Disturbing Lab Results Prove Top Dog and Cat Food Brands Are Unsafe

Our family is extremely concerned with the quality and safety of our food as well as our dogs’ food. We recently started making our own organic treats at home and posting our recipes to the blog for you to enjoy. The next step in our plan is to make our own homemade dog food, and after reading these lab results we aren’t going to wait any longer to get started! 

I can always count on TheILoveTheDogsSite.com for great content about pets, and this morning I was so happy to come across their article about unsafe pet foods. Pet food consumers just like you and I donated funds to The Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) to test pet foods sold in North America. This test and it’s results are monumental because this is the first and only time a test of this size has been funded and controlled by concerned consumers themselves instead of a regulatory agency that is in charge of governing and selling pet food. Consumers of these pet food brands are left to wonder if these agencies that have conducted tests in the past were too close to the product and the profit to release accurate and honest results. 

Susan Thixton, Pet Food Safety Advocate at ATPF and author of “Buyer Beware” and co-author of “Dinner PAWSible”, was in charge of leading the test along with industry experts such as Dr. Tsengeg Purejav of INTI Service Corporation who lab tested the foods.

Susan explained that “this is history making. No one has ever taken such an up-close and thorough examination of pet food like this before – and most importantly, this was done by pet food consumers!” Thixton said the pet food testing results are “shocking and little did we know we’d find serious risks to ourselves and our human families too.”

The six top dog food brands tested include:

The six top cat food brands tested include:

 

Did you see any brands you’ve fed your dog before? Because I see two that I’ve fed to Zoey and one that I’ve fed to Jem before! Zoey has been eating Hill’s C/D Urinary Tract Health canned dog food for about a year after she had three consecutive UTI’s. Her veterinarian at Banfield at PetSmart recommended Hill’s brand and explained to me that it is one of the top two brands she would recommend because “they’re the only ones that actually lab test their dog food for health standards.” That feels like a very misleading and untrue statement now that these test results have come out and I see that it’s one of the most UNSAFE brands of food! I can’t believe I’ve been feeding her this food for so long. Jem was eating Blue for the first year of her life until we switched her because of her very stinky farts. Now I’m glad we switched her when we did! 

 

Test Results:

The tests conducted on the most popular dog food brands mentioned before indicate that many of these foods contain high levels of dangerous mycotoxins, nutrient concerns, bacterial contamination, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria that the FDA calls “Qualifying Pathogens.” None of these dog foods have ingredients from China, but they do have ingredients from other countries outside of North America. 

The Hill’s Prescription C/D Urinary Tract health canned dog food that my vet suggested was the safest, laboratory tested dog food option for Zoey tested to contain 7.72% calcium which is almost three times the legal limit of calcium allowed in adult dog food (AAFCO maximum is 2.5%). The Mycotoxin Risk Equivalent Rating was 16 (20 being High Risk), and it contained several bacteria including two bacteria that the FDA calls “Qualifying Pathogens” that pose a “serious threat to public health.” 

Now What Do We Do?

Thixton believes that consumers’ trust in pet food and the regulatory agencies responsible for “testing” these foods is rapidly declining and I believe she is right. I know my trust in them is completely gone after seeing these results. She explains that “it is truly sad that consumers found the many risks in pet food they did. Now we can hope – with this scientific evidence – that authorities will finally listen to the many complaints of consumers and make pet food safe. Not only for the pets, but for the pet people too.”

1. Find A Food That Is Lab Tested and Proven Safe:

Thixton created a list of the safe pet foods from her studies and lab tests that can be purchased for a small donation. What’s crazy and surprising about this list is that there are only 20 dog foods that make the “healthy” list, and NONE of them can be purchased in big box pet stores. They are only available at independent pet food stores, online pet food stores, or purchased directly from the manufacturer. That really makes you think about the integrity of the big box stores and makes me wonder why they are only making unsafe dog foods available for us to purchase and none of the healthy options are on the shelves!

We love to support small businesses any chance that we can since we are a small business ourselves, and this was the third strike for the big box pet stores like PetSmart where I have been buying Zoey’s C/D Urinary Tract food. I will definitely not be buying any more food or other items from big box pet stores after learning that they don’t sell any healthy of the healthy pet food brands. I’m happy to support the small businesses who are morally selling nutritious food.  

2. Feed Your Pet A Homemade Diet Using Balanced Recipes:

The other thing included in Thixton’s list that really excites me is the two homemade dog and cat food recipes! I’m so thrilled to use these recipes and rest assured that I’m providing Zoey and Jem a healthy, organic, homemade diet.

