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

pet-friendly-home The following foods are not safe for dogs, cats, potbellied pigs, or guinea pigs. Never give the following foods or beverages to your pets:

  • *Alcohol of any kind (a no-no for all animals)
  • *Anything with Caffeine (a no-no for all animals)
  • Avocados – especially for birds and cats
  • Baby food if it contains onion powder
  • Bones from Ham, Chicken, Turkey or Cooked Bones that can splinter
  • * (Raw) Bread or Yeast Dough
  • Candied Yams
  • Casseroles (unless you absolutely know that none of the no-no foods are in them)
  • *Chocolate and Cocoa (this includes things like brownies and chocolate chip cookies) and dark chocolate is the worst
  • Raw cookie dough can also kill dogs and small children.
  • *Grapes or raisins
  • Jell-O Molds
  • (Raw) Liver
  • *Macadamia Nuts (this includes things like cookies and pies) and go easy on nuts in general (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues). Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are healthy for humans, but too much fat of any kind increases the risk of pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Milk (and American Cheese) can be a problem for some dogs. They can be lactose intolerant like some people.
  • Mushrooms, particularly wild mushrooms.
  • Nutmeg
  • *Onions, including onion powder (garlic should be fed in moderation)
  • Pecans, including Pecan Pie (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold.  Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues).
  • Potato Skins and Green Potatoes (potatoes in general are not digestible by dogs).
  • Pork Products because of the nitrates
  • Stuffing (it usually contains onions, which are very harmful to pets)
  • Large amounts of Grains (often a main ingredient in cheap commercial pet foods)
  • *Raisins and grapes
  • Raw eggs (raw egg whites) – (According to the ASPCA, raw egg whites contain avidin, which damages a dog’s metabolism and creates a biotin deficiency, so they recommend owners should discard the white if feeding a dog raw eggs.  Others disagree.)
  • Tomatoes (plant and fruit) – All parts of the plant except the tomato itself are poisonous to humans
  • Vitamin A in large amounts causes toxicity
  • Walnuts (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems, for humans as well, because of mold issues).
  • *Xylitol and anything with it in it.

Depending on the amount consumed and the size, breed, species and age of the animal many of the items above can cause death, but they definitely can and usually cause discomfort for the pet/animal, more and expensive vet bills for you, butt scooting, and stress in your pets and for you. Distention of the abdomen, vomiting, muscle tremors, paralysis bloody stool, depression, stress, jaundice, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, abnormal fluid accumulation, drooling, restlessness, anemia and seizures are among the symptoms and conditions that can be caused by the aforementioned foods.

The range of diseases and conditions caused or intensified by the No-No Foods for pets include: coma, heart arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, paralysis, pancreatitis, inflammation throughout the body, seizures and tremors, gastric-dilitation volvulus (twisted stomach) and death.

*Causing the most severe health problems and the most incidents of death.

Tobacco products and many plants and herbs are also bad for pets.  Poinsettias, tomato plants and the Sago Palm are among the common plants that are toxic to dogs/pets. 

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays

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

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal – Drugs, unless prescribed or are specifically made and approved for animals, are a No-No!

Cooking real food or feeding a raw diet is generally the best option for most pets, but pet parents need to know the general restrictions as well as those for their particular pet plus make sure that their furkids are getting all the nutrients they need and avoiding too many fats, sugars and of course the no-no food list!  Commercial pet food, including kibble, is a rather new creation along with pre-packaged, processed and restaurant-style junk food for humans, including baby food and baby formula, filled with questionable additives and unrecognizable ingredients; none of which are proving to be the best choices, just read the labels.  All were invented for the consumers’ convenience and the profit for their manufacturers not good health and nutrition. The more fresh and freshly prepared food from good sources, as well as mother’s milk over formula for babies, the healthier we, our children and our pets are and will be!

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Every species, breed or type of animal has its own requirements and no-no’s.  As a pet parent or the parent of a learning pet parent, it is your job to find out what those requirements and no-no’s are and meet those needs.  A pet is a living creature that adds joy to our lives.  We are all God’s creatures and any animal is a gift that has been given to you to cherish and take care of properly!!

