete” diet out of a bag or can that often is prescribed by our veterinarian. They need to eat what is specific for their species. Dogs and cats are CARNIVORES.

Exercise: If we don’t move, if our animals don’t move in targeted exercise, the lymph doesn’t move. Then our bodies get bogged down with toxins. Exercise isn’t optional.

Water: PURE. Not with toxins called chlorine and fluoride among many other things these days. 

Sunshine: In a short synopsis the sun has been blamed for so many of our ailments and the recommendations are to cover our heads, our eyes, and slather in toxic chemicals to prevent the sun from causing us harm when in reality it’s those very things that are the real harm. There are so many healing benefits from the sun in truth!

Temperance: Moderation in all things.

Air: Fresh air, outside daily. If you don’t breathe you won’t live long.

Rest: Not just sleep but also rest from food as well. Turn off devices. Lights. As much as possible. Get outside and get grounded!

Trust: All previous laws, especially when the body in your pet or you show signs of detox, and we get afraid. We’ve been taught to mask all symptoms so we’re not even aware of the signs of detox! Also trust in GOD, He has the perfect wellness plan, and these EIGHT laws are from Him!

You can find information on this blog and on my podcast if you want to learn more. Or you can check out my Total Wellness for Pets Program to eliminate the legwork. Just know that there are solutions to help your pets live long, healthy lives but we must be willing to do our part.

Until next time…

Have a PAWSitively, tail waggin’, NATUROPATHICALLY healthy day!



Kim Bloomer, V.N.D., N.D. is an animal naturopath as well as being certified in small animal nutrition, with years of experience in animal wellness. Dr. Kim is a published author, writer, blogger, host of the DOGgone Truth podcast. Dr. Kim offers Animal Naturopathy Mentoring and Courses. Subscribe to her DOGgone Newsletter for updates or to her blog via email. Copyright ©2005-2024 Aspenbloom Pet Care, Dr. Kim Bloomer, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author/Publisher. This article is intended to be educational. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a qualified animal health professional. Dr. Kim Bloomer and Aspenbloom Pet Care, do not assume any legal responsibility for misuse of the products discussed in this article. The only essential oils referenced on this website are Young Living.

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