A year after pet food recall, still buyer beware

Postby cheekymunkee » March 17th, 2008, 11:21 pm

A year after pet food recall, still buyer beware
Main efforts, not fully implemented yet, criticized for lack of bite

One year after contaminated pet food killed potentially thousands of dogs and cats, few safety measures have gone into effect.

While pet food safety legislation has been passed and an industry commission has made recommendations to improve the safety and quality standards for pet food, some critics say the efforts, even when they are fully implemented, may not amount to much more than the fox guarding the hen house.

The federal legislation, for instance, relies on manufacturers to voluntarily recall contaminated pet food. “As long as it’s voluntary, there will always be breaches,â€
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Postby Tiger » March 18th, 2008, 12:01 pm

Never, never, NEVER would I go back to feeding kibble to my dogs for exactly these reasons. You cannot really EVER know if any kibble is safe, or not. I only wish I could entice my cats to go raw as well :-(

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Postby mikeV » March 20th, 2008, 12:41 pm

On March 18 2008, 11:01 AM, Tiger wrote:Never, never, NEVER would I go back to feeding kibble to my dogs for exactly these reasons. You cannot really EVER know if any kibble is safe, or not. I only wish I could entice my cats to go raw as well :-(

~Tiger


What is to say that "raw" is 100% safe as well? :|
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Postby Tiger » March 20th, 2008, 2:15 pm

On March 20 2008, 11:41 AM, mikeV wrote:
On March 18 2008, 11:01 AM, Tiger wrote:Never, never, NEVER would I go back to feeding kibble to my dogs for exactly these reasons. You cannot really EVER know if any kibble is safe, or not. I only wish I could entice my cats to go raw as well :-(

~Tiger


What is to say that "raw" is 100% safe as well? :|


Nothing is ever 100% safe in life. I can, however, know EXACTLY what it is that I am feeding my animals with raw. One cannot say that with prepared animal foods because you have no control over what goes into that food.

~Tiger

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Postby cheekymunkee » March 20th, 2008, 3:57 pm

On March 20 2008, 1:15 PM, Tiger wrote:
On March 20 2008, 11:41 AM, mikeV wrote:
On March 18 2008, 11:01 AM, Tiger wrote:Never, never, NEVER would I go back to feeding kibble to my dogs for exactly these reasons. You cannot really EVER know if any kibble is safe, or not. I only wish I could entice my cats to go raw as well :-(

~Tiger


What is to say that "raw" is 100% safe as well? :|


Nothing is ever 100% safe in life. I can, however, know EXACTLY what it is that I am feeding my animals with raw. One cannot say that with prepared animal foods because you have no control over what goes into that food.

~Tiger

~Tiger


Yup.
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Postby mikeV » March 20th, 2008, 4:02 pm

On March 20 2008, 1:15 PM, Tiger wrote:
On March 20 2008, 11:41 AM, mikeV wrote:
On March 18 2008, 11:01 AM, Tiger wrote:Never, never, NEVER would I go back to feeding kibble to my dogs for exactly these reasons. You cannot really EVER know if any kibble is safe, or not. I only wish I could entice my cats to go raw as well :-(

~Tiger


What is to say that "raw" is 100% safe as well? :|


Nothing is ever 100% safe in life. I can, however, know EXACTLY what it is that I am feeding my animals with raw. One cannot say that with prepared animal foods because you have no control over what goes into that food.

~Tiger

~Tiger


Oh? So you know for sure that the raw diet you feed is 100% free of salmonella, E-Coli and any other bacteria that may harm an animal?
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Postby cheekymunkee » March 20th, 2008, 4:16 pm

I dont worry about bacteria because my dogs are healthy, if they suffered from compromised immune systems I might have a worry but since they do not..I have no worries.
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Postby cheekymunkee » March 20th, 2008, 4:29 pm

And btw there has been dog food recalled more than once for salmonella. :wink:
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Postby Tiger » March 20th, 2008, 7:06 pm

On March 20 2008, 3:02 PM, mikeV wrote:
On March 20 2008, 1:15 PM, Tiger wrote:
On March 20 2008, 11:41 AM, mikeV wrote:
On March 18 2008, 11:01 AM, Tiger wrote:Never, never, NEVER would I go back to feeding kibble to my dogs for exactly these reasons. You cannot really EVER know if any kibble is safe, or not. I only wish I could entice my cats to go raw as well :-(

~Tiger


What is to say that "raw" is 100% safe as well? :|


Nothing is ever 100% safe in life. I can, however, know EXACTLY what it is that I am feeding my animals with raw. One cannot say that with prepared animal foods because you have no control over what goes into that food.