Cross-posted at True Health Is True Wealth (THITW) and at AskMarion

November 23, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

The Best "Pet" Food Money Can Buy… And the Absolute Worst

Story at-a-glance

  • The pet food industry in the U.S. is relatively young, which is surprising when you consider the vast and confusing array of pet food offerings available on the market. Prepared pet food has only been around for about 60 years, and has experienced most of its growth spurt in just the last 30 years.
  • World War II introduced Americans to two things that have shown great staying power – dry pet food and processed human food, which would also ultimately have a tremendous impact on the pet food industry.
  • After WWII, the U.S. enjoyed a period of tremendous growth and expansion in every direction. During those boom years, in response to the tremendous increase in consumer appetites, the human food industry created vast quantities of waste from slaughterhouses, grain mills, and processing plants. Pet food manufacturers – still in their infancy — immediately understood the unlimited opportunity of human food waste to their industry. By 1960, pet food companies had figured out how to mass-produce dry pet food to meet growing consumer demand for pet “convenience” foods.
  • There’s a problem, however. Carnivorous dogs and cats have not evolved to digest and assimilate the primary ingredients in the vast majority of commercially prepared pet foods. As a result, for over a half-century we’ve created dozens of generations of animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies.
  • To be optimally healthy, dogs and cats need unadulterated, fresh, moisture-rich whole foods. They don’t need grains, fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, additives, chemicals, or byproducts. Although animals can eat some processed foods, they aren’t designed to consume a lifetime of dry or canned diets.

Pet Food Industry

By Dr. Becker

Commercially prepared pet food in the U.S. has a relatively short (less than 100 years), but interesting history. Believe it or not, the only food made exclusively for pets prior to the early 1920s were dog biscuits!

During the 1920s and ‘30s, the pet food market began to expand a bit. Americans with enough money to purchase their pet’s food could find dehydrated, pelleted and canned formulas made from meat and grain mill scraps. But most pets were still fed primarily raw meat and table scraps, plus whatever food they hunted for themselves.

The Great Depression of the 1930s and early ‘40s had a significant impact on the growth of the commercial pet food market, however, lack of industry regulation invited anyone who wanted to make a buck to produce a can or bag of pet food. During that period, canned pet food accounted for over 90 percent of the market.

During World War II (1939 to 1945), not only was metal rationed, but pet food was categorized as “non-essential” by the U.S. government. The combination spelled death for the canned pet food industry. In addition, food rationing led to fewer table scraps. Pet owners who could afford to bought dry pet food or dog biscuits – the only commercially available products at the time.

Byproducts of WWII: Dry Pet Food and Processed Human Food

Unfortunately, the American pet owner’s love of dry pet food has endured well past the end of World War II. The war also sparked the processed food revolution in the U.S. Spam and similar products were developed in the 1930s to feed the troops abroad and to help with food rationing restrictions at home. All the factors that made processed food attractive to humans ultimately had a significant impact on the pet food industry as well.

The period after the end of WWII was a time of enormous economic growth and expansion in the U.S. Jobs were plentiful and more Americans were able to buy their own homes. As more families moved out of cities to suburbia, giant supermarkets replaced small grocery stores. Consumer demand for processed foods, for fast food – for food in general – kept pace with increases in educational and employment opportunities, individual wealth, and ever-expanding lifestyle options.

In responding to the tremendous increase in U.S. consumer appetites, the human food industry created vast quantities of agricultural scraps from slaughterhouses, grain mills, and processing plants. Pet food manufacturers immediately understood the unlimited opportunity of human food waste to their industry.

By 1960, Pet Food Companies Were Able to Mass-Market Kibble

It’s absolutely true — 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.

In the late 1950s, a U.S. pet food company developed a way to create kibble from boiling cauldrons of meat, fat and grain scraps – it’s called extrusion. The raw materials are purchased by pet food manufacturers who then blend the rendered fat and meat with 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. This is what passes for pet food and it’s sold to consumers at a tremendous profit.

This “advancement” in manufacturing allowed pet food companies to capitalize on the popularity of kibble. Now, they were able to mass-market the type of pet food most popular with U.S. pet owners due to its convenience and low cost.

Today, there are hundreds of kibbles, canned and semi-most dog and cat foods to choose from. This is remarkable, given that not quite 60 years ago, commercial pet food was almost unheard of.

Have We Chosen Convenience Over the Health of Our Pets?

No one really argues with the fact that in order for optimal health to occur, animals – including humans — must consume the foods they were designed to eat, and preferably whole, fresh and unadulterated. This is known as species-appropriate nutrition. For example, vegetarian animals must eat vegetation for optimal health. Carnivores must eat fresh whole prey for optimal health.

