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Excellent article that goes into detail of how proteins from grains are not the same as protein from meat when it comes to your dog or cat. This is essential for all pet owners and Veterinarians to know.
Most complete list in one place I have found that links to the experts in the field of attempting to make pet food companies improve the foods offered and themselves. The pet food project is a good article to look at. I do not necessarily endorse any of the diets, foods and treats. They are quite expensive and laborious. Home made is best because you control the quality. Check out www.balanceit.com, this website is put together by the American College of Vet Nutritionists. Free for owners to create a recipe for homemade food for healthy pets. This site will calculate a recipe for a normal diet for dogs and cats based on body weight and your choice of protein and grains.
They sell a good mineral mix to add to food and they indicate other sources of minerals and vitamins to balance the foods. They offer consultations to owners and veterinarians to create custom diets for different disease situations. The link for Veterinarians allows your vet to create a custom homemade recipe for many diseases where diet is important.
Vet Report Gives Tips for Avoiding Salmonella Infections. See my personal story below.
Check out this article regarding the safety of dog treats. In general more warnings are happening every week. The production of rawhide, pig ear and hoof based dog treats has gone to China. Many Merchants of dog treats are buying their supplies from Co. located in China. So as with other products coming from a Country that does not have the safety standards we are used to, problems will happen. The FDA is in charge but does not routinely inspect food until after a complaint is made.
I recommend that my clients buy large beef leg bones from a butcher and place in water, bring it to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer (continuous small bubbles around the edge of the water where it touches the pan) for 20 minutes. Even softened your dog will get hours of chewing fun. It takes 20 minutes at the temperature that water bubbles (boiling point) to kill the toxins that Salmonella or E. coli produce.
Let me compare food poisoning from these bugs v.s more common forms. The “Run of the mill” food poisoning causes diarrhea and some vomiting in 12 to 24 hours after consumed and last a day or two most individuals recover without treatment if they can drink water. The the toxin producing bacteria (bugs) can cause shock, collapse and death before the diarrhea has the time to get from the upper colon to the outside.
My cat is a survivor of a toxin producing food borne bacteria. She ate less than a tablespoon of tainted canned cat food that had been left out for 6 hours. I found her in the early morning hidden in a closet, unresponsive, collapsed, stiff, with no pulse but she had a weak heartbeat. I rushed her to a University Veterinary Emergency Department. Four trained EM personnel could not hit a vein to give her an IV so a surgical cut-down to place an catheter in a vein was done, to give her life saving fluids. She was revived by the fluids and treatments for shock, after 6 hours. The next day, her liver and kidneys started to fail because of the effects of the toxins which can cause massive cell damage in vital organs. More sophisticated, life saving, procedures were done over the next week in ICU and she survived. In fact, She was the first animal I had seen in over 12 years that had as bad a case of food poisoning that had survived. All of the Veterinarians and Vet. tech.s shared with how rare it was in their experience, to have an animal survive this type of poisoning. Maybe it was her luck that day, and certainly I recognized the urgency of her situation as did the EM people and we all moved very fast. No time was spent deciding if we should treat each complication. I gave the emergency veterinarians, full authority to do all and every life saving method, knowing that having to call me to get permission would delay important treatments and time makes a major difference. She went on to live a long life with me.
I had the benefit of small cost savings because I was on staff at the same hospital. Even though, money was no limit for me at that time. In today’s dollars, her care would cost approximately $2000 to $4000.00 and the odds of survival are still very low. So I just want to say from my experience spend the time and extra care to make sure pets food and treats are safe.
Definitely helpful for consumers to quickly check the quality of pet food brands.
I read a few of the reviews and found them to be knowledgable. Although the reviews are not able to completely review all the ingredients in each recipe, the general conclusions are very useful to pick out the poor quality recipes for basic pet foods. The reviewers are aware of major ways that pet food ingredients are listed in language that the average consumer can not understand. They do pet owners a service by translating the label ingredients in a more meaningful way and to rate the food brands by quality.