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P Box 22505, Sacramento, CA 95822 (916) 447-3085 info@bornfreeusa.org www.bornfreeusa.org .O.

Get the Facts:

Whats Really in Pet Food

lump whole chickens, choice cuts of beef, fresh grains, and all the wholesome nutrition your dog or cat will ever need.

These are the images pet food manufacturers promulgate through the media and advertising. This is what the $5 billion per year U.S. pet food industry wants consumers to believe they are buying when they purchase their products. This report explores the differences between what consumers think they are buying and what they are actually getting. It focuses in very general terms on the most visible name brands the pet food labels that are mass-distributed to supermarkets and discount stores but there are many highly respected brands that may be guilty of the same offenses. What most consumers dont know is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food and agriculture industries. Pet food provides a convenient way for slaughterhouse offal, grains considered unfit for human consumption, and similar waste products to be turned into profit. This waste includes intestines, udders, heads, hooves, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts.

the PlayeRs

he pet food market has been dominated in the last few years by the acquisition of big companies by even bigger companies. With $5 billion a year at stake in the U.S. and rapidly expanding foreign markets, its no wonder that some are greedy for a larger piece of the pie. Nestls bought Purina to form Nestl Purina Petcare Company (Fancy Feast, Alpo, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Dog Chow, Cat Chow, Puppy Chow, Kitten Chow, Beneful, One, ProPlan, DeliCat, HiPro, KitnKaboodle, Tender Vittles, Purina Veterinary Diets). Del Monte gobbled up Heinz (MeowMix, Gravy Train, Kibbles n Bits, Wagwells, 9Lives, Cycle, Skippy, Natures Recipe, and pet treats Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce). MasterFoods owns Mars, Inc., which consumed Royal Canin (Pedigree, Walthams, Cesar, Sheba, Temptations, Goodlife Recipe, Sensible Choice, Excel).

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Other major pet food makers are not best known for pet care, although many of their house hold and personal care products do use ingredients derived from animal by-products: Procter and Gamble (P&G) purchased The Iams Company (Iams, Eukanuba) in 999. P&G shortly thereafter introduced Iams into grocery stores, where it did very well. Colgate-Palmolive bought Hills Science Diet (founded in 939) in 976 (Hills Science Diet, Prescription Diets, Natures Best).

Private labelers (who make food for house brands like Kroger and Wal-Mart) and co-packers (who produce food for other pet food makers) are also major players. Three major companies are Doane Pet Care, Diamond, and Menu Foods; they produce food for dozens of private label and brand names. Interestingly, all 3 of these companies have been involved in pet food recalls that sickened or killed many pets. Many major pet food companies in the United States are subsidiaries of gigantic multinational corporations. From a business standpoint, pet food fits very well with companies making human products. The multinationals have increased bulk-purchasing power; those that make human food products have a captive market in which to capitalize on their waste products; and pet food divisions have a more reliable capital base and, in many cases, a convenient source of ingredients. The Pet Food Institute the trade association of pet food manufacturers has acknowledged the use of by-products in pet foods as additional income for processors and farmers: The growth of the pet food industry not only provided pet owners with better foods for their pets, but also created profitable additional markets for American farm products and for the byproducts of the meat packing, poultry, and other food industries which prepare food for human consumption.i

laBel BasIcs

here are special labeling requirements for pet food, all of which are contained in the annually revised Official Publication of AAFCO.ii While AAFCO does not regulate pet food, it does provide model regulations and standards that are followed by U.S. pet food makers. the name of the food provides the first indication of the foods content. The use of the terms all or 00% cannot be used if the product contains more than one ingredient, not including water sufficient for processing, decharacterizing agents, or trace amounts of preservatives and condiments. The 95% Rule applies when the ingredient(s) derived from animals, poultry, or fish constitutes at least 95% or more of the total weight of the product (or 70% excluding water for processing). Because all-meat diets are not nutritionally balanced and cause severe deficiencies if fed exclusively, they fell out of favor for many years. However, due to rising consumer interest in high quality meat products, several companies are now promoting 95% and 00% canned meats as a supplemental feeding option. The dinner product is defined by the 5% Rule, which applies when an ingredient or a combination of ingredients constitutes at least 5% of the weight of the product (excluding water sufficient for processing), or at least 0% of the dry matter weight; and a descriptor such as recipe, platter, entree, and formula. A combination of ingredients included in the product name is permissible when each ingredient comprises at least 3% of the product weight, excluding water for processing, and the ingredient names appear in descending order by weight.
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The With rule allows an ingredient name to appear on the label, such as with real chicken, as long as each such ingredient constitutes at least 3% of the food by weight, excluding water for processing. The flavor rule allows a food to be designated as a certain flavor as long as the ingredient(s) are sufficient to impart a distinctive characteristic to the food. Thus, a beef flavor food may contain a small quantity of digest or other extract of tissues from cattle, or even an artificial flavor, without containing any actual beef meat at all. the ingredient list is the other major key to whats really in that bag or can. Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight. The ingredient names are legally defined. For instance, meat refers to only cows, pigs, goats and sheep, and only includes specified muscle tissues. Detailed definitions are published in AAFCOs Official Publication, revised annually, but can also be found in many places online. the guaranteed analysis provides a very general guide to the composition of the food. Crude protein, fat, and fiber, and total moisture are required to be listed. Some companies also voluntarily list taurine, Omega fatty acids, magnesium, and other items that they deem important by marketing standards.

Pet Food standaRds and ReGulatIons

he National Research Council (NRC) of the Academy of Sciences set the nutritional standards for pet food that were used by the pet food industry until the late 980s. The original NRC standards were based on purified diets, and required feeding trials for pet foods claimed to be complete and balanced. The pet food industry found the feeding trials too restrictive and expensive, so AAFCO designed an alternate procedure for claiming the nutritional adequacy of pet food, by testing the food for compliance with Nutrient Profiles. AAFCO also created expert committees for canine and feline nutrition, which developed separate canine and feline standards. While feeding trials are sometimes still done, they are expensive and time-consuming. A standard chemical analysis may also be used to make sure that a food meets the profiles. In either case, there will be a statement on the label stating which method was used. However, because of the family rule in the AAFCO book, a label can say that feeding tests were done if it is similar to a food that was actually tested on live animals. There is no way to distinguish the lead product from its family members. The label will also state whether the product is nutritionally adequate (complete and balanced), and what life stage (adult or growth) the food is for. A food that says all life stages meets the growth standards and can be fed to all ages. Chemical analysis, however, does not address the palatability, digestibility, or biological availability of nutrients in pet food. Thus it is unreliable for determining whether a food will provide an animal with sufficient nutrients. To compensate for the limitations of chemical analysis, AAFCO added a safety factor, which was to exceed the minimum amount of nutrients required to meet the complete and balanced requirements. In 006, new NRC standards were published; but it will take several years for AAFCOs profiles to be updated and adopted, let alone accepted by the states. The pet food industry loves to say that its more highly regulated than human food, but thats just not true. Pet food exists in a bit of a regulatory vacuum; laws are on the books, but enforcement
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is another story. The FDA has nominal authority over pet foods shipped across state lines. But the real enforcers are the feed control officials in each state. They are the ones who actually look at the food and, in many instances, run basic tests to make sure the food meets its Guaranteed Analysis, the chart on the label telling how much protein, fat, moisture, and fiber are present. But regulation and enforcement vary tremendously from state to state. Some, like Texas, Minnesota, and Kentucky, run extensive tests and strictly enforce their laws; others, like California, do neither.

the ManuFactuRInG PRocess: hoW Pet Food Is Made


dry Food

he vast majority of dry food is made with a machine called an extruder. First, materials are blended in accordance with a recipe created with the help of computer programs that provide the nutrient content of each proposed ingredient. For instance, corn gluten meal has more protein than wheat flour. Because the extruder needs a consistent amount of starch and low moisture to work properly, dry ingredients such as rendered meat-and-bone-meal, poultry by-product meal, grains, and flours predominate. The dough is fed into the screws of an extruder. It is subjected to steam and high pressure as it is pushed through dies that determine the shape of the final product, much like the nozzles used in cake decorating. As the hot, pressurized dough exits the extruder, it is cut by a set of rapidly whirling knives into tiny pieces. As the dough reaches normal air pressure, it expands or puffs into its final shape. The food is allowed to dry, and then is usually sprayed with fat, digests, or other compounds to make it more palatable. When it is cooled, it can be bagged. Although the cooking process kills bacteria in the ingredients, the final product can pick up more bacteria during the subsequent drying, coating, and packaging process. Some experts warn that getting dry food wet can allow the bacteria on the surface to multiply and make pets sick. do not mix dry food with water, milk, canned food, or other liquids. A few dog foods are baked at high temperatures (over 500oF) rather than extruded. This produces a sheet of dense, crunchy material that is then broken into irregular chunks, much like crumbling crackers into soup. It is relatively palatable without the sprayed-on fats and other enhancers needed on extruded dry food. Semi-moist foods and many pet treats are also made with an extruder. To be appealing to consumers and to keep their texture, they contain many additives, colorings, and preservatives; they are not a good choice for a pets primary diet. Wet Food

et or canned food begins with ground ingredients mixed with additives. If chunks are required, a special extruder forms them. Then the mixture is cooked and canned. The sealed cans are then put into containers resembling pressure cookers and commercial sterilization takes place. Some manufacturers cook the food right in the can. Wet foods are quite different in content from dry or semi-moist foods. While many canned foods contain by-products of various sorts, they are fresh and not rendered or processed (although they are often frozen for transport and storage). Wet foods usually contain much more protein, and its often a little higher quality, than dry foods. They also have more moisture, which is better for cats. They are packaged in cans or pouches.
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coMPaRInG Food tyPes

ecause of the variation in water content, it is impossible to directly compare labels from different kinds of food without a mathematical conversion to dry matter basis. The numbers can be very deceiving. For instance, a canned food containing 0% protein actually has much more protein than a dry food with 30% protein. To put the foods on a level playing field, first calculate the dry matter content by subtracting the moisture content given on the label from 00%. Then divide the ingredient by the dry matter content. For example, a typical bag of dry cat food contains 30% protein on the label, but 3% on a dry-matter basis (30% divided by its dry matter content, 00-6% moisture = 9%). A can of cat food might contain % protein on the label, but almost 3% on a dry-matter basis (% divided by its dry matter content, 00-7% moisture = 8%). Dry food typically contains less than 0% water, while canned food contains 78% or more water.

Pet Food InGRedIents


animal Protein

ogs and cats are carnivores, and do best on a meat-based diet. The protein used in pet food comes from a variety of sources. When cattle, swine, chickens, lambs, or other animals are slaughtered, lean muscle tissue is trimmed away from the carcass for human consumption, along with the few organs that people like to eat, such as tongues and tripe. However, about 50% of every food animal does not get used in human foods. Whatever remains of the carcass heads, feet, bones, blood, intestines, lungs, spleens, livers, ligaments, fat trimmings, unborn babies, and other parts not generally consumed by humans is used in pet food, animal feed, fertilizer, industrial lubricants, soap, rubber, and other products. These other parts are known as by-products. By-products are used in feed for poultry and livestock as well as in pet food. The nutritional quality of by-products, meals, and digests can vary from batch to batch. James Morris and Quinton Rogers, of the University of California at Davis Veterinary School, assert that, [pet food] ingredients are generally by-products of the meat, poultry and fishing industries, with the potential for a wide variation in nutrient composition. Claims of nutritional adequacy of pet foods based on the current Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrient allowances (profiles) do not give assurances of nutritional adequacy and will not until ingredients are analyzed and bioavailability values are incorporated.iii Meat or poultry by-products are very common in wet pet foods. Remember that meat refers to only cows, swine, sheep, and goats. Since sheep and goats are rare compared to the 37 million cows and 00 million hogs slaughtered for food every year, nearly all meat by-products come from cattle and pigs. The better brands of pet food, such as many super-premium, natural, and organic varieties, do not use by-products. On the label, youll see one or more named meats among the first few ingredients, such as turkey or lamb. These meats are still mainly leftover scraps; in the case of poultry, bones are allowed, so chicken consists mainly of backs and framesthe spine and ribs, minus their expensive breast meat. The small amount of meat left on the bones is the meat in the pet food. Even with this less-attractive source, pet food marketers are very tricky when talking about meat, so this is explained further in the section on Marketing Magic below.
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Meat meals, poultry meals, by-product meals, and meat-and-bone meal are common ingredients in dry pet foods. The term meal means that these materials are not used fresh, but have been rendered. While there are chicken, turkey, and poultry by-product meals there is no equivalent term for mammal meat by-product meal it is called meat-and-bone-meal. It may also be referred to by species, such as beef-and-bone-meal or pork-and-bone-meal. What is rendering? As defined by Websters Dictionary, to render is to process as for industrial use: to render livestock carcasses and to extract oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting. In other words, raw materials are dumped into large vat and boiled for several hours. Rendering separates fat, removes water, and kills bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms. However, the high temperatures used (70F/30C) can alter or destroy natural enzymes and proteins found in the raw ingredients. Because of persistent rumors that rendered by-products contain dead dogs and cats, the FDA conducted a study looking for pentobarbital, the most common euthanasia drug, in pet foods. They found it. Ingredients that were most commonly associated with the presence of pentobarbital were meat-and-bone-meal and animal fat. However, they also used very sensitive tests to look for canine and feline DNA, which were not found. Industry insiders admit that rendered pets and roadkill were used in pet food some years ago. Although there are still no laws or regulations against it, the practice is uncommon today, and pet food companies universally deny that their products contain any such materials. However, so-called D animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food. Vegetable Protein

he amount of grain and vegetable products used in pet food has risen dramatically over time. Plant products now replace a considerable proportion of the meat that was used in the earliest commercial pet foods. This has led to severe nutritional deficiencies that have been corrected along the way, although many animals died before science caught up. Most dry foods contain a large amount of cereal grain or starchy vegetables to provide texture. These high-carbohydrate plant products also provide a cheap source of energy the rest of us call it calories. Gluten meals are high-protein extracts from which most of the carbohydrate has been removed. They are often used to boost protein percentages without expensive animalsource ingredients. Corn gluten meal is the most commonly used for this purpose. Wheat gluten is also used to create shapes like cuts, bites, chunks, shreds, flakes, and slices, and as a thickener for gravy. In most cases, foods containing vegetable proteins are among the poorer quality foods. A recent fad, low-carb pet food, has some companies steering away from grains, and using potatoes, green peas, and other starchy vegetables as a substitute. Except for animals that are allergic to grains, dry low-carb diets offer no particular advantage to pets. They also tend to be very high in fat and, if fed free-choice, will result in weight gain. Canned versions are suitable for prevention and treatment of feline diabetes, and as part of a weight loss program, as well as for maintenance. animal and Poultry Fat

heres a unique, pungent odor to a new bag of dry pet food what is the source of that smell? It is most often rendered animal fat, or vegetable fats and oils deemed inedible for
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humans. For example, used restaurant grease was rendered and routed to pet foods for several years, but a more lucrative market is now in biodiesel fuel production. These fats are sprayed directly onto extruded kibbles and pellets to make an otherwise bland or distasteful product palatable. The fat also acts as a binding agent to which manufacturers add other flavor enhancers such as animal digests made from processed by-products. Pet food scientists have discovered that animals love the taste of these sprayed fats. Manufacturers are masters at getting a dog or a cat to eat something she would normally turn up her nose at.

What haPPened to the nutRIents?

ooking and other processing of meat and by-products used in pet food can greatly diminish their nutritional value, although cooking increases the digestibility of cereal grains and starchy vegetables. To make pet food nutritious, pet food manufacturers must fortify it with vitamins and minerals. Why? Because the ingredients they are using are not wholesome, their quality may be extremely variable, and the harsh manufacturing practices destroy many of the nutrients the food had to begin with. Proteins are especially vulnerable to heat, and become damaged, or denatured, when cooked. Because dry foods ingredients are cooked twice first during rendering and again in the extruder problems are much more common than with canned or homemade foods. Altered proteins may contribute to food intolerances, food allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease.

addItIVes In PRocessed Pet Foods

any chemicals are added to commercial pet foods to improve the taste, stability, characteristics, or appearance of the food. Additives provide no nutritional value. Additives include emulsifiers to prevent water and fat from separating, antioxidants to prevent fat from turning rancid, and artificial colors and flavors to make the product more attractive to consumers and more palatable to their companion animals. A wide variety of additives are allowed in animal feed and pet food, not counting vitamins and minerals. Not all of them are actually used in pet food. Additives can be specifically approved, or they can fall into the category of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). Anticaking agents Antigelling agents Antimicrobial agents Antioxidants Color additives Condiments Curing agents Drying agents Emulsifiers Essential oils Flavor enhancers Flavoring agents Grinding agents Humectants Leavening agents Lubricants Palatants Pelleting agents and binders Petroleum derivatives pH control agents Preservatives Seasonings Spices Stabilizers Sweeteners Texturizers Thickeners

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cheMIcal Vs. natuRal PReseRVatIVes

ll commercial pet foods must be preserved so they stay fresh and appealing to our animal companions. Canning is itself a preserving process, so canned foods need little or no additional help. Some preservatives are added to ingredients or raw materials by the suppliers, and others may be added by the manufacturer. The U.S. Coast Guard, for instance, requires fish meal to be heavily preserved with ethoxyquin or equivalent antioxidant. Evidently, spoiling fish meal creates such intense heat that ship explosions and fires resulted. Because manufacturers need to ensure that dry foods have a long shelf life (typically  months) to remain edible through shipping and storage, fats used in pet foods are preserved with either synthetic or natural preservatives. Synthetic preservatives include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. For these antioxidants, there is little information documenting their toxicity, safety, interactions, or chronic use in pet foods that may be eaten every day for the life of the animal. Propylene glycol was banned in cat food because it causes anemia in cats, but it is still allowed in dog food. Potentially cancer-causing agents such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are permitted at relatively low levels. The use of these chemicals in pet foods has not been thoroughly studied, and long term build-up of these agents may ultimately be harmful. Due to questionable data in the original study on its safety, ethoxyquins manufacturer, Monsanto, was required to perform a new, more rigorous study. This was completed in 996. Even though Monsanto found no significant toxicity associated with its own product, in July 997 the FDAs Center for Veterinary Medicine requested that manufacturers voluntarily reduce the maximum level for ethoxyquin by half, to 75 parts per million. While some pet food critics and veterinarians believe that ethoxyquin is a major cause of disease, skin problems, and infertility in dogs, others claim it is the safest, strongest, most stable preservative available for pet food. Ethoxyquin is approved for use in human food for preserving spices, such as cayenne and chili powder, at a level of 00 ppm but it would be very difficult for even the most hard-core spice lover to consume as much chili powder every day as a dog would eat dry food. Ethoxyquin has never been tested for safety in cats. Despite this, it is commonly used in veterinary diets for both cats and dogs. Many pet food makers have responded to consumer concern, and are now using natural preservatives such as Vitamin C (ascorbate), Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), and oils of rosemary, clove, or other spices, to preserve the fats in their products. The shelf life is shorter, however only about 6 months. Individual ingredients, such as fish meal, may have preservatives added before they reach the pet food manufacturer. Federal law requires fat preservatives to be disclosed on the label; however, pet food companies do not always comply with this law.

