The DOG FOOD TEST & General Dog Food Info

  
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Tessa

You may- approach.
 
 
Purred: Sun Feb 21, '10 8:31am PST 
way to goGood to know, use shushi rice for dogs with kidney/phosphorus issues. Cross-posted from the K9Nutrition group website:

QUOTE
Re: Sushi Rice versus plain white Rice
Posted by: "Lew Olson
Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:49 pm (PST)

>Is sushi rice better
in general or is there a particular reason it is better for compromised
kidneys?

No, it is not better, but it is *much* lower in phosphorus than regular
white rice, which is important for dogs with renal issues.

>And does anyone know why you have to rinse sushi rice before cooking?

The rice is coated with a type of talc or cereal starch to keep them from
sticking to each other in the bag.

Lew

Fitzcairn

Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
 
 
Purred: Sat Mar 13, '10 10:15am PST 
wave One of those "good to know" things about a food ingredient:

QUOTE, from online newsletter, TruthAboutPetFood

What’s this ingredient in my pet’s food? Carrageenan?
Written By: Susan Thixton3-12-2010

It’s one of the many ingredients found on the label of some pet foods; what is it? Is it safe? A close look at the common pet food ingredient carrageenan.

TLC Cooking gave the perfect introduction to explaining why carrageenan is used in pet food. “Lots of foods can contain some pretty weird-sounding stuff. That's because processed foods have some amazing things they have to do. For example, a cookie might get made in Texas, trucked across the country in the middle of the summer, sit in a warehouse for a couple of weeks before it is sold and then ride home in the trunk of your car. And when you open the package, you expect the cookie to look perfect. Not an easy thing to accomplish, it turns out.” http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/question315.htm (this link includes an interesting video on harvesting carrageenan.)

Many foods, including pet foods, include chemicals known as gums such as carrageenan. Gums help to thicken and emulsify (help liquids stay mixed) foods. Carrageenan is a seaweed extract. So…is it safe in pet food?

In “Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments” By J. K. Tobacman from the College of Medicine, University of Iowa, carrageenan doesn’t get a very good (safe) review. “Review of these data demonstrated that exposure to undegraded as well as to degraded carrageenan was associated with the occurrence of intestinal ulcerations and neoplasms.” In 1972 the FDA “considered restricting dietary carrageenan …this resolution did not prevail, and no subsequent regulation has restricted use.” In 1982 the International Agency for Research on Cancer identified “sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of degraded carrageenan in animals to regard it as posing a carcinogenic risk to humans.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242073/

From the International Agency for Research on Cancer, carrageenan is rated “2B: Possibly carcinogenic to humans”. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/Listagentsalphorder.pdf

From the website NotMilk.com, an educational website from the Dairy Education Board, Executive Directory Robert Cohen has some very negative things to say about carrageenan. His article states “Carrageenan is a commonly used food additive that is extracted from red seaweed by using powerful alkali solvents. These solvents would remove the tissues and skin from your hands as readily as would any acid.” When addressing whether carrageenan is natural, this author states “Carrageenan is about as wholesome as momosodium glutamate (MSG), which is extracted from rice, and can equally be considered natural. Just because something comes from a natural source does not mean that it is safe. The small black dots in the eyes of potatoes contain substances that are instantly fatal if eaten. Got poison? You will if you eat the black dots on the “eyes” of potatoes.” (I must learn about those black dots…)

To research his article on carrageenan, Mr. Cohen (from the above article) contacted “one of America’s carrageenan experts Joanne Tobacman, M.D.”; the very same scientist that provided the review of carrageenan quoted above. Mr. Cohen’s article is startling and well researched. To read his full article Click Here. http://www.notmilk.com/carageenan.html

Although much of Dr. Tobacman’s research on carrageenan was based on human tissue, much of the research she quotes is from animal studies. Thus, we can safely assume that carrageenan is not an ingredient we want to see listed on a pet food label.

Go check your pet food label.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Susan Thixton
Truth about Pet Food
Petsumer Report
www.TruthaboutPetFood.com

Fitzcairn

Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
 
 
Purred: Fri Mar 19, '10 6:55am PST 
applauseGood-to-know stuff about propylene glycol, so you can tell your furiends this is just one more reason to stay away from mainstream dog foods sold in grocery stores.

Pet Food and Treat Ingredient Propylene Glycol
Written By: Susan Thixton3-18-2010

Although it is on the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list, many other experts don’t have much good to say about the safety of Propylene Glycol. What is this ingredient and why is it in some foods and treats?

