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Ditch This Pet Food Now – Can Be Deadly to Your Pets

Story at-a-glance
  • As we predicted in November of last year, dry dog foods containing corn and corn products harvested from last summer’s crop could present a significant risk of aflatoxin contamination.
  • The summer of 2012 across the Midwest was very dry and very hot, creating an environment in which certain types of plant mold proliferate. These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins, which are mycotoxins known to cause acute lethal illness in both animals and humans.
  • Voluntary recalls of dry dog food due to high levels of aflatoxin contamination have already begun across states in the Midwest. Unfortunately, because of the behavior of the molds involved, it has proved difficult to control, minimize or even accurately assess levels of contamination.
  • If you feed dry dog food to your pet, we are repeating our recommendations to transition to another type of diet and/or carefully avoid any pet food containing corn or corn products

Dry Dog Food

By Dr. Becker

In an article last November, I reported on the very real danger of future widespread aflatoxin contamination of commercial pet food, primarily dry dog food. Thanks to the very hot, dry summer of 2012, experts predicted U.S. corn crops would be heavily infested with two types of mold — Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.

These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins cause acute lethal illness and cancer in animals and humans, and are among the most carcinogenic substances on earth. Aflatoxins poison the liver, and their carcinogenic properties can lead to tumor formation.

Recalls of Aflatoxin-Contaminated Dog Food Have Begun

Reuters reports high levels of aflatoxins have been discovered in bags of dog food on store shelves in Iowa. And according to Michael Wright, the CEO of Pro-Pet, a pet food company in Ohio that recently learned some of its product was contaminated with aflatoxins, “Last year’s corn crop – it’s a huge issue. We test every load coming in. And we reject a lot of loads.”

During the last week of February, the Hy-Vee Inc. grocery chain was forced to recall five different products in its private dog food line due to high levels of aflatoxins in the corn used in the formulas. The dog food was produced at a Kansas City Pro-Pet plant and distributed across eight Midwestern states.

As I explained back in November, the behavior of the A. flavus and A. parasiticus molds makes it very difficult to control or minimize aflatoxin contamination, or to accurately assess the extent of the problem. There can be pockets of plants that are heavily contaminated, while the rest of the crop is relatively mold-free, so analyzing occasional random samples of corn plants can give misleading results.

The corn used in the recalled Hy-Vee formulas had been tested before it was added to the dog food, and the finished product was reportedly tested as well. But the contamination wasn’t discovered until a random bag was pulled from a store shelf in Iowa by an inspector for the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

According to PetfoodIndustry.com, Hy-Vee officials say the recall is only a precautionary measure and no illnesses have been reported. The recalled products were distributed to Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin between October 26, 2012, and January 11, 2013. Specific details of recalled products can be found here.

If you happen to have a bag of recalled product, you should stop feeding it to your pet. You can also return the food, opened or unopened, to a Hy-Vee store for a full refund.

How to Avoid Aflatoxin-Contaminated Pet Food

Aflatoxin-related illness is seen much more often in dogs than cats because more commercial dog foods than cat foods contain corn products.

To be very safe, I recommend you transition your pet away from all dry food. Replace it with a high quality canned food, a commercially prepared raw diet, dehydrated raw, a balanced home cooked diet, or a combination.

If you want to continue to offer dry food to your dog, I recommend you study the ingredients carefully and avoid products containing corn in any form, including corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, corn flour, etc. Corn is not only highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, it is also allergenic and difficult for most pets to digest.

Related:

The Feeding Mistake Linked to the Cause of Most Disease – Are You Making It?

Why Upgrading Your Pet’s Diet is More Important Now than Ever

More Dog Food Recalled for Toxic Contaminants

Yet ANOTHER Pet Food Recall for Deadly Contaminants

Pet Food Red Flags You Want to Avoid

Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats: Simple Homemade Food – Cookbook

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Pet Food

Pet Jerky Death Toll Update: 360 dogs, 1 Cat According to FDA

A Raw Food KIBBLE?

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Free Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Liver Dog Treats Equals One Happy Dog

The Importance of Bones in Your Pet’s Diet

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Fatty Acids May Improve Mobility In Osteoarthritic Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Allergies and Springtime Ailments in Pets

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

Dysbiosis: The Root Cause of Many Other Pet Health Problems

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

The Nutrient Your Dog Needs More of As They Age: Protein – And Expecting Your Pet to Get It from Rendered Pet Food Is the Worst of the Worst of the Worst Options!

Pupcakes

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Chicken Jerky Recipe for dogs

WHAT HUMAN FOODS ARE UNSAFE FOR PETS? (the 12 worst)–> chocolate, sugarless gum & artificial sweeteners, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions (bad for dogs and cats… but poison for cats), garlic (for cats), caffeine, fat trimmings and bones (bad for cats and limited fat and the right bones for dogs), raw eggs (for cats, but must be careful for dogs and humans), and milk.

Some of the best human foods for dogs: peanut butter (although peanuts and peanut butter can contain mold so could be bad for humans and dogs), cheese including cottage cheese (some some dogs can be prone to be lactose intolerant like people), yogurt, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, blueberries, salmon, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh raw carrots, pumpkin, and lean meat… cooked or raw.

Did You Know There are Two Kinds of Raw Pet Food on the Market?

Megacolon: A Terrible Outcome for Constipated Pets

Resources:

Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food

See Spot Live Longer – How to help your dog live a longer and healthier life!

Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals

screen-shot-2012-09-19-at-11.49.12-am[1]

Keep your pets healthy and help extend their lives with:

StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

April 8, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , | 3 Comments

The Feeding Mistake Linked to the Cause of Most Disease – Are You Making It?

Story at-a-glance

  • In part 1 of a 3-part series on raw food diets for pets, Dr. Becker begins the discussion by reviewing the ancestral origins of today’s dogs and cats.
  • From a genetic standpoint, domesticated canines and felines are essentially the same as their wild counterparts, who are carnivores.
  • Dogs and cats have not evolved from meat-eaters to vegetarians, but you wouldn’t know it from the ingredients used in the vast majority of commercial pet foods on the market.
  • Fortunately, dogs and cats are adaptable, resilient animals. Otherwise, the biologically inappropriate convenience pet foods they’ve been fed for the last century would wreak even greater havoc on their health.
  • High-carbohydrate, low-moisture commercial pet foods have created significant metabolic and physiologic stress in our pets and have become the root cause of most of the inflammatory processes and degenerative disease we see in veterinary medicine today.

