blog dedicated to fluffie, other loved dogs and holistic dog food - promote dog's healtH!
my pet is a blessing (From beliefnet.com)
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
'My Pet Is a Blessing' 'He is my spiritual companion.' 'She is there to comfort me.' Beliefnet members share inspiring tales of their animal friends.
When we asked Beliefnet readers to tell us about their pets' impact on their spiritual lives, we didn't expect the flood of inspiring—and unusual—stories we got. Throughout October, the month when many religious traditions honor animals, Beliefnet will feature our readers' extraordinary stories of how pets bless their lives. See this week's amazing crop. Healing the Heart's "Nicks and Scratches"
My darling Jake, who is a combination of Boxer, Pit Bull and Ridgeback, is warm, sweet, powerful beyond belief, and is one of the greatest teachers I have ever had. ...having this dog, the first dog of my life, has healed all the tiny nicks and scratches on my heart that I've passed over in order to heal what I've thought of as "more serious" wounds. (This pic was taken at Winter Solstice a couple of years ago. He hated wearing the halo so we took it off right after taking the pic.) --Reya M.
Nero, the Yoga Pug My two-year-old pug Nero is with me virtually all the time. ...it is in the early morning that he is my spiritual companion. My day begins with yoga and meditation. I begin with asana, and he joins in the fun, offering toys for me to tug on or toss while holding a pose. When meditation time comes, he quiets, and curls into a little ball in my lap, being still until I close my practice. His mindfulness, joy in being alive, and unjudgmental heart are reminders to me each day of what is important in this life. --Judi E.
God, St. Francis, and Chai the Cat Here's my cat Chai, a Lilac Point Siamese. Chai was undernourished, hit, and not taken care of in his old home. ...He has shown me how any creature, given enough love, can blossom and become a real joy. And I get back more than I give—he's an endless source of enjoyment for me—and love. If, as they say, God is Love, then Chai's transformation is a glorious example of that love! I'm including a traditional blessing/prayer to St. Francis, my biggest spiritual inspiration and hero:
Good St. Francis, you loved all of God's creatures. To you they were your brothers and sisters. Help us follow your example of treating every living thing with kindness. St. Francis, Patron Saint of Animals, please watch over my pet and keep my companion safe and healthy.--Mary R.
Balder, the Bible Dog This is Balder, an eight-year-old neutered female Jack Russell Terrier. She sits beside me when I read my prayer book, my sacred study materials, when I pray, and when I am silent listening for God's word to me. Often the sound I hear most clearly is her steady breathing, which comforts me.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Balder to me to remind me that I am at my best when I look outside of my own needs. You bless me through the constant affection she shows me. Protect her, Lord, even when she digs up the back lawn looking for moles. Protect the birds, squirrels and bunnies from her. Please incline my neighbors' ears to ignore her barks. I am watching out for her, God, just as you are watching out for me. Amen. --Anita L.
"They Love Me When I Ignore Them" Jock, a Yorkshire Terrier, and Lucy, a Chihuahua, have taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. This is the same kind of love that Jesus has for us. They love me when I'm mad, sad, up or down. They love me when I ignore them or get cross with them. They still love me when I don't talk to them or pet them. That is the way our Father is; He loves us no matter what. --Flo W.
"A Whole World We Would Never Have Known" My husband and I adopted Faith from a tough Jersey City shelter (Faith was the name the pound gave her). Neither of us believes in a conventional higher power, but there is no question that Faith has linked us to a whole world we would never have known without her—from a homeless man who keeps his dog, Foxy, better than he keeps himself, to David, the bread delivery guy who gives Faith Italian rolls, to people who fear our dog because of the way she looks—until Faith kisses them. Faith befriends, regardless of party affiliation or income—and so I do, too, a little more. She has made our hearts big—which is what I believe a spiritual path is supposed to do. --Martha G.
"She Immerses Herself in Today" Poupon, a Gray Tabby, is a constant companion. She has taught me so much about life; especially in how to handle stress—she sleeps! ...She does not stress about tommorrow or yesterday, she immerses herself in today, this hour, this minute. She embodies the notion of being in the present. --Beth M.
scarie what dog food is really made of...
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Pet Foods:What's Really In Them?
AN API INVESTIGATIVE REPORTThis information provided by the Animal Protection Institute.http:www.api4animals.orgPet Food Ingredients By Products Rendering Animal Fat & Poultry Vomitoxin Additives Preservatives BHA/BHT - Ethoxiquin Processing Labeling Contaminants Diseases Caused by Poor Nutrition What happent to Nutrients
"Plump whole chickens, choice cuts of beef, fresh grains, and all the wholesome nutrition your dog or cat will ever need."
These are the images pet food manufacturers promulgate through the media and advertising. This is what the $11 billion per year U.S. pet food industry wants consumers to believe they are buying when they purchase their products.
This report explores the differences between what consumers think they are buying and what they are actually getting. It focuses in very general terms on the most visible name brands -- the pet food labels that are mass-distributed to supermarkets and discount stores -- but there are many highly respected brands that may be guilty of the same offenses.
What most consumers don't know is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food and agriculture industries. Pet food provides a market for slaughterhouse offal, grains considered "unfit for human consumption," and similar waste products to be turned into profit. This waste includes intestines, udders, esophagi, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts.
Three of the five major pet food companies in the United States are subsidiaries of major multinational companies:
Nestlé (Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog, and Ralston Purina products such as Dog Chow, ProPlan, and Purina One)
Heinz (9 Lives, Amore, Gravy Train, Kibbles n Bits, Nature's Recipe, Vets)
Colgate-Palmolive (Hill's Science Diet Pet Food).
Other leading companies are:
Procter & Gamble (Eukanuba and Iams)
Mars (Kal Kan, Mealtime, Pedigree, Sheba, Waltham's)
From a business standpoint, multinational companies owning pet food manufacturing companies is an ideal relationship. The multinationals have increased bulk-purchasing power; those that make human food products have a captive market in which to capitalize on their waste products, and pet food divisions have a more reliable capital base and, in many cases, a convenient source of ingredients.
There are hundreds of different pet foods available in this country. And while many of the foods on the market are similar, not all of the pet food manufacturing companies use poor quality and potentially dangerous ingredients.
INGREDIENTS - Back to Top
Although the purchase price of pet food does not always determine whether a pet food is good or bad, the price is often a good indicator of quality. It would be impossible for a company that sells a generic brand of dog food at $9.95 for a 40-lb. bag to use quality protein and grain in its food. The cost of purchasing quality ingredients would be much higher than the selling price.
BY-PRODUCTS - Back to Top
The protein used in pet food comes from a variety of sources. When cattle, swine, chickens, lambs, or any number of other animals are slaughtered, the choice cuts such as lean muscle tissue are trimmed away from the carcass for human consumption. However, about 50% of every food-producing animal does not get used in human foods. Whatever remains of the carcass -- bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, and almost all the other parts not generally consumed by humans -- is used in pet food, animal feed, and other products. These "other parts" are known as "by-products," "meat-and-bone-meal," or similar names on pet food labels.
The Pet Food Institute -- the trade association of pet food manufacturers -- acknowledges the use of by-products in pet foods as additional income for processors and farmers: "The growth of the pet food industry not only provided pet owners with better foods for their pets, but also created profitable additional markets for American farm products and for the byproducts of the meat packing, poultry, and other food industries which prepare food for human consumption."1
Many of these remnants provide a questionable source of nourishment for our animals. The nutritional quality of meat and poultry by-products, meals, and digests can vary from batch to batch. James Morris and Quinton Rogers, two professors with the Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of California at Davis Veterinary School of Medicine, assert that;
"There is virtually no information on the bioavailability of nutrients for companion animals in many of the common dietary ingredients used in pet foods. These ingredients are generally by-products of the meat, poultry and fishing industries, with the potential for a wide variation in nutrient composition. Claims of nutritional adequacy of pet foods based on the current Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrient allowances ('profiles') do not give assurances of nutritional adequacy and will not until ingredients are analyzed and bioavailability values are incorporated."2
RENDERING - Back to Top
Meat and poultry meals, by-product meals, and meat-and-bone meal are common ingredients in pet foods. The term "meal" means that these materials are not used fresh, but have been rendered. What is rendering? Rendering, as defined by Webster's Dictionary, is "to process as for industrial use: to render livestock carcasses and to extract oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting." Home-made chicken soup, with its thick layer of fat that forms over the top when the soup is cooled, is a sort of mini-rendering process. Rendering separates fat-soluble from water-soluble and solid materials, and kills bacterial contaminants, but may alter or destroy some of the natural enzymes and proteins found in the raw ingredients. Meat and poultry by-products, while not rendered, vary widely in composition and quality.
