It is time, right now, that you start to pay close attention to the ingredient list on the pet foods that you buy at the store. This article is dedicated to that need and what you learn here will forever change your attitude about commercial pet food. We have already seen what happened last year on the pet food recall due to using contaminated melamine as a protein source.
That is just the tip of the iceberg as to what also goes on in the manufacture of pet foods. There are some other things that are just as bad if not worse and the sad thing is we pet owners spend a huge amount of money feeding our pets poor quality food that will eventually affect your pet’s health and life span.
Seems odd that just a few months ago I was blogging about homemade cat toys and condo’s and now I am pursuing the value of commercial cat food. In a past blog I had quoted several veterinarians, that cats did not produce enzymes to digest grains in their feed. Yet almost every can, pouch, or bag lists some type of grain, (wheat, corn, oat, or rice).
There is also evidence that feeding cats grains will cause stress to the kidneys causing renal failure. There are also other kinds of carbohydrates in the ingredient list that have no value to a cat’s nutrition such as soy and potato. One has to ask the question why do they use this and the answer is cost. It is cheaper to add grain protein so the nutrition values look good on paper but have nothing to do with a proper diet for a carnivore.
This is all filler so for your cat to have the proper level of good useable protein it would have to consume 2 to 3 times as much as recommended on the label. You get the picture real quick, make it cheaper and feed the cat more so you buy more frequently. The almighty dollar comes before your pet’s health and that is what is wrong with the pet food business.
This is not a highly regulated business like human food so a lot of cheap sources of protein are used and unfortunately are not good for your pet’s long term health. Oh, but it is so convenient to pop open the can or scoop out the kibble without much fuss or mess. This is great and easy for us but not so great for your pet and its health.
Over the last two months I have been blogging about feeding your dog or cat a natural or raw food diet supplementing or reducing the amount of commercial food. There are several brands that are grain free that can be considered but watch out for another nasty protein additive.
This one is gross if not criminal in my mind and that is using protein from rendering plants and replacing good fresh protein with another cheap source. It is usually listed as protein concentrate, bone and protein meal, protein byproducts, or any other non-specific animal protein wording. What I mean is the obvious words like protein from chicken, beef, or fish are not listed meaning this comes from many sources.
Because the pet food industry is not highly regulated this rendered protein and fats are considered acceptable sources of feed for animals. It consists of sick or diseased animals not fit for human consumption and can even be “road kill” animals or worse euthanized cats and dogs from the pound or shelters.
At this point I am totally grossed out and perhaps cooking for my pets is not such a chore after all. Most of it can be fed raw or just heated so it is warm and not to cold. Also I have noticed some smaller businesses starting to produce quality pet food for your convenience. Yes it may cost more but less is needed per feeding compared to other cheaper commercial products.
Artificial additives such as flavoring and color plus the addition of preservatives to extend shelf life of the feed up to two years is not what I would consider as healthy additives. I can understand why it is in the feed but you need to ask yourself what will be the consequences of using these products and how much will it cost in future medical bills.
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Article by Jeff Nenadic
In recent years there have been several pet food recalls (cat and dog alike) that have left pet owners nationwide mystified as to why it has been happening. There have even been a handful of people who are convinced that some of the manufacturers are actually guilty of foul play. Thousands of pets have died as a result of tainted ingredients and even more became seriously ill. Suffice it to say, it has become cause for alarm as these pet owners depend on these commercial entities to package healthy foods and snacks for their animals.
Mycotoxins, which are toxins that are produced by different fungi, have been the major culprit. As a result of these tainted pet foods and snacks being discovered, the FDA has gotten involved and mandated that the commercial manufacturers issue these recalls. The goal of course is that the FDA and commercial manufacturers work in conjunction with one another to prevent further outbreaks of pet deaths and illnesses.
Sometimes, keeping your pet healthy is simply a matter of knowing what to look for as well as knowing what you should avoid. In other words, knowledge of what is going on is your most powerful weapon and could be the soundest way of protecting your pet. Here are 4 suggestions on how to prevent as well as spot potential problems. In the long run, you could be saving the life of your pet.
1) Always look for an expiration date on the container or packaging before you purchase canned or dry pet foods. In addition to helping you identify items that are about to expire and go bad, this is just a common sense move on your part. Additionally, chemicals that have been added for flavor, as well as preservatives added for longevity of product life can be potentially harmful to your pet. The best suggestion is that you feed your pet an organic food.
2) If there is no expiration date, check for either a foul odor or staleness. It’s not likely that you will get your money back on expired pet food that you purchased, but this is not the key issue – you have a responsibility to not only your pet, but to the other owners and pets out there. So make sure that you report issues like this to both the commercial manufacturer as well as the retailer where you made the purchase.
