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Deal Breaker Pet Food Ingredients

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  1. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    Not for my babies, only the best

  2. Silvermane

    And here is the problem with sites, like yours, that insist on painting every food with the same brush just because it contains a certain ingredient. Some of the best dry foods in the world use named meat meals, including lamb and beef. To exclude them because meals can be sourced from less than reputable sources and contain unacceptable body parts, does a disservice to pet food. Champion Petfoods (makers of Orijen and Acana) and Fromm Family Petfoods use lamb meal. These are two of the top dry foods in terms of ingredient quality and ethical operation. Singling out Thailand as a questionable source is also short sighted and excludes great canned products from the likes of Weruva and Almo Nature.

    Instead of lambasting (pun intended) an ingredient, get to know the company that makes the product and then judge the food based on that information. I truly believe this article needs a retraction or edit.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      With the legal definition of the ingredient NOT having the requirement to be sourced from a healthy, slaughtered animal – meat meal ingredients are a risk in my opinion. I would want a written guarantee from the manufacturer to the quality of the meat meal. I’ve never seen one of those guarantees.
      To me – pet food consumers deserve that guarantee. Especially with ingredients whose legal definitions allow the worst quality.

    2. Pacific Sun

      And here is the problem with a reply like this. What’s described is based on facts, including the economics of agri-business rendering to avoid landfill restrictions. In theory an animal carcass does provide whole nutrition. Just not when it’s condemned, diseased or ridden with bacteria. Research has proven cooking does not eliminate endotoxins! And endotoxins can jeopardize pet health.

      Manufacturers should speak up for themselves, to certify human grade ingredients. In fact they should be proud to do so! But the real question is this. Do they always and only use meat or poultry fit for human consumption.. Be sure to get that assurance in writing.

      Here’s the problem. an average Consumer takes a label at face value. Meat meal … oh no big deal, that’s ground up protein …. and … animal fat … like drippings from a roasted chicken or beef roast. Except “the legal definition of these ingredients allows it to be sourced from dead, non-slaughtered, diseased, or even euthanized animals!” Would a Consumer really want that? Poultry meal includes ground up live chickens! So when a Consumer is all into GMO labeling, organic, vegetarian fed, cage-free, pasture roaming, fair-life farm animals (and rightfully so) wouldn’t they be appalled to know what PF ingredients really mean? It certainly undermines an otherwise well-intended shopping experience, doesn’t it.

      An “anti-PF Shopping List” is finally available. My guess is, you sell Pet Food. Instead of criticizing a Consumer Advocate who is working to help people and pets, at no profit, without advertising and kickbacks, then I’d take the take the time to make a “Black Tie Preferred Shopping List” for MY own customers. Doing so through your research with companies using human grade ingredients. PF Consumers are slowly but surely becoming more and more informed every day!

      Ride~the~wave!!!

      [ Don’t even get me started on imports. The great Wild West of anything goes! ]

      1. Silvermane

        Well, I’m glad you can evaluate me so well from one comment!

        Here’s the problem with your reply – it doesn’t have anything to do with the point of my comment.

        You are right, though, consumers are becoming more informed every day. Unfortunately, they are sometimes being given information that is NOT based on sound scientific, peer-reviewed research. Hence Susan’s use of the words “linked to”. Susan is a trusted Consumer Advocate who stands up for pet food consumers to try and improve the sad state of the industry, and I applaud that. However, once you are in that position of trust, you must be careful to provide accurate, precise information, not generalities. It simply is not true that all foods from Thailand should be disqualified, nor should all foods that contain lamb meal or beef meal. All I was stating is that there is a lot more to selecting a food than simply reading the ingredient panel.

        I would guess that Susan is more than open to criticism, as opposed to having all of her readers blindly follow her every word. Criticism keeps you on your toes. It keeps you vigilant. It ensures that you look at all sides. And sometimes, it makes you realize you were wrong.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          I clearly stated opinion – this post was my opinion. Just as you have opinion, so do I. With the Thailand issue – there is very recent evidence of slave labor. I cannot condone that. Nor – my opinion – would I personally trust a food made there. If you do, that is fine. I did not – would not – tell consumers to never feed a particular food. I believe everyone has the right to make up their own mind. We understand you disagree with certain parts of my opinion – that’s perfectly fine. Really. But I was not wrong in my opinion.

        2. barbara

          Meat byproducts or meat meal: Both are euphemisms for the parts of animals that would not be considered meat by any smart consumer. The well-known phrase “meat byproducts” is a misnomer since these byproducts contain little, if any, meat. These are the parts of the animal left over after the meat has been stripped away from the bone. This includes any part of the carcass not fit for human consumption. Included are the diseased parts that are removed during the separation of human edible food, which include: cancerous growths, fecal matter, liver flukes, tapeworms, abrasions, pus, tuberculosis, as well as mad cow disease, for example. And it’s all legal. So, unless you have a guarantee that your pet food is human edible, and have it in writing, you are receiving these lovely ingredients in your pet food, whether dry, wet or dehydrated.

          This is not an opinion. It is fact.

        3. Pacific Sun

          Let’s assume this statement is correct. “Here’s the problem with [my] reply – it doesn’t have anything to do with the point of [your] comment.” And your point being: “All I was stating is that there is a lot more to selecting a food than simply reading the ingredient panel.”

          To evaluate a product, as just a regular PF Consumer, I can only do the following. Read a label. Communicate with the manufacturer. Research reviews. Find the definition of ingredients. Consult with my Veterinarian. Speak with a reputable Pet Supply Store Owner.

          1. Do you really believe that labels represent full disclosure.
          2. Will the manufacturer tell me anything to discourage (or question) my purchase.
          3. What site offers independent reviews free of advertising and industry support.
          4. Are you assured that Consumer Affairs isn’t a paid site.
          5. Why doesn’t the FDA give public access to consumer complaints.
          6. Why doesn’t a PF Company vouch for 3rd Party Suppliers by contractual agreements (reference the Blue Buffalo article).
          7. Has a Veterinarian ever recommended anything other than Hills/Science Diet.

          I am assuming you haven’t purchased “The Other List” yet. One example of information you probably won’t read anywhere else, is that excessive copper supplementation is not only unnecessary, but potentially harmful. How was this information established? By a Veterinarian who studied the problem! We call that Science!

          I’ve talked with Pet Supply Owners (very involved with their products) who depend upon Product Sales Representatives. Those folks start out exclaiming the virtues of their product. Eventually customer questions plus experiences arise. And the Company fails to resolve issues. Yet another product pushed to the wayside. I’ve seen it happen with Fromms. Pet Owners eventually figure out a pattern. And move on. Yet the company response is never definitive. It is always the pet who has the problem. Always.. I’ve seen it happen with Orijen first hand. Time to change Brands (yet again).

          I have spoken directly with the CEO of major Name Brand PF, who virtually swore that the ingredient Ethoxyquin (a fish meal preservative associated with causing cancer) was no big deal. And that every company used it (untrue). Once the deep grilling began, it wasn’t soon after, that the chemical was (said to be) dropped.

          Another Follower has done extensive research (in partnership with a Veterinarian) on Endotoxins. Which you will never hear a PF Company discussing! Because the (researched, scientific) evidence is that bacteria remains in food even though it’s been cooked at a high temperature.. Endotoxins aren’t just linked to, but actually cause health problems in pets!

          While it may seem (and always seems to) be that people who comment on TAPF (we’re called Followers) are considered fanatics, and blindly loyal to the website owner, it’s a FACT that we’ve accumulated (over time) much information that’s been researched, documented, backed by Science, and provided by Industry Insiders (imagine that). I am the most cynical person you would ever meet. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. But if I can err on the side of caution to preserve the longevity of my dogs (one living to nearly 17 years) then I am happy to be considered a supporter of a Consumer Advocate who knows much more than is even being printed!

          Only Readers who have something at stake, bother to protest against the facts as much as is going on here. But certainly the invitation exists, to refute the effect of Endotoxins or the absence of 4-D protein in average products. But I would ask, hmmmm, why do MOST pet foods share in common the very same questionable production practices, unless it was an “Industry Standard” and a means to profit.

          By the way, Champion Foods has never returned the Pledge to Quality and Origin. Chat with them. And when they do, I’ll be the first to publically promote their products!! They should be the first ones ready with full disclosure!

    3. Grateful

      Silvermane, there is no such thing as “the best dry food in the world”. ALL of it is bad. All dry food is bad. And most commercial wet foods are too, because most containat least one of the listed ingredients, usually more. Susan I would add menadione sodium bisulfate to your list.

      1. Silvermane

        You have just made my point.

        Obviously, you don’t believe in feeding dry food, and that’s great. For YOU. But your opinion does not have to be shared by everyone. Is dry food the ultimate, optimal diet for your dog or cat? No. Are there companies making dry foods that provide good nutrition from quality ingredients? Yes. Are they the majority of companies? Sadly, no, not even close. So, regardless of your opinion, there is such a thing as “the best dry foods in the world”.

        And that is my point regarding blanket, unjustifiable statements.

        I’m a dry food feeder, along with other supplements and additives. I’ve had a large mixed breed dog who had thyroid cancer at 8, live to the age of 13 after surgery and chemotherapy. Median time for survival at the time was just over a year before metastasizing. My golden retriever lived until she was one month shy of 15. Neither made frequent trips to the vet, or had chronic systemic issues or allergies. My 10 year old Mexican street rescue, who came to us at the age of 2 with a highly compromised immune system, is the picture of health. She is bright, active and energetic. All of them have eaten thoroughly researched dry diets. Correlation does not mean causation, but…..

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Here is the absolute truth: The ONLY quality pet food guarantee a consumer has is a pet food made with 100% human grade (USDA inspected and approved human edible) ingredients, 100% human grade supplements and made in a human food manufacturing facility. That is the only guarantee a consumer has to quality of ingredients. Every other pet food’s quality is based on trust. Trust of what the company tells you. Consumers have no clue what is really used. But again, there is not one guarantee unless the pet food meets all of the requirements of human grade. There is not one kibble manufacturing facility that is certified human grade. And they could if they wanted to. Human cereal is an extruded product just like kibble. So a pet food plant making a baked kibble or extruded kibble could achieve the human grade status. But they haven’t. You are basing your trust on what the manufacturer tells you. If you are good with that – fine. But not every one is. I’m not – which is why I make my pets food. I want to know exactly what they are eating. And if my schedule does not allow me to make the food, I only give them a human grade pet food. Only. Don’t be angry and short with people because they have a different opinion than yours.

      2. Sally Bahner

        I was gong to reply with the exact same words! There is no “best dry food in the world.”

    4. kate powell

      I wonder how many readers went to each of the sites listed as sources. Not one of them said anything close to what Susan was saying. For instance, Animal fat. I followed the click through to Alibaba and that source for animal fat was for making soap.
      No where did it discuss making pet food or any food from it. It also did not use the terms “from dead, non-slaughtered, diseased, or even euthanized animals.” Perhaps they are, and if it is China do not get me going (three dead pets due to melamine — yes plastic — mixed in the protein) but sources should reflect where you are getting your information, and it can’t be from another blog that doesn’t source their info.
      I am not saying there are unscrupulous pet (and human) food providers out there, We buy organic (but not Newmans Own, EVER.) We buy from small companies, and follow the news so we know when a brand like Castor Pullox is taken over by a KNOWN bad company like Purina. Most companies rely and are reined in by recalls and so forth — word of mouth. Not all, which is why anything coming from Nestle/Purina is just unacceptable. (You know, the ones who were and still are harming babies in third world countries?) However, it is interesting that Susan is having us click through for further into from Nestle Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets. And even then, when I go to read what they say it isn’t what she claims.
      So Susan, you may be good at your job, and you may even be right, but show me the sources.
      A little bit too much hysterical repeating of “from dead, non-slaughtered, diseased, or even euthanized animals.” Show me where even one company admits to the legal definition you say is so, and I’ll come back.

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        Kate – I provided links of where I got the pictures. If you notice those images all say “source:” The link provided was source of the image, not the information.

        The legal definition of the animal ingredients listed are basically owned by AAFCO. For consumers to read pet food ingredient definitions, they must purchase the AAFCO Official Publication. The book costs $100. http://www.aafco.org/Portals/0/SiteContent/Publications/order-forms/2016_PAPER_COPY_op_order_form.pdf

        Here is a link to FDA’s report Risk of Pentobarbital in Dog Food (make sure you click through additional links at the bottom of the page, and bottom of the next page):http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129131.htm
        In the above document, you will find a list of pet foods the FDA found the euthanizing drug pentobarbital in.

