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The Times they are a Changing

The Times they are a Changing

There was a day (just months ago?) that the pet food industry trade publication PetFoodIndustry.com felt raw pet food was a trendy, risky style of feeding pets. Low and behold, the industry trade magazine is now in favor of raw pet food. Why the change in attitude?

This is a first – the pet food industry trade publication writing positively about raw pet food. First they blame all the bad press of raw food (much of which they themselves have published over the years) on home prepared raw food diets.

The problem is that these warnings and these organizations tend to lump all raw petfood under one very vague, uninformed definition. “Raw petfood consists primarily of meat, bones and organs that haven’t been cooked, and therefore are more likely than cooked food to contain organisms that can make a dog or cat sick,” says the FDA statement, attributing this definition to William J. Burkholder, DVM, PhD, veterinary medical officer in the Division of Animal Feeds.

This definition is not uncommon for such advisories. It seems to target home-prepared raw pet diets, and probably rightly so; studies have shown that most home-prepared diets, raw or cooked, tend to be deficient in necessary nutrients for dogs and cats.

After the hit on home prepared foods, the industry magazine goes on for four paragraphs about the sales potential and safety of raw foods. And there’s our clue…Sales Potential…money.

Almost as scripted, just following the publication of this positive on raw pet food article we learn that Nature’s Variety has sold a 50% share of their company to the 6th largest pet food manufacturer in the world, 3rd largest pet food company in Europe – Agrolimen.

I’m confident, because of “strong sales” we’ll be seeing some of the big U.S. manufacturers enter the raw pet food market too. Oh…and I’m assuming that because industry trade groups have had a change of heart with raw pet food, we can assume we’ll see an attitude change from veterinary associations too [wink, wink].

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

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22 comments

  1. ah the almighty dollar, isn’t it amazing how it changes ones minds

  2. As a raw feeder of slightly over 2 years and one who has had to face her mainstream vet and others over the “dangers” of feeding raw, I personally cannot WAIT to see the AVMA twist itself into a pretzel over the backpedaling that, had they simply not done the bidding of the Delta Pet group (influenced heavily by Purina), they would never have had to do. It won’t make me respect them any more, though, nor believe they possess any credibility. Once a puppet, always a puppet. Will be fun to watch, though! :)

  3. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140718114543.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fplants_animals%2Fdogs+%28Dogs+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

    Now, if pet parents start to learn what the ingredients are, we may not have to wait for the FDA to close loopholes. If petsumers are obviously willing to shell out more money to high quality food, the industry will suddenly find ways to make better food. What they are going to do with the garbage fewer people will buy – who knows.

    I was warned 14 years ago, that raw foods will kill my dogs. Luckily, my dogs don’t know that.

  4. Well, we knew this was going to happen sooner or later when the big food companies realized that little raw food companies were making money. If will be fun to watch the pretzel-twisting, indeed! It will also be interesting to see if freezers start to appear our supermarket pet food aisles.

    As someone who feeds Nature’s Variety Instinct, I’m curious to know what changes might occur as a result of that 50% sale to Agrolimen. Should consumers be wary, or alarmed, or what?

  5. I am not convinced that pet food manufacturers know what ALL dogs and cats need for complete nutrition. Let them print their research to substantiate their claims of “complete and nutritional”. None of this proprietary crap. Also I am certainly not convinced that their highly preserved, processed and artificial additives provide safe and healthy nutrition for dogs and cats.

  6. The quote presented is not an endorsement of raw food! It is simply saying that some raw foods are better than others. it also stated that home-based diets, whether cooked or raw, are likely to be nutritionally deficient. This is in the second paragraph of the quote you presented:

    “studies have shown that most home-prepared diets, raw or cooked, tend to be deficient in necessary nutrients for dogs and cats.” That is not an endorsement!

    • OF COURSE they don’t want people to make it themselves! But rest assured they want a piece of that pie that’s going to raw companies and they want the raw feeders to buy from what they’re going to be selling — hence the preparation in terms of “well, not ALL raw is bad, etc….” The AVMA will likely follow suit when the big names start coming out with their own “raw”.

      • It is likely the AAHA Will come out as pro store bought raw food, since Nature’s Variety holds top market share. Nature’s Variety and the AAHA are both “investments” of Catterton Partners. See my reply to ELLE in the above comments.

