Ten Facts About Grocery Store Brand Pet Foods That Will Shock You!
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1. The 4Ds (Dead, Diseased, Dying and Disabled)
is a real industry term used to describe cattle and other animals that are not fit for human consumption. Essentially these are the remains of road kill, euthanized pets from veterinarians, and diseased animals from farms. These animal are placed into plastic bags and are sent to rendering plants where they are thrown into large vats (in some cases with the collars still on) and heated up to a large soup. This soup may be used in commercial pet food and is commonly identified as Animal Digest, Beef and Bone Tallow, or By-products. Read more at the following link:
2. The Bad Grains
Corn, Wheat, and Soy are popular ingredients in common grocery store brand pet foods. These grains can be a major cause of allergy symptoms including paw chewing, red or irritated ears, hot spots, and excessive scratching. Both dogs and cats do not possess the enzymes in their digestive systems to breakdown these grains rendering them almost useless as a nutritional source. Read more at the following link:
3. Chemical Preservatives
These are very common in popular dog and cat food. Chemicals such as BHA/BHT (Butylated hydroxyanisole / butylated hydroxytoluene), ethoxyquin and Propolene Glycol, which we admit are very difficult to pronounce and are probably just as dangerous to your pet as they sound. These are chemical preservatives that allow commercial pet food to stay on store shelves or in wear-houses for many years. Most have been banned for human consumption in just about every country in the world due to their links with cancer, but are still allowed to be in pet food in North America. Read more at the following link:
4. Sourcing and Recalls
In 2007 there was a world wide pet food recall due to high levels of melamine in wheat gluten from China. The recall affected over 5300 pet food products and resulted in over 3000 dog and cat deaths (some estimates double that number). The Melamine was traced to Menu Foods in Streetsville, Ontario which supplied wheat gluten to Purina products by Nestle, Hills Science Diet, and Royal Canin by Mars Corporation, Natural Balance, Blue Buffalo, Costo’s Kirkland, and Diamond Pet Foods. The problem with this type of ingredient distribution is that if one main ingredient becomes contaminated, it can affect hundreds if not thousands of products and tens of thousands of pets. We recommend feeding a food where the majority of the ingredients are locally sourced in North America. Read more at the following link:
5. No Pet Food Regulations in Canada
Canada has very little to almost no laws governing the ingredients for pet food. In North America a pet food company can change up to 18% of the ingredients per year without being required to update the packaging. In 5 years a company could completely change the contents of a food without you ever knowing (assuming you don’t read the ingredient label). Combine this lack of government regulations with corporations whose main drive is record profits for their share holders and your pet is the one that takes the hit. Read more at the following link:
6. Who owns the pet food industry
The pet food industry is owned by a hand full of large publicly traded billion dollar corporations including Nestle (Purina), Mars (Royal Canin), Proctor and Gamble (Iams & Eukunuba), Colgate Palmolive Co. (Hills Science Diet), and Del Monte Foods (Meow Mix, Kibbles and Bits, Milk Bone, 9Lives and Snausages). Many of these pet foods at one time or another were very good foods, until they were bought by the major corporations. Many of these larger companies have reduced the quality of ingredients and began to source from Asia (China) in an effort to reduce cost. Unfortunately their plan worked becasue all of these companies recorded record profits in between 2009 and 2011 during the worst economic recession North America has seen since the great depression.
Rawhide is a popular chewing treat for dogs however it can be very dangerous. It isn’t 100% digestible. This means that a dog could swallow a sharp piece of rawhide and do serious damage to the stomach wall or intestines. The dog will pass this whole and could cause difficulty or pain while having a bowel movement. However if a sharp piece of rawhide were to cut a part of your dogs digestive system, it would be very painful and require very expensive surgery or could even be fatal! Read more at the following link:
8. Is Raw Better?
YES! Is raw for everyone NO! Is it necessary for good health? MAYBE!. Dogs for the most part are carnivores and require meat. Your dog is over 98 percent wolf from a DNA perspective. The enzymes in your dog’s digestive system have been designed to process raw meat. Raw is the most basic and closest food to it's natural ancestors. It’s the easiest food for dogs to digest. However, Raw is also quite expensive costing 2 to 3 times more than a good quality kibble. Raw also requires more preparation, freezer space and planning. Read more at the following link:
9. Freshness Lasts Three Weeks
Most quality pet food company’s vacuum seal food bags. This gives them a shelve life for about a 9 months. However once you open that bag, you have about 3 weeks before the benefits of that food start to decay. Once you pass the 5 week mark you could start to develop low level mold and other issues that could harm your pet. One way to combat this is to empty the contents into an air tight container once the bag is opened to help keep the food fresh. If you think you are going to go past the three week mark, take a portion of the food, put in an air tight container and freeze it until you need it again.
10. Pet Obesity Epidemic
In North America, it is estimated that over 60% of pets are over weight and 30% are obese. Much of this is due to low quality high fat and calorie foods provided by the major pet food companies. Many of these foods have so many low nutritional ingredients in them they require huge amounts of sugar and salt to improve the taste. Portion control is a must. Make sure to use a true measuring cup and follow the guidelines on the package label. Read more at the following link: