Thirteen Ingredients To Avoid in Dog Food

Our dogs should live as long as 20 years but instead most make their crossings much sooner than provided by their DNA.  Much of this can be attributed to the food they eat.  Providing a balanced meal for our beloved pets is essential to extending your dog’s life.

 

 

Many commercial dog food products have chemicals approved for pet consumption.

Some owners feeding homemade and raw food diets are well-intentioned yet sometimes important  nutrients that dogs need get left out of the dog’s diet and foods that are toxic are included.

Here is a list of what to avoid in feeding dogs:

  1. Common ingredients in commercial pet foods include meat by-products which are not fit for human consumption and are not a digestible protein sources.  By-products can include intestines, chicken heads, duck bills, fish heads, chicken and turkey feet, hides, feathers, bones, hair, and possible meat from diseased, disable, dying, drugged and dead animals.
  2. Soy, corn, and wheat are indigestible proteins that can stress dogs kidneys and  causes allergies.  To hide the fact that these are main ingredients in commercial foods, these are also called ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, ground whole wheat, or whole wheat flour,  just to mention a few.
  3. Meat and bone meal can include dead pets and animals from road kill and vets  offices.  Animals that have been euthanized, treated with antibiotics or steroids sometimes are grounded up through rendering factories.  These animals may have died from all sorts of diseases, trauma and natural causes.  Unless you know the source of the meal has high quality, it should be avoided.  If you don’t know, call the company and ask about their suppliers.
  4. BHA & BHT have been known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction and are      known carcinogens and is used has a preservative to provide a 2 year shelf life or greater.
  5. Until recently, garlic was thought to be an inexpensive, natural, and safe way to fight parasites and improve the pet’s health.  Here is the catch!  Garlic is from the onion family and it can be harmful, if not deadly to our pets.  Garlic can provide many great health benefits when fed regularly to our pets.  It can stimulate white blood cells, prevent tumor formation, and decrease blood cholesterol.  Some vets propose that it helps with treatments for allergies, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, infections, intestinal parasites, kidney disease.  The effect it has as a natural flea and parasite repellent can be useful.  Many manufactures include it in raw and other natural diets in their food formulas so many treats and vitamins contain garlic. But in the last 10 years, toxicity studies indicate garlic can pose a potential serious health risk when fed to cats and dogs if given in excessive quantities.  The possible side affects are vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, tachycardia (irregular heart beat), weakness, liver damage, allergic reactions, asthmatic attacks, contact dermatitis, or gastrointestinal damage.  The recommended use is one crushed clove of garlic per every 30 pounds but this is one of the chambers of the garlic and not the whole garlic bulb. A 60 pound dog could use no more then two clove (chambers) of garlic not the whole garlic bulb.  A 15 pound dog would use 1/2 clove (chamber) of garlic.
  6. Baking Ingredients.  A new trend is emerging  in the popularity of homemade treats.  Common ingredients include those that irritate dog’s digestion like whole wheat flour, baking soda/powder.  These ingredients hold dough together but are not good for dogs.  Baking soda makes the dough rise, but it also releases gases that react to moisture and heat in a dog’s stomach.  This can lead to bloat or other stomach problems.  It can be painful for the dog and cause the stomach and intestines to rupture and can lead to death.
  7.  Bisphenol A (BPA) used to make hard, clear plastics flexible and to line canned  dog food.  It can contribute to a higher risk of mammary and prostrate cancers.  BPA also affects the brain development, increased aggression in adulthood, abnormal play, and sexual behavior, and decrease maternal behaviors in both animals and humans.  Avoid feeding dogs from plastic dishes or letting them chew plastic toys  If you feed canned food, buy BPA-free canned food like Life’s Abundance.
  8. Artificial colors and flavor artificial preservatives like propylene glycol and ethoxyquin are among the worst ingredients found in commercial dog food.  Ethoxyguin is approved for use as a preservative in commercial dog food.  Ethoxyguin was first used as a rubber and is now considered a pesticide by the FDA.  It is used to extend the shelf life of pet food for up to two years.  According to the FDA’s website, pet owners have previously complained about ethoxyguin, charging its caused a variety of ailments in their dogs.  Propylene glycol, on the other hand, is known to alter-red blood cells in felines.  After conclusive tests were completed it was removed from cat food but remains in dog food.  Certain artificial colorings are also known to cause health issues in humans and laboratory animals.
  9. Steer clear of commercially manufactured pet foods that contain ingredients- like monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium nitrate and benzaldehyde.  As some of these artificial flavorings have been associated with negative health consequences for both humans and animals.   Benzaldehyde has been charged with causing everything from contact dermatitis and eye irritation to respiratory failure in humans. It has also been accused of causing incontinence, eye irritation, decreases in blood pressure and other health issues in laboratory animals.
  10. Sugar and corn syrup are the cheapest and simplest of sugars.  Corn syrup is believed to be the main  culprit for causing obesity in pets as well as humans. Dogs do not need sugar in any form. Sugar can cause diabetes and be a major cause of cataracts and chronic ear infections.  Corn is also one of the ingredients that causes dogs to develop allergies. Another problem with corn is the amount of pesticides used to grow the corn. That pesticide is not washed off before processing.  This also causes  environmental problems as the runoff from corn fields seeps into ground water. Typical pet foods contain an alarming amount of pesticides.  Chronically itchy or scaly skin, moist dermatitis, “hot spots,” and smelly skin and ears are some symptoms of a corn allergy.  Most of this can be completely cured by a change in diet.
  11. Beef tallow and cooked animal fat can cause cancer in dogs, and trigger pancreatitis.
  12. Propylene Glycol used as automotive antifreeze and can cause destruction of red blood cells.
  13. Chocolate has alkaloid in it called theobromine and this comes from the same      caffeine family that is a stimulant.  It stimulates the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and can cause an increase in blood pressure.  Pets cannot process this as quickly as  human and the effects can be severe.