        Here is a link from a Report to Congress regarding the rendering industry: http://nationalaglawcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/assets/crs/RS21771.pdf

        Here is a link regarding FDA allowing pet food to violate law (FDA Compliance Policy regarding canned pet food): http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074710.htm

        And another regarding any rendered ingredient: http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074717.htm

        A pet food company admitting they use dead non-slaughtered or euthanized animals? Not going to happen. FDA and each State Department of Agriculture openly allows them to violate the law – they don’t HAVE to admit it – they aren’t going to admit it.

        And by the way – here is the link to the legal definition of food from the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act: http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter9/subchapter2&edition=prelim “(f) The term “food” means (1) articles used for food or drink for man or other animals, (2) chewing gum, and (3) articles used for components of any such article.”
        Here is the link to the legal definition of an adulterated food from the same Act: http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title21-section342&num=0&edition=prelim “(5) if it is, in whole or in part, the product of a diseased animal or of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter;”

        If you read the law (the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act) and then read the FDA Compliance Policies (links provided above) you’ll see for yourself what I’m saying is true.

        I could go on for days providing you evidence…here’s one more. This is a link from a winning paper submitted by a law student to the New York State Bar: https://www.nysba.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=43765

      2. Reader

        I’m not looking for a fight. In fact I’ve never looked at Newman’s Own, until this comment. Myself and another reader, “Stacy O” are curious about your thinking on this brand.

        Thank you.

    5. Trouble

      I have no desire to get into any sort of argument or debate here, but… I find it to be a HORRIBLE disrespect to a brand like Champion Pet Foods, to use their brand as an example for why meat meal ingredients shouldn’t be an outright “no go” in regards to ingredients that shouldn’t be trusted. If you look on their website, they state right on their page, for each individual formula of food, blatant and obvious for everyone to see that they do NOT use meals sourced from rendering facilities or in any way from rendered meats/meat meals.

      I’ll quote them, just for clarification: “Free of rendered poultry meals, 1/3 of the meats are from dehydrated chicken and turkey (air-dried at low temperature from fresh meat) for a concentrated source of nourishing protein.”

      Also, with Champion Pet Foods now having their U.S. foods made in their new U.S. facility (their DogStar facility in Kentucky), they have gone through and actually are re-vamping their formulas, and from what I can tell, they are actually removing most of the meat meals from their formulas, AND are guaranteeing with these new formulas that the ONLY supplement being added in… is Zinc proteinate.

      Fromm is NOT like Champion Pet Foods… Not at all. Maybe, at one point…many, many moons ago, they were one of the top quality brands to buy. But their ingredient lists? Looks very similar to pretty much every other brand of dry food out there. Orijen (and Acana), from what I’ve been able to find, are the only dry foods that do not add in any supplements (besides the Zinc – they don’t add the BS pre-mix of supplements like pretty much every other dry food manufacturer does), and that give total openness, honesty, and are forthcoming with information and with where their ingredients come from. I would love to see Fromm do the same, but I highly doubt they would be as forthcoming and honest with where their crap comes from.

      Lastly… I don’t believe that anywhere in this article, Susan ever told people, “DON’T FEED ANY BRANDS, ANY FOOD, BY ANY MANUFACTURER THAT USES ANY OF THESE INGREDIENTS!! Doesn’t matter what the brand is, or who the manufacturer is, they’re ALL BAD!!!” Pretty sure that wasn’t said anywhere….. Did I miss it? Maybe I should read through the article again.

      She’s stating what she, personally, would not feed her pets. This article is simply giving people food for thought – showing which ingredients are most commonly lied about. showing where the gray areas are within the ingredient panel, that not all meat meals are alike, and that yeah… more often than not, manufacturers are going to lie out their asses about the quality of their ingredients. I would love to hear the CEO for Purina GUARANTEE to me, with proof, that their meat meals are as high quality as those used by Champion Pet Foods. It would never happen, because the quality isn’t the same.

      Before you start bashing the article, or the information that’s given… maybe you should look at how the information is being presented, and realize that it was never stated anywhere that people should avoid these things at all costs, no matter what brand of food they’re in. And, maybe also do a bit more research on brands and manufacturers, before making claims that some brands (Fromm) are right up there with other high quality brands (Champion)…

      1. Pacific Sun

        With the goal of avoiding debate, the absence of a condescending tone and hyperbole is always useful. Regarding the article’s explanation of meals, Champion PF was never mentioned, nor is being biased (or not) ever the purpose of providing information.

        Your frustration can be directed at me, as just another Follower, not affiliated with the website or any PF interest. I’ve had experience with Orijen. And in the interim Champion has extensively updated their website, which is still in the process of adding details. So to refresh my memory, it was necessary to find the product being sold on-line for a specific ingredient list. No worries, and no point of contention. In fact a dog would be in very good shape to assimilate all the wonderful whole foods on the label. I would’ve happily kept using it, except that it was too rich for both my dogs. (They were unrelated, different ages, etc.).. Again, no worries. All dogs have different tolerance levels.

        From reading Champion’s website I see very clearly 2 of the main points (see below) in rebuttal to part of my earlier comments. I would be happy to continue using Origin if it was practical to do so. They state:

        • Free of rendered poultry meals, 1/3 of the meats are from dehydrated chicken and turkey (air-dried at low temperature from fresh meat) for a concentrated source of nourishing protein.

        • In fact, all of our fresh meats are deemed fit for human consumption and typically travel from farm to our kitchen within 3 days, and into ORIJEN foods within 2 days.

        The readers and those who comment here, are for the most part, reasonable, respectful, fair minded, interested in helping one another, and always looking for ways to extend the discussion. I am glad that there was an opportunity to do so in this case!