~Tiger

~Tiger


Oh? So you know for sure that the raw diet you feed is 100% free of salmonella, E-Coli and any other bacteria that may harm an animal?


Do I know for 100% certain that what I feed is 100% free from bacteria?? Goodness no *laugh*, but I know for 100% certain that I feel a lot safer feeding them raw when I control the ingredients - versus feeding them kibble - which I have no control over what the heck is in it! No one knows if what they eat tomorrow is going to be a danger to them - but they can certainly apply common sense and see if there are constant recalls of a particular brand - well, might better stay away from that stuff!

And you need not act so snooty. I made a comment that I feel safer feeding raw because of the recalls and that there is no way I will go back to kibble. It is no skin off of your nose what I feed my dogs, now is it? :rolleyes2:


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Postby SisMorphine » March 21st, 2008, 7:07 am

We have seen a HUGE increase in pet food clients since the recalls. Just yesterday I had two people come in who are getting new dogs and they used to feed Euk or SciDi or whatevs, and now they either want to switch to kibble with responsible sourcing or they want to know about raw. We have clients who want to know the sourcing on EVERYTHING in our store, right down to the kitty litter that we carry. Luckily for our clients my boss is VERY thorough about her sourcing, which is why we are so selective about the foods and such that we carry.

I feed raw and is it 100% free of bacteria? Hell no! I'm sure my dogs have ingested salmonella or e. coli or something. But they are healthy dogs, their immune systems are fine, and a dog's digestive system is developed to be able to handle eating raw foods, thus dealing with the bacteria that comes along with it.
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Postby Malli » March 21st, 2008, 3:27 pm

One also might consider what doesn't leave their mouth (bacteria-wise) until they groom themselves or give their people around kisses; even if they do kill the bacteria in digestion...

I just wanted to make that observation, I'm by no means looking to get into the RAW vs. kibble debate.
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Postby blabsforbullies » March 21st, 2008, 4:03 pm

On March 21 2008, 2:27 PM, Malli wrote:One also might consider what doesn't leave their mouth (bacteria-wise) until they groom themselves or give their people around kisses; even if they do kill the bacteria in digestion...

I just wanted to make that observation, I'm by no means looking to get into the RAW vs. kibble debate.


I, too, have no interest in getting into a debate :wink: , as I feel it is an individual choice. I have as a veterinarian, however, seen problems with the raw diet as well. Calcium/phosphorus imbalances (causing pathologic fractures in apparently healthy dogs), too high protein percentage causing organ stress and failure, bacterial overgrowth, etc... Malli makes an excellent point as well.

Plus, unless you are doing extensive workups on your dogs (such as autoimmune profiles, chemistry/CBC frequently, generational studies on your pets to see if they are prone to diseases like renal disease, thyroid disease, dysplasia, as these diseases are certainly partly related to genetics), most of us have no idea about immune system health. Even humans who are healthy with no chronic debilitating diseases are prone to a virus, a bacterial problem, food poisoning, etc. It happens. :? It could happen with ANY diet.

I guess my point is that even though you can control the ingredients, you cannot control the handling of those ingredients prior to you purchasing them. You cannot control the storage of them (the temperature, the cleanliness of those that handle the product), nor can you control what those animals (in the case of meat products) ate before slaughter. You cannot control the bacterial contamination on some of the fruits/vegetables (more E. coli problems come from produce than from meat). Again, just making the point that there are a lot of things that are out of our control. :neutral: The things we can control include educating ourselves and making informed decisions for our furry kids. For me, that includes evaluating the research that companies have done on their food. Some companies don't do that... and that is an issue for me. :x

If you chose to feed raw, I would think it would be because you feel your pets do better on it overall. There are so many things that are out of our control, and yes, the food recall was awful. :cry: My puppy's mother died from it. But, humans are involved in the chain of every diet preparation.

