We Americans wuv our dogs. We bathe them, dress them up for Halloween, adore them. We give them too many treats (about half of our dogs are obese) and we sleep with them, prefer them to people. I can relate.
Many of us invest a lot of money in high-end “designer” dog foods.
Despite all this love, attention, and even exercise, our dogs are dropping dead and getting sick from cancer, tumors, digestive disorders and all manner of problems unheard of in other countries and in previous decades.
For example, I just had my best friend’s five year old Golden Bandit over for the weekend. He has multiple tumors on his belly and his legs. Five years old.
Could it be what we’re feeding them?
According to the non-profit Cornucopia Institute, which investigates farming and food issues, pet food contains all kinds of ingredients you wouldn’t dream of putting in your dog’s bowl. This ranges from GMOs, chemicals, animal by products, possibly road kill, diseased animals, synthetic preservatives, food grade carrageenan (which causes all manner of inflammatory problems from colitis to IBS to even cancer) and possibly even euthanized cats, dogs and other animals from shelters.
Well what did you think the shelters did with all those millions of destroyed animals?
Are you horrified yet?
In other words, your Chihuahua may be chowing down on someone else’s pit bull. Or cat, or gerbil, or whatever got euthanized, along with all the drugs, disease and whatever else was in that animal. I’m not making this up. The industry will deny this but they also lie about much of everything else in their pet food. So let’s be real here.
According to the report, the pet food canning industry utilizes non-decomposed and marine tissues from various sources which includes packing house waste, and even occasionally meat from animals that may have died otherwise than by slaughter.
While different states have different regulations, Michigan for example allows road kill to be transported to rendering facilities. Animal muscle meat cooked at high temperatures can produce carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Imagine handing Fluffy a big steaming bowl of that.
You Can’t Even Trust Paul Newman
According to an article on www.healthy-holistic-living.com, labeling means nothing. Even the usually good Newman’s Own isn’t to be entirely trusted when it comes to dog food. Most labels make wholly unqualified claims such as non-GMO, organic, or natural. Nonsense. If you really want to know what is in your dog’s food, you have to bark up $125 to get a copy- and you can’t see it online. If you’re willing to pay up just to get to the bottom of the can or bag, you can go to (http://www.aafco.org/Publications/Pet-Food-Labeling-Guide).
You can find another resource for what’s in pet food here: https://www.naturalnews.com/Report_pet_food_ingredients_7.html, but it won’t tell you where your pet food protein came from. And if you notice, when it comes to pet food ads on television, they will never tell you the protein source.
Let me give you a lovely example that you thought might be healthy:
Lamb by-product: found in 1% of pet food products analyzed. Contains everything internal but the muscle meat including diseased tissue, tumors, etc. (emphasis mine)
Clearly everyone has something to hide here.
How the Pet Food Business Began
Here’s another angle:
Starting in the 1920s, horse slaughterhouses started pet food businesses to get rid of the excess meat. This topic is for another article but deserves mentioning, as horse meat was a staple of pet food until the 1940s. In 2006 Congress passed legislation banning horse slaughterhouses, which has meant that by 2013 more than 140,000 often perfectly healthy horses were shipped to black market slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Not just old and diseased, but your sister’s favorite gelding, which she sold to someone she thought was going to take care of it. He sure did take care of it. And if you love horses you don’t want to know the ugly truth about the horrifying conditions of the last days of those animals’ lives.
Horse Meat is Emotional
However you feel about the horse meat issue, this might intrigue you because Trump is now involved: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/06/horse-meat/529665/. As a lifelong horse lover, rider and proponent, I am also a fan of humane ways to take care of aging, diseased and irretrievably damaged horses. And I also believe strongly that their meat should be recycled. This is an emotional issue, and seems to be far more so for those who do not raise, breed, ride, train and manage horses. Therein lies the issue. People see horses as a symbol, but not cows. Cows, goats, chickens, turkeys, calves, whatever, we can slaughter and eat. But not horses. But I digress.
