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Dog Food and Pet Food Recall
When I decided to look into reports I'd heard about dog food and pet food recall, I thought I'd find the names of a couple of brands to avoid.
I was amazed at what I learned, and thought I should share this knowledge with other pet owners..
Dog Food is not covered by any tests or controls, like human food, but the necessary agencies are being made aware of the problems.
A lot of the dog foods, sold as 'complete and balanced, nutritious meals', are not at all. While many of them may be safe, and even good for your dog, a great amount of them are not. How does one know whether they're buying the right food for their pet?
Post Script. added 15th August 2013:
The Procter and Gamble Company of Cincinnati, Ohio announced that they are voluntarily recalling specific batches of their dry pet foods as they may possibly be contaminated with Salmonella. This according to dogfoodadvisor.com. See here for more details:
Pet Food Recall
Some of the products which claim to be complete dog food, contain substances which you would certainly not feed your dog by choice.
They will list as ingredients 'meat byproducts', byproduct refers to anything deemed unfit for human consumption, i.e. bones, heads, hair, fat, feet, animal tissues and even condemned offal.
This is all sent to a rendering plant, and processed for use in dog food.
Where it is claimed that the product contains meat, it is usually just waste from the slaughterhouses; spinal cord, bones, intestines, tails, feathers,heads, feet.
With all this, there was even found to be evidence of:
Euthanised pets, YES PETS; dogs and cats that have been put to sleep. Grease waste from restaurants, animal hooves, hair, diseased animals, even cancerous tissues, dead animals; road kill. Sweepings from the floor of rendering plants.
The euthanised animals used, when put to sleep in homes and pounds, will still have traces of sodium pentobarbital in the carcass, and this can be poisonous to the dog eating the food.
They have a name for the disgusting inclusions, too. They're known as '4D animals' - dead, dying, diseased, disabled. All only recently listed as unfit for humans, but still permitted for animals. A dead animal could have been dead for some time before it even reaches the rendering plant, so could already be contaminated, with even salmonella or E.Coli.
When the meat source is genuine, it will be listed as such; beef, lamb, turkey, chicken etc. It may not be the best cuts, but it should be from the animal stated.
EQ (ethoxyquin) is a preservative deemed unfit for human consumption, and banned from our foods. It is still, however, being used as animal food preservative.
Factory workers, when exposed to EQ, suffered the same symptoms and side-effects as people exposed to Agent Orange.
Animals have also been noted to experience side effects from this chemical. As well as several types of allergies, it has caused cancer of liver, stomach and spleen, and immune deficiency syndrome.
One problem is that dog food companies can claim their products to be preservative free when they are not. If they're not personally the ones to add the preservative, they're not liable, and don't have to declare it's presence.
What is not common knowledge, is that most pet food companies are affiliated with human food producers, so after the human food company takes all the best of the product, the rest goes over to the pet food plant.
Dry foods have their downside too, even though most vets will say dry food is better for your pet.
This dry product can contain rendered meat & bone, the aforementioned byproducts, as well as flour, grain, and starches. (which your pet should not eat)
All these ingredients are mixed in an excluder, which steams them, turns them into dough, then squeezes this dough out through a nozzle, similar to an icing nozzle, and cuts it into small pieces.The nozzle dictates the shape the pieces will have.
The shapes then will be dried, and sprayed with fats (from rendered animal fats, waste restaurant grease, and other rejects from the human food plants)and other flavourings and compounds to make them smell more interesting, and digestive aids to make them more palatable.
The pungent odour that comes to you as you open a new bag, comes from these additives.
The cooking process will kill bacteria, but the drying, coating, and packaging could introduce more bacteria.
Dried food should not be mixed with liquids, or with the 'wet' or canned food, as wetting the dry food can allow bacteria to resurface, and even to multiply. This would for sure make your pet very sick.
Over recent years, many different brands of dog food have been recalled, for various reasons.
In March 2007 the most lethal pet food ever discovered, was recalled in the largest recall in history. Almost 20,000 pets were contaminated, several thousand fatally. The deaths were mainly from acute kidney failure.
Initially the contamination was thought to be caused by rat poison, but later examination of rice protein and wheat gluten concentrate, brought over from China, showed high levels of melamine. This is an artificial protein, used to boost protein content in the concentrate. Melamine is a chemical used in making plastics and fertilisers.
This food was distributed by various and multiple companies, as one plant can produce food for several brand names.
These same tainted ingredients were also given to thousands of other animals, including pigs, cows and chickens. These animals were quarantined and destroyed.
Even the 'healthier' ingredients they include can be bad for your dog. Dogs are carnivores, so need very little carbs, and shouldn't have grain. A lot of canned foods do contain grain, though. Grains can cause kidney damage, particularly soy and wheat.
Check the ingredients for preservatives, EQ, or copper sulphate, or salt. All are very bad for your dog.
These bad dog foods can make dogs very sick: causing loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea, and worse. The dangerous toxins found, can cause organ failure, cancer, even death.
Most of the known contaminated foods have been recalled, and the problem solved, but still, knowing all these facts of what goes into them anyway, I think I'll be preparing my own pet food from now on!
There are rigorous checks on human food, but none on pet food. We all remember the outcry when it was discovered that chickens were being fed dead chicken meat, and humans were advised not to eat chicken until things changed. Why then is it OK for our pets to eat dead pets?
Reading the ingredients list can help, armed with this knowledge of the really bad things that can exist, but what about the things that aren't listed? If they don't have to be honest on their labeling, what chance do we have of checking anything?
I started to research this, when I heard about pet food recalls, just to check it out. What I learned, however, has totally changed my thinking on these foods. I always thought that 'complete' dog food or cat food was just that; complete with all the proteins, minerals etc that my pet needs, so must be better than anything I could prepare for him. Now I doubt everything I previously thought.
Maybe the answer is to prepare a fresh meat dish, and supplement this with a dried food bought from the vet? Is 'organic' food really what it claims to be?
Time to rethink long standing beliefs!
Some of these complete foods are OK and don't contain the above-mentioned atrocities, but how do we know which ones?
The only way to be totally sure is to make your own dog food. Be sure to find the right balance of protein, minerals and nutrients the animals need.