Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun

Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun
The Big Dogs Wait at The Door

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What's really in dog food?

Recently my curiosity got the best of me and I set out to research what's really in dog food. Every vendor from Alpo canned to Bil Jac's Frozen swears their products are the best, used by champion breeders, etc. Some of it sounds like you could feed their food to your kids.

I don't know if curiosity killed the cat; but evidently pet foods can help kill your dog. The first piece of bad news is that the pet food industry is a way for the human food industry to turn waste into profits. What that means is that slaughterhouse offal, like intestines, udders, and esophagi; mildewed or rotting grains; and decaying vegetable and fruit cores and skins are bought up by the mass marketers, and processed into what you buy in that can or bag that promises "choice beef cuts", "whole grains", and "fresh vegetables". There are few laws or regulations controling the biological condition of the waste that pet food manufacturers buy, not to mention the cleanliness of containers and wrapping materials, or the mode of storage and transportation.

The major dog and cat food producers are subsidiairies of huge multinationals whose relationship to dog care is zero to none: Nestle (Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog); Heinz (9 Lives, Amore, Nature's Recipe, Kibbles-n-Bits, Gravy Train); and Colgate-Palmolive (Hill's Science Diet). Proctor and Gamble produces Eukanuba and Iams. So, if you thought the above waste-into-profits scenario didn't apply because you buy the "gourmet" foods like Iams, well, think again.

So what's a dog owner to do? There are small, independent producers who make dog food with human grade ingredients. Most of these people are dog loving entrepreneurs who set out to address the problem of mass marketed pet food. Many of them are devoted to the cause because they have had pets who were unsuccessfully treated by a veterinarian for a variety of ailments for long periods of time, before someone told them to feed their beloved companion wholesome food. For many ailments, and behavioral problems, a good diet solved the problem.

Some human-grade dry foods: Wellness, Flint River Ranch, Life's Abundance, The Honest Kitchen, Merrick, Dr. Harvey's, Solid Gold, and Fromm Family Nutritionals. Wet, freeze-dried and frozen diets include: Wellness, Spot's Stew by Halo, Red Barn, Fromm Family Nutritionals, Pooch Bowls and Steve's Real Food.

You can easily order these foods online. Try feedmypet.com, petfoodcafe.com, poochbowls.com, or just4pooches.com.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you know anything about Petsmart brand dog and cat food? I believe they call it Authority. I'm thinking that since Petsmart is all about pets, then maybe they use human grade food as well. Did you come across that brand of food in your research?

~A curious cat (and hopefully sooner rather than later, dog) owner.

Anonymous said...

Do you know anything about Petsmart brand dog and cat food? I believe they call it Authority. I'm thinking that since Petsmart is all about pets, then maybe they use human grade food as well. Did you come across that brand of food in your research?

~A curious cat (and hopefully sooner rather than later, dog) owner.

DoggieBlog said...

Hi Curious Cat and Soon-to-Be-Dog-Owner,

I didn't specifically research PetSmart's brand, Authority. I did find out that the big pet store chains, like PetCo and PetSmart buy all of their inventory in mind-boggling quantity, then distribute it to individual stores. That means there's a good chance Authority is full of chemical additives and preservatives (because it's made in mega-batches and has to be shipped and transported for long periods of time). When manufacturers do big batches they invariably order slaughterhouse waste because of the economics of their operation. If they used human grade ingredients the cost of the food would be prohibitive (human grade ingredients spoil while being stored and shipped.

Hope that helps!

pet lover said...

I would like to say a quick thank you for providing this information for pet owners. My maltese has been on Spot's Stew for over 5 years now and she absolutely loves it and her excellent health shows it. I believe we spend lots of money on ourselves at the grocery store to make sure we have good quality, safe food to consume, and our pets should also.

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