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MATTER OF TASTE TO A DOG
E. Katie Gammill, AKC Judge, TheDogPlace.org Exhibition Editor
Most dogs, given the opportunity, will eat roadkill but due to a shorter intestinal tract and the Creator’s plan, canines-carnivores suffer no ill effects.
That can't be said for many products made in China today. The following experience taught me to call the number on the can and ask the manufacturers about production of the products I choose to use.
Dogs love chicken, turkey, sweet potato, duck and other dried treats. Finding a sale at Pet Smart, I checked the bag for where the treats were manufactured. Unable to locate anything except "manufactured for", I went ahead and purchased them.
At first the dogs were delighted. Then one female acted lethargic and gagged up her food. Since the first dog was in heat and knowing hormones can affect their behavior, I didn't think much of this until the second female started acting strange. Then, when I offered another treat, they turned their nose up and walked away. I should have listened. The next morning, my "cast iron stomach" male "up-chucked" his entire meal.
My husband inspected the packages and in tiny print beneath a bar code, it said "China". I called the company which assured me the treats were fine and offered more coupons for their products, which I promptly refused. They said the FDA approved the treats. I told them to come tell that to my sick dogs. They did send an envelope 12 days later for me to return the product, which I did, and the bar code and batch was on the bag. To date I have no feedback.
I notice some AKC dog treats are made in China as well. I scheduled a blood test for my dogs to see if there was an adverse effect on pancreas or liver. These specific treats had on my Shelties. Perhaps they won't bother another breed, but who wants to take a chance?
At times my dogs get table scraps in their dry food. If the scraps consist of ANY processed foods such as packaged soups or noodles, they usually refuse to eat them but they eagerly ate the duck and chicken treats, then vomited. The same action can occur if artificial sweetener is in a product. Therefore, artificial sweeteners and packaged soups are not purchased anymore. I now make soup from scratch to control the ingredients and stay away from processed food and preservatives as much as possible.
Dogs are smarter than humans. They simply walk away. Be aware, roadkill has NO preservatives and the animal finding the feast eats what nature offers. Chasing a bird or a bug is natural but a lot of today’s dog food isn’t food.
I suspect the FDA allowances in our food have a negative effect on our health as well. Food today is allowed to have a certain percent of "insect material and feces". Add to that, preservatives, sprays, fertilizer and other run-off in our water systems and lakes, and it can be a deadly recipe. Consider the plastic bottles used on a daily basis (or recycled and reused) and ask yourself what it is doing to YOUR body. What does this do to our immune system?
Also realize companies may change recipes ingredients without notice and the long-used food your dogs thrived on may no longer keep them in condition. Dog food should always start with MEAT such as chicken, turkey, venison, or beef... we feed raw venison and raw venison bones.
NEVER feed smoked bones as they can upset the pancreas and note that cooked bones will often splinter. Pick up small pieces of bone and dispose of them.
READ THOSE LABELS. Ingredient labels often read this way - "Animal by products” which translates as diseased animals, feet, feathers, and innards. Add to that, other ingredients such as wheat, barley, corn ("bird food" thrown in for bulk), give it a dash of preservatives and what do you have? "Filler!"
DOG FOOD SHOULD START WITH MEAT! There is no guarantee well-known names of dog foods we depended on are still good for our dogs anymore. You may actually find some cheaper foods have better ingredients. If in doubt, call the company that produces the food. It is a law that food must be labeled where it is manufactured. Some get around this by coding.
I call phone numbers on the products I ask where the food was manufactured. If breeders do this often enough and refuse to buy products from China, we might make a difference. One friend started her own co-op with her own recipe for dog food and friends bought it in the bulk. Don't think dog food that was dependable years ago is still dependable today and don't count on the manufacturers telling you when they change the recipe.
The bottom line is this. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT! WATCH WHAT YOUR DOG EATS AND PLAYS WITH... Don't take for granted that FDA approval insures your dog's health any more than it does yours.
Both dogs and humans are what they eat! Give some thought to what you put into your mouth. It may save you problems down the road. LISTEN TO YOUR PETS! READ THOSE LABELS. It's better to be safe than sorry.
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