Let’s Talk Dog Food – ‘Dog Food 101? – Part 2

The pet food industry is a 15 billion dollar year money maker for the manufacturers. Their commercials and tag lines tell you you’re getting products made with such wonderful ingredients as plump chicken, fresh beef, whole grains, and vegetables. But what are you really getting? And what are you really feeding your dog?

If you look at the ingredient list on your average bag or can of dog food, you’ll find of list that include things that may sound like they might be good and you’ll also find quite a number of incomprehensible ingredients that you have no clue what they are or what they’re for.

Let’s take a few minutes to break some of these down so you know what you’re really feeding your beloved canine companion.

First let’s take a look at some meat/protein sources. If you read Part 1 of this, you’ll remember that protein “is essential because it is utilized as the building blocks for tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, etc. and a body cannot manufacture the necessary amino acids without protein.” Protein, specifically digestible protein, should be one of the primary basis of your dog’s diet.

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Commercial Dog Food – What Are you Really Feeding your Dog?

You’ve heard this before – “You are what you eat.” The same goes for your dog.

So, how’d you like to be a, “meat by-product?” Well, of course you wouldn’t, it just sounds nasty, doesn’t it?

But what is this whole “by-product” business all about?

Unfortunately, that’s just it — business. By-products are generally defined as animal parts that are not fit for human consumption, such as bones, organs, blood, fatty tissue and intestines. So, in essence, someone got the great idea to process all the leftover garbage in the meatpacking plant and call it, “Dog Food.”

And, if that alone wasn’t bad enough, the offal is processed in varying degrees of nauseating. For example, while “chicken by-product” may encompass heads, necks, feet and intestines, at the very least, all the parts must come from chicken. The same is true for lamb by-products, beef by-products, etc.

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RECALL – Bravo! Brand Frozen Raw Pet Foods – Salmonella, Listeria

Below is the FDA Press Release on the recall of the Bravo! brand frozen raw pet foods;

Recall — Firm Press Release

FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.

Bravo! Issues Nationwide Recall of Select Poultry Products for Dogs and Cats

David Bogner
(866) 922-9222

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –Vernon, CT — Sept. 18, 2007— Bravo! announces a voluntary recall of select tubes of three of its poultry products for cats and dogs. The pet food is being recalled because two of the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, while the other product has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

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Let’s Talk Dog Food – ‘Dog Food 101’ – Part 1

I get a lot of questions about dog food and requests for recommendations and I thought I would offer a little ‘Dog Food 101’.

I am the proud owner of two wonderful English Springer Spaniels, Jezzie and Bruti and let me state that my dogs eat a combination of raw and home cooked. I did a great deal of research before settling on this as what I feel the best alternative for their health and nutrition. I have very little faith or trust in most of the ‘commercial’ dog food available. This is not saying that they are all bad but my choice is not to offer anything to my dogs that I would not eat myself, or at least be able to eat my self.

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Pet Food, Treat and Product Information

The recent pet food recall is still on the minds of many and although there have been stories of a ‘clean-up’ and tighter regulations, to be honest, I’m not sure things are improving.

Just recently there were the stories about the Chicken Jerky Treats from Wal-mart that were proving hazardous to our dogs and there was never a recall issued in that!  Just the other day the AVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association did issue a warning regarding the deadly treats.

And now the latest seems to be ‘toxic toys’ that China is shipping and Wal-mart is selling!! You can find out more about the toxic toys here!

For all the latest info on the recalls and problems, take a look at Recalled Food Products, it will also keep up with any other products, like the toys, and keep you informed – Recalled Food Products

AVMA Issues Warning Regarding China Made Jerky Treats

Many of you are familiar with the recent problems with the two brands of China made Chicken Jerky Treats sold by Wal-mart, well it seems the problems may be more widespread but there doesn’t seem to be anything conclusive at this point nor have there been any official recalls. Wal-mart did block the sale of the two brands of treats under suspicion. Now the AVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association has officially issued a warning regarding a ‘potential new threat to pets.’


Michael San Filippo
Phone: 847-285-6687
Cell: 847-732-6194
e-mail: msanfilippo@avma.org


September 14, 2007

Update: AVMA warns of potential new threat to pets

Schaumburg, Ill. — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently been made aware of several complaints from pet owners and veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats manufactured in China have been making pets sick. Symptoms of illness have included vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. To our knowledge, no deaths have been reported.

The AVMA posted an alert on its Web site on September 13 to inform its members and the public about what was known. Today, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) issued a statement saying it also has become aware of an unusual number of dogs presenting similar symptoms and abnormal test results associated with consumption of some jerky treats. The ACVIM statement is available at www.acvim.org/uploadedFiles/Jerky_Treat_Info_September_14.doc.

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Cancer in Pets – Don’t Just Take it Laying Down!

Cancer, the Big “C” is one of the worst words a pet owner can hear. It almost sounds like a death sentence, but it doesn’t have to be. Caught early enough and aggressively treated, survival rates are improving everyday.

Cancer in Our Pets

Cancer is not uncommon in dogs and cats and the incidence increases with age. It accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats get fewer cancers.

Here are some common warning signs of cancer;

  • Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  • Offensive odor
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

This is definitely one area where modern medicine has made huge strides but you don’t need to rely only on modern medicine. There are many things you, as a pet owner, can do to improve your pet’s chances and keep them strong and help them fight.

What Can We Do?

One of the first and most important things, from my point of view, is to make sure your pet’s diet is as good as it can be. Specific diets have been formulated to help combat cancer but you can make your own at home very easily if you just keep some things in mind.

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Some ‘Myths’ Vets Tell You – DeBunked!

Veterinarians, like any doctors, depend on their client base to make money and generally, the more clients, the more money. Now I’m not saying that all vets only think about the bottom line, but to be honest I am seeing this more and more.

A friend of mine has a little Cocker Spaniel with a myriad of medical problems. These problems, such as Cushings, chronic staph infections and allergies, just to name a few, have been tested and diagnosed but it seems that every time my friend takes her dog to the vet they want to rerun a bunch of tests and do a complete blood work-up, running into hundreds and hundreds of dollars. And this went on every couple of months! She recently found a new vet for her pooch and when he looked at the chart he couldn’t believe the overwhelming number of tests that had been run and rerun, again and again, unnecessarily!

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Natural Health for Your Pet – Healthy Bacteria – Probiotics

Does your pet suffer from loss of energy, bad gas, bad breath, itchy skin, constipation, bouts of diarrhea or vomiting, urinary tract problems, or loss of appetite? All of these problems may actually be symptoms of a compromised gastrointestinal tract – too much “bad” bacteria and not enough “good” bacteria.

“Good” bacteria? Never heard of good bacteria you say? Ever heard of “probiotics?” The word “Probiotic” simply means “for life.”

A probiotic is an organism which contributes to the health and balance of the intestinal tract. A probiotic is also referred to as the “friendly”, “beneficial”, or “good” bacteria which when ingested acts to maintain a healthy intestinal tract and help fight illness and disease.

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The Recent and Ongoing Pet Food Recalls

Last nite I was talking with a friend and she was mentioned that when she had went grocery shopping earlier that day, the woman who was bagging her groceries made a comment about the quantity of chicken she was buying. My friend went on to explain that ever since the pet food recalls, she had her dog on a home-cooked diet because she no longer trusted commercial foods. No surprises there, since the recalls many people have switched from the commercial pet foods to other alternative such as raw and home cooked. What was so surprising was that this woman, the bagger, said that she didn’t know anything about a pet food recall!! This is someone who works in a grocery store where I would hope they had pulled recalled foods and also owns a dog! It made news headlines worldwide and most any pet owner I know was talking about it very consistently keeping an eye on the ongoing recalls. Very scary if you ask me, that someone, a pet owner, would know nothing about it!

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