View Full Version : Dr. Zeltman could you please clarify

26th January 2009, 01:51 PM
You replied to one of my posts and I don't understand your response. Both husband and I have read it. I would really appreciate clarification on both #2 and especially #3. Not sure what you mean by "outside source". I truly do want to make their food and at this point it wouldn't be easy to get my tri back on dry food. Before on dry food it was common for her to go 3-4 days sometimes without eating. Now she's eating daily. I just want to do whats best for my dogs. If this was cooking for a child I'd say I was doing the right thing but dogs is another story. Their needs are obviously (at least I think they are) different than ours. By making their dog food they have been getting their protein, grain and veggies. I'm just not sure about the ratio and even how important that is. I like you and Karlin have figured out that the information on the net is driving me nuts. Too many different ratios and what to do etc. In regards to the calcium/phosphorus on #2 all I can say is that I have been giving them daily calcium supplements plus some liquid multi-vitamin that I put in their food. Am I over-reacting since they are getting the supplements but then I am thinking that on #4 of your response that possibly that is what you are stating by no outside source--outside source may mean vitamins.

I really appreciate your responding to my post and actually was shocked that a surgeon would have the time etc. I sure wish you were closer to me in Georgia and I'd have my tri who I'm concerned about possibly having sm in your office for at least a consultation. Still debating whether to mri--its so expensive.

Thanks again and sorry that this got to be a long post.

I won't write my opinion on dog food.... But I would like to say 3 things:

1. I entirely agree with Karlin. There is an enormous amount of junk on the Internet, especially about dog food.

2. The calcium/phosphorus ratio is a very important one, as an imbalance can cause all kinds of health problems.

3. Enzymes are found in your puppy's stomach and intestines, just like you. There is no need for an outside source.

Dr Zeltzman (surgeon)
www.DrPhilZeltzman.com (http://www.drphilzeltzman.com/)

26th January 2009, 03:50 PM
never mind Dr. Zeltman. I've had it. My blenheim has had diarrhea off and on and now my tri has it so its got to be their diet. This isn't working. Guess its back to the old dry kibble.

26th January 2009, 04:06 PM
Hi Linda. You sound at the end of your tether, and I don't blame you :hug: Dylan had lots of problems with food but thankfully I found a cheap tinned food that doesn't give him an upset tummy.

26th January 2009, 04:07 PM
Hi Linda. You sound at the end of your tether, and I don't blame you :hug: Dylan had lots of problems with food but thankfully I found a cheap tinned food that doesn't give him an upset tummy. I hope you find a solution quickly.

26th January 2009, 04:08 PM
I can answer the two questions:

1) relating to calcium/phosphorus -- this is why I am suggesting you read Monica's book on home diets and food myths. She goes into why giving too much or two little of one nutrient can compromise another nutrient and how to get a good balance. Also see:


2) On enzymes: there is absolutely no scientific sense to the assertion that dogs (or humans) need 'enzymes' from uncooked food. This is similar to the claim that people get 'oxygen' from eating foods with high chlorophyl. The chloropghyl gives oxygen to the plants but it isn't going to be giving a person much as it gets digested by stomach acids! And there isn't stored oxygen that is going to pass into the bloodstream. There's no evidence that there are special enzymes the body needs from raw foods. This is typical of the kind of internet 'fact' that is out there passing as science, gets quoted and requoted, and is taken as fact. See:


Another main claim by raw food advocates is that heat (from cooking) destroys enzymes in the food. Enzymes are proteins that serve as catalysts for specific biochemical reactions in the body. There are indeed many forms of enzymes. There are plant enzymes, digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes, for example. And, yes, heat can destroy enzymes.

But plant enzymes, which raw dieters wish to preserve, are largely mashed up with other proteins and rendered useless by acids in the stomach. Not cooking them doesn't save them from this fate. Anyway, the plant enzymes were for the plants. They helped with the plants' growth, and they are responsible for the wilting and decomposition of plants after they are harvested. They are not needed for human digestion. Human digestive enzymes are used for human digestion.

The same with raw meat 'enzymes'.

See also: http://www.drfuhrman.com/faq/question.aspx?sid=16&qindex=4

A raw diet may have various advantages but dogs have lived next to humans, eating cooked food, for millennia now and are in numerous ways already significantly divergent from wild canids. For example wolves have far larger brains than domesticated dogs and domesticated dogs have reverted to having much of the appearance and behaviour of very young wild canids because this must have some advantage for living with humans -- eg we like a playful, affectionate puppylike animal. Many wild canids even when domesticated (eg pups taken in from the wild) become increasingly unpredictable and 'wild' as they mature. So it is very likely that like humans they have adapted to get advantages from eating cooked food. There are studies that clearly show cooked foods offer a range of advantages and a theory hat cooked food actually spurred human brain growth because eating cooked makes many more nutrients easily available and requires less energy for digestion; energy that can go towards other tasks (like thinking).

By contrast, this is typical of the type of internet source that offers the theory that enzymes from raw food are of crucial value...


Personally, I would put a lot more trust in science than on a website called Apricots From God ... :rolleyes:

26th January 2009, 04:15 PM
Background on Monica Segal:

Monica Segal is certified in Animal Health Care through the University of Guelph with studies in animal nutrition,physiology, diseases and parasites, as well as pet care. She has been a regular guest on Talk 640 Radio, interviewed on Breakfast Television and City TV in Toronto, KFWB in Los Angeles and Pet Talk hosted by Mitch Wilder. She writes featured articles in many publications throughout North America. Monica conducts seminars and workshops by invitation, hosts an Internet discussion group at K9Kitchen, and authored a book called "K9 Kitchen, Your Dogs' Diet: The Truth Behind The Hype," published in June 2002. Her second book, "Optimal Nutrition" inlcudes a foreword wrtten by Ana Hill DVM, PhD and was published in 2007. Monica lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband Morley and dogs, Cassie and Tori.