What can the feeding of such products do to your companion animal? Some veterinarians claim that feeding slaughterhouse wastes to animals increases their risk of getting cancer and other degenerative diseases. The cooking methods used by pet food manufacturers - such as rendering and extruding (a heat-and-pressure system used to "puff" dry foods into nuggets or kibbles) -- do not necessarily destroy the hormones used to fatten livestock or increase milk production, or drugs such as antibiotics or the barbiturates used to euthanize animals.
ANIMAL AND POULTRY FAT - Back to Top
You may have noticed a unique, pungent odor when you open a new bag of pet food -- what is the source of that delightful smell? It is most often rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans.
Restaurant grease has become a major component of feed grade animal fat over the last fifteen years. This grease, often held in fifty-gallon drums, is usually kept outside for weeks, exposed to extreme temperatures with no regard for its future use. "Fat blenders" or rendering companies then pick up this used grease and mix the different types of fat together, stabilize them with powerful antioxidants to retard further spoilage, and then sell the blended products to pet food companies and other end users.3
These fats are sprayed directly onto dried kibbles or extruded pellets to make an otherwise bland or distasteful product palatable. The fat also acts as a binding agent to which manufacturers add other flavor enhancers such as digests. Pet food scientists have discovered that animals love the taste of these sprayed fats. Manufacturers are masters at getting a dog or a cat to eat something she would normally turn up her nose at.
Wheat, Soy, Corn, Peanut Hulls, and Other Vegetable ProteinThe amount of grain products used in pet food has risen over the last decade. Once considered filler by the pet food industry, cereal and grain products now replace a considerable proportion of the meat that was used in the first commercial pet foods. The availability of nutrients in these products is dependent upon the digestibility of the grain. The amount and type of carbohydrate in pet food determines the amount of nutrient value the animal actually gets. Dogs and cats can almost completely absorb carbohydrates from some grains, such as white rice. Up to 20% of the nutritional value of other grains can escape digestion. The availability of nutrients for wheat, beans, and oats is poor. The nutrients in potatoes and corn are far less available than those in rice. Some ingredients, such as peanut hulls, are used for filler or fiber, and have no significant nutritional value.
Two of the top three ingredients in pet foods, particularly dry foods, are almost always some form of grain products. Pedigree Performance Food for Dogs lists Ground Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, and Corn Gluten Meal as its top three ingredients. 9 Lives Crunchy Meals for cats lists Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, and Poultry By-Product Meal as its first three ingredients. Since cats are true carnivores -- they must eat meat to fulfill certain physiological needs -- one may wonder why we are feeding a corn-based product to them. The answer is that corn is much cheaper than meat.
VOMITOXIN - Back to Top
In 1995, Nature's Recipe pulled thousands of tons of dog food off the shelf after consumers complained that their dogs were vomiting and losing their appetite. Nature's Recipe's loss amounted to $20 million. The problem was a fungus that produced vomitoxin (an aflatoxin or "mycotoxin," a toxic substance produced by mold) contaminating the wheat. In 1999, another fungal toxin triggered the recall of dry dog food made by Doane Pet Care at one of its plants, including Ol' Roy (Wal-Mart's brand) and 53 other brands. This time, the toxin killed 25 dogs.
Although it caused many dogs to vomit, stop eating, and have diarrhea, vomitoxin is a milder toxin than most. The more dangerous mycotoxins can cause weight loss, liver damage, lameness, and even death as in the Doane case. The Nature's Recipe incident prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to intervene. Dina Butcher, Agriculture Policy Advisor for North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer, concluded that the discovery of vomitoxin in Nature's Recipe wasn't much of a threat to the human population because "the grain that would go into pet food is not a high quality grain."3
Soy is another common ingredient that is sometimes used as a protein and energy source in pet food. Manufacturers also use it to add bulk so that when an animal eats a product containing soy he will feel more sated. While soy has been linked to gas in some dogs, other dogs do quite well with it. Vegetarian dog foods use soy as a protein source.
ADDITIVES - Back to Top
Many chemicals are added to commercial pet foods to improve the taste, stability, characteristics, or appearance of the food. Additives provide no nutritional value. Additives include emulsifiers to prevent water and fat from separating, antioxidants to prevent fat from turning rancid, and artificial colors and flavors to make the product more attractive to consumers and more palatable to their companion animals.
Adding chemicals to food originated thousands of years ago with spices, natural preservatives, and ripening agents. In the last 40 years, however, the number of food additives has greatly increased.
PRESERVATIVES - Back to Top
All commercial pet foods contain preservatives. Some of these are added to ingredients or raw materials by the suppliers, and others may be added by the manufacturer.
Because manufacturers need to ensure that dry foods have a long shelf life to remain edible after shipping and prolonged storage, fats included in pet foods are preserved with either synthetic or "natural" preservatives.
BHA - BHT - ETHOXIQUIN - Back to Top
Synthetic preservatives include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. For these antioxidants, there is little information documenting their toxicity, safety, or chronic use in pet foods that may be eaten every day for the life of the animal.
Potentially cancer-causing agents such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are permitted at relatively low levels. The use of these chemicals in pet foods has not been thoroughly studied, and long term build-up of these agents may ultimately be harmful. Due to questionable data in the original study on its safety, ethoxyquin's manufacturer, Monsanto, was required to perform a new, more rigorous study. This was completed in 1996. Even though Monsanto found no significant toxicity associated with its own product, in July 1997, the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine requested that manufacturers voluntarily reduce the maximum level for ethoxyquin by half, to 75 parts per million. While some pet food critics and veterinarians believe that ethoxyquin is a major cause of disease, skin problems, and infertility in dogs, others claim it is the safest, strongest, most stable preservative available for pet food. Ethoxyquin is only approved for use in human food for preserving spices, such as cayenne and chili powder, at a level of 100 ppm -- but it would be very difficult to consume as much chili powder every day as a dog would eat dry food. Ethoxyquin has never been tested for safety in cats.
Some manufacturers have responded to consumer concern, and are now using "natural" preservatives such as Vitamin C (ascorbate), Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), and oils of rosemary, clove, or other spices, to preserve the fats in their products. Other ingredients, however, may be individually preserved. Fish meal, and some prepared vitamin mixtures used to supplement pet food, contain chemical preservatives. This means that your companion animal may be eating food containing several types of preservatives. Not all of these are required to be disclosed on the label. However, due to consumer pressure, preservatives used in fat are now required to be listed on the label.
ADDITIVES IN PROCESSED FOODS
pH control agents
Flour treating agents
Surface active agents
Surface finishing agents
Oxidizing and reducing agents
While the law requires studies of direct toxicity of these additives and preservatives, they have not been tested for their potential synergistic effects on each other once ingested. Some authors have suggested that dangerous interactions occur among some of the common synthetic preservatives.4
Natural preservatives do not provide as long a shelf life as chemical preservatives, but they are safe.
PROCESSING - How Pet Food Is Made - Back to Top
Although feeding trials are no longer required for a food to meet the requirements for labeling a food "complete and balanced," most manufacturers perform palatability studies when developing a new pet food. One set of animals is fed a new food while a "control" group is fed a current formula. The total volume eaten is used as a gauge for the palatability of the food. The larger and more reputable companies do use feeding trials, which are considered to be a much more accurate assessment of the actual nutritional value of the food. They keep large colonies of dogs and cats for this purpose, or use testing laboratories that have their own animals.
Most dry food is made with a machine called an expander or extruder. First, raw materials are blended, sometimes by hand, other times by computer, in accordance with a recipe developed by animal nutritionists. This mixture is fed into an expander and steam or hot water is added. The mixture is subjected to steam, pressure, and high heat as it is extruded through dies that determine the shape of the final product and puffed like popcorn. The food is allowed to dry, and then is usually sprayed with fat, digests, or other compounds to make it more palatable. Although the cooking process may kill bacteria in pet food, the final product can lose its sterility during the subsequent drying, fat coating, and packaging process. A few foods are baked at high temperatures rather than extruded. This produces a dense, crunchy kibble that is palatable without the addition of sprayed on palatability enhancers. Animals can be fed about 25% less of a baked food, by volume (but not by weight), than an extruded food.
