You know dry food to dogs and cats is an addictive drug  because of the all the garbage they put in it specifically to addict your pet and getting off of buying it & serving it, is just as difficult for you to break the habit as it is to wean your pet off of it. The time is now to get rid of this stuff! Because as my friend veterinarian Diane Sudduth, DVM says, “Dry Food Kills!! It’s full of stuff that cannot be sold to the human food industry and contains empty calories that really only sustains life, but just barely.

Dry Food includes:

  • Ingredients that include – meat and bone meal, & animal fat and these are most likely to contain the euthanasia drug pentobarbital; as these carcasses are sent to rendering plants to be rendered for the dry pet food industry
  • Remember commercial pet foods use heat processing – animal enzymes denature at around 104 degrees F; rendering = 250 degrees F, extrusion at high heat/temperature
  • Carbohydrates are used in kibble because extruders require a certain consistency of dough to create their kibbles and carnivores do not need carbohydrates.
  • Dry foods are high in empty Calories – which are a concentrated source of energy (calories) compared to higher-moisture foods like real raw meat and poultry, the species specific diet of the cat or dog
  • Dry foods are filled with preservatives & synthetic chemicals linked to cancer and other disorders

OK! Let’s get started so all the dry food addicts out there can “kick the dry food habit!”

Presenting the 12 Steps of Commercial Pet Food Addiction Recovery for all those addicted to the opening of bagged and (we can also include canned or any commercial pet foods which are not any better for pets that dry foods). This is for those brave souls who are preparing to go where few animal companions have gone before: Into their own kitchens to prepare homemade meals for their beloved dogs and cats! You might event want to make some for yourself, who knows?

The principles of The 12 Steps of Commercial Pet Food Addiction Recovery are really very simple to understand and implement once the first step is taken. However, some folks who are habitual feeders of dry and canned pet foods, can become very stubborn and set in their ways because of belief systems drilled into them from years of watching pet food commercials and being told we are not qualified to make meals for them ourselves! It is going to be up to each individual to determine how simple or difficult this is going to be!

Rest assured that once you have ventured forth onto the path of recovery from opening bags of kibble and cans you will be joining a whole cadre of folks who now experience the joys of feeding homemade food to their dogs and cats!

Below is an effort to simplify the meaning of the principles of the 12 Steps for those who may be having difficulty in taking those all important first steps. The 12 Steps are actually quite easy for those who have done their homework and recognize that proper nutrition does not really come in a bag of kibble or a can of food, for people or our dogs and cats. Once you have made up your mind that there is a natural and species specific way to feed, this 12 Step Program, can easily be incorporated into our daily routine.

Employing each of these behaviors will help to rebuild a life of peace knowing you are truly doing the right thing for your fur children and are now providing them with the resources to gain optimum health and well being which is their carnivore birth right. So, in our quest to keep it simple, here are the action principles behind the 12 Steps:

1. Recognition – Recognize the species with which you are dealing. If this is a cat or a dog, recognize that these are carnivorous creatures by nature. Recognize that, if you are feeding commercial pet food to these perfectly designed carnivores, you definitely have a problem. Recognize that there is nothing natural, species-specific, safe, healthy or nutritious about feeding out of bags or cans, or who makes it, or what it says on the label, or where you buy it, or even what veterinarians say about what he or she sells. Recognize that commercial pet food is about as far away from what cats and dogs would eat in the wild as anything can be and it is absolutely akin to crack cocaine in the ability to addict! In fact it is designed to be addictive, or your fur children would not come near it in the first place, but for all the artificial addicting flavor enhancers they add to it! Recognize that you are just as addicted to feeding commercial pet food–as your fur kids are to eating it. Why? Because it is so cheap and “doggone” easy to feed this way. Most folks do not know they can make their dogs and cats food themselves, better than anybody else can.

2. Honesty – The operative principle behind Step 1 is honesty. If you cannot be honest with yourself about the scope of your commercial pet food addiction problem and honest about a sincere effort to resolve it, you will not succeed, and your fur children will be the ones to truly suffer. You are deluding yourself if you believe that the giant pet food companies have your fur children’s health and best interest at heart … uh…they do not. It is all bottom line to these big corporations! Maintaining their multi-billion dollar profit center status is their priority, and this is accomplished by producing products providing your fur children with the barest minimums of nutritional equivalency by using substandard, non-species-specific dietary ingredients, cheap fillers, and chemicals. Be honest with yourself and your fur children because these companies are not being honest with you. Will their food keep cats and dogs alive? Of course, but what is that quality of life? Can cats and dogs live a long time eating this stuff? Sure, but be honest — do they throw up often, or have chronic diarrhea, constipation, bad skin, dry fur, bad breath, bloating or gas, or are they susceptible to fleas, fungus and parasites, drink too much water, or have to go to the vet often for some sort of malaise, or are too heavy or too thin, or are grouchy, etc.; but they still follow you around the house, eat their kibble, and cuddle with you, so you think they are fine? Think again!

3. Hope – In order to engage in a course of addiction recovery, you must have hope of success. If there is no hope, why bother? Perhaps you have tried feeding what you thought was a properly supplemented raw food diet and have failed on your own, so how about enlisting some help? Good pet nutritionists with experience in natural, holistic, real food, species-specific care are available to you. Cats and dogs are and always have been designed to be hunters. They are designed not to show any sign of weakness less they fall prey to another predator, so when they are ailing, they are able to disguise this quite well. When they start to display symptoms, it can often be too late. However, where there is life, there is hope.