danGeR ahead
Potential contaminants

iven the types of things manufacturers put in pet food, it is not surprising that bad things sometimes happen. Ingredients used in pet food are often highly contaminated with a wide variety of toxic substances. Some of these are destroyed by processing, but others are not.
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Bacteria. Slaughtered animals, as well as those that have died because of disease, injury, or natural causes, are sources of meat, by-products, and rendered meals. An animal that died on the farm might not reach a rendering plant until days after its death. Therefore the carcass is often contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli. Dangerous E. Coli bacteria are estimated to contaminate more than 50% of meat meals. While the cooking process may kill bacteria, it does not eliminate the endotoxins some bacteria produce during their growth. These toxins can survive processing, and can cause sickness and disease. Pet food manufacturers do not test their products for bacterial endotoxins. Because sick or dead animals can be processed as pet foods, the drugs that were used to treat or euthanize them may still be present in the end product. Penicillin and pentobarbital are just two examples of drugs that can pass through processing unchanged. Antibiotics used in livestock production are also thought to contribute to antibiotic resistance in humans. Mycotoxins. Toxins from mold or fungi are called mycotoxins. Modern farming practices, adverse weather conditions, and improper drying and storage of crops can contribute to mold growth. Pet food ingredients that are most likely to be contaminated with mycotoxins are grains such as wheat and corn, and fish meal. Chemical Residue. Pesticides and fertilizers may leave residue on plant products. Grains that are condemned for human consumption by the USDA due to residue may legally be used, without limitation, in pet food. GMOs. Genetically modified plant products are also of concern. By 006, 89% of the planted area of soybeans, 83% of cotton, and 6% of maize (corn) in the U.S. were genetically modified varieties. Cottonseed meal is a common ingredient of cattle feed; soy and corn are used directly in many pet foods. Acrylamide. This is a carcinogenic compound formed at cooking temperatures of about 250F in foods containing certain sugars and the amino acid asparagine (found in large amounts in potatoes and cereal grains). It is formed in a chemical process called the Maillard reaction. Most dry pet foods contain cereal grains or potatoes, and they are processed at high temperatures (00300F at high pressure during extrusion; baked foods are cooked at well over 500F); these are perfect conditions for the Maillard reaction.iv,v In fact, the Maillard reaction is considered desirable in the production of pet food because it imparts a palatable taste, even though it reduces the bioavailability of some amino acids, including taurine and lysine.vi The content and potential effects of acrylamide formation in pet foods are unknown. Pet Food Recalls

hen things go really wrong and serious problems are discovered in pet food, the company usually works with the FDA to coordinate a recall of the affected products. While many recalls have been widely publicized, quite a few have not. In 1995, Natures Recipe recalled almost a million pounds of dry dog and cat food after consumers complained that their pets were vomiting and losing their appetite. The problem was a fungus that produced vomitoxin contaminating the wheat. In 1999, Doane Pet Care recalled more than a million bags of corn-based dry dog food contaminated with aflatoxin. Products included Ol Roy (Wal-Marts brand) and 53 other brands. This time, the toxin killed 5 dogs.

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In 2000, Iams recalled 8,000 pounds of dry dog food distributed in 7 states due to excess DL-Methionine Amino Acid, a urinary acidifier. In 2003, a recall was made by Petcurean Go! Natural pet food due to circumstantial association with some dogs suffering from liver disease; no cause was ever found. In late 2005, a similar recall by Diamond Foods was announced; this time the moldy corn contained a particularly nasty fungal product called aflatoxin; 00 dogs died. Also in 2005, 3,000 pounds of cat and dog treats were recalled due to Salmonella contamination. In 2006, more than 5 million cans of Ol Roy, American Fare, and other dog foods distributed in the southeast were recalled by the manufacturer, Simmons Pet Food, because the cans enamel lining was flaking off into the food. Also in 2006, Merrick Pet Care recalled almost 00,000 cans of Wingalings dog food when metal tags were found in some samples. In the most deadly recall of 2006,  prescription canned dog and cat foods were recalled by Royal Canin (owned by Mars). The culprit was a serious overdose of Vitamin D that caused calcium deficiency and kidney disease. In February 2007, the FDA issued a warning to consumers not to buy Wild Kitty, a frozen food containing raw meat. Routine testing by FDA had revealed Salmonella in the food. FDA specifically warned about the potential for illness in humans, not pets. There were no reports of illness or death of any pets, and the food was not recalled. In March 2007, the most lethal pet food in history was the subject of the largest recall ever. Menu Foods recalled more than 00 brands including Iams, Eukanuba, Hills Science Diet, Purina Mighty Dog, and many store brands including Wal-Marts. Thousands of pets were sickened (the FDA received more than 7,000 reports) and an estimated 0% died from acute renal failure caused by the food. Cats were more frequently and more severely affected than dogs. The toxin was initially believed to be a pesticide, the rat poison aminopterin in one of the ingredients. In April, scientists discovered high levels of melamine, a chemical used in plastics and fertilizers, in wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate imported from China. The melamine had been purposefully added to the ingredients to falsely boost their protein content. Subsequent tests revealed that the melamine-tainted ingredients had also been used in feed for cows, pigs, and chickens and thousands of animals were quarantined and destroyed. In early May, scientists identified the cause of the rapid onset kidney disease that had appeared in dogs and cats as a reaction caused by the combination of melamine and cyanuric acid, both unauthorized chemicals. The fallout from this recall is ongoing as of May 007 so please be sure to check the FDA web site for the most recent updates (www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html). he idea that one pet food provides all the nutrition a companion animal will ever need for its entire life is a dangerous myth.

nutrition-Related diseases

Today, the diets of cats and dogs are a far cry from the variable meat-based diets that their ancestors ate. The unpleasant results of grain-based, processed, year-in and year-out diets are common. Health problems associated with diet include:
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Urinary tract disease. Plugs, crystals, and stones are more common in cats eating dry diets, due to the chronic dehydration and highly concentrated urine they cause. Struvite stones used to be the most common type in cats, but another more dangerous type, calcium oxalate, has increased and is now tied with struvite. Manipulation of manufactured cat food formulas to increase the acidity of urine has caused the switch. Dogs can also form stones as a result of their diet. Kidney disease. Chronic dehydration associated with dry diets may also be a contributing factor in the development of kidney disease and chronic renal failure in older cats. Cats have a low thirst drive; in the wild they would get most of their water from their prey. Cats eating dry food do not drink enough water to make up for the lack of moisture in the food. Cats on dry food diets drink more water, but the total water intake of a cat eating canned food is twice as great.vii Dental disease. Contrary to the myth propagated by pet food companies, dry food is not good for teeth.viii Given that the vast majority of pets eat dry food, yet the most common health problem in pets is dental disease, this should be obvious. Humans do not floss with crackers, and dry food does not clean the teeth. Obesity. Feeding recommendations or instructions on the packaging are sometimes inflated so that the consumer will end up feeding and purchasing more food. One of the most common health problems in pets, obesity, may also be related to high-carb, high-calorie dry foods. Both dogs and cats respond to low-carb wet food diets. Overweight pets are more prone to arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Dry cat food is now considered the cause of feline diabetes; prevention and treatment include switching to a high protein, high moisture, low-carb diet. Chronic digestive problems. Chronic vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and inflammatory bowel disease are among the most frequent illnesses treated. These are often the result of an allergy or intolerance to pet food ingredients. The market for limited antigen or novel protein diets is now a multi-million dollar business. These diets were formulated to address the increasing intolerance to commercial foods that pets have developed. Even so, an animal that tends to develop allergies can develop allergies to the new ingredients, too. One twist is the truly hypoallergenic food that has had all its proteins artificially chopped into pieces smaller than can be recognized and reacted to by the immune system. Yet there are documented cases of animals becoming allergic to this food, too. It is important to change brands, flavors, and protein sources every few months to prevent problems. Bloat. Feeding only one meal per day can cause the irritation of the esophagus by stomach acid, and appears to be associated with gastric dilitation and volvulus (canine bloat). Feeding two or more smaller meals is better. Heart disease. An often-fatal heart disease in cats and some dogs is now known to be caused by a deficiency of the amino acid taurine. Blindness is another symptom of taurine deficiency. This deficiency was due to inadequate amounts of taurine in cat food formulas, which in turn had occurred due to decreased amounts of animal proteins and increased reliance on carbohydrates. Cat foods are now supplemented with taurine. New research suggests that some dog breeds are susceptible to the same condition. Supplementing taurine may also be helpful for dogs, but as yet few manufacturers are adding extra taurine to dog food.

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Hyperthyroidism. There is also evidence that hyperthyroidism in cats may be related to diet. This is a relatively new disease that first surfaced in the 970s. Some experts theorize that excess iodine in commercial cat food is a factor. New research also points to a link between the disease and pop-top cans, and flavors including fish or giblets. This is a serious disease, and treatment is expensive. Many nutritional problems appeared with the popularity of cereal-based commercial pet foods. Some have occurred because the diet was incomplete. Although several ingredients are now supplemented, we do not know what ingredients future researchers may discover that should have been supplemented in pet foods all along. Other problems may occur from reactions to additives. Others are a result of contamination with bacteria, mold, drugs, or other toxins. In some diseases the role of commercial pet food is understood; in others, it is not. The bottom line is that diets composed primarily of low quality cereals and rendered meals are not as nutritious or safe as you should expect for your cat or dog.

Pet Food IndustRy secRets


co-Packing

he 007 Menu Foods recall brought to light some of the pet food industrys dirtiest secrets.

Most people were surprised and appalled to learn that all Iams/Eukanuba canned foods are not made by The Iams Company at all. In fact, in 003 Iams signed an exclusive 0-year contract for the production of 00% of its canned foods by Menu. This type of deal is called co-packing. One company makes the food, but puts someone elses label on it. This is a very common arrangement in the pet food industry. It was first illustrated by the Doanes and Diamond recalls, when dozens of private labels were involved. But none were as large or as reputable as Iams, Eukanuba, Hills, Purina, Nutro, and other high-end, so-called premium foods. The big question raised by this arrangement is whether or not there is any real difference between the expensive premium brands and the lowliest generics. The recalled products all contained the suspect ingredient, wheat gluten, but they also all contained by-products of some kind, including specified by-products such as liver or giblets. Its true that a pet food company that contracts with a co-packer can provide its own ingredients, or it can require the contractor to buy particular ingredients to use in its recipes. But part of the attraction of using a co-packer is that it can buy ingredients in larger bulk than any one pet food maker could on its own, making the process cheaper and the profits larger. Its likely that with many of the ingredients that cross all types of pet foods, those ingredients are the same. Are one companys products made in the same plant on the same equipment with ingredients called the same name really better than anothers? Thats what the makers of expensive brands want you to think. The recalled premium brands claim that Menu makes their foods according to proprietary recipes using specified ingredients, and that contract manufacturers must follow strict quality standards. Indeed, the contracts undoubtedly include those points. But out in the real world, things may not go according to plan. How well are machines cleaned between batches, how carefully are ingredients mixed, and just how particular are minimumwage workers in a dirty smelly job going to be about getting everything just perfect?
WHATS REALLY IN PET FOOD REPORT - PG. 

Whatever the differences are between cheap and high-end food, one thing is clear. The purchase price of pet food does not always determine whether a pet food is good or bad or even safe. However, the very cheapest foods can be counted on to have the very cheapest ingredients. For example, Ol Roy, Wal-Marts store brand, has now been involved in 3 serious recalls. Menu manufactures canned foods for many companies that werent affected by the recall, including Natures Variety, Wellness, Castor & Pollux, Newmans Own Organics, Wysong, Innova, and EaglePack. Its easy to see from their ingredient lists that those products are made from completely different ingredients and proportions. Again, the issue of cleaning the machinery out between batches comes up, but hopefully nothing so lethal will pass from one food to another. animal testing

nother unpleasant practice exposed by this recall is pet food testing on live animals. Menus own lab animals, who were deliberately fed the tainted food, were the first known victims. Tests began on February 7 (already a week after the first reports); animals started to die painfully from kidney failure a few days later. After the first media reports, Menu quickly changed its story to call these experiments taste tests. But Menu has done live animal feeding, metabolic energy, palatability, and other tests for Iams and other companies for years. Videotapes reveal the animals lives in barren metal cages; callous treatment; invasive experiments; and careless cruelty. Although feeding trials are not required for a food to meet the requirements for labeling a food complete and balanced, many manufacturers use live animals to perform palatability studies when developing a new pet food. One set of animals is fed a new food while a control group is fed a current formula. The total volume eaten is used as a gauge for the palatability of the food. Some companies use feeding trials, which are considered to be a much more accurate assessment of the actual nutritional value of the food. They keep large colonies of dogs and cats for this purpose, or use testing laboratories that have their own animals. There is a new movement toward using companion animals in their homes for palatability and other studies. In 006, The Iams Company announced that it was cutting the use of canine and feline lab animals by 70%. While it proclaims this moral victory, the real reasons for this switch are likely financial. Whatever the reasons, it is a very positive step for the animals. Finally, it is important to remember that the contamination that occurred in the Menu Foods recall could have happened anywhere at any time. It was not Menus fault; the toxin was unusual and unexpected. All companies have quality control standards and they do test ingredients for common toxins before using them. They also test the final products. However, there is a baseline risk inherent in using the raw materials that go into pet foods. When there are  recalls in  years, its clear that freak occurrences are the rule, not the exception. Marketing Magic

trip down the pet food aisle will boggle the mind with all the wonderful claims made by pet food makers for their repertoire of products. Knowing the nature of the ingredients helps sort out some of the more outrageous claims, but whats the truth behind all this hype? Niche claims. Indoor cat, canine athlete, Persian, 7-year old, Bloodhound, or a pet with a tender tummy, too much flab, arthritis, or itchy feet no matter what, theres a food designed just for that pets personal needs. Niche marketing has arrived in a big way in the pet food industry. People like to feel special, and a product with specific appeal is bound
WHATS REALLY IN PET FOOD REPORT - PG. 3

to sell better than a general product like puppy food. The reality is that there are only two basic standards against which all pet foods are measured: adult and growth, which includes gestation and lactation. Everything else is marketing. Natural and Organic claims. The definition of natural adopted by AAFCO is very broad, and allows for artificially processed ingredients that most of us would consider very unnatural indeed. The term organic, on the other hand, has a very strict legal definition under the USDA National Organic Program. However, some companies are adept at evading the intent of both of these rules. For instance, the name of the company or product may be intentionally misleading. Some companies use terms such as Nature or Natural or even Organic in the brand name, whether or not their products fit the definitions. Consumers should also be aware that the term organic does not imply anything at all about animal welfare; products from cows and chickens can be organic, yet the animals themselves are still just production units in enormous factory farms. Ingredient quality claims. A lot of pet foods claim they contain human grade ingredients. This is a completely meaningless term which is why the pet food companies get away with using it. The same applies to USDA inspected or similar phrases. The implication is that the food is made using ingredients that are passed by the USDA for human consumption, but there are many ways around this. For instance, a facility might be USDA-inspected during the day, but the pet food is made at night after the inspector goes home. The use of such terms should be viewed as a Hype Alert. Meat is the first ingredient claim. A claim that a named meat (chicken, lamb, etc.) is the # ingredient is generally seen for dry food. Ingredients are listed on the label by weight, and raw chicken weighs a lot, since contains a lot of water. If you look further down the list, youre likely to see ingredients such as chicken or poultry by-product meal, meat-and-bone meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, or other high-protein meal. Meals have had the fat and water removed, and basically consist of a dry, lightweight protein powder. It doesnt take much raw chicken to weigh more than a great big pile of this powder, so in reality the food is based on the protein meal, with very little chicken to be found. This has become a very popular marketing gimmick, even in premium and health food type brands. Since just about everybody is now using it, any meaning it may have had is so watered-down that you may just as well ignore it. Special ingredient claims. Many of the high-end pet foods today rely on the marketing appeal of people-food ingredients such as fruits, herbs, and vegetables. However, the amounts of these items actually present in the food are small; and the items themselves may be scraps and rejects from processors of human foods not the whole, fresh ingredients they want you to picture. Such ingredients dont provide a significant health benefit and are really a marketing gimmick.

Pet food marketing and advertising has become extremely sophisticated over the last few years. Its important to know what is hype and what is real to make informed decisions about what to feed your pets.

What consuMeRs can do


Write or call pet food companies and the Pet Food Institute (contact below) and express your concerns about commercial pet foods. Demand that manufacturers improve the quality of ingredients in their products.
WHATS REALLY IN PET FOOD REPORT - PG. 

Print out a copy of this report for your veterinarian to further his or her knowledge about commercial pet food. Direct your family and friends with companion animals to www.bornfreeusa.org/petfood to alert them to the dangers of commercial pet food. Give out copies of our Fact Sheet on Selecting a Good Commercial Food and download more copies of this report both at www. bornfreeusa.org. Stop buying commercial pet food; or at least stop buying dry food. Dry foods have been the subject of many more recalls, and have many adverse health effects. If that is not possible, reduce the quantity of commercial pet food and supplement with fresh, organic foods, especially meat. Purchase one or more of the many books available on pet nutrition and make your own food. Be sure that a veterinarian or a nutritionist has checked the recipes to ensure that they are balanced for long-term use. If you would like to learn about how to make healthy food for your companion animal, visit www.bornfreeusa.org and type Sample Diets into the search box for simple recipes and important nutritional information. Please be aware that Born Free USA is not a veterinary hospital, clinic, or service. Born Free USA does not and will not offer any medical advice. If you have concerns about your companion animals health or nutritional requirements, please consult your veterinarian. Because pet food manufacturers frequently change the formulations of their products, and Born Free USA cannot conduct the necessary testing, we are unable to offer endorsements for particular brands of pet food. Many of our staff choose to make their own pet food, or to purchase natural or organic products from feed and specialty pet stores or online, but we cannot recommend brands that would be right for your companion animal or animals. Who to Write AAFCO Pet Food Committee David Syverson, Chair Minnesota Department of Agriculture Dairy and Food Inspection Division 65 Robert Street North St. Paul, MN 5555-538 www.aafco.org FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine Sharon Benz 7500 Standish Place Rockville, MD 0855 30-59-78 www.fda.gov/cvm/ Pet Food Institute 05 M Street, NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 0036 0-367-0 Fax 0-367-0
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For Further Reading about animal nutrition

orn Free USA recommends the following books (listed in alphabetical order by author), many of which include recipes for home-prepared diets:

Michelle Bernard. 003. Raising Cats Naturally How to Care for Your Cat the Way Nature Intended. Available at www.raisingcatsnaturally.com.

