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What's in your Dog's Food?
I continually read information on dog nutrition. It never ceases to amaze me what pet food companies put into the food that they want us to feed our pets. Tamara has put together a list of good articles about pet food, reading the labels, and what the ingredients really mean. That being said, I have chosen a shorter article for this publication, but encourage you to read the links at the end for the complete picture.
Your Pet's Food ~ By Cindy Kingsley
Look over your current pet food ! Smell it ! How does it feel ? Taste it ! Would you eat it? If not - why would you feed it to your pet?
It's important to read and understand the ingredient's labeled on pet foods. Ingredients are listed in order of their volume percentages. For example, if Soybean is the first ingredient listed on the label - then Soybean is the major ingredient in the food.
BY-PRODUCTS: Parts of the animal not fit for human consumption.
By-products can include intestines, chicken heads, duck bills, chicken and turkey feet, feathers and bone, soy, cottonseed hulls, corn cobs, peanut hulls, citrus pulp, screenings, weeds, straw, and cereal by-products. Ingredients listed as beef, chicken and poultry by-products are not required to include actual meat. Rendered meat can be any rendered mammal meat including dogs and cats.
ETHOXYQUIN, BHA and BHT: Chemical additives used as preservatives. Ethoxyquin is regulated as a pesticide and cannot be added to human food. Many pet foods contain fillers that have little or no nutritional value. Products like feathers, soy, cottonseed hulls, corn cobs, peanut hulls, citrus pulp, screenings, weeds, straw, and cereal by-products.
GENERAL FACTS: From time to time, you have noticed a change in your dog after feeding him or her different batches of the same brand of pet food . Your pet may have diarrhea, increased flatulence, a dull hair coat, intermittent vomiting, or may scratch more often. These are most common symptoms observed over the years, and they all are associated with commercial pet foods.
The common chemicals used to prevent rancidity in pet food are BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole ) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) both known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction. Another fat stabilizer often used is ETHOXYQUIN, suspected of being a cancer-causing agent. Propylene glycol, a cousin to antifreeze, is found in many semimoist dog foods.
The Department Of Pathology, Nagoya City University Medical School Japan, recently completed a study to determine the toxicology of BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin and Propyl Gallate.
- ETHOXYQUIN Promoted kidney carcinogenesis. Significantly increased incidence of stomach tumors. Enhanced bladder carcinogesis.
- BHA Enhanced stomich and urinary bladder carcinogenesis. Causes squamous-cell carcinomas in stomachs (Cancers of this type are among the most lethal and fastest acting, the swiftest effects being seen among animals with light colored fur.)
- BHT Promoted urinary bladder carcinogenesis Could be a promoter of thyroid carcinogeneis
The study noted that BHA and other antioxidants, particularly propyl gallate and ethoxyquin, showed additional effects in inducing stomich hyperplasia and cytotoxicity. According to Dr. Wendell Belfield, DVM, practicing veterinarian for some 26 years, both BHA and BHT are known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction and are banned in some European countries. He adds that ethoxyquin is suspected of causing cancer and that propylene glycol (a pet food ingredient closely related to anti-freeze) causes destruction of red blood cells.
Ethoxyquin is listed and identified as hazardous chemical by OSHA. It has a rating of 3 on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being super toxic requiring less than 7 drops to cause death. When manufactured by Monsanto, the containers are marked with the word POISON. Monsanto makes no representations and will not be responsible for damages of any nature whatsoever. Department of Agriculture lists Ethoxyquin as a pesticide.
Any government health official or Veterinary nutritionist that says feeding pets toxic chemicals will not have an effect on the pet's health has not fully studied the facts. The use of chemical preservatives may be associated with dry skin, allergic reactions, dental disease, poor health, lack of energy and degenerative organ disfunction.
Proper diet not only is important for humans, it is the most basic aspect of a pet's lifestyle. The secret to good nutrition is not how many nutrients are present in a dogs food, but rather how available they are and how efficiently they can be utilized when digested.
Most ordinary dog foods are made with corn, extruded in pellet form under high pressure and then sprayed with fat and other products in order to encourage dogs to eat. Rice and Wheat are easier to digest than corn; therefore easier on your dogs system.
How to read a pet food label
How to decipher pet food ingredients
What's in commercial pet foods
Web Sites for Pet Food that I'd Feed MY dogs
Dale's List, and yes there ARE more. I just don't have personal experience with them...
- PLEASE make sure to read the labels of all foods!
Innova, California Natural and Healthwise
Flint River Ranch (choose an independent distributor you like)