Ingredients are similar for wet, dry, and semi-moist foods, although the ratios of protein, fat, and fiber may change. A typical can of ordinary cat food reportedly contains about 45-50% meat or poultry by-products. The main difference between the types of food is the water content. It is impossible to directly compare labels from different kinds of food without a mathematical conversion to "dry matter basis."5 Wet or canned food begins with ground ingredients mixed with additives. If chunks are required, a special extruder forms them. Then the mixture is cooked and canned. The sealed cans are then put into containers resembling pressure cookers and commercial sterilization takes place. Some manufacturers cook the food right in the can.
There are special labeling requirements for pet food, all of which are contained in the annually revised Official Publication of AAFCO.6 The use of the terms "all" or "100%" cannot be used "if the product contains more than one ingredient, not including water sufficient for processing, decharacterizing agents, or trace amounts of preservatives and condiments." Products containing multiple ingredients are covered by AAFCO Regulation PF3(b) and (c). The "95% rule" applies when the ingredient(s) derived from animals, poultry, or fish constitutes at least 95% or more of the total weight of the product (or 70% excluding water for processing).
Because all-meat diets are usually not nutritionally balanced, they fell out of favor for many years. However, due to rising consumer interest in high quality meat products, several companies are now promoting 95% and 100% canned meats as a supplemental feeding option.
The "dinner" product is defined by the 25% Rule, which applies when "an ingredient or a combination of ingredients constitutes at least 25% of the weight of the product" (excluding water sufficient for processing) as long as the ingredient(s) shall constitute at least 10% of the total product weight; and a descriptor that implies other ingredients are included in the product formula is used on the label. Such descriptors include "recipe," "platter," "entree," and "formula." A combination of ingredients included in the product name is permissible when each ingredient comprises at least 3% of the product weight, excluding water for processing, and the ingredient names appear in descending order by weight.
The "with" rule allows an ingredient name to appear on the label, such as "with real chicken," as long as each such ingredient constitutes at least 3% of the food by weight, excluding water for processing.
The "flavor" rule allows a food to be designated as a certain flavor as long as the ingredient(s) are sufficient to "impart a distinctive characteristic"to the food. Thus, a "beef flavor" food may contain a small quantity of digest or other extract of tissues from cattle, without containing any actual beef meat at all.
What Happened to the Nutrients? - Back to Top
Dr. Randy L. Wysong is a veterinarian and produces his own line of pet foods. A long time critic of pet food industry practices, he said, "Processing is the wild card in nutritional value that is, by and large, simply ignored.
Heating, cooking, rendering, freezing, dehydrating, canning, extruding, pelleting, baking, and so forth, are so commonplace that they are simply thought of as synonymous with food itself."9 Processing meat and by-products used in pet food can greatly diminish their nutritional value, but cooking increases the digestibility of cereal grains.
To make pet food nutritious, pet food manufacturers must "fortify" it with vitamins and minerals. Why? Because the ingredients they are using are not wholesome, their quality may be extremely variable, and the harsh manufacturing practices destroy many of the nutrients the food had to begin with.
Contaminants - Back to Top
Commercially manufactured or rendered meat meals and by-product meals are frequently highly contaminated with bacteria because their source is not always slaughtered animals. Animals that have died because of disease, injury, or natural causes are a source of meat for meat meal. The dead animal might not be rendered until days after its death. Therefore the carcass is often contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli. Dangerous E. Coli bacteria are estimated to contaminate more than 50% of meat meals. While the cooking process may kill bacteria, it does not eliminate the endotoxins some bacteria produce during their growth and are released when they die. These toxins can cause sickness and disease. Pet food manufacturers do not test their products for endotoxins.
Mycotoxins -- These toxins comes from mold or fungi, such as vomitoxin in the Nature's Recipe case, and aflatoxin in Doane's food. Poor farming practices and improper drying and storage of crops can cause mold growth. Ingredients that are most likely to be contaminated with mycotoxins are grains such as wheat and corn, cottonseed meal, peanut meal, and fish meal.
Labeling - Back to Top
The National Research Council (NRC) of the Academy of Sciences set the nutritional standards for pet food that were used by the pet food industry until the late 1980s. The NRC standards, which still exist and are being revised as of 2001, were based on purified diets, and required feeding trials for pet foods claimed to be "complete" and "balanced." The pet food industry found the feeding trials too restrictive and expensive, so AAFCO designed an alternate procedure for claiming the nutritional adequacy of pet food, by testing the food for compliance with "Nutrient Profiles." AAFCO also created "expert committees" for canine and feline nutrition, which developed separate canine and feline standards. While feeding trials can still be done, a standard chemical analysis may be also be used to determine if a food meets the profiles.
Chemical analysis, however, does not address the palatability, digestibility, or biological availability of nutrients in pet food. Thus it is unreliable for determining whether a food will provide an animal with sufficient nutrients.
To compensate for the limitations of chemical analysis, AAFCO added a "safety factor," which was to exceed the minimum amount of nutrients required to meet the complete and balanced requirements.
The digestibility and availability of nutrients is not listed on pet food labels.
The 100% MythYour Pet Food Provides All the Nutrition A Pet needs
The idea of one pet food providing all the nutrition a companion animal will ever need for its entire life is a myth.
Cereal grains are the primary ingredients in most commercial pet foods. Many people select one pet food and feed it to their dogs and cats for a prolonged period of time. Therefore companion dogs and cats eat a primarily carbohydrate diet with little variety. Today, the diets of cats and dogs are a far cry from the primarily protein diets with a lot of variety that their ancestors ate.
Health Problems Caused by Inadequate Nutrition- Back to Top
The problems associated with a commercial diet are seen every day at veterinary establishments. Chronic digestive problems, such as chronic vomiting, diarrhea, and inflammatory bowel disease are among the most frequent illnesses treated.
These are often the result of an allergy or intolerance to pet food ingredients. The market for "limited antigen" or "novel protein" diets is now a multi-million dollar business. These diets were formulated to address the increasing intolerance to commercial foods that animals have developed. The newest twist is the truly "hypoallergenic" food that has had all its proteins artificially chopped into pieces smaller than can be recognized and reacted to by the immune system.
Dry commercial pet food is often contaminated with bacteria, which may or may not cause problems. Improper food storage and some feeding practices may result in the multiplication of this bacteria. For example, adding water or milk to moisten pet food and then leaving it at room temperature causes bacteria to multiply. Yet this practice is suggested on the back of packages of some kitten and puppy foods.
Pet food formulas and the practice of feeding that manufacturers recommend have increased other digestive problems. Feeding only one meal per day can cause the irritation of the esophagus by stomach acid. Feeding two smaller meals is better.
Feeding recommendations or instructions on the packaging are sometimes inflated so that the consumer will end up purchasing more food. However, Procter & Gamble allegedly took the opposite tack with its Iams and Eukanuba lines, reducing the feeding amounts in order to claim that its foods were less expensive to feed. Independent studies commissioned by a competing manufacturer suggested that these reduced levels were inadequate to maintain health. Procter & Gamble has since sued and been countersued by that competing manufacturer, and a consumer complaint has also been filed seeking class-action status for harm caused to dogs by the revised feeding instructions.
Urinary tract disease is directly related to diet in both cats and dogs. Plugs, crystals, and stones in cat bladders are often triggered or aggravated by commercial pet food formulas. One type of stone found in cats is less common now, but another more dangerous type has become more common. Manipulation of manufactured cat food formulas to affect acidity in urine and the amount of some minerals has directly affected these diseases. Dogs also form stones as a result of their diet.
History has shown that commercial pet food products can cause disease. An often-fatal heart disease in cats and some dogs was shown to be caused by a deficiency of an amino acid called taurine. Blindness is another symptom of taurine deficiency. This deficiency occurred because of inadequate amounts of taurine in cat food formulas. Cat foods are now supplemented with taurine. New research suggests that supplementing taurine may also be helpful for dogs, but as yet few manufacturers are adding extra taurine to dog food. Inadequate potassium in certain feline diets also caused kidney failure in young cats; potassium is now added in greater amounts to all cat foods.