Carnivorous pets have not evolved to digest and assimilate foods like corn, wheat, rice or potatoes – yet these are the very foods the vast majority of pet food manufacturers use as primary ingredients in their formulas. Fortunately, dogs and cats are extremely resilient creatures. Not only do they not die immediately upon eating biologically inappropriate foods, but it often takes years before the significant physical degeneration that occurs from a lifetime of eating the wrong foods becomes noticeable.

One of the reasons we’re able to deceive ourselves into believing convenience pet foods are good for dogs and cats is because the changes to a pet’s health and vitality brought on by a dead, processed diet are usually not immediate or acute.

For over a half-century, our pets have been fed inappropriate diets that have kept them alive, but not thriving. In fact, we’ve created dozens of generations of animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies.

Optimal Nutrition for Your Dog or Cat

Dogs and cats need quality protein, fats, and a small amount of vegetables and fruits, which provide antioxidants and fiber to animals that no longer hunt whole prey.

Natural sources of trace minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids must be added, since the soils in which foods are grown are depleted of many of the nutrients pets need. Also, food storage, whether it’s in a freezer or a pantry, decreases critical essential fatty acid levels in foods.

Pets need unadulterated, fresh, whole foods that are moisture dense. They don’t need grains, fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, additives, chemicals, byproducts, or processed foods. Although animals can eat some processed foods, they aren’t designed to consume a lifetime of dry or canned diets.

If you would like to learn more about the importance of fresh, whole, unprocessed diets for dogs and cats, I recommend you watch or read my three-part series on raw food diets for pets:

Part 1 — The Feeding Mistake Linked to the Cause of Most Disease-Are You Making It?
Part 2 — The Biggest Myths About Raw Food (And Why They’re Mostly Nonsense)
Part 3 – Common Feeding Mistakes That Can Harm Your Pet

You can also find a vast amount of additional information here at Mercola Healthy Pets on how to choose the best foods for your pet, and what foods to avoid.

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

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

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

And after dinner how about a nice massage?

November 14, 2013 Posted by | Animal Related Education, 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

No-No Foods for Pets

dalmation, parrot and other petsThe “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

The following foods are not safe for dogs, cats, potbellied pigs, or guinea pigs. Never give the following foods or beverages to your pets:

  • *Alcohol of any kind (a no-no for all animals)
  • *Anything with Caffeine (a no-no for all animals)
  • Avocados – especially for birds and cats
  • Baby food if it contains onion powder
  • Bones from Ham, Chicken, Turkey or Cooked Bones that can splinter
  • * (Raw) Bread or Yeast Dough
  • Candied Yams
  • Casseroles (unless you absolutely know that none of the no-no foods are in them)
  • *Chocolate and Cocoa (this includes things like brownies and chocolate chip cookies) and dark chocolate is the worst
  • Raw cookie dough can also kill dogs and small children.
  • *Grapes or raisins
  • Jell-O Molds
  • (Raw) Liver
  • *Macadamia Nuts (this includes things like cookies and pies) and go easy on nuts in general (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues).
  • Milk (and American Cheese) can be a problem for some dogs. They can be lactose intolerant like some people.
  • Mushrooms, particularly wild mushrooms.
  • Nutmeg
  • *Onions, including onion powder (garlic should be fed in moderation)
  • Pecans, including Pecan Pie (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold.  Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems because of mold issues).
  • Potato Skins and Green Potatoes (potatoes in general are not digestible by dogs).
  • Pork Products because of the nitrates
  • Stuffing (it usually contains onions, which are very harmful to pets)
  • Large amounts of Grains (often a main ingredient in cheap commercial pet foods)
  • *Raisins and grapes
  • Raw eggs (raw egg whites) – (According to the ASPCA, raw egg whites contain avidin, which damages a dog’s metabolism and creates a biotin deficiency, so they recommend owners should discard the white if feeding a dog raw eggs.  Others disagree.)
  • Tomatoes (plant and fruit) – All parts of the plant except the tomato itself are poisonous to humans
  • Vitamin A in large amounts causes toxicity
  • Walnuts (nuts in general are not great for dogs, but walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans are particularly harmful and add the additional possibilities of health problems caused by fungus and mold. Peanuts and peanut butter are not on the no-no list but could also cause problems, for humans as well, because of mold issues).
  • *Xylitol and anything with it in it.

