As usual, after I posted the initial entry about the end-of-the-year sale, a dozen emails came in asking for more information. I’ve gathered the questions I received the most and put them all together here in one place. I hope this helps prospective students make up their minds about whether to take advantage of this offer and study with me.

1) Question from blog reader “I’ve been very interested in doing this course with you but I have to admit, I’m a little put off by the math. I’m sure it’s the optimal way to approach diet, but I don’t know that I can deal with it. I assume the course is heavily math-based?”

This is a concern I hear over and over, and the truth is – despite the fact I use the math for very serious and complicated cases, I am no math genius myself. The absolute truth is, if you have a calculator you can learn the method. It is so easy…and while I won’t deny that it takes some focus and work to master the technique, the actual math component is nothing more than using a calculator to determine a Metabolic Weight, and then using THAT value to multiply by specific requirement goals to add up the total nutrient content in a diet. The harder part is getting familiar with foods – their actual nutrient content, digestibility and how they work together (or don’t) in a given recipe.But that part, almost all my students find fun. It’s the math that scares people. And trust me, if I can do it, you can do it. That’s actually the easy part, or so student feedback tells me.

2) Question from group member: “If I want to take the two courses mentored and get my certificate for both, do I still get a discount” Answer: Absolutely you do, the normal cost of $1,000.00 for both courses is now 50% off, so $500.00.

3) Question via email, from an interested but skeptical party: “I understand that these precisely formulated diets are important for dogs with health conditions, such as diabetes or bladder stones. But I’m not convinced we need to be so precise and careful in everyday diets. Why do you, as a professional, feel this is so important?” This is a GREAT question and one I will be reinforcing all through the courses, as I have done (in short version, via posts and Page topics) for most of my career. To answer it here, I would cite a case I worked on last week, a lovely client who enlisted me to assess her dog’s home made diet, which was based on a wide variety of foods, all of them super healthy, and her dog, who had started on the fresh food approach a few weeks back, was doing well.She contacted me just to ensure the diet was balanced, she’d been following some popular sites and just had a hunch things weren’t 100% ideal. Here’s what I wrote on my Facebook Page.

“In amongst all the catch-up, I’m writing up a dietary analysis for a home fed dog who is on raw, but not prey model, and the owner’s philosophy is ‘feed fresh, lots of variety, rainbow of veggies, good fats’…sounds good, yes? The weekly “recipe” – more like a food list – included: lean ground grassfed beef, chicken hearts, beef and lamb liver, plain yogurt, sardines, chia seeds, blueberries, a bit of ginger and parsley, red cabbage, kale, carrots, a whole raw quail, 3 quail eggs, salmon and coconut oil,shiitake mushrooms, broccoli,a can of sardines, 7 ounces raw rabbit and some cooked beets.

Sounds pretty amazing, right? And the pictures! Gorgeous. I applaud this lady for her heartfelt efforts on behalf of her dog. These are nice food choices and she has followed the Superstars’ advice almost to the letter.

Problem is, though – this.

Low Vitamin E and iodine
Seriously low Vitamin D and calcium
Very high copper, phosphorus and potassium
High iron
Tryptophan very low
Lycopene (although not an essential, it’s important) very low

So, the rotated/healthy choices/fresh idea is a great start, but even in well thought out feeding plans it can come up significantly unbalanced. This lady came to me because she was impressed by our discussions on CNNH, concerned about intermittent bowel issues and also oxalate content as her dog is prone to stones (Calcium oxalates). Her “advisor” said not to add calcium, because of the stone issue (trying not to lose it when I read this kind of thing). The little guy’s weekly RA for calcium is 3300 and the foods add up to 875 for the week.

So very, very glad she came to me.With just a few adjustments we can whip this into much better shape – a little math, a BIG improvement… much better health over the long haul “.

So in answer to the question “Why is precision important for healthy dogs”? I can only say, if we are going to take the time and spend the money to home feed, it follows that a simple process of working with nutrient requirements is an incredibly powerful tool – insurance against missing essential nutrients, completing the whole package of optimal nutrition. For me, the slogan “feed fresh” is great as far as it goes, but if that fresh food isn’t providing the real building blocks of health, how great is it really?

So I heartily endorse the idea of balancing recipes for all dogs, not *just* the ones who are sick and truly need the precision an NRC based recipe can bring.

Let me leave off today with an observation of my own. While there seems to be a lot of very creative (and well-off!) folks showing pictures of exotic foods every day, almost a photographic competition, the foods you use in a balanced diet don’t have to be exotic, expensive or stomach turning to look at. You can apply the NRC values to a cooked OR a raw diet. And if you are wondering about the pricetag of feeding home prepared foods over the life of your dog, I won’t deny it is more expensive in most cases than feeding premium kibble. So, to make it worth that investment, the thing you want to accomplish is a long, healthy, happy life for your dog. That’s the goal! and home feeding can only really assure you of that if it is, indeed, “complete and balanced”. Those are not kibble-company slogans, or deceptive in any way when applied to your goals for your home made diets. In fact, that’s what we all should be striving for – not so much variety that nutrient content is actually diluted, not the most trendy foods known to mankind (that may or may not even be bioavailable for dogs) and certainly not the most upscale images we can create to share on social media.We want whole foods, complete and balanced, and suited in food choices to the individual needs of YOUR dog.
And that’s what these courses teach you, and that’s how the pay-off can truly happen.
Send me your questions, I am happy to answer.

Sale continues till December 1.