Some of the ingredients that end up in commercial pet foods are truly shocking. What’s more, many of these will not appear on the label and others are hidden under umbrella terms such as ‘meat meal’ and ‘meat by-products’. How can this happen? The pet food industry is highly unregulated. As Ann Martin, author of Foods Pets Die For, writes in her article The Pet Food Industry and its Questionable Practices, ‘Governments in the USA and Canada regulate the labeling of the food, the name and address of the company, the weight of the product, and whether it is made for a dog or cat – nothing more.’
The meats used in pet food can be extremely low grade and unfit for human consumption. Summarized as the ‘4 D’s’ (dead, diseased, disabled, and dying), these can include roadkill, zoo animals, and infected and cancerous meats.
At the rendering plants ingredients are highly heated and processed, destroying nutrients and enzymes, with strong preservatives added which do not appear on the labels. These include fat stabilizers such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), both of which are known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction, and Ethoxyquin, a suspected cancer-causing agent. Semi-moist dog foods may also contain propylene glycol, a relation to ethylene glycol (anti-freeze), which can destroy red blood cells.
Pets in your pet food
Though reportedly not the case today, it is well recorded that dogs and cats have ended up in dog and cat food. In his 1990 article How Dogs and Cats Get Recycled Into Pet Food, John Eckhouse, an investigative reporter, wrote: ‘Each year, millions of dead American dogs and cats are processed along with billions of pounds of other animal materials by companies known as renderers. The finished products — tallow and meat meals — serve as raw materials for thousands of items that include cosmetics and pet food.
Doctor of veterinary medicine Wendell Belfield in Foods Not Fit For a Pet (Earth Island Journal, 1996), reports that ‘federal and state agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration and medical groups such as the American Veterinary Medical Association and the California Veterinary Medical Association, confirm that pets, on a routine basis, are rendered after they die in animal shelters or are disposed of by health authorities, and the end product frequently finds its way into pet food.’
The very use of grains in pet food is questionable as grains are ill-suited to the digestive physiology of carnivores. This is especially so for cats who are obligatory carnivores and meet their glucose requirements through amino acids in their diet. Further, the grains used in dog and cat foods may contain mycotoxins, fungi that can cause chronic conditions and even death in both humans and animals. As the grains used in pet food are low grade, they are dealt with last in the handling process and because of this are often left in storage where insects, mites, and mycotoxin molds can grow.
The consumption of dead mites can cause skin allergies. If your pet has skin allergies, change their diet first before turning to steroids which can be seriously detrimental to your pet’s health.
Aflatoxin poisoning, a common mycotoxin that grows on corn as well as other foods, has been reported for over 50 years. Vomitoxin is another mycotoxin found in wheat products. Where large doses of mycotoxins can cause cancer and even rapid death, small continuous amounts may suppress the immune system and damage organs over time, leading to long-term chronic health conditions.
Just recently at the end of 2005, over 100 dogs were killed in the United States because of aflatoxin found in pet food, with some 19 brands of Diamond dog food being recalled. It is likely there were many more deaths than those reported, and as aflatoxin attacks the liver it is likely surviving dogs may develop chronic liver disease or liver cancer in the future.
The toxin sodium pentobarbital, a chemical is used to euthanize animals and pets, has been found in commercial pet foods. The US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine performed two studies (1998 and 2000) to test for pentobarbital. Of the 74 samples analyzed, over half were found to contain pentobarbital. What’s more, none of the 43 brands and product lines that tested positive warned of its presence on their labels.
The FDA researchers also tested the food for the presence of dogs or cats but reported none present. It was believed the pentobarbital residues were entering pet foods from euthanized, rendered cattle, or even horses.
The FDA says the small amounts of the drug found in these foods were harmless, but not all veterinarians agree. Long-term continual doses, even at small levels maybe increase the onset of chronic and degenerative diseases.
Aside from the toxins and base ingredients of commercial pet foods, these harshly processed and high-carbohydrate products in no way match the natural diets dogs and cats would have eaten in the wild. They are species-inappropriate and ill-suited to canine and feline physiology. I recommend healthy, homemade, raw diets or optimum natural, holistic alternatives for the health and well-being of your dog and cat. Before embarking on a raw food diet (otherwise known as BARF – ‘biologically adequate raw food’), thoroughly research the area first as nutritional balance is essential.
Why it is most beneficial to buy or sell Pets online.
The excitement of finding a perfect companion can be great when looking for a puppy, kitten or exotic animals and pets of a specific breed, and this makes people often turn to online sales sites. Surely you have observed that more and more people are opting to buy in an online pet store, and it is that it is a very interesting alternative that brings great benefits to the buyer, AnimalsSale.com is the website where you can buy or sell animals in the US, UK, Europe and other countries. You can find on their website full information about all dogs’ breeds, advice from experts on how to take care of puppies and kittens and other interesting information.
So here we are going to discover some of the most peculiarities of buying a pet from an online store. Featured.
Advantages of buying from a pet store
Today more and more people decide to have an animal in their family. For this reason, the opening of stores where they can buy any product or service dedicated to pets is becoming more and more frequent. According to some statistics, between 40% or 50% of families have a pet, so we must know well the offers in the market to be able to give our pets the best for their health and comfort.
Immense variety in offers
These premises, often have a huge variety of items for pets. For this reason, we can use them to obtain bags of feed for dogs of different sizes, sweets, food products, clothes for dogs, toys, cages (in the case of rodents), etc.
Unlike shopping centres and supermarkets where we find a limited amount of items for our pets. In a pet store, we can find different things more specific to your needs.
In addition, there are also offers on pets and we can find a wide variety of animal species (if the establishment is a large company). In these places, the animals are usually kept in good condition and the employees are in charge of cleaning the cages daily.
Also, the advantage of buying in a specialized pet store is that we can find good quality products at their price. And it is that the prices themselves are usually quite accessible.
Quality is still an important detail when purchasing a product and/or service. In these places, there are usually articles of a quality more than enough to fulfil their function.
In addition, we have the products organized according to the type of pet and this helps to find what we need and more quickly. This saves time and unnecessary wandering in the store.
Something important to note is that the products that are sold in specialized stores are usually from recognized brands and that they will also give us a guarantee. More if it is something that our pet has to ingest.
This really is important, because we cannot give anything to our pet. They could get sick if what they eat is in bad condition and if so, we must quickly claim it from the place of purchase. But in these places, the quality of the products is taken care of.
Preparedness for customer service
Another advantage is that we can have personalized attention based on our requests. There are always people around the premises who can guide us in our purchase and tell us which product suits us best for our needs.
This is extremely important since many times we can go to these stores and not be clear about what brand or what characteristics in the article can be better for our pet. This is a great advantage of buying from these stores.
Personnel in charge of customer service are often people who love animals and spend their time learning about pets. The best advice to buy is from people with a lot of experience.
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It happens to the best of us. While walking past a pet store in the mall, an adorable puppy scratches at the glass and catches your attention. Then you see a tiny kitten, and she meows at you plaintively. Your heart tightens and you notice others are pulled in by the cute creatures. Before you bring that puppy or kitten home, though, find out if your family is ready for a pet. Depending on your schedules, should you even be considering a family pet or should you wait a while?
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