Depending on the amount consumed and the size, breed, species and age of the animal many of the items above can cause death, but they definitely can and usually cause discomfort for the pet/animal, more and expensive vet bills for you, butt scooting and stress in your pets and for you. Distention of the abdomen, vomiting, muscle tremors, paralysis bloody stool, depression, stress, jaundice, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, abnormal fluid accumulation, drooling, restlessness, anemia and seizures are among the symptoms and conditions that can be caused by the aforementioned foods.

The range of diseases and conditions caused or intensified by the No-No Foods for pets include: coma, heart arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, paralysis, pancreatitis, inflammation throughout the body, seizures and tremors, gastric-dilitation volvulus (twisted stomach) and death.

*Causing the most severe health problems and the most incidents of death.

Tobacco products and many plants and herbs are also bad for pets.  Poinsettias, tomato plants and the Sago Palm are among the common plants that are toxic to dogs/pets.

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

Common Foods That Are Harmful Or Even Fatal to Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

More Dogs (and Cats) Getting High, Sick and Fat In States Where Marijuana Is Legal – Drugs, unless prescribed or are specifically made and approved for animals, are a No-No!

Every species, breed or type of animal has its own requirements and no-no’s.  As a pet parent or the parent of a learning pet parent, it is your job to find out what those requirements and no-no’s are and meet those needs.  A pet is a living creature that adds joy to our lives.  We are all God’s creatures and any animal is a gift that has been given to you to cherish and take care of properly!!

April 15, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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 | , , , , | 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

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

You may recall that at the end of 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned dog owners that they should be aware of a "potential association between development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products also described as chicken tenders, strips or treats."

At the time the warning was issued, reports had come in citing that at least 95 dogs had become ill, possibly due to consumption of chicken jerky. However, after multiple tests the FDA was unable to identify any cause for the illnesses, so it is not surprising that (1) people kept feeding their dog’s chicken jerky and (2) more dogs got sick.

Three of pups who died…

 

Then, in November of 2011, the FDA issued yet another warning stating that there was a potential connection between dogs that were falling ill and chicken jerky that was being imported from China. (I reported on this back in December.) Common symptoms included:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea – with or without blood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Kidney failure (increased thirst and urination are typical)

Some dogs that have ingested chicken jerky and develop these symptoms have recovered. Others have not been so lucky. To date, more than 2,200 dogs have become ill. According to NBCNews.com, at least 360 dogs and one cat have reportedly died in the U.S. after eating chicken jerky pet treats made in China.

The FDA is still stumped as to the cause, but back in March, msnbc.com reported:

"A log of complaints collected from pet owners and veterinarians contains references to at least three popular brands of jerky treats that may be associated with kidney failure and other serious ailments, according to internal Food and Drug Administration documents obtained by msnbc.com."
Of 22 "Priority 1" cases listed by the FDA late last year, 13 cited Waggin’ Train or Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats or tenders, both produced by Nestle Purina PetCare Co., the records show. Another three listed Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by the Del Monte Corp. The rest listed single brands or no brand.

Priority 1 cases are those in which the animal is aged 11 or younger and medical records that document illness are available, an FDA spokeswoman said. In many cases, samples of the suspect treats also are collected

The FDA is encouraging anyone who has a sick dog that has eaten chicken jerky to lodge a complaint and send in a sample of the product the dog ingested. The more complaints and samples they receive the better their chances are of making the connection and preventing future illnesses and deaths.

Pet owners are rightly up in arms about the situation. Multiple petitions have been started to demand a ban, recall, and warning labels on chicken jerky treats imported from China. Concerned lawmakers are also getting involved and encouraging the FDA to release the results of 153 tests on chicken jerky treats that are still pending. Hopefully the increased pressure will lead to a resolution of this situation in the not too distant future.
In the meantime, the FDA released a statement on September 14, 2012 which was a summary of the pet death reports. It linked the jerky treat-related deaths of the past 18 months and suggested owners avoid the products completely, saying they were unnecessary for a balanced diet. The FDA will also begin testing treats to find out whether irradiation of the products may be a contributing factor to illness and death.

Dr. Jennifer Coates

Chicken Jerky Update originally appeared on petMD.com  – Cross Posted by Paw Nation

Homemade Chicken Jerky Recipe for Dogs (Pets)

chicken jerky

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!)

Related:

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.

