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  #11  
Old 05-22-2005, 12:00 AM
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What did dogs eat a long time ago when all this information wasn't available? I know you have researched all of this, but this is really just an honest question. What did they eat 20 or 30 years ago?
until commercial foods became widely available, dogs ate pretty much the same food as people - table scraps from meals, some cooked grains and potatoes, fresh offal, scrap meat and bones (in other words: byproducts) from the local butcher/slaughterhouse.

yes, these things were leftovers and parts that were considered not fit for human consumption, but it was all fresh, not collected over a period of time and then transported to rendering facilities where it is processed with all kinds of other junk.

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I did post something a few days ago about wanting to start feeding my animals these "natural" foods, but now I just don't think there is anything wrong with animals eating by-product of chickens or anything like that.
no, there is nothing wrong at all with dogs eating animal byproducts - when they are fresh and you know where they came from. if you buy chicken necks and beef heart at your grocery store, you know these byproducts have been inspected and approved for human consumption. what ends up at rendering facilities is substandard and barred from use in human foods. according to the federal meat inspection act, any meat not approved for human consumption has to be treated to prevent it from reentering the human food chain. this is commonly accomplished by dousing the meat with chemicals, and the residue of these chemicals is going to be present in the food that your dog ends up eating - the rendering process does not remove them.

in addition to that, any time you don't have a clearly named species listed in the food ingredient (e.g. "chicken byproducts" vs. "poultry byproducts" or "meat meal"), there is no way of telling what kinds of materials have been rendered. it is legally possible that for example roadkill, grease from restaurant deepfryers, and meats/meat products discarded by grocery stores (because they are past their "sell by" dates) are also used. an interesting fact is that this supermarket refuse is rendered without the styrofoam/plastic trays and plastic wrap removed, since it would be too expensive to have workers going through all these materials. roadkill, and in some cases even euthanized pets from shelters and vet offices, are tossed in the shredder right along with the plastic bags they are wrapped in.

this "cocktail" of rendered stuff needs massive quantities of preservatives to keep it from decomposing any further, and if they are added by the rendering facility, the food manufacturer does not have to mention them in the ingredient label.

add to that the poor quality grains and grain byproductrs used in cheap foods and you are a far stretch from "what dogs used to eat".

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They are animals and have different stomachs than we do. If we ate that stuff, we wouldn't die or even get sick.
yes, they do have different stomachs and can deal with things like for example pathogenic bacteria much better than humans can, but that doesn't mean that they will not be affected by the unhealthy levels of chemicals and additives used in this kind of product.

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All of my animals have been perfectly healthy eating these "bad" foods, and I am going to stick to them.
i'm not going to tell you what to feed or what not to feed, but i will tell you that you do not have a basis of comparison for how well your animals would do on a better quality food.

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I mean, if they can eat poo, let alone other dogs' poo, then why be so picky about their food?
that's not a valid argument, since poop (regardless if it's their own or from other dogs/animals) is not what they eat in a large enough quantity to sustain life and body functions day in and day out their entire lives.

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so I guess it will stay the way it is until some scientific proof comes along that proves to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that my animals' food is causing them harm.
the pet food industry is a multi billion business, and the sad thing about it is that it also sponsors most of the research in regards to pet nutrition as well as education in the field for veterinarians. this would be completely unthinkable in regards to humans and you don't have your general practitioner physician making in-depth recommendations for your diet.

whoever pays for research controls the outcome of it, so do you really think that anything that proves that pet foods are unhealthy would be published and actually make it into the hands of consumers?

the closest you can get is reading dr. tom lonsdale's book "raw meaty bones", he outlines in great detail how independent research data collected by him and a few others was dismissed by the people who decide what gets published and what doesn't.

if you are interested in just who exactly is behind major research in regards to pet foods (and publishes the textbooks on nutrition used at vet schools), read ann martin's "food pets die for". even if you don't want to buy it, pick it up at a book store and thumb to chapter seven.

i could go on and on on this topic, but i really don't have the time.
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2005, 11:18 AM
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Mordy,
Thank you for answering me so in-depth. I do see yours and other peoples' sides as well. Maybe I will pick a copy of that book. It sounds interesting.
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Old 05-23-2005, 09:45 PM
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Growing up all we fed any of our pets was the generic on sale dog/cat food that was at the grocery store and they lived long and healthy lives. Now that I make the decisions on what I feed my dogs I tried to feed them the best (Eagle Pack) that we could afford but we couldn't afford it. We finally switched to Nutro and our dogs are doing REALLY well. It is the only dog food that we could get all three of our dogs to eat. I HATE feeling like I am cheating my pets out of a long and healthy life, but I also have to realize we have to stay within our means. I mean maybe once we get more stable on our feet we can afford the better food but for right now we feed them the best we can. They do not starve they always have food. I understand how people are concerned about feeding they're dogs the best food available but sometimes people just can't afford "the best" so they buy the best that they can for their dogs.
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:18 PM
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i understand what you are talking about, julie - but nutro isn't exactly a cheap food either, and you have to feed more of it than of a good premium food because it's full of fillers.

i know for example that in my area the nutro natural choice and canidae cost about the same per 40 lb bag, but the bag of canidae lasts longer.

so if you are looking at cost, don't make the mistake of just comparing the price per bag, but figure out your daily feeding cost and then compare it to other products.
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:39 AM
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In my eyes, dogs are like children and you give them the best or you don't have them. Dogs are a privilege, not a right. I am sorry, but I am still bitter from my days working in the vet clinic. Every day for 5 years I saw animals that were suffering because their owners fed them junk and had no money to give them proper medical care. It was hard to watch as a sick animal would come in with dry, flakey, and horrifically smelly skin and the owner would say "the dog has always been healthy until now, and I have always fed pedigree." I would just stand in that little room looking down at the sick dog and wonder what in the heck that person saw as "healthy" about that animal. I came to the conclusion that to a lot of per owners the word healthy must just mean "alive" because so many pets are not really that healthy. The outside shows the health of the inside and I will always believe that. Now, I am not saying you need to be a millionaire to deserve a pet, I too have struggled over medical costs at times, but to get a pet and take it to the vet for the first time when it is a puppy or kitten and say "I have no money." What is that all about? We saw it all the time and it was so frusterating because the animal suffers. If you can't even afford basic nutritious food and medical care for your pet, DON'T get one, because what happens when there is a $1500 or more emergency? Wait until you can afford the care of a pet...there will always be needy animals.
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  #16  
Old 05-27-2005, 12:18 AM
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I can afford my pets. I afford their food, and they're medical expenses. I am very fortunate that my vet will put me on a payment plan. I know that Nutro isn't exactly cheap but I get a discount on it from my work, that is why I get that. My boss feeds it to her dogs and her dogs are in excellent shape, and have lived well beyond their life expectancy. I find it much cheaper to feed them all the same food than having to chase out to three different pet stores to find all their food. My dog Shelby used to only eat Innova and I had to drive a little over a half hour to get her food for her. Now that they all are eating the same brand (except Shelby doesn't eat the puppy formula she gets adult) I find that we are saving some money. I would like to put them back on the Eagle Pack but right now we are in the process of buying a house and are putting forth A LOT more money than we were expecting so for right now dogs are on Nutro and cats are eating friskies. They'll definetely be switched back though, as soon as we are more stable on our feet. My animals are in perfect health though, we do take really good care of them. I actually think that the Nutro is improving their coats though, Mack had really flaky dandruffy fur and now I notice when I brush him that it is getting a little better.
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