Rapid growth in large breed puppies has been shown to contribute to bone and joint disease. Excess calories in manufactured puppy food formulas promote rapid growth. There are now special puppy foods for large breed dogs. But this recent change will not help the countless dogs who lived and died with hip and elbow disease.
There is also evidence that
hyperthyroidism in cats may be related to excess iodine in commercial pet food diets.9 This is a new disease that first surfaced in the 1970s, when canned food products appeared on the market. The exact cause and effect are not yet known. This is a serious and sometimes terminal disease, and treatment is expensive.
Many nutritional problems appeared with the popularity of cereal-based commercial pet foods. Some have occurred because the diet was incomplete. Although several ingredients are now supplemented, we do not know what ingredients future researchers may discover that should have been supplemented in pet foods all along. Other problems may result from reactions to additives. Others are a result of contamination with bacteria, mold, drugs, or other toxins. In some diseases the role of commercial pet food is understood; in others, it is not. The bottom line is that diets composed primarily of low quality cereals and rendered meat meals are not as nutritious or safe as you should expect for your cat or dog.
What Consumers Can DoWrite
or call pet food companies and the Pet Food Institute and express your concerns about commercial pet foods. Demand that they improve the quality of ingredients in their products.
Call API with any information about the pet food industry, specific manufacturers, or specific products.
Print out a copy of this report for your veterinarian to further his or her knowledge about commercial pet food.
Direct your family and friends with companion animals to this website, to alert them of the dangers of commercial pet food. Or request copies of our Fact Sheet on Selecting a Good Commercial Food.
Stop buying commercial pet food. Or if that is not possible, reduce the quantity of commercial pet food and supplement with fresh foods. Purchase one of the books available on pet nutrition and make your own food. Be sure that a veterinarian or a nutritionist writes the recipes to ensure that they are balanced and complete.
Check our sample diets
you can make yourself.
Please be aware that API is not a veterinary hospital, clinic, or service. API does not and will not offer any medical advice. If you have concerns about your companion animal's health or nutritional requirements, please consult your veterinarian.
For Further Reading about Animal NutritionThe Animal Protection Institute recommends the following books, many of which include recipes for home-prepared diets:
Rudy Edalati. Barker's Grub: Easy, Wholesome Home Cooking for Your Dog. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80442-1. Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., and Susan Hubble Pitcairn. Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Rodale Press, Inc. ISBN 0-87596-243-2. Kate Solisti-Mattelon and Patrice Mattelon. The Holistic Animal Handbook: A Guidebook to Nutrition, Health, and Communication. Beyond Words Publishing Co. ISBN 1-5827-0023-0. Donald R. Strombeck. Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: The Healthful Alternative. Iowa State University Press. ISBN 0-8138-2149-5. Celeste Yarnall. Natural Cat Care. Journey Editions. ISBN 1-8852-0363-2. Celeste Yarnall. Natural Dog Care. Journey Editions. ISBN 0-7858-1123-0.
The books listed above are a fraction of all the titles currently available, and the omission of a title does not necessarily mean it is not useful for further reading about animal nutrition.
Please note: The Animal Protection Institute is not a bookseller, and cannot sell or send these books to you. Please contact your local book retailer or an online bookstore, who can supply these books based on the ISBN provided for each title.
What API is Doing
API is a liaison to the AAFCO Pet Food and Ingredient Definitions Committees. By attending AAFCO meetings, we hope to learn more about the industry itself and about potential avenues for bringing about change.
An API representative attends other petfood industry meetings to give voice to our and the consumers' concerns about pet food.
API is involved in lobbying for the federal regulation of pet food and the development of more stringent standards for the quality of ingredients used.
API will continue to provide information to the public about the pet food industry and the products it promotes.
API is preparing a detailed scientific paper documenting the numerous problems associated with commercial pet food, for presentation to veterinarians.
food pets die for
The Poisons in Pet Food (kibble and canned food) "Dogs, cats and other animals live for years on foods that come out of bags, cans and boxes. But do these foods promote health? If they did, our companion animals would enjoy long, happy lives free of arthritis, hip dysplasia, eye problems, ear problems, fleas and other parasites, gum disease, lick granulomas, thyroid imbalances, skin and coat problems, personality disorders, birth defects, breeding problems, diabetes, cancer and other major and minor illnesses. Before World War II, most North Americans fed their pets raw bones and table scraps. Today, everyone uses convenience foods, and pet food companies are industry giants. Diet isn't the only thing that has changed. So has life expectancy, with the life span of many breeds now less than half what it was two or three decades ago. Skin and coat problems are so common that we accept them as unavoidable, and today's vets routinely treat conditions that used to be unusual or even rare." William Pollak D.V.M.Holistic Animal Health & Optimum Nutrition part 1
Toxic Pet Food ShirleysWellnessCafe.com (aka: MyWellnessHouse.com) - A free educational web site on the internet since 1996 This site is being continuously updated so check in often to see what's new --- Last update 1/10/2005 Check the list of updates
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A growing number of veterinarians state that processed pet food (kibbles and canned food) is the main cause of illness and premature death in the modern dog and cat. In December 1995, the British Journal of Small Animal Practice published a paper contending that processed pet food supresses the immune system and leads to liver, kidney, heart and other diseases. Dr. Kollath, of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, headed a study done on animals. When young animals were fed cooked and processed foods they initially appeared to be healthy. However, as the animals reached adulthood, they began to age more quickly than normal and also developed chronic degenerative disease symptoms. A control group of animals raised on raw foods aged less quickly and were free of degenerative disease.
Dr Wendell O. Belfield, D.V.M. - "Their pets may have diarrhoea, increased flatulence, a dull hair coat, intermittent vomiting or prolonged scratching. These are common symptoms associated with commercial pet foods." In 1981, as Martin Zucker and I wrote How to Have a Healthier Dog, we discovered the full extent of negative effects that commercial pet food has on animals. In February 1990, San Francisco Chronicle staff writer John Eckhouse went even further with an exposé entitled "How Dogs and Cats Get Recycled into Pet Food". moreLa santé naturelle pour les animaux
Nourrissez votre animal de nourriture crue et vos frais vétérinaire baisseront! Un nombre croissant de vétérinaires affirment que les aliments industriels pour animaux (Croquettes et boites ) sont la cause principale des maladies et morts prématurées chez le chien et le chat. En décembre 1995 le British Journal of Small Animal Practice a publié un article soutenant que la nourriture industrielle pour animaux supprime le système immunitaire et conduit à des maladies du foie, des reins, du coeur et d'autres maladies. apprenez plusRauwe voeding voor honden
- het ultieme naslagwerk voor hondenbezitters - Gezonde en gebalanceerde voeding voor je hond door rauwe en natuurlijke voeding. Je bent gek op je hond! En je bent serieus bezig om hem goed te verzorgen! Je wilt dat dat je hond gezond is en van zijn leven geniet. Je wilt zo weinig mogelijk met hem naar de dierenarts. Je weet dat je kunt verwachten dat je kameraad aanmerkelijk langer leven zal op natuurlijke voeding – en zijn hele leven lang veel beter gezond is dan wat je kunt bereiken met een commercieel voer. meer
Don E. Lundholm, DVM - "We are seeing disease conditions in animals that we did not see years ago. Many of these may be traced to nutrition as the source..."The page is loading. Please wait...The Poisons in Pet Food
"Recent studies have shown processed foods to be a factor in increasing numbers of pets suffering from cancer, arthritis, obesity, dental disease and heart disease, comments Dr. Wysong. Dull or unhealthy coats are a common problem with cats and dogs and poor diet is usually the cause, according to many veterinarians and breeders. "Dogs, cats and other animals live for years on foods that come out of bags, cans and boxes. But do these foods promote health? If they did, our companion animals would enjoy long, happy lives free of arthritis, hip dysplasia, eye problems, ear problems, fleas and other parasites, gum disease, lick granulomas, thyroid imbalances, skin and coat problems, personality disorders, birth defects, breeding problems, diabetes, cancer and other major and minor illnesses. Before World War II, most North Americans fed their pets raw bones and table scraps. Today, everyone uses convenience foods, and pet food companies are industry giants. Diet isn't the only thing that has changed. So has life expectancy, with the life span of many breeds now less than half what it was two or three decades ago. Skin and coat problems are so common that we accept them as unavoidable, and today's vets routinely treat conditions that used to be unusual or even rare." William Pollak D.V.M.Food not Fit for a Pet
by Wendell O. Belfield DVM
In 1981, as Martin Zucker and I wrote How to Have a Healthier Dog, we discovered the full extent of negative effects that commercial pet food has on animals. In February 1990, San Francisco Chronicle staff writer John Eckhouse went even further with an expose entitled "How Dogs and Cats Get Recycled into Pet Food."
