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- 04:50 The best diet for a dog
- 05:38 Dogs should not eat grains
- 08:03 The best diet for a cat
- 12:13 The worst diet for a cat
- 13:06 Vegan diet for pets
- 16:04 Don’t feed these foods to your dog
- 17:24 Cooking food for pets
- 20:41 Is dry dog food healthy?
- 25:03 Organic Vs. Nonorganic
- 26:20 Dog food regulations
- 27:52 BPA lining in dog food cans
- 41:06 Prescription pet foods
- 42:26 Vaccines
- 45:17 Pet supplements
- 49:35 Pet food companies
- 50:29 Warnings about switching pet food
- 51:34 Flea medications
Wendy Myers: Welcome to Live to 110 podcast! My name is Wendy Myers. I am a Health and Nutrition Coach in Los Angeles, California. And we are broadcasting live from the City of Angels. Today, I’m interviewing Marc Ching about why it’s best to feed your pet a primal diet.
But before I get started, I do have to do a little disclaimer. Please keep in mind that this program is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or health condition because that would be illegal. Live to 110 Radio is solely informational in nature. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before engaging in any treatment I suggest on this show.
Do you have a question for our guest today about pet food or pet health? Please call in at 917-889-2838. Don’t be shy to pick up that phone and call in. If you like the show and want to learn a little bit more about health and nutrition, I’m teaching a class at the Brentwood Library here in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 8 at 2 PM. I’ll be teaching a class on the Live to 110 Diet that will cover basic nutrition principles. And best of all, it’s totally free. So, come on down and join me.
Last week’s show was probably my favorite show so far on the Live to 110 podcast. I interviewed Doctor Wilson, an expert in Nutritional Balancing science. We discussed how to rid yourself of fatigue and brain fog, while he revealed the underlying causes of these epidemic problems in our society and how to address them by healing the whole body with Nutritional Balancing science. He’ll give a preview of what he’s all about on his brilliant website Drlwilson.com
Now, today I’ll be talking to Marc Ching from thepetstaurant.com. That’s spelled t-h-e-p-e-t-s-t-a-u-r-a-n-t dot com. It’s a little tricky. I’ve tripped up a few times searching for it. So, I want to give you the spelling.
And we’re going to talk about why it’s important to feed your pet a primal diet. There are more pets than people in the US. So I thought it was important to get the message out about how to properly feed Rover and Kitty. The same health problems that are happening in the human population, are also happening in the pet population. They’re eating the wrong food for their genetic makeup but when they have health problems as a result of this bad diet, you take them to the vet and get medication and bad nutrition advice which will cause a further decline in their health. So many pets are suffering from degenerative diseases like arthritis and cancer simply because of their diet. So during this interview you’ll learn what you should be feeding your pet and why what you feed your pet will save you a ton on vet bills in the future. I thought today’s show was important even though, you know, it’s a little off the mark regarding human health. But it’s my show, so I can do whatever I want. Haha.
Wendy Myers: Hello, Marc! How are you doing?
Marc Ching: Hi, I’m good, I’m good. Thanks for having me.
Wendy Myers: Yes! I’m glad to have you on the show! You are the owner of the PetStaurant in Sherman Oaks, California and you can be found on thepetstaurant.com. And all I can say is that I am so happy I found you through a friend’s referral, because your products and advice have drastically improved the health of my two little yappers. And I can’t thank you enough. I’m sure all you listeners out there are familiar with their little barks that you hear here and there on the show. Haha! So Marc, can you tell us exactly what is the PetStaurant and what inspired you to open it?
Marc Ching: Well in PetStaurant, we make food. So we make organic species appropriate meals for dogs and cats. We’ve been open for a while, and we opened because in the beginning when I started treating animals, I saw an overwhelmingly amount of sick animals and it was based on their diet. Many of them eat kibble or the vet type foods. And they had so much fungus, yeast problems, cancer, organ failure that we started making our own food. So, we try to base it on what they can eat in the wild. We do both raw and cooked meals. And it’s all grain-free. So that’s basically why we started and how we started. And over time, through using our food and certain supplements we may be able to cure things that many vets cannot. So it’s pretty amazing.
Wendy Myers: So what is the best diet for a dog?
Marc Ching: Well, the best diet for a dog, in my opinion, is a diet that consists of minimally processed foods. Meaning, you prepare your own, you cut your own meat and your own vegetables, and you just make it yourself. That is minimally processed. There is a raw diet which is more close to what they eat in the wild because it is raw foods. And some people also prefer to cook their meat and add everything else raw. So either way, it’s a more species appropriate diet. And they’d be better on it. You know, the evidence when you watch them, they do thrive.
Wendy Myers: So why is it important to not feed the dog grains?
Marc Ching: Well, grains are not good for animals because they can’t break them down. They have less enzymes than us. So when they eat, let’s say, rice, they have a hard time digesting it. And when it goes undigested, when you keep feeding something like this and everyday there’s so much material that is undigested, it’d actually push through the G.I. wall and fungus could start to feed on it. And many dogs today have what’s called allergies. And it’s really the feeding on things that are inappropriate why they develop a reaction to it, which is actually fungus in the G.I. tract growing and it comes out of the feet. So they bite their feet, they lick their paws, and then they get it would get really itchy. It’s a big problem. And it’s a problem that we actually fix. Unfortunately, there are so many dogs that have it. But if they could handle it, we probably wouldn’t even be in business. We provide a cure. So we work very differently from the vet industry of food just like how you would do. You know, you look into the diet and you cook from there.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, it’s funny I kind of made a mistake with my dog. I was feeding them organic leftover chicken thinking that was healthy for them. But the chickens, even if they are organic, they are still eating grains which still affect the dog, right?
Marc Ching: Some animals. For some animals, you have what’s called the Pasteur Effect that grain-fed chicken can actually cause histamine reactions on dogs. So for us, we use a more free-range products or wild products. We use pheasant. We use turkey but they eat sunflower seeds. They don’t eat grains but some sunflower seeds. We use bison and grass-fed organic Angus beef. And a lot of people don’t think it makes a difference. But it does. It’s when the animals they feed on eat more natural food, it seems to hold it better when our dogs eat it.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, because it’s grass-fed animals that have a healthier fat profile and more Omega 3, so it converts to health benefits to the dogs too.
Marc Ching: Correct, it does.
Wendy Myers: So what is the best diet for a cat?
Marc Ching: Well, cats are a little different from dogs. So cats need less vegetable matter. They’re pretty much carnivorous in nature, so they are known to be what’s called “obligate carnivores” where they can actually exist almost solely on meat. A lot of people don’t know it but, there’s really three types of cats: the river cats, plains cats, and hybrids. So river cats tend to like fish more. And plains cats, they tend to like poultry, and hybrids cats can just eat anything, so they are more of a hybrid. And for them, their diet consist of less vegetables and stuff like that. So in our cat foods, primarily, it’s fish and we do Cornish game hen, they seem to like that. We have pheasant, duck, and it’s mostly meat. We have some organ meat sometimes. And they do well on it. And we do less grain or no grains and less vegetables, they seem to have less problems.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, I love that you have all these exotic animals in the pet food. Haha!
Marc Ching: Haha! And we find that what makes even a bigger difference is everything we use like herbs and vegetables is organic. And it seems to actually matter. I tell people who cook at home that it’s better to just cook even if it’s not organic because it is better than dog food or cat food. But for us, we see a big difference from using organic produce and organic herbs to non-organic.
Wendy Myers: So, when I was looking at the ingredients on the labels on your food, I was really amused to see that you’re using organic herbs in the pet food. You are using St. John’s wort, and gingko biloba, milk thistle, acai, and so many others. And I just love it. So can you tell me why you use these herbs in your food and what purpose they serve?
Marc Ching: So, if you look at all other pet food labels beside ours, you’ll find what’s called a “vitamin pack”. So somewhere in the ingredient profile, usually at the bottom, it says Vitamin A, Zinc, Thiamine, etc., etc. By law, you have to have that because these foods are highly processed, so they have no vitamins. You know, all the vitamins are cooked out or all the vitamins are extruded out. So without that, a dog would just have major, major problems. In our food, because the vegetables are cold-pressed and added raw, we do not use a vitamin pack. We use herbs. So we use acai berry, milk thistle, sage, mangosteen, different things that have a high anti-oxidant level, nutrients, vitamins and stuff like that.
And that is our “vitamin pack”. We find that when you look at animals and their problem is many released fungus from the vitamin pack that they put in. All those foods are cooked in the can so these vitamins they add are coated to withstand heat. When animals eat it, it does not process naturally and so it causes more problems. That’s why when they switch from food to food, if you go from one brand to the next, your dog or cat may have extreme diarrhea. And it’s not because of the proteins or anything. It’s because of the vitamin pack. And they have to get used to this new type of vitamin pack. So, in our foods we don’t have it in there because it’s not natural. It’s not holistic. It’s not part of nature to have those things. So we use herbs and it makes a difference.
Wendy Myers: So, what would you say is the worst diet for a pet? What should you never feed a cat or a dog?
Marc Ching: Oh corn, wheat and yeast. Haha! They’re carcinogens. So, if you look at Science Diet, the veterinarian type of prescription foods and meals. It’s a corn-based diet. It’s proven that animals get cancer from corn. For us, it’s a big no-no. Corn, wheat which causes a huge amount of allergies in animals and it can be cancerous, and yeast. They put yeast in for flavor. It’s a carcinogen for animals. For us, those are the big three things that are not good.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. The corn is GMO corn, too.
Marc Ching: Yeah. That’s even worse, it is
Wendy Myers: On top of that.
Wendy Myers: I saw that you have vegan meals for pets in your store? What purpose do those serve?
Marc Ching: We don’t make vegan meals for cats because I myself do not believe in that. I don’t think that cats can exist on that and while people can do it whatever they want, I just find it difficult to achieve. However, dogs can actually exist on a vegan diet. So we help people to achieve those goals if they choose to have their dogs on a vegan diet. Since we started making vegan food… why we started was we were getting a lot of patients, vegan dogs that were sick. They have all these issues. They’re itchy, or they have these bumps that came out like lymphoma from the diets they’re eating. So over time we should take them off these diets and construct whole new diets for them that are vegan to actually help fix them. So overtime we started just producing this food. And so now we sell vegan food that is more appropriately made.