Video:  Dr. Becker Discusses Raw Food Diet (Part 1)

By Dr. Becker

Today and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be discussing my favorite topic, raw food diets for pets. I want to talk about some of the myths and truths surrounding raw food diets, but before we get to the good stuff, it’s important to have a foundation of understanding about basic nutrition.

One point that no one argues is that for optimal health to occur, animals must consume the foods they were designed to eat. I call this a species-appropriate diet. So vegetarian animals must eat vegetation for optimal health. And carnivorous animals must eat fresh whole prey for optimal health.

Origins of Dogs and Cats

A good place to start a discussion of our carnivorous pets is to go back to the roots of the dog and the cat prior to domestication. The domestic dog, whose taxonomic name is Canis lupus familiaris, is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, which is a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora.

Most scientists believe dogs were domesticated from gray wolves about 15,000 years ago. But DNA analysis published in 1997 suggests that the transformation from wolves to domestic dogs occurred more like 130,000 years ago.

Data suggests dogs first diverged from wolves in East Asia, and these domesticated dogs quickly migrated throughout the world. Of course, humans began selectively breeding dogs to create animals that suited their needs and their likes.

The earliest evidence of cat domestication is a kitten that was found buried alongside a human approximately 9,500 years ago in Cyprus. Researchers have gained major insights through DNA testing into the evolution of cats by showing how they migrated to new continents and developed new species as the sea levels rose and fell.

A 2008 study revealed that lines of descent for all house cats, of the species Felis catus, probably came from self-domesticating African wild cats up to 10,000 years ago. And as happened with the domesticated dog, humans began breeding cats to suit their fancy. Today, over 80 breeds of cats are recognized by one registry or another.

Today’s Cats and Dogs are Carnivores Just Like Their Wild Ancestors

Despite humans’ desire to create certain physical characteristics in dogs and cats – this is called their phenotype or how animals look externally – their genetic makeup remains essentially the same as their wild ancestors, which should tell you something about the foods they should still be consuming.

Of course, all animals are biologically equipped to assimilate and digest foods they were designed to eat. For example, earthworms are naturally designed to process dirt. The entire GI tract of worms, from the mouth to the other end where waste is excreted, was designed for this purpose.

Cows are designed to eat grass, and their GI tracts are set up perfectly for this. They have big, round, flat teeth used to grind grasses and an unbelievable range of motion in their mandibles, allowing them to chew, chew, chew, and chew. Cows have a lot of range of motion laterally in their jaws.

Dogs and cats do not have this range of motion in their jaws. Their jaws move up and down only, like a trap door or a hinge, because dogs and cats are gulpers, not chewers. They don’t have chewing teeth. Dogs and cats have incredibly sharp interlocking teeth designed to rip and tear flesh.

They also have very short GI tracts compared to vegetarian animals that need to ferment foods, as carnivorous animals consume foods with potentially very heavy pathogen loads. The bodies of carnivores are designed to get foods in and back out very quickly.

The ancestral lifestyle of a carnivore includes lots of variety and seasonal variability, meaning certain prey was more prevalent at certain times of the year. They thrived consuming fresh, living, whole animals. But carnivorous animals do not eat clean foods. Dogs and cats did not evolve to consume sterile foods. They have digestive tracts that are designed to be resilient and handle the loads of naturally occurring bacteria that are present in the foods they eat. Their food in the wild was moisture-dense, meaning the prey they consumed was primarily water.

The carnivorous lifestyle required a tremendous amount of exercise and exertion. Food was not served to them, so they had to stealthily catch it. This provided intense stimulation of all the senses, plus nervous, skeletal, endocrine, and circulatory system involvement. Carnivorous animals had daily rigorous workouts in an attempt to catch enough food to stay alive.

Most Pet Food is Biologically Inappropriate for Dogs and Cats

What’s very important for pet owners to know is that “pet food” is a relatively new concept. So, “dog food” and “cat food” you buy from the supermarket has only been around a little over a hundred years.

However, animals have hunted prey or, in the case of dogs, scavenged — for millions of years. And although recent research suggests domesticated carnivores were able to adapt to some degree to starch in the diet as humans became planters and farmers of grains, dogs and cats have most definitely not evolved into vegetarians over time.

Over the last hundred years, major pet food companies have produced most of their products using a base of corn, wheat, rice, or potato. However, our carnivorous pets have not evolved to be able to process those foreign foods.

The good news is dogs and cats are adaptable and resilient unlike other species, for example, snakes. If we suddenly forced snakes to eat grains or consume vegetation, they would simply die, demonstrating rather visibly and quickly that they were not provided the correct food source.

Dogs and cats are among the most resilient animals on the planet. They are able to withstand really significant nutritional abuse, in my opinion, without dying. Degeneration does occur as the result of an inappropriate diet, but sudden death does not.

So one of the reasons we’ve been able to deceive ourselves into believing convenience pet foods are good for dogs and cats is because they don’t die immediately of acute starvation. For a hundred years our pets have been fed inappropriate diets that have kept them alive, but far from thriving like their wild relatives. Instead, we’ve created dozens of generations of nutritionally weakened animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies – a link the traditional veterinary community has not acknowledged.

The Pottenger cat study is one example of how our current system of nourishing pets creates chronic disease.

The truth is that our pet population provides a place for recycling waste from the human food industry. Grains that fail inspection, uninspected pieces and parts of waste from the seafood industry, leftover restaurant grease, deceased livestock, and even roadkill is collected and disposed of through rendering — a process that converts all sorts of human food industry waste into raw materials for the pet food industry.

These raw materials are purchased by huge pet food manufacturers – makers of the big name brands your parents and friends have probably used for the last 50 years. These manufacturers blend the rendered fat and meat with a large amount of starch fillers. They add bulk vitamin and mineral supplements, and then they extrude the mix at high temperatures, creating all sorts of toxic reactions including advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines. They call this “pet food” and sell it to customers at an unbelievable profit.

