Whole Animal Carcass Diets
The canine and feline's natural diet is whole prey animals and occasionally fruits and grasses. A whole prey carcass is low in carbohydrate and fat and high in animal protein, bulk, and roughage - not plant fiber, but less digestible parts, such as bone, cartilage, scales, fur, feather, skin, tendon, and teeth.
Muscle meat makes up the greatest portion of a whole animal carcass. Carnivores have evolved to also eat all of a prey animal's organs and glands. These foods have variable content of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals, collectively they provide a remarkable range of nutrients. These nutritious foods serve numerous functions in your pet's body, including muscle growth, tissue repair, enzymes, blood, immune functions, hormones, and energy.
Dogs and cats do not have an essential requirement for carbohydrates found in vegetables, fruits or grains. They are able to maintain energy levels by making glucose in their body from protein and fats. Muscle meat, fat, and liver in a whole animal carcass provide your pet with a source of energy.
A diet consisting of meat alone is unnatural and nutritionally unbalanced.
Along with meat, dogs and cats require bones to maintain their health. Bones in a whole animal carcass act as a source of fiber, but more importantly, they supply calcium, which in cooperation with phosphorus in meat builds and maintains bones and teeth. Calcium plays many other roles in your pet's body including muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and proper blood clotting.
Whole carcasses supply other key dietary components. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are a group of natural substances found in and around the cells of cartilage, joints, tendons and organs that contribute to normal joint function. Some of the more commonly known GAGs are chondroitin, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid. A whole animal carcass also contains various classes of fats that provide energy, form hormones, and, regulates temperature and normal nerve function. Fats also supply fat-soluble vitamins and various fatty acids crucial to your pet's skin, coat, and immune system.
When provided a whole animal diet, dogs and cats have the ability to produce their own antioxidants. Whole animal carcasses support this production with nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and the minerals copper, zinc, and selenium. Another group of disease-preventing nutrients called zoochemicals are provided from iron, coenzyme Q10, and the fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA).