Thursday, September 4, 2008

Table scraps in dispute

Now we have it: While the largest pet food manufacturers clearly advise pet owners to absolutely not feed any table scarps and only feed nothing else but their 100% balanced and complete formulas to our pets, the more holistic oriented representatives in the industry paint a different picture. According to them, it is even highly recommended. Mind you that we are talking about “healthy” table scraps, i.e. meat, veggies and fruits here, not junk food or fast food drive through left overs. Only in that case the health oriented guys would agree with the industry giants. Otherwise their view point is as follows: These days many folks are way more health conscious than they used to be. Our diets consist of a variety of meats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. If something of this healthy food is left over it only can be beneficiary for our companion animals. They argue that many pets these days suffer from countless diseases because they are being fed the same food day in and day out for a lifetime. These formulas, though classified as premium foods must and have proven to cause deficiencies. Some time ago we learned of definite taurine deficiencies in cat food, the industry’s answer was adding synthesized taurine. These days we are talking about potassium, carnitine, zinc and riboflavin deficiencies or in contrast overdoses of chloride. The exact outcome of these problems is not even known yet as they have to be observed and studied for decades before scientifically proven results can give us the answers.
All these deficiencies, we as the pet health advocates say, could have been avoided by feeding table scraps at least once in a while. Varied feeding is nothing but beneficial and it should include healthy scraps. But not off the plate at the dinner table, feed it like regular food from their bowls. Dr. Wysong in his book “The Truth About Pet Foods” asks the big boys a very good question: If you think table scraps are so horrible for our pets, why do you sell us human grade ingredients in your 100% complete food? A little contradiction there, don’t you think so?
So all together, business as usual. At the end we have to come to our own conclusion and do what we think is the right thing for our pets.
While I wanted to provide a little more insight on the subject, I mainly wanted to know from our community members: How do you feel about this? Do you feed your pets table scraps and if so, what? How often? Is your pet suffering because of it as the big guys want us to believe or do you agree with us health advocates? And whatever else you wish to contribute…

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