Chiclet T. Dog and Jan Rasmusen. 006. Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care. Available at www.dogsdogs.com. ISBN-0: 0977650, ISBN-3: 978-09776507. Rudi Edalati. 00. Barkers Grub: Easy, Wholesome Home-Cooking for Dogs. ISBN-0: 060980, ISBN-3: 978-060980. Jean Hofve, DVM. 007. What Cats Should Eat. Available at www.littlebigcat.com. Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, and Susan Hubble Pitcairn. 005. Dr. Pitcairns New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Rodale Press, Inc. ISBN-0: 5795973X, ISBN3: 978-5795973. Note: The recipes for cats were not revised in this new edition and date back to 000; they may contain too much grain, according to recent research. Kate Solisti. 00. The Holistic Animal Handbook: A Guidebook to Nutrition, Health, and Communication. Council Oaks Books. ISBN-0: 5778536, ISBN-3: 978-5778536. Donald R. Strombeck. 999. Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: The Healthful Alternative. Iowa State University Press. ISBN-0: 083895, ISBN-3: 978-083898. Note: Veterinary nutritionists have suggested that the taurine and calcium are too low in some of these recipes. Clam juice and sardines are poor sources of taurine; use taurine capsules instead. Celeste Yarnall. 000, Natural Cat Care: A Complete Guide to Holistic Health Care for Cats; and 998, Natural Dog Care: A Complete Guide to Holistic Health Care for Dogs. Available at www.celestialpets.com.

The books listed above are a fraction of all the titles currently available, and the omission of a title does not necessarily mean it is not useful for further reading about animal nutrition. Please note: Born Free USA is not a bookseller, and cannot sell or send these books to you. Please contact your local book retailer, an online bookstore, or the website indicated, who can supply these books based on the ISBN provided for each title. References Association of American Feed Control Officials Incorporated. Official Publication 007. Atlanta: AAFCO, 007. Case LP, Carey DP, Hirakawa DA. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. St. Louis: Mosby, 995. FDA Enforcement Reports, 998-007. www.fda.gov. Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, et al., eds. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th Edition. 00. Topeka, KS: Mark Morris Institute. Logan, et al., Dental Disease, in: Hand et al., ibid. Mahmoud AL. Toxigenic fungi and mycotoxin content in poultry feedstuff ingredients. J Basic
WHATS REALLY IN PET FOOD REPORT - PG. 6

Microbiol, 993; 33(): 0. Morris JG, and Rogers QR. Assessment of the Nutritional Adequacy of Pet Foods Through the Life Cycle. Journal of Nutrition, 99; : 50S533S. Mottram DS, Wedzicha BL, Dodson AT. Acrylamide is formed in the Maillard reaction. Nature, 00 Oct 3; 9(6906): 89. Pet Food Institute. Fact Sheet 99. Washington: Pet Food Institute, 99. Phillips T. Rendered Products Guide. Petfood Industry, January/February 99, 7, . Roudebush P. Pet food additives. J Amer Vet Med Assoc, 03 (993): 667670. Seefelt SL, Chapman TE. Body water content and turnover in cats fed dry and canned rations. Am J Vet Res, 979 Feb; 0(): 835. Strombeck, DR. Home-Prepared Dog and Cat Foods: The Healthful Alternative. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 999. Tareke E, Rydberg P, Karlsson P, et al. Analysis of acrylamide, a carcinogen formed in heated foodstuffs. J Agric Food Chem, 00 Aug ; 50(7): 9985006. Zoran D. The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats. J Amer Vet Med Assoc, 00 Dec ; (): 55967. Information on Reprints: Born Free USA receives many requests to reprint all or portions of our Whats Really in Pet Food report in newsletters, on websites, and elsewhere. Permission is usually granted under the following conditions: Full acknowledgment is made to Born Free USA as the source of the material. Born Free USAs copyright is preserved. Our URL www.bornfreeusa.org is included in the reprint. Under no circumstances is the reprint to be used for fundraising of any kind. We appreciate a copy of the final piece if possible. If you are using the report in a book or other item that will be sold for a profit, we ask you to consider donating a percentage of the sales to Born Free USA. We are a non-profit 50(c)(3) organization, so contributions made to us are tax-deductible. Please write first for permission so that we can track your requests at info@bornfreeusa.org or Born Free USA/Pet Food, PO Box 505, Sacramento, CA 958. Thank you.

WHATS REALLY IN PET FOOD REPORT - PG. 7

Footnotes:
i ii

Pet Food Institute. Fact Sheet 99. Washington: Pet Food Institute, 99. Association of American Feed Control Officials. Official Publication, 007. Regulation PE3, 0. Morris, James G., and Quinton R. Rogers. Assessment of the Nutritional Adequacy of Pet Foods Through the Life Cycle. Journal of Nutrition,  (99): 50S533S. Tareke E, Rydberg P, Karlsson P, et al. Analysis of acrylamide, a carcinogen formed in heated foodstuffs. J Agric Food Chem, 00 Aug ; 50(7): 9985006. Mottram DS, Wedzicha BL, Dodson AT. Acrylamide is formed in the Maillard reaction. Nature, 00 Oct 3; 9(6906): 89. Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, et al., eds. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th Edition. 00. Topeka, KS: Mark Morris Institute. Seefelt SL, Chapman TE. Body water content and turnover in cats fed dry and canned rations. Am J Vet Res, 979 Feb; 0(): 835. Logan, et al., Dental Disease, in: Hand et al., eds., Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, Fourth Edition. Topeka, KS: Mark Morris Institute, 000.

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Dog Food Nutrition-What You Should Know

http://www.k911.biz/Petsafety/DogFoodNutrition.htm

Steer Clear of Dog Foods With Grain Additives


Russell Swift, D.V.M. suggests that grains inhibit the immune system. Grain proteins are less digestible than animal proteins. He feels the presence of these "foreign, non-nutritive protein and carbohydrate particles" may lead to allergies and immune system problems. Dogs do not contain the digestive enzyme in their saliva, amylase, needed to begin the digestion of grains. Chewing, another factor in grain digestion, is not something canines are designed to do. Rather they catch, tear, crunch then swallow their foods in an instinctive way. Digestion occurs in the stomach and the small intestine. It does not begin in the mouth as it does in humans. Depending on the dog, two or three chomps may be all they give, while others might savor their food a little more. Grains are most thoroughly digested in animals with long digestive tracts. Compared to animals who regularly eat plant matter, a dog's digestive tract is about one third of the size. In order to even begin to be digested grain must be either cooked, soaked, fermented or sprouted. Undigested or the poorly digested portion of grains is expelled in the form of large, semi-soft stool. Some cheap grain-based commercial foods will produce almost as much stool volume as food fed, leaving one to wonder what quantity of nutrients have been absorbed from this food? Grains, which are glue-like and break down into sugars, are likely to be a contributing factor in the formation of dental calculus and periodontal disease. Dogs who are fed a diet of kibble that includes large amounts of grains (and does not provide the cleaning action that raw meaty bones have) suffer from periodontal disease, tartar build up and bad breath. Anecdotal evidence suggests that dogs who eat a grain free diet are relatively free of the periodontal disease that plagues many of our kibble eating pets. Author and nutritionist Kymythy Schultze points out that "grains break down into sugar within the body and can supply nourishment for yeast overgrowth". She lists the problems that may be associated with grains as: "allergies, ear infections, skin problems, bloating, joint problems, malabsorption, and digestive disorders". Pat McKay in "Reigning Cats and Dogs" discusses Candida Albicans or chronic yeast infections, describing the symptoms of this serious condition as: "excessive scratching, licking, chronic eye and/or ear infections, rashes, hot spots, colitis, chronic cough, vaginitis, kidney and
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infections, rashes, hot spots, colitis, chronic cough, vaginitis, kidney and bladder infections, arthritis, hypothyroidism, and even diabetes". In lecture notes from a seminar given by Dr. Ian Billinghurst B.V.Sc. [Hons], B.Sc.Agr., Dip.Ed., he points out that hip dysplasia was unknown before 1935 when cooked grains and artificial calcium were introduced. By this I am assuming he means the introduction of processed and prepackaged pet foods as opposed to feeding whole grains as a part of a home prepared diet. He feels there is a genetic disposition to hip dysplasia but there is also a huge environmental impact. In his book, Give Your Dog a Bone, Dr. Billinghurst writes: "Dogs that eat grains as the major part of their diet suffer premature ageing and the early development of degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and other pancreatic problems. Many skin problems, allergic problems and arthritic problems respond to the withdrawal of grains from a dog's diet". He also points out "Unfortunately, rice, the most popular of the grains that people feed to their dogs, is the one with the lowest levels of protein, and possibly the poorest quality protein". Dr. Billinghurst believes that most allergies are developed due to feeding young puppies unsuitable foods, setting it up for an allergy later in life. Whole grains and other seeds have phytic acid in their shells. Phytic acid binds to minerals like calcium preventing absorption by the body. In the 1930's a study found that dogs became ill with rickets when they were fed a diet of oatmeal. Phytates prevent mineral absorption in both dogs and humans. Techniques such as soaking and fermenting reduce the amounts of phytic acid in grains by utilizing the natural enzymes found in grains, phytases. Unfortunately, phytases, like many enzymes are fragile and destroyed by commercial processing. Another factor that inhibits nutrient absorption is the lack of the amino acid lysine. Lysine is the amino acid that ensures calcium absorption and distribution in the body. The lack of lysine in combination with phytates makes minerals such as calcium, zinc, selenium and chromium less or unavailable to your dog on a diet that is high in whole grains. Soy is another common ingredient that is sometimes used as a protein and energy source in pet food. Manufacturers also use it to add bulk so that when an animal eats a product containing soy he will feel more sated. While soy has been linked to gas in some dogs, other dogs do quite well with it. Vegetarian dog foods use soy as a protein source.

How Nutritious is Your Pet's Food?


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If you believe your dog may be suffering with food related allergies, before trying him on anything new, you may opt for some down time from the commercial dog food and make your own nutritious food. Once he has stabilized, then you can gradually reintroduce him to a new brand of food. Until then, try the chicken and rice diet. Here's how:

Chicken and Rice Diet


Boil a whole chicken and when finished boiling, pour the broth into another large pot allowing the chicken to cool on its own so you can remove the bones. Once that is done put the chicken into the pot containing the broth and pour in a 1 lb bag of brown rice. When the rice is done, add fresh or frozen green beans and/or carrots to the mixture. We sometimes add a few cubes of chicken bouillon to give it more flavor. This also makes it a bit saltier so that your dog will drink more water. Once all has cooled, put in portion sized freezer bags. This is not only healthy but a meal that is easy to serve. Just pop into the microwave or put the bag into a bowl of hot water to thaw before feeding. If you can find a dog food like this, you are doing a great service for your dog. Whole Dog Journal voted Kirklands brand (made by Costco) the best, Beneful the worst. Here is the breakdown and notice there is no wheat or corn but lots of vegetables. Lamb, Lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, rice flour, white rice, egg product, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and Vitamin E), beet pulp, potatoes, fishmeal, flaxseed, natural flavor, millet, brewers dried yeast, carrots, peas, choline chloride, rosemary extract, parsley flake, dried chicory root, glucosamine hydrochloride, taurine, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, copper proteninate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteniate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite (source of vitamin K activity), riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 23% minimum Crude Fat 14% minimum Crude Fiber 4% maximum Moisture 10% maximum Zinc 200mg/kg minimum Selenium 0.4 mg/kg minimum Vitamin A 15000 IU/KG minimum
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Vitamin A 15000 IU/KG minimum Omega-6 fatty acids 2.2% minimum Omega-3 Fatty Acids 0.4 % minimum Glucosamine HCl not less than 300 mg/kg Chondroitin sulfate not less than 100 mg/kg

Principal Display - Product Name


First, let's look at understanding the label. As with human food labels, pet food labels are strictly regulated by the federal government, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture, and must follow stringent guidelines. Pet food labels are typically divided into two separate sections: the principal product display and information about the food. This part of the pet food label contains the brand name of the food as well as the specific food or formula contained in the can. It lists which meat is primarily used in the food and may indicate for which age group the food is intended (growing, maintenance, adult). The product weight, in grams and ounces, is also included. The principal display also includes the type of animal the food is meant for - dogs or cats. How the product is listed on the label is also strictly regulated. In order to call something "Beef for Dogs," at least 95 percent of the product must be the named meat, without counting the moisture content. If the moisture content is included, at least 70 percent of the product must be the meat listed. If the name has a combination of meats, such as "Chicken and Liver," the two products together must be 95 percent of the product with the first ingredient listed more prevalent. If the amount of the meat is over 25 percent but less than 95 percent, a qualifier must be added. The word dinner is a commonly added qualifier but platter, entre, nuggets and formula are also common. Also, just because the product name says "chicken formula" doesn't mean beef or fish are not added. Check the ingredient list to find out which meats are also included. Another rule regarding product name is the newly approved use of "with". In pet food such as "Dog Food with Chicken," since the word "chicken" follows "with," that food must have at least three percent of the food as chicken. This wording can fool some people. "Beef Dog Food" is very different than "Dog Food with Beef." The first has 95 percent beef. The second only has three percent beef.

Informational Section
In addition to displaying the product name, brand name, weight and intended species, the pet food label also includes a more complex
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intended species, the pet food label also includes a more complex section. The informational section contains a list of ingredients, the guaranteed analysis, feeding instructions and nutritional adequacy claim. This is the part of the label that is most important when comparing different foods and determining the nutrients in the product.

Ingredient List
The list of ingredients must be in descending order. This means that the most prevalent part of the diet is listed first and then followed by each ingredient in order by weight. If your pet needs a diet low in protein, considered getting a food with several carbohydrates listed in the top five ingredients. If your pet needs high protein, get a food with the first two ingredients as meat products.

Guaranteed Analysis
This section of the pet food label lists the amounts of each ingredient contained in the food. Typically, the minimum amount of the ingredients is listed and not always the exact amount. When comparing one product to another, you must take moisture content into account. The ingredients should be compared on a dry matter basis. This means that if 82 percent moisture is present in the food, the remaining items comprise 18 percent of the diet. The minimum values listed for each ingredient (besides water) should be divided by 0.18 in order to get a dry matter amount. Now two products can be compared fairly.

Nutritional Adequacy Claim


This section of the information area lists the life stage for which the food is made, such as "for maintenance," "for growth" or "for all life stages." If the pet food follows the guidelines set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the label will include a statement that says the food provides complete and balanced nutrition for a particular life stage. It will also list if the food is meant as a treat or a supplement and should be fed in combination with other foods. --From Dr. Jon newsletter

The Problem Is Your Dogs Food


Basically, your dogs food has had the life cooked out of it. Dry and canned dog foods are subjected to extreme heat in the production process. This heat obliterates the digestive enzymes, beneficial bacteria and delicate vitamins and nutrients your dog desperately needs. Your dogs "good health" account is always running at a deficit because his diet is full of deficiencies. These deficiencies or gaps cause real issues with your dogs digestive tract and immune system. Over time,
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issues with your dogs digestive tract and immune system. Over time, these issues in your dogs body show up as symptoms such as itchy red skin, hot spots, ear infections, excess shedding, dull coat, allergies, funky odors, and on and on.

WHAT'S REALLY IN PET FOOD? from the Animal Protection Institute


Plump whole chickens, choice cuts of beef, fresh grains, and all the wholesome nutrition your dog or cat will ever need. These are the images pet food manufacturers promulgate through the media and advertising. This is what the $11 billion per year U.S. pet food industry wants consumers to believe they are buying when they purchase their products. This report explores the differences between what consumers think they are buying and what they are actually getting. It focuses in very general terms on the most visible name brands -- the pet food labels that are mass-distributed to supermarkets and discount stores -- but there are many highly respected brands that may be guilty of the same offenses. What most consumers don't know is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food and agriculture industries. Pet food provides a market for slaughterhouse offal, grains considered "unfit for human consumption," and similar waste products to be turned into profit. This waste includes intestines, udders, esophagi, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts. Three of the five major pet food companies in the United States are subsidiaries of major multinational companies: Nestl (Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog), Heinz (9 Lives, Amore, Gravy Train, Kibbles n Bits, Recipe, Vets), Colgate-Palmolive (Hill's Science Diet Pet Food). Other leading companies are Procter & Gamble (Eukanuba and Iams), Mars (Kal Kan, Mealtime, Pedigree, Sheba), and Nutro. From a business standpoint, multinational companies owning pet food manufacturing companies is an ideal relationship. The multinationals have a captive market in which to capitalize on their waste products, and the pet food manufacturers have a reliable source from which to purchase their bulk materials. There are hundreds of different pet foods available in this country. And while many of the foods on the market are virtually the same, not all of the pet food manufacturing companies use poor quality and potentially dangerous ingredients.

Ingredients
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Ingredients
Although the purchase price of pet food does not always determine whether a pet food is good or bad, the price is often a good indicator of quality. It would be impossible for a company that sells a generic brand of dog food at $9.95 for a 40-lb. bag to use quality protein and grain in its food. The cost of purchasing quality ingredients would be much higher than the selling price. The protein used in pet food comes from a variety of sources. When cattle, swine, chickens, lambs, or any number of other animals are slaughtered, the choice cuts such as lean muscle tissue are trimmed away from the carcass for human consumption. However, about 50% of every food-producing animal does not get used in human foods. Whatever remains of the carcass -- bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, and almost all the other parts not generally consumed by humans -- is used in pet food, animal feed, and other products. These "other parts" are known as "by-products" or other names on pet food labels. The ambiguous labels list the ingredients, but do not provide a definition for the products listed.

The Pet Food Institute


The trade association of pet food manufacturers acknowledges the use of by-products in pet foods as additional income for processors and farmers: "The growth of the pet food industry not only provided pet owners with better foods for their pets, but also created profitable additional markets for American farm products and for the byproducts of the meat packing, poultry, and other food industries which prepare food for human consumption."1 Many of these remnants provide a questionable source of nourishment for our animals. The nutritional quality of meat and poultry by-products, meals, and digests can vary from batch to batch. James Morris and Quinton Rogers, two professors with the Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of California at Davis Veterinary School of Medicine, assert that, "There is virtually no information on the bioavailability of nutrients for companion animals in many of the common dietary ingredients used in pet foods. These ingredients are generally by-products of the meat, poultry and fishing industries, with the potential for a wide variation in nutrient composition. Claims of nutritional adequacy of pet foods based on the current Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) nutrient allowances ('profiles') do not give assurances of nutritional adequacy and will not until ingredients are analyzed and bioavailability values are incorporated."2 Meat and poultry meals, by-product meals, and meat-and-bone meal are common ingredients in pet foods. The term "meal" means that these
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Dog Food Nutrition-What You Should Know

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are common ingredients in pet foods. The term "meal" means that these materials are not used fresh, but have been rendered. What is rendering? Rendering, as defined by Webster's Dictionary, is "to process as for industrial use: to render livestock carcasses and to extract oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting." Home-made chicken soup, with its thick layer of fat that forms over the top when the soup is cooled, is a sort of mini-rendering process. Rendering separates fat-soluble from watersoluble and solid materials, and kills bacterial contaminants, but may alter or destroy some of the natural enzymes and proteins found in the raw ingredients. What can the feeding of such products do to your companion animal? Some veterinarians claim that feeding slaughterhouse wastes to animals increases their risk of getting cancer and other degenerative diseases. The cooking methods used by pet food manufacturers - such as rendering and extruding (a heat-and-pressure system used to "puff" dry foods into nuggets or kibbles) -- do not necessarily destroy the hormones used to fatten livestock or increase milk production, or drugs such as antibiotics or the barbiturates used to euthanize animals.