Eckhouse wrote: "Each year, millions of dead American dogs and cats are processed along with billions of pounds of other animal materials by companies known as renderers. The finished product... tallow and meat meal... serve as raw materials for thousands of items that include cosmetics and pet food." [See sidebar, ''The Dark Side of Recycling," Spring 1990 ElJ.] moreThe Following Practices are Used by Some Pet Food Manufacturer
POOR PROTEIN SOURCES Soybean Meal, Wheat, Corn Glutens, Corn Meal, Whole Corn, Crushed Corn and Ground Corn are commonly used for their protein content in many pet foods. These ingredients are generally poor sources of protein vs. meat.
CHEMICAL PRESERVATIVES BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin are found in many pet foods. Scientific studies have proven that these chemicals can be harmful. In fact, they have been shown to promote liver disease and other medical problems.
FOOD COLORING Food colorings are still commonly used in pet foods today despite the fact that they are not necessary and some have been linked to medical problems.
BY-PRODUCTS By-products can vary ... they can consist of the internal parts of animals such as necks, heads, undeveloped eggs, feet, intestines, lungs, spleen and liver.
WHAT LABELS DON'T REVEAL Condemned parts and animals rejected for human consumption can be rerouted into commercial pet foods. These condemned parts are referred to as the 4 D's: dead, dying, diseased or decayed. We believe this is one of the most despicable practices in the pet food manufacturing industry.
Some manufacturers have a lower standard regarding the quality of ingredients they use to make pet food. A recent example of this practice is the discovery of Pentobarbital in major pet foods, including supermarket brands. Pentobarbital is a chemical used to euthanize animals. Many holistic veterinarians feel that daily ingestion of pentobarbital can be harmful.
Many manufacturers cut costs by using the cheapest ingredients available at the time a food is made. Since costs rise and fall, some manufacturers will vary ingredients from batch to batch .. resulting in changed nutrient values for each batch and possible digestive illness.
Some manufacturers have lower standards regarding the freshness of ingredients they use to make pet food. You can not determine the freshness of ingredients by reading a label; you must trust the pet food manufacturer. Learn more
"In the wild, no one cooks for the coyote or wolf; no one brushes their teeth. Their foods are raw and unprocessed." William Pollak D.V.M.Do You Really Know What's In Your Pet's Food?
Listen to Dr. Jane Bicks holistic veterinarian 12 minute FREE audio presentation to learn more about how you can improve the health, well-being and longevity of your cherished pet.What's Really in Pet Food
from the Animal Protection Institute Plump whole chickens, choice cuts of beef, fresh grains, and all the wholesome nutrition your dog or cat will ever need. These are the images pet food manufacturers promulgate through the media and advertising. This is what the $11 billion per year U.S. pet food industry wants consumers to believe they are buying when they purchase their products.This report explores the differences between what consumers think they are buying and what they are actually getting.Click here to view the commercial dog food comparison chart All Natural Healty Pet FoodUnited Kingdom Raw Meaty Bones
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons: Letters have been written to the RCVS, outlining our concerns over the continued promotion and sale of processed pet food by the majority of veterinary surgeons. We have expressed our concern about the influence of pet food manufacturers within the veterinary colleges. We have pointed out the huge inadequacies of manufactured pet food, and the harm it does to our pet carnivores. We have told them of the huge health improvements that we have seen in our own pets, since changing them to a raw meaty bone diet, and explained that this is seen around the world by other dog, cat and ferret owners when they change their pets to a natural diet. more
Soy in Pet food A quick scan of supermarket dog and cat food labels indicates that about half of the commercial dry pet foods have soy as the main protein source, with soy appearing as the first ingredient after corn or (in some very high protein products such as kitten food) as the first ingredient.
Cheetahs and Soybeans by Sue Ann Bowling
This article is provided as a public service by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in cooperation with the UAF research community. Dr. Sue Ann Bowling is an Associate Professor of Physics at the Institute.
Pity the poor cheetahs! These speedy spotted cats managed to survive one population crisis, which left them the most inbred wild animal known. Then human inroads on their habitat and hunting for their fur shoved them toward a second population crisis, which seemed headed off by captive breeding. Now it appears that the zoo diet in North America is simultaneously killing them off with liver disease and preventing them from breeding effectively.
In 1985, 29 American zoo cheetahs died and only 18 were born, and 7 of the 18 died before adulthood. Only about 10% of North American adult female cheetahs have been producing live cubs in the last 5 years, compared with 60 to 80 % in other countries.
Since North American cheetahs mostly eat a commercial feline diet based on horsemeat and soy, while the cheetahs living and breeding more successfully elsewhere are being fed whole carcasses, a group of researchers in Ohio decided to look at the zoo cheetah's food. They found that the soybean part of the diet (the same textured soy protein and soy flakes used increasingly as a meat extender in human diets) contained natural plant estrogens, chemicals akin to mammalian female hormones and having some of the same effects. When these chemicals were injected into immature female mice, they caused damage to the mice's uteruses.
Experiments were carried out at the zoo as well as in the lab. When four cheetahs in the Cincinnati Zoo were switched to a diet based on chicken meat without soy, their liver function improved. Right now we don't know whether they will breed again or whether permanent damage has occurred.
What does this mean in terms of other soy consumers? Cheetahs are likely to be exceptionally sensitive to problems of any kind because they are so inbred. On the other hand, soy made up a relatively small percentage of the cheetahs' diet, and apparently all cats are rather poor at getting rid of extra estrogens. Our pets might face some problems.
A quick scan of supermarket dog and cat food labels indicates that about half of the commercial dry pet foods have soy as the main protein source, with soy appearing as the first ingredient after corn or (in some very high protein products such as kitten food) as the first ingredient. As a dog breeder I would hesitate to maintain my breeding stock on a commercial diet that used soy as the primary protein source, or listed soy as one of the top three ingredients. But other questions need to be answered, as well.
How about the human consumption of soy? At the present time, our western diets don't contain all that much soy, though what they do contain is often in the form of textured soy protein, which has over twice the estrogen content of soy flakes. This in itself indicates that the method of preparing soy may affect the estrogen content of the final food. Oriental diets have used soy for far longer than have Western ones. Do traditional Oriental methods of preparing soybeans for consumption remove some of the plant estrogens? I asked one of the researchers, and he replied that tofu has far less plant estrogens per unit weight than does textured soy protein. No measurements had yet been made, however, based on the ratio of estrogens to protein.
Agriculturists and plant breeders need to look at soybean estrogens, too. Do drought, temperature, soil fertility or day length affect their concentration? Do different varieties of soybeans differ in how much of these substances the beans contain? Can low-estrogen varieties be developed? The cheetah study has raised more questions than it has answered -- not an uncommon result of scientific research! Cheetahs and Soybeans from the Alaska Science Forum How about the human consumption of soy?
"Dr Fitzpatrick's literature review uncovered evidence that soy consumption has been linked to numerous disorders, including infertility, increased cancer and infantile leukemia; and, in studies dating back to the 1950s, that genistein in soy causes endocrine disruption in animals."
Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig, PhD - "The soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or "antinutrients". First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion. These inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking. They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer. Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. Trypsin inhibitors and haemagglutinin are growth inhibitors."
The Vigilante Guardian by Jesse Dallas
Many pet owners are beginning to question the validity of conventional methods used by veterinarians and are concerned about the health of their dog or cat.
Processed foods and drugs have seriously depleted the natural vitality and immune systems of many pets. Though natural health care for animals has been virtually non existent in the past, it is rapidly growing in popularity as a cheaper, more effective alternative.