3. Speak Up To Make A Change:

Thixton also encourages us to make a change by sending letters to our representatives in Washington D.C. She only asks that we don’t send petitions – only letters: “No petitions (please) – representatives in government need to receive hundreds of thousands of personal messages directly from pet food consumers demanding change,” she explains. You can simply go to your state government website for the information on how to contact your representatives. She even created a sample letter for you to send without having to do any of the work! 

Sample Letter to Send to Representatives:

Consumers recently raised the funds to test 12 of the most widely-purchased brands of pet foods sold in the U.S. and Canada. What was found in this consumer funded testing were violations of pet food regulations (nutrient imbalances), dangerously high levels of mold (mycotoxins), and very concerning bacterial contamination (bacteria determined by the FDA and CDC to be antibiotic-resistant).

Consumers pay an estimated $1 billion dollars a year to states in sales tax revenue (for pet food purchases alone). Please explain to me what consumers are getting in return for that revenue?

Pet food consumers have been complaining about the condition of pet food since the 2007 pet food recall, complaints have fallen on deaf ears. For more than seven years consumers have waited on FDA to find the lethal contaminant of Chinese jerky treats – FDA has provided us nothing. In 2007 Congress told FDA to establish pet food ingredient standards and definitions, processing standards of pet food and provide updated standards for the labeling of pet food. This work was required – by Congress – to be completed by September 2009. More than five years after the deadline – consumers still wait for the FDA. I ask you, how much longer should consumers wait for safe pet food?

Testing of pet food that should have been performed by tax dollar supported regulatory authorities was done by consumers. Now, consumers – myself – are asking you Why? How? could pet food pose such a serious risk to the pets that consume it and the humans that handle it?

Please read every page of our Pet Food Test Report – you can do that here: http://associationfortruthinpetfood.com/the-pet-food-test-results/

I await your response on this very concerning issue.

Sincerely,

[your name]

 

Thank You For Listening

I hope this post helped open your eyes to how misleading dog food companies and big box retailers are when they claim their food is wholesome and healthy for our pets. We really can’t trust their marketing terms like “natural, no preservatives, non GMO, etc.” because they negate the tried and true results from the tests in the lab. Food is what fuels our bodies and our pets’ little bodies, and it’s so important that we are knowledgeable about what we are feeding them because they depend on us whole heartedly. For the full report and findings from these lab tests click here.

 

99% of all Puppies Sold Online and in Pet Stores are from Puppy Mills


Many of us want to experience the amazing companionship that comes with having a dog of our very own. But millions of people have been naturally conditioned to think “I want to go to the pet store and buy a puppy!” or “let’s look online for breeders!” rather than their instinct being to visit their local animal shelter.

The assumption that so many of us have been accustomed to believing is that we have to find a breeder to get a purebred dog. That is so far from true! The ASPCA says, “purebred dogs end up in shelters just like mixed breeds. Breed rescue groups exist for just about every breed possible. If you have your heart set on a purebred, please be sure to visit your local shelter or find a breed rescue group before searching for a breeder. If you can’t find what you want through a shelter or breed rescue group, please learn how to recognize a responsible breeder.

The harsh reality that most people aren’t aware of is that 99% of all dogs sold in pet stores and online are from a PUPPY MILL, and almost 100% of these puppies are infested with parasites when you purchase them. The ASPCA defines a puppy mill as “a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs—who are often severely neglected—and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices. Unlike responsible breeders, who place the utmost importance on producing the healthiest puppies possible, breeding at puppy mills is performed without consideration of genetic quality. This results in generations of dogs with unchecked hereditary defects. Some puppy mill puppies are sold to pet shops—usually through a broker, or middleman—and marketed as young as eight weeks of age. The lineage records of puppy mill dogs are often falsified. Other puppy mill puppies are sold directly to the public, including over the Internet, through newspaper ads, and at swap meets and flea markets.”

Dogs used for breeding are usually kept in cages with wire floors which injure their paws and legs. Cages are sometimes stacked on top of each other and lined up in columns, so waste falls on the dogs in the cages below them. Poor health, matting, sores, mange, severe dental disease and abscesses are usually widespread with puppy mill dogs. Many sick puppies manage to end up at pet stores and the new puppy owner unknowingly purchases the sick dog.