Animal and Poultry Fat


You may have noticed a unique, pungent odor when you open a new bag of pet food -- what is the source of that delightful smell? It is most often rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans. Restaurant grease has become a major component of feed grade animal fat over the last fifteen years. This grease, often held in fifty-gallon drums, is usually kept outside for weeks, exposed to extreme temperatures with no regard for its future use. "Fat blenders" or rendering companies then pick up this used grease and mix the different types of fat together, stabilize them with powerful antioxidants to retard further spoilage, and then sell the blended products to pet food companies and other end users.3 These fats are sprayed directly onto dried kibbles or extruded pellets to make an otherwise bland or distasteful product palatable. The fat also acts as a binding agent to which manufacturers add other flavor enhancers such as digests. Pet food scientists have discovered that animals love the taste of these sprayed fats. Manufacturers are masters at getting a dog or a cat to eat something she would normally turn up her nose at.

Wheat, Soy, Corn, Peanut Hulls, and Other Vegetable Protein


The amount of grain products used in pet food has risen over the last
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Dog Food Nutrition-What You Should Know

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The amount of grain products used in pet food has risen over the last decade. Once considered filler by the pet food industry, cereal and grain products now replace a considerable proportion of the meat that was used in the first commercial pet foods. The availability of nutrients in these products is dependent upon the digestibility of the grain. The amount and type of carbohydrate in pet food determines the amount of nutrient value the animal actually gets. Dogs and cats can almost completely absorb carbohydrates from some grains, such as white rice. Up to 20% of the nutritional value of other grains can escape digestion. The availability of nutrients for wheat, beans, and oats is poor. The nutrients in potatoes and corn are far less available than those in rice. Some ingredients, such as peanut hulls, are used for filler or fiber, and have no significant nutritional value. Two of the top three ingredients in pet foods, particularly dry foods, are almost always some form of grain products. Pedigree Performance Food for Dogs lists Ground Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, and Corn Gluten Meal as its top three ingredients. 9 Lives Crunchy Meals for cats lists Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, and Poultry By-Product Meal as its first three ingredients. Since cats are true carnivores -- they must eat meat to fulfill certain physiological needs -- one may wonder why we are feeding a corn-based product to them. The answer is that corn is much cheaper than meat. In 1995, Nature's Recipe pulled thousands of tons of dog food off the shelf after consumers complained that their dogs were vomiting and losing their appetite. Nature's Recipe's loss amounted to $20 million. The problem was a fungus that produced vomitoxin (an aflatoxin or "mycotoxin," a toxic substance produced by mold) contaminating the wheat. In 1999, another fungal toxin triggered the recall of dry dog food made by Doane Pet Care at one of its plants, including Ol' Roy (Wal-Mart's brand) and 53 other brands. This time, the toxin killed 25 dogs. (That were reported ~Mel) Although it caused many dogs to vomit, stop eating, and have diarrhea, vomitoxin is a milder toxin than most. The more dangerous mycotoxins can cause weight loss, liver damage, lameness, and even death as in the Doane case. The Nature's Recipe incident prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to intervene. Dina Butcher, Agriculture Policy Advisor for North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer, concluded that the discovery of vomitoxin in Nature's Recipe wasn't much of a threat to the human population because "the grain that would go into pet food is not a high quality grain."3

Additives and Preservatives


Many chemicals are added to commercial pet foods to improve the
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Dog Food Nutrition-What You Should Know

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Many chemicals are added to commercial pet foods to improve the taste, stability, characteristics, or appearance of the food. Additives provide no nutritional value. Additives include emulsifiers to prevent water and fat from separating, antioxidants to prevent fat from turning rancid, and artificial colors and flavors to make the product more attractive to consumers and more palatable to their companion animals. Adding chemicals to food originated thousands of years ago with spices, natural preservatives, and ripening agents. In the last 40 years, however, the number of food additives has greatly increased. All commercial pet foods contain preservatives. Some of these are added to ingredients or raw materials by the suppliers, and others may be added by the manufacturer. Because manufacturers need to ensure that dry foods have a long shelf life to remain edible after shipping and prolonged storage, fats included in pet foods are preserved with either synthetic or "natural" preservatives. Synthetic preservatives include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. For these antioxidants, there is little information documenting their toxicity, safety, or chronic use in pet foods that may be eaten every day for the life of the animal. Potentially cancer-causing agents such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are permitted at relatively low levels. The use of these chemicals in pet foods has not been thoroughly studied, and long term build-up of these agents may ultimately be harmful. Due to questionable data in the original study on its safety, ethoxyquin's manufacturer, Monsanto, was required to perform a new, more rigorous study. This was completed in 1996. Even though Monsanto found no significant toxicity associated with its own product, in July 1997, the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine requested that manufacturers voluntarily reduce the maximum level for ethoxyquin by half, to 75 parts per million. While some pet food critics and veterinarians believe that ethoxyquin is a major cause of disease, skin problems, and infertility in dogs, others claim it is the safest, strongest, most stable preservative available for pet food. Ethoxyquin is only approved for use in human food for preserving spices, such as cayenne and chili powder, at a level of 100 ppm -- but it would be very difficult to consume as much chili powder every day as a dog would eat dry food. Ethoxyquin has never been tested for safety in cats. Some manufacturers have responded to consumer concern, and are now using "natural" preservatives such as Vitamin C (ascorbate), Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), and oils of rosemary, clove, or other
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Dog Food Nutrition-What You Should Know

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Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), and oils of rosemary, clove, or other spices, to preserve the fats in their products. Other ingredients, however, may be individually preserved. Fish meal, and some prepared vitamin mixtures used to supplement pet food, contain chemical preservatives. This means that your companion animal may be eating food containing several types of preservatives. Not all of these are required to be disclosed on the label. However, due to consumer pressure, preservatives used in fat are now required to be listed on the label.

Additives in Processed Pet Foods


Anticaking agents Antimicrobial agents Antioxidants Coloring agents Curing agents Drying agents Emulsifiers Firming agents Flavor enhancers Flavoring agents Flour treating agents Formulation aids Humectants Leavening agents Lubricants Nonnutritive sweeteners Nutritive sweeteners Oxidizing and reducing agents pH control agents Processing aids Sequestrants Solvents, vehicles Stabilizers, thickeners Surface active agents Surface finishing agents Synergists Texturizers While the law requires studies of direct toxicity of these additives and preservatives, they have not been tested for their potential synergistic effects on each other once ingested. Some authors have suggested that dangerous interactions occur among some of the common synthetic preservatives. Natural preservatives do not provide as long a shelf life as chemical preservatives, but they do not carry the unanswered questions about their safety.

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Dog Food Nutrition-What You Should Know

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The Manufacturing Process- How pet food is made


Although feeding trials are no longer required for a food to meet the requirements for labeling a food "complete and balanced," most manufacturers perform palatability studies when developing a new pet food. One set of animals is fed a new food while a "control" group is fed a current formula. The total volume eaten is used as a gauge for the palatability of the food. The larger and more reputable companies do use feeding trials, which are considered to be a much more accurate assessment of the actual nutritional value of the food. They keep large colonies of dogs and cats for this purpose. Dry food is made with a machine called an expander or extruder. First, raw materials are blended, sometimes by hand, other times by computer, in accordance with a recipe developed by animal nutritionists. This mixture is fed into an expander and steam or hot water is added. The mixture is subjected to steam, pressure, and high heat as it is extruded through dies that determine the shape of the final product and puffed like popcorn. The food is allowed to dry, and then is usually sprayed with fat, digests, or other compounds to make it more palatable. Although the cooking process may kill bacteria in pet food, the final product can lose its sterility during the subsequent drying, fat coating, and packaging process. Ingredients are similar for wet, dry, and semi-moist foods, although the ratios of protein, fat, and fiber may change. A typical can of ordinary cat food reportedly contains about 45-50% meat or poultry by-products. The main difference between the types of food is the water content. It is impossible to directly compare labels from different kinds of food without a mathematical conversion to "dry matter basis."5 Wet or canned food begins with ground ingredients mixed with additives. If chunks are required, a special extruder forms them. Then the mixture is cooked and canned. The sealed cans are then put into containers resembling pressure cookers and commercial sterilization takes place. Some manufacturers cook the food right in the can. There are special labeling requirements for pet food. The "all meat" product is covered by AAFCO's "95% Rule": "When an ingredient or a combination of ingredients derived from animals, poultry, or fish constitute 95% or more of the total weight of all ingredients of a pet food, the name or names of such ingredient(s) may form part of the product name of the pet food; provided that where more than one ingredient is part of such product name, then all such ingredient names shall be in the same size, style, and color print. For the purpose of this provision, water sufficient for processing shall be excluded when calculating the percentage of the named ingredient(s). However, such named ingredient(s) shall constitute at
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Dog Food Nutrition-What You Should Know

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least 70% of the total product." Because all-meat diets are not nutritionally balanced, they are uncommon today. The "dinner" product is defined by the 25% Rule: "When an ingredient or a combination of ingredients constitutes at least 25% but less than 95% of the total weight of all ingredients of a dog or cat food mixture, the name or names of such ingredient or ingredients may form a part of the product name of the pet food if each of the ingredients constitute at least 3% of the product weight excluding water used for processing and only if the product name also includes a primary descriptive term such as 'dinner', 'platter,' or similar designation so that the product name describes the contents of the product in accordance with an established law, custom or usage or so that the product name is not misleading. If the names of more than one ingredient are shown, they shall appear in the order of their respective predominance by weight in the product. All such ingredient names and the primary descriptive term shall be in the same size, style and color print. For the purpose of this provision, water sufficient for processing shall be excluded when calculating the percentage of the named ingredient(s). However, such named ingredient(s) shall constitute at least 10% of the total product." The "flavor" product is formulated to have a specific flavor: "No flavor designation shall be used on a pet food label unless the flavor is detected by a recognized test method, or is one the presence of which provides a characteristic distinguishable by the pet. Any flavor designation on a pet food label must either conform to the name of its source as shown in the ingredient statement or the ingredient statement shall show the source of the flavor. The word flavor shall be printed in the same size type and with an equal degree of conspicuousness as the ingredient term(s) from which the flavor designation is derived. Distributors of pet food employing such flavor designation or claims on the labels of the product distributed by them shall, upon request, supply verification of the designated or claimed flavor to the appropriate control official." In essence, the "flavor rule" allows a food to be labeled as "beef flavor" without actually containing any beef meat at all.

What happened to the nutrients?


Dr. Randy L. Wysong is a veterinarian and produces his own line of pet foods. A long time critic of pet food industry practices, he said, "Processing is the wild card in nutritional value that is, by and large, simply ignored. Heating, cooking, rendering, freezing, dehydrating, canning, extruding, pelleting, baking, and so forth, are so commonplace that they are simply thought of as synonymous with food itself." Processing meat and by-products used in pet food can greatly diminish
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Dog Food Nutrition-What You Should Know

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Processing meat and by-products used in pet food can greatly diminish their nutritional value, but cooking increases the digestibility of cereal grains. To make pet food nutritious, pet food manufacturers must "fortify" it with vitamins and minerals. Why? Because the ingredients they are using are not wholesome, their quality may be extremely variable, and the harsh manufacturing practices destroy many of the nutrients the food had to begin with.

Contaminants
Commercially manufactured or rendered meat meals and by-product meals are frequently highly contaminated with bacteria because their source is not always slaughtered animals. Animals that have died because of disease, injury, or natural causes are a source of meat for meat meal. The dead animal might not be rendered until days after its death. Therefore the carcass is often contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli. Dangerous E. Coli bacteria are estimated to contaminate more than 50% of meat meals. While the cooking process may kill bacteria, it does not eliminate the endotoxins some bacteria produce during their growth and are released when they die. These toxins can cause sickness and disease. Pet food manufacturers do not test their products for endotoxins.

Mycotoxins
These toxins comes from mold or fungi, such as vomitoxin in the Nature's Recipe case, and aflatoxin in Doane's food. Poor farming practices and improper drying and storage of crops can cause mold growth. Ingredients that are most likely to be contaminated with mycotoxins are grains such as wheat and corn, cottonseed meal, peanut meal, and fish meal.

Labeling
The National Research Council (NRC) of the Academy of Sciences set the nutritional standards for pet food until 1974, when the pet food industry created a group called the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). At that time AAFCO chose to adopt the NRC standards rather than develop its own. The NRC standards required feeding trials for pet foods that claimed to be "complete" and "balanced." The pet food industry found the feeding trials too restrictive and expensive, so AAFCO designed an alternate procedure for claiming the nutritional adequacy of pet food. AAFCO also formed "expert committees" for canine and feline nutrition and developed its own standards in the early 1990s. Instead of feeding trials,
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Dog Food Nutrition-What You Should Know

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developed its own standards in the early 1990s. Instead of feeding trials, chemical analysis will determine if a food meets the standards. The problem with chemical analysis is that it does not address the palatability, digestibility, and biological availability of nutrients in pet food. Thus it is unreliable for determining whether a food will provide an animal with sufficient nutrients. To compensate for the limitations of chemical analysis, AAFCO added a "safety factor," which was to exceed the minimum amount of nutrients required to meet the complete and balanced requirements. The digestibility and availability of nutrients is not listed on pet food labels.

What Is a Prescription Dog Food Diet?


Nutrition is an important part of your dog's life. Without needed proteins, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients, your dog's health can suffer. Providing the proper balance of nutrients can also help in certain disease processes. Prescription diets are specially made diets which help in the treatment and care of dogs with certain ailments or diseases. Some of these diets are only intended as a temporary change in food, while others are recommended for the duration of the pet's life. Since these diets are prescribed for particular disorders, they may have extra amounts of some nutrients while removing others. This makes the diet unhealthy, and possibly even harmful for healthy dogs. This is why they are available by prescription only. These diets are set up for dogs which may have a one major problem or a host of things going on with their system such as food allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, arthritis, diabetes, urinary tract disorders, kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease and even some forms of cancer. By combining the nutrients needed for each specific case, diets can aid in recovery or slow down the progression of disease. For example, diets formulated for heart disease have lower protein and lower sodium than is recommended for health adult pets. Diets for food allergies have proteins that the pet may have never had such as kangaroo, duck, potato or venison. Diets for diabetes control have a higher fiber and may have a higher protein than what is considered appropriate for healthy adult dogs. There are also diets for dogs with arthritis that contribute to healthy joints and improve mobility in dogs.

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Nutrition for your dog, Canine Nutrition, Dog Nutrition

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/nutrition.htm

Dog Food Nutrition


There are many varieties of dog food on the market, but that does not mean they are all good for your dog. When we go to the grocery store to buy food for our children, most of us are very careful about reading the labels. But when it comes to dog food, most people just buy the cheapest and never once look at the label. If you are paying $10 or less for a 50-pound bag of dog food, you have to wonder how they are making it so cheap. Ads by Google Dog Guide Get Free Pet Advice, Health Tips & Adoption Info-All in One Toolbar!
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I was as guilty of this as anyone until I began rescuing large numbers of dogs. And then my girls became interested in obedience, breeding and showing. I began to wonder if there was something I could feed them which they would utilize betterso I would not have to poop scoop ALL THE TIME. Now that may sound terrible, but when you are caring for 40 dogs and cleaning up after them because you want their environment to be clean, you start thinking of things like this. Dogs are carnivores and need meat. I know there are people out there feeding their dogs a vegetarian diet, and I say to you that is your prerogative. But we are omnivores and they are carnivores. Hold up a carrot and a steak and see which one Spike goes for. If you feed your dog a can of corn, you will find that he does not digest it. It will all pass through him. The proof is in the poop. Having said all that, let me tell you what you need to look for in regard to dog food for your pet. The first ingredient should be a specified meat or specified meat meal, whether that is lamb, beef, chicken etc. Make sure the meat is specified and not just listed as a "meat" or "animal." You want to know exactly what type of meat is being used. See Rendered Products in Dog Food. If you read the labels of some dog foods you will notice that some do not even contain real meat in them. They are mainly corn with sprayed on animal fat to enhance the smell and attract dogs. Second, make sure the food contains no meat by-products such as: hooves, feathers, eyes, beaks, skin, fur, etc. Meat by-products are not meat. They are what is left after all of the good meat is taken off. In other words, the slaughterhouse waste that humans do not eat. When a meat is not specified and is listed as "meat" or "animal" instead of telling you what kind of animal the meat came from be aware that could mean the meat came from a rendering plant. Rendering plant meat can be any kind of meat such as road kill, euthanized animals, diseased animals

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Nutrition for your dog, Canine Nutrition, Dog Nutrition


any kind of meat such as road kill, euthanized animals, diseased animals that died of who knows what and so on. I know of a farmer whose llama died of unknown causes. He took the body to the rendering plant after it had been lying in the barn stall for a day. Where the llamas meat will end up is unknown. The rendering plants often sell their meat to dog and cat food companies as "bone meal," "meat by-products," "animal by-products" and "animal fat." Beware when they do not tell you what kind of "meat" or "animal" it is. Third, make sure it is soy-free. Many dogs are allergic to soy and this can manifest through skin problems, breathing problems, and/or diarrhea, etc. Corn can also cause many issues. Dogs were not meant to eat corn and other grains. Corn has been linked to skin allergies, joint swelling and bloat in dogs, among other things. See Corn in Dog Food. Really?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/nutrition.htm

As for canned food, you need to make sure that the first ingredient is meat, not water. If the first ingredient is water you could save yourself some money and give him tap water. You are buying mainly water. Whatever the first ingredient is listed as should be what will make up the majority of the product. However...be aware that a lot of dry dog foods will list the first ingredient as simply "chicken" and the second as, lets say, "corn." This leads one to believe that there is more chicken in the food than corn. However they are weighing the chicken before the water is extracted out of the food and before it is cooked. Raw meat contains about 80% water. After it is cooked and the moisture taken out to make the dry dog food you are left with only about 20% of the meats original weight. Therefore these dog foods really contain much more of the second ingredient than the first. In a lot of cases that ingredient is corn. Whereas when the meat is listed as a "meal," for example "chicken meal," that is the meat AFTER the water has been extracted, giving you more meat.

The first ingredient should be a specified meat or meat meal. Grains, by-products, bone meal, animal fat (added for flavor), animal digest, sugar, corn syrup, added colors or dyes or any "meat" or "animal" that is not specified should be avoided. It is far better to pay a little more for a good dog food than it is to buy cheap stuff. They will eat more of the junk dog food because they are not getting what they need. It passes right through them. On the other hand, if you feed your dog a good dog food, it is going to eat less because it is satisfied. It is utilizing more. That means less poop and fewer health problems down the road. A poor diet can also cause a dog to shed more, have a duller looking coat and have body odor. When is the last time you read the ingredients on the type of dog food that you use?

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Rendered products in dog food - What's your dog really eating?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/renderingplantscatsdogs.htm

Rendered Products in Dog Food: What's your dog really eating?

The farmer up the street had a llama die of unknown causes. It took him a day or so to get a tractor down to the barn so he could drag the body out of the stall and get it into his truck. He said he was taking the body to the rendering plant. Ads by Google Companion Animal Hospital Early am & late pm Appointments, walk in,house call,home euthanasia
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A rendering plant is a processing operation where dead animals are recycled into products such as human food, pet food and industrial materials. They accept and collect animals condemned at slaughterhouses (diseased or dying livestock or poultry with ID tags still attached), slaughterhouse waste, road kill, euthanized cats and dogs from animal shelters and veterinarian offices (including their flea collars containing toxic pesticides, ID tags and a variety of powerful drugs), horses, dead animals from farmers, dead zoo animals, rats, mice, spoiled and unsold grocery store meat still in their plastic and Styrofoam wrappings, butcher shop trimmings

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Rendered products in dog food - What's your dog really eating?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/renderingplantscatsdogs.htm

meat still in their plastic and Styrofoam wrappings, butcher shop trimmings that the butcher did not see as fit to sell and even used restaurant grease. The dead, destroyed, dying, disabled, diseased animals are classified in the trade as 4-D meat.