Is the entire system flawed? Yes. But pet food industry giants are realizing that pet owners are becoming more educated about their flawed system, and they are trying to clean up their image. We are beginning to see words like “natural” and “no byproducts” on labels. We’re beginning to see “grain-free” and “naturally preserved” on labels as well. Manufacturers are hearing the grumbles of educated pet owners and are changing their marketing to try to regain lost customers.

Common Pet Food Myths Many People Actually Believe

I find it amazing that pet parents buy into marketing gimmicks that human parents would never fall for. For instance, how often have you heard a pediatrician say, “Never feed your baby anything but X brand of baby food, because feeding a homemade diet could be dangerous to your child’s health?” Never. But you do hear it often in the veterinary world.

Or how about this one: “Switching your brand of baby food could lead to GI problems, so feed only one brand or type of baby food to your children for the rest of their lives to avoid GI problems.” You would never hear this, either, from a competent pediatrician. And yet, you hear this type of advice all the time in the veterinary industry. It’s startling to me to know that entire generations of people actually believe pets must have “pet food” to be healthy.

And there’s a host of other myths you’ve probably heard. For example, pets can derive all the nutrients they need for vibrant health from a dry nugget that can be fed day after day, year after year. Or that if you don’t feed crunchy foods to your pet, his or her teeth won’t be clean. Or canned food is too rich, and raw food is just a recent trendy craze that could be risky.

A lot of people also believe their veterinarian wouldn’t recommend X brand of food if wasn’t good for their pet… that all cats should eat fish and drink milk… that veterinarians are the people to trust for the most up-to-date information pertaining to nutrition… or that disease, degeneration, and poor vitality have nothing to do with day to day nourishment. All myths.

So… What are the Facts?

Number one, carbohydrates are not a necessary component of a carnivore’s diet. Cats have no taste receptors for sweet flavors and have low rates of glucose uptake in the intestine. They should not be fed any type of grain that metabolizes into sugar.

Cats have no salivary amylase to break down starches, either, and dogs have very low amylase secretion.

Also, cats never hunted fish from the ocean – fish is not an evolutionary food source for them.

The intense heat used to process commercial pet foods diminishes or destroys the benefits of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in food. Processed pet foods require supplementation to replace lost nutrients.

The heating process also significantly reduces the digestibility of amino acids in pet food.

And digestibility of meat-based protein is proven to be superior to plant-based protein – the type used in most inexpensive commercial pet foods — for dogs and cats.

So in a nutshell, for 99.99 percent of their time on earth, dogs and cats have consumed a natural diet. For .01 percent of the time, they have consumed an extruded, processed diet. Dogs and cats evolved to consume a low-carbohydrate diet. But for the last century, the majority of pet owners have fed pets a high-carbohydrate, low-moisture diet. This has created significant metabolic and physiologic stress, and convenience pet foods have become the root cause of most of the inflammatory processes and degenerative disease that plague today’s dogs and cats.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pet Food Red Flags You Want to Avoid

Story at-a-glance

  • A major pet food manufacturer has reformulated one of its lines of dog and cat foods to add more natural ingredients. The move comes in response to pet owners who are increasingly concerned about what ingredients go into the pet food they buy.
  • The new formulas are advertised to include “quality” protein as the first ingredient, “natural” ingredients, no chicken by-product, and no artificial colors or flavors.
  • The reformulated dry dog foods we checked do contain a named meat source as the first ingredient. Unfortunately, the next several ingredients on each list are grains, grains and more grains.
  • The reformulated dry cat food fared no better, and one variety listed unacceptably non-specific “ocean fish” as the first ingredient.
  • As more pet owners get educated about which pet food ingredients are appropriate and good quality, pet food manufacturers will try to answer consumer demands without hurting their bottom line. It’s important for pet owners to skip over all the marketing hype and advertising claims on pet food packages and go right to the ingredient list instead.

Pet Foods

By Dr. Becker

A few months ago I read in an industry journal that a very large pet food manufacturer was in the process of reformulating one of its brands of dog and cat foods to add more natural ingredients. This company also makes veterinary formulas, but the changes involve its commercial line of products.

According to the article, the reformulation was in response to consumers who are “making product choices based primarily on a set criteria of ingredients, rather than the overall promise of nutrition and clinical research.” (Translation: today’s dog and cat owners are better informed about the quality and appropriateness of pet food ingredients, and are increasingly skeptical of pet food marketing and advertising claims.)

The new formulas promise to include “quality” protein as the first ingredient, “natural” ingredients, no chicken by-product, and no artificial colors or flavors.

Reformulated … but Still Loaded with Grains

Needless to say, I was very interested to see the ingredient lists for these newly formulated foods, and I was just recently able to find some information on them.

As promised, the first item on the reformulated ingredient lists for dry dog food was either a named animal protein (e.g., chicken) or a named protein meal (e.g., lamb meal). We must keep in mind, however, that pet food ingredients are listed by weight on the label, and before moisture is removed. Once the chicken or other animal protein source is depleted of its moisture – a necessary function in the manufacture of dry pet food — in most cases it can no longer maintain its position as the first ingredient on the list.

And in fact, it slides way down the list. “Meal” means the fresh meat has been dried and pulverized, so the heavy water has been removed. There are several different quality categories of meal, and pet food companies don’t have to disclose the quality of the meat they are using, so meals range from great quality to terrible. That’s why it’s important to check the first five or so ingredients on a dry pet food label — you’ll get a much better picture of the true nutritional value of the food.

A specific meat is what you want to see first on the label, but you want to see a specific meat or specific meat meal as the second and third ingredients as well. If the second and subsequent ingredients are grains, don’t be fooled into thinking you’re purchasing a primarily meat-based food. What you’re buying is a grain-based food for your meat-eating dog or cat.

Most of the reformulated dry dog foods I checked contained brewer’s rice as the second ingredient, followed by a long list of other grains like brown rice, cracked pearled barley, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum and soybean meal.

These are clearly grain-based dry dog foods, so the significance of the first ingredient being a “quality” protein becomes much less important in terms of the real nutritional value of the food.

On To the Cat Food

A reformulated dry cat food label I checked contains “ocean fish” as the first ingredient, and that’s not specific enough as far as I’m concerned. There are countless varieties of ocean fish, and unfortunately, most are heavily contaminated with toxic metals, industrial chemicals and pesticides.

