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Pet food

Commercial food is unhealthy for your pet

Sunday, February 13, 2011 by: Madeleine Innocent
Tags: pet food, health, health news

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(NewsTarget) People often have the common belief that most commercial pet food is perfectly balanced, nutritious and healthy. Especially if their veterinarian sells it. However, little could be further from the truth.

Most advertising tends to show what people believe to be learned from scientists, but the information is actually just endorsing a product. Then, slogans reinforce this with clever wording: such as 'organic', 'natural', 'no added preservatives', 'perfectly balanced', 'scientifically proved', 'veterinary approved', or other fashionable but not necessarily meaningful words.

Looking a little deeper, you may find something completely different, even alarming. And with it, a growing belief, especially amongst holistic veterinarians and animal natural therapists, that it is this that is the main cause of so many pet health problems.

Firstly, the quality of the meat. Most of this comes from rendering plants. These are adjuncts to slaughter houses which take in and process otherwise waste foods: such as supermarket rejects, waste from slaughtered animals (heads, hooves, beaks, feet, etc), euthanised cats and dogs from veterinary clinics, dead animals (from control measures, farms, roadkill, etc). The bodies are often left for days, rotting in the heat of the day, before being processed. ID tags, flea collars, identity tags and so forth are not removed.

A recent study also found some pet foods contain toxic levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, and even nuclear waste.

This 'raw material' is often then bulked out with a filler, to make the 'meat' go further. This can be anything that is low cost on the world commodity market - sugar, sawdust, newspaper, nut shells, melamine, to mention just a few.

At some stage, preservatives are added, preservatives such as ethoxyquin or formaldehyde. Neither of these preservatives are allowed in human food because of their high toxicity. Sadly, few people care about animals. Animals can't vote. The few laws governing pet food are ineffective and rarely enforced, depending on the country. If the rendering plant adds the preservative, rather than the pet food manufacturer, they can legally claim they did not add it.

The pet food industry realises that this end result is not very nutritious or healthy, so synthetic and isolated 'nutrients' are added. However, nutrients that are isolated are not natural and cannot be easily digested or utilised. Sometimes they can pass through undigested. Other times they can hang up in parts of the body, creating problems.

There is growing awareness of this problem and some small pet food companies with high ethics are emerging. However, unless you remain ever vigilant, you will never know when they have been sold on, often to the less ethical, more economically aware companies.

Perhaps the sure fire way of feeding your pet quality and healthy food is to make your own, from scratch. Daunting as this sounds, once you have learned the basics, it becomes an automatic part of your life.

There are some tricks to the conversion process, as this can produce typical detoxing symptoms, especially in older animals. Professional guidance and help through this process is strongly recommended.


About the author

Madeleine Innocent is a full time natural health consultant specialising in diet-for-health and homeopathy. She treats both people and animals within these two disciplines and offers consultations in her clinic in Perth Australia and on-line.
You can find her at

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