Yesterday I watched a documentary film titled Pet Fooled about the dirty secrets of the pet food industry that confirmed my worst suspicions. Commercial pet food is not as advertised and we’re the victims of false advertising and misleading labeling, all with the approval of the FDA. Or, more appropriately, our pet dogs and cats are the helpless victims. Not long ago there was a recall of dehydrated chicken and duck cutlets that were being sold as healthy pet treats. After a great deal of public pressure and undeniable evidence, it was proven that these products were not one hundred percent chicken or duck as indicated on the packaging but in fact contained a number of deadly chemicals including melamine which is used in paint, laminate and other commercial inedible products. I personally know someone who lost their little Shihtzu dog whose kidneys failed after eating these treats. And these products are still on store shelves.
It’s not just treats. Most commercial pet food contains a shocking proportion of useless and in fact harmful, potentially lethal ingredients. Dogs and cats are genetically engineered to eat fresh meat and fish, just like wolves and big cats who lived in the wild for millenia. Most commercial dog and cat food including so-called high-end premium and organic brands is made up primarily of grains and animal by-products. Veterinarians receive their nutritional training from pet food companies which is like letting the fox loose in the hen-house; their only concern is the bottom line. Dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems are not designed to process carbohydrates and will suffer from obesity, cancers, skin disorders and diabetes as a result of being fed a diet high in carbohydrates, corn, wheat, soy, DHA and filler.
About thirty years ago I watched a program on television (60 Minutes or a similar program) that featured a veterinarian who was also a breeder of large dogs. She fed her dogs a diet of “top quality” premium commercial dog food, both dry and wet. Despite her best efforts at providing a healthy diet and trying various brands, her dogs suffered a variety of ailments including allergies, skin diseases and other problems. As soon as she took them completely off commercial dog foods and started serving them real meat she bought from the butcher, all their problems disappeared.
I never forgot that and subsequently, over the years I have always given all my dogs a lot of “people food” including real chicken, beef and other natural foods, being careful to not feed them corn or other grains. This goes against common advice from veterinarians who are trained by the pet food industry. When I mix real food with high quality commercial canned food purchased from my vet, my own dogs consistently carefully separate the canned dog food from the real chicken and beef and only eat the canned dog food if they are desperate. Dry kibble is the worst and cats should never be fed dry food; always add a lot of water if you insist on feeding your cats dry kibble. Remember, cats are naturally inclined to eat rodents, bones, blood and all. While we all appreciate the convenience of commercial pet food, be very discriminating about what you buy; research it and preferably restrict it. I am now feeding my dog primarily meat from our table.
Pet foods labelled “organic” are also a hoax. FDA documents specifically state that the designation “organic” may include rendered by-products, chemicals and specifically corn and other dangerous ingredients. Never, ever believe pet food package labeling. We know already to avoid pet food and treats from Asia but Made in U.S.A. or Made in Canada is no guarantee of safety or quality either. There are no practical controls over what goes into pet food and pet treats. End of story.
I couldn’t find a free copy of “Pet Fooled” on YouTube or even a copy on Netflix but it can be rented or purchased through Amazon and Amazon Prime or iTunes. I watched it at a showing by one of the members of our neighbourhood dog park community. The documentary includes a number of helpful websites that can be consulted for more information. I’m including a copy of an information sheet handed out at our meeting which will enable you to (after reading the ingredients on the package) calculate the percentage of carbohydrates in your pet’s food. This documentary is shocking but not surprising. Please watch it and take a stand against what the commercial pet food industry is passing off as healthy, organic and nutritious. Your pet’s life depends on it. The bottom line? DO NOT BELIEVE THE ADVERTISING OR PRODUCT LABELING. I urge you to share this information with other pet owners.
Here are links to some resources:
Pet Fooled Video on Amazon.com (rent or buy)
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