If you want another reason: consider this. Pet food manufacturers, faced with the need to keep prices low and profits high, now use more fish oil from menhaden, the sea’s most important fish. The over-fishing of menhaden for pet food as well as many other commercial animals has cost us whales, a vast range of fish, sea birds and a wealth of other sea creatures that count on this critical fish for its food. That’s what happens when you knock down one domino: you starve others, and Nature suffers. Two critical articles on why menhaden are so important are by legendary conservationist/author/scientist Carl Safina: http://carlsafina.org/2017/09/04/great-east-coast-return-abundance-help-needed/ and http://discovermagazine.com/2001/sep/featfish.
In effect, we’re killing our own pets- and endangering Nature. Big Industry will seek protein sources wherever it can, and boy have they. And because of those awful sources they will lie about it. Millions of our pets have suffered as a result.
Pet Food is Very Big Business
Pet food is Big Business- set to be worth more than $30 billion in US sales by 2022. You’re not told the source of the protein for a reason. If you knew, you’d never buy the stuff. However our animals are getting sicker all the time in part because of what we feed them. And it’s costing us a fortune.
For example cancer, which is diagnosed in 12 million pets annually, will set an owner back an average of $2,033. It’s estimated that one in three domestic dogs will get cancer which is the same rate as for men. Every six seconds a pet owner is handed a vet bill that tops $3000- and a great deal of that can be likely tracked back to what they’re eating. I’m not talking about the Legos they swallowed. It’s what we’re pouring into their bowls every morning. Just as we are what we eat, so are our beloved critters.
If you think that nice sounding commercials should be trusted, just research how many companies are now being sued for misrepresentation, high levels of lead and other carcinogens in their food. And you thought Blue Wilderness and Blue Buffalo were the good guys. No, they aren’t. They are just as evil as everyone else. (https://www.chagrinfallspetclinic.com/2017/09/14/pet-food-lead-alert-blue-buffalo-blue-wilderness-dog-food-class-action-law-suit/).
Here’s another helpful site to see what’s been recalled and why. Keep in mind the above when you read this list and it makes perfect sense: Salmonella, listeria, chemicals. See ( https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/default.htm)
While many natural sites recommend various dog food brands, the best way to feed your dog is to make the food yourself. Even then, given what commercial animals are fed, you are likely giving your beloved furball antibiotics and GMOs. Still it’s better than what comes in a can or a bag. Try 75% meat, bones and organs, and 25% vegetables and fruits. For cats, it’s 88% meat and 12% vegetables and fruits. What they require is breed-dependent. Check out Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats for starters.
Make sure you know not to give your snuggle muffin the following: chocolate, raisins and grapes, avocados, spinach, caffeine in any form, milk, salt, and for cats, onions and garlic.
If this strikes you as either too expensive or too much trouble, consider this: you are playing cancer and disease lottery with your beloved animal, and possibly condemning both of you to huge vet bills, a great deal of misery and perhaps lots of commiserating emails about the Rainbow Bridge way too soon.
To read the Cornucopia report go here (http://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11).
Without question, we are killing our dogs-and cats- with Big Industry pet food. They lie about the ingredients. The protein sources in some cases are nothing short of terrifying. Under no circumstances would you knowingly give your pet ground-up tumors or road kill, yet you are, all packed up in nice colorful kibble bits, given a fancy package with misleading labels and convincingly fancy advertising with soothing actors saying comfortingly safe things about “protein sources.” We are paying higher and higher vet bills for sicker and sicker dogs at a time when we can hardly afford it, and we ache to see our beloved animals suffer. And suffer they do. Every time they wolf down another mouthful of this poison.
Want a healthy dog? Make your own food. Forget what they said about table scraps, but be careful about which ones. Mind what you eat, but also what Peanut the Pitbull eats. And don’t you dare believe another dog or cat food commercial. Do your research and save your pet….your wallet….and a whole lot of pain and heartbreak for you and your fur babies.