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Recent Innovations In The Dog Food Industry

It seems self-evident (to me, anyway) that dogs can live perfectly healthy, long lives and never ever eat a commercial dog food. Why this fact is so shocking to some dog owners is beyond me; the commercial dog food industry is only about 150 years old! (Dogs have been with us a few thousand years longer.) But maybe it makes so much sense to me because I already went through this with my son. Sure, there are thousands of prepared baby foods on the market – dried flakes, moist purees, and liquid formulas –and you can raise a baby to toddlerhood on nothing but these foods.

Pretty, Empty Words

When it comes to label claims and product descriptions, dog food makers pull out all the stops. We suggest you resist advertising manipulations.

Half-Baked Idea?

but they are not likely to be any less destructive to the nutrients.


Whole Dog Journal’s 1999 Dry Dog Food Review

There are countless pet food manufacturers calling their foods “premium” these days, but were you aware that the word doesn’t actually mean anything? That is, there are no official requirements that a manufacturer has to meet in order to call its food “premium.” And, unfortunately, there are also countless dog owners being taken in by this appellation – people who want “the best” for their dogs, and trust that a high price tag and the word “premium” on the label means they are buying the best food their Buddys could ever want.

What’s In A Name?

Why pet food industry lobbyists spend small fortunes to influence regulators about the definition of chicken.

The Ancestral Dog Food Diet

Dog food as we know it today – that is, either crumbly bits of kibble packaged in bags and boxes or gloopy meat-based concoctions sealed into cans – was invented in 1860. Think about that for a moment. Our great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents raised dogs completely without the benefit of Purina. Before 1860, no one poured a pile of chow from a bag marked, Dog." Everyone who had a dog knew what dogs ate and how to feed them. "

Raw Meat-Based Dog Food Diets

There are some very high-profile illnesses that can result from handling raw meat – scarifying things like E. coli, salmonella, and trichinella. The mere idea of these threats prevents many people interested in “raw feeding” from giving this type of highly beneficial diet a try. So, we’re going to demystify everything that could go wrong with raw meat (but probably won’t). We’ll describe some horrible diseases, and how they would affect a person who got them, and how they would affect a dog.

Finding The Best Dog Foods on The Market

The maker of Health Food For Dogs, Breeder’s Choice of Irwindale, California, has a much better food on the market: Pinnacle, one of our favorite foods. Despite the optimistic name and cold claims on the front label (“Finest Meats & Grains . . . Nutritionally Superior”) this entry falls somewhere in the middle of their offerings in terms of quality; they have better, they have worse. We far prefer the use of chicken meal to their mixed ingredient “poultry meal,” especially as a number one ingredient, but appreciate the use of lamb meal and fish meal to offer a rounded complement of amino acids.

Veggies Yes, Onions No

Too many onions can cause a condition called “Heinz body anemia” in dogs, and though it actually takes quite a whopping dose of onions to cause harm, they are not recommended for dogs in any amount. An editing error saw the inclusion of onions on the list of vegetables that can be added to a dog’s diet. We apologize for the error. Dr. Richard Pitcairn states that chopped parsley, alfalfa sprouts, finely grated carrots, and finely grated zucchini are dogs’ favorite raw vegetables, and corn, peas, green beans, and broccoli are best fed cooked.

Benefits of BARF Raw Food Diet

Recently, I had the great fortune to meet Dr. Ian Billinghurst, who may be described as the modern father of the “bones and raw food” diet for dogs. Dr. Billinghurst was kind enough to take time away from a vacation in San Francisco to talk over lunch. I had a lot of questions for the Australian veterinarian, given that I had just finished editing the article about feeding bones that appears on the previous pages. Dr. Billinghurst was patient, helpful, and full of encouragement for me and all other dog owners who are “sitting on the fence” of the bones issue.

Toxins That Can Arise in Dry Dog Food

For those of you just coming on board: In the July 2000 issue, we published an article called Hidden Killer in Dog Food." The article was inspired by a "case history" we received from a reader who had been through a harrowing experience with her dog. It took the reader several months – and a small fortune – to determine that the sudden onset of very strange and serious neurological problems with her dog was caused by a naturally occurring toxin in her dog's food. As we stated in that article

Hidden Killers in Dog Food

I own a beautiful German Shepherd named Xeus. He comes from very well-known, healthy, wonderful lines. Xeus is sound, has personality galore and a wonderful temperament – he’s just an all-around great German Shepherd. One Saturday in late June 1999, a really nice, hot summer day, my entire family was hanging out in our back yard, enjoying our pool, as we watched Xeus enjoy his kiddie pool. All of a sudden, Xeus jumped out of his wading pool and made a bee-line for the house. I watched him go in, thinking he was just looking for another toy to bring out, but he didn’t come back out.

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