Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Grass-eating Dogs May Be Missing Nutrition

Recently Dr. Wendy Zimmerman, DVM, CVA, of Pet Food Direct, wrote an interesting blog titled, Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?¹ In it she discusses several theories among pet professionals as to why dogs might like to help you trim your lawn. Several possibilities pertain to a pet’s diet and are expanded upon in this post.


Heredity

“Dogs descended from wild canids (wolves/fox etc),” writes Dr. Zimmerman. “Wild wolves/fox will eat the entire “kill” when hunting for food and many of the animals they hunt are herbivores (plant-eating). As the stomach contents of the prey are consumed by the hunter, so is the grass and vegetation eaten by the prey animal. Some suggest that dogs enjoy grass so much because it is inherited from their lineage.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Does Your Pet’s Food Have in Common with Rat Poison?

No loving pet owner would knowingly feed poison to their pet. But what dog and cat owners don’t know is that their pet food and rat poison have a common ingredient: Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is one of many synthetic vitamins routinely added to pet foods, even those marketed as “natural.¹”

Synthetic Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is one of the main active ingredients used in many rodenticides, like Quintox® and Rampage®. It kills rats dead. So it’s no coincidence that the most serious recalls of pet food involving synthetic vitamins were due to excessive synthetic Vitamin D3.

Cholecalciferol

Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is a single-dose or multiple-dose rodenticide that causes mobilization of calcium from the bone matrix to plasma and death from hypercalcemia.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pet Food Makers Mum on Ingredient Sources

Ever tried to contact the company that makes your pet’s food? Did they answer the question you had completely and honestly? Susan Thixon, the force behind TruthAboutPetFood.com, set out to test how pet food companies respond to consumer inquiries. She contacted more than 50 companies with one simple question and reported the results in a recent blog post.


Truth About Pet Food’s “Test”

Susan admits that the question she asked, “What is the country of origin of ingredients in your pet foods? All ingredients,” was a bit of a trick question. Truth About Pet Food wanted to know if the companies would include the country of origin of the added vitamin and mineral supplements in their foods. “Many pet food vitamins and minerals are sourced from Europe and Asia (including China),” writes Susan. “We have to assume that ‘China’ is the word many pet food companies want to avoid telling consumers.”

Of the over 50 companies contacted, 23 completely ignored the request. Of those that did respond, only eight included the country of origin of their added vitamins and

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Wellness Petfood Recall: Too Little, Too Much, or Just Right?

Yet another pet food recall has many people concerned about the quality and safety of the foods they feed their companion animals. The February 28, 2011 Wellness voluntary recall of certain lots of its canned cat foods was due to inadequate levels of thiamine, or Vitamin B1. The company states that cats fed only product with inadequate levels of thiamine for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency.¹

The Wellness cat food recall shows us just one of the problems associated with the practice of adding man-made vitamins and minerals to pet food. In the Wellness case, it was too little Vitamin B1. In the Blue Buffalo dog food recall of October 2010, too much Vitamin D was present, creating the potential for toxicity. With the exception of Nature’s Logic, all commercial pet food manufacturers producing dry kibble or canned food add chemically-synthesized vitamins and minerals to their foods.