Tonight – PAWS Chicago Pet Lovers Speaker Series with Dr. Royal

Chicago Vet Dr. Barbara Royal at TedXDr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA, Founder and Owner of The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center, will present “What You Don’t Know May Hurt Your Pet: Top Ten Nutrition Secrets.”  Join Dr. Royal on Wednesday, February 19th from 6 – 8 PM at PAWS Chicago Lincoln Park Adoption Center located at 1997 N. Clybourn Avenue in Chicago.  More information about the Pet Lovers Speakers Series can be found at


PAWS Pet Lovers Speaker Series 2014

What You Don’t Know May Hurt Your Pet: Top Ten Nutrition Secrets for Wildly Healthy Pets
Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA
President, AHVMA
The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center

  • Just because dogs and cats can digest corn and wheat doesn’t mean it is good for them.  Corn, wheat, soy, white potato skins, and peanut butter are not good sources of nutrition for cats and dogs.
  • My food form preference in order: Fresh Frozen Raw, Homecooked Fresh (if balanced), Freeze Dried/Air Dried, Canned, Dry Kibble. Arguments against raw foods are still generally not founded in reality, and are theoretical.
  • Ranking the Big Three: Protein, Fat, Carbs. Carbs should never be largest percentage in a carnivore’s diet (and they typically ARE). Dietary Fat is not the cause of obesity. Quality Protein levels are appropriate and are not the cause of kidney disease. Poor Diet is at the root of a huge amount of the non-communicable diseases that we face in veterinary medicine. Provide species appropriate nutrition first. Dogs with “sensitive stomachs” – WHY? They should be gastrointestinal tanks! Able to eat anything. Why are they “sensitive”? Because we are keeping the GI tract unhealthy by feeding the wrong food.
  • Quality is as important as quantity. Some important food qualities: Fresh highly digestible meat proteins, low carbs, sourcing from humane and healthy food animal treatment, moisture appropriate. Digestible meat protein vs. soy/vegetable proteins. Added fillers can be problematic (from onions to cellulose).
  • Brush your teeth with cookies!?! Dry kibble food is not better for teeth, or for the animal. It is only convenient and can be cheap. Carbs are sugars (molasses). Sugars on the teeth are not improving dental health.
  • Who’s minding the henhouse? AAFCO guidelines do not certify or approve, and leave much of the monitoring, control and responsibility for standards up to the pet food industry itself. Label terms are not well defined, claims are not critically monitored, and pet food labels can be either difficult to decipher or just plain deceiving. Why worry about “Made in China?” Chinese-American lax regulations. Terms for concern: “Natural, corn, maize, spelt, powdered cellulose, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, flax.” Ingredient splitting. Preservatives. Headquarters vs. where food is sourced/made)
  • Life Stage food labels are misleading. Usually there is nothing especially wonderful in special label foods like “Puppy Foods” or “Diet Foods” or “Senior Diets.” Excellent food in proper amounts is the best ways to keep puppies healthy, rejuvenate seniors and keep weight off.
  • Supersize it. Amounts to feed are not correct on labels, because they can’t be. Don’t count calories or look for absolutes. Monitor weight, vitality, haircoat, defecation (1 x day for weight loss, 1-2 x day for maintenance). Use green beans and rice cakes to feed the empty-feeling in the begging stomach without sacrificing weight.
  • Carcinogens, anyone? Most dry kibble foods are high heat processed and that means that they contain potent carcinogens. Canned foods can contain BPA, a carcinogen. Pre-manufacturer ingredients are not included. These can be more troublesome than we want them to be.
  • Even the poop is cute. Feces should be small, firm and infrequent (1-2 x day). Voluminous poop is not “healthy poop” for a carnivore. Feces doesn’t have to be perfect or the exact same consistency every day.

7 Favorite quick holistic vet tips:

  • Murphy’s Oil Soap great for soothing, gentle cleaning dog and cat shampoo
  • Butter is great vehicle for giving pills, meds, powders
  • Aloe Juice for cats – ¼ to ½ tsp a few times a week can be helpful
  • Coconut oil in winter for dogs and cats to help with dry coat/dandruff
  • Turmeric is great for inflammation, but has a strong taste and stains everything
  • Flax, pumpkin, Metamucil are good sources for fiber
  • Don’t use Krill Oil, whales need it.



Dr. Royal’s new book, The Royal Treatment: A Natural Approach to Healthy Pets is available online in hardback, paperback and Kindle at



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