More often than not, a non-specific protein source like “ocean fish,” or “meat,” or “poultry” is an amalgam of revolting pieces-n-parts of various critters that fall into those general categories. That’s why you want specific named meat like beef, chicken, turkey, duck, etc. in the pet food you buy.

Another dry cat food formula contained the following ingredients at the top of the list: chicken, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, animal fat, powdered cellulose, pea bran meal, dried egg product, and wheat gluten.

So again, we’ve got chicken in the number one spot – before dehydration – followed by what I call filler ingredients. Both wheat and corn are grains linked to the huge and growing problem of allergic conditions in pets. In addition, this is a cat food we’re talking about, and cats’ bodies aren’t even designed to process grains.

I’ll Say it Again: Buyer Beware!

My purpose in bringing this information to you is not to implicate any particular pet food brand or manufacturer. Rather, my goal is to continually remind pet owners that marketing claims for pet food – no matter how benign they may seem – must be investigated if you want to insure you’re feeding the highest quality diet you can afford to your dog or cat.

For more information on how to become an expert at selecting the best commercial pet food for your dog or cat, these articles are a great place to start:

Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats: Simple Homemade Food – Cookbook

Related:

Related:

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Pet Food

Pet Jerky Death Toll Update: 360 dogs, 1 Cat According to FDA

A Raw Food KIBBLE?

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Free Homemade Dog Food Recipes

The Importance of Bones in Your Pet’s Diet

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Fatty Acids May Improve Mobility In Osteoarthritic Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Allergies and Springtime Ailments in Pets

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

Dysbiosis: The Root Cause of Many Other Pet Health Problems

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

The Nutrient Your Dog Needs More of As They Age: Protein – And Expecting Your Pet to Get It from Rendered Pet Food Is the Worst of the Worst of the Worst Options!

Pupcakes

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Chicken Jerky Recipe for dogs

WHAT HUMAN FOODS ARE UNSAFE FOR PETS? (the 12 worst)–> chocolate, sugarless gum & artificial sweeteners, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions (bad for dogs and cats… but poison for cats), garlic (for cats), caffeine, fat trimmings and bones (bad for cats and limited fat and the right bones for dogs), raw eggs (for cats, but must be careful for dogs and humans), and milk.

Some of the best human foods for dogs: peanut butter (although peanuts and peanut butter can contain mold so could be bad for humans and dogs), cheese including cottage cheese (some some dogs can be prone to be lactose intolerant like people), yogurt, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, blueberries, salmon, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh raw carrots, pumpkin, and lean meat… cooked or raw.

Did You Know There are Two Kinds of Raw Pet Food on the Market?

Megacolon: A Terrible Outcome for Constipated Pets

Resources:

Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food

See Spot Live Longer – How to help your dog live a longer and healthier life!

Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals

screen-shot-2012-09-19-at-11.49.12-am[1]

Keep your pets healthy and help extend their lives with:

StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

February 17, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pet Recipes, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Pet Food

Pet Food

Story at-a-glance
  • If you’re feeding your dog or cat a commercial pet food containing corn-based ingredients, chances are those ingredients are genetically modified. Over 60 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified.
  • Studies of rats fed GM corn show evidence of severe kidney and liver disease, negative effects on the heart, spleen, and other organs, massive tumors, and premature death.
  • While the impact of GM foods on dogs and cats has not been scientifically studied, many scientists suspect these products have some common toxic effects and may cause disorders of the liver, pancreas and kidneys in humans and animals.
  • Dr. Michael W. Fox believes the high number of skin and food allergies, and other allergies associated with GI disorders in dogs and cats are caused or aggravated by novel proteins and other contaminants found in genetically modified crops.
  • Even conventionally grown corn is not a biologically appropriate food for dogs or cats. Both corn and soy products are linked to a wide variety of health problems in companion animals.

By Dr. Becker

For those of you still feeding your dog or cat a commercial pet food with corn-based ingredients – which includes most inexpensive pet foods on the market today – here’s a big heads-up and another reason to reconsider the diet you’re offering your four-legged companion.

Chances are the corn products in your pet’s food are genetically modified (GM). This means the seeds have been chemically altered to produce plants that can withstand repeated spraying with Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.

Estimates in 2009 were that over 60 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified, and according to more recent information from NaturalNews.com,1 Monsanto has disclosed that half the sweet corn grown on U.S. farms comes from genetically modified seed.

Genetically Modified Corn and Its Effect on Rats

Previous studies have shown that genetically modified corn causes significant kidney and liver disease in rats after only a 90-day feeding trial,2 and has a negative effect on other organs as well, including the heart and spleen.

Now a new lifetime study of rats fed a diet containing GM corn shows they not only died earlier than rats on a standard diet, they developed mammary tumors and severe kidney and liver damage as well.3

According to researchers, half the male rats and 70 percent of females died prematurely, compared with 30 percent of males and 20 percent of females in the control group.

Lead researcher Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, believes his study involving the full lifespan of rats gives a more comprehensive and realistic view of the risks of GM corn than 90-day feeding trials. A rat at three months is still a young adult.

GM Foods and Your Pet

If you’re wondering how GM corn might affect your dog or cat, unfortunately, the specifics have yet to be studied. However, in an article published in 2009 in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition regarding GM foods, the authors, Greek scientists, assert:

"The results of most of the rather few studies conducted with GM foods indicate that they may cause hepatic, pancreatic, renal, and reproductive effects and may alter hematological, biochemical, and immunologic parameters the significance of which remains unknown. The above results indicate that many GM foods have some common toxic effects. Therefore, further studies should be conducted in order to elucidate the mechanism dominating this action. Small amounts of ingested DNA may not be broken down under digestive processes and there is a possibility that this DNA may either enter the bloodstream or be excreted, especially in individuals with abnormal digestion as a result of chronic gastrointestinal disease or with immunodeficiency."4

Dr. Michael W. Fox has also compiled an extensive list of the potential risks of genetically modified foods, including:

  • The toxic insecticidal agent Bacillus thuringiensis is present in most GM crops in the U.S. that wind up in animal feed and pet food.
  • Glufosinate and glyphosate, which are herbicides, are applied to millions of acres of genetically modified crops across the U.S. and other countries. These poisons are absorbed by the crops – which are engineered to be herbicide resistant – while decimating everything else growing in the area and much of the aquatic life in nearby bodies of water.