The FDA states propylene glycol is used as a humectant in soft-moist pet foods, which helps retain water and gives these products their unique texture and taste. Basically, propylene glycol is used as a preservative to soft-moist pet foods and treats. From the FDA website: “It was affirmed Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use in human and animal food before the advent of soft-moist foods. It was known for some time that propylene glycol caused Heinz Body formation in the red blood cells of cats (small clumps of proteins seen in the cells when viewed under the microscope), but it could not be shown to cause overt anemia or other clinical effects. However, reports in the veterinary literature of scientifically sound studies have shown that propylene glycol reduces the red blood cell survival time, renders red blood cells more susceptible to oxidative damage, and has other adverse effects in cats consuming the substance at levels found in soft-moist food. In light of these new data, CVM amended the regulations to expressly prohibit the use of propylene glycol in cat foods.” http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/resourcesforyou/ucm047113.htm

Wikipedia provides the following information for the safety of propylene glycol in animals: “Veterinary data indicates that propylene glycol is toxic to 50% of dogs at doses of 9mL/kg, although the figure is higher for most laboratory animals (LD50 at levels of 20mL/kg). However, propylene glycol may be toxic to cats in ways not seen in other animals. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that its presence in or on cat food has not been shown by adequate scientific data to be safe for use. Any such use is considered an adulteration of the cat food and a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propylene_glycol#Animals

The Material Safety Data Sheet from the Department of Commerce provides the following warning regarding ingestion of propylene glycol: “May cause gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Low hazard for usual industrial handling. May cause emoglobinuric nephrosis. May cause changes in surface EEG.” http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/HTMLdocs/PropyleneGlycol.htm

Most scientific data on the safety of propylene glycol is based on use in cosmetics and skin conditioning products (human). Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep section (a cosmetic safety database) states their researchers reviewed available research and found that this ingredient is linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies, and skin, eye, and lung irritation. Again in relation to skin, EWG gave the ingredient a ‘moderate hazard’ rating. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=705315

I n my book, propylene glycol is another one of those ingredients that it’s just not worth the risk.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Truth about Pet Food
Petsumer Report
www.TruthaboutPetFood.com


Fitzcairn

Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 5, '10 8:21am PST 
eek You just can't trust anybody!
It looks as though this premium pet food company was allowed to keep producing possibly bad pet food in order to allow evidence in another criminal matter to be collected.
From the TruthAboutPetFood online newsletter:


Does FDA plus Evangers plus Criminal Investigation Equal Risk Pet Food
Written By: Susan Thixton4-5-2010 Did the FDA allow Evangers Pet Food to continue to manufacture and ship pet food simply because of the investigation into the company allegedly stealing gas & electric? Just speculation, you consider the evidence and decide.

March 2010
Cook County State Attorney’s Office announces that Evangers Pet Food owners have been arrested and accused of stealing gas and electric and money laundering.


In April 2008, the FDA ordered Evangers Pet Food Company to obtain an Emergency Operating Permit. An FDA inspection “revealed significant deviations from prescribed documentation of processes, equipment, and recordkeeping in the production of the company’s thermally processed low acid canned food (LACF) products.” According to the FDA release, the problems discovered by inspectors could result in under-processed pet foods which can allow the growth of botulism. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2008/ucm11 6886.htm

On June 12, 2009 the FDA suspended Evangers temporary Emergency Operating Permit. “During inspections conducted between March 2009 and April 2009, FDA determined Evanger’s was not operating in compliance with the mandatory requirements and conditions of the Temporary Emergency Permit.” http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm166265. htm

Within a few days after the FDA suspended Evangers Operating Permit, with no announcement by the FDA as to why, Evangers was back in business. There was no announcement of the resolve to this issue. I have written the FDA numerous times and left numerous voice mail messages with the FDA asking for information on how the Evangers ‘issue’ was resolved; none of my emails or voice mail messages were ever answered.

It seemed very suspicious to me at the time. Today, in light of what Evangers is now accused of, it seems suspicious again, but in a different way.

I cannot help but wonder…did Illinois investigators pressure the FDA into allowing Evangers to continue operations? Without the Evangers plant in full operation, the investigation of the company allegedly stealing $2 M worth of gas and electric would have stalled or maybe even stopped. Was an investigation of the company stealing gas and electric put at more importance than the company producing safe pet foods?