        Ingredients:
        Boneless Chicken*, Chicken Meal, Chicken Liver*, Whole Herring*, Boneless Turkey*, Turkey Meal, Turkey Liver*, Whole Eggs*, Boneless Walleye*, Whole Salmon*, Chicken Heart*, Chicken Cartilage*, Herring Meal, Salmon Meal, Chicken Liver Oil, Red Lentils, Green Peas, Green Lentils, Sun-Cured Alfalfa, Yams*, Pea Fiber, Chickpeas, Pumpkin*, Butternut Squash*, Spinach Greens*, Carrots*, Red Delicious Apples*, Bartlett Pears*, Cranberries*, Blueberries*, Kelp, Licorice Root, Angelica Root, Fenugreek, Marigold, Sweet Fennel, Peppermint Leaf, Chamomile, Dandelion, Summer Savory, Rosemary, Enterococcus Faecium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Selenium Yeast *Delivered Fresh, Preservative-Free and Never Frozen

        1. Trouble

          I probably should have addressed exactly who/what my comment was replying to, sorry. I guess with the flood of commenting and replies to comments, mine didn’t quite end up where I would’ve liked it to (for it to make sense, I suppose…or for it to be more obvious which comment it was in response to).

          My previous comment was in response to the comment that Silvermane had made, up towards the very top of the comment list. I probabl should’ve just quoted the comment, to make it easier… Hindsight is what it is though.

          This is the comment I was responding to:

          Silvermane July 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm – Reply

          And here is the problem with sites, like yours, that insist on painting every food with the same brush just because it contains a certain ingredient. Some of the best dry foods in the world use named meat meals, including lamb and beef. To exclude them because meals can be sourced from less than reputable sources and contain unacceptable body parts, does a disservice to pet food. Champion Petfoods (makers of Orijen and Acana) and Fromm Family Petfoods use lamb meal. These are two of the top dry foods in terms of ingredient quality and ethical operation. Singling out Thailand as a questionable source is also short sighted and excludes great canned products from the likes of Weruva and Almo Nature.

          Instead of lambasting (pun intended) an ingredient, get to know the company that makes the product and then judge the food based on that information. I truly believe this article needs a retraction or edit.

          Again, sorry for the confusion, Pacific Sun. I know there wasn’t any mention in the article about any specific brands or anything, but I felt that some clarification was needed in regards to the specific brands that Silvermane had mentioned. And, it seems like they took the article in a way it possibly wasn’t intended? (Taking it as Susan stating “No one should feed food with these ingredients, no matter what!” when even the first sentence of the article clearly shows that not feeding foods with these ingredients is a personal choice, and then obviously goes on to explain why, with facts, data, etc. so that others can make their own informed decisions as well about foods with these ingredients).

  3. Pacific Sun

    I can’t think of a better fundraiser idea, especially for inexperienced pet owners. I LOVE the PetSumer Report (because it’s an education tool) but comparing products on a point by point basis can be tedious and time consuming.

    We yak all day long to friends, families and perfect strangers about risky ingredients. But now, to have a list that identifies these products by Brand Name is invaluable! Thank you so much!

  4. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

    Thank you Susan, for this well thought out & organized list of many of the topics that have been exposed & discussed here, by Truth about Petfood.

    This is the perfect article to give my adopters as well as my Veterinarian.

    When there have been times when Petfood has come up in conversation w/ my Vet, I am at a loss of what to say, in the most consise yet informative way. Having only a few moments of her time (beyond the exact reason that I am actually there that day), I need to have my facts straight.

    This article will be great for me to be able to show her, as we have major differences of opinion when it comes to “certain pet foods”. However, she will listen to reason, if I am coming from a scientific, factual standpoint, which this article is.

    One other thing I wish could be on this list of “no-no’s”, is standard raised pork, including, but not limited to, pork plasma, which is showing up a LOT in many petfoods. The issue, is the drug (RACTOPAMINE) that the pigs are being injected with. There have been thousands of complaints to the FDA from farmers who have seen serious adverse reactions, such as downed pigs, extreme aggression, tremors, seizures, etc. This drug has been banned in many other countries and infact imported pork from the US, to these other countries has actually been banned! because of the health concerns to people. I hope they have banned petfoods/treats made with pork as well. I know a lot of people give their dogs pig ears to chew on, I hope this information will sway people away from continuing to do so!

    1. Pet Owner

      Wow. all very well said! And thank you for the heads-up about Pork products. Pork (especially Plasma) never did seem like a natural, traditional ingredient for dogs. And yet it’s showing up in waay too many products. Especially in Prescription Pet Food. I hope the issue with Ractopamine can be backed up the tree (so to speak) so that Veterinarians will question providers about ingredient safety or side-effects. It would be so counter-productive to feed a compromised pet a pork product that will undermine his condition in other ways!

      Thank you.

  5. Liz

    Thank you so much, Susan for this list along with the reasons to omit these ingredients. I have two cats, both that suddenly stopped eating. One diagnosed with kidney disease and one with pancreatitis. So it was an awful couple of months treating them, researching their illnesses/complications, researching what to feed them (and what to avoid), getting them to eat, and trying to do it in a hurry because their lack of eating could make them so much worse. I knew it was up to me if they got better and if I wanted to keep the vet visits and bills down. It was exhausting, but necessary. I read so many labels trying to find “healthy” canned food. I knew some ingredients to avoid, but it is difficult to find a prepared source that doesn’t have any unhealthy ingredients. I was trying to give them homemade cooked and raw, but often they wouldn’t eat, so I felt I had to resort to something prepared if they would eat it. Both kitties are doing well now. The pancreatitis is gone and the kidney disease is “stable”. They are both eating well and seem to be feeling well. SO, now I can concentrate on eliminating as many harmful ingredients as possible and having a list of healthy go-to foods, commercial and homemade, that I can turn to if and when they aren’t feeling well. I have your 2016 list of Trusted Foods and Dinner PAWsible. This current list is another trusted source of information that I can use. During the period that I described above, I used your list of Trusted Foods and I will utilize it again. I find it very helpful that you give the reasoning behind your choices and decisions. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your hard work, research, sharing, and tenacity! Thank you, Susan!

  6. foodguy

    I love this post- and quite frankly I think you know that this list will be growing considerably over the next 5 to 10 years, which means that while certain ingredients may not have been specifically linked to something YET- reasonable safeguards should be put in place so you are not sorry later.

    I can’t honestly see the benefit of feeding grain based pet food, regardless which grain, regardless of brand. Even the best quality grain will cause inflammation, and that can lead to any number of problems/diseases.

    I think beyond ingredients people need to seriously look at inflammation and make their voice heard to hold manufacturers to a higher standard.