She runs a K9 Kitchen discussion group: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9Kitchen/

I'd buy her book and base your home cooking approaches on that. :thmbsup:

Also see:


By the way I make cooked stews and mix that with kibble, sometimes give raw, sometimes kibble alone -- you can vary their diet without having to do only one thing or another. I think a diet of only all kibble all the time is a bit grim.

Also there are some recipes for cooked diets in the Library section.

26th January 2009, 04:31 PM
Sorry, dont mean to hi-jack the thread. Karlin, can dogs have stew? I make them often and the last day (about a week ago) the poor dogs were going bananas looking for it. I was letting them eat tiny bits of meat out of my hand but I wasnt sure whether they could have a proper portion.

I only use lean meat and I never add salt to anything I cook (I have high blood pressure).

Cathy Moon
26th January 2009, 05:32 PM
Just wanted to add some information about enzymes, specifically pancreatic enzymes. There is a condition that can cause diarrhea, digestive problems, weight loss, and dull, flaky coat: Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.

A vet can run tests to diagnose this problem, and the treatment is supplemental digestive enzymes prescribed by the vet. Here is a detailed description of the problem, which is linked from my vet's website:

Geordie actually had a condition similar to this last year, and because he takes an antacid (Prilosec) twice daily as a proton pump inhibitor for his SM, I think he was getting needed enzymes from certain foods I was feeding him.

I will ask my vet about this next time we have an appointment. :thmbsup:

26th January 2009, 07:48 PM
I agree with Karlin on the "varied diet" approach. I have no scientific basis for this, but I believe Holly's stomach is less sensitive if she eats a variety of foods. Plus, she is a very picky eater, so something different in her bowl seems to make her a more interested eater. I alternate between feeding raw, quality kibble, and often make a stew (per a Monica Segal recipe) that I mix in with the kibble. I also give tripe -- I can't stand the smell to do it on a daily basis, but she gets this treat about once a week.

26th January 2009, 07:53 PM
OK, sorry I'm late to reply... and I see that Lindebelle gave up anyway.

So, for those who still care:

Re #2: too much calcium is a curse. Way too many people give way too much calcium (supplements). It causes all kinds of orthopedic problems, at least in growing pets. It's one of those stubborn urban legends...

Re #3: Karlin's reply is perfect. What I meant by "no outside source" is that pets, like humans, have all the required enzymes to digest their food. You don't need to add enzymes of any kind.
And to reply to your post, enzymes are NOT found in a vitamin supplement.

Now, of course, this is all true unless there is a medical condition such as EPI as Cathy Moon wisely wrote above. This is primarily seen in German Shepherds.

Anyway, I still will bite my tongue and won't write my thoughts on dog food... except that you made a very smart decision!!!

Dr Zeltzman
www.DrPhilZeltzman.com (http://www.DrPhilZeltzman.com)

26th January 2009, 07:55 PM
BTW, I would love it if someone could explain why I am "invisible" based on the red dot next to my name in the posts. Sorry to ask this in the middle of posts...

Dr Zeltzman
www.DrPhilZeltzman.com (http://www.drphilzeltzman.com/)

26th January 2009, 08:08 PM
When I say I give them stew I mean I make my own as per some recipes for dogs -- human stews have all sorts of stuff dogs (and well, probably people!) don't need like added salt. Also onions, which people would often have in a stew, are not generally recommended for dogs, etc.

I do homecooked meals for the dogs regularly and freeze. But I also feed a quality kibble, sometimes canned tripe, fresh meat... a range of things.

26th January 2009, 08:24 PM
I had to put Ilsa on a cooked diet, as she wasn't eating any kind of dog food, (and I tried them all)! She was a puppy and severely underweight and I had no choice. I consulted a holistic vet to help me plan a balanced diet and give her necessary vitamins, and she's been well ever since. One key was that she gave me a list of foods that were good for dogs and I switch, so she doesn't get bored, (but that's just Ilsa, she does), and gets a variety of things as humans should. The professional advice was a big help and I felt secure her diet.

As for stew, I had the same thought several weeks ago when I made some. I had put red wine in the stock and was afraid of the toxic grape problem, so I didn't share. Dogs also shouldn't eat onions or too much sodium so if those ingredients are in there I wouldn't.

Jen and Ilsa

26th January 2009, 08:36 PM
yep I gave up and I probably have at least 3 weeks of food made up in the freezer for them. What did it was when I was outside with them this a.m. and saw my tri with diarrhea that did it. I threw in the towel. lol. Now having reading the dr.'s post I feel better that I did the right thing. I was worried I was over supplementing them and they weren't getting the right stuff and if they got sick from this I would be devastated so we are now on nature's recipe which was rated really high on the net. Now if you all say what kind of garbage you feeding them--well then I'm hitting the nearest mexican restaurant for happy hours and margaritas. lol

26th January 2009, 08:38 PM
Re #2: too much calcium is a curse. Way too many people give way too much calcium (supplements). It causes all kinds of orthopedic problems, at least in growing pets. It's one of those stubborn urban legends...

My dog had awful orthapedic problems & on doing some research I decided I would never give a pup suppliments unless there was a really good reason.
As a pup my dog was fed complete puppyfood, cheese, calcium suppliment & fed from his mum until around 12 weeks. ( I got him at nearly 1 year old)

my current pup is getting puppyfood as I dont think I have the knowledge to try making my own or adding suppliments safely

Cathy T
26th January 2009, 11:16 PM
why I am "invisible"

I just sent you a message explaining this and telling you how to change your settings. It all has to do with your user settings.