As you said Tiger, common sense prevails... or should, anyway. :wink: I think the verdict is still out scientifically about the raw diet. For me, and my pets (just an opinion for what is right for my animals), I am comfortable with feeding kibble that I have researched and know have passed AFCO testings. :prescription: But, to each his own! It is all of our jobs to be an advocate for what is best for our pets! :highfive:
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Postby Tiger » March 21st, 2008, 6:45 pm

Feeding raw, for my dogs is/was a very thoroughly thought out and heavily researched decision.

Last November, my German Shepherd, Bo, passed away quietly in his sleep at the age of 17 1/2 years. He was raw fed his entire life and was never once sick. He never once needed his teeth cleaned. He was spry and frisky up until a few months just before he passed on. I adopted Bo at age 2 years and he came to me being fed on a raw diet with the admonition that he was allergic to all grains and that if I wanted him to be healthy, I needed to keep him on his raw diet.

So I did. Faithfully. I took Bo in annually for check-ups, and his doctor opined that he was one of the healthiest dogs that she had ever had the privilege to know.

While I was busy feeding Bo his raw meaty bones over the years, my other dogs were fed "high quality kibble" (Science Diet, Iams, Nutro, etc.),
along with an occasional RMB because I felt that I just could not afford to feed the entire pack completely on RMB diet.

Player, my now almost 12 y/o border collie had constant dry skin. His coat was dull and lank. He was plagued by ear mites.

Player was always irritable and had severe periodontal disease. He had to have his teeth cleaned at least 2 - sometimes three times a year.

Doja, now almost 5 y/o APBT had constant problems with her ears as well. She also had a long bout (over 6 months) with generalized demodex.

Gracie, now 4 years old, APBT, had very dry skin and would scratch and cry because she itched so badly all of the time.

Draven, (who actually belongs to one of my children but lived with me), 7 y/o female Rottweiler - extremely dry skin. Prone to hot spots. Prone to flea allergies. She would scratch and scratch until she BLED. Severe periodontal disease - had to have several teeth pulled in addition to 6 month cleanings.

Bud, 5 y/o male APBT x Black Mouth Cur, (belongs to same child as Draven and also lived with me), suffered from IBS. Either constipated, or diarrhea. No in betweens. Ever.

And....my Mother lost 2 of her cats and her Pomeranian to the Menu pet foods' issues last year.....

After Bo passed away and after watching my Mother grieve her loss, I started considering how different Bo was health wise vs.. his kibble fed pack mates. Here was this German Shepherd that lived to be 17.5 years old. Not only that, he was healthy his entire life. He was never once sick. His teeth were pearly white and they had never needed to be cleaned. He did not smell as badly as the other dogs. And he seemed happier than the other dogs did. Sure he slowed down some there at the end, but he never needed arthritis medications. His kidneys were still in great shape, his liver, pancreas, cholesterol, and diabetes screenings were always normal.

I had, for lack of a better term, an epiphany. Why was I feeding my other dogs kibble when they were in poorer health than this old, raw fed GSD, who passed away gently at 17.5 years of age? For me, that was the complete turning point. I switched every dog in my house to raw and I have not looked back. Otis and Domino came to live with me at 6 weeks of age and went straight onto raw. Every single one of these dogs' health has done a 180 and improved until they are like new dogs. Doja and Player have had no further ear trouble whatsoever. Bud's bowels have normalized. Draven, Player, Gracie - coats all bright and shiny as new pennies and not an itch between them. Player became less irritable. (He's still and a$$, but somewhat less so than he was before).

The only difference? What they eat on a daily basis. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that could convince me that it was not the change of diet that did it, either. Even their vet agrees that they are much healthier dogs now and she approves of the choice I have made to go raw with all of them.

~Tiger
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