    Omega 3’s are not considered essential by AAFCO, and most pet foods have an opposite than ideal ratio of Omega 3’s (anti-inflammatories) to Omega 6’s (inflammatories). This is where things like salmon oil, pollock oil, krill oil, and coconut oil come into play.; Avoiding vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, etc.

    Plan NOW for your pet’s senior years- and eliminate and prevent a build up of inflammation. Glucosomine and Chrondroitin will do little to counter balance a lifetime of inflammation in the joints at an advanced age.

  7. foodguy

    Oh- and our chemical dependency needs to be addressed before we can ever expect wellness. That includes vaccinations, flea and tick, heartworm meds, etc.

    What’s the point of feeding the best food and supplementing whole food additives if you allow the vets to over vaccinate your pet?

    1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      Foodguy–I am w/ you 100% on that!!! There is so much junk science out there that is still believed by pet guardians as well as Vets on the subject of vaccination’s, heartworm med’s, flea topicals.

      This over vaccination issue is KILLING our pets. As you well know, it is causing auto-immune diseases, kidney & liver disease etc. The same goes for all the toxic heart worm medications. There are natural means of prevention. I bet if people really knew the statistics of adverse reactions to “seemingly innocent” flea topicals, they would be really pissed off at the the load of crap we are all being made to believe.

      For anyone wanting to uncover more truth about the lies we are being sold, check out these resources:

      The truth about Vaccination’s:
      —CatInfo.org
      –LittleBigCat.org
      —Vaccine Associated Sarcoma (V.A.S.) Support Group [Yahoo Group]
      (your pet does not have to have been diagnosed to join) a wealth of
      info.

      [I am sure there are specific sites dedicated to education on over vaccination for dogs as well, I have cats, so those are the resources that I personally know about]

      Natural Health Products for cats/dogs:
      http://www.natural-wonder-pets.com

      –Natural Products for Heartworm Preventative/Treatment
      –Natural Products for Cancer care
      –Natural (Alcohol free) Dental care product

      1. Mari

        Hello! I was hoping you’d have outside links to the information on heartworm, including guarantees that natural hw products work. I know how serious and deadly the disease can be. After working in both rescue and the veterinary world, I do not vaccinate distemper after kittenhood. However getting around the rabies legal requirements is… another story. Any input on that? Thank you!

        1. Cheryl Bond

          Hi, You can get titers testing for rabies as well, maybe not every Vet offers it, you might need to shop around. As far as info on Heartworm Preventatives, I gave a link in my comnents of a site that sells the remedies. They have articles on the topic. You also can call them & speak to them. www naturalwonder.com Outside of that, you will have to investigate your own research on the issue. However, if you do DEEP research on “standard Heartworm med’s” you will findd out plenty of info that you will NOT be happy about, just like you will find not so good info about flea med topicals as well. DON’T listen to standard Vet’s on the issue, they either dont know, or won’t tell you the truth about the REAL research statistics & adverse reactions. It can be painstaking & time consuming doing the proper research, but it is out there. Good luck.

          1. Millicent Hollins

            Vet told me Skylar, age ten with CKD, had a flea allergy and needed the tropical Revolution every month plus a low dose every day with a steroid tablet. He said Revolution is very safe. Is it safe?

          2. M

            Cheryl. Titer testing is likely offered at most places, but the expenses are pretty high, and unfortunately the law doesn’t care what titers say as far as rabies. Most vets don’t know statistics, they just know how the products work and why. The companies can also provide kickbacks to sell more.

            Johanna- Thank you for posting that!

            Millicent- That sounds suspicious to me. Revolution is a lot like any other flea topical, but it covers intestinal parasites as well. It’s often used by rescues. It’s a strong chemical, but one that’s more expensive. The suspicious part is why your pet would need it every month once the fleas are gone. I’m assuming Skylar is a dog. But many dog owners let their dogs outside and never worry about fleas. Once your dog’s fleas are gone, after one dose of Revolution, or even 3 doses to be safe I guess, I’d assume he’d be safe. The question here to ask, is why your vet believes your dog will keep getting fleas? My family dogs never got fleas, not once. You’d need flea infested animals to be in your yard for your dog to pick up fleas in your yard. If that’s the case, I’d try to tackle that problem instead. And if the Revolution is applied once a month, your dog wouldn’t have fleas, and logically wouldn’t need a steroid that combats the allergies. It sounds like your vet believes that 1. Your yard is infested with flea infested animals that will keep infecting and biting your dog and 2. Your dog’s allergy is so bad that even one bite from a flea before the drugs kill them would cause a huge reaction.

          3. Barbara Gleason

            Millicent, Revolution protects against heart worms, hookworms, roundworms, & ear mites, as well as fleas, I believe, and as I understand, it needs to be taken year round for these purposes. I had a dog who died from heart worms, so it’s important to protect my other pets from this horrible death.

        2. Theresa

          You can titer all you want for rabies but it is a state law in Ohio at least that rabies must be given. I was bitten by a cat that did not have rabies shot and I reported the person to animal control. I went through the rabies protocol and even though it was not painful it was expensive. The cat was fine in the 10 day period but I was not taking any chances. I can understand if you want to titer for vaccines but please get your rabies shot for your pets and that means cats too. You can get a 3 year.

  8. Desiree

    Wow so I need to stop feeding my cats Stella & Chewy!!! They add Sodium Selenite in all their products (freeze-dried & frozen) and I also couldn’t find a nutritional facts sheet on their website so consumers don’t even know the level of Sodium Selenite used. Very disappointed.

    I checked Honest Kitchen Grace and Primal Freeze Dried turkey and none have Sodium Selenite added.

    Thanks for this article Susan! Can anyone share healthy freeze-dried or dehydrated raw food products? Nothing frozen, my cats don’t do well on frozen products (vomiting, stomach upset etc.)? I like to feed my cats 3 different products every day (breakfast, lunch & dinner)… safer this way

    1. Grateful

      I feed S&C too, but only 3 meals a week. I’ve tried a number of freeze dried “raw” foods but either ingredients or cats refusal to eat it always sends me back to S&C. Like you I feed a variety of raw, but not all of it is freeze dried, most is frozen meat. Rad Cat, prey model home made raw, and raw muscle meat mixed with the meat completer EZcomplete, made by Food Fur Life.