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]

September 22, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

Story at-a-glance
  • In part two of Dr. Becker’s three-part interview with Dr. Michael Fox, they continue their discussion of Dr. Fox’s latest book,  Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health…, and how the notion of One Health reveals itself so often in veterinary practice.
  • Dr. Fox discusses the pet obesity epidemic, which he has very fittingly dubbed “Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome,” and the fact that this is a much more serious, potentially devastating problem than we imagine.
  • Dr. Fox also points out that the results achieved through sustainable organic farming should be viewed as evidence-based medicine… as should the health benefits we see when pets are switched from processed commercial pet food to real, whole food, organically grown.
  • Dr. Becker and Dr. Fox also discuss the challenges and benefits of becoming “kitchen anarchists” … taking control of what we eat and what we feed our loved ones, including our four-legged companions.

Video:  Dr. Becker Interviews Dr. Michael W. Fox (Part 2 of 3)

Download Interview Transcript

By Dr. Becker 

Last week in part one of my three part interview with Dr. Michael W. Fox, we discussed his latest book, Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health…, which I absolutely love. We talked about the vision of One Health, which is the concept that human well-being is the sum of public health, plus environmental health, plus animal health.

We talked about how pet owners are beginning to recognize that many human health problems these days are related to dietary choices and sedentary lifestyles – and that poor nutrition and other lifestyle-related diseases are also having the same negative impact on companion animals.

"Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

One of the things I love about Dr. Fox’s latest book is how he ties the vision of One Health over and over again into the contents of each chapter. For example, in chapter four, titled "Harm and Be Harmed," he discusses the fact that pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are totally foreign to the natural world. When we introduce these alien agents into the environment, we should expect an unnatural and adverse reaction.

A similar situation is created when we feed our dogs and cats processed pet food, and when we vaccinate. We are introducing totally foreign substances into the bodies of our companion animals — and so we shouldn’t be surprised when our pets become ill as a result.

In Healing Animals, Dr. Fox refers to the pet obesity epidemic as Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome, or CMS. He blames the mainstream pet food industry and veterinarians who refuse to see any connection between diet and the exploding number of overweight and obese dogs and cats. He explains what happens to an animal’s body after ingesting a meal containing highly processed cereal carbohydrates:

"The ‘sugar rush’ and insulin surge (until the pancreas becomes exhausted) make many dogs and cats constantly hungry, so they quickly become obese. Owners think their animal companions love the dry food because they always want to eat it."

He also makes the excellent point that animals who become obese as the result of a biologically inappropriate processed diet are not simply being overfed and under-exercised. They are also likely developing a host of serious, chronic, often debilitating health problems in part because they are actually undernourished. This can be even more severe and include the suffering of constant hunger when overweight and obese dogs and cats are put on low cal, high fiber, but nutrient deficient diets. CMS isn’t just a simple fat storage issue – it creates long-term, systemic damage in companion animals.

In his book, Dr. Fox also explains why we are seeing so much gluten hypersensitivity and dysbiosis in both people and their pets today. He ties these problems and other immune system abnormalities to, among other things, the use of herbicides.

Sustainable Organic Agriculture is Evidence-Based Medicine

I shared with Dr. Fox that even in my relatively short veterinary career (not quite 20 years), I’m having trouble seeing light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the damage we’ve already done to the environment, our own bodies, and to the animals in our care. I asked him if he feels more optimistic.

Dr. Fox’s response is encouraging. He makes the point that our bodies (and those of our animal companions) are incredibly resilient, and so are the soils of the earth. He explains it takes five years for a farmer to transition the chemically laden soil residues from conventional farming over to fully certified organic farming. At that point, the crops become healthier and the farm animals fed those crops and byproducts becomes healthier as well.

Dr. Fox says this is evidence-based medicine. The adoption of sustainable organic agricultural practices is being shown by economic analysts to be the better way to feed the hungry world. According to Dr. Fox, we don’t need the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation providing genetically engineered crops and ever more powerful chemicals.. Practicing ecologically sound, sustainable organic agriculture makes crops more nutritious and those who eat the crops will be healthier.

Again, this is evidence-based medicine according to Dr. Fox. He has a thick file from pet owners who have either adopted his home-prepared diet for dogs and cats, which can be found on his website (www.drfoxvet.com), or they’ve gone the organically certified route and found pet food manufacturers who use clean ingredients in their formulas. And lo and behold … their pets get better.

Prenatal Diet Affects the Viability and Resilience of Offspring

Dr. Fox points out that there’s always a genetic component to consider when discussing issues of health.

The term epigenetics describes how environmental factors can affect the tuning of our genes and our response to nutrients, and later, to environmental stressors. This influence is prenatal, which means what a mother eats affects her offspring.