A very suspicious timeline…

April 2008
FDA orders Evangers to obtain Temporary Emergency Operating Permit

June 2008
Evangers was issued Temporary Operation Permit from FDA

December 2008
Former Evangers employee alerts Nicor of Evangers (alleged) gas line tapping – stealing gas at plant

June 2009
FDA suspends Evangers Temporary Operating Permit; FDA stops Evangers ability to ship pet food in interstate commerce
Days later
Evangers resumes business with no official announcement from the FDA

June 2009
TruthaboutPetFood.com email to FDA requesting information to resolve of Evangers Operating Permit; no reply.

July 2009
Numerous TruthaboutPetFood.com phone calls and emails to FDA requesting information to resolve of Evangers Operating Permit; no reply.

August 2009
Numerous TruthaboutPetFood.com emails and voice mail messages to FDA requesting information to resolve of Evangers Operating Permit; no reply.
September 2009
Evangers employee alerts ComEd of (alleged) tapping of electricity.

January 2010
TruthaboutPetFood.com email and phone call to FDA requesting information to resolve of Evangers Operating Permit; no reply.

March 2010
Cook County State Attorney’s Office announces that Evangers Pet Food owners have been arrested and accused of stealing gas and electric and money laundering.

Every request to the FDA regarding information about the resolve to the Evangers Operating Permit being re-instated went unanswered. It continued to be very suspicious to me; the FDA has always answered any of my other questions regardless how difficult the questions. Why did they never respond to my questions regarding Evangers?

Do we know why now? Did criminal investigators – the Cook County State Attorney’s Office perhaps – ask the FDA to let Evangers continue to manufacture and ship pet food so that they could collect evidence against the company? Without Evangers in full operation, the criminal investigation would have stalled or collapsed. Did the criminal investigation take precedence over the safety of Evangers Pet Foods? Did the FDA knowingly allow Evangers to continue to manufacture canned pet foods that could be contaminated with botulism just so evidence could be gathered for a criminal investigation?

I am certain these are questions we will never have answers to. Although all of the above is speculation, it remains very suspicious to me. Furthermore, it proves to me once again that just about everyone (excluding pet owners) puts the safety of pet food last.

To read more about the criminal charges against Evangers Pet Food visit http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/evangers-pet-food-owners-a ccused-of-stealing-2m-in-electric-and-gas.html
And http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/two-videos-regarding-evang ers-pet-food-company-trouble.html

To read a statement from Evangers Pet Food visit http://evangersdogfood.com/about/March10_statement.pdf


Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Susan Thixton
Truth about Pet Food
Petsumer Report
www.TruthaboutPetFood.com

Fitzcairn

Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
 
 
Purred: Sat Apr 10, '10 5:28am PST 
Came across this list of foods, good-to-know info when chosing a company to buy from, who make their own stuff and who outsources:

http://www.thepetfoodlist.com/petfoods_pg1.htm

Cau tion, I understand that the recalls may not be up to date.

Tessa

You may- approach.
 
 
Purred: Tue Apr 20, '10 8:53am PST 
The moral of the following article is that pets are still second class citizens who's food is not that important!

QUOTE:
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Recall Finally Reaches Pet Products
Written By: Susan Thixton4-14-2010

Pet Food RecallThe hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) recall by Basic Foods was announced by the FDA on March 4, 2010. Since that date, 177 different human foods have been recalled. More than five weeks later, a pet supplement containing Basic Foods HVP has been recalled. Pet products remain at the very bottom of the safety list.

The Associated Press announced that Response Products voluntarily recalled Advanced Cetyl M Joint Action Supplement on Monday April 12, 2010; the FDA sent out notice by press release (still dated 4/12/10) on Tuesday April 13, 2010. The reason for the recall, was due to a possible Salmonella contamination from “the hydrolyzed vegetable protein component provided by Basic Foods of Las Vegas, NV.”

Problem is, Basic Foods announced a recall of their HVP in early March, more than five weeks ago. Within the first week to ten days after Basic Foods announced their recall, recall notices of many human foods were released by the FDA. Everything from gravy mixes to snack products to soup mixes have been recalled. And now, finally, we learn of the first pet product containing HVP recalled by Basic Foods.

So, what happened? Why the huge delay? Did Response Products, five weeks later, suddenly realize that their dog supplement contains HVP from Basic Foods? Did Basic Foods finally go down the list of human food customers and realize they had (have some) pet product customers? Why is it – always – that pet products are last on the list to be recalled?