There are many uses for rendered products, but one of the widespread uses in the United States is to make low cost meats for dog and cat foods. This means your dog or cat could be eating other dogs and cats among other inferior 4-D animals not fit for human consumption. How can you tell if your dog or cat food contains rendered products? Read the ingredients. If the food uses words such as "meat," "animal" or "poultry" without specifying what type of meat or animal it is referring to, there is a good chance that it came from a rendering plant. Some of the ingredient lingo to watch for is...

Meat and Bone Meal Meat Meal Bone Meal Animal Fat Tallow Animal Digest Digest Poultry by-product meal Poultry by-products

Below is what those ingredients mean.

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Rendered products in dog food - What's your dog really eating?


Below is what those ingredients mean.

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/renderingplantscatsdogs.htm

Meat and Bone Meala dry rendered product from mammal tissues made from slaughterhouse waste and other dead animals not suitable for human consumption. It often contains 50% protein, 35% ash, 8-12% fat, and 4-7% moisture. It includes bone, but does not include blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. The type of animal is not specified and therefore it can come from any of the sources taken in and processed by the rendering plant including the dead, destroyed, dying, disabled, diseased animals classified as 4-D meat. Meat Meala rendered product from mammal tissues unfit for human consumption. It does not include blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. The type of animal is not specified and therefore it can come from any of the sources taken in and processed by the rendering plant including the dead, destroyed, dying, disabled, diseased animals classified as 4-D meat. Bone Meala rendered product unfit for human consumption (steamed) dried & ground product sterilized by cooking un-decomposed bones with steam under pressure. Grease, gelatin and meat fiber may or may not be removed. The type of animal is not specified and therefore it can come from any of the sources taken in and processed by the rendering plant including the dead, destroyed, dying, disabled and diseased. Animal Fatthe greasy debris left over after rendering, deemed inedible for humans. It is obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a preservative." Where the fat comes from is not specified so it could be any of a combination of the sources taken in and processed by the rendering plant including the dead, destroyed, dying, disabled, diseased animals. Tallowanimal fats with a titer above 40 degrees Celsius. Tallow is classified by regulators as inedible to humans. Where the fat comes from is not specified so it could be any of or a combination of the sources taken in and processed by the rendering plant including the dead, destroyed, dying, disabled and diseased. Animal digesta rendered product material of cooked-down broth made from unspecified body parts from unspecified animals unfit for human consumption. It is the results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. Materials treated with heat, enzymes and/or acids to form concentrated natural flavors. It is usually sprayed onto the kibble to make it smell and taste more appealing to the pets eating it. It is an extremely poor source of protein. Since the type of animal is not specified it can be anything accepted and processed by the rendering plant including the dead, destroyed, dying, disabled, diseased animals. Digesta rendered product material of cooked-down broth made from unspecified body parts from unspecified animals unfit for human consumption. It is the results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. Materials treated with heat, enzymes and/or acids to form concentrated natural flavors. It is usually sprayed onto the kibble to make it smell and taste more appealing to the pets eating it. It is an extremely poor source of protein. Since the type of animal is not specified it can be anything accepted and processed by the rendering plant including the dead, destroyed, dying, disabled, diseased animals. Digest is a flavoring, not a meat. For example only a small amount of a "chicken digest" is needed to produce a "chicken flavored cat food," even though no actual chicken is added to the food. Digest is unfit for human consumption. Poultry by-product meala dry rendered product of slaughtered poultry

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Rendered products in dog food - What's your dog really eating?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/renderingplantscatsdogs.htm

Poultry by-product meala dry rendered product of slaughtered poultry consisting of things deemed not fit for human consumption (no muscle meat included), which can include heads, beaks, necks, intestines, undeveloped eggs, viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter (except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices), but does not include feathers (except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices). Including the dead, destroyed, dying, disabled, diseased birds.

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Corn in Dog Food. Really?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/corndogfood.htm

Corn in Dog Food. Really?

If you look at the ingredients of the vast majority of major brand dog foods sold in your local grocery store you will see most of them contain some type of corn such as cornmeal. Fact: dogs are meat eaters; even their teeth tell us this. They do not have grinding molars, they have ripping canines. Have you ever heard of a farmer having issues with dogs raiding their corn fields? No, what we might hear is a dog raiding the chicken coop for meat. Ads by Google PEDIGREE Dry Dog Food Great Tasting & High in Nutrition. No Artificial Flavours or Colours.
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Natural Dog Food New Harringtons Premium Dog Food from UK Exclusive to Walmart Canada
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Dog Veterinarian - Dunbar Local Dog Veterinarian - Vancouver. Dogs are Welcome: 604 221-5858.
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Potty Train Your Dog Fast Within 6 days, your dog will never pee and poop inside again - ever.
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Corn has been linked to many dog ailments such as allergies, joint swelling, bloat and there have been some cases of aflatoxin contamination associated with corn in dog food. The corn that is used in dog food is sometimes contaminated with mycotoxins (toxins from mold or fungi). Corn metabolizes in dogs similar to the way sugar metabolizes in humans. It's like feeding a child foods high in corn syrup. The dog is not going to be as healthy and may experience energy rushes, crashes, hyperactivity and a hard time concentrating. Studies have also shown that high doses of corn can inhibit serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is an important chemical that reduces stress and anxiety.

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Corn in Dog Food. Really?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/corndogfood.htm

A dog's body cannot process corn properly. It is difficult for them to digest it. Corn is a cheap filler, a starchy energy which serves little to no nutritional value. A lot of it comes out in their waste.

All of this was brought to my attention when my very keen Pit Bull puppy started refusing to eat his food. After doing some research on the ingredients in his dog food it didn't take long to realize between the grains and the by-products, among other unhealthy ingredients, he was being asked to eat something that was not good for him. When I switched my dogs over from a corn-based dog food to a grain-free dog food I noticed that their poop was smaller. I quickly realized I had to start feeding them less food or they were going to gain weight. Their bodies were using what they were eating instead of pooping it out.

So why is corn being put in their dog food? Back in the days of the Great Depression the first farm bill was passed. The Agricultural Act of 1938 mandated price supports for corn along with cotton, and wheat. To this day corn is still subsidized by the government. What that means is for every bushel of corn a farmer grows in America, the government pays the farmer with taxpayer money. A lot of corn farmers only make money from corn because there are a few different subsidies from the government they get for every bushel of corn they grow. So they grow more and more. It does not even have to be a good quality corn, just corn. They don't have to compete; they get money for whatever they grow, guaranteed. They don't even have to make it taste good or be good for you. They genetically modified it to be resistant to a pesticide, to grow tall and close together and to grow fast and starchy. Its not the same type of corn the Indians used to grow that had more nutrition and protein. This corn is genetically modified.

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Corn in Dog Food. Really?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/corndogfood.htm

As a result America has an overabundance of corn. The government, along with some private industries, is always working on what they can use the corn for. It is put in a high percentage of human and animal foods in many different forms. It has been said that if you test a human hair you can find traces of corn produced carbon.

This genetically modified corn is put in not only dog food but also cat food, horse feed, goat feed, chicken feed and even fed to cows. Since cows are grazers and should be eating grass they have a hard time processing the corn. They need to be given antibiotics to keep them from getting sick long enough for them to go to slaughter. As a result of the cows being fed corn the meat they produce has a higher fat content than it would if the cows were fed grass. Corn-fed cows produce meat that is higher in the bad fatty acids and lower in the good fatty acids. Whereas grass-fed cows produce the opposite effect. Grass fed is higher in the good fats and lower in the bad fats. E. coli (Escherichia coli) live in the stomachs of corn-fed cows as the corn diet makes the cows digestive track more acidic. Whereas the digestive track of a grass-fed cow is not acidic enough for E. coli to live. Some owners claim their dogs are sensitive to beef, chicken and turkey. In reality it is not the animal itself the dog is having a reaction to, but the corn the animals were fed prior to slaughter. Although feeding a dog or cat an animal that grew up eating corn is not nearly as bad as feeding them corn directly, most cats and dogs can handle it. Corn has also been linked to colic in horses.Corn is even being made into ethanol and put into gas for cars. Ethanol is not as fuel efficient as gasoline and has been known to be bad for engines and other equipment. Since there is a high tariff on cane sugar, making it artificially more expensive, almost everything that is sweetened has corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup in it, including things like bread and yogurt. The list of things that contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is overwhelming, even some dog foods and dog treats contain corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup has been linked to the rise in obesity and diabetes in the United States. Our bodies do not process HFCS the same way we process cane sugar. Fructose consumption does not cause an insulin response. Since HFCS is in just about everything we eat this can be a huge problem. Large dog food companies will go to veterinarian schools to offer their services. Some vet students claim they have given them free samples, supplied food for their own pets, gave them large discounts, bought them notebooks, doughnuts, breakfast, text books, gave them jobs and even taught their nutrition classes. All to influence the young vet students that corn, by-products and other junk ingredients are OK for your pet to eat. When the vet opens up their own practice they offer the vet the chance to sell their foods, providing them with lots of free samples and literature to give out to their patients along with a rep that will answer any nutrition questions people might have. People see the foods inside the vets office and assume it must be good. These same companies put out articles

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Corn in Dog Food. Really?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/care/corndogfood.htm

and assume it must be good. These same companies put out articles claiming that corn and other junk ingredients are actually good for your pet. There are many great grain-free brands of dog and cat food to choose from, but unfortunately you usually must go to a pet or feed store to buy them as they are rarely found in the average grocery store in the USA. What's in your dog's food?

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6/26/2012 8:53 PM

Basic Feeding Guide for Dogs, How much should I feed my dog?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/feeding.htm

Basic Feeding Guide: Puppies and Adult Dogs


The first ingredient in your dog's food should be a specified meat. Not a meat by-product, but the real thing. Puppies and adult dogs were not meant to eat corn and wheat. If the first ingredient in your dog food is a corn, wheat, meat by-product, bone meal or anything but a real specified type of meat, steer clear. By-products are the leftovers, such as the eyes, hooves, skin, feathers and feet, that are not good for human consumption (unless the dog food specifically states otherwise.) Beware of ingredients that do not list exactly what it is, such as words like "animal" and "meat" as opposed to "chicken," "beef," "duck," etc. See Rendered Products in Dog Food. Ads by Google Natural Dog Food New Harringtons Premium Dog Food from UK Exclusive to Walmart Canada
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The first ingredient on the label should represent what the dog food is most made out of, but beware, as this is not always the case... Using chicken as an example, when a dog food lists a meat in the ingredients such as "chicken" it is going by the weight in the meats raw state, before it was cooked. Chicken in its raw state weighs about 80% more than it does once it is cooked and processed into a dry pellet. Once it is processed you are left with only 20% of the actual meat. The word "meal" in an ingredient is something that was weighed after the water was taken out. For example "chicken meal" is chicken which is weighed after it has been cooked and the water has already been taken out, giving you more meat and protein per weight volume. Therefore be aware that if the ingredients read "chicken" first and "corn meal" second, the food may contain more corn than chicken. Corn is a filler that a dog's body does not utilize well, if at all. The corn gets pooped out and the dog must eat more food in order to get enough protein and nutrients that their bodies can use from the other ingredients in the food. Corn can also cause many issues. Dogs were not meant to eat corn or other grains. Corn has been linked to skin allergies, joint swelling and bloat in dogs, among other things. See Corn in Dog Food. Really? Take a look at your dog's teeth. Notice that he does not have any grinding molars. They are all ripping canines. This tells us that dogs were not meant to eat grains, as they lack the teeth to grind them up. Dogs have pointy canines for ripping into meat. A lot of dogs develop skin problems and other health issues, including bloat, due to the grains they are being fed in their dog food. It is best to feed dogs a grain-free diet. While the better quality dog food may cost more, the dog can eat less of it since their bodies use more of

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6/26/2012 8:53 PM

Basic Feeding Guide for Dogs, How much should I feed my dog?
may cost more, the dog can eat less of it since their bodies use more of what they are eating, producing less waste. Not to mention the vet bill if your dog develops issues from consuming a low quality food. Be sure to read the ingredients label of the dog food you are using. You may have trouble finding a good quality food at a grocery store and may have to go to your local pet store to find a higher grade food. A poor diet can also cause a dog to shed more, have a dull coat and have body odor.

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/feeding.htm

How much should I feed my dog? Below is a daily basic feeding guide for puppies and adult dogs. An individual dog's requirements may differ from this chart. It is best to consult with your vet about the specific needs of your pet. . Puppies should not be separated from their mother before they are 8 weeks old. Puppies that leave their mothers sooner have a rougher time adjusting and a higher incidence of illnesses. I do not know if it is due to weakened immunity or mourning the premature loss of their family. Their mother's milk provides them with the nutrition and antibodies they The need to become healthy dogs. At three to four first 8 weeks, puppies should begin eating some solid weeks food. You can try mixing three parts food with one part water or puppy replacement milk. This will make the food easier for the puppy to digest. If your puppy begins eating a little solid food before it leave its mother it will have an easier time adjusting when you bring it home. One way to tell if a puppy is ready to come home with you is if it prefers human company over its mom or siblings. Feed your puppy 3-4 times a day. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. Choose a puppy food that provides the appropriate balance of nutrients your puppy needs. Be sure it is getting 6 to 8 the right amount of protein and calcium, and the weeks proper amount of calories. Check the label to determine if you are feeding your puppy a balanced diet. A specified meat should be the first ingredient on the label. After 8 Feed your puppy twice a day. weeks Your puppy will be teething. He may become a finicky eater or lose his appetite. Keep feeding him 3 to 6 nutritious food twice a day. If he has an upset months stomach for more than one or two days, take him to the veterinarian. Your puppy may look all grown up but he is still a puppy. He should still be fed a highquality food for the added nutrition. Note, in some very high quality foods the company does not make a separate food for puppies because the food is of such a high 6 quality that it provides for both puppy and adult months equally. For example, a real human grade chicken is to 1 what it is for all ages. If you are feeding a puppy year food ask your veterinarian when you should switch to adult food. Make sure the adult food you switch to

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6/26/2012 8:53 PM

Basic Feeding Guide for Dogs, How much should I feed my dog?

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/feeding.htm

is still a balanced high quality diet with the first ingredient being a specified meat that is not a by-product. 8 to 9 Feeding should be twice a day. months 1 year In most breeds feeding should be twice a day.

Below is the daily basic feeding guide for adult dogs. An individual dog's requirements may differ from this chart. It is best to look at the directions of the food you are feeding for their recommendations. This chart is a general reference. The feeding directions are based on using an 8 oz. measuring cup. Puppies can be fed up to one time the highest amount listed in their category. It is sometimes best to split the amount into two or more separate feedings rather than just one big meal, often twice a day. Puppies should be fed more often than adult dogs. When adding in canned food, cut the dry by up to half the amount and substitute the same volume that you cut with canned food, so the dog is getting the same amount of food, some dry and some wet. Note, if you are feeding a good quality dog food you will be able to feed less as the dog's body will utilize more and poop out less. If you are feeding a food that contains a lot of fillers (grain fillers such as corn are often used by some companies) you may have to feed more in order for the dog to get the proper amount of protein. Typical Breed Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Toy Poodle Miniature Poodle, Scottish Terrier Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, Springer Spaniel Collie, Boxer, Labrador, Golden Retriever Great Dane, Malamute, St. Bernard, Mastiff Weight as an Adult Dog Up to 10 pounds 10-25 pounds 25-50 pounds 50-75 pounds Over 75 pounds Dry Food Dry Food Mixed with Can Food

Cut dry up to the amount 1/4 to and substitute the same 3/4 volume with a can Cut dry up to the amount 3/4 to & substitute the same 1 cup volume with a can 1-2 cups Cut dry up to the amount and substitute the same volume with a can

Cut dry up to the amount 2-2 and substitute the same cups volume with a can 2-4 cups Cut dry up to the amount and substitute the same volume with a can

Good Basic Feeding Tips

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Basic Feeding Guide for Dogs, How much should I feed my dog?
Good Basic Feeding Tips Dogs should be fed at the same time every day. Feeding at the same time will keep your dog on a bathroom schedule. Ask your vet how many times a day you should feed your dog. Feed your dog the same type and brand of food every day. Unlike humans, a dog's digestive system cannot handle changes in food. It can cause upset stomach and diarrhea. When switching to a new food gradually transition him to the new food by mixing portions of both foods until you slowly phase out the old food. Your dog may experience diarrhea if his food is suddenly changed. If you are mixing water into dry food you should mix 4 parts dry food to 1 part water. Keep fresh drinking water available at all times. Change the water at least once a day, more for dogs who drool. Keep food and water bowls clean. Don't overfeed your dog. Follow the guidelines on the dog food package for recommended feeding amounts. Monitor your dog's weight and activity level, and make feeding adjustments as necessary.

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/feeding.htm

If your dog has loose stool feeding sweet potatoes is a natural stool hardener. Unlike some medicines, giving too many will not make them constipated. They sell sweet potato chips for dogs in a lot of pet supply stores.

Interesting bits of info... Dogs have about 1,700 taste buds. Humans have about 9000 taste buds, and cats have about 470. Dogs have water taste buds, something humans do not have. Dogs do not crave salt the way humans do.