      1. Desiree

        Grateful, I used to feed Radcat but had to stop because one kitty had a really bad reaction to the food. She had vertigo every time I fed her Radcat! She would lose her balance for a week. It was devastating. The others would vomit routinely when I fed them RadCat. It just didn’t work out. That’s when I made the switch to freeze dried and dehydrated raw food: Primal, the Honest Kitchen, and Stella & Chewy.

        One topper that works extremely well when introducing my cats to a new food is the Whole Life Whole Life Tail Mix Easy Additions for Cats. You can also try crushing Primal Pet Foods Munchies Pet Treats (Turkey works best with mine). I haven’t had one cat refuse a new food when I add either the Whole Life topper or crush the Primal raw treats. Give it a try.

        Since Stella & Chewy refuses to provide a nutritional facts sheet on their products, I won’t feed S&C to my babies.

    2. Sarah

      Desire, we love Primal Freeze Dried Cat food and also Whole Life Pet Lifebites Freeze-Dried Cat Food (I’ve asked Susan here for more information about the addition of “Peas” in terms of when is some too much). This astonishingly complex survey leaves Primal as one of the few reliable brands based on their analysis. I would be interested in what Susan says about this, too: http://www.reviews.com/cat-food/

      1. Desiree

        Sara, I will try the Whole Life Pet Lifebites Freeze-Dried Cat Food as a substitute for Stella & Chewy. I also love Primal.

        I contacted Stella & Chewy via email to voice my concern and asked them to provide a nutritional facts sheet similar to the ones Honest Kitchen and Primal post on their website. I received a reply back from Emily that the level of Sodium Selenite is within the guidelines set forth by AAFCO. However, she did not state what that level is when I inquired and did not provide a nutritional facts sheet when I asked for one.

        I don’t know about you but I find it alarming that a pet food company is unwilling to share the nutritional facts content of its pet food! I will stay away from Stella & Chewy until they can provide proof that their product is safe and not toxic or are willing to make the nutritional facts of their products public.

        BTW, what’s the story about peas? And how do we find out how much peas are used in the Whole Life Pet Lifebites Freeze-Dried Cat Food?

        1. Sarah

          Desire, I am still hoping to hear back from Susan about how much peas is too much peas.

          Regarding Primal and While Life food, you can completely ignore this if you want and I won’t mind: I own a small online cat supplies store. (I only sell cat supplies because I don’t know dogs and don’t feel qualified to answer my customers’ questions were they ask about dogs while I do know cats very well.) You can shop here if you want to: http://www.catsuppliesandmore.com/adult-dry-catfood It helps American small business. But it’s OK if not 🙂

          Hoping to hear from Susan soon about the peas…

          Thanks!

      2. Desiree

        Just wanted to post an update. I received the nutritional facts sheet for Stella & Chewy’s products and the Selenium level is pretty low 0.21 mg. If I remember correctly from one of Susan’s article about Selenium, for a 30 lbs dog the level should be about 0.21 mg to be safe. Well none of my kitties are of course 30 lbs but since I don’t solely feed them S&C during the day but feed them 3 different brands every day, I think we’re good.

    3. Lisa

      Fresh is Best has freeze dried raw food for both cats and dogs. They are a good company, excellent customer service. Their FD food is far lower in phosphorus and bone than Stella & Chewy.

      I asked if FIB would sign TAPF’s pledge of transparency to customers, I was assured they would sign the pledge soon.

    4. Desiree

      I hope Susan reads this but I just received a new order of the Honest Kitchen Grace cat food and was so disheartened to see that they now add Sodium Selenite in their cat food products. I replaced Stella & Chewy with Northwest Naturals because S&C not only added Sodium Selenite but also added Sodium Bisulfite Complex to all their new packaged freeze dried products.

      And today I found out that Honest Kitchen is adding Sodium Selenite! Susan what do you feed your cats? I think I read somewhere that you prepare food for them from scratch. Can you perhaps author an article as how the rest of us can do the same.

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        With cat foods, if they are using a selenium supplement, law requires it to be sodium selenite. Selenium yeast has not been approved for use in cat food (by FDA. We need a manufacturer to submit the safety data to FDA for selenium yeast in cat foods – so far, no one has done this.)
        And yes – I did know HK started adding sodium selenite – I’ve spoken with them and several manufacturers about the ingredient. Will write a post on this soon.

        1. Desiree

          But why supplement with Selenium when they use eggs, spinach and potatoes in their cat food, all sources of selenium? Thanks Susan

  9. foodguy

    I didn’t check ingredient panels to confirm, but you can check out Steve’s freeze dried or vital essentials.

  10. Peter

    Personally, I always have and expect to continue to strive to exclude pet food products in which ingredients are “sourced from less than reputable sources and contain unacceptable body parts.”

    This is just a standard borne of common sense: that doesn’t make me “wrong” and I certainly don’t “blindly follow” anyone’s word.

  11. Millicent Hollins

    Since Skylar’s diagnosis six months ago of Chronic Kidney Disease, I have visited seven different vets, all supposedly great doctors, three of them cats specialists. The most recent Vet has 20 years practicing exclusively on cats, told me to give Skylar dry food and Fancy Feasts. I told him I never leave food out all day, free feeding, for my cats. He said nothing was wrong with this, a cat in the wild eat at least 13 times per day. Pet lovers, in my experience, never have our Vets advocating for quality food and avoiding harmful ingredients. When I told Skylar’s Vets that I am transitioning all our cats to home made raw, they replied be careful about raw food. Be careful about home made raw, but not be careful about commercial food?!!

    In selecting better pet foods, there are over 200 different types, a consumer may find about 20 for dogs and less than 15 for cats and these are usually higher priced. Reading labels never give us the complete story of what is in the can or bag. Worst of all most Vets remain clueless about food ingredients, even for their own pets. The Vets I’ve seen will say, feed Skylar anything that he is willing to eat, 24/7 because eating is better than not eating.

    The bottom line is will our pets eat the better foods? Clearly most cats will eat Fancy Feast all day long, but they may or may not eat home made raw or commercial raw foods. Therefore, the real issue for me is finding the most beneficial food, commercial or non commercial that Skylar and our other three Tom cats will eat. My long range goal, been working towards it for two years, is getting all four cats on home made raw meat diets. Home made raw is less expensive and wasteful than commercial food. However, until they all are eating home made raw, I am still using the commercial diets.