4. Faith – You can seek out help, but it is also necessary to utilize it. When a cat or a dog is out of balance from relying on commercial pet foods from bags and cans, keep in mind that this dis-ease did not happen to them overnight and could take some time to get better. Patience comes into play here, and you have to have faith that your recovery efforts will work.

5. Courage – Do not rely on what veterinarians and all the cute pet food commercials tell you. Have the courage to ask your vet questions and not feel intimidated. After all, they work for you. They are providing a service for which you are paying a substantial fee. You always have the right to say no and find another vet. If you are uncomfortable with the advice and treatment you are offered, have the courage to seek help elsewhere if you are so inclined. Do your own homework. Consult with those who have real experience raising multi-generations of their own cats or dogs on appropriate species-specific real food and who have seen the benefits first hand of this method of feeding. They know what they are talking about and can help you with the courage you need to get through this transition.

6. Willingness – Are you willing to change your present feeding habits? The important part in this 12 Step principle is the willingness to let go of old behaviors and belief systems and attitudes and move forward into this brave new world of homemade raw food for dogs and cats.

7. Humility – Here is where you now move further into action. In Step 6, you became willing to let go of old, habitual feeding patterns. Now you have to actually let go. We do not always like to accept that we have been wrong about something and have to be told by someone else what to do and how to do. But sometimes that is exactly what we have to do. You also should not feel guilty because you now learned from doing your homework what cats and dogs should be eating. Most people have had no idea what really is in the cans and bags they have been buying. After all, you were only doing the best you could do based on what you were being told by your vet, who gets his information from the pet food companies. You have to be humble enough to know that you can always learn something new, (and so can your vet) and you must be open to this new education. Remember, the day you stop learning is the day you die, so keep on learning!

8. Discipline and Action – Cats and dogs were not designed to be finicky by nature. The more finicky your dog or cat is, the more out of balance he or she is. Finicky behavior about food is a subtle symptom that something is going on or a problem that is just developing. As mentioned in Step 4, you may very well have to exercise quite a bit of patience, and you have to have the discipline needed to see this transition through. You have to take the action required daily to properly prepare the homemade food (or even make it in advance), serve it, and clean up afterwards. You must have the discipline required to deal with a potential finicky fur child, or one that may go through a gentle detox as a result of the switch to healthier real food. It is oh so easy to just plop out the content from a can or rip open a bag and pour out a pile of kibble. But, Mother Nature had a much more natural meal plan in mind when she created the carnivore. Continue to remove the barriers that can block addiction-free growth. Open your mind and heart to honoring your carnivore for what he or she is and embrace this new feeding paradigm, push up your sleeves, and just do it!

9. Forgiveness – Your fur children forgive just about anything because they love and trust you. Forgive yourself; forgive the vets because they are only repeating what the pusher … uh, I mean commercial pet food representatives tells them and what they learned in vet school, and that information is also provided by the commercial pet food cartel … uh, I mean companies!

10. Acceptance – To be human is to make mistakes, but we can and must learn from our mistakes. We must accept ourselves for being imperfect…We are gloriously perfect in our imperfection! We must also accept that mother nature’s design of the cat and dog is perfect and has been perfect for 20,000,000 years. If you assume the responsibility of living with a carnivore, accept that you have an obligation to care for that carnivore appropriately. Part of caring for a carnivore means that you must feed it what Mother Nature designed for them to eat …whether we like these facts of not, whether they are in accord with our personal philosophy or not, their natural diet is meat, and Mother Nature, in her grand design has always provided it to carnivores raw! ACCEPT THIS FACT and embrace this responsibility as being a part of the natural order of our planet! Otherwise, do not take on more than you are spiritually, philosophically, physically, emotionally, or financially able to handle. It is often very difficult for us to accept that caring for a carnivore might not be the right situation for us regardless of how well-intentioned we might be.

11. Knowledge and Awareness – You are now totally aware of your purpose. You have done your research and are now ready to actively make a conscious effort to do the right thing for your fur children, so you can all be at peace with your new addiction free, holistic feeding choice.

12. Service and Gratitude – We are, indeed, in the service of these precious, four-legged, beings, and they show their gratitude with their purrs, licks, cuddles, and sheer presence. How fortunate we all are to have the privilege to be able to share our hearts and lives with them.

There you have it! 12 simple steps you can practice each and every day to improve the quality of the lives of your very own fur children. Once free of addiction to the feeding (and their eating) of commercial pet food from bags and cans, your dogs and cats can experience the myriad of health benefits that will be derived from being fed a properly prepared homemade raw food diet. I have devoted the better part of my life to teaching people how to do this the right way. The premise to keep in mind is that in your cats heart and soul she is a Tiger and in your dogs heart and soul he is a Wolf! Let us honor their birthright and nourish them species appropriately with this principle in mind?

Your journey begins with the very first step. And I would suggest reading my books Paleo Dog and The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care  for lots of practical advice, recipes and much more, all of which can be found along with my whole food supplement mix in’s at Celestial Pets.



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