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6/26/2012 8:53 PM

Food Allergies and Food Intolerance


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Food allergies account for about 10% of all the allergies seen in dogs. It is the third most common cause after flea bite allergies and atopy (inhalant allergies) Food allergies generally account for 20% of the causes of itching and scratching in dogs. Food allergies plus atopy account for another 20%. The entire process of a pet being sensitized to a particular agent in food and the complicated antibody response that occurs in the intestinal tract in pets with food allergies are not very well understood. Despite our lack of understanding of the actual disease process, there are many things that we do know including the symptoms, how to diagnose food allergies, and also how to treat them. Food allergies affect both dogs and cats. Unlike atopy, there is no strong link between specific breeds and food allergies. Food allergies affect both males and females and neutered and intact animals equally. They can show up as early as five months and as late as 12 years of age. Many animals with food allergies also have concurrent inhalant or contact allergies. Food allergy or intolerance? There is a distinction that needs to be made between food allergies and food intolerances. Food allergies are true allergies and show the characteristic symptoms of itching and skin problems associated with canine and feline allergies. Food intolerances can result in diarrhea or vomiting and do not create a typical allergic response. Food intolerances in pets would be similar to people who get diarrhea or an upset stomach from eating spicy or fried foods. Fortunately, both food intolerances and allergies can be eliminated with a diet free from offending agents. Common food culprits Several studies have shown that some ingredients are more likely to cause food allergies than others. In order of the most common offenders in dogs are beef, dairy products, chicken, lamb, fish, chicken eggs, corn, wheat, and soy. As you may have noticed, the most common offenders are the most common ingredients in dog foods. This correlation is not a coincidence. While some proteins might be slightly more antigenic than others, many proteins are similar in form and the incidence of allergic reactions are probably associated with the amount of exposure. Symptoms The symptoms of food allergies are similar to those of most allergies seen in dogs and cats. The primary symptom is itchy skin affecting primarily the face, feet, ears, forelegs, armpits and the area around the anus. Symptoms may also include chronic or recurrent ear infections, hair loss, excessive scratching, hot spots, and skin infections that respond to antibiotics but reoccur after antibiotics are discontinued. There is evidence that dogs with food allergies may sometimes have an increased incidence of bowel movements. One study showed that non-allergic dogs have around 1.5 bowel movements per day where some dogs with food allergies may have 3 or more per day. It is difficult to distinguish an animal suffering from food allergies from an animal suffering from atopy or other allergies based on physical signs. However, there are a few signs that increase the suspicion that food allergies may be present. One of these, is a dog with recurrent ear problems, particularly yeast infections. Another, is a very young dog with moderate or severe skin problems. A third tip off, is if a dog suffers from allergies year-round or if the symptoms begin in the winter. And the final clue, is a dog that has very itchy skin but does not respond to steroid treatment. Diagnosis The diagnosis for food allergies is very straightforward. But due to the fact that many other problems can cause similar symptoms and that many times animals are suffering from more problems than just food allergies, it is very important that all other problems are properly identified and treated prior to undergoing diagnosis for food allergies. Atopy, flea bite allergies, intestinal parasite hypersensitivities, sarcoptic mange, and yeast or bacterial infections can all cause similar symptoms as food allergies. Once all other causes have been ruled out or treated, then it is time to perform a food trial. Food trials and elimination diets: A food trial consists of feeding an animal a novel food source of protein and carbohydrate for at least 12 weeks. A novel food source would be a protein and carbohydrate that the animal had never eaten before. Examples would include be rabbit and rice, or venison and potato. There are a number of such commercial diets available on the market. In addition, there are specialized diets that have the proteins and carbohydrates broken down into such small molecular sizes that they no longer would trigger an allergic response. These are termed 'limited antigen' or 'hydrolyzed protein' diets. Homemade diets are often used, as the ingredients can be carefully restricted. Regardless of the diet used, it must be the only thing the animal eats for 12 weeks. This means no treats, no flavored medications, no rawhide or pig's ears; absolutely nothing but the special food and water. In addition, the dog should not be allowed to roam, which may result in him having access to food or garbage.

Food Allergies and Food Intolerance - Page 1 of 3


Unauthorized use of any images, thumbnails, illustrations, descriptions, article content, or registered trademarks of Foster & Smith, Inc. is strictly prohibited under copyright law. Site content, including photography, descriptions, pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change without notice. These restrictions are necessary in order to protect not only our copyrighted intellectual property, but also the health of pets, since articles or images that are altered or edited after download could result in misinformation that may harm companion animals, aquatic life, or native species.

Food Trial Tips Only the recommended diet must be fed. Do NOT give: Treats Rawhides Pigs Ears Cow hooves Flavored medications (including heartworm preventives) or supplements Flavored toothpastes Flavored plastic toys Any type of food when giving medications If you want to give a treat, use the recommended diet. (Hint: canned diets can be frozen in chunks or baked, and these can be used as treats.) If possible, feed the other the same diet as the patient. If not, feed other pets in an entirely different location than the patient, and do not allow the patient access to that food. Do not allow the dog access to the cat's litter box. Keep your pet out of the room at meal times. Even a few small amounts of food dropped on the floor or licked off of a plate can void an elimination trial and require you to start over. Wash the hands and faces of any children after they have eaten. Do not allow your pet to roam. Keep dogs on leashes when outside. Keep a journal in which you can record the date and any foods, treats, etc. your pet may have accidentally eaten.
Veterinarians used to recommend that a pet only needed to be placed on a special diet for 3 weeks but new studies show that in dogs, only 26% of those with food allergies responded by day 21. However, the vast majority of pets responded by 12 weeks. Therefore, it is very important to keep the pet on the diet for the entire 12 weeks. If the dog shows a marked reduction or elimination of the symptoms, then the animal is placed back on the original food. This is called 'provocative testing' and is essential to confirm the diagnosis. If the symptoms return after going back on the original diet, the diagnosis of a food allergy is confirmed. If there has been no change in symptoms but a food allergy is still strongly suspected, then another food trial using a different novel food source could be tried.

A food trial consists of feeding a dog a novel food source of protein and carbohydrate for 12 weeks.

Blood Testing: There is no evidence that blood tests are accurate for the diagnosis of food allergies. Veterinary dermatologists insist that there is no merit in these The only way to accurately tests whatsoever in the diagnosis of food allergies. The only way to accurately diagnose food allergies is diagnose food allergies is with a food trial as detailed above. While the intradermal skin testing is excellent for diagnosing atopy (inhalant allergies) it is with a food trial. ineffective for food allergies. While specialized blood tests can be used to help in the diagnosis of atopy, they have no benefit in diagnosing food allergies. In our review of all the current books and articles on veterinary dermatology and allergies, we could not find a single dermatologist that endorsed anything other than the food trial as an effective diagnostic aid. If you want to diagnose and treat food allergies you must do a food trial. Treatment

Food Allergies and Food Intolerance - Page 2 of 3


Unauthorized use of any images, thumbnails, illustrations, descriptions, article content, or registered trademarks of Foster & Smith, Inc. is strictly prohibited under copyright law. Site content, including photography, descriptions, pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change without notice. These restrictions are necessary in order to protect not only our copyrighted intellectual property, but also the health of pets, since articles or images that are altered or edited after download could result in misinformation that may harm companion animals, aquatic life, or native species.

The treatment for food allergies is avoidance.Once the offending ingredients have been identified through a food trial, then they are eliminated from the diet. Short-term relief may be gained with fatty acids, antihistamines, and steroids, but elimination of the products from the diet is the only long-term solution.The owner of the animal has two choices. They can choose to feed the animal a special commercially prepared diet or a homemade diet. If the owner chooses to feed the homemade diet, then they can periodically challenge the pet with new ingredients and determine which ingredients are causing the food allergy. For example, if the animal's symptoms subsided on a diet of rabbit and potatoes, then the owner could add beef to the diet for two weeks. If the animal showed no symptoms, then they could then add chicken for two weeks. If the animal began to show symptoms, then it could be assumed that chicken was one of the things the pet was allergic to. The chicken could be withdrawn and after the symptoms cleared up, a different ingredient could be added and so on until all of the offending ingredients were identified. A diet could then be formulated that was free of the offending food sources. If homemade diets are used, it is essential that they be balanced, with correct amount of ingredients, vitamins, and minerals. Homemade diets for such long term use should be developed by a veterinary nutritionist. Be aware that some pets with food allergies may develop allergies to new foods if they are fed those foods long enough. If you see signs of food allergies returning, consult your veterinarian.

Food Allergies and Food Intolerance - Page 3 of 3


Unauthorized use of any images, thumbnails, illustrations, descriptions, article content, or registered trademarks of Foster & Smith, Inc. is strictly prohibited under copyright law. Site content, including photography, descriptions, pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change without notice. These restrictions are necessary in order to protect not only our copyrighted intellectual property, but also the health of pets, since articles or images that are altered or edited after download could result in misinformation that may harm companion animals, aquatic life, or native species.

Carbohydrates as Energy Sources in Dog Foods


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Carbohydrates are present in almost all commercially available dog foods. While we often focus on the protein and fat content of a dog food, carbohydrates have an impact on the quality of your dog's diet. Carbohydrates are responsible for many health problems, if not fed correctly. This article will focus primarily on the non-fiber carbohydrates. There is a separate article that discusses fiber in greater detail. The function of carbohydrates in pet food The value of carbohydrates in dog foods is often debated among nutritionists. Despite the debate, most commercial dry foods contain between 30% and 70% carbohydrates. If we examine the diets of the wild canines that most closely resemble our domestic pets, we recognize that the wild canines do eat some carbohydrates through the consumption of berries and intestinal contents of their prey. However, it would rarely constitute even 30% of their diet. This then raises the question as to why we feed our domestic pets so much carbohydrate, when it appears to be an unnatural food source. Dogs have the ability to consume large quantities of protein and then convert that protein into energy in addition to muscle. They also have the ability to convert many carbohydrate sources into the same kind of energy. This ability to utilize both carbohydrates and proteins as an energy source explains how we are able to feed our dogs a high carbohydrate diet, particularly when we feed processed carbohydrates that are easily digested by dogs. So, essentially we are meeting the dog's protein requirement with meat, and then meeting their energy and fiber requirements with carbohydrates instead of the protein they would often use in the wild. Using carbohydrates as an energy source has benefits for the manufacturer and consumer. Carbohydrates are less expensive and more readily available as an energy source than proteins. Carbohydrates are also essential in the formation of dry pet food. The starchy carbohydrates are used to add structure, texture, and form to kibbled food helping to create a product that is stable and easy to feed. Canned foods could be composed without the addition of carbohydrates, but dry kibble could not exist in its current form without carbohydrates. Carbohydrates used in dog foods Carbohydrates used in dog foods generally include the starchy portion of a plant that can be easily broken down in the digestive tract of the dog. Soluble carbohydrates are found in high concentrations in cereal grains such as rice, wheat, corn, barley, and oats. The cooked or extruded forms of carbohydrates found in most pet foods are easily and rapidly digested. It should be noted that not all forms of starch are easily digested by dogs and cats. Raw cereal grains are digested much more slowly in the intestine and there are some starchy carbohydrates, including raw potatoes and bananas that are completely resistant to digestion in pets. Health problems related to carbohydrates While carbohydrates are an important part of dry commercial pet foods, they can occasionally cause medical problems in dogs including obesity and maldigestion. Obesity occurs when an animal's energy needs are exceeded and the extra glucose created by the digestion of the carbohydrates is stored as fat. Realize that an excess of carbohydrates, fats, or proteins can all lead to obesity, but carbohydrates are often the most common energy source and are easily converted to glucose. Signs of maldigestion can range from mild to severe and often include excessive gas, bloating, and diarrhea. As carbohydrates pass through the digestive tract, enzymes such as amylase, lactase, maltase, sucrase, and disaccharidase break them down into usable forms. Animals that have deficiencies in these enzymes will be unable to adequately break down these carbohydrates. The undigested carbohydrates will then ferment and create bacterial overgrowth resulting in the production of gas and excess water creating the symptoms of maldigestion. In some animals, the lack of enzymes may be due to an actual deficiency, in others, infections or inflammation in the intestinal tract may result in a breakdown of the normally available enzymes. Lactose intolerance is a common form of maldigestion. Young animals have the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the sugar in milk called lactose. Often, as animals age, they stop producing lactase. When that animal consumes milk products, the lactose is not digested and the symptoms of maldigestion occur. We also recognize that animals have different tolerances for the amount of carbohydrates that they can digest. Whereas, many dogs can tolerate the level of carbohydrates found in most commercial dog foods, there are some dogs that will develop maldigestion when fed these foods. If these dogs are fed a lower carbohydrate diet, or if they are fed a digestive enzymatic supplement, they can usually tolerate the carbohydrates that are present. Summary

Carbohydrates as Energy Sources in Dog Foods - Page 1 of 2


Unauthorized use of any images, thumbnails, illustrations, descriptions, article content, or registered trademarks of Foster & Smith, Inc. is strictly prohibited under copyright law. Site content, including photography, descriptions, pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change without notice. These restrictions are necessary in order to protect not only our copyrighted intellectual property, but also the health of pets, since articles or images that are altered or edited after download could result in misinformation that may harm companion animals, aquatic life, or native species.

Soluble carbohydrates provide an affordable source of calories and play an important role in the composition of most commercial pet foods. While dogs have not evolved to eat large quantities of carbohydrates, when properly prepared, they appear to be well tolerated by most animals. Some animals have an intolerance to carbohydrates and need to be supplemented with natural enzymes or fed a reduced carbohydrate diet.

Carbohydrates as Energy Sources in Dog Foods - Page 2 of 2


Unauthorized use of any images, thumbnails, illustrations, descriptions, article content, or registered trademarks of Foster & Smith, Inc. is strictly prohibited under copyright law. Site content, including photography, descriptions, pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change without notice. These restrictions are necessary in order to protect not only our copyrighted intellectual property, but also the health of pets, since articles or images that are altered or edited after download could result in misinformation that may harm companion animals, aquatic life, or native species.

Best Grain Free Dog Foods

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-grain-free-dog-foods/

Best Grain Free Dog Foods

Grain free dog foods have become a favorite for those wishing to more closely mimic a dogs natural ancestral diet and to lessen the risk of food allergies. And its easy to see why Compared to the typical kibble or canned food, the best grain free recipes contain more meat based protein as well as easy-to-digest animal fats. And usually fewer carbohydrates, too. Not only are grains like corn and wheat a frequent cause of canine allergies1 they can also be more difficult for a dog to digest.

Why Grains Can Be More Difficult to Digest Thats because many plant-eating animals (known as herbivores) possess one powerful weapon many carnivores (like dogs) usually lack Salivary amylase. Amylase is a special enzyme most herbivores and omnivores (like us humans) produce in their saliva. Its needed to begin the break down of starchy carbohydrates into simple sugars Before they enter the stomach. Now, dogs also produce amylase. But the enzyme is added further down the digestive tract in the small intestine. Because a carnivores saliva is mostly amylase-free, carbohydrates can be more difficult for a dog to digest. What actually does make corn and other grains more digestible for a dog is the cooking process itself.

Why Kibbles Can Be Grain Free But Never Carbohydrate Free Compared to canned dog foods, kibbles cannot be made with just meat. Thats because the process used for making kibble requires a notable amount of carbohydrates to create a dough-like binder to hold everything together. Since there can be no corn, wheat, barley, rice (or any other cereal grains, for that matter), novel carbohydrates must be used in their place to make grain-free kibbles possible. And vegetables (like potatoes) appear to be the most common source of carbohydrates found in non-grain recipes.

The Bottom Line Supporters of grain-free dog foods claim these products provide at least two important benefits Theyre considered hypoallergenic They attempt to mimic a dogs natural ancestral diet So, how can you find a quality grain-free dog food?

How We Selected the Best If youre looking for a quality grain free dog food, weve prepared two lists one for dry dog foods and the other for wet. To be selected, these products must meet two basic requirements. First, they must have been rated at least four stars or five stars by the Advisor. And lastly, the recipes (of course) must be grain free.

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6/26/2012 8:22 PM

Dog Food Labels | Frequently Asked Questions

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/dog-food-labels/

Understanding Dog Food Labels

The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisors most frequently asked questions about reading and understanding dog food labels. Why are my dog foods protein and fat percentages different from the ones mentioned in your reviews? Because all foods (even human foods) contain varying amounts of moisture, we use dry matter basis to report the nutrient content of every product we review. This method mathematically removes all the water from a food. Dry matter basis allows a more accurate comparison between dog foods with different moisture content.

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6/26/2012 8:24 PM

Rotation Diet for Dogs | Frequently Asked Questions

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Diet Rotation for Dogs

The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisors most frequently asked questions about diet rotation for dogs. What is diet rotation? Unlike a conventional feeding plan where the same food is served at each meal, diet rotation involves varying a dogs menu on a daily, weekly, or other periodic basis. Why should I consider diet rotation for my dog? Since theres no such thing as a perfect dog food, its reasonable to assume every product is deficient or excessive in some way. Too much of one nutrient or too little of another. Plus many foods can contain traces of dangerous toxins. So, built-in flaws tend to be magnified when the same food is fed continuously day-in and day-out for a lifetime. By periodically switching dog foods, the unhealthy consequences of serving the same imperfect products can be minimized. What are the benefits of diet rotation? Here are a few of the many advantages of diet rotation Diet less boring so dogs less finicky Switching protein sources decreases the risk of allergies Diversification minimizes the long term build-up of toxins Doesnt changing a dogs diet increase its risk of allergies? This is a common myth. Changing protein sources (species) on a routine basis is one of the best ways to avoid continuous exposure to the same ingredients a major cause of canine allergies. Isnt changing dog foods dangerous for the animal? Although some pets cant tolerate menu changes, Ive never been able to find a single scientific study proving diet rotation to be unhealthy or detrimental to a dog. Does diet rotation mean mixing two or more different dog foods together and serving them at the same meal? No. The benefits of diet rotation are optimized only when cycling between different products on a periodic basis. How often should dog foods be switched? Theres no fixed feeding plan that works better than the others. So, it depends on your own imgenuity. Some switch foods daily. Others change weekly. And still others prefer to empty one bag of kibble before beginning the next. Is there a downside to diet rotation? There are mainly two disadvantages to diet rotation Avoiding GI upset Maintaining product freshness Since some dogs have sensitive stomachs, the potential for GI upset can be an issue for certain pets. And because alternating between two or more kibbles can make each bag take longer to use up, it can be difficult to maintain the freshness of each product. Can you provide an example of diet rotation? For Bailey, we mix one-fourth of a small can of a single-species wet food (chicken, lamb, rabbit, etc.) with his kibble. As each can runs out, we switch to a different canned product from the same brand. Then, when each bag of kibble is empty, we start with a different kibble (usually, but not always, from the same brand). Over the long term (twice a year), we gradually switch brands, too.

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6/26/2012 8:26 PM

Dog Food Allergies | Frequently Asked Questions

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Dog Food Allergies

The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisors most frequently asked questions about dog food allergies. What is a food allergy? A food allergy occurs when a dogs immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food ingredient as harmful. And then creates defensive antibodies to fight the invading enemy (the food). Is it better to feed your dog the same food each meal? Or is it safer to change menus on a regular basis? For the surprising answer to these and other questions about dog food allergies, be sure to visit this video by Dr. Karen Becker. What are the signs and symptoms of a food allergy? The symptoms of an allergy include skin rash, hives, itching, paw biting, obsessive licking and sometimes nausea or vomiting. What is a food intolerance? A food intolerance is a digestive problem rather than an immune response. An intolerance occurs when a dogs digestive system is unable to digest a specific ingredient. What are the signs and symptoms of a food intolerance? The signs of food intolerance include mostly digestive distress gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. If my dog is allergic to a specific dog food, does that mean theres something wrong with the quality of the product? Allergies are related to your pets own immune system and are not due to a problem with the product itself. So, if a dog is allergic to a particular ingredient, he will likely experience the same unfavorable reaction to that ingredient no matter what brand you find it in. If my dog shows signs of an allergy, should I immediately suspect its caused by the food? Maybe not. Because food is only the third leading cause of canine allergies, the signs and symptoms you observe may not even be related to your pets diet in the first place. What are the most common causes of dog food allergies? Dog food ingredients most likely to provoke an allergic reaction1 include Beef Dairy Chicken Lamb Fish Corn Wheat Soy Yeast2 What else could cause my dog to be allergic to his food? Many times, its not even the ingredients themselves that are the problem. In some cases, a dog can also be allergic to contaminants in the food itself. What should I feed my dog if I suspect his allergy symptoms are caused by his food? Since certain recipes have been intentionally designed to help you control or isolate these problems, you may wish to read our recent post, Suggested Hypoallergenic Dog Foods. You may also wish to consider a grain free dog food.

