Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Does Your Dog Need Expensive Food?

Susan in her attire

This was posted on Truth About Pet Food and is written by Susan Thixton, a true dog food safety advocate.
Build A Better Dog and Jerry Pardue thanks Susan for her tireless and hope she is doing some major butt kicking at the AFFCO meeting in Florida this week.

The following message was sent to Money Talks News via their contact form…
Your recent story – “Does Your Dog Need Expensive Pet Food?” was full of incorrect and misleading statements.  “Complete breakdown of the dog food aisle”?  No, this is not even close.
The veterinarian you featured in your story is one of a dying breed.  Old school veterinarians that cannot comprehend the simple fact that quality nutrition DOES improve pet health are becoming the veterinarian that educated consumers avoid.  She speaks on a subject she clearly knows little of (pet food).  As example…
Dr. Heyerly DVM stated “If your dog doesn’t have a job, the protein is wasted.”
This is implying that higher cost pet foods all contain high levels of protein.  Some higher cost pet foods contain higher levels of protein, and some higher cost pet foods contain quality protein.  With pet food, the search for quality meat and vegetable ingredients is significant.
I would guess Dr. Heyerly and Money Talks News is not aware of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Compliance Policies that allow horrendous waste into pet food such as euthanized animals and 4D animals (dead, diseased, dying, disabled).  Federal law requires that all foods (human and animal) contain meat ONLY from slaughtered USDA inspected and approved animals.  However FDA provides the pet food industry loopholes to avoid these federal laws.  As example:  FDA CPG Sec. 690.300 states “Policy:  Pet food consistingof material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, which is in violation of 402(a)(5) will not ordinarily be actionable, if it is not otherwise in violation of the law. It will be considered fit for animal consumption.”
Pet food consisting of material from diseased animals will be considered fit for pet consumption.  Does Dr. Heyerly and Money Talk News believe this is appropriate pet food?  Even for a cheap price?
Without informing pet food consumers to seek out pet foods that contain quality ingredients (USDA inspected and approved meats and vegetables), Dr. Heyerly and Money Talk News is basically advising consumers that cheap pet foods using cheap waste meats sourced from diseased animals or euthanized animals – which are in violation of federal law – are suitable for the pet.  Again, is this what Money Talk News really wants to tell pet food consumers?
And Dr. Heyerly proves she has no understanding of the pet food industry with her statement “The ones that add in the by-products and fruits and veggies, the carbohydrates, are better foods all around for the dog.”  If the “by-products” are not USDA inspected and approved, such as the liver of a drugged, diseased animal, how in the world could this be a better dog food?
And then your advice Mr. Johnson…”Bottom line, if pet food prices give you pause, just take a look at the label.  Look for the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and find the cheapest price you can on the foods you need.”
Quality aside for a moment, on the pet food label the protein and fat in the pet food is required by state and federal law to be stated as minimum (not actual).  As example a Guaranteed Analysis of a dog food might state 18% protein and 6% fat on the label.  However the actual protein and fat percentage of the pet food could be 30% and 20% (respectively).  Plus, there is no requirement in pet food regulations to provide carbohydrate information on the label.  How can a consumer “look for the right amount of protein, carbohydrates” if the information is not provided or not stated as the actual amount?
I must ask you Mr. Johnson, knowing that FDA allows pet foods to contain waste ingredients rejected for use in human foods, do you still feel “cheapest price” is the best advice to pet food consumers?
I would be glad to provide Money Talk News (and Dr. Heyerly for that matter) with more information on how to find a true quality pet food sourced from quality ingredients.  Plus I would be able to provide Money Talk News with the names and contact information of veterinarians that understand that good health and good quality food go hand in hand.  If you are going to provide advice to pet food consumers, at least provide accurate information.
I would like a reply to this message.
Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate

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