Watch this video for more information about pet food processing and what pet food manufactures don’t want you to know.

Providing fresh and untainted food is important for your dog’s health.  Finding a food that is fresh and safe is a challenge.  Life’s Abundance  does not contain any of the above ingredients.  The food is made from the high-grade ingredients and in small batches which significantly improves quality control.

Joyce Rheal is Emergency Planning Committee chairwoman of the National Association Professional Pet Sitters and with Pets-life. Joyce is also a federally certified for FEMA’s “Animals in Disasters” program, and a certified pet care consultant based in Southern Illinois.

Nature’s Variety recalls dog food due to odor

Nature’s Variety has initiated a voluntary recall of its Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs due to an off-odor smell that may develop over time. This product is not contaminated in any way, but some products are not remaining fresh for the shelf life of the product.

 

Reed Howlett, Nature’s Variety CEO, stated, “At Nature’s Variety, we make every effort to ensure that all of our products meet the highest quality standards. We’ve found that some bags of Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs have an off-odor smell. To be sure that our consumers only receive the freshest and highest quality product possible, we have decided to voluntarily recall all Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs from the marketplace.”

The products impacted are listed below:

  • UPC# 7 69949 60420 4 – Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs 5 lb
  • UPC# 7 69949 60425 9 – Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs 15 lb
  • UPC# 7 69949 60430 3 – Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs 30 lb
  • UPC# 7 69949 60432 7 – Prairie      Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs 3 oz sample

No other Nature’s Variety products are affected.

Consumers who have purchased one of the above products can obtain a full refund or exchange it for a different variety by either returning the product in its original packaging or bringing a proof of purchase back to their retailer.  For more information, call Nature’s Variety consumer relations at (888) 519-7387, go to the Nature’s Variety website at www.naturesvariety.com, or click here to email Nature’s Variety directly.

Companies like Life’s Abundance make food from higher grade ingredients and in small batches which significantly improves quality control.  And having the food on autoship means if there ever is a problem, the batches can be tracked quickly to avoid serious problems, and the food is fresh.  Providing fresh and untainted food is important for your dog’s health Life’s Abundance maintains that balance.

Joyce Rheal is Emergency Planning Committee chairwoman of the National Association Professional Pet Sitters and with Pets-life. Joyce is also a federally certified for FEMA’s “Animals in Disasters” program, and a certified pet care consultant based in Southern Illinois.

Sweet Potato Treats to Your Dogs

It appears yet another dog snack from China is making our dogs sick: duck and sweet potato treats.

Vets are now reporting health problems linked to duck and sweet potato treats similar to those related to chicken jerky treats that are also made in China.

 

 

 

Blood tests are showing that sick dogs that have eaten these treats are showing kidney problems similar to the symptoms of Fanconi syndrome. Some dogs have recovered and there have been some deaths.

These symptoms can manifest within hours or days after eating a treat and includes decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and increased thirst and urination.

If you have fed your dog either chicken jerky treats, duck treats, or sweet potato treats made in China and your pet has fallen ill, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately, especially if the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours and/or are severe.

The brands currently implicated in the sweet potato treat problem are:

  • Beefeaters Sweet Potato Snacks for Dogs (16 varieties of yam-related treats)
  • Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Yam Good Dog Treats (Nestlé Purina)
  • Drs. Foster and Smith (exact item not specified)
  • Dogswell Veggie Life Vitality (4 varieties)

“Jerky” treats do include jerky, tenders, strips, chips, wraps, twists, and several others.

In 2010 the FDA found that a sweet potato dog treat made by a certain company in China was contaminated with phorate, a highly toxic pesticide.

Be vigilant about reading pet food labels, making phone calls to manufacturers, and really doing your homework on what you’re feeding your dog or cat.

PLEASE don’t buy any treats made in China. Buy only food and treats made in the U.S., but this won’t remove all risk of winding up with a tainted product, but it will certainly improve your chances of keeping your pet safe.  While some dog foods proudly fly American flags on their packaging or tout that they are “made in America”, that doesn’t mean the ingredients are all sourced in the U.S. It means they are assembled in the U.S. 

Companies like Life’s Abundance make food from higher grade ingredients and in small batches which significantly improves quality control.  And having the food on autoship means if there ever is a problem, the batches can be tracked quickly to avoid serious problems.  Providing fresh and untainted food is important for your dog’s health Life’s Abundance maintains that balance.

Try making your own dogs treats can be rewarding.  Find organic sweet potatoes and yams clean them and slice them thin.  Arrange on a baking sheet and back for in a 300º oven for about 45 minutes. Let the slices cool and store them in plastic bags.  For homemade chicken jerky treats, buy the boneless chicken breasts, clean and slick long and thin.  Place these on a greased sheet, non-stick not recommended it has its own toxins) and bake at least three hours at 180 degrees.  Let the strips cool and these can be stores in plastic or air tight container and put into the freezer.

Do you know what is in your pets food?

Joyce Rheal is Emergency Planning Committee chairwoman of the National Association Professional Pet Sitters and with Pets-life. Joyce is also a federally certified for FEMA’s “Animals in Disasters” program, and a certified pet care consultant based in Southern Illinois.