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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For several reasons I've been doing a lot of research on dog food lately (thank you, Connie, for all your help), and a friend of mine asked me a question today that I really couldn't think of a good answer for.

Why aren't the evils of the commerical dog food companies (if they're really as bad as some of the articles I've been reading say they are) being exposed by someone? You would think PETA would be all over the extensive use of grains and grain fractions as cheap protein sources and the use (misuse?) of synthetic preservatives like Ethoxyquin, which seems to have so much controversy surrounding it.

Is it just because the general public has blinders on about this stuff? An "if the vet says it's good, it must be" mentality?
 

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For several reasons I've been doing a lot of research on dog food lately (thank you, Connie, for all your help), and a friend of mine asked me a question today that I really couldn't think of a good answer for.

Why aren't the evils of the commerical dog food companies (if they're really as bad as some of the articles I've been reading say they are) being exposed by someone? You would think PETA would be all over the extensive use of grains and grain fractions as cheap protein sources and the use (misuse?) of synthetic preservatives like Ethoxyquin, which seems to have so much controversy surrounding it.

Is it just because the general public has blinders on about this stuff? An "if the vet says it's good, it must be" mentality?
http://www.eagletribune.com/punewsnh/local_story_085093817?keyword=secondarystory+page=1

They are "exposed" all the time. Hills, Nestle-Purina, et al -- these are rich corporations with loads of advertising dollars. The small regional manufacturers producing better foods are not. But I think the big stranglehold is the one that Hills-SD has on the vet community. They pay for "research," stock the waiting rooms with deeply discounted bags of cereal products that provide income to the practice, and even contribute major funding to the AVMA and other associations.

Fast food for humans is "exposed" all the time. McDonalds doesn't have a hold on the medical community, but think of the pharmaceutical houses and how they influence our health care.

Have you ever read Tom Lonsdale's* books about raw feeding? His first book details the ridicule, harassment, and eventual ostracism he endured when he bucked the commercial pet food establishment.

The answers are many, but they all boil down to ------ money. Big, big money. The usual answer.

JMO.

*He's a DVM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess you're right. That is the driving force behind pretty much everything, isn't it? Not gonna mention our governm.... Oil mone... Nope, not gonna do it. :lol:

Sad.

Haven't read Tom Lonsdale's books, but I'll look into picking them up. Thanks.
 

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Lonsdale, Pitcairn, Schultze, Billinghurst........ there are many DMVs who have published books about the problems with the foods produced by the biggies.

Again, though, there are smaller (mostly regional) manufacturers doing a MUCH better job of producing species-appropriate food.
 

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just to get a bit off tangent here, but how many ppl even realize who makes decisions on HUMAN food/drugs in this country? the FDA, right? who sits on that board? people who's research dollars are, in large part, provided by the very drug company which is trying to get a drug/treatment approved by the FDA. and, even though (i believe) the FDA committee members are supposed to recuse themselves from a decision if their work (even if it's not on the drug under scrutiny) is funded by a company submitting a drug for approval (called conflict of interest, you know), guess what?
yep, you're right, doesn't matter, they stay on the committee regardless.
and someone thinks that a country that won't even regulate the drugs it's HUMAN population takes would worry much about pet food????
connie's right--it's about BIG, BIG money, and it disgusts me.

better go b/f i need to take high blood pressure meds (approved by the FDA, BTW)....
 

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It's easy to criticize drug companies, and often warranted. We must consider however, the average age we will live is in part because of these companies. When I was a boy, people were getting small pox and polio. Unheard of today. Many of the maladies of years gone by are no longer fatal as once was. Again, due in part to the drug companies. Yes, technology is better today. Our health care providers are are more advanced. While there certainly are problems with the cost and availability of drugs, sometimes even with unwanted sideeffects, I'll probably live longer today, than I would have 100 years ago.

DFrost
 

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The problem is convenience and price. Alot of people know that raw is better than kibble but continue to feed kibble anyway. The dogs are alive n their coats are shiney so that's all that matters.

Cost:
Even the pre-packaged raw diets are kind of a pain in the butt, they take up alot of freezer space, and are $3.60+/lb it is expensive to feed anything bigger than a Yorkie. Even the better kibbles are expensive. $45/bag for a 25 or 30lb bag vs $35 for a 40-50lb bag of premium pet-store kibble. For someone feeding 2 or 3 or 4 dogs, if not more, thats quite a price difference, especially vs. the $20-25/40lbs stuff such as Kasko and Diamond.

