September 15, 2009
July 6, 2008
Many people are against buying a better pet food simply for the sake of money and although times are not easy, should your pet really take the toll? When buying low quality food you are picking more expensive health care down the line as well as possibly a shortened life span of your pet. You are what you eat. Is it fair to them?
Raw diets are actually a lot cheaper than most people think, and often cheaper than an okay kibble. In a kibble you are paying for the processing of the food, unlike in a raw diet.
In general I have noticed that the prices of good pet food are not going up nearly as fast cheap pet food. The floods in the Midwest, as well as fuel costs and grain based fuels have spiked the price of grain more than anything else. Well, obviously the cheap pet foods are the ones that are packed with the sky rocketing grains.
There are other places to cut back when times get hard, pet food is not the only option. Water the lawn less, save on electricity, go out to eat less, price compare items before you buy them, buy school books second hand, make coffee at home, subscribe to one less magazine, downsize the cable plan, or don't get that new pair of shoes. There are so many places where almost anybody can cut back just a little, the health of a living creature should not be one of them.
One main exception, animal shelters.
June 26, 2008
Cathy MacIvor is officially my new hero. She has filed a class action law suit against big brand name pet foods. Her grounds? False advertising.
We all have seen them. The Beneful commercials showing the choice cuts of meat dropping gently into the bowl of the very healthy looking dog. Look at that, its even right on the bag!
Look again, at the ingredients:
Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, sugar, sorbitol, tricalcium phosphate, water, salt, phosphoric acid, animal digest, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, dried peas, dried carrots, calcium carbonate, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, added color (Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, copper sulfate, biotin, garlic oil, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite.
There are even laws that say you can not promote any ingredient over another. This is a gray area, but for sure the "beef" listed in the ingredient list is not the pretty little chunks pictured on the bag. So there is every right to call this false advertising. Most the stuff on that list the FDA considers inedible.
You can sign up for the law firm to consider you to participate in this groundbreaking lawsuit. I suggest everybody do this in that it will help strengthen their case. Just click here
Even better news, this lawsuit attacks the retailers too. Kroger, Walmart, Petsmart and Petco just to name a few. The only draw back is that the way the suit is written it only covers dogs and cats.
Here is everybody that the suit addresses:
MARS INC., MARS PETCARE US, INC. (Nutro), PROCTER AND GAMBLE CO. (Affiliated with Iams), THE IAMS CO., COLGATE PALMOLIVE COMPANY (Parent Company of Hill's), HILL’S PET NUTRITION (Science Diet), DEL MONTE FOODS, CO., NESTLÉ USA INC. (Purina), NESTLÉ PURINA PETCARE CO., NUTRO PRODUCTS INC., NATURA PET PRODUCTS, INC., MENU FOODS, INC., MENU FOODS INCOME FUND (Source of pet food recall), PUBLIX SUPER MARKETS, INC., NEW ALBERTSON’S INC., ALBERTSON’S LLC, THE KROGER CO. OF OHIO, PETCO ANIMAL SUPPLIES STORES, INC., PET SUPERMARKET, INC., PET SUPPLIES PLUS/USA INC., PETSMART INC., TARGET CORP. AND WAL-MART STORES, INC.
June 20, 2008
For the original article click here:
Petco has recently had pet food products taken my the FDA because of the unsanitary conditions in their food warehouse in Illinois. The FDA said that there were, "widespread and active rodent and bird infestations."
Even after follow up visits there were no real improvements. If your pet has become sick from any food bought at Petco, talk to your vet and have them report it to the FDA. We want to make sure Petco realizes that people expect a certain standard in food products for anything from people to cats to fish. No way should this be excepted by the public.
It seams with this news that there is corruption on all ends of this industry. First there is melamine contamination put in by farmers (and who knows what else) to unhealthy formulation of diets by the manufactures to infested storage facilities by the retailers.
If there has not been a call to buy small brand foods from small local pet stores, now is the time. Petsmart and other large pet companies usually follow suite in poor business practices.
If the message is not clear enough, stop buying food products from large chains such as Petco and Petsmart. Ask your local pet store how their food is stored before it reaches the shelves. Its your choice, but its your pets' lives at stake.
May 23, 2008
Good food? Bad food? Do you know what you are looking for when you shop for a pet food?
Here is a quick list for next time you go to the pet store for your cat or dog.
Note: Most good foods will not be sold in a grocery store or large chain pet store.
Eukunuba Veterinary Diets
Good Life Recipie
Kit N Kaboodle by Purina
Back to Basics
Innovative Veterinary Diets
Newman's Own Organics
Purina Veterinary Diets
Royal Canin Veterinary Diets
Verus Life Advantage
Ok Pet Foods:
Lick Your Chops
Taste of the Wild
Good Foods (foods pictured):
Raw Meat (Not a brand name)
Whats a "good" vrs. "ok" vrs. "bad" vrs. "horrible?"
A good food has no harmful preservatives, no by-products and no grains. The first three ingredients must be meat. These are foods to keep your pet on for their lives.
An ok food has non harmful grains, such as barley and rice and/or a few bad preservatives. The first ingredient must be meat. These foods should be changed when you run out. Next time you get a pet food buy a better brand but there is no rush. However to save money in vet bills in the long run its a good idea to switch.
A bad food has corn, wheat and/or soy as an ingredient. It also may have bad preservatives and by-products. Tomorrow on your way home from work stop at the pet store. These foods should be switched out within the next couple days.
A horrible food has no good animal source of protein. It contains by-products, corn, wheat and/or soy as the top ingredient. Get up off the computer and go to the store right now. I mean it. These horrible foods will cause long term kidney damage as well as many other medical problems to your pet.
May 21, 2008
When you look at a bag of pet food, you will notice many terms like "meat and bone meal" and "chicken by-product" are used. What do all these terms mean?
First off by-products are always a bad thing to have in food. By-products are left over from the slaughter or processing of the food listed after the word "by-products." For example, "Chicken By-product" is the beaks, feathers and feet left over from the chicken's slaughter. However in order to make the ingredients look good they use the word, "by-product." These ingredients are fillers and make the food cheap with very little nutritional value. Some schools of thought in pet food say specific by-products are ok, such as "chicken" because in the wild these parts would be eaten. However when listed in pet food they are out of proportion to the more nutritious meat. The best way to see variety within the meats is to have ingredients listed as "whole," such as "whole ground chicken."
Another common word used in the pet food industry is "meal." "Meal" simply means that the ingredient has been rendered. Rendering is a process which removes moisture and grinds up the ingredient into a powder. Meals are not dangerous or nutritionally bad, contrary to popular belief, but it is not uncommon for rendering companies to get cited for mislabeling their product (AKA mixing other stuff in) more than several times a year. Meals are not to be feared, just avoided when possible.
Corn, wheat and soy are common ingredients in pet foods. These ingredients in addition to rice were/are the ingredients under concern from the 2007 pet food recalls. However the main concern with corn, wheat and soy are that they add what is called an empty protein. The vegetable proteins in these ingredients are not digestible to cats or dogs. This makes the food actually have less digestible protein than the guaranteed analysis says. Do not get a food with any corn, wheat and/or soy in it. A food containing these often causes kidney failure to your pet causing expensive vet bills. These ingredients also are high rick allergins to pets.
Ingredient splitting is another common practice in labeling. For example an ingredient lower on the list they will split the ingredient into, "Corn grits and corn meal." This way corn is lower on the ingredient list, making meat the top ingredient.
Another way companies trick consumers into thinking there is more meat in their pet food than there actually is, is by wet matter and dry matter. Obviously in a kibble all the ingredients end up dry, but they all started out moist. The meat ingredients are weighed when moist and vegetables when dry. This way there appears to be more meat, but the only reason for this is water weight.