I’m not saying that pet foods/products should have more importance than human foods when it comes to recall notification. I am saying that pet products should be recalled in a timely fashion; just as timely a fashion as human foods. There must be a better system. It needs to be implemented yesterday. Whether the responsibility of delay of recall for this dog supplement lies with the manufacturer (Response Products), the supplier (Basic Foods), or the FDA…this simply must be improved upon.

My guess would be, over the next few weeks, we will learn of more pet products that contain Basic Foods HVP; we will learn of more recalls due to Salmonella. Five weeks (and counting) after the original recall by Basic Foods. Here’s hoping pets and their human families are not getting sick in the mean time.

For more information…
FDA list of recalled products due to HVP from Basic Foods
http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/HVPCP/
Response Products Recall notification from the FDA
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm208421.htm
MSNBC report on original Basic Foods recall
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35713702/ns/health-food_safety


Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Truth about Pet Food
Petsumer Report
www.TruthaboutPetFood.com

Tessa

You may- approach.
 
 
Purred: Tue May 18, '10 10:04am PST 
From the online newsletter 'TheTruthAboutDogFood':

More Skepticism about Nutro Pet Food
Written By: Susan Thixton5-18-2010

To say the very least, there is a great deal of controversy surrounding Nutro pet food right now. The pet food line, produced by Mars Petcare, is standing firm stating their own lab results prove the food is safe. The lab chosen by Mars Petcare, stated as “well-known for its expertise in Vitamin D analysis” is reported to be Covance Laboratories. When you learn more about Covance Lab, your skepticism radar might rise to new levels just like mine did.

When TruthaboutPetFood.com published lab results from Pet Food Products Safety Alliance, Nutro contacted TruthaboutPetFood.com to provide their side of the story. Fair enough. One small sentence in Nutro’s statement has turned into a mountain of controversy. The sentence from the Nutro statement…”The lab that conducted this test is well-known for its expertise in Vitamin D analysis.” ConsumerAffairs.com reports that the lab…the lab that Nutro used to test for Vitamin D levels in their pet food is Covance Laboratories. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2010/05/nutro_cat_food.html

When you visit the Covance website, www.covance.com, the opening page gives a visitor no clue to what this laboratory is ‘famous’ for in animal rights circles. However, with a quick investigation on SourceWatch.com (thanks to DiedMarch2007), you’ll learn about a horrid history of animal abuse with Covance Laboratories.

Hired by the tobacco industry, Covance performed studies claiming that “even extreme exposure to secondhand smoke was safe for humans.” http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Covance_Laboratories SourceWatch.com provides the following information for Covance under the category of Animal Cruelty and Welfare Violations:

"Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN) is a national research watchdog organization. SAEN has included Covance Laboratories among the worst violators of U.S. laws. Covance amassed a combined 42 violations between their Pennsylvania and Virginia laboratories, including the starving of dogs and failure to provide veterinary care for broken bones. (Government reports and ranking statistics available upon request.)"

Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) provides years of USDA Inspection Reports of Covance; the follow are two pages provided on Covance Laboratories
http://www.all-creatures.org/saen/pa/res-fr-pa-crp.htm l
http://www.all-creatures.org/saen/res-fr-va-cl.html

Bionity.co m states that Covance Inc. “is the single largest importer of primates in the U.S. and the world’s largest breeder of laboratory dogs. The company has been the subject of controversy following allegations of primate abuse in its laboratories in Germany and the United States, and in connection with a potential outbreak of the Ebola virus.” http://www.bionity.com/lexikon/e/Covance/#_ref-studydirector_0/

O k, ok, before anyone posts comments that laboratory testing is necessary for the health and safety of all animals – including humans…yes, ok, well maybe. I might be completely naïve but as the saying goes…’if they can put a man on the moon’ why can’t someone come up with some way to test drugs and cosmetics without torturing animals? There just has to be a better way. (Hello…HSUS, PETA, ASPCA…spend some money; figure this out!)

Nutro/Mars Petcare’s business relationship with Covance is concerning. Was Covance retained by Mars Petcare strictly for this pet food Vitamin D testing OR does Mars Petcare have an existing relationship with this historically questionable laboratory?

Either way, the skepticism meter has risen dramatically in my book. Why any corporation would want to affiliate themselves with a laboratory with animal abuse history is beyond me. Especially considering this corporation is a pet food corporation.

