Sunday, April 08, 2007

What's in Your Pet's Food?

According to Pet Connection, 3570 pets have lost their lives due to the tainted wheat gluten in various pet food products. The FDA is reporting very low numbers. There is a huge disconnect going on here. The FDA numbers are very suspect because they admit that they have no time to investigate individual pet deaths but instead are still focused on tracking the poison. Pet Connection's figures are reported by pet-owners who have registered at their site.

Regardless of the numbers, this incident clues us in that pet foods are not thoroughly inspected in this country and that we need to look carefully at the ingredients on anything we feed our companion animals.

Many of us did not realize that "meat by-products" means just about any dead animal that can be carried to a rendering plant, including euthanized pound dogs and cats, their carcasses containing pentobarbital or something equally unpleasant to think about being in kitty cat's dinner bowl. Various fillers and grains are major ingredients, including the notorious "wheat gluten" that was shipped from China. I'm sure we are all wondering why pet foods made in the US and Canada need to purchase wheat products from China.

This Daily Kos diary is full of recommendations from pet owners for healthier foods. Fortunately, I was not feeding my animal pals any of the items on the list, but after reading jhritz's diary, I definitely began to question what I had been feeding them -- high priced branded food that turns out to be just the same as the store house brands, with animal by-products listed among the ingredients. So I switched to Wellness brand food over the weekend. My cat, Caliban (as seen above), has had hairball problems since the day I got him from a rescue society. It's early days, but so far, the new food is staying down and so are the hairballs. Oberon, the huskador retriever, will eat anything so his change of diet at the moment is more comforting to me than to him. I will be keeping close tabs on both of them over the coming weeks.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

China did not export any "wheat gluten" to US.

Anonymous said...

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Village Green said...

Anonymous #1 -- You are correct. Canada imported the wheat gluten, but then somehow it got shipped to plants in the US. The point is -- why wheat products from China when Canada and the US harvest mega amounts of wheat per year?

Anonymous #2 -- Thank you so much for posting here and sharing the link.

KevinBBG said...

Thanks for the tips on healthier foods, unfortunately my cats are very finicky and will simply walk away from anything they don't want so I don't know what I can get them to eat, but I'll give it a try.

But they are both very healthy and look great with almost no vet visits.