Scientists at the Royal Veterinary College in London fed the equivalent of human junk food to a group of pregnant rats. The rats developed diabetes, and their offspring were born preferring junk food. The baby rats became obese and diabetic as a result.

So along with problems of inbreeding and the health issues deliberately bred into many dogs and cats, we also must consider what the mothers are eating during pregnancy that may affect the viability, resilience and general well-being of their offspring.

The Rise of Kitchen Anarchists

Rather than just plugging along, doing what we’ve always done or what seems to be right without really thinking about it, Dr. Fox encourages us to become what he calls "kitchen anarchists."

He explains that when we start taking charge of what we feed our families, including the four-legged members – though it does cost more – the investment will be well worth it in terms of future health costs. And Dr. Fox reminds us there are no shortcuts when it comes to eating well, and there never will be. It does take time – and it does cost more.

He goes on to say that certainly the government, health insurance companies and drug manufacturers have a real problem with holistic and integrative healing. They’d prefer we keep eating garbage food and get sick, because it’s all part of a very profitable system – the food and drug agribusiness complex. Dr. Fox asserts that, "While we may enjoy freedom of speech in what is left of our democratic society, it’s what we choose to put into our mouths that can have more political as well as personal health significance than what comes out of them."

As a practitioner of integrative, holistic veterinary medicine, I operate from the premise that if you nourish the body with healthy, unadulterated whole foods, you will create not only genetic resiliency, but immune system enhancement and overall vitality. All these things play a role in promoting a stronger, more balanced, resilient species, generation after generation.

I try to help people understand that yes, your food costs will be higher, and yes, you’ll be spending more time and energy preparing truly nutritious foods for your family. But there will be countless immeasurable benefits from that expenditure of resources. Dr. Fox does a great job defining many of those benefits, including long term cost-savings from the health benefits, in Healing Animals, which is invaluable.

He also discusses supplements like fish body oils and trace minerals such as Sacred Earth in the book. Many pets, as we know, eat dirt from time to time. There are a wide variety of trace elements and beneficial microbial life in soil that science doesn’t know much about yet. But if we observe what goes on in nature – if we take notice that many dogs and cats eat dirt, for example – we can give nature a chance to demonstrate its bounty.

As Dr. Fox so eloquently states at the close of this second part of our interview:

"Ultimately, we’re all derivatives of nature. We can’t play the role of the dominant pioneering exploiter without causing great harm. Because when we harm the Earth, we harm ourselves. And when we demean and exploit animals, we do no less to ourselves."

Stay tuned for the third and final installment of my interview with Dr. Michael W. Fox. We’ll discuss his suggestion that humanity is at a crossroads. Will we decide to take responsibility for what we’re doing to the Earth? Will we develop reverential respect for all life? Will we obey the Golden Rule? … Or will we just make chaos out of it all, becoming less than human, and suffering physically, mentally and spiritually?

Realted:

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?

July 13, 2012 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, Pet Recipes, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Ridiculous Pet Weight Loss Products Continue to Flood the Market

Story at-a-glance
  • Pet food manufacturers continue to try convince consumers their too-heavy dogs and cats can lose weight by being stuffed full of grains and fiber-filled pet food.
  • The goal of many pet weight management formulas is to create a temporary feeling of fullness in dogs and cats so they won’t beg for food. This takes the heat off owners who don’t want to say no to a begging pet.
  • One company has even gone so far as to invent a bizarre ingredient that when added to pet food impedes digestion so the animal feels full longer.
  • And the gimmicks being employed! There’s a ‘meal replacement’ drink for cats that contains not a scrap of animal protein. And then there’s the ‘weight management’ dog food loaded with seven different kinds of grains and a special ‘fat-burning’ ingredient.
  • Parents of overweight pets would be wise to steer clear of the ever-evolving gimmicky ‘weight loss’ products appearing on store shelves. Almost without exception, these formulas contain as much if not more of exactly the type of food that is making pets fat in the first place.

By Dr. Becker

As pets keep getting fatter, pet food companies get ever more creative developing ‘weight management’ formulas to peddle to uninformed consumers.

It’s a discouraging trend, since most of these special formulas consist of the same inappropriate, low quality ingredients that contribute to pet obesity in the first place.

And in fact, these foods actually contain more of exactly the wrong type of nutrition for overweight pets … or any pet.