According to the ASPCA “No Pet Store Puppies” Website:

There are roughly 10,000 puppy mills in the US with Missouri and Oklahoma producing HALF of all the puppies sold in pet stores alone. Some puppy mills can have up to 1,000 adult dogs breeding at once and up to 400 puppies born every year – more than one born per day. Every year there are approximately 4 MILLION puppies born in puppy mills but only about 2,000,000 are sold online and in pet stores because many are born with or develop physical problems that make them unwanted and either end up abandoned or left to die.

Madonna of the Mills, a courageous woman who dedicates her life to saving dogs trapped and tortured in puppy mills, explains that “almost every puppy sold in a pet store has a mother who will spend her entire life in a tiny cage, never being petted, never being walked, never being treated like a dog.” Breeding dogs usually spend their entire lives outdoors and the females usually have little or no recovery time between litters. When the females can no longer reproduce after a few years, the dogs are usually abandoned, shot, or starved until they eventually die.

If you still think that your breeder or pet store is telling the truth about their ethical breeding practices because they are “USDA licensed,” here’s what ASPCA has to say about that:

Below is the trailer for Dog by Dog, a documentary “that aims to wake up the American public to the horrible realities of puppy mills by following the money trail across the United States and confronting those that have maintained this corrupt and irresponsible system.”

There was also a special episode on the Oprah show dedicated to exposing puppy mills after she saw a billboard just off the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago that said ”Oprah: Do a show on puppy mills. The dogs need you” created by Bill Smith, the founder of Main Line Animal Rescue.

There are people out there like the ones you see in the videos that have the resources  and the means to expose the torturous conditions the dogs are living in. But without your help to spread their messages and get the word out to the masses, these dogs will continue to suffer.

Just to give you an idea of how little attention this horrible epidemic receives: The Madonna of the Mills trailer was posted on YouTube 3 years ago has only been viewed 2,007 times as of today. The Oprah episode is the only copy of the show on YouTube and has been viewed 464 times. The dog by dog documentary trailer was posted nearly a year ago and has only received 5,834 views.

People are constantly sharing “viral videos” on social media and talking about them with their friends, so why aren’t videos and documentaries as important as these being shared or viewed just as much if not more?

You are probably feeling just as as troubled, devastated, sick, hurt, and helpless as I am after learning about puppy mills. But you CAN do something to help! It is as easy as SHARING the knowledge and taking a stand against purchasing puppies from pet stores and online! The more people that learn what is going on, take a stand against puppy mills, and stop buying from pet stores that sell puppies, the less puppy mills there will be until they become extinct all together. If no one is buying the puppies, the money-hungry puppy mill owners will have no choice but to stop the cruelty.

There are so many shocking facts and lessons to be learned about puppy mills that cannot possibly be explained in one blog post, so please do more research for yourself and read the ASPCA FAQ’s about puppy mills. 

 

 

Vet Shocked to Find 43.5 Socks Inside a Dog’s Stomach

Vet Shocked to Find 43.5 Socks Inside Dog's Stomach - blog.radiofence.com

A three-year-old Great Dane in Portland, Oregon was rushed to the DoveLewis emergency animal hospital after his owners realized he was vomiting and suffering from extreme pain. An x-ray revealed “a stomach full of a large quantity of foreign material.” He was rushed into surgery, and two hours later Dr. Ashlee Magee was shocked by what she discovered: 43.5 socks inside the dog’s stomach! The dog made a full recovery, however the socks did not.

Vet Shocked to Find 43.5 Socks Inside Dog's Stomach - blog.radiofence.com

The animal hospital’s spokeswoman, Shawna Harch, told news reporters that “it’s perhaps the strangest case in the hospital’s history and certainly the record set for the most socks eaten.” She said the owners were unavailable for comment, and she couldn’t release their names.

Now that I think about it… would you notice if 22 pairs of your socks were missing? Do you even own 22 pairs of socks? I certainly don’t!

The vet hospital heard of a contest hosted by Veterinary Practice News which is a magazine for vets. The contest has been going on for nearly 10 years and is called “They Ate WHAT?” To enter, vets had to submit an x-ray and case details. DoveLewis vet hospital came in third place and won $500! They are using the money for a fund to help low-income families pay for vet bills.