    These herbicides cause kidney damage in animals, endocrine disruption and birth defects in frogs, and are lethal to many amphibians. Glyphosate has also been linked to miscarriages, premature births, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, in humans.

  • Nutritionists and other health experts increasingly are connecting the rise in human allergies, including skin conditions and inflammatory GI disorders to broader consumption of GM foods and food additives – in particular, GM soy products containing novel proteins. Dr. Fox suspects the high number of skin and food allergies, and other allergies associated with GI disorders are caused or aggravated by these novel proteins and other contaminants in genetically modified crops.
  • Independent animal feeding safety studies show adverse or unexplained effects of GM foods, including inflammation and abnormal cell growth in the GI tract, as well as in the liver, kidney, testicles, heart, pancreas and brain.
  • GM crops have proven to be unstable and prone to unplanned mutations – which means we don’t really know whether the food being grown from these plants is safe or nutritious.

Dr. Fox’s advice to pet owners is to buy only food with USDA Organic certification. He also advises consumers to avoid all prepared foods, including cooking oils that contain corn and soy products, since these are the products most likely to originate from GM crops.

In addition to Dr. Fox’s advice, I recommend omitting grains entirely from your carnivorous pet’s diet. Corn and soy ingredients are not biologically appropriate ingredients in dog and cat food, even if they are conventionally grown. Both these ingredients are linked to a wide variety of health problems in companion animals, including allergies, skin disorders, oral disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and cystitis.

November 14, 2012 Posted by | Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Raw Food KIBBLE?

Raw Kibble

Story at-a-glance

There’s a new entry in the ever-inventive pet food market – “raw kibble” – a blend of grain-free kibble and pieces of freeze-dried raw meat.

The target consumer for this new product is the pet owner who wants grain-free and raw food for her dog or cat, but who for whatever reason finds frozen pet food doesn’t fit her lifestyle.

The important thing to remember about “grain-free” kibble is it isn’t free of carbs or starches – only those derived from grain. Case in point, the new “raw kibble” formula lists tapioca, a carbohydrate, as its second ingredient.

The important thing to remember about “raw” meat added to a bag of kibble is it has to be processed in some manner to prevent spoilage.

  • For pet owners who truly want to feed a grain-free, raw, species-appropriate diet, the answer won’t be found in a bag of kibble.

By Dr. Becker

 

I was recently made aware of a new type of pet food on the market: "raw kibble." This product, available for both cats and dogs, is actually a blend of grain-free kibble and chunks of freeze-dried raw meat.

According to PetfoodIndustry.com, the new combination formulas are being marketed as an answer for pet owners who want grain-free and raw diets for their animals, but who find frozen pet food does not "work with their lifestyle."

Hmm. I hope this is not an attempt to convince pet owners they can provide the benefits of raw, species-appropriate nutrition from a convenient bag of kibble.

I’m also concerned about pet owners’ interpretation of "grain-free" when it comes to kibble.

Pet food ingredients can’t be turned into kibble without some type of starch included in the mix. So a kibble that is "grain-free" is not starch or carbohydrate free – it just doesn’t contain grain as a starch or carbohydrate.

Grain-free Does NOT Mean Carb-free or Starch-free

In the case of the new "raw kibble" blend for dogs, the second listed ingredient is tapioca. Tapioca seems to be taking the place of grain-based fillers in many pet food formulas of late.

Tapioca is used commercially in pearl, pellet and flour form. As flour, it can be used to make bread and thicken desserts. It mixes well in cold water, turns to gel/paste at 125°F to 150°F, and becomes more gelatinous the higher the cooking temp and length of cooking time.

In the extrusion process used to create dry pet food, tapioca expands extremely well – up to two to three times that of rice.

Tapioca is a starch. In certain regions of the world, including the U.S., tapioca is primarily associated with a flavor of pudding. But in many other countries, it is considered a staple carbohydrate in the diet. On a dry basis, tapioca contains insignificant amounts of protein, ash, fat, and fiber, and not much sugar. It is essentially a pure carbohydrate.

The plant that produces tapioca is known by a variety of names, including cassava. The leaves, stems and skin of the cassava plant contain cyanogenic glucosides which can produce cyanide effects. These effects include development of goiter, pancreatitis, paralysis and death in both people and companion animals. The cassava plant must be properly processed to eliminate these effects.

As kibble binding agents go, tapioca is less problematic than many others. But it isn’t nutritious for dogs and cats. And keep in mind it’s number two on the ingredient list, which means there’s lots of it in the mixture.

Additional Observations About the Ingredient List

The sixth ingredient on the list is sun-cured alfalfa meal ("sun-cured" simply means it was cut and left in the sun to dry). Alfalfa is a member of the hay family more commonly included in horse and cattle feed than dog food. It contains plant (not animal) protein and a lot of fiber (25 percent). I’m not sure why this ingredient is in there at number six, but I suspect it’s to boost the overall percentage of protein in the food.

The freeze-dried raw meats included in the "raw kibble" blend show up on the ingredient list at items 9 through 12. Obviously, kibble represents a much greater portion of the formula than raw meat.

Unadulterated Raw Meat vs. HPP and Freeze-Dried Raw Meat

The raw meat in this pet food has undergone high pressure pasteurization (HPP) to sterilize it. Raw food enthusiasts maintain that food handled in this manner is no longer truly raw and shouldn’t be marketed as such.

In addition to the high pressure pasteurization, the meat has also been freeze-dried, which is yet another process.

Freeze-drying removes the moisture from food, which extends its shelf-life. Sterilized, freeze-dried meat is the only kind of meat that could be combined with a kibble mixture. Clearly there’s no safe way to add unadulterated raw meat to a bag of kibble that might be stored at room temperature or higher for up to a year or more.

So the "raw" meat in this formula has actually been processed in two different ways.

Diets Lacking in Moisture Are Not Species-Appropriate for Dogs and Cats

One of the main problems with all kibble is lack of moisture, and adding freeze-dried chunks of meat to the mix is hardly a solution.

Carnivorous dogs and cats were designed to consume moisture-rich foods. Unadulterated raw foods are about 70 percent moisture. Compare that with dry pet food, which is only around 12 percent moisture.

Your pet’s body has evolved to consume a diet rich in moisture. When raw pet food ingredients are turned into kibble, several strange things happen, but the most detrimental is that the food becomes too dry.