Wendy Myers: I have to say, I feel really bad for the dogs that are forced to eat a vegan diet. Haha!
Marc Ching: Yeah I don’t think they like it. Haha!
Wendy Myers: No, they’re not healthy. For a diet that is I think deadly for humans, I can’t imagine it’s super healthy for dogs, either. Haha!
Marc Ching: And we see a lot of people who have been in Sherman Oaks and many of them are not doing well. Many of them. However, it is possible with the right ingredients and with knowledge and education, it is possible to make a diet that conforms better to animals, or dogs specifically, who the owners wanted to be vegan. We don’t try to endorse that but we just give people the option if they’re going to do it, then this is their chance to try and do it right.
Wendy Myers: Right. Yeah, I know Ellen DeGeneres has just come out with a line of vegan pet food. I know her wife is vegan and perhaps Ellen herself has been converted as well.
Marc Ching: Her dogs are vegan, too.
Wendy Myers: Right. Are you familiar with her vegan diet line? Is it good for pets? Is it healthy?
Marc Ching: I actually am not familiar but most vegan commercial foods are not healthy. But I do know her company. You know these vegan commercial foods, they try to make money so you’ve seen dogs don’t do well on sweet potato, a lot of pumpkin in these foods. They’re really starchy, high glycemic foods so they cause fungus on dogs. And it’s really itchy and they don’t seem to do them well.
Wendy Myers: Can you give us a list of what other food you should never feed your dog? You said corn and rice, right?
Marc Ching: You know, every dog is different. But over all if you look at the the domesticated dog population, many of them have something called allergies. And that is when your dogs are licking their paws or scratching, and just incessantly their skins are red and there are hot spots. These things are caused by certain ingredients, not only grain but a big part is grain. So rice, millet, barley, all of those things cause these reactions in dogs. However, potatoes, specially white potatoes like Russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, butternut squash, and even carrots, they can cause these reactions, too. So for people who have dogs with allergies, they can’t feed them any of those things. And if you look at almost all food out there, they have it because they try to make money. So if you make your own food, like our food, we don’t use potatoes at all. We don’t use pumpkin. If we use pumpkin, we use ground pumpkin seeds, which is totally different. It’s just different.
Wendy Myers: I found on your site that you have recipes and you also teach people on how to cook food for their pets, right?
Marc Ching: Correct, we do.
Wendy Myers: Do you have classes or just stuff online?
Marc Ching: Well, a lot of people, they come in to our store and they’re asking. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m actually in there. We have walk-ins and people just come and ask me questions. People call. I have a 24-hour number for my patients and they just text. We just help people.
Wendy Myers: Wow. You have a 24-hour hotline?
Marc Ching: I sure do. Haha!
Wendy Myers: Wow. That’s amazing. So you’re operating almost like a vet. You’re helping these dogs when they’re sick.
Marc Ching: So for the dogs that come to us that are not well and use us to become well, I prefer that they contact me first before doing anything. Because many times we’re treating them for something. And if they go to the vet and even if they do something like internal flea medication, it changes everything. If people don’t ask first then they’re going to be disappointed with the results of working with us.
Wendy Myers: I know, I made that mistake because my dog started going nuts. She was itching one day. Of course, I took her to the vet. And she was also bleeding. She had colitis. She was having bloody stool. I took her to the vet. The doctor gave her antibiotics and told her to eat Science Diet for gastrointestinal problems. Then a week later she just broke out with this major allergic reaction and I finally called you and you told me that she was having a fungal infection from all the corn from the Science Diet.
Marc Ching: How is she doing now?
Wendy Myers: She’s doing better. She had a bunch of fleas attack her. So, she’s allergic to fleas. Haha!
Marc Ching: That’s a problem. Haha!
Wendy Myers: As far as I know she’s great. She had colitis or fleas or something the vet said. But yeah, she’s doing a lot better now. I have her on a diet, a very strict diet. Not feeding her any organic chicken, scraps, or … you had me feeding her enzymes for the fungal infection and some other herbs and stuff for the colitis. She’s doing a lot better. Thank you.
Marc Ching: A lot of people they try to be better to their animals and they go out and buy animal supplements like animal enzymes and stuff. But we use human enzymes and human probiotics. And the reason why, is in the animal industry there is no regulation. Meaning, I can get a product and put anything in it I want and sell it to animals. And so these products are just poorly crafted and it’s part of the problem, part of the epidemic of why dogs and cats are consistently sick and coming down with terminal diseases. It’s terrible.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, I know. Almost every person I know, their dog is really, really sick, has hot spots, has cancer, everyone is experiencing it now. And it’s their diet just like in the US, 50% of our people has cancer because of horrifying diet.
Wendy Myers: So do you think that dry food is a good option for your pet? And what brands do you know?
Marc Ching: Well, I’m a nutritionist for animals. I have to be open. While I don’t endorse or recommend dry foods, I help people find options that suit their family. Some people are rich, some people are not as wealthy. Some people have more time to care for their pets, and some people don’t. So, as a nutritionist I have to be flexible. Dry food overall is not the best for animals. But, there are better brands and worst brands. Some of the worst brands are Royal Canine, Science Diet, Pedigree. Those are all bottom pyramid.
Wendy Myers: Pedigree is like McDonald’s.