  7. ugh.. as much as I hate the idea of this being a sell out to make it happen, I really want this to happen… so fine.. whatever.. it isn’t like my cats like Nature’s Variety anyway..

  8. There are a few things that will happen as the big pet slop makers enter the raw feeding fray.

    Vets will of course do an almost complete 180 on raw food being dangerous, but only almost complete, home made raw will still of course be missing vital nutrient and extremely dangerous while commercially made raw utilising the cheapest possible ingredients money can find will be Gods own gift to carnivore kind..

    Raw food will appear that has gawd knows what added – not because its needed but just to enforce point 1 above.

    Ingredients will become ever cheaper rubbish, formulas will change to include cheep stripped carcass and then toss in loads of liver to combat the constipation (already happened with some current raw foods) all to cut cost and increase profit.

    At the end of the day business exists to make money, big business exists to make big money, and the pet food business will simply move on to exploit our pets and exploit us with the same old empty promises, string of lies and deceit with raw formulas that they have always served up with their kibble and cans.

    Truth be told here, by far the biggest health advantage that our cats and dogs get from raw food is not so much the ingredients as the fact that these money grabbing b****rds have not got a hand in the feeding, let them into to the system and watch raw go the same way as kibble and cans – down the hill.

    • While I agree about the reaction from the vet community as soon as big pet food gets into the mix, I disagree that the “biggest health advantage” is not the ingredients. It’s precisely the ingredients and the fact that the food is unprocessed and highly bio-available which makes it species-appropriate and healthy for our pets. I doubt anyone here really thinks that the big pet food companies will make a good raw product considering what they would have to give up in the way of profit to do so, but there are still good raw companies out there — and one can always make one’s own (which many of us do already). No one can take that from us or our pets, regardless of how many companies “compromise” away the healthy nature of their product. And I don’t think it will be ALL companies, but even if it were…we can source our meats, bones, and organ meats elsewhere. As the market opens up, those opportunities will only increase. One need not buy from Purina or Hill’s or ___________.

      • That was meant as “tongue in cheek”.. The big pet slop manufacturers are more than capable, and have proved on numerous occasions, that they can take less than ideal but still edible ingredients and contaminate them with a multitude of chemicals to turn them into a deadly concoction.

        Really I don’t see that they would make any better a job of raw food, it will invariably end up with some Chinese fakery product in it because its 50 cents a ton cheaper.

        We do of course have the ability to make our own, and at every possible turn I try to convince others to do so, if you make your own you are the quality control department and will know exactly what it contains, but you can bet that all advice will be that home made is deadly and the only safe raw is commercial ;)

        • Oh, yes. Can’t have the little people making their own “dog” or “cat” food! Why, it takes YEARS of study to get it right and they might get something horribly wrong and we, who know SO MUCH MORE than the mere pet owner, well — WE are the ones they should come to for information on how to raw feed as well as the food itself! Yep. That will definitely be the party line of the professional vet organizations, most mainstream vets themselves, and of course the pet food industry. Good thing we can all hit the ‘mute” button, lol!

          • Yes, they always talk about how much they know but I remember so many cats got heart disease and died in the 80’s back when they weren’t adding taurine to the food. They thought that there was enough meat in there that taurine didn’t need to be added but either there wasn’t enough or the high heat process killed it all. But it said on the bags that it was ‘complete and balanced’ for life. And of course we trusted them when we read that and cats died for it.

  9. I take my time making raw food, sometimes it sits out a couple hours getting ground before I freeze it. Then sometimes it’s in my fridge for 3 or 4 days thawed before I feed it… then sometimes its in the bowl for 6 or 8 hours before my cat eats it. Honestly plenty of time for the bad bacteria’s to flourish.

    Not to mention I just use whatever supermarket chicken (like foster farms) is on sale and cut up by their machines and whatever else.

    If they were that susceptible to bacteria my cat woulda died already because I’m positive if I ate a spoonful of it with the lax prep I do as a human, I would probably get pretty ill.

  10. While I don’t think Nature’s Variety is perfect, one can do a lot worse. I’m hoping that the sale just means that they’ll be expanding into the European market with their current products. I’ve heard that it’s tough to find healthy cat food in many parts of Europe.

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