Everyone loves their pets. The dogs are members of the family. To lots of us, they are like kids– the furry one. But are we as careful enough with what we feed our pets as we are with what we feed our children? Normally, commercials for pet food claim that they eat “real” food, but the ingredients end up being some things like wheat gluten meal, corn by-products, andanimal by-products. One of the most popular brands of dog food,Nestlé’s Purina Beneful brand, is currently facing a class action lawsuit claiming that their food caused serious health problems or even death in more than 3,000 dogs. A small digging into consumer reviews of Beneful comes back with lots of stories of dogs who were suffering from massive internal health problems. Maybe it is time to start looking more carefully at the food with whichyou’re feeding your dog and start replacing the chicken by-product meal with an actual chicken.
- What is the Deal with Conventional Dog Food?
There are several dog owners who are waiting for the decision in the class action lawsuit against Beneful. Similar distressing symptomshavethe reviews from dog owners who have fed their dogs with Beneful. These dogs develop incontinence, liver malfunction, internal bleeding, and seizures. There are two ingredients which are potentially causing the most of the damage. The first ingredient is propylene glycol, a chemical that is used in antifreeze that,on the other hand, has been approved by the FDA for dog food and other products such ascake mixesandsalad dressings. Propylene glycol caused banning of products in Europe. It’s considered less toxic than the ethylene glycol who is usually used in antifreeze, but it’s still a chemical that you shouldn’t let your dog to eat.
A different possible cause of these dog poisonings is mycotoxins that comes from improperly stored grains. With the widespread occurrences of liver failure cited in the lawsuit, it makes sense that this is being caused by toxins. Lots of dog foods contain large amounts of grain from numerous sources, so the testing for contaminated ingredients is ineffectiveandinconsistent. Lax testing and regulation combined with the tendency of large corporations to meet the basic minimum standards for quality makes it more than possible that many other dogs’ foods, includingPurina Beneful contain mycotoxins. Numerous consumers reported that their Beneful products had maggots. Several symptoms reported by pet owners have mycotoxin poisoning. Since conventional dog food relies greatly on grains, without extensive regulating, the risk of mycotoxins will always be there.
- Is Homemade Dog Food the Answer?
It’s very interesting to note the ways in which food for dogs reflects our food. Conventional dog food brings to mind fast food –easyand cheap. What will happen if everyone puts as much care into our pet’s food as into ours? It sounds like a lot of moneyand alot of work. Even like that, reading the stories from Beneful customers who have had to watchtheir dogs suffer, or found them dead is really sobering. Does the money and time balance out in the end?
You have to check the ingredients in your dog food. You should avoid animal by-products, excessive sugar, grains, and preservatives. If you make your dog’s food at home, you can feed it with a balanced diet of whole foods without any preservativesorchemicals. Mix organic, rawvegetables and organic, grass fed ground meat such asbison or beef in a food processor. You can use a range of vegetables (except onions, of course!) and also add extras like avocadooreggs. If your dog is having health problems, home-made food can make all the difference in the world.