Convenience:
I need a seperate freezer in my garage to feed raw. It took me 2 years to finally find a place in town where I could buy the ingredients for a raw diet at a good price with consistent availability. It takes me at least an hour if not more to ziploc up enough food for 4-6 weeks for 2 dogs. I need to make sure stuff is defrosted in time so my dogs don't starve for the day. If I take my dogs somewhere I need to have an alternative food because I can't bring 14 ziploc baggies of raw chicken backs with me if I go out for a week. Most boarding facilities won't store raw food for you if you board your dog. Then there is also a concern with families with young children being around raw meats. Some dogs don't take to raw immediately so the owners get discouraged.

Quite a few people that I know personally and have talked to online all like the idea of raw, until they price it out or factor in how much effort it is going to take. They all look at the options and end up with what is easiest, cheapest or more convenient. I am actually surprised how educated people are, at least in this town, about raw foods vs. kibble, but most people are the type to want to see an immediate improvement to the dog n if they don't then they wonder why they are putting in the effort and cost to feed raw. Lazy-raw is ridiculously expensive to feed (prepacked stuff, Omas Pride, Natures Variety etc) and real-raw is a pain in the butt, you need to really care about what your dogs eat to want to make that effort.

Then look at police dogs, I hear what officers feed their dogs n I'm surprised at what they consider good food. But you then also need to understand that they feed what the department pays for, the department pays for kibble, usually pretty cheap kibble. They also listen to the vet advice of the vet chosen by the department, who will push whatever food they carry, usually Iams or Eukanuba around this area. Bil Jac is a popular food among local law enforcement. Having met these guys, I cannot picture any of them spending the money to buy a raw diet, then standing in their kitchen an hour a month baggying up a balanced raw diet for their dogs ;) They have other things on their mind.
 

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I feed Canidae to my dogs, Natures Variety medallions to my cat. Sometimes I give the dogs medallions, too, but not as anything but a treat - just too pricey :) My reasons for not feeding raw are mostly what you've listed here. I don't have anywhere I can put another freezer, and with four dogs (two big, two small), I would need a lot of freezer space to feed raw. It's not time - my macaw eats a completely holistic diet (OK, other than eating the junk I eat, LOL) - but the freezer space I take up just for the food for one bird is ridiculous. I have friends that feed whole prey model, and most of them buy literally a hundred pounds of, say, rabbit, at a time. Maybe one day I will have somewhere to store it, but now? Not an option.

I will say, though, that most people ARE too lazy to feed raw. Just going on what I learned the hard way teaching bird ownership classes - I'd give them long lectures on proper diet, the necessity of foraging, etc., and 90% of them would come back later and tell me that they were feeding pellets with the occasional fruit and vegetable. At that point, you know they aren't going to feed the way they should, so you settle for trying to recommend a higher-quality pellet with no ethoxyquin and hope for the best. :?
 

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Ethoxyquin's big claim to fame was some puppy miller lost a bunch of Yorkies, looked on the bag and the ingredient she didn't recognize was Ethoxyquin.

Dog food, especially the grains and raw issues are most often written on by zealots.

I, in the many years that I have around dogs, have rarely seen the amazing results that many dog foods claim, and would feed raw, but am way too lazy. LOL.

I see dogs that look fantastic on grocery store brands, so maybe it is like those shampoo comercials and the girls with the genetically perfect hair.



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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wasn't even necessarily asking why more people don't feed raw. I completely understand the time and money involved in keeping your dog(s) on a raw diet, especially when you have anything bigger than a Yorkie, like Mike said.

More or less, I was asking why so many people still think that Pedigree and Ol' Roy are good foods. Even Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet... Their ingredients lists are appalling. I guess it comes down to what Connie said - big, big money (and some brainwashing) - and Mike's point about the better (or at least acceptable) kibbles being pricey per pound. Still... I dunno.
 

