One of my ‘Truth’ newsletter subscribers recently shared with me the loss of one of her cats, suddenly, to kidney disease. Her cat was fine, then abruptly became sick; within two days needed to be put down due to his kidneys being full of ‘sludge and stones’. She shared with me she was heartbroken, and that somehow she was to blame for her cat’s death. She bears a burden of quilt and second guessing herself that millions of pet owners have also endured.
One of the biggest concerns for every pet owner since the recall in 2007, with every bag or can of pet food they open, is if the pet food is safe. Although the recall was almost two years ago, its memory still haunts us and alters our actions. This pet owner – LW – biggest fear was canned or moist foods; canned foods made by Menu Foods, contained intentionally contaminated ingredients and were responsible for thousands of pet deaths and illnesses. LW’s gut feeling, that little voice that you hear in your head, kept telling her that canned/moist foods were the riskiest should another melamine recall begin. Justifiably so, melamine continues to make headlines almost daily worldwide. She made a decision that she felt was the safest option for all of her pets, the same decision that more than likely millions of pet owners have made, that a quality dry food was the safest option for her pets.
If Las Vegas took odds on whether a dry pet food or a canned pet food will be the next to be recalled for melamine, the odds would more than likely be stacked against canned foods. They have a deadly history. LW was playing the safe odds.
In reality, no pet owner chooses to ‘gamble’ with the life of their pet. However, it seems it is what we all are faced with, every single day. There is no guarantee; no one perfect dog food or cat food, no one perfect method of feeding your pet (dry, canned, raw, home cooked). We have to stay informed, educate ourselves as much as possible, make the decision on what we feel is the best choice, and cross our fingers we did it ‘right’.
Sadly, there is so little information available to base that decision on. There are very few studies we can read (and understand) that are not biased, yet it seems every other television commercial or radio advertisement hammers us with pet food marketing. Sadly, even our trusted veterinarians are close to forcing pet owners to choose pet foods many have learned contain ingredients we would never knowingly feed our pets. We all feel alone, facing one of the biggest decisions for our pets; what food is safe and healthy?
We are forced to trust someone, some pet food company that makes a food or in the case of those who make their pets food at home, we are forced to trust, our hand picked ingredients, are safe and wholesome as well. We have to trust that every individual that was involved in the pet food manufacturing was paying attention the day this food was processed. We have to trust that all the proper quality control tests were done, and done correctly. We have to trust that even the very ingredients listed on the bag or can – which we researched to the best of our ability – are actually in that bag or can.
The many emails that I receive from pet owners all over the world, all share a similarity, no one trusts anymore. We’ve all been shot in the foot, stabbed in the back, and taken advantage of. I can no longer count the number of messages I’ve read that ask ‘how do I know if they (a pet food manufacturer) are telling me the truth?’ It doesn’t matter whether it’s concern over a pet food company claiming they use all U.S. ingredients versus Chinese imports or a human grade/quality meat or a pet grade; we are not provided with any proof of their claims. We can no longer trust anything. We can’t even trust our own government agency (the FDA) that is supposed to be protecting our pet’s food.
We want proof! We are sick and tired of the misleading advertising and the camouflaged pet food ingredient names. If a pet food contains cow intestines, chicken feet, or the remains of a diseased euthanized animal, (to all pet food manufacturers) then have the guts to put that on the pet food label. If a pet food does not contain ingredients from China or similar risky countries, then prove it to us. If a pet food…canned, kibble, or raw, wants our trust (and our money), its well past the time to provide us some proof.
There are millions of pet owners in the U.S., tens of millions worldwide, that look back on every pet food move they made, and second guess themselves. Unfortunately, there are few things we know for certain.
The one certainty is that our pets deserve better.
Until the FDA, AAFCO, veterinarians, and pet food manufacturers themselves decide to provide proof the health of our pets are priority, we must continue to risk our trust. KW, please do not second guess yourself and please do not feel you are alone in your burden. Tens of millions of pet owners worldwide are dealing with the same burden, we share your pain.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients? Chinese imports? Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods, and pet treats. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com
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The 2019 List of Pet Foods I would trust to feed my own pets