Marc Ching: Haha! Yeah, it’s not good. Pedigree is so bad that all the bad dog food is known as Pedigree now. Whether Kibbles and Bits, that is how bad Pedigree is. Just that name is used now to classify a whole genre of foods.
We like grain-free food and I recommend potato-free food as well, and many times tapioca-free food. So we like this brand called Legacy which is a Canadian brand and they have never had recalls before. We like another type of food called Amicus which is red lentil-based that is also grain-free, made in Canada. And Orijen, they just took out the potato from the food because so many dogs were getting itchy on their food. So they actually improved their dry kibble for cats and dogs, because it was part of the problem.
We don’t seem to like Natural Balance. I don’t really like Natural Balance because a lot of my patients were on Natural Balance and they’re really itchy. They have extending of the eye, and they’re having problems. We like this brand called Nutrisco. It does work well for dogs with allergies and stuff like that. You know, really I promote Honest Kitchen which is a dehydrated food. Some dogs don’t like it but some dogs love it and they do really well on it. It’s kind of like our food except for, it’s dehydrated. But they do have sweet potato and other stuff in it. However, because it’s not a kibble, dogs do just incredibly better on it. It’s amazing. That’s what I’m a proponent for. But mostly I’m a proponent for you preparing your own food. You know, like we do. I have children so I cook for my children. Well, my wife cooks for our children and I cook for the dogs.
Wendy Myers: Haha! I love that. She cooks for the children, you cook for the dogs. Haha! It’s a happy family.
Marc Ching: A happy family. Correct. And healthy, too. That’s what matters.
Wendy Myers: So you’re basically saying that these other brands that you mention are not at Petco. They’re not at your grocery store. Basically, I assume you’re saying people should never buy their dog food from a grocery store or Petco?
Marc Ching: You know the rule of thumb that I tell people who come in and their dogs have problems, I tell them “You know, if you’ve got anything from Target, Ralph’s, Petco, Pet Smart, you can’t use it, you can’t feed it.” They don’t have good products. And it’s not that I’m against them, it’s just a fact. You cannot change what the facts are. And even really good stores like Whole Foods. A lot of their pet foods are very poor quality and they just don’t know it. They’re just not informed, they don’t know. But Petco has nothing. If you’re buying stuff from there, it’s just terrible. You know, every dog is different. Some dogs can be fed Pedigree their whole life, it can be OK. But most dogs cannot.
Wendy Myers: What do you think about the organic label? Are organic food on dog food better than non-organic?
Marc Ching: It is not. You see, what people don’t understand when you’re buying processed foods like a kibble, even if its organic it doesn’t matter. The meat that they use are what’s called trim. So my company manufactures pet food. And we use grade A type 1 meat which is what restaurants use. Other dog food companies don’t use that. They use trim. They can say humane grade and it can be organic but it’s trim. So humans cannot eat this stuff and that’s what goes in pet food. All companies use this. There are very, very, very, very few companies that do not use trim. Blue Buffalo uses trim. Even these companies I have mentioned that have good kibble. They are all using very low quality meat, organic or non-organic. So it doesn’t matter. The ingredients are what makes the biggest difference. So for dogs eating organic rice versus something that doesn’t have organic rice, it just has more meat taste, the dog on a non-organic diet is going to do a lot better that the one on an organic diet.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, I read somewhere that there is no regulation whatsoever on the label “organic” on pet food.
Marc Ching: Oh, you can put anything. You can put “organic shoe” in there. Haha!
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Haha! Organic beef leather shoe! Haha! So all the pet food, even the high-end organic ones supposedly, I’ve noticed, because I’m a label detective, I go nuts reading labels, they all contain carrageenan which is the thickener that they use. And I’ve been feeding my dog this in their entire life thinking that these organic can food was the best. But now both of my dogs have colitis which is irritation of the intestinal walls, bloody diarrhea, mucusy diarrhea. Could this ingredient be the culprit, do you think?
Marc Ching: Of course. They are not natural to dog’s ecosystem. So when you feed these things over time, it causes inflammation of the colon, pancreas, and really that’s what colitis is. When the pancreas can’t absorb back the bacteria and the mucus comes out and all this inflammation in the GI tract. And so these are additives that are put in food to thicken them up, to make them more appealing, because it is cheap, stuff like that. So people don’t notice but all can foods in the animal industry are cooked in the can, this is the worst stuff you could feed them ever. It’s terrible.
Wendy Myers: Well I’m assuming there’s a BPA lining in the can too that’s cooking in the food.
Marc Ching: Well, many of them have to line the cans. So, they have this lining on the can because it’s cooked in the can, it’s a type of chemical. It’s terrible.
Wendy Myers: And I know carrageenan is made from seaweed but synthesized and processed so it is not natural ingredient. Even in humans it can cause intestinal distress and intestinal disorders and even cancer. And obviously you said it, it causes this in dogs as well.
Marc Ching: Dogs and humans are more alike than you think. And all these gluten-free food diet…people are trying to avoid weed and those additives like carrageenan gum, but they’re avoiding it for a reason. So our animals are no different. The philosophy behind my company is different from most, that dogs and cats, they are an extension of our family. I have human children. I have a son and a daughter. Can you hear them crying? Because I can hear them crying.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Haha!
