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A New Age of Veterinarians

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  1. amy

    what about raw food nutrition? healing enzymes in food are killed when heated. just like humans see Dr Max Gerson’s work.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      In my understanding of this program, it is not focused on style of feeding (raw or cooked or kibble or can). It is focused on whole food nutrition – having the food itself provide nutrition to the pet, not supplements.

  2. TNReedy

    Well, Susan, it sounds like a start in the right direction, but the reality of it is the vets in most animal hospital veterinarian practices aren’t the ones deciding what pet products they offer to their patients’ caregivers… it’s the office manager and yes, the big pet feed companies who ‘serve’ their clients (the veterinarian practices). Sorry, to sound a bit cynical, but I’ve fought every vet over several years of caring for our rescued animal companions.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I completely understand. Pet food makes us a bit cynical doesn’t it?

  3. Linda

    Susan, this makes me want to cry tears off joy! Finally, a program with some teeth resulting in enlightened minds! Let’s all pray that this program becomes contagious so that by the time my grandchildren become pet owners, whole, human grade food compiled in a species appropriate diet is the norm, rather than the exception.
    Congratulations to Dr. Kendra! May she remain as focused and confident of her new found knowledge when it comes time to stand up to “conventional veterinary medicine” as she is today.

  4. Diane

    What about cats, why is the focus only on dogs?

    1. Liz

      Yes, this is a great step forward. Seems still waters are stirring up to the surface now! But I am questioning why they want to focus on dog food. What about all the millions of us Cat parents? Their nutritional needs far exceed what dogs need.

      1. Poodle Lover

        The focus in on whole food feeding as opposed to highly processed, heat treated commercial. It isn’t that nutritional needs are more important for cats or dogs. It’s about the style of feeding. As I understand it, cats demand protein to the exclusion of carbohydrates and fillers. Cats consume in a manner closer to a natural prey model, being that outdoor and feral cats (for example) have the most access to it and do great. Most dogs don’t and their biology permits a range of nutritional sources/ The second factor is Just Food for DOGS is responsible for the teaching material. However I understand that Dr. Lisa Pierson is great resource for the nutritional needs of cats, and perhaps she could be approached to participate in this program, in order to represent cat requirements.

        This isn’t a “contest” as to preference of dogs versus cats; so lets try to think creatively in order to do them BOTH justice!

  5. Wolf

    Baby steps, baby steps…but so nice to see even a tiny step in the right direction. I hope one of those vets ands up in my area…I’d travel quite a way to have a vet who “got it”.

  6. Lindsey Wolko

    Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine has taken a unique approach – and one of the only – if not THE only – Vet School to consider product safety as an important element in preventative medicine. Center for Pet Safety has a partnership to work on product related studies with WU in the future.

  7. Lynne Fowler

    An excellent start, but we pet parents still need to stay on top of everything put into and onto our pets and not blindly follow what any vet or Dr tells us. We don’t do that with our kids or our own health, do we? We ask questions and do research on our own and make sure we are doing best for our kids, our selves and our fur kids.

  8. Pacific Sun

    You know, I thought this was a reeellly positive and encouraging article! First, that the course even exists, and secondly that such a competent resource like JFFDs is conducting it. I hope Dr. Oscar Chavez is involved! He is amazing. he first student Kendra Bettis-Scheibe was exceptionally articulate about explaining her transition from unaware PF consumer/medical practitioner to becoming an informed nutritional consult.

    And yet the comments only among 9 of them slam non-raw food feeding (uhhh, so do humans fail to survive on minimally cooked food?). A reminder that Vet Practices are still pushing sub-standard fare (uhhh, this program just got started and maybe clients should be mentioning it to their own Vets?). And why is the focus on dogs not cats (uhhh well maybe because Just Food For DOGS is teaching the course, but I think the idea is still basic to both species, namely the value in WHOLE foods, helllow out there). Finally a tiny step no matter what, is STILL a beginning (so let’s champion the cause, forward the article, and encourage more practitioners to check out the opportunity. Maybe eventually they could even take the course on-line!). My guess is, we wouldn’t even be this far, if it wasn’t for the years the TAPF Author has invested into enlightening all of us!