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I've been feeding Nutro Max and Nutro Lamb and rice for the past 17 years. We don't have skin problems, we don't have all the allergies people complain of. They are working dogs and they have all the energy they need. Our average age on retirement for single purpose dogs has been 12, which I don't think is too bad. We've had dogs live as long as 16 years. While I'm sure they may be better foods available, my question has to be better than what. Healthy, energetic, problem free dogs is what I'm after. In all those years, we've had maybe 5 dogs (I'm feeding 45) that could not tolerate the Nutro product for one reason or another. I just don't think those are too bad of odds. Yes, we've had a few die early, one lost a leg to cancer (a lab) but still worked 2 years afterwards (a single purpose drug dog I called Tripod). I just retired a Chocolate lab he is 13 and having some kidney problems. That isn't outside the margins though of geriatric working dogs.

DFrost
 

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What ingredients are appalling???? My dogs enjoy cat shit, dead shit, stinky rotten trash shit. At what point can an ingredient be appalling. Dogs are scavengers. I have had many dogs in my care over the years that had lived very long lives on ol roy and pedigree.

What I was saying in an earlier post is that this stuff is genetic. They either live a long time, or they don't. Food has nothing to do with it, unless some company poisens it. LOL



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Yeah, rat poison in the food is a bad thing.


IMHO, so is a bowl of cereal every day for life, to a dog.

That's what the national vet-office brands are (Science Diet, Hills, et al).

Dogs need meat.
 

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What ingredients are appalling???? My dogs enjoy cat shit, dead shit, stinky rotten trash shit. At what point can an ingredient be appalling. Dogs are scavengers. I have had many dogs in my care over the years that had lived very long lives on ol roy and pedigree.

What I was saying in an earlier post is that this stuff is genetic. They either live a long time, or they don't. Food has nothing to do with it, unless some company poisens it. LOL
There's always going to be the guy who can drink and smoke and chew and eat bacon and eggs for breakfast every day until he dies at 100, but for the rest of us mortals, that's not so. I've done 4 years of research on diet studies and endocrine disruptor studies on mice that are genetically almost practically clones (including 2 diet studies specifically on Purina's rodent chow which is surprisingly similar to many low end dog chows). Even feeds with a slightly different phytoestrogen profile give vastly different adult phenotypes to genetically similar animals. I can unequivocally assure you, Jeff...you are what you eat.
 

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There's always going to be the guy who can drink and smoke and chew and eat bacon and eggs for breakfast every day until he dies at 100, but for the rest of us mortals, that's not so. I've done 4 years of research on diet studies and endocrine disruptor studies on mice that are genetically almost practically clones (including 2 diet studies specifically on Purina's rodent chow which is surprisingly similar to many low end dog chows). Even feeds with a slightly different phytoestrogen profile give vastly different adult phenotypes to genetically similar animals. I can unequivocally assure you, Jeff...you are what you eat.
Those darned 100-year-olds who drank and smoked and ate bacon and eggs three times a day drive me crazy. :lol:

All commercial dog foods do not belong in the same category. The ingredients are what matter, and the worst I have seen are indeed the ones with the gigantic advertising budgets.

Hmmm......... maybe there's a connection.
 

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I don't believe kibble is as evil as some people make it out to be, especially one of the better kibbles. But obviously raw is my first choice. I live on junk food quite alot, this week my breakfast foods of choice have been doritos, pringles, hersheys kisses, banana nut muffin, a croissant and this morning a country fried steak with bacon eggs and hash browns. Yeah, I'm a health nut ;) I used to ride 30-50 miles on a bike with just a McGriddle for breakfast. But I would probably be healthier long term with better food.
 

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<<<Nutro isn't even related to the vet-office foods that are corn-based. Nutro has meat in it! Real meat!>>>

True, in fact, it has no corn. Personally, I wouldn't feed SD to a dead goat. Sometimes though, Raw feeders are a bit cultish. I've had more than one discussion that usually ends in statements similiar to: well if you don't care anything about your dog's health etc.

As far as LE dogs go, hey Micky D has meat (well sort of) and a few fries never killed a dog.

DFrost
 

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well if you don't care anything about your dog's health etc. ....
I know.

Fact is, there are a lot of choices these days. Even 15 years ago, that wasn't so true.

There's a whole list of commercial foods that have good ingredients, are not grain-heavy, have no toxic chemicals in them ....

They're not the ones in the vets' offices or in the prime-time commercials, unfortunately.
 
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