The Goal: Fool Pets into Thinking They’re Full

According to PetfoodIndustry.com, one of the goals of pet food companies is to develop formulas for overweight dogs and cats that create a feeling of fullness or satisfaction.

Per the article, inducing satiety is important because, "… as long as the pet doesn’t act hungry we will be less likely to give in and overindulge begging behavior."

And according to one pet food manufacturer, studies show overweight dogs fed ‘fiber-enhanced’ foods consume fewer calories and appear less hungry.

So if I understand this correctly, the goal is to stuff carnivorous dogs and cats full of species-inappropriate fiber rich food so they won’t act hungry, and in turn, their owners won’t overindulge them.

This thinking is so wrong on so many levels I’m not sure where to begin.

Let’s just say I’m adamantly opposed to intentionally feeding companion animals biologically inappropriate nutrition, so their owners don’t have to deal with begging behavior or the temptation to overfeed their pets.

Certainly if we have an overweight pet we can find the energy and ambition to feed our dog or cat the nutrition she was designed to eat, in reasonable portions?

And certainly we can muster the patience to ignore begging behavior (which is typically temporary when ignored) for the sake of our pet’s health?

But Wait … It Gets Better …

Another pet food company has created a ‘satiety-triggering ingredient’ which they say reduces calorie intake in pets.

This magical ingredient is described by its manufacturer as a "patented emulsion of highly purified palm and oat oils." What this emulsion does is delay digestion of the fat in the food. This leads to the presence of free fatty acids in the small intestine.

When food is ‘delayed’ in the small intestine, it slows down gastric emptying and gut motility. According to the manufacturer of the ‘satiety-triggering ingredient,’ this permits better digestion of gut contents (hogwash) while creating a feeling of fullness and reducing appetite.

So if I understand this correctly, certain oils can be added to certain pet foods that are designed to significantly impede the normal, natural digestive process of dogs and cats.

And this is, again, for the purpose of creating pets that don’t act hungry, and therefore run less risk of being overfed by their owners.

Certainly we don’t need to feed bizarre, unnatural ingredients to our pets that gum up their intestines and interfere with normal digestion in an effort to help them lose weight?

More Gimmickry

The PetfoodIndustry.com article also mentions another company’s ‘meal replacement and food supplement’ to help adult cats maintain a healthy weight.

A meal replacement for cats?

Needless to say, I had to take a look at the ingredients in this meal replacement/food supplement. It’s apparently a powder you mix with warm water. The ingredients:

Maltodextrins, dried milk protein concentrate, dried whey protein concentrate, canola oil, casein, vanilla, fructooligosaccharide, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dicalcium phosphate, disodium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin supplement, copper gluconate, vitamin E supplement, manganese sulfate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, pantothenic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement.

So this is a ‘meal replacement’ intended for obligate carnivores that contains not a speck of animal protein. How is that not an absolutely terrible idea?

And then we have a ‘weight management’ food for dogs being promoted for its L-carnitine ingredient, which is touted as a "proven fat-burner that helps dogs naturally burn fat instead of storing it."

L-carnitine may help burn fat, but when the food it’s added to has seven different grains listed in the first dozen ingredients, making the formula wildly inappropriate nutrition for dogs at any weight, the addition of the L-carnitine isn’t going to matter one iota.

Parents of Overweight Pets Beware

For the sake of your beloved, overfed four-legged companion, I recommend the following:

  • Beware any pet food marketing ploy aimed at making you believe the newest grain and fiber-filled bag of pet food is the answer to your dog’s or cat’s obesity. It isn’t.
  • Beware any pet food marketing gimmick that names a specific ingredient (example: L-carnitine) as being the secret key to your pet’s weight loss. It won’t be.
  • Beware any pet food marketing scheme that uses human diet buzz words (‘meal replacement’) to convince you the same nutritional principles apply to your pet. They don’t.
  • Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet to your pet. Regardless of her weight, your dog or cat still needs the right nutrition for her species, which means food that is high in animal protein and moisture, with low or no grain content.
  • Practice portion control — usually a morning and evening meal, carefully measured. A high protein, low carb diet with the right amount of calories for weight loss, controlled through the portions you feed, is what will take the weight off your dog or cat. And don’t forget to factor in any calories from treats.
  • Regularly exercise your pet. An overweight body gets back in shape by taking in fewer calories and expending more energy. Daily exercise, including at least 20 minutes of consistent aerobic activity, will help your pet burn fat and increase muscle tone.