I would love to hear from you! Have your pets eaten anything they shouldn’t have or have they needed surgery? Comment below :)

Important Dog Food Recall Notice


On Tuesday August 26 Pedigree released a voluntary notice of a recall of 22 bags of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food because of “the possible presence of a foreign material.” Pedigree knows that the affected bags were only 15 pound bags sold in Dollar General stores in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana. Pedigree believes that there are “small metal fragments” that may “present a risk of injury if consumed.” However they claim the metal fragments are not “embedded in the food itself.” They are working with Dollar General to get the bags removed from inventory to ensure they are not sold to consumers.

If you have purchased a 15 pound bag of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food from a Dollar General in any of those four states, you can examine the bag to see if yours is one included in the recall. Affected bags have the lot code “432C1KKM03″ printed on the back near the UPC code (23100 10944) and “Best Before 8/5/15″ date.

Pedigree Recall Information from blog.radiofence.com

Pedigree says that no other dog food bags are affected by this recall. If you have any friends or family with dogs that might be affected by this recall, please help by sharing this post via social media so as many people are informed of this as possible.

965 Dogs Dead Presumably From Trifexis

965 Dog Deaths Presumably Caused By Trifexis - blog.radiofence.com

965 Dog Deaths Presumably Caused By Trifexis - blog.radiofence.com

Trifexis – the FDA approved monthly medication created to prevent fleas and heart worms for dogs – may not be safe according to more than 965 people who suspect that their dogs have died from the drug.

Trifexis reports on its website that “to receive FDA approval Trifexis was tested in hundreds of dogs, and detailed clinical reports were submitted for intense review. Adverse events are reported to the FDA, and concerns are thoroughly investigated.” Side effects listed for Trifexis include: vomiting, itching, lethargy, diarrhea, dermatitis, skin reddening, decreased appetite, and pinnal reddening.

Preventative Vet has put together an excellent article concerning the allegations against Trifexis by looking at both sides of the issue. Preventative Vet’s answer to people’s question “does Trifexis kill dogs?” is that “there is currently a suspicion, though no conclusive proof, that there may be some significant safety problems with one of the most popular heartworm preventatives — Trifexis. It appears as though these concerns are being taken seriously and are currently under investigation by the appropriate people and agencies.“ 

Speaking from experience, I gave my dogs Zoey and Jem Trifexis after they were both out of the puppy stage as their first flea/heartworm medication. Zoey had the most trouble with the drug.

When she first started taking Trifexis, I was using it strictly as a preventative rather than a “cure” for any pre -existing conditions. She was young and didn’t have a single case of fleas or heart worm problems, but I knew it was important to take precautions. As soon as she started taking Trifexis, I noticed a very severe change in her stool almost immediately. Her stool had this milky white slimy membrane over it which I had never seen before. I was very concerned. The vet examined her and said it was probably a side effect from the Trifexis, and it was not something I needed to worry about (but of course any dog mom is going to worry!) I decided to follow the vet’s advice and give her another dose of Trifexis the next month (the problem with her stool only seemed to last the first two days after taking it). I was very strict about giving her doses exactly when they were due to keep her as protected as possible from fleas or heart worm.

We moved into a rental home with a large back yard, and the previous owners had cats. I began to suspect she had fleas even though she had been taking Trifexis to prevent them. A visit to the vet confirmed that she did in fact have her first case of fleas! I was shocked, disappointed, and felt gipped. I thought I was doing the right thing by giving her Trifexis to prevent fleas, and then she got them anyway as if the product hadn’t worked at all. After the scary side effect she experienced with her stool and a case of the fleas, it was easy for me to make the decision to take her off of Trifexis without any regrets. Since she has been off of it, she has never had that problem with her stool again and has been 100% flea-free. She now receives a heart worm shot from her vet twice a year that lasts 6 months, and I give her K9 Advantix because she spends lots of time in the woods where we have seen ticks.

The most popular news story covering this topic can be viewed below:

Only you can make the choice when it comes to deciding which flea and heart worm preventatives are best for your family’s dog. Having said that, I think it is extremely important that we all do our own research and understand as best we can all of the options out there and learn from the experiences of others. If Trifexis is causing other peoples’ dogs to have problems and many of them suspect it is the cause of death for their precious pups, then you might decide to air on the side of caution and think carefully before giving it to your dog.

On the other hand, I completely agree with Preventative Vet’s advice on this Trifexis dilemma when they say that “while the investigation is ongoing, you shouldn’t panic and you shouldn’t jump to conclusions – especially if your dog has been safely on Trifexis for some time now. However, If you do decide to change preventatives — which is your right and there are lots of other effective medications out there for you and your veterinarian to choose from — you should be sure to do so only with the counseling and input of your veterinarian.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!