    Thank you Susan, for sharing some GOOD news to have become available at least for a change!

  9. Pat P.

    This is good news. It is about time! I would like to know how thorough it, actually is, and if it slams the pet food industry, at all, which it should, even if subtly. Like a couple of other commenters, though, I would like to see some emphasis on cats. Their nutrition and health needs, in this society, definitely take a back seat. Of course, since I have two cats, this seriously disturbs me, and would even if I didn’t love them, like I do. Considering how many are in peoples’ homes, their concerns should be a priority.

  10. Ellie

    How long is a rotation? How many hours would that involve? I know a few veterinarians who have said that their education in nutrition involved a 6 week course that they attended once a week. That course was not in dog nutrition but the course was “animal nutrition.” A 6 week one hour a week class on “animal” nutrition adds up to hardly any useful information being gleaned from the course.

    I have worked in the human medical field for many years and can tell you that doctors for humans have a similar experience with nutritional courses. They learn next to nothing about nutrition. Most physicians send their patients in need of dietary counseling to a nutritionist for assistance and yet most Americans are suffering from food induced illnesses. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, to name a just a few, are often diet induced diseases.

    It is encouraging to see this veterinarian school offering this course. It would be wonderful if the animal medical profession woke up to the fact that what we put in our pet’s body has everything to do with the kind of health that pet will exhibit years in the future.

  11. TNReedy

    How about we all send copies of Susan’s posting (posted comments optional) to our respective veterinarian/s. Or, would that just cause them to ‘circle the wagons’ in an act of defiance and resolve to remain ‘vets know best.’

    1. Pacific Sun

      Smart idea! Let’s share the link hoping to spread the concept and idea to other areas in the Country. (Pomona is in Southern California) Here’s the link explaining more about the opportunity:

      “The new rotation offers fourth-year veterinary students one-on-one instruction with Just Food For Dogs Chief Medical Officer Dr. Oscar Chavez, BVetMed, MRCVS, MBA, professor in Clinical Nutrition at Cal Poly Pomona, and Dr. John Tegzes, VMD, DABVT, professor of toxicology at WesternU.”

      “Just Food For Dogs was selected to participate in the Clinical Education Program at the University as a result of its unwavering commitment to canine nutrition and wellness. The company refused to follow controversial industry practices for testing dog food, and developed their own dog-centric feeding trial, becoming the first dog food company in history to successfully complete the standardized AAFCO feeding trials using real companion dogs in their own homes. Dr. Tegzes and Dr. Chavez also co-authored a detailed white paper on behalf of Just Food For Dogs on the dangers of commercial kibble, as the industry is structured today. The white paper was submitted to the FDA as official comments.

      This new course marks a continued collaboration between the company and the University. The JustFoodForDogs formulations were used in a recent joint study by WesternU and Cal Poly Pomona on the effects of fresh prepared, whole food canine maintenance diets on clinically measurable blood parameters in healthy dogs. The dogs in the study were fed whole food recipes from Just Food For Dogs for one year and the results indicate an improvement in markers of health.”

      Note the results of their food testing trial (see right above)!

  12. Jan Beardsley-Blanco

    YAHHHHHHHHHHH! now – for a similar component for felines………..

  13. Lynn Utecht


  14. Kathy F

    After continued frustration trying to help our diabetic, cushings disease, bladder stone schnauzer, I went to a holistic vet who recommended JFFD and I’m working with Dr. Kendra to come up with a eating plan to help regulate his insulin along with all his other ailments. This approach totally makes sense to me because if I had health issues the first thing I would look at would be my eating habits and what changes needed to be made. I’m excited and very hopeful and love this cutting edge approach!

  15. Hester Child

    Dog and cats in the wild kill prey for food. Nothing is cooked, denatured, dried and ground. Why are dog and cat owners not feeding the equivalent – the flesh, skin, organs, bones of animals and birds? Rarely fish – dogs and cats do not go fishing.
    Seems self-evident to me.

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