Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Buyer Beware - The Crimes, Lies & Truth About Pet Food

Another good book just published about commercial pet foods. This book was written by Susan Thixton, owner of TheTruthAboutPetFood.com and is full of information every pet owner needs to know. She also includes stories throughout the book from pet owners who's pets have become sick or died from pet foods. She gives a detailed list of do's and don'ts when it comes to buying pet foods including not only ingredients to avoid (and why) but questions to ask the pet food manufacturers. She explains how to figure out when that bag of pet food you bought was made and how long it has been sitting on the shelf. (She found out the food she had been feeding her dog had a shelf life of 25 years! Her dog died of bone cancer from an ingredient (preservative) in that pet food.) She lists the different health conditions which "could easily be the result of inferior or contaminated pet food." Think you can't afford quality pet food? She gives a detailed break down of the costs of randomly chosen dog and cat foods to show  you can afford it and reminds us "that a food-related emergency can cost over $1,000." (I can vouch for that.) She gives an in-depth explanation of how pet food regulations work, what the federal laws are and information about the 2007 pet food recall (and other recalls) and how it was managed. She not only explains what rendering is but gives a personal account of rendering plants from someone who worked in them. If that isn't bad enough, she quotes a 2004 report prepared for the 108th Congress of the United States which told elected officials that dead animals from animal shelters are cooked (rendered) and converted into pet food and crayons. And "despite this being a clear violation of Federal law, not one Representative of Congress did a thing about it." 

She talks about mycotoxins, canola oil, food dyes, genetically modified (GMO) ingredients,  arsenic, ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, carrageenan, wheat gluten,  flouride, BPA and heavy metals (to name a few) found in pet foods. She explains probiotics, omega fatty acids and irradiation. She explains why she started the Pet Food Recall First Alert and which pet food companies have signed up so far. Susan has done a lot of work and research regarding pet foods and I, like many other pet parents are so grateful.

Finding this stuff hard to believe? I know, it's so disgusting it's hard to believe this is and has been going on! (The truth is often stranger than fiction!) The more I learn about "big pet food" the angrier and the more disgusted I become. That's why I am trying to make people more aware of what they are feeding  their beloved pets. It's time to wake up pet-parents! It's time you learn what really goes into your pet's food! It's time to learn to read ingredients and become an informed pet food buyer instead of listening to all the marketing bull****! These big companies spend millions of dollars on marketing and they have been allowed to down right lie about what's in their products. "Pet food is the ONLY industry in the United States legally allowed to lie to consumers" and "The ONLY food industry in the U.S. allowed to violate Federal Food Safety Law." Just like with us, what we put into our bodies can mean health or illness. Same goes for our cherished pets. "What pet owners are not told about pet food could be making their pets very sick." 

I highly recommend reading this book if you have pets. You can also stay informed by signing up for the free TruthAboutPetFood newsletter. And for a small annual subscription fee ($17.95) you can subscribe to the online Petsumer Report which is a database of over 2,200 pet foods and treats, with new ones added every month! This is worth every penny and is a valuable resource.