In one of the recent news feeds I found this following article titled “Regarding the latest pet food recall” written by Raj Salvan for The Argus:
Many pet owners are just as concerned about what goes into their pets' food as they are about their own food.
With so many brands out there, how can concerned pet owners know they are using the best food? How can we know what is going into our friends' diets?
Recently, deja vu set in as another recall was ordered for a bagged variety of Pedigree pet food.
Although the recall only affected about 100 bags of the food, many pet owners were alarmed.
Strolling along the pet food aisle in a large pet food retail outlet is an amazing event.
Playful puppies and adorable kittens almost seem to jump out of the colorful packages, beckoning pet owners to choose their very special brands of food. Large pallets containing bags of dry food, stacks of orderly cans and rows of moist pouches often leave pet owners literally dazed and confused with the overwhelming selection.
In the past half-century, the production and marketing of pet foods has grown into an $11 billion a year industry with more than 3,000 manufacturers producing more than 15,000 separate brands of dog and cat food alone.
Marketing ideas leap off the products claiming to be "organic," to have "no by-products" and to have "real, wholesome ingredients." All of these speak to us as ways to provide the very best for our family members. But in light of pet food recalls and concerns about pet food manufacturing, how can pet owners
really know they are providing the best?
Although feeding dry kibble to dogs is an idea that was born more than 150 years ago, the latter half of the 20th century saw many advances in the pet food production industry.
Not only was dry food advancing, but canned diets and the newly created "semi-moist" diets began to find a loyal following among pet owners as well.
Food safety and hygiene were becoming highly developed as the concern for the health and well-being of pets continued to grow among pet lovers. In the United States, the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine oversees the safety of pet food ingredients.
Many pet owners are concerned with the safety and adequacy of the foods that they buy their pets. Dr. Andrea Fascetti, a nutrition professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, said pet owners should feel very comfortable with commercial diets.
"People should realize that this (pet food recall) is not a common occurrence," Fascetti said. "Over the history of commercial pet foods, they have been very safe and a very good way to feed animals to ensure that they're meeting their nutritional requirements."
Also, all pet food companies are required to meet guidelines that are set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials for the nutritional adequacy of their foods. Many companies will go beyond requirements and actually have inspectors from the human food industry examine production facilities as a means of ensuring the best product for the animal consumers.
The Pet Food Institute (www.PetFoodInstitute.org) has stated that pet foods are one of the most highly regulated food products. In fact, pet foods require more information on their labels than human foods.
Still, many pet owners are turning to home-cooked meals or organic substitutes for the more common commercial diets. Proponents of home-cooked meals feel that a pet's health can be better managed than they can be with commercial diets.
Many homemade diets, however, do not meet the nutritional needs of the pet.
It is extremely easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged with the sheer number of pet foods and the reports of potential concerns with the diets.
Remember, though, that your family veterinarian is a great source for dietary recommendations for your pet. He or she understands your pet's needs as well as your own concerns much better than any source online.”
Excuse me Dr. Andrea Fascetti: “…pet owners should feel very comfortable with commercial diets. Over the history of commercial pet foods, they have been very safe and a very good way to feed animals to ensure that they're meeting their nutritional requirements." ???
How many recalls of growing dimensions does it take for you to call it what it simply is: UNSAFE !!!
Excuse me Raj Salwan: “In fact, pet foods require more information on their labels than human foods.” ??? Well, while you maybe stating a fact here, I would like to make a point that it is not the labeling we pet owners are having problems with. But WHAT ACTUALLY IS STATED ON THE LABELS AND WHAT GOES IN THE FOOD?
And: “Many homemade diets, however, do not meet the nutritional needs of the pet” I still prefer those over a mass manufacturer’s commercial food, because they are not meeting the nutritional needs either. Or how would one explain the countless diseases we are facing in our pets these days? At least with a homemade diet I know what’s in it.
Blog members: If you want to cc Raj Salwan on your comments, here is his e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org.