The following is my request for a statement from Mars Petcare/Nutro Pet Food regarding their relationship with Covance Lab…

To: Julie Lawless
Corporate Communications Manager for Mars Petcare US and The Nutro Company

Julie,
I have published on my website Mars Petcare/Nutro Pet Foods statement regarding your laboratory results finding no Vitamin D toxicity. Upon reading ConsumerAffairs.com latest story on the on-going controversy with Nutro Pet Food, I learned that the laboratory Nutro retained for Vitamin D testing has a questionable history at best. Covance Laboratories, the laboratory you stated to ConsumerAffairs.com Nutro used for Vitamin D testing, is on the radar of many animal rights organizations fighting to protect the welfare of laboratory animals. Per Bionity.com, Covance is “the world’s largest breeder of laboratory dogs.” This is very disturbing news.

I admit, I was very surprised at Nutro’s choice of lab. So…I have to ask…why this lab? Does Mars Petcare have an existing relationship with Covance? Does Mars Petcare retain Covance laboratory for animal testing of their pet foods?

I certainly hope the answer to these questions is no; however I would like the answers.

If Nutro/Mars Petcare responds to my questions regarding Covance Laboratories, I will be sure to let you know. I remain skeptical.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Truth about Pet Food
Petsumer Report
www.TruthaboutPetFood.com

Fitzcairn

Where's the- Ball?! Throw- the ball!!!
 
 
Purred: Sun May 23, '10 8:46am PST 
QUOTE

B-Naturals Newsletter - April 2010
How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

By Lew Olson, PhD Natural Health

A common concern for dog owners is trying to figure out how much to feed their dog, especially when switching to a raw or home cooked diet. When we fed kibble, the amount of food we fed our dog was easy. The instructions were right on the back of the bag, so feeding became second nature. But, when we decided to make the choice to feed a fresh food diet, it suddenly seems baffling!

How much food to feed your dog can vary and the total daily diet consumption depends on the dog's age, weight, metabolism, and size. A general rule of thumb when feeding a fresh food diet is to feed a daily amount of food equal to 2% to 3% of the dog's IDEAL WEIGHT - not necessarily the dog's current weight. For an adult, the percentages above are the best guide. Some dogs may need less if they are less active or overweight. Dogs that are underweight or dogs that participate regularly in performance events or lead an active life style may need more. Each dog is different, so use this guide as a starting point and then watch your dog’s weight as you feed and adjust the total amount of food as needed. If you have to dig to find your dog's ribs, then feed a little less. If you can see your dog's ribs, then add slightly more to the diet.

Here is a handy chart for a guideline on how much to feed daily:

100 lb dog - 2 to 3 pounds of food daily (4 to 6 cups)

75 lb dog - 1 ½ to 2 pounds of food daily (3 to 4 cups)

50 lb dog - 1 to 1 ½ pounds of food daily (2 to 3 cups)

25 lb dog – 8 to 12 ounces daily (1/2 to ¾ cups)

Some dogs that have been spayed or neutered may need less food. Simply adjust the amount accordingly. Do not try and cut back considerably, but instead reduce the amount of food by 10%. For more information on how to help your dog lose weight, read this article on weight loss in dogs:

http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/pudgy-pups/

Special Consideration for Toy Breeds

Breeds under approximately 15 pounds are considered ‘toy breeds’. Most often, toy breeds have a higher metabolism. Toy dogs need to be fed more frequently (3 to 4 times a day) and because of their higher metabolism, they may need more food. Toys breeds may need from 3% to 5% of their body weight in food daily. Use the guide below for the approximate amount for food for toy breeds.

Food Guide for Toy Breeds Less than 15 Pounds

15 lb dog – 8 to 12 ounces daily

10 lb dog – 5 to 8 ounces daily

5 lb dog – 3 to 4 ounces daily

Remember, these amounts are a guide for what you want the dog to weigh. So your dog is overweight, feed them the percentage needed for their *target* weight. These numbers can vary, as I mentioned before, due to metabolism and activity levels. They may need slightly more or less, but monitor their condition by the ribs. If you can easily feel them, they are fine. If you can’t find them, it is time to feed slightly less.

