Human-grade or Bust!
I wanted to tell you how grateful I am for WDJ. As a member of a non-profit rescue group in my area, I became interested in canine nutrition and holistic therapy after seeing all the health problems you mentioned in your September 1998 issue on canned dog food, plus an alarming rate of cancer, skin, kidney, liver problems and other diseases in many of our dogs. Your publication is invaluable in helping these wonderful animals.
Of particular interest was your statement, It also means meats that are human grade when referring to the best quality ingredients available in commercial dog food. I am all too aware of the inclusion of grain and vegetable discards and 4-D meats in dog food (not to mention rancid oils and other fats). You tell it like it is regarding the pet food industrys practices and I agree that an ingredient unfit for human consumption is not fit for my dog.
With that in mind, I was disappointed to see that out of the top 10 canned dog foods featured, only two, California Natural and Spots Stew, were listed as using human-grade ingredients. The other foods were given high marks for being forthcoming about the sources of ingredients and devoted to quality ingredients but I cannot understand why some of these companies use human-grade ingredients and others dont. After all, they are targeting a market of people who want the very best for their dogs and are willing to pay a premium price.
If these companies are devoted to the health of our dogs as they claim, they should use the highest quality ingredients, which to me means human-grade. In addition, why would I pay $1.79 a can (in my area) for food with organic beef in it if the other ingredients are not human-grade? By the way, that particular company used to advertise human-grade ingredients and when I called the company to ask why they stopped I got no comment as my answer. Most dog food manufacturers are tight-lipped about their ingredients a red flag if I ever saw one and not exactly a sign of product pride.
I agree that these top 10 companies are the best of the best but if they want my business, theyd better pull their socks up and guarantee only human-grade ingredients.
By the way, I made that appointment with my friendly neighborhood butcher three years ago and feed only fresh human-grade meat, grain and vegetables to my five dogs. If you learn to shop wisely it doesnt cost much more than dog food and saves lots of money on vet bills.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Supplement for Arthritis
I just finished the article about caring for older dogs (WDJ August 1998). I have a 14-year-old German Shepherd. His health is generally good, but he started going down on his back legs due to the start of degenerative myelopathy.
I have already had to put three dogs down two due to DM, and one to arthritis in her hips. All three dogs were 13 1/2 to 14 years of age, and all were German Shepherds.
This past Christmas, I received a card from a friend in which she told us about her Shepherds arthritis. Her dog cried even while lying down, worse when she tried stairs. Our friends veterinarian put the dog on a supplement called Cartiflex, and the dogs pain started to diminish within two weeks! After six weeks she was pain-free.
I called my friend right away to find out more about this wonderful stuff! After a long search, I found it. I started my dog on Cartiflex on February 16, 1998 and in four weeks I could see the difference in his rear end. He was definitely standing up better on his back feet and legs.
This dog had been so bad that he would drag his back toenails when he walked. Simply walking on cement (in his exercise area) had worn down his nails so short that his toes started bleeding. I had to bandage them and put booties on them. But now hes much improved! He hardly drags his rear feet; he picks them up higher almost like when he was young. My veterinarians are amazed at his improvement and I hope Ill have my dog with me at least another year.
Cartiflex contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulfates, Omega 3 fatty acids, sea algae powder, DL methionine, vitamin E, and selenium. My dog weighs about 75 to 80 pounds. I started him on three capsules per day for about seven weeks, then cut him to two a day, which I am still giving him. As long as he continues to do well, I will keep him on them. I hope this information will help other dog owners.
-Lila C. Neviska
Helpful, But Not Supportive
Although I certainly agree with your disdain of multi-level marketing schemes you mentioned in Multi-Level Marketing Mysteries (WDJ May 1998), there are many other avenues by which you may obtain blue-green algae. Try L & H Vitamins, Inc. in Long Island City, New York, (800) 221-1152 or contact the manufacturer directly at (800) 800-1300.
Regarding car safety for canines (WDJ June 1998): I recommend The Car Safety Strap, available from Master Animal Care in Hazelton, PA, (800) 346-0749. This snaps onto any harness and actually clips INTO the seatbelt BUCKLE. This way your buddy cannot pullllll that seatbelt out and distract you with kisses or get in your lap while you are driving.
I found your publication very narrow in scope and not very well-informed. Good luck anyway.
Snuggling up to the Snuggle Ball
We are new subscribers to WDJ. Upon reading the first issue we would like to comment on Strange & Wonderful Bedfellows (July 1998).
The article does not recommend the Flexi-Mat Snuggle Ball. We have purchased several dog beds for our Beagle and German Short-Haired Pointer. We tried one of the large Snuggle Balls and it quickly became the bed of choice for the Beagle. It is a little small for the Pointer, but she also loves to relax in it.
We have purchased additional Snuggle Balls and they are always the first beds chosen, though were not sure why.
Our Beagle likes to have support against his back. The Snuggle Ball gives this support completely around the bed. We have another bed which supports only one side of the dog and it is visited only occasionally.
We also think our dogs like the feel of the fleecy sheepskin-type material. And the beds wash wonderfully in a commercial front-loading washer.
-Bill and Connie Kiessling