The key to getting and keeping your pet lean and healthy can’t be found in the latest bag or can of inferior quality, species-inappropriate pet food, no matter how slick and convincing the marketing campaign.

The key to keeping your dog or cat nutritionally fit at the cellular level is with a high protein, moisture rich diet fed in controlled portions, and augmented with plenty of physical activity.

Source: PetfoodIndustry.com December 5, 2011  -  Cross-posted at Dr. Mercola.com

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February 24, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pet Parents Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

click image to open/close

Pets rejoice! A recent survey shows that many pet parents are making New Year’s resolutions to spend more time with their pets and make sure they are loved even more than they were last year.

More than 1,000 pet parents, including hundreds of Kibblers, recently participated in the Halo, Purely for Pets Pet Parents’ New Year’s Resolution Survey.

According to the survey, many pet parents want to do a better job grooming their pets, with 68.1 percent resolving to trim their pets’ nails more often, 52.6 percent planning to give their dogs and cats more baths, and more than 80 percent committing to more frequent brushings. A little more than 35 percent plan to give their pets supplements to help their coat and skin. Finally, the pets may not like this, but a full 50 percent of pet owners plan to brush their pets’ teeth more often.

Interestingly, nearly 46 percent of respondents plan to help their pets lose weight. Considering that recent studies show that more than 50 percent of dogs and cats are overweight, this awareness and recognition among pet owners is encouraging in the battle against pet obesity.

The majority (68.7 percent) of respondents with overweight pets plan to help their pets drop pounds by increasing exercise and 44 percent are going to feed their pets better quality food. A little more than 35 percent are going to reduce the amount of food their pets eat.

An overwhelming number (94.1 percent) of those surveyed plan to help pets in need this year, with nearly 70 percent saying they will donate to a rescue or shelter. Other ways respondents say they’ll help pets in need include fostering (11.9 percent), adopting another pet (11.5 percent) and playing freekibble.com or freekibblekat.com to earn Halo Spot’s Stew donations for shelters (45.5 percent).

Survey respondents were invited to share additional resolutions. Among our favorites:

“Get an RV so we don’t have to leave them for vacation.”
“Train my cat to be a therapy animal.”
“More car and wagon rides.”
“To keep his wellness vet visits.”
“Attempt to walk my cats using a harness.”
“Not to shoo my cats away when I’m watching Ellen.”
“Take them to the beach.”
“Hand make toys and cushions for them.”
“Make sure he drinks more water.”
“Build new cat trees.”
“Train my dog to ride to the dog park in his Harley side car.”

Looks like it’s going to be a great 2012 for the pets!

By Caroline Golon – Kibbler

January 5, 2012 Posted by | Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , | Leave a comment

Pet Food Recall (December 2011)

Recall on some pet food. Iams, River Run, Dog Power and Marksman so far.

See FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration List of Recalls, Market Withdrawals & Safety Alerts HERE

"Some of these fungi (primarily Aspergillus flavus) produce the very lethal mycotoxins called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are remarkably potent, often causing disease even when ingested in minute amounts. Aflatoxins can cause disease throughout the body, but are most commonly known for causing acute or chronic liver disease and liver cancer" per www.wellvet.com

Proctor & Gamble Recalls Iams Dry Dog Food

Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry dog food has been recalled due to higher than acceptable aflatoxin levels.

December 8, 2011 – Updated December 16, 2011

 

The Procter & Gamble company has voluntarily recalled a single production lot of dry dog food due to aflatoxin levels that were detected above the acceptable limit.

The affected product is Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry dog food with Use By or Expiration Dates of Feb. 5 or Feb. 6, 2013. The seven-pound bag has a Code Date of 12784177I6 and UPC Code of 1901402305. The eight-pound bag has a Code Dates of 12794177D2 and 12794177D3, and UPC Code of 1901410208. The 17.5-pound bad has Code Dates of 12794177K1 and 12794177K2, and UPC Code of 1901401848.

The product is said to have been distributed to Pennsylvania, but it already has been retrieved from store shelves. No illnesses have been reported in association with this production lot to date, and no other Iams pet food products are involved.

Cargill Animal Nutrition’s River Run and Marksman dry dog foods also have been recalled for the same problem, but they were not distributed in Pennsylvania.

Consumers who purchased the product listed should stop using the product and discard it and contact Iams at 1-866-908-1569 or visit www.iams.com for a replacement voucher.

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities. Pets that have consumed this product and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.

Source:  Peter’s Patch

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December 16, 2011 Posted by | Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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