Marc Ching: But you know my dogs, they’re my kids. I have 5 dogs now.
Wendy Myers: Wow!
Marc Ching: I just got another one yesterday. Haha! But they’re my children. They’re house dogs, we treat them like people. They have personalities, and I believe they have spirits. My human son, that’s their brother and their sister. That’s what our company is about. That if your dog or cat is your “child” or part of your family, then you have to treat them like it. We have to feed them how we would our own children. And that’s the biggest difference between what we believe in and what a dog food company believes in, like Pedigree, Blue Buffalo, or Natural Balance.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. They’re just trying to lower their bottom line so they make the most money.
Marc Ching: I would never feed my son kibble ever! I could probably be thrown in prison if I put kibble on his food every day. It’s the same with my dog.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, I also have intuitively felt that… the vets have always told me, “Oh, just feed them dry food” everybody has said that “They could be the healthiest if you only feed them dry food”. But I kind of intuitively felt that this food is disgusting. It just does not look appetizing whatsoever. I just intuitively knew it’s not going to confer amazing health benefits.
Marc Ching: Yeah. It does not have health benefits. People always say you have to use dry food to strengthen their teeth, because it has balance, it has vitamins. But people don’t understand that kibble takes fourteen hours to process in the G. I. tract. It’s such a huge amount of time. It’s causing organ damage. And if you look at the cat population, almost all cats nowadays die of renal failure or cancer. This is caused by pet food.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. I noticed that cats, most of them have suffered from UTI infections chronically.
Marc Ching: Yes. And it’s all associated with food. People who do not feed commercial foods like kibble and they make their own food, very, very few of them have these problems. My dogs have never eaten kibble ever in their lives. They’ve never been to a vet. They’ve never had UTI. They’ve never had anything. They’ve never had colitis. They’ve never had diarrhea.
Wendy Myers: I wish I could say that. I clean up a lot of diarrhea. It’s really a bummer. My dogs have colitis. They always do it in the kitchen, that’s even grosser. But I’m hoping one day I can help nourish both of them back to health and get rid of colitis. One day.
Marc Ching: Everything is possible.
Wendy Myers: So, what other kinds of health problems do conventional pet foods cause?
Marc Ching: Well, I think the most major health problem besides allergy or food intolerances is cancer and organ failures. I treated a lot of animals that have liver and kidney failure. And I think another growing problem though, is that if you’re feeding your dog something that causes diseases and when your dogs actually get these diseases, you go to a vet that uses harsh medication that is hard for the liver and kidneys to excrete and metabolize. I just think it makes it worse. So, if they get diarrhea they could become fragile. For diarrhea we give people herbs for their dogs that have no side effects. It doesn’t cause liver damage and kidney damage. For dogs with allergies, instead of giving them antibiotics and steroids which cause brain damage, we give them black walnut and enzymes to process and digest yeast. It’s just different. And so these veterinarians, they’re just like the dog food. They’re commercialized. And for some reason they lost their ability to connect with how nature is supposed to be, or the body of animals. It’s terrible. It’s getting worse.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. I noticed a lot of dogs have allergies. They have hot spots. I’ve been told that my poor Pomeranians are kind of prone to allergies. Why is this on the rise and what is the best way to treat them?
Marc Ching: Well, it’s on the rise because in my opinion food is getting worse. So if you look back 20 to 30 years… I mean the food was terrible back then too, like the Alpo and stuff like that. But dogs were better back then. Nowadays when you look around, dogs everywhere have these corns on their heads. They’re biting their feet and it’s really itchy. It just signifies that something’s wrong. Either the treats are getting worse or the food is getting worse or the earth is getting worse.
Now people who are trying to treat it don’t even know what the problem is. Antibiotics for any type of itching or scratching… that is not a cure. What it does is it kills all of the good flora, the intestinal flora that the dogs need to control fungus, to control yeast. Just like in humans. Antibiotics kill all the flora and you have to spend time rebuilding that up. So what we do is we teach people first of all what not to feed. If the dog is itchy you cannot give them carrot, you cannot give them potatoes, no bananas, no treats that contain grains or sugars. We have these enzymes to digest food completely so there’s no indigestible material. We often recommend another enzyme that helps to digest fungus and yeast cells and we encourage people to use probiotics.
It gets expensive because supplements are expensive but there are quick fixes too. We teach people to add apple cider vinegar to the food, an anti-fungal. Coconut oil to each meal which is anti-fungal. We teach people about correct washing. Like, do not use an oatmeal-based shampoo. That is not species appropriate. It makes dogs itch more. So we recommend things like Selsun Blue which is a human shampoo for dandruff but it gives and provides relief to dogs with allergies.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. I read it on the internet that if your dog has allergies, you should give them Benadryl. Haha! What do you think about that?
Marc Ching: Well, Benadryl, it actually does help. But we don’t recommend it because it has to be metabolized by the liver and the kidneys. That is not a cure. People are giving their dogs Benadryl four times a day. You know, it’s not a cure. You try to seek out a cure. You want to fix it because it is the problem with food. Everybody thinks it’s environmental but, if they’re itching and they’re licking their feet, that is yeast coming out and it burns. So they lick it and lick it and lick it. If their feet smell like corn chips, if they have ear infections, these things are caused by fungus. They’re not caused by the environment. So for those dogs, a cure is possible. You can cure your dog. You just have to know how.
Wendy Myers: So, if your dog has allergies, you should feed them a grain-free diet, none of those vegetables you talked about, those starchy vegetables. And what else, taking the enzymes?
Marc Ching: So, enzymes, probiotics. But really a big part of it is not feeding dry food. Grain-free or not. Every dog is different. So when a dog comes in and they’re eating Pedigree and they’re really itchy, well, just by changing the dry food to a grain-free high quality dry food it fixes it, because their diet was so poor before. However, a lot of people are more educated now and would not feed a supermarket type food. It might be a Blue Buffalo, Orijen, Natural Balance. And their dogs might be itchy. For these people, you have to take them off kibble. You cannot do it on kibble. It’s almost impossible. So we take them off kibble. Some people use our food. We teach people how to cook. For people who may not be able to afford cooking all the time, then we help them find a better commercial food that will bring the cost down and that they can live on happily for a long time. So this is different. But the key is, if your dog is really itchy, you have to not feed kibble because kibble is dry food.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. I’ve been really bad. I’ve been really bad because I feed my dog twice a day, the food that you make, and I leave kibble out on the floor 24 hours a day for them to eat. But luckily, apparently, we have a rat that’s been eating it. Haha! Because I’ve never seen my dogs getting it. I’m wondering why they are running away. But the kibbles are getting lower and lower in the bowl. My husband saw a rat the other day. So that’s great! There’s someone who is enjoying the kibble, hopefully it’ll get cancer and die. Haha!
Marc Ching: You know what’s interesting is a lot of people say “My dog is picky. My dog doesn’t eat.” So they have this bowl of kibble down and what they don’t realize is that it’s not that your dog is picky. When your dog eats this food he doesn’t feel well. Dogs are smarter than people give them credit for. They are very intelligent. So when they’re eating something and sick all the time, they eat to survive, you know. If I left out a bowl of dry food, my dogs would not eat it. Because I feed them other stuff. So my dogs don’t like dry food and I’m glad they don’t.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. I used to take my dry food out and throw it away. But I’m glad we did this show. I learned something why my dog still has allergies. I’m not consulting with you enough.
Marc Ching: Haha! You know dogs that we’re trying to cure, this is how strict the diet has to be. If your dog is really itchy and you’re using enzymes and probiotics and change of food, if they eat a piece of bread, just one piece, they’ll start to itch all over. I mean, it’s that restrictive. So if you go to someone’s house and it eats kibble, immediately it will become itchy again. So it just shows, regardless of what type of kibble it is, the quality of it. It’s not made for them.
Wendy Myers: So, what do you think about bone broth? Because I make homemade bone broth at home. Chicken broth. And sometimes I give it to my dogs. Is that OK?
Marc Ching: I think it’s OK. You know, dogs cannot live in prison. Haha! So we have to be nice and that’s why we give them a treat. And bone broths have minerals and have certain things in it. It’s OK. Sometimes it can be fattening so you don’t want to give it every single time. But it’s OK. But just so you know, that people who give a lot of bone broth, their dogs can have colitis from there, too.
Wendy Myers: Oh, I don’t give them that much. Part of the reason I was giving it to them was because I just know from being a nutritionist myself that when you eat the bone broth, that has glutamine in it, it’s very healing for the intestines. So I thought that, “Wow! Hey, maybe that’s going to be healing for my dogs.”
Marc Ching: It is healing. You are correct. It helps. It’s just that everything should be balanced. You don’t want to overdo it.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. OK. Great.
Wendy Myers: So, every time I got to the vet, I feel like my dog is not faring any better than when he left. And as I found a few times, he’s even worse. So like I said, my vet recommended Science Diet which contains GMO corn. So how are vets harming their patients?
Marc Ching: Well, I think that many of them do not know. And I think that ignorance plays a big part of it. Many vets do know and they do it because they make a lot of money out of this stuff. So, ignorance and greed is harming pets the most. Anything with corn regardless if the president tells you to use it, it’s not good. If you go to the Internet and you just do random searches about it, it is the worst thing for animals. So just because your vet tells you to use it doesn’t mean that it’s good. This type of food, this prescription diet, it is a huge problem and it’s getting worse. And more dogs and cats are sick because of it. GMO corn is probably the worst stuff ever.
Wendy Myers: And do you think that vaccines are necessary? Because my personal take is I don’t think vaccines are necessary. I think they’re toxic and a waste of money. Do you think that vaccination for dogs do more harm than good?
Marc Ching: Well professionally, when people come in to ask me, I can’t really decide that for them. However, I tell them how my family is. My dogs have no vaccines. My dogs have never been sick. They go to the dog park you know, they’re dogs. They poop like other dogs. I don’t believe in vaccinations. They really use vaccine, it is not to protect my animal. They want to do regular vaccines to protect humans. But not only that, take money off of it. Your dog has this temper vaccine. I have a dog rescue, I get dogs consistently that have been vaccinated for their temper and died because of it. They can still get it. They can still acquire all of these sicknesses, even vaccinated. I don’t vaccinate at all ever.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Because I felt the vaccines for dog have to be in this horrifying quality. Because even the human vaccinations have no testing whatsoever prior to going on the market. There’s no liability at all for the pharmaceutical companies. So I can only imagine that dog vaccines must be just completely terrible, just complete trash.