    We are currently using the Fromm dry food, Primal Freeze dried, Wellness Healthy Indulgence, Earthborn Holistic, Stella and Chewy’s freeze dried, Hills Recovery A/D and Darwin’s raw. So far all four cats will eat these foods but only two of them prefer commercial or home made raw. They also get mixed into the food probiotics and vitamin supplements.

    1. Mari

      Hello. I thought I’d weigh in her . Obviously vets are not nutritionists. But I worked at what someone might call a slum vet clinic. Owner wasn’t a fan of animals. He recommended whatever brand of prescription food he was selling. However, prior to meeting with another pet food company, he said that if they gave him a better deal, he’d switch, and from then on recommend this other brand. When customers asked for grain free suggestions, he had none because he didn’tknow anything about that, nor did he care. Vets who are aware of these things are ones who take it upon themselves to learn about ingredients and nutrition.

  12. Sarah

    Susan, thank you for this. I would like to ask about the use of peas. Having read the link where you talk about the use (or over-use) of peas as a binder, I take it that a few peas here and there are OK? I ask because one of our favorite pet food manufacturers, Whole Life Pet in Pittsfield MA, does put some peas in their recipes. E .g., the new LifeBites in chicken flavor lists ingredients as: “Chicken, Sweet Potato, Chicken Liver, Peas, Yogurt, Pumpkin, Cranberry, Flaxseed, Chia Seed…” Their food is human grade, sustainably sourced, but when they list ingredients like that, how do we know when “Peas” is too much peas? Should I ask them for a percentage of the total ingredients? Here is a link for you: http://www.wholelifepet.com/#!lifebites-food-for-cats/r98sg

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Can

      Susan does such a remarkable job day in/out supplying us all with information that is adding days/years onto our pets lives. I take the information any day over not being informed and clueless with regards to pet food ingredients and with her dedication to making simply feeding a safe moment I appreciate her criticism with personal opinion and at that point I make up my own mind. What is so disheartening in my case is that in my own mind I am happily doing what I think is right, safe for my family and then learn another mistake that I may be making is putting their life in jeopardy. We all look for simple feeding peace…when will it be the case that there is no worry involved in putting a food on a plate? I am not as versed as you all and I learn from your comments all the time. Taking in all the helpful information, deciding on what is best then to learn yet again that there is a terrible ingredient in my mix makes my heart sink beyond words, as I am sure it does for many others here too…when will the industry just do the right thing? No need to lose money, just add safe, appropriate ingredients! I thought I was OK now with my canned food selection for our cats…Ziwipeak, Hound and Gatos, Natures Logic, Mulligans Stew (Just for dogs, but I give to my cats), some ugh, Thailand Tiki, only to see the selenite ingredient or copper sulfate in many organic canned foods…I mix it up with dehydrated Vital Essentials and Primal and raw Rad Cat with the hope that since I am not feeding one selectively it will not cause harm because there wont be a toxic build up in their system. I think when there is something bad in one that giving a mix of brands will off balance the negative. Terrible way to think!? I would appreciate feeding peace in any direction! Raw food is pricey, I do what I can to incorporate it, selenite and copper in almost all canned foods that have the great moisture content…dry foods terrible…what about adding water to kibble foods like no gmo Farmina or no selenite Natures Logic for example, does adding water to dry and serving make it toxic? I see it is said that they too are not human grade? Even preparing our own human grade raw, organic chicken or turkey for ex., with a vitamin/mineral mix how can day in/out your family getting the same meals, even if raw, be healthy? I just wonder? If I make raw turkey and chicken for the rest of their lives at home, with the same vitamin/minerals mix, bought premixed or what I mix on my own with capsules, could this be OK, two raw protein sources, a menu that varies by two, three recipes, for a lifetime? Better than mixing up potentially hazardous raw, dehydrated, canned, dry with water, all commercial? I am leaning in this raw homemade direction now with so many of even the organic, or good ingredient canned foods being ruled out now, almost all have sulfate… Thank you Susan, I am most grateful for your intense work as you are regularly saving lives with your shared knowledge…

      1. Poodle Parent

        One thing about Susan is her integrity. She just doesn’t cut corners. Excessive Copper and Sodium Selenite might escape most of us as problematic. But Susan has a 100% benchmark. And if a food has even a 2% fail, then that’s what it is.

        I know dogs not cats. But I know feeding cats is difficult. I hope these thoughts will put your mind at ease somewhat. We all do our best. We pick the lesser of many evils. And as we know better, we do better. It’s a step by step process. Not about making mistakes. Just learning!

        I had a friend with household cats and outside cats. She fed those outdoor cats stuff like Meow Mix. It had so much color in it, you needed to wear sunglasses when pouring into the dish! But they ate it up like McDonald’s Fast Food. They were addicted. Even so, none of those cats ever looked the worse for wear. One cat was so old, it just kept going from adopted home to the next. No doubt sampling from a banquet of offerings. And you know how people feed feral cats.

        What probably saved them, was feasting on live prey (lizards, birds, mice). So the secret was a diet of variety! (And good water intake)!
        .
        By contrast she had two expensive pure bred cats that never went outdoors! She always fed expensive dry food. But never wet. The one cat even sampled dry dog food (like all of the time). One of cats got a urinary tract infection, then painful crystals, and eventually passed away from severe diabetes! Meanwhile those outdoor cats just kept on going!

        I have a young dog. Different breeding than the older one who lived to almost 17 years who could eat almost anything. Iron stomach. But every time I try to give this younger dog a really varied whole food diet, he reacts. Severe diarrhea. Probably has IBD or UC. So then I have to start all over again, with a basic bland whole food diet. Fearful of him missing out on key nutrients, I will be adding a little (ugh) canned Hills Sensitive Stomach. It’s basically hydrolyzed chicken liver with a lot of vitamins and minerals. Yes, I know the backstory of “pet food.” So even if he can tolerate this minor supplement variation, he will continue eating human grade food. Eventually I’ll order “Dinovite” to expand his nutrients!

        The point is, we can all do our very, very best. And still be faced with obstacles. The road is never perfectly straight ahead! But don’tt get discouraged or too worried. A little compromise sometimes saves the day! Until we can move ahead.

        Maybe one day, Susan will post a very basic whole food recipe for cats (suggesting proportion) and supplementation, to help all you dedicated Cat Lovers! In the meantime, wishing you a good outcome for all your hard won effort!

