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The False Friends of Pet Food Consumers

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  1. Jane

    What a fantastic resource you’ve put together! I love that you included ways to take action, too. Thanks for being a True Friend to pets and the people who love them!

    1. Carol Halbert

      Susan Thixton is ‘right on’ what is going in our pet’s food….SAD SAD SAD!!!!! <3 🙁

  2. Laurie Raymond

    Really, people! Susan and so many others qualified to speak with authority about the duplicity and irresponsibility of the pet food industry have made it crystal clear: if you want to know what is in your pet’s food, you need to grow and/or buy the ingredients and assemble them into meals yourself. Why would a company in an industry enjoying global growth and outrageous profits constrain itself to meet higher standards when it has successfully suborned government regulators to ignore even flagrant violations of the law? If/when (long-term, I’m hopeful; but for the forseeable future I’m deeply pessimistic) we change the fundamental rules of our society, we may get wholesome pet food made by scrupulous manufacturers constrained by standards of simple truthfulness in their marketing. But for now? It makes no sense to whine and complain – well, yes, we should whine and complain, but not expect that to effect change — and continue to feed toxic crap to our beloved companions. It isn’t rocket science, it’s much more like basic home ec, good information is easy to come by, and it won’t break your budget of destroy your life. As long as we buy this stuff we are reinforcing the industry’s intransigence.

    1. Pet Owner

      There are a lot of PF Consumers coming to the table now. The internet has become a valuable tool for finding this site. And really, the people too stubborn (or dumb) to keep on assuming (or hoping) that “their” choice of PF is exempt from all these issues … is a lost cause. They’re not going to be listening at all. Feel sorry for the pets.

      Here, we should keep on encouraging (explaining) that even modest adjustments to feeding pets is valuable. Add that whole protein (in whatever format that works) and a few whole food carbs (for dogs, not cats) to extend the meal plan. If you rotate, and alternate with something more affordable, please AVOID meat by-products, bone meal, animal digest. And anything else that isn’t a whole and identifiable food ingredient. Avoid the biggest manufacturers (like Purina, Big Heart, etc..) to try and focus on limited, qualified producers. And for support with those decisions, get Susan’s The 2018 List!

      While not a perfect choice, there is a kibble on there that’s been vetted. It has the vitamins and minerals. Just add your own (human grade) protein! It’s SO easy to get started!!! And when you learn your pet loves his meal that way, you’ll already be encouraged to do more!!

  3. T Allen

    Well done, as always, Susan. These posts help make it very clear to all pet owners what exactly they are up against when buying pet food! More and more people are getting the message as can be seen by commercials on TV. We’ll keep spreading the word. Thanks!

  4. […] Photo: 3 Photo Submissions 99 Times in 97 Posts False Friends if we only knew. The False Friends of Pet Food Consumers ? Truth about Pet Food Dave and Molly Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from […]

  5. Sharon Bilotta-Testa

    To Rachel Ray and all the celebs who endorse this garbage You do NOT care about OUR beloved pets or any animal all you care about is the $$$$ How the hell can you say how great this crap is, how wholesome how it’s the BEST food for your pet and then put you lying,greedy smiling face on the package with a cute cat or dog!! I don’t care how much I am offered I could not would not lie saying what you all say for $$$$



  7. Pet Owner

    Such a good article, thank you. Yet another “one of your best.”

    I “had” to buy a can of PF recently (for the emergency kit) and there were slim pickin’s at a grocery store. I know (well probably know) that “one” can of PF isn’t going to hurt my dog. But reading the label was interesting, because I seldom buy random canned PF.

    Marketing ploys: Natural (4 times) Grain-free (2), indulgent, wholesome, made in the USA. Hey that’s was better than Uruguay! Fresh-cut carrots (oh sure thing). And THIS, was all without even looking at the back of the ca!. So you know that Marketing’s first goal … is to get get the consumer to pick up the can! On the back I did get a calorie count. And whole ingredients were in English. But of course I’d never know from where they’re sourced, or what grade.

    I’d like to ask the company, what’s the OPPOSITE of “natural and wholesome?” And if the carrots are “fresh cut” then what about all the other ingredients not described that? So sorry, my normal cynicism is showing again. I just feel sorry for pets who never get a rotational diet.

  8. Karl Buchanan

    Thanks for this article and site. I’ve been spreading it around. About to just find the way to prepare all thier food ourselves.

  9. Cannoliamo

    Excellent article, Susan. Thank you. I wish I could use a bot or something to give this nationwide distribution for all pet owners (many of whom I know to be completely unfamiliar with AAFCO standards).

    btw, I spoke with my state AAFCO rep (I have a cat with food allergies) and was told that the contents shown on the label do not have to correlate with or indicate the specific contents in the can. He said manufacturers and distributors are required to annually submit a list of all the ingredients used in their cat foods, but the specific ingredients in any specific flavor variety are not required to match the label. He said there is no reliable lab test that can distinguish pheasant or duck from chicken, turkey or many other proteins (i.e. beef and pork). As long as the food/feed tests to the labeled protein level and is on their approved list of ingredients, the specific source breed or origin of the protein used in that food/feed can be just about anything from fish to fowl to horse. Even if the label says “tuna” there is no requirement that the can contain tuna and not something else. Is that your understanding? As you know, food allergies in pets are often limited to the specific animal proteins used to make their feed.

    1. Pet Owner

      That could be a life changing difference in human food. I’m gluten-sensitive and “food starch” for example has to be defined. Why would pets be any different?

    2. jan b-b

      what you say – so true – we had a kitty who was allergic to chicken, but through feed trials, determined that turkey was good to her, tried to find turkey only canned foods, could actually find one or two brands, and I ended up making her food myself.

    3. barbara m

      The AAFCO rep that you talked to is misinformed about the reliability of DNA testing. Back in 2010 Evanger’s was busted by the FDA for the mis-branding of their “Grain-free Duck” and their “Lamb and Rice” pet food that contained only bovine. Then in 2017, DNA species identification testing was done by the FDA for the now infamous sodium pentobarbital “100%” Hunk O’ Beef to find that it contained horse meat as well as beef. The recall was expanded to include their other beef containing foods, and and .
      You can also read about it on FDA websites.

  10. landsharkinnc

    Wonder if Rachel Ray or any of the other celebs that put their name of a dog/cat product would eat the ‘raw’ product? (not raw, per se, but as it goes into the product )

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