Sadly, it os often those who care most for their pets who, through ignorance, can do the most harm. By closely identifying with their dog or cat, pet owners tend to imagine that what is good for them will also be good for their pet. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Dogs and cats are anatomically very different to humans. Their intestinal tract, for example is only about half as long as a human's, and food is therefore processed and assimilated very differently. Whereas large amounts of red meat can cause cancer in humans, a lack of raw red meat in an animal's diet can lead to serious health problems.
Animals require the enzymes, amino acids and other nutrients in the raw meat in order to stay healthy. Many skin and coat problems are a direct result of a lack of raw animal fat in the diet - fat which humans often believe is bad for their pet. Animals need at least 30% raw fat, and their systems are not designed to handle cooked meat or cooked fat. Restaurant grease has become a major component of feed-grade animal fat over the last 15 years. Often held in 50-gallon drums for weeks or months in extreme temperatures, this grease is usually kelp outside with no regard for its safety or further use. The rancid grease is then picked up by fat blenders who mix the animal and vegetable fats together, stabilize them with powerful antioxidants to prevent further spoilage, and then sell the blended products to pet food companies. Rancid, heavily preserved fats are extremely difficult to digest and can lead to a host of animal health problems, including digestive upsets, diarrhea, gas, and bad breath. In the wild, a panther or jackal does not barbecue, grill or smoke its prey. It definitely does not walk to the local supermarket to buy dry food either. Yet most pet owners recoil at the thought of feeding raw meat to their dog or cat, concerned about bacteria or parasites. However, dogs and cats don't get salmonella poisoning because their digestive system is so acidic (or at least it should be) that it kills everything. This is why a dog can bury a bone and dig it up two weeks later and eat the rotting meat. Humans on the other hand, can pick up parasites more easily because their digestive tract is nowhere near as acidic as that of a carnivore. For more information:Will Eating Raw Meat Give My Pet Parasites?
The meat contained in canned pet food is cooked, devoid of 'real' nutrients and usually contains many potentially harmful preservatives, colourings and additives. Dry and processed canned food also lack the natural teeth cleaning properties of fresh raw meat. Without the natural cleansing action of the meat on the teeth, unhealthy bacteria builds up in the mouth, causing infection and foul smelling breath. The high salt content in some pet foods can cause animals to become unnaturally high strung and nervous.
For a return to health, pets require a diet which strengthens the immune system and most closely resembles that which they would get in the wild. It's really easy to do. Essentially, you feed your pet a combination of certain raw meats and select from a host of raw vegetables. Then by being aware of a few animal nutrition guidelines, you've made your pet the best diet it can eat!
The best type of food you can feed your dog or cat is food you make yourself. It is the most natural, most nutritionally balanced, most easily digested and of much higher quality than canned or dry food. Many commercially produced pet foods contain preservatives such as BHA, BHT, or even MSG which can cause birth defects, liver and kidneys problems, baldness and brain defects. They may also be carcinogenic and what is really scary is that humans eat these preservatives also in such foods as breakfast cereals.
The salt content of many pet foods can be as high as 1000 times more salt than what your pet needs in one day. The excess salt can cause high blood pressure and heart disease in animals. Epilepsy is now more common in dogs than in humans. Semi-moist pet food usually contain as much as 25% sugar which can come in many forms such as sucrose, corn syrup, beet pulp, and caramel to name a few. Other foods can contain up to 10% propylene glycol. Both sugar and propylene glycol are linked to obesity, allergies, tooth decay and other problems like forms cancer. Propylene glycol sister ethylene glycol is used in the making of anti-freeze and to think it's in the food we feed our pets. Once again, our foods like common salad dressings contain propylene glycol also (just read the label). A relatively new ingredient in pet food is ethoxyquin which has been implicated with thyroid problems, hair loss and reproductive disorders. A component of ethoxyquin - quinoline - is regarded by some in the scientific community as the ultimate carcinogen. Ethoxyquin is made by Monsanto, the same company that makes the lawn pesticide known as Roundup, the Bovine Growth Hormone and Monsanto also makes the chemicals sprayed onto new carpets. Ethoxyquin which was originally created as a rubber hardener has also been used as a pesticide and at one point was deemed 'harmful and deleterious', but in 1958, Monsanto had its lobbyists influence politicians. The result was Monsanto had the laws changed. Monsanto must have had good lobbyists because in order to get the laws changed, it took an Act of Congress known as 'The Food Additive Amendment of 1958'. This ammendment was passed making the words in the law say that exthoxyquin was safe even though studies showed its toxicity! The real scary part about ethoxyquin is that it is undectable and so even though a label may not read it has ethoxyquin, it could be there.
Homemade pet food is not only free of such harmful additives, but has the added benefit of containing natural remedies for common ailments. Garlic for example, contains sulfur which acts as a natural flea repellent. The acidity of raw meat creates an environment in which mucous in which worms thrive disappear. Since the worms cannot survive in a healthy body, homemade pet food has the added advantage of increasing the animal's vitality and subsequently reducing veterinarian bills for the owner.
How you care for your pet's coat can be just as important as the diet. Any shampoo that is intended for external use only or is meant to kill fleas, should be avoided. If the label reads 'domestic' and has a guarantee on the label, it means it is a pesticide for home use and is therefore still a poison. These shampoos are absorbed through the skin and can damage the liver and kidneys; weaken the immune system, and will ultimately not even kill fleas. Only a strong immune system will keep your pet free of fleas. Fleas, like many parasites build up resistance to insecticide shampoos. So, the application of such products can only be harmful to your pet.
Providing natural and simple health care to your pets brings numerous benefits to both humans and pets. Those who do not feel they have time to prepare homemade food will be happy to know that it really only takes a few minutes a day and a week's worth of food can be made and frozen. Sadly, most people wait until their pet is sick before they take action. It's so easy to see your pet as being healthy on the outside, but if only we could see the inside. So get informed today because after all, your pet is a living being and your pet depends on you to take care of him or her!!!
Editor's Paw Note: The Vigilante Guardian by Jesse Dallas was first published in the June, 1995 edition of the Vancouver magazine called 'Shared Vision' and had an absolutely phenomenal reception. The information, although written 2 years ago, is still pertinent in 1997 and we hope you have enjoyed it as much as all those who read it in 1995.
Jesse's entire book "HOMEMADE DOG FOOD, HOMEMADE CAT FOOD: Learn The Simple Secrets Of Natural Homemade Pet Food"
is available online free of charge. If you have a specific question, I encourage you to use his excellent search engine which will pinpoint to you the exact location of the information in his online book.Raw Feeding Calculator
As a general rule, a normal active dog require about 2% of its body weight per day. A highly active dog may require about 3% of its body weight per day. No two dogs are alike in their metabolic rates, age, or activity levels Puppies can use up to 10% of their growing body weight. Use the online calculator
to calculate the amount of food needed by body weight.Books on Feeding Raw Food to PetsReady-To-Eat Healthy Pet Food
If you don't have the time or the inclination to prepare homemade RAW meals for your animal, you can purchase ready-to-eat frozen or freeze dried RAW meals or healhty kibbles.Nature's Variety Frozen & Freeze Dried Raw Food
Made with fresh RAW USDA meat and fresh USDA raw ground bone. No cooked bone meal and no need for bone supplements. (raw bone meal is much more efficient) If you'd like to add even more veggies to your food, use your own good fresh vegetables. Kelp and Alfalfa? It's in there! NO seconds, only good fresh food.
Sample Ingredients: with RAW Chicken, Beef, or Lamb: Chicken sample: Ground Raw Chicken Bone, Chicken Morrow, Chicken Cartilage, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart, Apples, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Ground Flax Seeds, Chicken Eggs, Montmorillonite (clay), Dried Kelp, Salmon Oil, Cold Pressed Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Persimmons, Blueberries, Duck Eggs, Pheasant Eggs, Quail Eggs, Garlic, Alfalfa Sprouts, Millet Sprouts, Quinoa Sprouts, Wheat Sprouts, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Rosemary, Sage, Clove. (I encourage you to visit this site
. It provides detailed description of raw pet food ingredients and their health benefits.Shirley
Zoonosis: An infectious or parasitic disease, which is naturally passed from vertebrate animals to humans, and vice versa, e.g. tuberculosis, rabies or brucellosis. "Dogs and especially cats can shed Salmonella organisms in both their feces and saliva, meaning that transmission can occur via licking." more.