Puppies and Young Adults

I most frequently get questions on how much to feed puppies. Puppies do have a higher metabolism and they go through some rapid growth stages. Consequently, puppies need more food than adult dogs. A general rule of thumb is that puppies can eat anywhere from 5% to 10% of their body weight daily. So a 10 pound puppy may need up to one pound of food daily. Puppies also require more frequent feedings. I feed puppies at least 4 times a day, up until about 4 months of age. Their growth rate is rapid at this time, and frequent feedings (rather than one or two large feedings) help during this time. At about 4 months, I reduce the feedings to 3 times a day. Sometime after teething (which generally starts about 4 months and ends about 6 months), you may want to reduce the meals to twice a day, except in the case of toy breeds, which need at least 3 meals a day.

Puppy appetites may wax and wane, between growth spurts and also during teething. Teething can make the gums painful at times, so softer food may be used to help when this occurs. Conversely, puppies may desire more recreational bones at this time, to help with the process of teething.

For more information on feeding puppies a raw diet, the following newsletter provides a feeding guide with instructions: http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/puppy-raw-diet/

Senior Dogs

With all the commercial foods for senior diets and weight control foods, you might think our seniors need less food. But that is not necessarily true. The guidelines used above for adult dogs are the same for our senior dogs. If a dog is less active due to illness or arthritis, less food may be desired. But for the most part, senior dogs still need a good diet as high quality proteins in good amounts is necessary for organ functioning. Rather than reducing the amount or quality of food, you may want to reduce the amount of fat in the diet and reduce or eliminate any starches and grains. It is these high calorie carbohydrates and fats that are the primary cause of weight gain. In a raw diet, this is easy to do. Simply cut out the carbohydrates, choose leaner meats, and remove the skin from any chicken. Use low fat yogurt and cottage cheese, and reduce the number of eggs in the diet. In cooked diets, I would recommend the low glycemic (sugar), low fat recipes found here: http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/low-glycemic/

See the following newsletter for more information on why senior dogs need animal based protein and fat and useful tips for the special needs of your senior: http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/senior-dogs-and-special-needs/

Tessa

You may- approach.
 
 
Purred: Wed Jun 2, '10 6:20am PST 
This article touches on what I've long suspected, that pet foods that claim to contain pre- and pro-biotics deliver little or no digestive help. I believe that digestive products added to the food by the owner is the way to go.

QUOTE:

Should Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pet Food influence your Purchase?
Written By: Susan Thixton5-29-2010

Some pet food companies boast about healthy prebiotics and/or probiotics in their foods. Scientific research on the other hand has proven that many of these health claims are no more than fancy marketing tactics; science has shown many pet foods probiotics are not live and viable thus would provide no benefit to the pet. Should pet owners believe the hype of pre- and probiotics? The answer seems to be in the pet food Guaranteed Analysis.

It’s no wonder pet owners notice pet foods that tout phrases such as ‘promotes healthy digestion’. ‘Un-healthy digestion’ - you know, things like diarrhea and gas (yikes) can be quite motivational to cure. There is probably not a pet owner on the planet that has not experienced the ‘fun’ of cleaning a carpet stain from un-healthy digestion problems of a pet. So of course, when a pet owner notices claims that a pet food promotes healthy digestion, the product sale could be influenced on those claims (and the memories of gas and carpet cleaning).

But…how can a pet owner know if these health claims touted on pet food labels are the real deal? There is a way…but first, pet owners need to know what they are buying; a good understanding of pre- and probiotics.

Dr. J. Scott Weese DVM DVSc DipACVIM of Ontario Veterinary College defines prebiotics as “essentially food for probiotics (and potentially other intestinal bacteria). They are substances that are neither absorbed nor digested by the body and which are used to stimulate the growth of beneficial intestinal microorganisms. Examples of prebiotics are fructooligosaccharides (FOS), inulin and guar gum.” Dr. Weese quotes numerous other researchers to define probiotics as “living microorganisms that, when administered orally in adequate numbers, provide a health benefit to the host beyond that of their inherent nutritional value.” http://www.equidblog.com/uploads/file/probiotics.pdf

In unscientific terms, prebiotics are food for probiotics; probiotics are friendly bacteria that helps to keep the tummy in good working order. Of great importance to pet owners paying high dollar prices for premium ingredient pet food, “it is a well-established fact that the intestinal microflora influence the digestion and absorption of food, the function of the immune system, peristalsis, production of vitamins such as B-vitamins and influence the turnover of the intestinal epithelial cells.” http://www.wasamedicals.com/pdf/ref_smj_eng.pdf Considering 80% of the immune system is located in your pets (and your) intestinal system, keeping the ‘pipes’ in good working order promotes a stronger immune system.