This is all well and good, but common sense would mandate that you rethink purchasing any consumable for your pet that is lacking an expiration date. Will you purchase food for your family that had an expired date or was about to expire soon? Here’s more food for thought. What if that phone call you make instigates more action which eventually leads to another recall? And what if that recall saves the lives of a few thousand more pets?
3) Symptoms of abnormal or unusual behavior always warrant a call to your veterinarian. The earlier you treat the symptoms, the greater the chance of a quicker recovery. Unfortunately, many more pet’s lives could have been saved had their owners responded at the first sign of these symptoms. Never take these situations lightly and contact your veterinarian immediately.
4) Always keep abreast of media reports regarding pet food recalls. Current news, media reports, and news updates are all over the internet. Simply type in “pet food recalls” into the browser/search bar and start doing your homework.
Here’s a final tip. Avoid any information that commercial manufacturers publish regarding their products. Though the information they put forth may be accurate, remember that they produced the pet food or snack in question, and it is the job of that company’s market department to “sugarcoat” the situation as much as possible so they do not lose market share.
About the Author
Written by Jeff Nenadic from My Dog Shop – to find ceramic dog bowls to match any decor, go to http://www.my-dogshop.com/doggie-dining_dog-food-storage.html
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Having a pet is something that can turn out to be extremely exciting. However, the challenge usually comes about when you are required or needed to take proper care of the pet. If you are among the people who would like to feed your pet – whichever it is – and you are looking for a reliable brand to provide you with the food, then the Wellness Pet food is a good place to start from. In fact, I am very sure that the reason why you are here is simply because of the fact that you are looking for this brand of food, and you are trying to gather as much information as possible about the food so that you can make the right decision when it comes to your cat or dog.
The Wellness Pet food brand is divided into three main categories:
1. Simple Food Solutions
This category of dog foods is simply for the dog that have got allergy. Like humans, some dogs have an aversion to wards certain things such as certain chemicals in food, sun, heat and dust. These dogs might feel itch and their skins might dry up when they consume certain kinds of foods. For this reason, it is important that such dogs are given foods that will not make them sick, this means that the foods should be very simple and very basic.
The second category of the Wellness Pet food is the Core. This is mainly a brand of the product, that mainly focus on the foods that are grain-free. Whether you are talking about a cat or a dog, you will be able to feed your animal very well if at all you know what you are looking for. This category of food has a lot of content that is protein, and this helps for those dogs or cats that are involved in doing a lot of exercises.
3. Complete Health Recipe
This category is one that mainly focuses on giving your animal the balanced diet, assuming that it is the average pet in your home. This pet can stay indoors but it also takes a few hours out walking and running about. Such pets do not necessarily have any unique needs in that they are not extra-active, they are not allergic to many things, and that they do not stay indoors throughout.
Before you settle on any particular product, you need to first understand what the needs of your cats are, so that you can ensure that the decision that you make is the right one.
If you would like to get your pet the Wellness pet food then check out for the same at PETCO.
Say Bye, Bye to Pet Foods with By-Products
A common ingredient found in dog food and cat food is by-products. When you look at your pet food or pet treat label, you might see by-product, chicken by-product, turkey by-product meal, or a few more variations. Most pet owners have never been told exactly what by-products are. If you don’t know – don’t feel bad about it…my guess is that even the pet food manufacturers themselves can’t tell you exactly what by-products are in their own brand of pet food.
To give you an understanding of by-products, I’d like to compare it to pies. How many different types of pies you can think of? There are apple pies, cherry pies, chocolate pies, meringue pies, meat pies, mud pies, pie in math, cow pies (yuck!) – I think you get my point. Now imagine if you were to purchase your dinner at the grocery and you looked at the ingredients and you see ‘pie’ listed as the first ingredient in your dinner. You wouldn’t know if it was apple pie or mud pie or even cow pie. All you would know is that your dinner contained ‘pie’. I’d guess if you knew that ‘pie’ could be any kind of pie – you wouldn’t be buying your dinner with ‘pie’ listed in the ingredients.
Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about ‘pie’ being a puzzling ingredient in people food. But there is the worry of the ‘pie’ ingredient in pet food – and that’s by-products.
Wikipedia describes a by-product as “a secondary or incidental product deriving from a manufacturing process,…”
The AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials – the organization responsible for all animal feed manufacturing rules and regulations) defines by-products as “meat by-products is the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth, and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”
So, with respect to pet food – a by-product is a catch-all ingredient name. My guess would be that AAFCO decided that ‘chicken lungs’ or ‘cow intestines’ listing on a pet food label wouldn’t sound very appealing to the pet owner. Probably wouldn’t sell a lot of that food.
Instead, all these less than appealing left-overs are clumped into one ingredient name – by-product. There is NO certainty of what you are feeding – one batch of pet food might be more intestine by-products while the next batch of pet food might be more liver or bone by-products. There is NO consistency to what is actually contained in the pet food ingredient by-product.