  13. Johanna

    Susan, this is so perfectly done. I always struggle to be as thorough yet concise as I can when explaining these things to people, but there’s always that point where I see their eyes glaze over from overload. Love how you broke this down (and with pics too), so people can just bookmark it and go through at their own pace. Thank you, & keep up the amazing work! I will be sharing this as much as I can. 🙂

  14. Terri Janson

    Susan, Thank you for the list and all your hard work keeping us informed!

  15. Jane Anderson

    People listen! With all the subterfuge, outright lying, and hiding, we need a voice to guide us through this maze. I am very glad we have Susan and this website. It is a nightmare out there trying to find a pet food that for starters won’t kill out babies. A food that is good for our pets would be a plus. I have literally begged pet food companies (like Wellness) to offer a product that has everything but the meat. They refuse. But Wellness did say that a lot of people are requesting this. I can get chicken breast on sale from my local HyVee for $1.00 or $1.88 a pound. That would fill a lot of $3.00 cans.. I am sure the better brands of pet food use better quality ingredients. But can we be sure? That’s the thing. A lot of this stuff pets don’t need and their owners don’t want. A lot of people don’t know what is going on in the pet food world. They have the right to know.

    1. Poodle Parent

      Well Natural Balance does. But you’d have to live with Sodium Selenite, 2 types of Copper supplements and Carrageenan Gum

      http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dog-formulas/dry/vegetarian
      http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dog-formulas/canned/vegetarian/original

      Kibble:
      Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Peas, Potato Protein, Canola Oil, Potatoes, Tomato Pomace, Vegetable Flavoring, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Spinach, Parsley Flakes, Cranberries, L-Lysine, L-Carnitine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Kelp, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-2 Supplement, Folic Acid.

      Wet:
      Water for processing, Ground Brown Rice, Cracked Barley, Oatmeal, Canola Oil, Carrots, Potato Protein, Tomato Pomace, Fresh Potatoes, Dehydrated Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Peas, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor, Cassia Gum, Carrageenan Gum, Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Spinach, Parsley, Cranberries, Zinc Sulfate, Yucca Schidigiera Extract, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Sodium Selenite, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D2 Supplement

      1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

        Besides those ingredients you just mentioned…. Canola oil, which is not only a GMO,, but an omega 6 fatty acid, which is PRO-INFLAMMATORY, omega 3 fatty acids is what is needed. Also there is 3 seperate potato ingredients!!! Which are GMO. Read about, besides being highly glycemic, that potatoes are one of the worst veg’s for pets & people to consume, as they have the highest concentrations of glycophosphate. All the other produce is GMO as well, but not as bad as having 3 seperate sources of potatoe ingredients.

  16. carole henry

    Great work Susan. Why on earth people do not feed their dogs whole foods I will never understand. Fresh whole foods are the only way to go for man or beast.

  17. Stacey O.

    Someone mentioned they feed only organic -but NOT Newman’s Own – ever Why?

  18. T. N. Reedy

    Excellent investigative reporting, as usual. Thanks from all of us.

    HUMOROUS SIDEBAR
    Though I grasped the meaning of your parenthetical notation “(healthy slaughtered animals),” the irony in the order of the adjectives suggests a conundrum of mutually exclusive conditions. This is easily corrected by transposing the two adjectives as “(slaughtered healthy animals).”

    1. Reader

      “While some sources of Animal Fat could be from legal material (healthy slaughtered animals), a pet food consumer is provided with no guarantee to that.”

      With all humor considered, but with no extra points given for meticulous grammar … yeah, the emphasis really IS supposed to be on HEALTHY animals intentionally “slaughtered” for the purpose of becoming a PF ingredient.. As opposed to an animal “no longer living” that happens to end up in pet food. Big difference! As in can you imagine what happens in between?

      It took me a long while to get the significance of the FDA’s very awkward definition, and thus, the perfect reason for Compliance Policies!

  19. Desiree

    Susan, I would add Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex to your list. I just found out that Stella & Chewy is now adding the toxic Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (MSBC) in all their freeze-dried products. MSBC is linked to serious illnesses.

    A German research list the following negative effects of menadione:
    • causes cytotoxicity in liver cells
    • damages the natural vitamin K cycle
    • causes hemolytic anemia and hyperbilirubinemia, not just linked to large doses
    • is directly toxic in high doses (vomiting, albuminuria), unlike natural vitamin K
    • has never been researched or specifically approved for long term use, such as in pet food
    • FDA has banned synthetic vitamin K from over-the-counter supplements because of its high toxicity

    The material safety data sheet from ScienceLab.com states the following:

    “Potential Chronic Health Effects: CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: 3 (Not classifiable for human.) by IARC. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”

    Stella & Chewy claims that they use minimal amount of MSBC and that there hasn’t been any scientific study that has found MSBC would be toxic or harmful to pets. However, feeding your cats products containing this ingredient every day for their lifetime and exposing them to cumulative exposure of this controversial substance is not something you should be willing to gamble on. And since there hasn’t been any scientific study on the long term effect of MSBC in cat food, I will stay away from any product including it. At one point, this ingredient was deemed safe for human beings. It is no longer the case.

    I think a few years ago, you had an article regarding Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex.

    1. Sally Bahner

      What, pray tell, is the purpose of Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex??!

      1. Desiree

        Sally, Dr. Becker & Dr Cameron discuss Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFHHYfYs4i4

        I’ve emailed Stella & Chewy and have voiced my concern. They said they would forward my emails and share my disappointment with their senior management and development team. I hope those who are using S&C products, will email them as well. Maybe if they get lots of complaints, they’ll take MSBC off their products.

        They could use alfalfa, kelp or spinach which provides all the necessary vitamin K instead of menadione. Just FYI, MSBC is not a listed ingredients in Honest Kitchen dehydrated & Primal freeze-dried cat food products.

    2. Poodle Parent

      As a Follower, I remember Susan was one of the first to warn us about synthetic Vitamin K with an article.

      How shameful that the general public can do more effective research than these commercial PF companies (supposedly) with Vets and Nutritionists on staff. For what reason do they ever get paid for useful services?

  20. jeroice

    breath of fresh air discovered during my research. thanks for sharing info. looking to at least have all of my cats on dry or going to try homemade diet on one meal to test my kitties out. think im going to increase taurine and get a b supplement and monitor

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