While many pet foods tout marketing claims of prebiotics and probiotics, are they really benefiting your pet?

Science says yes, if the bacteria is live and viable; which brings up another issue of concern with pet food. Todd R. Klaenhammer writes in an abstract of the Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center and Department of Food Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University “Over the course of the symposium, evidence was presented to illustrate the following benefits elicited by probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics: 1) pathogen interference, exclusion and antagonism; 2) immunostimulation and immunomodulation; 3) anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic activities in animal models; 4) alleviation of symptoms of lactose intolerance; 5) vaginal/urinary tract health; 6) reduction in blood pressure in hypertensive subjects; 7) decreased incidence and duration of diarrhea (antibiotic-associated diarrhea, Clostridium difficile, travelers and rotaviral); and 8) maintenance of mucosal integrity.” http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/130/2/415S (Synbiotics, mentioned above, are a combination of prebiotics and probiotics.)

Numerous research papers researched (for this article) indicated far more study of probiotics and prebiotics is necessary to completely understand the potential benefits (for pets and people). However, what we do know is very encouraging.

Science has also shown that although many pet foods include probiotics in their ingredient listing, many pet foods did not contain live, viable organisms. Of nineteen commercial pet foods tested in one study, twelve contained a probiotic variety (bacterial fermentation products), that were not true live beneficial organisms. Further, no pet foods contained all of the probiotics listed on the label. “Overall, the actual contents of the diets were not accurately represented by the label descriptions.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC340078/

Another study scrutinized 44 human or veterinary probiotics. “Organisms were improperly identified in 43% human and 35% veterinary products.” In only 2 veterinary products were the contents of the probiotic “adequately identified.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC340366/

This is discouraging science for pet owners that believe in the benefits of probiotics. However, there are some pet food manufacturers that are proving to pet owners their probiotics are live and viable; you’ll find it in the Guaranteed Analysis.

The Guaranteed Analysis of a pet food label is required by regulation to provide pet owners with ‘guaranteed’ nutrient levels of the pet food. No pet food company, that includes probiotics in their formula, is required by regulation to include probiotic guarantees in the Guaranteed Analysis on the label. Yet some do. We can only assume that those small handful of pet food companies that include a ‘guaranteed’ statement of propbiotic levels on their label and/or on their website is telling us…they guarantee the probiotic to be live and viable. We can as well assume that the pet food companies that include probiotics in their ingredient list (and marketing) yet exclude probiotic guarantees on their label or website is probably not live and viable (perhaps one of the pet foods studied in the research above).

Yes, any pet food company can state all types of percentages within a Guaranteed Analysis and few (if any) would ever get caught lying to petsumers. However, in a rapidly changing pet food world, I believe a clear show of guarantees listed on a pet food label and/or website is our best bet at holding them accountable for their claims. Don’t pay any attention to slick marketing tag lines, look at the ingredients AND the guaranteed analysis (look both on the label and on the pet food website). Educated pet owners know pet food can ‘talk the talk’; we’re looking for those that can ‘walk the walk’ to feed to our pets. Guarantees are part of ‘the walk’.

For Petsumer Report subscribers, Guaranteed Analysis information of probiotics will be updated to all reviews soon. Pet foods listing a guarantee of probiotics and those pet foods not listing a guarantee will be noted.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Truth about Pet Food
Petsumer Report
www.TruthaboutPetFood.com

Tessa

You may- approach.
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 18, '10 3:57am PST 
We all know that alot of commercial dog foods contain the following trash ingredients, but I didn't know about the grocery store meat PLUS it's plastic packaging!!!

Please urge your friends to buy their pets the best food that they can afford. And that's NOT the majority of stuff in the grocery store pet food aisle.

From the online TruthAboutPetFood newsletter:

"The FDA still today allows euthanized animals (and the lethal drug that killed them; pentobarbital), road kill, diseased animals and diseased animal parts, drugged animals rejected for use in human food, expired grocery store meat including the plastic packaging, and more...to become common pet food ingredients. Worse yet, the FDA with the help of AAFCO pet food regulations, allows this hideous garbage to become common pet food ingredients and then allows this pet food to be labeled as 'choice' and/or 'premium'. Unknowing pet owners are spending hard earned dollars purchasing foods and treats for their beloved family members that is little more than refurbished industrial waste."

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