A pet dog or cat licking your hand is a very common occurrence. Sometimes a pet may lick the face of a child, helping germs spread more easily. Animal saliva contains many pathogenic agents. more
If you have these concerns, one of the best alternative that I have found to date to feeding raw meat to pets is Life's Abundance
healthy pet food. A Healthy Alternative to Feeding Raw Food
One of the alternative to feeding pets raw food is Life's Abundance, a natural kibble pet food for Dogs and Cats. Life's Abundance chicken meal is made from chickens raised without hormones or steroids. It contains only natural, wholesome ingredients and is nutrient dense with vitamins, minerals, fats and fatty acids which are essential for the optimal health of your dog or cat. It is free from corn, wheat, dairy, by-products, artificial colors or flavors. Click here to view the commercial dog food comparison chart
This Premium Health Food for Dogs or Cats is formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks, a highly respected and nationally recognized holistic veterinarian. (author of 12 minute FREE audio presentation Do You Really Know What's In Your Pet's Food?).
Their chicken meal, fish meal and eggs are derived from human-grade processing plants, probiotics for a healthy digestive tract, and is rich in powerful antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, flax seed meal
, and other natural sources.Life's Abundance and the Daily Nutritional Systems Life's Abundance healthy pet food
(with no added supplements)Do You Really Know What's In Your Pet's Food?
Listen to Dr. Jane Bicks holistic veterinarian 12 minute FREE audio presentation to learn more about how you can improve the health, well-being and longevity of your cherished pet.Some breeders and trainers prefer to feed their dog twice a day to avoid stressing their digestive system. I have been feeding Shasta strickly raw food once a day to give her digestive track a chance to rest which keeps her healthier and never overweight. No two dogs are alike or have the same feeding requirement. It is entirely to the dog's owner to decide what is best for their dog. If I were to feed my dog twice a day and wanted to give kibble AND raw food, I would not mix the two together. It takes 18 hours for a dog to digest kibbles and only 6 hours to digest raw food. To prevent fermentation in the stomach which in turn causes my dog (and other dogs) to have gas, muchi and malodorous stools, I avoid mixing kibbles with raw food. I would give the raw food in the morning and 6 hours later I would give the kibble. My friend, Pat Hartman
, who is a German Shepherd expert also recommends to never feed dry kibbles to GSD. Instead, soak the kibbles first..Click here to view the commercial dog food comparison chart
Learn more: optimum diet for pets
I add Fulvic acids
to Shasta's raw food diet. Fulvic neutralizes toxins and can eliminate food poisoning within minutes. When it encounters free radicals with unpaired positive or negative electrons, it supplies an equal and opposite charge to neutralize the free radical. fulvic acid acts as a refiner and transporter of organic materials and cell nutrients. According to A. Szalay, fulvic acid has the ability to dramatically detoxify herbicides, pesticides, and other poisonsthat it interacts with – this includes many radioactive elements. This detoxification process may extend to animals and humans. ShirleyFood Pets Die for : Shocking Facts About Pet Food
by Ann N. Martin
A MUST READ for all veterinarians, and for all pet owners! "We need to pay attention to what we are feeding our animals. Not only as this book says, with the food, but also we need to support their immune systems. In Super Nutrition for Dogs n' Cats extra information is provided on all the illness caused by malnutrition, mineral and enzyme deficiencies that we normally don't think of. Ever wonder why there are so many vets?...too many sick pets because of the food and lack of proper nutrients. Everyone ought to pay attention!" An amazon.com reviewer. read an excerpt
More books listed at Shirley's Wellness Cafe Animal Health LibraryJuliette de Bairacli Levy
has experienced eight decades of living a life dedicated to the "natural rearing" of her children and animals. She speaks the wisdom we long for, the knowledge of good health and a long happy life that is our right. Yet, somehow these details got lost, buried or ignored by the "scientific" community. Juliette is a champion of the health and loving treatment of cats, dogs, children, bees, and the gypsies. Her presence is a gently formidable figure in our modern world. Juliette says that the two most important aspects of natural animal rearing are: fasting and raw diet. learn moreOptimum Pet Nutrition
"The results of a clinical trial suggest that 74.7% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be eliminated without medical intervention over a period of one year with proper diet modifications and an understanding of the healing process as exhibited through healing episodes. Approaching disease from the perspective of health is the most powerful means of eliminating disease. Poor fuel makes for little momentum in life. The commercial food we are feeding' is the disease we are treating---so treat on and on, curing one disease after another, again and again." William Pollak D.V.M.Sample Recipes of Home Made Rawfood Diet for Animals
Your dog’s behavior, happiness, health, longevity and overall well-being are inextricably intertwined with what you feed him. Dogs, just like everyone else, have specific nutritional needs. And, not to complicate matters, the needs of individual dogsImproving Your Animal's Immune System and Overall Health with Nutritional Support
A groundswell of nutrition conscious veterinarians are beginning to recommend to their clients that they supplement their animals diet with a daily dose of flaxseed oil and other important nutrients.When the diets of animals were fortified with flax, within three weeks their coats developed a beautiful sheen, and dandruff was greatly diminished. There are amazing testimonials about animals recovering from cancer, diabetes and other severe degenerative illnesses with a nutritional product called Transfer Factor. "My colleagues and I have found this product (transfer factor) to be very effective in modulating the immune system. Transfer factor is a "soup" of immune-modulating factors, which contains a leukocyte-type molecule that can passively transfer immunity from one mammal to another by stimulating cell-mediated immunity and is antigen specific. Richard Bennett, Ph.D., an Infectious Disease Microbiologist & Immunologist from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, believes this could be the most significant development in animal health care in decades. We have a great number of veterinarians and clients who are experiencing very positive results in a broad area of disorders, including periodontal. "Charles W. Brown, DVM more
Animals are not the only creatures on earth who can benefit from raw foods Learn about the Incredible healing power of raw foods for humans
(Including personal accounts of cancer cures) Most human illnesses and diseases are due to a deficiency of vital nutrients. When you supply your body with the proper nutrients, in a form that your body can use, it knows how to repair itself!" The American Living Foods Institute more
You cannot poison your animal into health with drugs, chemo or radiation. "Health can only be achieved with healthful living" T.C.Fry The holistic approach treats the whole animal, ignites the body's internal healing force and stimulates the body's natural abilities to heal itself.Animal Diseases and their Natural Care
"Over the past 40 years and 17 generations of dogs and, cats we are seeing tremendous increases in chronic ill health in our pets that was rare back in the early 1960's. Most of these illnesses revolve around breakdown in our pets' immune systems, and include chronic skin/ear allergies, digestive upset, thyroid/adrenal/pancreatic disorders, seizures, gum/ teeth problems, degenerative arthritis, kidney/liver failure, and cancer across all ages and breeds. We are also seeing a record number of behavioral and emotional disorders including alarming and unexplained fears/aggression., as well as difficulty focusing/training and paying attention. The analogy of these compared with escalating immune/behavioral diseases in children is quite disturbing. The two biggest factors in our pets' population health decline over these generations has been the severe overuse of multiple vaccines
and nutrient poor and toxin filled commercial pet foods
. We have also failed to address the underlying cause of disease by only sup pressing symptoms with antibiotics
and related drugs, so the disease progresses and goes deeper. Homeopathy offers a viable alternative in truly curing pets and making their bodies healthier." Michael Dym, VMD
You cannot poisonyour animal into health with drugs, chemo or radiation. The holistic approach treats the whole animal, ignites the body's internal healing force and stimulates the body's natural abilities to heal itself "Health can only be achieved with healthful living" T.C.Fry
Frustrated with the Failures of Conventional Veterinary Medicine: "After 10 years of traditional veterinary practice I became tired of having no treatment for chronic disease, incurable conditions, and a plethora of allergic maladies which seem to plague all veterinary practices. I was frustrated with giving animals cortisone because I had no other solutions, or using antibiotics for infections which I knew were of viral origin." Dr Charles E Loops DVMWhy Destroy the Pets/Animals Immune System with Cortisone shots
when a six dollar bottle of Herbal Licorice root or Yucca Extract does the job well - balances the adrenal safely!Why use Toxic Antibiotics that may cause yeast infections or may not work
at all when Herbal Echinacea, Golden Seal, Eyebright, can be used instead and very effective?Homeopathy for Animals:
Why use barbiturates for pain relief Why let an Animal Suffer? A growing number of veterinarians are turning to homeopathic veterinary medicine as a safe and effective alternative to conventional veterinary practice.Could your pet be suffering from adverse reaction to certain medications? To environmental factors and toxic chemicals? To flea and shampoo products?:
With today's increasingly toxic environment, our pets are coming down with serious and inexplicable health problems. Find out about the side effects of antibiotic, steroids, and flea/shampoo products.Managing flea bites, allergies and hotspots:
the natural, drugless approachPreventing & Healing Animal Cancer
: the holistic approach Enter
if you'd like to copy, print or send to a friend a summary of the information about holistic animal health click hereHolistic veterinary: testimonials of amazing cures
Read other people's testimonials of amazing animal health improvements and cures of cancer and other chronic disease with natural, alternative health care and optimum nutrition. This is a collection of emails I received over the years and for which I received the permission to publish on my site. With each testimonial you will find an email address to facilitate correspondance, feedback and support.