Marc Ching: Some people don’t know. I’m in the animal industry so I have a hospice care where people with dying animals come to me. It’s not a huge majority but some of them are because of the rabies vaccine. So “my dog just got rabies vaccine, he’s paralyzed.” And many of these dogs that come to me who have vaccine-related illnesses, many of them died. Just like you said, there is no regulation. There’s no real testing.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. And I imagine they have all kinds of heavy metals and preservatives. I’m sure they’re using mercury to preserve it.
Marc Ching: Oh sure, yeah. I’m very sure.
Wendy Myers: My vet tells me to come in every year to get those shots. And at a certain point they’re going to get mercury poison.
Marc Ching: And all the doses are the same. If you come in with a chihuahua, it’s dose is the same as a mastiff’s. It’s crazy, you know. A hundred pound dog having the same dose as a 5-pound dog. It’s insane. I don’t understand it.
Wendy Myers: So you’re saying that there is not any vaccination that you would recommend for pets?
Marc Ching: I don’t recommend vaccinations at all. My dogs are not vaccinated.
Wendy Myers: So what kinds of supplements do you sell on your store?
Marc Ching: We sell everything from multivitamins to calcium to fish oils to probiotics and herbs. We have herbs. We have homeopathy. We help people with cushioning. We make herbs for dogs who have CDS, it’s like doggie Alzheimer’s. We actually have a lot of supplements. I really believe that dogs should depend solely on food. However, some dogs need help. So as they age, probiotics are beneficial, enzymes, or Burdock root, dandelion, and milk thistle. They are all beneficial.
Wendy Myers: I love it that I can come in to your store and find out exactly what is wrong with my dog and how I can treat it naturally. It’s going to be so much more effective. I mean, every time I got to the vet it’s just complete waste of money. Half of the time they can never figure out what is wrong with my dog. We don’t know, like “Why am I here exactly?” It’s just so annoying.
Marc Ching: Yes.
Wendy Myers: So how much is your food? I was paying $3 a can at Whole Foods for their what I thought was really good organic food. But I am finding your food is really not anymore expensive. It may be 50c more expensive than that.
Marc Ching: Yeah, it’s 50c more. So, most of our dishes are $3.50 each, except for bison which is $3.75. And if you’re looking at cat food, it’s actually cheaper than many commercial cat food out there. And it’s all organic.
Wendy Myers: How do you keep the prices so low? Because it’s just amazing you can get these grass-fed organic pet food for the same price as the highly processed garbage.
Marc Ching: Well, we make less than those companies make. But we don’t advertise, so we don’t have marketing costs. You know, our company’s small so I drive thru a window where our kitchen is every day. Haha! But not only that, people don’t realize that if you buy in bulk, if you are a manufacturer, organic food is not that expensive. People come in to our store who wanted to cook for their animals, we get them free range grass-fed bison for $5.25 a pound. We get duck deboned and we cut it for $4 a pound. So that they can make their own food. We got wild cod at $3.60 a pound. It’s cheaper than Costco. We just help people who want to do better.
Wendy Myers: So, they can actually come to your store and buy the raw food and take them home and make it?
Marc Ching: They can. They can get bulk meat from us. They can buy organic grass-fed Angus beef. A lot of people, they eat it themselves. I know how this lady who comes here and gets Magi-Magi and she feeds her cat and her dog and she eats it.
Wendy Myers: Haha! Eat the leftover. Haha! Yum. Hey, if it’s cheap, you know, cheaper than Costco, you’ve got to take advantage of it! Haha!
Wendy Myers: So, are you able to ship your fresh, organic pet food?
Marc Ching: We don’t. People do. They pick it up themselves and ship it, but we don’t. It’s because we really don’t have the time. It’s unfortunate. There are companies out there who ship and who do all these things, but we can’t. Because we really are so busy with sick animals and trying to get people better. And really people just call me all day. Haha!
Wendy Myers: Yeah. You’re too busy. Haha!
Marc Ching: Yeah. And it would make the food more expensive.
Wendy Myers: So, are there any other companies that are doing what you’re doing that ship?
Marc Ching: Well, I think there’s a lot of companies that do what we do except for they’re all different. Most of the companies that make fresh food, they’re grain-based. They have rice or potatoes in it because they try to make money out of it, a lot of money. I think we’re the only dog food company that uses herbs. Our food is used for a purpose. If you have kidney failure, you use our Cornish game hen. It has milk thistle, dandelion, burdock root. If you have intestinal problems, your dog has colitis or G.I. problems, we have a turkey for that it has stuff in it. So it’s different. But a lot companies are doing things that are not better for pets, you know.
Wendy Myers: You know, I’ve heard this a lot from vets that you should feed your pets the same food. That if you switch them food, it’s going to cause them problems. Is that true?