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6/26/2012 8:27 PM

Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/hypoallergenic-dog-foods/

Suggested Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

Hypoallergenic dog foods usually share one of three basic designs. Products made with Limited ingredients Novel ingredients Hypoallergenic recipes Or occasionally some combination of these designs. First, because they do contain fewer ingredients, limited ingredient dog foods make it simpler to pin down the suspected allergen in the food a pet might be allergic to. Next, novel ingredient dog foods contain elements less likely to be known to the memory of a specific animals immune system. Since allergic reactions generally require a previous exposure to an allergen, these foods contain relatively obscure ingredients like buffalo, pheasant, kangaroo or millet. And finally, hypoallergenic recipes avoid the use of ingredients most likely to provoke an allergic reaction1. They include Beef Dairy Chicken Lamb Fish Corn Wheat Soy Yeast2 Surprisingly, dogs arent naturally allergic to these ingredients. Its just that these are the ingredients most commonly used in dog food recipes. So, theyre simply the ones dogs are most frequently exposed to. And many times, its not even the ingredients that are the problem. Dogs can also be allergic to whats in the ingredients, too. In any case, no matter which design youre considering, you may be surprised to learn

Why Food May Not Be the Cause of Your Dogs Allergies Now, contrary to popular belief, food is not the leading cause of canine allergies. In dogs, food allergies account for just 10% of all allergies. Theyre only the third most common cause well behind fleas and atopic (non-contact) allergies.1 Yet food is the first to be blamed whenever a dog shows any sign of an allergic reaction (like itchy skin). And that begs the question, is it truly an allergy in the first place?

Food Allergy or Food Intolerance? Food allergies and food intolerances are two completely different issues. A food allergy occurs when a dogs immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food ingredient as harmful. And then creates defensive antibodies to fight the invading enemy (the food). A food intolerance is a digestive problem rather than an immune response. An intolerance occurs when a dogs digestive system is unable to digest a specific ingredient. For example, lactose intolerance is a common condition in which a dog is unable to break down lactose (a sugar found in milk).

Different Conditions Different Symptoms

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6/26/2012 8:29 PM

Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/hypoallergenic-dog-foods/

The symptoms of an allergy can include (but are not limited to) skin rash, hives, itching, paw biting, obsessive licking and sometimes nausea or vomiting. The signs of food intolerance include (mainly) digestive distress, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Again, lets use milk as an example A milk intolerance would look more like gastric distress (bloating, gas, diarrhea). However, a milk allergy would likely produce an immune reaction (itching or rash).

The Bottom Line If you believe your dog is suffering from a food allergy (or a food intolerance), here are a few hypoallergenic dog foods for you to consider. Suggested products must meet two requirements. They must be rated three stars or higher by the Advisor. And they must have been recommended by their manufacturers to be appropriate for dogs with food allergies or food intolerances. Of course, this list should not be considered a complete catalog of all the hypoallergenic foods on the market. For there are others. Many others. We only provide this small group as a starting point. As a matter of fact, if you know of a specific dog food you believe we should have included on this list, please feel free to share your recommendations in the Comments section below. Or if youre looking for some suggestions yourself, be sure to look through our readers Comments to find more good ideas.

Suggested Hypoallergenic Dog Foods Addiction Dog Food (Dry) Blue Buffalo Blue Basics (Dry) Bravo Balance (Raw) Brothers Complete Allergy Formula (Dry) California Natural (Canned) California Natural (Dry) Canidae Grain Free (Dry) Daves Delicate Dinner (Canned) Evangers Game Meats (Canned) Go Natural Dog Food (Dry) Natural Balance Limited Ingredient (Canned) Natural Balance Limited Ingredient (Dry) Natural Life Adult Lamaderm (Canned) Natures Variety Instinct (Canned) Natures Variety Instinct (Dry) Natures Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet (Dry) Paw Naturaw Organic Bison Diet (Raw) Pinnacle Holistic (Dry) Skoki Dog Food (Dry) Wellness Simple Food Solutions (Canned)

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6/26/2012 8:29 PM

Best Dry Dog Foods

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Best Dry Dog Foods

The following is a list of The Advisors best dry dog foods. To be included here, each must have earned at least 4 stars. 4Health Dog Food (Dry) Acana Dog Food (Dry) Acana Regionals Grain-Free (Dry) Addiction Dog Food (Dry) American Natural Premium (Dry) Amicus Dog Food (Dry) Annamaet Dog Food (Dry) Annamaet Grain Free (Dry) Artemis AGARx Immune Support (Dry) Artemis Fresh Mix (Dry) Artemis Fresh Mix Maximal Dog (Dry) Artemis Osopure (Dry) Artemis Professional Formula (Dry) AvoDerm Natural Dog Food (Dry) AvoDerm Natural Revolving Menu (Dry) Back to Basics Dog Food (Dry) Bench and Field Dog Food (Dry) Berkley and Jensen Dog Food (Dry) Best Breed Dog Food (Dry) Blackwood Black Label (Dry) Blackwood ExPro (Dry) Blackwood Original Recipe (Dry) Blackwood Special Diet (Dry) Blue Buffalo Basics (Dry) Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free (Dry) Blue Buffalo Life Protection (Dry) Blue Buffalo Longevity (Dry) Blue Buffalo Wilderness (Dry) Born Free Dog Food (Dry) Breeders Choice Active Care Healthy Joint (Dry) Brothers Complete Allergy Formula (Dry) Brothers Complete Grain Free (Dry) By Nature Dog Food (Dry) By Nature Organics (Dry) California Natural Grain Free (Dry) Canidae Dog Food (Dry) Canidae Grain Free Pure (Dry) Canidae Single Grain Protein Plus (Dry) Canine Caviar (Dry) Canine Caviar Grain Free (Dry) Carna4 Dog Food (Dry) Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix (Dry) Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free (Dry) Castor and Pollux Organix (Dry) Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free (Dry) Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul (Dry) Darford Zero/G Dog Food (Dry) Daves Dog Food (Dry) Diamond Naturals (Dry) DNA Dog Food (Dry) Dog Lovers Gold (Dry) Dogswell Dog Food (Dry) Dogswell Nutrisca (Dry) Dr. Tims Dog Food (Dry) Dynamite Dog Food (Dry) Eagle Pack Dog Food (Dry)

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6/26/2012 8:29 PM

Best Dry Dog Foods

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-dry-dog-foods/

Earth Naturals Dog Food (Dry) Earthborn Holistic Dog Food (Dry) Earthborn Holistic Grain Free (Dry) Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural (Dry) Evangers Dog Food (Dry) EVO Dog Food (Dry) Evolve Dog Food (Dry) FirstMate Dog Food (Dry) FirstMate Grain-Free (Dry) Fromm Four Star Nutritionals (Dry) Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain-Free (Dry) Fromm Gold Nutritionals (Dry) Gaea Dog Food (Dry) Go! Dog Food (Dry) Go! Fit and Free (Dry) Grandma Maes Country Naturals (Dry) Great Life Grain Free (Dry) Halo Dog Food (Dry) Harmony Farms (Dry) Health Food for Dogs (Dry) HealthWise Dog Food (Dry) Hi-Tek Naturals (Dry) Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free (Dry) Holistic Blend Dog Food (Dry) Holistic Blend Grain Free (Dry) Holistic Select Dog Food (Dry) Horizon Complete (Dry) Horizon Legacy (Dry) Infinia Dog Food (Dry) Innova Dog Food (Dry) Innova Prime Grain Free (Dry) Ivet Dog Food (Dry) Kirkland Dog Food (Dry) Kirkland Signature Natures Domain (Dry) Laughing Dog (Dry) Lifes Abundance (Dry) LiveSmart Dog Food (Dry) Lotus Dog Food (Dry) Merrick Classic Dog Food (Dry) Merrick Grain Free Dog Food (Dry) Mulligan Stew Dog Food (Dry) Native Performance Dog Food (Dry) Natural Balance Alpha Dog (Dry) Natural Balance Synergy (Dry) Natural Balance Ultra (Dry) Natural Planet Organics (Dry) Natures Logic (Dry) Natures Select Dog Food (Dry) Natures Select Grain Free (Dry) Natures Variety Instinct (Dry) Natures Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet (Dry) Natures Variety Prairie (Dry) Newmans Own Organics (Dry) Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Diets (Raw) Now Grain Free Dog Food (Dry) Nulo Dog Food (Dry) Nutri Life Grain Free (Dry) Nutrience Original (Dry) Nutripet Dog Food (Dry) NutriSource Dog Food (Dry) NutriSource Grain Free (Dry)

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6/26/2012 8:29 PM

Best Dry Dog Foods


NutriSource Grain Free (Dry) Nutro Ultra (Dry) Orijen Adult (Dry) Orijen Puppy (Dry) Orijen Senior (Dry) Oven-Baked Tradition (Dry) Pelican Bay Dog Food (Dry) Perfectly Natural Dog (Dry) Performatrin Ultra Grain Free (Dry) PetWay Dog Food (Dry) Pinnacle Dog Food (Dry) Pinnacle Grain Free (Dry) Pinnacle Peak Protein Formula (Dry) Pioneer Naturals Grain Free (Dry) Precise Dog Food (Dry) Precise Holistic Complete (Dry) Precise Plus Dog Food (Dry) Premium Edge Dog Food (Dry) Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction (Dry) Professional Dog Food (Dry) Pronature Holistic (Dry) Pronature Holistic Grain Free (Dry) Pulsar Dog Food (Dry) Pure Vita Dog Food (Dry) Redpaw Dog Food (Dry) Regal Dog Food (Dry) Rotations Dog Food (Dry) Royal Canin Starter (Dry) Simply Nourish Dog Food (Dry) Skoki Dog Food (Dry) Solid Gold Barking at the Moon (Dry) Solid Gold Dog Food (Dry) Solid Gold Sun Dancer (Dry) Summit Holistic Dog Food (Dry) Taste of the Wild (Dry) TimberWolf (Dry) TimberWolf Wild and Natural (Dry) Vets Choice Dog Food (Dry) VF Complete (Dry) Victor Dog Food (Dry) Victor Grain Free Dog Food (Dry) Vom Daxi Hundefutter (Dry) Wellness Core Dog Food (Dry) Wellness Core Reduced Fat (Dry) Wellness Super 5 Mix Dog Food (Dry) Whole Earth Farms (Dry) Wysong Archetype Buffet (Dry) Wysong Epigen (Dry) Wysong Maintenance (Dry) Wysong Optimal Performance (Dry)

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-dry-dog-foods/

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6/26/2012 8:29 PM

Dog Food Fiber | Frequently Asked Questions

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Dog Food Fiber

The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisors most frequently asked questions about dog food fiber. How is dietary fiber beneficial to a dogs health? Dietary fiber found in dog food can improve colon health, aid in weight management and help stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs. It can even help control both diarrhea and constipation. What causes my dog to generate such a large volume of stool? To a notable degree, stool size and form can be directly related to the fiber content of a dog food. What ingredients contain the most fiber? Because fiber is only found in the wall of a cell (and since animal cells dont have cell walls) fiber can only come from vegetables and grains. Never from meat. Thats why one should expect plant-based dog foods to generate more stool volume than meat-based products. How can dog food fiber help a diabetic dog? Fiber can help a diabetic dog maintain stable blood sugar levels. Although higher dietary fiber was initially believed to be beneficial, recent studies have suggested there may be no real advantage to high fiber diets compared to the more moderate type associated with many commercial foods.1 How does dietary fiber help control inflamed anal glands? Fiber can absorb water directly into the colon. The enlarged stools fiber can produce is able to place added pressure on a dogs anal sacs during defecation. And that pressure can help induce the drainage of swollen anal glands.

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6/26/2012 8:30 PM

Dog Food Ingredients | Frequently Asked Questions

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Dog Food Ingredients

The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisors most frequently asked questions about dog food ingredients. Ive heard rosemary extract causes seizures. Is this true? Rosemary is frequently used in dog food as a natural anti-oxidant and preservative.1 Its also considered an anti-cancer agent.2 However, weve never been able to find any scientific studies linking rosemary extract with seizures in dogs. Weve only found mention of its potential relationship in humans. And then, only rarely in subjects prone to epileptic seizures in the first place.3 Can beet pulp cause ear infections or stain a dogs fur? There are many rumors regarding the use of beet pulp in dog food. This fiber-rich ingredient has been accused of causing numerous canine maladies. Some say it produces reddish tears that stain the facial fur of light-colored dogs. Yet beet pulp isnt even red in color. Its white. Others claim beet pulp causes ear infections. However, weve never found any scientific studies factually linking this ingredient to any of them. Which ingredients most likely contain ethoxyquin? Ethoxyquin is most likely associated with fish meals. But not raw fish. Because fish meals are rarely used in canned foods, most wet products can be considered ethoxyquin free. As a pet food ingredient, is yeast bad for dogs? Yeast can be a controversial item. Although yeast can sometimes be a by-product of the beer making industry, this ingredient can contain up to 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients. Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system. Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself. Whats more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something weve not been able to scientifically verify. In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to yeast, most experts consider the ingredient a healthy addition. Ive heard that yeast ingredients causes ear infections in dogs. Is this true? So far, Ive never found any scientific articles linking canine ear infections to the yeast ingredients found in dog food. In most cases, yeast infections are caused by living organisms found in (or on) a dogs body itself. They are usually associated with other problems like allergies or mite infestations. Is garlic good or bad for a dog? Garlic can be a controversial ingredient. Many experts favor garlic for its numerous health benefits. These can include its anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-clotting properties as well as its ability to stimulate a dogs immune system. However, in very large quantities, garlic can be toxic to a dog.4 In any case, the professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic especially in the small amounts used in most dog foods. Is selenium or selenium selenite good or bad for a dog? Selenium is an essential mineral for both dogs and humans. However, all minerals can be found in a dog food in various forms (such as elemental selenium and sodium selenite). And each form can have a different toxic threshold before it can be considered dangerous. According to AAFCO, the maximum amount of selenium permitted in a dog food is 2.0 mg/kg a figure which is 18 times the minimum (0.11 mg/kg) for this mineral.5 However, the National Academy of Science has not yet determined the safe upper limit (SUL) for most minerals even selenium.

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6/26/2012 8:31 PM

Dog Food Ingredients | Frequently Asked Questions

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However, the National Academy of Science has not yet determined the safe upper limit (SUL) for most minerals even selenium. Although no one can assure you every dog food will be 100% safe from the potential long term build-up of specific minerals, one can take at least some comfort in the apparently safe margin between the AAFCO minimums and the maximums for selenium. How can one be sure the vitamin and mineral content of a food is safe? Technically speaking, you can almost never be sure. Thats because other ingredients (like grains, meats and bone) naturally contain minerals before a dog food manufacturer actually adds the vitamin and mineral supplements to the recipe. So, unless you test each and every batch of food, you never truly know whether you are exceeding the (still unestablished) safe upper limit of a mineral. Whats the better source of essential omega-3 fatty acids for a dog fish oil or plant oil? There are many different kinds of essential omega-3 fatty acids. Yet not all of them are created equal. Fish oil contains the prized EPA and DHA variety. These two fatty acids possess the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans. On the other hand, plant-based sources of omega-3 oils (especially flax seeds) contain a much higher content of ALA (an omega-3 fat not as readily utilized by the body). Yet ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA by the animal. However, this conversion process (of ALA to the superior EPA and DHA type) is notably limited (especially in dogs). Bottom line? Fish oil is superior to flax and canola oils. But these plant-based omega-3 fats are probably better for a dog than no omega-3 at all. What is methionine? Methionine is an amino acid essential to both dogs and cats. Methionine is added to a dog food not only to increase the supply of the nutrient itself but also to acidify the animals urine. This is reportedly done to prevent unsightly discoloration of grass and shrubbery. Methionine is also used to help prevent the formation of struvite crystals in the urine. But unfortunately, it can also increase the potential for oxalate-type kidney and bladder stones, too.

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6/26/2012 8:31 PM

Dog Food Protein | Frequently Asked Questions

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Dog Food Protein

The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisors most frequently asked questions about dog food protein. Can a high protein diet cause kidney problems in older dogs? Although some may disagree, recent opinion finds high protein not to be a contributing factor to kidney disease in senior pets. As a matter of fact, it has now been shown that a low protein diet is actually unhealthy for most older pets. For more details, be sure to read our article about Low Protein Dog Foods. Is a high protein diet unhealthy for a puppy? Although there are many who still believe high protein can be a health problem for puppies, more recent studies tend to disagree. The rapid growth which causes skeletal disorders (like hip dysplasia) in larger breeds is now believed to be more appropriately linked to genetics1, excessive dietary calcium2 or overfeeding during the puppy phase of life3. For more in-depth information about this controversial subject (including references and footnotes), you may wish to visit our article, Best Puppy Foods.

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6/26/2012 8:31 PM

How to Feed a Dog | Frequently Asked Questions

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How to Feed a Dog

The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisors most frequently asked questions about how to feed a dog. How much do I feed my dog? Since each dog food contains a different number of calories per serving, follow the feeding instructions on each package. If your dog is fully grown (and no longer a puppy), you can try using our dog food calculator. When does a puppy become an adult? In general, small to medium breeds may be considered adults after about six months of age. But large and giant breeds shouldnt be fed as adults until they reach about one to two years (depending upon the breed).1 When is a dog considered a senior? As a rule, small to medium dogs are considered seniors at about seven years of age. But larger breeds reach senior status much sooner some as early as five.2 Can you recommend a good food for senior dogs? Most senior dog foods are terrible. These recipes are designed to reduce calories by reducing meat content. Unfortunately, this same design makes these products notably high in carbohydrates, too. Today, most experts recommend dog foods for seniors that are higher in protein content (but also lower in fat, carbs and calories). Arent high protein diets dangerous for senior dogs? Recent studies confirm high protein dog foods make just as much sense for healthy senior dogs as they do for younger pets.3 To learn more, be sure to visit FAQ page about dog food protein. Whats the best way to transition to a new dog food? Most experts recommend transitioning to a new food gradually starting with about 20-25% new and slowly increasing that amount to a full 100% over a 7 to 10 day period. Be patient and dont rush the transitioning process. Take your time to minimize the chance of GI upset. While switching to a new dog food, my pet developed gas, soft stools or diarrhea. What should I do? If youve transitioned slowly (and with patience) and your dog still develops problems, he may be allergic or intolerant to one of the ingredients in the new recipe. In that case, you may need to cut back on the percentage of new food or stop feeding it altogether. If symptoms continue, it may be necessary to contact your vet. Is it OK to change a dogs food on a routine basis? Since theres no such thing as a perfect dog food, its reasonable to assume every product is deficient or excessive in some way. Too much of one nutrient or too little of another. And many can contain traces of dangerous toxins. So, built-in flaws are magnified when the same food is fed continuously day-in and day-out for a lifetime. By periodically switching dog foods (diet rotation), the unhealthy consequences of these defects can be minimized. Is it OK to feed my dog table food? That depends on what you mean by table food. After all, theres a notable difference between table scraps and leftovers. Leftovers usually include good quality (but surplus) food remaining after a human meal. Table scraps tend to include the fatty trimmings from whole meat. In most cases, fat is a very normal part of most any meaty meal. But table scraps tend to include only the fatty trimmings from whole meat. When you serve fatty waste, youre feeding an above-average concentration of animal fat which can lead to a painful condition known as acute pancreatitis. Whats better canned or dry dog food?

