No Fruit?

No Fruit?

By Christi Upson

For those that feed the raw diet to your pets and claim that they do not need vegetables and fruits in their diets, I beg to differ. Let’s examine the actual “diet” of the wild canines and felines.

They do, indeed, hunt their meat “on the hoof,” as it were, but they do not, I suspect, empty the stomach contents of their prey, nor the bowels of their prey, before consuming it. At least, not entirely. That is one of their sources of vegetable matter. You think they don’t need it? Have your dogs ever eaten the feces of other animals? Why do you suppose that might be? Because they crave the vegetable matter, perhaps?

Many years ago, we had a beagle-terrier mix that ran loose. She was free to eat the kibble dog food we provided, or hunt. We know that she hunted rabbits, squirrels and other wild prey. But, I was amazed to see her, one day, laying in the field in front of our house eating something. I got closer and she was eating a windfall apple. This was in a time before mankind was filling all our foods with hormones and preservatives; when wild and domestic meats were more ‘organic.’

So, why would this dog be eating apples by choice? Perhaps because that was a part of the natural diet of the species? Have you ever observed your cats and dogs eating grass? It is commonly thought they do that to settle their stomachs for some reason, but I suggest that they do that as a part of their natural diet. Just as humans need a variety of sources of vitamins and minerals, I cannot imagine that the canines and felines in our lives don’t need the same. Research indicates they do.

I am not a veterinarian, nor a scientist, simply an observer of my companion animals. The mother of my current Border Terrier gave me a mystery in 2003. I had planted one single tomato plant in my little garden plot, thinking that it was only for me. As the tomatoes ripened, I noticed that several came up missing. I thought that someone walking along the road was stealing them.

What I observed, finally, was this Border Terrier bitch eating my nearly ripe tomatoes. While I do not feed a raw diet, I do feed a decent premium kibble that has chicken and rice as the first two ingredients. Rice is known to be one of the less allergenic of the grains. I suspect that the other grains are allergenic because of the things that mankind does to them before they are fed to any animals, in any form (and humans).

While I don’t disagree that a raw diet of natural meats would be beneficial to dogs and cats, I do disagree that they do not need fruits, vegetables or carbohydrates as part of their natural diet.

What they don’t need, and neither do we humans, are the chemicals and hormones added to the feed of commercially raised animals. It is my sincere belief that these additives are not only detrimental to their health, they are detrimental to our own.

C. Rogers Upson is a published author on several websites and in several anthologies. This article can be published on your website or in your newsletter, so long as the resource information is intact and nothing is changed. Her website is and she has a blog at

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