Without consistency of ingredients, there is no consistency to the quality of nutrition. Without consistency of quality nutrition, there is no consistency to your pet’s health.
The Center for Veterinary Medicine states that “animal feeds provide a practical outlet for plant and animal by-products not suitable for human consumption.” I can only imagine the conversation when that decision was made…’what are we going to do with all these left over intestines and spleens? Ah, what the heck, let’s put them in pet food. We’ll call it something else – no one will know – and then we don’t have to go through the expense and trouble of getting rid of the stuff.’
Personally I hope there will soon be a day for truth in pet food labeling. If some manufacturers are going to put intestines and spleen in their foods and treats – ok, just tell us. If you’ve got a clinical study showing pets thriving on these left-overs – show us your results. Just don’t put this stuff in my pet’s food bowl and tell me it’s premium and choice.
Please read your pet’s food and treat labels. Read the ingredients. Say bye, bye to by-products!
Wishing you and your pet the best,
Food in general has been controversial, from human children’s formulas to pet food, but tremendous concerns have risen and questions abound from pet owners.
Whether you own a cat of dog, makes no difference, for proper nutrition of your pets requires that their food includes meats or fish, and vitamins as well as excluding non-nutritious fillers that the cheaper food contains. In the wild these animals tore at the flesh of other animals, and so the “circle of life” was stimulated and thrived. In the wild too, dogs and cats would eat the organ meats of animals and thus were provided with the legumes, bones, grasses, and fruits that the kill had eaten.
Experts agree that performing research on what you are going to feed your treasured pets is imperative in order to keep them healthy. Among many other fillers, cellulose, which in effect is sawdust, is frequently used as filler for pet food, and thus is detrimental to your beloved pet because cellulose is not digestible by cats or dogs. Other strange fillers may include scraps from the particular meat listed, such as feathers, beaks, feet and grain hulls that contain no actual nutrition. At the worst, know that cheap kibble may be laced with preservatives such as BHT, BHA, and possibly the antioxidant Ethoxiquin, all of which can make pets very sick.
It is crucial that you read and weigh the amount of vitamins in any kibble or other pet food. As mentioned, in the wild, the vitamins are already inherent in what they eat but when man-made food is created, man tends to add preservatives and other non-nutritious additives.
Instead add your own additives in the form of nutritious “people food” such as eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, various vegetables and fruits as your pet indicates a desire for by eating them. Choose carefully though as some “people food” is dangerous for pets, such as raisins, onions, chocolate and cocoa, as well as macadamia nuts. Again and again it cannot be stressed enough that proper research be done. Often sick pets are brought to vets and the vets find that the dogs and cats being presented have over-caloried diets, but the poor animals are actually under nourished!
Grain-based diets also do not bring with them the proper nutrition to cats and dogs, and therefore bring illness to the pets. As with humans, chicken based diets are considered the best for dogs. Optimum human diets announce that fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and enzymes should be well balanced, and so it is with pet food. Remember when researching for the optimum food to feed your pet that the primary ingredients on the can or box are listed first, and the gradient falls from there. You need not be a scientist to purchase the best food for your pets, but careful adherence to the afore-mentioned “balance” should point you to the best. If in doubt, then of course the best person to consult is your local vet that takes care of your pet.
Taking care of a pet is one big responsibility. It’s like taking care of your own baby already. You have to feed, play and give time to it. Whether your pet is a dog or cat, it needs attention from you. If you don’t give the right care to them, they will surely be affected. Also, if you don’t give your pet the right food, its health will be affected which results to unhealthy and abnormal growth.
Giving your pets the proper care is now made more affordable through online pet food coupons. In case your worry is your budget, there is no excuse for you to not give your pets the right food. Like a baby, your pets deserve to be treated right. It’s your responsibility to feed your pet with foods that are nutritious and delicious at the same time. Branded pet foods could be quite expensive. This is the reason why there are online pet food coupons. They will allow any pet owner afford any kind of pet food brand. Whether it is Pedigree, Alpo, Royal Canin, etc, you ca afford it with the use of coupons. Health is wealth, even for our beloved pets. If they aren’t healthy, this will reflect what kind of pet owner you are. You own a pet, thus, it is your job to take responsibility.
Again, there is no excuse for you not to get online pet food coupons because it is seriously easy. Use the research tool you have at home, which is your computer. Go to the internet and search for online pet food coupons. If you have any brand in mind, you can go directly to their website and look for the coupons there. When you find the coupons, print them and use these coupons for your pet food purchase.
No more excuses to not give your pet its proper food. Be a responsible pet owner and use online pet food coupons.
Creature Comforts Great & Small – Pet Food Drive/BBQ – Mark Your Calendars Pet Therapy Team – Nursing Home Visits – Paul Flotron Regular Guest – WGNU PaulFlotron@yahoo.com, 314-200-8561, www.creaturecomfortsgreatnsmall.com
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