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6/26/2012 8:32 PM

How to Feed a Dog | Frequently Asked Questions


Whats better canned or dry dog food?

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Both canned and dry dog foods each has its own unique benefits and disadvantages. For more information, be sure to read our article, Whats Better Canned or Dry Dog Food. How long does dry dog food stay fresh? With proper storage, dry food can be safely used until it reaches its Best By date. That date can be found printed on the package and is commonly about one year from the date of manufacturer. But the freshness of any dry dog food is unstable and gradually deteriorates over time. So, avoid purchasing or using products as they get closer to their Best By dates. Whats the best way to store a dry dog food? Air and moisture are the enemies of dry dog food. Be sure to store all kibbles in a cool, dry location. Squeeze out any excess air as you seal the open bag. If you prefer to use a resealable container, try to leave the food in its original package inside that container. Or save the bag in a safe location. Thats because the packaging contains critical information needed to identify the product in case of a recall. How long does a canned dog food remain usable? Depending on the brand, canned dog foods are usually good for about three years from the date of manufacturer (and sometimes longer). However, once opened, canned products must be tightly sealed and immediately refrigerated. Opened wet foods can last up to about 3 days in the refrigerator. Any uneaten canned food should be taken away from your pet and discarded no more than 30 minutes after serving.

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6/26/2012 8:32 PM

Are Dogs Carnivores... or Omnivores?

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/canine-nutrition/dogs-carnivores-omniv...

Are Dogs Carnivores or Omnivores?


Are dogs carnivores or omnivores? And so The Great Debate goes on.

You know, when it comes to choosing a top dog food, you simply have to know the answer to that question. And you need to know the truth. So, if youve already been told dogs are indifferent omnivores with no natural preferences Or that theyre strict carnivores with a built-in aversion to eating fruits and vegetables All scientific evidence clearly points to the fact that

Dogs Have a Natural and Undeniable Carnivorous Bias From DNA studies, we know dogs evolved directly from the timber wolf somewhere around 15,000 years ago1. And, of course, it should come as no surprise wolves are clearly carnivores. So, by their very genetic pedigree, dogs also demonstrate similar and noticeable carnivorous traits. Their teeth, their digestive systems and their behavior clearly confirm this fact. Yet dogs must also be recognized for their significant omnivorous ability. After all, they do have the ability to eat a remarkably diverse diet. But its inappropriate to ignore the fact their bodies are optimized for eating meat.

Dogs Dont Grind They Chop For comparison, think about a typical herbivore. A dairy cow. Now, picture the way they chew their cud. Cows chew widely from side-to-side. And they have broad, flat back teeth. And flat teeth are ideal for grinding grains and plant material into finer particles. True omnivores (like humans) share this same combination of boxy back teeth and sideways grinding motion common to herbivores. Think of your own mouth and how you chew. Dogs, on the other hand, dont have flat teeth. Like all carnivores, they have narrow pointy back teeth. Plus dogs cant chew from side-to-side. Their jaws can only move in an up-and-down, chop-chop motion. Its the perfect combination for cutting meat into smaller chunks.

Why Dogs Dont Do Carbohydrates Very Well Now, herbivores and omnivores usually have one powerful digestive weapon carnivores usually lack Salivary amylase. Amylase is a special enzyme plant-eating animals produce in their saliva. Its a critical enzyme needed to initiate the break down of starchy carbohydrates. Before they enter the stomach. Now, meat-eating animals also produce amylase. But the enzyme is produced further down the digestive tract (in the small intestine). Without amylase, a carnivores carbohydrate digestion is decidedly more difficult.

Digestive Anatomy Reveals the Truth Since they consume fewer but larger meals, carnivores have bigger stomachs than their grazing, plant-eating counterparts. Whats more, meat-eating animals exhibit a higher concentration of stomach acid. This allows faster digestion of animal protein.

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6/26/2012 8:34 PM

Are Dogs Carnivores... or Omnivores?

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/canine-nutrition/dogs-carnivores-omniv...

And the stronger acid kills the disease-causing bacteria abundant in decaying meat. Plus Herbivores have a gastrointestinal tract thats unusually long sometimes exceeding ten times the animals body length. Longer systems like this are needed for consuming a plant-based diet.

Todays Confusing Dog Food Marketplace Welcome to the Age of Choice Yet in spite of this natural carnivorous design, dogs have still managed to evolve over thousands of years even surviving on the meat and non-meat scraps and leftovers of human existence. So, over time, dogs have proven to be fully capable of thriving on a variety of foods. Today, the dog food marketplace has become a living, breathing witness to the animals adaptive ability and is abounding with an astonishing array of product designs. Some favor meat. Some feature vegetables. And others are made almost entirely of cereal grains and beans. So, how do you choose the right one for your pet?

The Bottom Line Just knowing dogs are naturally optimized for eating meat can make it much easier to spot better dog foods. Even though vegetarian dog foods have been proven to work, its important to always give preference to meat-based products. Thats because

Whether you believe theyre carnivores or omnivores, dogs possess an undeniable carnivorous bias

Meat-based dog foods are closer to a dogs natural ancestral diet. Theyre more like the real thing. Thats why meat ingredients should always be the first thing you should look for on any dog foods ingredients list.

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INTERPRETING DOG FOOD LABELS - Ingredient Glossary - Chinaroa...

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Ingredient

Action

Alpha Tocopherol Animal Fat

More commonly known as vitamin E Is fat obtained from the tissue of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial process of rendering or extracting Source of vitamin C which helps prevent common diseases, anaemia and haemorrhage Fat derived from beef Substance from plants that the body converts into vitamin A. Also acts as antioxidant and an immune system booster Synthetic fat preservative permitted only at relatively low levels. Has been associated with liver damage, foetal abnormalities and metabolic stress. Also had questionable relationship with cancer Synthetic Preservative permitted only at relatively low levels. Has been associated with liver damage, foetal abnormalities and metabolic stress. Also had questionable relationship with cancer Vitamin essential to cellular metabolism, help metabolise fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Biotin helps prevent anaemia, muscular pain and skin disorders, as well as heart disease. An essential fatty acid, maintaining cell structure and producing energy. Source of imp nutrients i.e. phytosterols and beta-sistosterin as well as phospholipids which aid in digestion of fats Small fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. Is the dried, non-fermentive, non-extracted yeast that results as a by-product of the brewing of beer and ale The unpolished rice left over after the kernels have been removed. Pure form of limestone that is ground into powder. Source of calcium, necessary for bones and teeth to help prevent osteoporosis. Also useful for the temporary relief of occasional indigestion Source of calcium as well as good source of nutritional iodine which is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and metabolic regulation

Ascorbic Acid Beef Tallow Beta-Carotene

BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) Biotin

Borage Oil

Brewers Rice Brewers Yeast

Brown Rice Calcium Carbonate

Calcium Iodate

Calcium Pantothenate

Also called coenzyme A, an important metabolic cofactor. Source of calcium as well as part of B-Complex group of vitamins which is vital for many essential body processes such as the proper functioning of the adrenal glands & production of steroid hormones. Pantothenic acid is required for the conversion of fat and sugar into energy. Source of calcium which is easier to absorb than conventional caustic calcium sources. Also used as preservative Rich in complex sugars, minerals & vitamins. Contains tannins, which are well recognised antidiarrheic agents for dogs and cats. Dried carob in combination with dried turmeric, rosemary, fenugreek and kelp help support the skeleton and articulations and help prevent HD.

Calcium Propionate

Carob

Chicken

Clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or a combination thereof exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails. Consists of the ground, rendered and clean parts of carcass of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines without feathers Fat obtained from tissue of chicken. Source of energy and high quality fat providing 20% to 30% essential fatty acids utilized for a healthy skin and coat.

Chicken By-Product Meal Chicken Fat

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INTERPRETING DOG FOOD LABELS - Ingredient Glossary - Chinaroa...

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essential fatty acids utilized for a healthy skin and coat. Chicken Meal Dry ground clean combination of chicken flesh and skin with or without bones, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails, derived from the parts of whole carcass of chicken. Natural Preservative. Is an organic acid, widely found in fruits, which effectively bonds to many minerals and trace nutrients acting as a very effective transporter across gastrointestinal mucosa. Increases rate of growth and decreases the fat content in the liver (vitamin B4) A mucopolysaccharide extracted from animal cartilage, that has anti-inflammatory properties. Helps alleviate arthritic symptoms Mineral Supplement Important for the haemoglobin system, reproduction and a healthy skin Is the by-product after the manufacture of corn syrup or star and is direct residue after removal of the bran, germ and starch. The entire corn kernel ground or chopped. Put through drying process, then cleaned, steamed & outer hull removed. Degermination occurs leaving only the endosperm, which is passed through rollers & broken into granules D-activated Animal Sterol Dehydrated Chicken Source of vitamin D3, which helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphorus necessary for healthy bones and teeth. Clean, fresh chicken flesh, from carcass free of skin, bones, feathers, heads, feet and entrails. Dried at max temp of 85 degrees C to avoid denaturation of the protein as well as deterioration of the fat, providing high protein efficiency ratio (PER) levels Natural supplement which supplies essential calcium and phosphate requirements of dog and cats Natural amino acid which serves as a urinary acidifier. Is indispensable to maintain liver function and a lack of may lead to hepatopathy and nephropathy Is the residue resulting from the extraction of simple sugars in the manufacture of table sugar, with no or little sucrose left in it. Causes no sharp rise in blood glucose levels and provides most of its energy in form of volatile fatty acids. Also relatively good source of calcium This is a dried fruit used as a stimulant for the whole organism. It increases blood flow, tones the nervous system, revives appetite and helps respiration. Source of added enzymes (biotechnology) in the form of Bacillus Subtilis, Aspergillus Niger and Aspergillus Oryzae In combination with turmeric & fenugreek, reduces the risk of diabetes. Also helps control excess weight when combined with turmeric. A bitter herb, dandelion is an excellent tonic and detox agent. Helps heal skin problems such as eczema Dried Egg Product Refers to eggs that have been removed from their shells for processing. Basic egg products include whole eggs, whites, yolks and various blends, with or without non-egg ingredients that are processed and pasteurized. The seeds and occasionally the roots and stems are utilized. Helps gas evacuation, and is also mild expectorant and diuretic Dried Fenugreek One of oldest medicinal plants used to help in treating anaemia, diabetes and weight loss. Also excellent tonic and good hypoglycaemic compound. Known to promote milk production This root helps gas evacuation produced by gastrointestinal fermentation. Also used as expectorant, anti-emetic (prevents vomiting) and can be used as antidote to several food toxins Increases appetite, improves digestion and promotes healthy skin and coat. Excellent source of protein-bound iodine, which is important for healthy nervous system and for endocrine functions i.e. reproduction and immunity. Contains over 60 digestible chelated minerals Its essential oils are recognised for their antioxidant properties. Helps detoxify cardiovascular and hepatic (liver) systems. Also increases bile production, which favours the digestion of fats Dried Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Extract Dried Turmeric Mannanoligosaccharides are derived from this, which are important modulators of gastrointestinal health. Effects include exclusion of pathogenic bacteria (harmful) from the gastrointestinal tract, also enhances digestive function & stimulates immune system Multiple functions include protecting the liver, increasing bile secretion and help to prevent gall bladder stones. This herb is also anti-arthritic (anti-inflammatory) A chemical preservative that is used to prevent spoilage in dog food. Source of iodine which is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland (metabolic regulation) Iron supplement. Provides iron needed by body to produce red blood cells. Used to help treat/prevent iron deficiency anaemia, caused by pregnancy, poor diet etc. Clean, dried & ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings which may or may not have

Citric Acid

Choline Chloride Chondroitin Sulphate

Cobalt Carbonate Copper Sulphate/Proteinate Corn Gluten Meal

Corn Meal

Dicalcium Phosphate DL-methionine

Dried Beet Pulp

Dried Cayenne

Dried Corn Fermentation soluble product Dried Dandelion

Dried Fennel

Dried Ginger

Dried Kelp

Dried Rosemary

Ethoxyquin Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide Ferrous Sulphate

Fish Meal

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INTERPRETING DOG FOOD LABELS - Ingredient Glossary - Chinaroa...


Fish Meal

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Clean, dried & ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings which may or may not have oil removed Has impact by influencing metabolism, intracellular enzymes, protein synthesis and malignant cell proliferation

Flax Meal

Flaxseed

Source of Omega 3 & Omega 6 fatty acids. In a ratio of 1:5 or 1:10 shown to reduce the production of plasma and neutrophils, the latter being inflammatory mediators in skin. Also reduces possible skin irritation. Omega 3 also shown to help prevent coronary heart disease, hypertension & mellitus, non-insulin dependant diabetes, renal disease, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis in some patients. Important in the cellular reproduction and formation of choline Selective stimulation of the growth of Bifidobacteria, thus modifying the composition of the colonic microbiota. Also has additional nutritional properties on digestive physiological parameters like colonic pH and stool bulking.

Folic Acid Fructooligosaccharides

Glucosamine (sulphate/hydrochloride) Ground Corn

Is a mucopolysaccharide compound with anti-inflammatory properties, helping to alleviate arthritic symptoms. Also keeps joints healthy for optimal cartilage development Entire ground clean corn kernel. Nutrience uses pre-extruded ground clean kernels which increase starch digestibility (good source of starch) Entire ground clean wheat kernels including bran, germ and starch The entire barley kernel, ground or chopped

Ground Wheat Ground Whole Grain Barley

Ground Whole Grain Sorghum The grain of the sorghum plant, ground or chopped Inositol Is primarily used in the treatment of liver problems, depression, panic disorder and diabetes. Also aids in the breakdown of fats, helps in the reduction of blood cholesterol Important for cellular respiration and oxygen carrier An amino acid that releases human growth hormone and enhances fat metabolism. Helps reduce body fat & increase lean tissue mass, creating positive effects such as muscle protection during calorie restriction (i.e. when dieting) A rich nutrient that lowers blood cholesterol levels. It is believed that it strengthens arteries thus controlling blood pressure. Also helps reduce the fat content within arterial walls Is a key amino acid needed for growth, tissue repair and production of antibodies, hormones and enzymes. Essential amino acid and metabolic precursor to serotonin. Serotonin acts as a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter in the central nervous system & appears to affect the sleep/wake state of arousal. Lutein is first considered to be essential for proper eye function & vision. Also powerful antioxidant that helps maintain a strong immune system defending against the risk of disease Chelated source of manganese which is important for fat metabolism, reproduction, active enzymes & help produce ossein Source of manganese which is important for fat metabolism, reproduction, active enzymes & help produce ossein Source of manganese which is important for fat metabolism, reproduction, active enzymes & help produce ossein Clean flesh of slaughtered animals (chicken, cattle, lamb, turkey, etc.). The flesh can include striated skeletal muscle, tongue, diaphragm, heart, esophageus, overlying fat and the skin, sinew, nerves and blood vessels normally found with that flesh. Clean parts of slaughtered animals, not including meat. These include lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, and stomach and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth, or hooves. Source of Vitamin K activity which is useful for good blood coagulation

Iron Proteinate L-arginine L-carnitine

Lecithin

L-lysine

L-tryptophan

Lutein

Manganese Proteinate

Manganese Sulphate

Manganous Oxide

Meat

Meat By-Products

Menadione Sodium Bisulphate Complex Niacin

More commonly known as vitamin B3. Helps maintain good growth, coenzyme, & transformation of fat, carbohydrates and proteins

Peanut Hulls Potassium Chloride Potassium Iodide

The outer hull of the peanut shell In trace amounts is essential for the electrical conduction that makes muscles and nerves work Is 76.5% iodine which is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland (metabolism regulation) as well as source of potassium which is important in controlling the activities of the heart, muscles, nervous system etc.

Poultry By-Products

Clean parts of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, and internal organs (like heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, abdomen, and intestines). It does not contain feathers.

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INTERPRETING DOG FOOD LABELS - Ingredient Glossary - Chinaroa...

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kidneys, abdomen, and intestines). It does not contain feathers. Propyl Gallate Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Synthetic Preservative Source of vitamin B6. Important in the protein transformation. Helps to transform linoleic acid into arachidonic acid. Riboflavin Source of vitamin B2. Helps prevent neurological disorders, opacification of the cornea and maintains healthy skin and coat. The pericarp or bran layer and germ of rice Finely granulated powder made by grinding and sifting a long grain variety of rice unless otherwise specified. Its essential oils are recognised for their antioxidant properties. Helps detoxify cardiovascular and hepatic (liver) systems. Also increases bile production, which favours the digestion of fats A natural mineral, necessary for life and good health Known to be effective in the removal of extrinsic tooth stains Similar to vitamin E functions. Helps prevent diseases such a muscular dystrophy and myocardosis Grinding of the soybeans after the chemical or mechanical extraction of the oil Consists of coarse and fine particles of soy bran and soybean shorts (offal from the tail of the mill from commercial soybean milling) A non-essential sulphur-containing amino acid. Plays important role in bile acid metabolism. Taurine is incorporated into one of the most abundant bile acids, chenodeoxychloic acid where it serves to emulsify dietary lipids in the intestine, promoting digestion More commonly known as vitamin B1 May prevent certain neurological disorders and maintains weight. Can predispose formation of vitamin C in the intestine Naturally occurring compounds used as a natural preservative. Function as antioxidants, preventing the oxidation of fatty acids, vitamins and some other nutrients The product of vegetable origin obtained by extracting the oil from seeds or fruits which are processed for edible purposes Useful for reproduction functions, for healthy skin and coat; helps keep visual system in good health and helps produce antibodies Helps maintain normal concentration of haemoglobin in blood. Helps growth (esp. weaning period), & formation of choline and methionine Vitamin D3 Supplement Helps the absorption of calcium and phosphorus necessary for healthy bones and teeth. Also prevents rachitis. Useful for the reproduction function. It is a natural fat preservative. For improved gastrointestinal function resulting in improved feed efficiency. Coverts the more or less indigestible and insoluble proteins, starches and grains into a more ready form for assimilation, resulting in a greater release of energy. Yeast changes tough starch cells into easily digested sugars Yucca Schidigera Extract Contains steroidal saponines (inner bark) which are "uresase inhibitors", reducing the activity of enzymes responsible for converting urea to ammonia which is responsible for the odours in dogs and cats faeces. Also good for arthritis, arthrosis, gut & kidney problems. Zinc Methionine Complex Zinc Oxide Is vital in several enzyme system and is important in such functions as proper growth, reproductive capacity, immune response and bone and skeletal soundness. Prepared by oxidation of pure zinc or by roasting zinc ore. Necessary to maintain healthy skin and hair. Important for the body metabolism, coenzymes, calcification and helps remove vitamin A from the hepatic content Chelated source of zinc which is necessary to maintain healthy skin and hair. Important for the body metabolism, coenzymes, calcification and helps remove vitamin A from the hepatic (liver) content.

Rice Bran Rice Flour

Rosemary Extract

Salt Sodium Hexametaphosphate Sodium Selenite Soybean Meal Soybean Mill Run

Taurine

Thiamin Thiamine Mononitrate

Tocopherols - mixed (vitamin C & E) Vegetable Oil

Vitamin A Acetate / Supplement Vitamin B12 Supplement

Vitamin E Supplement Yeast Culture

Zinc Proteinate

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