Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Corn and Wheat and Soy...oh my!

Would you seriously feed your dog something like this?

This is an ingredient panel from a popular brand of dog food.  I don't need to say from whom...most of the mass-marekted brands have ingredients similar to this one.  But, do you really know what some of these ingredients mean?

Let's break down a few of these and see what you are actually letting your dog eat.

* Poultry by-product meal = beaks and feet
  Of if you prefer the Wikipedia definition:  "It is made from grinding clean, rendered parts of poultry carcasses and can contain bones, offal (internal organs) and undeveloped eggs, but only contains feathers that are unavoidable in the processing of the poultry parts."

So....beaks and feet...and apparently a few feathers too.

And by the way, rendered means (thanks to Merriam Webster) "to treat so as to convert into industrial fats and oils and fertilizer."  Here's some startling information on what rendering plants are:

"Carcasses of deal animals from livestock and confinement operations are the secondary contributors.  A rendering plant will also take dead horses, llamas and other farm and zoo animals.  Remains of dogs and cats, roadkill (deer, skunks, rats and raccoons) end up there as well.  Veterinary clinics and animal shelters also rely on rendering plants for their euthanized animals.  They also accept throwback or rejected meat from supermarkets."

Euthanized pets?  Seriously?

Here's a link to a first-hand account of what it's like inside a rendering plant:

(Trust me, this was one of the easier photos to post...I won't sicken you with all the photos on the internet of euthanized dogs and cats.)

* Animal digest = digest is produced by the chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean animal tissue that has not undergone decomposition (thanks once again, Wikipedia).  There have been arguments made by certain pet food companies that the word "digest" is a process, not a thing, but another expert has described animal digest as a "cooked-down broth which can be made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals."  Again, this stuff comes from the rendering plant, so you are getting the 4-D animals:  dead, diseased, disabled, or dying before slaughter.

Here's a link you should read on this subject:

* Corn gluten meal = while the phrasing isn't exactly correct, it is still nothing more than a meat substitute that dogs and cats can build an intolerance too over time.

Actual gluten is what's leftover from certain grains such as wheat, barley, rye and other wheat-type cereal grains.  All the starchy carbohydrates (the actual good stuff) has been washed out of it and you are left with gluten.  While corn isn't a grain, the word "gluten" best describes what's leftover.

Big-name companies add corn gluten as a protein substitute.  It's cheaper than meat and therefore cheaper to manufacture.  There is NO substitute for meat.  NONE!  Thanks to Dog Food Advisor ( for this:

* Corn germ meal = another plant protein masquerading as a good protein source

* Brewer's rice = processed rice made from the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have ben separated from the larger kernels of rice and is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground white or brown rice (Wikipedia)

One thing that isn't in this mess of a food is all the food coloring, but dig a little deeper into the product line and here's the gold we were looking for:

Does your dog care that his food is four different colors?  Certainly not.  Those colors are for you!  It's all about presentation.  But, buying a food with all that extra junk in it can harm your pet.  There are studies that have suggested that Blue 2 coloring has caused brain tumors in male mice.  Red 40 is one of the most commonly used dyes and showed some inconsistencies in testing, but nothing conclusive.  Yellow 5 can cause mild allergic reactions in persons, especially those with aspirin-sensitivities.  Yellow 6 has been known to contain small amounts of carcinogens.  In industry-sponsored animal testing, it caused tumors of the adrenal gland and kidneys.

And YES...they test pet food products on lab animals.  So, live animals get tested to see if pet food ingredients are cancerous and then we feed them the remains of euthanized animals.  Ugh.

This is how big business runs the show.  And, with tons of money to throw at marketing and advertising, consumers are romanced with visions of their happy pup, frolicking in the fields of grain with fresh ingredients falling from the sky.  In reality, that could not the further from the truth.

That's why we stick with family-owned companies who know where their ingredients come from.  We recommend raw food too.  If you don't want to worry about what's in your pet's food, feed raw or cook for your pet.  We can help you find the right vitamins and supplements to make that homemade diet perfect for your dog or cat.  

We want your pets to be happy, healthy, and safe.  Our goal is help educate pet owners on good nutrition and what can harm your family pet.  It's an ugly world out there, but trust us to help you find a safe and healthy food for your dog or cat.

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