Marc Ching: Well, they’re talking about kibbles. So like what I brought up earlier, when you switch your dog from Blue Buffalo to Pedigree to Science Diet to World Canine, the animal has to get used to the vitamin pack. They can get virally ill. They can have diarrhea. Sometimes it can cause bleeding. With our foods, it’s not like that. We don’t have a vitamin pack. There’s no preservatives. There’s no fillers. So people change, they go from bison, to pheasant, to venison, to lamb, to Cornish game hen, to chicken. So we don’t see a problem. The only problem we ever come across is some dogs have never eaten red meats before. So when they do, they might have a reaction to it because it’s a little harder to breakdown sometimes. That’s about it that we ever see. But for us, we believe it is beneficial to change the protein source. And the reason why is, your dog would naturally have more enzymes. If you just feed them one thing, their body would be deficient. They’ll only be breaking down one type of protein source. We think it’s beneficial to change.
Wendy Myers: Okay. I have one more question about flea medicine because Advantage and the other brands are all the rage. And I felt uneasy about putting this pesticide-like substance on my dog and having it soaked into their body. So they’re like a walking pesticide factory and when a flea bites into them, it dies. What are the problems with this kind of medication?
Marc Ching: Well, there’s two types. There’s a topical and there’s an internal. I am very, very, very, very against the internal. A lot of people, they would recommend Trifexis or Comfortis, these pills that they eat. That is straight poison. You’re giving your dog poison. So, it can kill things. It is metabolized and absorbed by the tissues of the body, it’s crazy. And you know the topicals, it absorbs into the skin and the fatty membrane of the skin. And we are against both of them. However, some dogs really have a problem with fleas. So, if they do and you have to, you feel like you have to do something, we always say that topicals are better. But you know there are natural sources. Sometimes we use cedar oil, that’s really effective.
Wendy Myers: What is that called again?
Marc Ching: Ah, cedar oil. It’s like an oil that…
Wendy Myers: Cedar oil.
Marc Ching: Yes. Fleas don’t like the smell of it. They are more burdensome to use and you have to use them more often. But it is healthier. No matter what, nobody should ever do an internal flea medication ever. It’s a poison. You are putting poison directly into their mouth. It’s crazy.
Wendy Myers: But are the topical ones toxic also?
Marc Ching: Well, they are not healthy. You are putting poison on them. The chemical on them that’s absorbed into the skin. So it is harmful. However, it is a lot safer that the internal. It is. But we do not recommend it, either. I am not a flea expert. So when people ask me for an alternative thing, I really can’t help them. Haha!
Wendy Myers: Yeah, I know. I have a friend that she runs a pet hotel. And she had a cat. She loved the cat, loved all the dogs and was looking on them. Of course, all the dogs have Advantage these topical flea medicines. And her cat ended up having seizures and dying. And the vet said it was a neurological damage from those topical flea medicine that she kept licking.
Marc Ching: It happens and it’s possible. Animals are at risk to use it. And just think of that. Some people are putting inside them or feeding it to them. It’s absurd.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. So, you donate 20% of your proceeds to different causes. I think that’s so wonderful. So can you tell us what causes you are championing?
Marc Ching: Well, last year at the end of the year, we gave away 5,000 lbs of foods to just local rescues. And then we send stuff to victims of the hurricane. A lot of the stuff actually goes to our hospice care. And what happens is if your dog is between the ages of 2 and 7 and you’re just not wealthy, we just do everything for you. We take the dogs in and we really save their lives. We have 85% success rate. When a vet tells you your dog will be dead in two days and many people come to us, and that’s what we do. So that’s what my company pays for. It actually costs more than 20% unfortunately, but it doesn’t matter. You know, it is what we live for and it’s what we do. We donate to different rescues in Sherman Oaks. There’s a lot of them. And we give them food.
Wendy Myers: Oh, that’s wonderful! That’s so, so wonderful. You’re so sweet. Haha! So just tell the listeners where you are located, what’s your address, where they can find thepetstaurant.com.
Marc Ching: So we’re located in Sherman Oaks, at 4344 Van Nuys Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, California 91403. And we’re like a block south of Ventura in Van Nuys. And people can walk in. We specialize in food allergy issues or itchiness or liver disease or stuff like that. And so, it’s like a vet. People walk in and just consult. And I give them my number which they can text anytime and they can take pictures of stools. I’m telling you, I literally receive like a hundred pictures of poop a day.
Wendy Myers: Hahahaaha!
Marc Ching: Haha! Well, we help people.
Wendy Myers: I am so sorry about that. It seems like you’re fine with that though. Haha!
Marc Ching: Well, it’s helpful.
Wendy Myers: It’s clear that you care so much about dogs. And I think that it is amazing that you are a human nutritionist and you got tired of treating them because they never did what you said which I’m finding it helpless. Haha! Even if I drill it to their head, they still don’t do it. But that’s wonderful that you decided that you wanted to be a dog nutritionist because they obviously don’t have a choice what you feed them. They have to eat whatever they are fed. So, thank you so much for being on the show, Marc. That was very, very educational and it’s going to help a lot of people with feeding their pet the proper primal diet.
Marc Ching: Thank you for having me, Wendy.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, you’re so welcome. Thank you so much! So you can find Marc’s food on thepetstaurant.com. It’s t-h-e-p-e-t-s-t-a-u-r-a-n-t dot com. And thank you so much for listening to the Live to 110 podcast. That’s all for today, folks. Next week we have Dr. Jason Kelberman on the show talking about functional medicine and chiropracticare. So, definitely tune in for that.