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Originally published December 9 2008

Dr. Marty Becker’s Pet Food Endorsement

by Susan Thixton

(NaturalNews) Celebrities are often asked to endorse a product; the result for the endorsed product is typically soaring sales. Celebrity Veterinarians have joined in the endorsement game. The question that hangs in the background of endorsements is: Just because a product is endorsed by a Celebrity, does it mean you should purchase it?

Good Morning America viewers and readers of Pet Connection, a syndicated weekly pet care feature, are very familiar with veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker. Recently, Dr. Becker endorsed a new style of dog food, Whole Meals Dog Food.

The Whole Meals website features a video starring Dr. Becker who states he believes Whole Meals Dog Food is a 'homerun' dog food. The new dog food by Mars Petcare is 'biometrically designed' – shaped like a bone. The video featuring Dr. Becker and a Mars Petcare Veterinarian, brags about the pet food bone's "meaty interior" – and that this new dog food lets dogs do what they do naturally – chew on a meal that's shaped like a bone.

Dr. Becker makes a good pitch about this new food, however a closer look at the ingredients causes you to wonder why a veterinarian would endorse the dog food. provides the following first ten ingredients for the Mars Petcare produced dog food endorsed by Dr. Becker: "Rice Flour, Chicken by-product meal (a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin), meat broth, wheat flour, glycerin, corn gluten meal, corn flour, vegetable oil (source of Omega 6 fatty acid), soy protein isolate, propylene glycol".

Ingredients listed for pet foods are in order of pre-cooking weight, heaviest to lightest; the first five to ten ingredients make up a huge majority of the food. The first ten ingredients of Whole Meals Dog Food contains no meat (by-products by definition are not meat). A scanning of the rest of the ingredients doesn't show any meat ingredients either; nor does this food contain probiotics to strengthen the immune system or chelated minerals for better absorption. Whole Meals Dog Food reports a Guaranteed Analysis of 23% protein. Pet owners can assume that since this bone shaped dog food contains no meat, only by-products along with a large variety of rice, corn & wheat ingredients – the majority of the protein in this dog food comes from vegetable sources, not meat.

Science has proven that both dogs and cats thrive on a meat based diet. While dogs are considered omnivores, capable to sustain life on meat or vegetables, most animal nutrition experts believe to thrive, dogs must be provided an ample source of meat protein in their diets. By pet food industry definition, by-products, as used in Dr. Becker`s recommended dog food, contains no meat.

Dr. Marty Becker has the right to endorse any pet food he chooses; alternatively, perhaps any pet food that chooses him. It's disappointing however, that any veterinarian would endorse a dog food or cat food that does not contain the slightest bit of meat (just for starters); even more so, a 'celebrity veterinarian' who has the ability to influence many pet owners. It is a shame Dr. Becker didn't take a similar path as Paul Newman with all of the Newman's Own products. Newman's Own products not only are associated with quality, the profits provided benefit numerous charities. Dr. Becker could take a lesson from the late Paul Newman.

Wishing you and your pet the best,

Susan Thixton

About the author

Susan Thixton has an international pet people following providing dog and cat lovers a trusted source for pet food and pet food ingredient information. She's been called courageous, perseverant, even "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food. Susan Thixton is the author of hundreds of pet industry articles and the 2006 released book Truth About Pet Food (currently being updated for a second edition). She developed and publishes the pet product consumer magazine Petsumer Report and is a frequent speaker and radio guest all over the U.S. and Canada with more than 70 appearances in the last 2 years.
If you are looking for straight forward pet food information that can have an almost immediate impact on your pet's health - subscribe to the free newsletter, and subscribe to Petsumer Report to see reviews of close to 700 dog and cat foods and treats (adding 40+ each month). Susan Thixton's 'truth' will help you find a safer, healthier dog or cat food that could add years to your pet's life.

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