Rovers

The Pet Food Dilemna

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:D It took you 87 years to figure this out?

 

Companies don't survive by doing anything other than sales or profits. You want to survive by not selling or creating wealth? Become a lawyer.

 

 

That's true, but when a company sells inferior products, even dangerous ones, it catches up to them... classic short term profit management. Detroit had to learn the hard way, and now maybe the pet food companies will too. I don't think there has to be any conflict between turning a fair profit and violating a trust. Once upon a time American made products were sold at premium prices worldwide because the quality was there. Made in the USA meant it was the best you could get. Now, more and more often, both the design and the workmanship (and I'm talking off shore manufacturing) results in a lousy product.

 

One case in point... the famous Moen plumbing fixture garantee. That used to mean a faucet would last for 20 years. Now, it means they will give you the 69 cent plastic part to fix the faucet every two years for free instead. I'd rather pay 3x's as much for a faucet that won't leak or otherwise crap out in two years.

 

In the case of these pet food producers, the lack of quality control will mean millions of lost sales. Some people like myself will never buy from them again. You don't have to screw people to turn a profit. I'm all for capitalism..... but being a capitalist doesn't mean one has to be a scum bag either. Not mutually exclusive.

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Anything with wheat gluten in it is suspect. That's almost every brand. Alpo is actually manufactured by the Menu Foods company... the company that bought and used the tainted wheat gluten. Alpo (owned by Purina) has come off as being innocent, claming Menu was slow to notify them. Well, Purina was doing the see no evil routine until there was a paper trail. Bottom line, these companies can't be trusted.

 

It wasn't until now that I learned that the chunks of potato, carrots and whole peas in canned dog food does nothing for the dog nutritionally. They can't digest that stuff. It's there for only one reason.... to make it look healthier and more appetizing to the pet OWNER, and does nothing for the animal. That was enough for me to write all the pet food companies off. The last thing they care about is the animal... it's all about sales and profits.

 

 

I have to disagree. Wheat gluten is not in just about every brand. I have fed my dog probably 20 different brands of dog foods and they have never ingested wheat gluten. They've never ingested wheat gluten because wheat gluten is used in only cheap brands of dog food. Corn gluten is worse than wheat gluten because dogs can't digest corn so it has no nutirional value and can be hard on the intestines.

 

It's important to know who to read pet food ingredients labels. Things like meat should be the first ingredient on the label. Meat-by products are everything but meat including the internal organs, spleen, beaks, feet etc. For dogs that is not all bad since they are scavengers by species, unless it is the only protein source or the top protein source on the label. Avoid chemical preservatives BHA and BHT or ethoxyquin as they are carcinogens. Ethoxyquin is a chemical fertilizer and is used as a preservative in some dog food. Grains are cheap fillers, and hold very little to no nutritional value for dogs. It should not be the first or second ingredient on the label or your dog is ingesting mostly wasted carbohydrates. Anything with the name "meal" in it is scraps from human food milling plants (corn meal, rice meal, wheat meal) Animal fat is waste from meat rendering plants. I could go on and on as to things to avoid but these top the list.

 

One piece of advice-just like human processed foods, the more additives and perservatives on the label, the worse the food probably is for your pet.

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I have to disagree. Wheat gluten is not in just about every brand. I have fed my dog probably 20 different brands of dog foods and they have never ingested wheat gluten. They've never ingested wheat gluten because wheat gluten is used in only cheap brands of dog food. Corn gluten is worse than wheat gluten because dogs can't digest corn so it has no nutirional value and can be hard on the intestines.

 

It's important to know who to read pet food ingredients labels. Things like meat should be the first ingredient on the label. Meat-by products are everything but meat including the internal organs, spleen, beaks, feet etc. For dogs that is not all bad since they are scavengers by species, unless it is the only protein source or the top protein source on the label. Avoid chemical preservatives BHA and BHT or ethoxyquin as they are carcinogens. Ethoxyquin is a chemical fertilizer and is used as a preservative in some dog food. Grains are cheap fillers, and hold very little to no nutritional value for dogs. It should not be the first or second ingredient on the label or your dog is ingesting mostly wasted carbohydrates. Anything with the name "meal" in it is scraps from human food milling plants (corn meal, rice meal, wheat meal) Animal fat is waste from meat rendering plants. I could go on and on as to things to avoid but these top the list.

 

One piece of advice-just like human processed foods, the more additives and perservatives on the label, the worse the food probably is for your pet.

 

 

I should have qualified my "most" statement and limited it to the cheap grocery store brands of pet food, which is what I meant, but even some rather expensive prescription foods have been affected. Basically, I made the very stupid mistake of thinking that companies like Purina were producing quality products, so in a way, this whole problem has educated me, and continues to do so. I didn't know wheat gluten from wheat germ before this happened.

 

You seem to be pretty informed on this stuff.... what about bone meal? I was thinking of adding that to my recipes, but now have doubts because of what you said here. I know that the pulverized egg shells are good for calcium.... and was thinking bone meal would be too. do you have a recommendation on a vitamin supplement? I am under the assumption that wheat germ along with the brown rice supplies fiber, even if it isn't nutritional. TIA....

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I should have qualified my "most" statement and limited it to the cheap grocery store brands of pet food, which is what I meant, but even some rather expensive prescription foods have been affected. Basically, I made the very stupid mistake of thinking that companies like Purina were producing quality products, so in a way, this whole problem has educated me, and continues to do so. I didn't know wheat gluten from wheat germ before this happened.

 

You seem to be pretty informed on this stuff.... what about bone meal? I was thinking of adding that to my recipes, but now have doubts because of what you said here. I know that the pulverized egg shells are good for calcium.... and was thinking bone meal would be too. do you have a recommendation on a vitamin supplement? I am under the assumption that wheat germ along with the brown rice supplies fiber, even if it isn't nutritional. TIA....

 

 

I should qualify myself as well. It's not that wheat "meal" is necessary bad just that "ground" wheat is better. Meal=processed. It's hard to get ground bone unless you have a grinder and buy chicken or lamb bones and grind them, which can be done-but don't cook them!!! Dogs need calcium but only small amounts. Research has shown that giving large amounts of calcium to large breed growing puppies can predispose them to joint diseases and other bone related maladies. Now breeders and vets are saying not to feed large breed dogs puppy food after say 5 or 6 months, and some pet food co's are coming out with large breed puppy formulas that are lower in calcium and protein to slow bone growth.

 

Your dog does need a source of fiber just like we do and wheat germ and brown rice a good sources. Brocolli is another good source. Maybe apples too.

 

If you want to make your own food I'd highly recommend Dr. Pitcarin's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.

 

If you are really into this, research feeding BARF or raw diets. The whole reasoning behind this is the candid species does not cook their food in the wild and you try to reproduce what their wolf and coyote cousins would eat. You feed a raw diet including chicken and lamb bones. Bones are not bad for dogs unless cooked where they become brittle. I can't feed my dog raw. It tastes so good he eats it so fast he chokes and throws it back up. He also will even guard his empty food bowl from the other pets. This is unusual. I know lots of people who feed RAW with great success. Their dogs are all lean, muscular with shiny coats. Sometimes dogs choke and die from swallowing the meat and bones whole so educate yourself and learn to use a grinder. Many specialty pet stores have refrigerated sections with raw diets they sell. It is not cheap if bought prepared. If you do it yourself and get a relationship going with a butcher that will sell you cheap, or even give away raw meat-by products and bone that he was going to throw away anyway, it will probably cost less than cooking it. The most popular books on the subject are BARF by Ian Billinghurst or Raw Meaty Bones by Tom Lonsdale.

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I should qualify myself as well. It's not that wheat "meal" is necessary bad just that "ground" wheat is better. Meal=processed. It's hard to get ground bone unless you have a grinder and buy chicken or lamb bones and grind them, which can be done-but don't cook them!!! Dogs need calcium but only small amounts. Research has shown that giving large amounts of calcium to large breed growing puppies can predispose them to joint diseases and other bone related maladies. Now breeders and vets are saying not to feed large breed dogs puppy food after say 5 or 6 months, and some pet food co's are coming out with large breed puppy formulas that are lower in calcium and protein to slow bone growth.

 

Your dog does need a source of fiber just like we do and wheat germ and brown rice a good sources. Brocolli is another good source. Maybe apples too.

 

If you want to make your own food I'd highly recommend Dr. Pitcarin's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.

 

If you are really into this, research feeding BARF or raw diets. The whole reasoning behind this is the candid species does not cook their food in the wild and you try to reproduce what their wolf and coyote cousins would eat. You feed a raw diet including chicken and lamb bones. Bones are not bad for dogs unless cooked where they become brittle. I can't feed my dog raw. It tastes so good he eats it so fast he chokes and throws it back up. He also will even guard his empty food bowl from the other pets. This is unusual. I know lots of people who feed RAW with great success. Their dogs are all lean, muscular with shiny coats. Sometimes dogs choke and die from swallowing the meat and bones whole so educate yourself and learn to use a grinder. Many specialty pet stores have refrigerated sections with raw diets they sell. It is not cheap if bought prepared. If you do it yourself and get a relationship going with a butcher that will sell you cheap, or even give away raw meat-by products and bone that he was going to throw away anyway, it will probably cost less than cooking it. The most popular books on the subject are BARF by Ian Billinghurst or Raw Meaty Bones by Tom Lonsdale.

 

 

Interesting stuff here, thanks for the reply. I have read that canine digestive tracts process foods pretty fast, which limits chances of infection from bacteria in raw foods. On the other hand, it sounds like a raw diet is something that means nearly 4 trips to a butcher each week. Not sure I have that much time to invest.... I have read that raw chicken necks are good... and then read elsewhere that maybe it isn't. I think I will stay with the cooked meats for now. I know about the raw foods though... despite warnings against it, I do sample raw hamberger meat at times, and the mutts go nuts for it too.

 

A couple things I know for sure though, is that what I'm feeding now is both better for the animal and cheaper than buying even the cheap grocery store pet food. Pitcarin's book is something I think I'll get. Thanks.

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Interesting stuff here, thanks for the reply. I have read that canine digestive tracts process foods pretty fast, which limits chances of infection from bacteria in raw foods. On the other hand, it sounds like a raw diet is something that means nearly 4 trips to a butcher each week. Not sure I have that much time to invest.... I have read that raw chicken necks are good... and then read elsewhere that maybe it isn't. I think I will stay with the cooked meats for now. I know about the raw foods though... despite warnings against it, I do sample raw hamberger meat at times, and the mutts go nuts for it too.

 

A couple things I know for sure though, is that what I'm feeding now is both better for the animal and cheaper than buying even the cheap grocery store pet food. Pitcarin's book is something I think I'll get. Thanks.

 

 

The necks, especially turkey necks, are the leading cause of choking when feeding raw. Maybe that's what you read about necks?

 

You can google "satin balls" (some Huddlers will have field day with this one), as a supplement to your cooked diet. It is a nice way to feed raw occasionally, can be kept frozen in big batches, and is made out of raw hamburger. I recommend this to my clients with dogs with cancer to help put weight on and increase energy. It's the oldest raw diet out there and was orginally used to put weight and muscle on show dogs and to create a shiny and healthy coat for the show ring.

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We're getting off the grid as well. We still have about half of a large bag of Nutro Ultra that my wife called and found out was not on the list but this thread got me thinking. We've been buying premium canned food to mix in with their kibbles so we weren't concerned about the safety thing, but that stuff is crazy expensive.

 

I took some ground beef, chicken livers, brown rice, carrots, and kale from our yard, chopped it all up and cooked it with some chicken stock. Made a big batch and appears to be much cheaper than the stuff we were buying. Most of all, I know I made it myself and the dogs inhaled it. We're going to mix it in with the kibbles like we used to do with the fancy canned stuff.

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We're getting off the grid as well. We still have about half of a large bag of Nutro Ultra that my wife called and found out was not on the list but this thread got me thinking. We've been buying premium canned food to mix in with their kibbles so we weren't concerned about the safety thing, but that stuff is crazy expensive.

 

I took some ground beef, chicken livers, brown rice, carrots, and kale from our yard, chopped it all up and cooked it with some chicken stock. Made a big batch and appears to be much cheaper than the stuff we were buying. Most of all, I know I made it myself and the dogs inhaled it. We're going to mix it in with the kibbles like we used to do with the fancy canned stuff.

 

 

detlef... two things. Yes, dogs need veggies, but they can't digest them very well. In the wild, they get their veggies from the stomaches of their prey animals, so it's already broken down. Then they can digest it. Instead, either puree raw veggies, or use baby food... then they can digest it and get the nutritional value. These chunks of potato and carrot that show up in the cheap brands does nothing for the mutt nutritionally. The stuff is there only to make the pet owner think it's healthy and tasty.

 

 

Hard boiled eggs are great, and cheap as well. As far as bones go.... in the wild, the fur is eaten along with everything else. The fur and feathers wrap around the bones to prevent damaging the mutt's digestive tract. When my mutt gets a squirrel, all I find is the tail. That's it, but the small bones pass because the fur has been ingested as well. Also, so brewer's yeast is a good thing to add, as well as some cod liver oil for the coat and vitamin D and E.

 

I think it's likely that about 1/4 of the shell from one egg (pulverized eggshells) per serving is enough calcium. Still looking into that. Has to be very pulverized though. Yes, I've found this is cheaper than even the crappy Alpo I was feeding my dog.... and like you, they love it and seem to know the differnce for sure.

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One more item.... since I don't have a grinder, today I laid out the eggshells between some wax paper and just whacked away with a hammer. Then I took what was left and forced it through a small strainer with my fingers. Very fine powder, and threw the rest away.

 

The dogs went ballistic over this recipe. They were still licking the bowel 10 minutes after the food was gone. Sugar Magnolia.... thanks, yer info is very appreciated. Just one more question.... is there a vitamin supplement you recommend? Brand specific?

 

detlef, since you are making home made as a supplement to dry food, I don't think you need to pay as much attention to making sure the diet is balanced and complete. You could skip the eggshells for instance, depending upon how much recommended calcium the dogs get with the dry stuff. I am only supplementing with Milk Bone dog biscuits, which seem pretty good from an ingredient standpoint. I have to take a more detailed look at what I am making because the home made food is the primary source of a healthy diet for my 2 mutts now.