Feeding kibble requires that your pet’s body provide sufficient moisture to reconstitute the food in the digestive tract. Although an animal’s body will make a noble effort to consume extra water to compensate, most pets and certainly most cats simply can’t make up the difference.

The Association of Feline Practitioners recommends that owners feed cats a diet of primarily canned or raw food instead of dry food for this very reason. A lifetime of minor dehydration is stressful to multiple organ systems and can easily be avoided by feeding foods that have not been dehydrated, dried, kibbled, or extruded.

Kibble is Kibble is Kibble

Having said all the above, I should probably point out that as dry pet foods go, this new blend of grain-free kibble and freeze-dried raw meat is far from a terrible formula. Certainly there are many worse products on the market.

The important things to know about this new formula are:

  • It’s primarily kibble, and therefore lacking in moisture content.
  • It doesn’t contain grains, but it does contain tapioca – pure carbohydrate – as the second ingredient.
  • It contains very little "raw" food and the raw meat it does contain has been both high pressure pasteurized and freeze-dried.

If you want to feed your healthy dog or cat balanced, species-appropriate nutrition, kibble is the first thing to avoid. Your best bet is to either make homemade pet food in your own kitchen (from balanced recipes only, of course), or provide your dog or cat with a high quality, commercially available, balanced raw diet.

Related:

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Free Homemade Dog Food Recipes

The Importance of Bones in Your Pet’s Diet

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Fatty Acids May Improve Mobility In Osteoarthritic Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Allergies and Springtime Ailments in Pets

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

Dysbiosis: The Root Cause of Many Other Pet Health Problems

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

September 7, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Chicken Jerky Recipe for dogs

Yummy super-simple treat… and it’s also super-popular with dogs and healthy. Chicken Jerky is a Treat made from thin strips of chicken slow baked to almost the point of crispness.

Ingredients

1 pound chicken breasts (I baked three pounds!)

Start by preheating your oven to 170 or 180 degrees, depending on how low your oven will go. While that’s preheating, assemble the chicken. I used frozen chicken breast tenderloins (this is a great way to use any chicken you’ve got that’s become freezer burned!)

I had thawed the frozen chicken breasts by putting them in the refrigerator overnight…and woke up to find they were still frozen! I put the chicken in a big bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes which thawed it enough to slice with a sharp knife. TIP: It’s easier to slice the chicken when it’s semi-frozen rather than completely thawed; you can use the heel of your hand on the knife to “chop” the slices rather than trying to saw through thawed meat.

The only difficult part of this dog treat recipe is the slicing; you’ll want to slice the chicken no more than about 1/4 inch wide. Slice with the grain of the chicken, rather than against it; this will make the treats a little chewier and make them last a LITTLE bit longer when you give them to your dogs.

Slice up the chicken and place it on a greased cookie sheet; be sure to use one with a slight edge because there will be water and juices from the chicken during the first hour of cooking. Leave about a 1/2 inch or so between slices and just make sure they’re not touching.

Once you’re finished slicing, pop the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for two hours. After two hours, check the slices and see if they’re dry. You don’t want them to be crispy to the point of snapping but you do want them to be very chewy. (They should look like a very done french fry.) Because I baked three pounds of chicken at once, I had to bake my treats for an 90 minutes and I flipped the slices with a spatula after two hours of baking.

When they’re done, remove the treats from the oven and cool on a drying rack. If you don’t have one (I don’t), just flip a dish drainer over and drape with a dish towel then put your treats on the towel to dry. (You just want to get the treats up off the metal cookie sheets so they’ll cool crispier. A wicker basket flipped over and draped with a cup towel work work great, too.)

When the treats are completely cool, bag them in zippered bags or pop them in an airtight container and refrigerate. You can also freeze the treats for several months. Be warned, though: these are VERY popular treats…they’ll go fast! (Cats also love them!)

Dog owners cautioned about chicken jerky treats

Chicken jerky treats may be behind illness and even death in hundreds of dogs nationwide, and the FDA is urging dog owners to beware.

After receiving hundreds of reports of sickened or killed dogs, the FDA has issued a warning about the treats after they were linked to a disease similar to Fanconi syndrome, which can be fatal.

Veterinarian Dean Aldridge of Flathead Pet Emergency explained, "That’s a syndrome where the kidneys are unable to retain electrolytes, so you get electrolyte imbalances that can be fatal. For example, the potassium rates could drop to the point where the heart stops."

No cases have yet been diagnosed in the Flathead Valley, but there have been hundreds of cases nationwide and several in Montana, including a golden retriever that belongs to the Lacopini family in Billings. Aldridge says if it’s caught early, this condition can be treated, but warns that’s not always the case.

Aldridge said, "In most cases with the jerky treats, it’s a correctable syndrome. It’s just that it takes a lot of work and a lot of care. Measuring electrolytes, supplementing electrolytes, until the time that the kidneys do come back around. In some cases it is fatal though, you just can’t get ahead of it."

Aldridge told us this is not the first time vets have seen this problem: "In 2007, there was something that came across, and then in June, we got another alert from the AVMA, that there was some more of it, and that there may be recall’s on the treats, so we’ve been aware that it’s out there since about June."

Here is the full text of the press release from the FDA:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to caution consumers about a potential association between the development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products. The products-also called chicken tenders, strips, or treats-are imported from China. FDA continues to receive complaints of sick dogs that their owners or veterinarians associate with eating chicken jerky products. FDA issued a cautionary warning to consumers in September 2007.

Australian news organizations report that the University of Sydney is also investigating an association between illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky in Australia. At least one firm in Australia has recalled their chicken jerky product and the recall notification stated the product was manufactured in China.

What is FDA Doing?

FDA, in addition to several veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the United States, is working to find out why these products are associated with illness in dogs. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a precise cause for the reported illnesses.

FDA has conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified any contaminant.

FDA continues to actively investigate the problem. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky.

Tips for Consumers

Do not substitute chicken jerky products for a balanced diet. The products are intended to be used occasionally and in small quantities. Owners of small dogs must be especially careful to limit the amount of these products.