Alternative Therapy for Our Animals Read about FDA's alledged abuse of power toward pet store owner who supplied litterature claiming that vitamins would keep pets healthy. The article, written by James DeMeo, Ph.D. can be found at The FDA - Who Do They Really Protect?
Anti-Constitutional Activities and Abuse of Police Power by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other Federal Agencies.Holistic Animal Health & Optimum Pet Nutrition
A growing number of veterinarians state that processed pet food is the main cause of illness and premature death in the modern dog and cat. In December 1995, the British Journal of Small Animal Practice published a paper contending that processed pet food supresses the immune system and leads to liver, kidney, heart and other diseases. Dr. Kollath, of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, headed a study done on animals. When young animals were fed cooked and processed foods they initially appeared to be healthy. However, as the animals reached adulthood, they began to age more quickly than normal and also developed chronic degenerative disease symptoms. A control group of animals raised on raw foods aged less quickly and were free of degenerative disease. For a return to health, pets require a diet which strengthens the immune system and most closely resembles that which they would get in the wild. It's really easy to do. Click here to learn Search Shirley's Wellness Cafe
pet shop in singapore
Monday, February 28, 2005
Juz Petz is a Singapore registered online pet shop that is targeted at reducing the burden of busy Singaporean pet owners.
Be it working adults or schooling kids, we are sometimes so busy that we forget that the food supplies of our furry companions are running low. Juz Petz is your answer...
We know that the largest packing of food or litter is the best value for money but we just cannot go for it as we do not have transportation to bring it back afterwards. Juz Petz is your answer...
Juz Petz offers round-the-clock ordering of pet supplies via the Internet. Secure online payment is NOT an issue when you shop at Juz Petz as there is none. Juz Petz adopts an Cash-On-Delivery policy which gives our value customers confidence in shopping online.
Juz Petz also offers FREE delivery service to every corner in Singapore with a minimum purchase amount. To fit into the hectic lifestyle of busy Singaporeans, we specially tailor our delivery time to stretch into late evenings and weekends.
Open daily (24/7, 365 days a year)
Monday - Friday
Time Slot 1: 7pm to 9pm
Time Slot 2: 9pm to 11pm
Saturday & Sunday
Time Slot 1: 9am to 12nn
Time Slot 2: 12nn to 3pm
Time Slot 3: 3pm to 6pm
Time Slot 4: 6pm to 9pm
No deliveries on Public Holidays.
10 Anson Road #31-10 International Plaza
toxic dog food..
Toxic Pet Foods
Most pet owners have heard the phrase 'killing your pet with kindness.' Human foods are often fed to pets by owners who can't resist sad eyes and affectionate leg rubs. But dogs and cats have different metabolisms than humans, and should not be fed certain foods.
Here's a list of typical human foods that can be harmful to your pet's health:
Alchohol - can cause intoxication, coma and death.
Baby Food with onion powder - can create nutritional deficiencies.
Poultry/Fish Bones - can obstruct/tear the digestive system.
Chocolate - affects the heart and nervous system.
Caffeine - rapidly speeds the heart/nervous system.
Citrus Oils - may cause vomiting.
Fat trimmings - can cause pancreatitis.
Grapes and raisins - damages kidneys.
Hops - can cause panting, increased heart rate/temperature, seizures and death.
Liver (in large amounts) - can cause vitamin A toxicity, affects muscles/bones.
Macadamia nuts - affect digestive and nervous systems and weakens muscles.
Marijuana - depresses nervous system, can cause vomiting/dangerous heart rates.
Dairy Products - dogs and cats can't break it down.
Mushrooms - can cause shock and death.
Onions and Garlic - can damage red blood cells and cause anemia.
Pits/Cores of Fruit - may obstruct the digestive track.
Potato/Rhubarb - can affect the digestive, nervous and urinary systems.
Raw Eggs - can lead to skin/coat problems and Salmonella poisoning.
Raw Fish - too much can cause vitamin B deficiency, loss of appetite, seizures and death.
Salt - may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
Sugar - leads to obesity, dental problems and diabetes.
Nicotine - affects digestive/nervous systems, rapid heart beat, coma and death.
Yeast dough - produces painful gas, can rupture the stomach/intestines.
Pine needles or drinking water from a Christmas tree - can cause diarrhea, vomiting, mouth sores and appetite loss.
more nutri facts..
What Pets Need
Dogs and cats are just like humans - they require a diet consisting of six essential nutrients in proportions appropriate to their individual needs to maintain optimal health:
Water - Of all the nutrients, water is the most important. No living creature can live without water, because it plays a crucial role in transporting all of the other nutrients throughout the body.
Protein - Essential for healthy tissue growth and repair, and a very important source of calories in the diet. Proteins are made up of amino acids.
Fat - Containing fatty acids and glycerol, fats provide the most concentrated source of calories and add flavor and texture to food. Omega 3 and 6 are fatty acids that contribute to skin and coat condition. Fat also contains vitamins A, D, E and K.
Carbohydrates - Some would argue that this is not, in fact, essential to a dog's diet, and that cats especially receive no benefit whatsoever from carbohydrates, given that they are 'true carnivores.' However, carbohydrates are a source of calories and some carbohydrates that provide fiber play a healthy role in digestion and bowel health.
Vitamins - Fat-soluble and water-soluble, vitamins play a role in helping to regulate the body's processes. Vitamins A, D, E and K are stored in the fat tissue and are not essential on a daily basis. B vitamins are water-soluble and are not stored for extended periods, so they do need to be included in a daily diet. Vitamins C and E are now being added to dog food and cat food as natural preservatives, replacing traditional chemical preservatives like BHT and exothylin.
Minerals - Calcium and phosphorous, and their proportions in relation to each other, are very important for teeth and bone health. Other minerals, including magnesium, potassium and sodium, all play a variety of roles in the diet and your dog's metabolism.
Whether your dog food or cat food provides the appropriate balance of those nutrients depends on:
Your pet's life stage, age, activity level, environment and medical health.
The sources and the relative proportion of individual nutritional ingredients.
How the food is processed.
Do not abruptly change you dog's diet
An abrupt change may cause digestive disturbances for your dog or cat.
In order for a dog or cat to adapt to a new product, the change should be made over a period of one week, gradually introducing more of the new product to the diet until this is the only food that the dog or cat is getting.
Always provide plenty of fresh drinking water for your cat or dog
Dry Pet Food only contains 10% water (moist products contain a minimum of 80%), therefore it is important to provide plenty of drinking water for your dog.
Only give your dog the quantities outlined on the pack, in one or two portions:
these quantities are adequate to meet the nutritional needs of your dog.
If you give your dog more, the feeding of your pet will be much more expensive than what it should be and your dog may put on too much weight (especially as the dog gets older or in the case of bigger dogs).
Store in a dry airy place, out of direct sunlight
photos photos photos photos photos photos photos photos photos
lets start with 2 recent fotos i took with my camera!
Sunday, February 27, 2005
This blog is dedicated to FLUFFIE!! gonna talk more about how i got fluffie and upload her pics.. stay tuned! :)