 

I was all set to buy a lot of chicken liver, but then read too much of a good thing can be... too much. I've settled on an approximate 5% internal organ addition to the total amount of meat I include. This has actually turned into a quasi-fascinating excersize for me.... and there are differing opinions on cooked vs. raw meats. Some experts claim that domesticated canines have adjusted to cooked meats over the past 3 to 4000 years around humans, and others who prefer to rely on what a canine's natural in the wild diet was like. I think I'm in the middle somewhere on that.

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A friend had to have her dog on a special diet for a while. She was told that to cook hamburger for the dog, she should boil it, in order to get the fat out. I never would have considered doing it that way and I suppose that rinsing it after cooking would work the same but :D

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A friend had to have her dog on a special diet for a while. She was told that to cook hamburger for the dog, she should boil it, in order to get the fat out. I never would have considered doing it that way and I suppose that rinsing it after cooking would work the same but :D

 

 

I was told by my vet when my pup was sick to give boiled and drained hamburger and or chicken and rice. It is very slow to digest and easy on the digestive system.

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Animal fat is waste from meat rendering plants.

 

My brother-in-law's family owns a rendering plant. They once rendered a dead elephant.

Edited by wiegie

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One more item.... since I don't have a grinder, today I laid out the eggshells between some wax paper and just whacked away with a hammer. Then I took what was left and forced it through a small strainer with my fingers. Very fine powder, and threw the rest away.

 

The dogs went ballistic over this recipe. They were still licking the bowel 10 minutes after the food was gone. Sugar Magnolia.... thanks, yer info is very appreciated. Just one more question.... is there a vitamin supplement you recommend? Brand specific?

 

detlef, since you are making home made as a supplement to dry food, I don't think you need to pay as much attention to making sure the diet is balanced and complete. You could skip the eggshells for instance, depending upon how much recommended calcium the dogs get with the dry stuff. I am only supplementing with Milk Bone dog biscuits, which seem pretty good from an ingredient standpoint. I have to take a more detailed look at what I am making because the home made food is the primary source of a healthy diet for my 2 mutts now.

 

I was all set to buy a lot of chicken liver, but then read too much of a good thing can be... too much. I've settled on an approximate 5% internal organ addition to the total amount of meat I include. This has actually turned into a quasi-fascinating excersize for me.... and there are differing opinions on cooked vs. raw meats. Some experts claim that domesticated canines have adjusted to cooked meats over the past 3 to 4000 years around humans, and others who prefer to rely on what a canine's natural in the wild diet was like. I think I'm in the middle somewhere on that.

 

 

Sorry for the late reply. It's STILL ski season, but golf and mountain bike season as well. It's been keeping me quite busy.

 

I don't know as much about supplements as I do dog food. One supplement to look into is called Missing Link.

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Government: Pet food recall expands further -- possibly for last time

By Andrew Bridges, Associated Press Writer | April 5, 2007

 

WASHINGTON --The recall of pet foods and treats contaminated with an industrial chemical expanded Thursday to include dog biscuits made by an Alabama company and sold by Wal-Mart under the Ol'Roy brand.

 

The Food and Drug Administration said the manufacturer, Sunshine Mills Inc., is recalling dog biscuits made with imported Chinese wheat gluten. Testing has revealed the wheat gluten, a protein source, was contaminated with melamine, used to make plastics and other industrial products.

 

Also Thursday, Menu Foods, a major manufacturer of brand- and private-label wet pet foods expanded its original recall to include a broader range of dates and varieties. Menu Foods was the first of at least six companies to recall the now more than 100 brands of pet foods and treats made with the contaminated ingredient.

 

The recall now covers "cuts and gravy"-style products made between Nov. 8 and March 6, Menu Foods said. Previously, it only applied to products made beginning Dec. 3. In addition, Menu Foods said it was expanding the recall to include more varieties, but no new brands.

 

The FDA knows of no other pet product companies planning recalls, agency officials told reporters.

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Become a lawyer.

 

Outside of computer stuff, that's the best advise I've ever seen you give someone.

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Good thread here. I have considered the b.a.r.f. diet in the past but it was too expensive. I think I may switch though after reading all the comments here. Rovers - you're hard-core man, I wish I had the time to cook meals for my dog. I know the b.a.r.f. diet can be purchased pre-made at specialty pet stores but it will run about $30 per week. I'm kind of afraid to try my own concoction like Rovers. we'll see.

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We also add Barley Dog to their food which is smoke flavored powdered greens.

 

FWIW, we sort of tweaked the recipe I posted before and cooked the veggies in the crock pot overnight based on what Rovers said about them digesting veggies. If it is any indication, their stools don't appear to have visible pieces of carrots and such.

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