If you choose to feed your dog chicken jerky products, watch the dog closely. Stop feeding the product if your dog shows any of the following signs, which may occur within hours to days after feeding the product:

– decreased appetite, although some dogs may continue to eat the treats instead of other foods

– decreased activity

– vomiting

– diarrhea, sometimes with blood

– increased water drinking or increased urination

Call your veterinarian if signs are severe or last for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose).

Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to FDA have involved dogs that have died.

Consumers and veterinarians should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods or treats to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator listed for their area.

Pet parents… stop falling for the pet food myth (the baby food myth).  Real food, natural food, raw food, home-cooked food is the answer.  Commercial pet food in an invention to make people/large companies money, not to make your pets healthy.  Start cooking for your pets, at least one meal per day to start with and check the labels.  Do not buy products for consumption for your pets, animals, children or yourselves… and that includes toys and objects your animals and kids could put in their mouths that are made in China.

Source: krtv.com

March 2, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet Recipes, Pets | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Feeding Homemade Dog Food

Real meat is the best food for your dog….nothing else even comes close.

The best food for your dog is . . .

Real food. Fresh food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish. Fresh vegetables. Yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese.

No, this is not “people food.” Calling real food “people food” makes it sound as though people are the only living creatures entitled to eat real food. That’s not true.

ALL living creatures deserve real, fresh food.

“You can boost your pet’s health profoundly by making one simple decision. All you have to do is change his diet from commercial-brand fare to something you may never have imagined giving him – real food. The fresh food you buy at the market for yourself is the food you should give your pet, too.”

Generations of dogs lived to ripe old ages on fresh foods…before the pet food corporations came along and changed (ruined) everything.

Dog food corporations. “Just say no.”

Dogs have been domesticated for about 15,000 years (that’s amazing, isn’t it?) and up until the 1930s, they were NEVER fed “kibble” or “canned” brands from a store. Dogs were fed real meat and vegetables, and a little homemade bread. On this diet they thrived, frequently living into their late teens.

Dogs didn’t eat kibble until the 1930s when the grain and meat industries needed a market for their rejects.

That all changed in the 1930s, when cereal and grain manufacturers were looking for something profitable to do with their rejected cereals and grain – their wheat and corn that failed USDA inspection because of mold, rancidity, and other contaminants.

These companies discovered that hey, the meat industry faced the same dilemma – meat that failed USDA inspection because it had spoiled or because the livestock was diseased.

The ingenious idea of mixing the rejects together and calling it “dog food” was born.

Marketing firms spent an enormous amount of money planting this lamentable idea in the public’s mind, and today commercial diets are promoted by multi-billion dollar pet food corporations and the veterinary industry, both of whom have a huge financial stake in getting you to feed these products.

But processed kibble and canned products were not then – nor are they now – “dog food.”

Real dog food was, is, and always will be real food.  That’s what your dog should be eating.

“The whole concept of Insta-Meal for humans is repulsive. Most people would soon be climbing the walls in frustration, desperate for a salad or some fruit – anything whole and fresh, or just different. Perhaps the thought of eating kibbles for the rest of your own life helps make the point that pets forced to do so are being shortchanged. All of us – humans and animals – should have fresh, wholesome, unprocessed food in our daily diet.

The awful ingredients in commercial “dog food”

THE GRAIN

Virtually all dog food brands are heavily based on fibrous grains and cereals. But dogs do not have the long, winding digestive tract required to digest fibrous grains and cereals. Dogs have a short straight digestive tract designed to digest meat.

Many dogs who eat corn, soybeans, or wheat develop health problems.Excessive shedding or dandruff. Loose stools. Gassiness and flatulence. Itchy skin, where your dog licks his feet or rubs his face against the carpet, trying to ease the itch. You might never think to associate these problems with the grain in your dog’s diet, but that is often the case.

To make matters worse, GOOD grain is reserved for the human market. What goes into the pet food bin is deemed unfit for human consumption because of mold, rancidity, or contaminants – yuck!

THE MEAT

Unless a dog food brand says its meat passed USDA inspection…it didn’t.

Contrary to what the dog food companies show you on TV commercials, your dog doesn’t get sirloin from a healthy cow who spent its life cropping grass, nor does he get white chicken breast from a hen who spent its life pecking happily around the barnyard.

No, your dog gets the meat that didn’t make the cut for the human market – 4D meat from livestock that was Diseased,Disabled, Dying, or already Dead when it arrived at the slaughterhouse. It won’t pass USDA inspection, so into the pet food bin it goes….

….along with the growth hormones that were fed to the livestock to make them grow faster…and with the antibiotics fed to the livestock to prevent massive outbreaks of disease in their crowded living conditions. These hormones and antibiotics trickle through to your dog.

THE GREASY FAT

You know that pungent smell that wafts up from a freshly opened bag of kibble? That’s greasy fat sprayed onto the hard little pebbles to tempt your dog to eat it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be recognizable to him as food. So dogs gobble up their kibble for the same reason kids gobble up french fries. But we don’t let our kids eat only french fries just because they love the smell or taste, do we?

Bags of kibble can sit on a shelf for so long because of the chemical preservatives.

THE PRESERVATIVES

Preservatives make the bags and cans last longer That’s convenient for the dog food company, which can leave it sitting in their warehouse for a long time. Convenient for the retailer who can leave it sitting on his shelf for a long time. Convenient for the owner who can leave it in the pantry for a long time, then pour it into his dog’s bowl and leave it sitting there all day if necessary.

But what is this stuff that keeps ingredients from spoiling?

The most common dog food preservatives are BHA and BHT (both of which are associated with liver and kidney dysfunction, and bladder and stomach cancer) and ethoxyquin, which is manufactured by that giant chemical corporation Monsanto as a rubber preservative. The Department of Agriculture lists it as a pesticide. OSHA lists it as a hazardous chemical. The containers are marked POISON.

All 3 chemicals are banned in Europe, but because their manufacturers have so much legislative clout here in the U.S., they’re still tolerated here. Sad, but true.

“Good news!” you say. “None of those preservatives are in MY dog food brand.” Well, not so fast. Even when it’s not listed, it can be in there, anyway. A legal loophole, you see, allows dog food companies to only list what they themselves put into the bag. If they buy some of their ingredients from a supplier who has already added the chemical, the dog food company doesn’t have to disclose that on the bag.

Isn’t that nice?

THE UNRECOGNIZABLE INGREDIENTS

Brewer’s rice? Wheat bran? Beet pulp? Corn gluten? Do you know what any of that stuff is? Can you see yourself picking up a bag of corn gluten or a carton of beet pulp for your dog’s supper?

What about animal digest? This ingredient is officially described as “material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue.” Doesn’t that sound tasty? It’s actually a boiled concoction from the rendering plant, and the “animal tissue” can include anything from cattle to rats to roadkill to dogs and cats euthanized at the animal shelter. Yes, the FDA has found sodium pentobarbital – the chemical used to euthanize animals – in some brands of dog food.

Australian veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst says:

“If you look at the ingredient list on a can or a bag of pet food – with understanding – you will realize that what is being listed is a heap of rubbish. Definitely not the wholesome nutritious food you would want to feed to a valued member of your family!”

Artificial diets are causing health problems in dogs.

How commercial dog food affects your dog’s health

Every day, unhappy dogs parade through veterinary offices. They suffer from:

  • itching
  • hot spots
  • dandruff
  • excessive shedding
  • foot-licking
  • face-rubbing
  • loose stools
  • gassiness

What are these dogs eating? Virtually every one of them is eating an artificial diet.

“Since I graduated from veterinary school in 1965, I’ve noticed a general deterioration in pet health. We now see very young animals with diseases that we used to see only in older animals. Without the perspective of several decades, vets just coming out of veterinary school think these degenerative conditions in younger animals are “normal.” They do not realize what has happened over the passage of time.

I believe, along with poor quality nutrients, the chemical additives in pet food play a major part in that decline. Pet foods contain slaughterhouse wastes, toxic products from spoiled foodstuffs, non-nutritive fillers, heavy-metal contaminants, pesticides, herbicides, drug residues, sugar, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.”

Dr. Martin Goldstein D.V.M. sums it up:

“When I tell an owner that a change of diet can affect her pet’s health in a matter of days, the first reaction is usually delight, sometimes even exhilaration.”

Dr. Richard Pitcairn D.V.M.  Packaged and canned dog food like packaged and jarred baby food and insta-meals or artificial diets for people are not only not better but are generally bad for those who eat them. Insta-meals, commercial baby food and commercial pet food are industries dreamed up for profits by entrepreneurs that only get worse as the companies and their focus on profits gets bigger.

Without a doubt pets who eat real healthy food live longer and healthier lives… and it saves on the vet bills! 

And cooking for your pets does not have to be a chore.  They can eat many of the same things you eat and there are some great recipes for meats, stews, etc that you can fix for both you and your pet!

h/t to my great friend and vet Dr. Susan for sending this article~

Resources

The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats

Everything Cooking for Dogs Book: 150 Quick and Easy Healthy Recipes Your Dog Will Bark For (Everything: Cooking)

Keep Your Dog Healthy the Natural Way

Your Purebred Puppy, Second Edition: A Buyer’s Guide, Completely Revised and Updated

Cooking for Your Dog

Bone Appetit!: Gourmet Cooking for Your Dog

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

And after dinner how about a nice massage?

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Some Dog Foods Deliver Toxic Doses of Poison

fluoride, dog food, dogs, cats, petsWith the memory of the melamine pet food scare still fresh in the minds of many, the Environmental Working Group is publicizing a new threat: potentially toxic doses of fluoride in dog food.

An EWG analysis found troubling levels of fluoride in 8 of 10 dog foods tested. The concentration of fluoride was up to 2.5 times higher than the safe level the EPA sets for drinking water. Some puppies may be exposed to five times this limit.

The fluoride in dog food originates in bone meal and animal by-products. EWG recommends choosing dog food brands free of bone meal and meat by-product ingredients like chicken by-product meal, poultry by-product meal, chicken meal and beef meal.

Sources:

The Daily Green June 30, 2009

Environmental Working Group June 26, 2009 [Full Report]

Related Resource: Dr. Mercola

Most pet owners consider their four-legged companions beloved members of their family. With everything else to keep track of, the diet of your pet can easily get tossed on the backburner. Unfortunately, your pet’s health is as dependent on the food you serve as the rest of your family.

Fluoride, it seems, may be a particular problem, as many pet foods contain some form of bone meal, which is believed to be the main source of fluoride in commercial pet foods.

The Power of Advertising is Just as Potent in the Pet Food Industry

As you probably know by now, the food industry spends millions of dollars each year influencing your dietary habits, and the pet food industry is no different. But despite advertising claims and pictures of happy puppies, the majority of commercial pet foods are far from optimally healthy.

Much of the so-called “healthy pet foods” on the market contain inferior meat meals, cheap grains like corn and soy, fillers, by-products, food coloring, pesticides, preservatives, and other contaminants, including fluoride.

Pet food has simply not gained the same amount of scrutiny as human foods, and only when widespread disaster struck did the quality of pet food ingredients become the talk of the town. You may remember the melamine mass-contamination that rocked the pet food industry last year. Since it led to thousands of sick and dead pets around the country it was impossible to ignore.

Fluoride, on the other hand, is more insidious, and likely will not cause sudden death. But it is a potent toxin that can have devastating long-term health effects, both in humans and in pets.

Dangerous Levels of Fluoride Detected in 80 Percent of Commercial Pet Food

When the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a survey of ten national brands of dog food, they discovered that all but two contained “potentially dangerous” levels of fluoride.

Unfortunately, no one really knows what the safe levels of fluoride for animals might be and there are no standards for pet foods, but eight of the brands contained fluoride in amounts between 1.6 and 2.5 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum legal dose in drinking water.

We also know that 2 grams of fluoride is enough to kill an adult, and just 500 mg is enough to kill a child. To those of you not familiar with the metric system, a teaspoon is 5 grams. So less than one half teaspoon of fluoride will kill most adults and one tenth of a teaspoon will kill most children.

In the U.S., people have died, and many have become sick, when faltering fluoridation equipment has pumped excess fluoride into the water. And, since fluoride is used as anactive ingredient in a number of pesticides, we also know it’s definitely deadly to a number of smaller critters, in small amounts.

At an average of 8.9 mg of fluoride per kilogram of dog food, the sampled brands also contained far higher amounts of fluoride than what is associated with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer that typically occurs in young boys.

Posted: Just One More Pet

July 25, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment