For “Mammal Monday”: It’s about dog’s and cat’s diets today.
Ethoxyquin: A Potentially Deadly Preservative in Pet Food Containing Fish:
Warning - The Very Food Your Pet is Addicted to May Contain This Deadly Preservative
“The fish in pet food is heavily preserved during the manufacturing process using a chemical preservative called ethoxyquin, which is known to be a cancer-causing agent. Ethoxyquin is banned from use in human food except in very small quantities allowed as preservatives in spices. I have experienced first-hand the heartache of ethoxyquin poisoning with my best friend, Gemini, a Rottweiler. It was determined Gemini's liver failure was caused by the ethoxyquin in that food.”
Most seafood today is heavily contaminated with toxic metals, industrial chemicals and pesticides. In addition to toxic preservatives and allergies (including asthma), too much fish in your pet’s diet can over time also create thiamine and vitamin E deficiencies, and health problems associated with too much dietary iodine and magnesium.
It's Really Hard to Avoid Ethoxyquin in Formulas with Fish Meal
Unfortunately, ethoxyquin is still being used in many pet foods currently available on the market. It is used to preserve the fat in almost all fish meals – fat that is made from waste products.
Always remember that if the label doesn't list exact ingredients, including the exact meat source, you have absolutely no idea what's in that food. And because ethoxyquin is added before the raw ingredients are shipped to the pet food manufacturers, it doesn't get listed or disclosed on the product label.
The pet food company you purchase your cat's or dog's food from may not be adding ethoxyquin, but that doesn't mean it isn't in the fish meal in that food.
Don't make the mistake of assuming if the fish meal product label doesn't list ethoxyquin, it's not in there. Unless the label specifically states the formula is ethoxyquin-free, or you call the manufacturer's 1-800 number and are told it's not in the raw materials they purchase nor added during their own manufacturing process, you should assume the formula contains ethoxyquin. Fish meal also happens to be one of the main pet food ingredients also contaminated with mycotoxins.
Is There Any Safe Fish to Feed Pets?
It may seem like I'm anti-seafood in general, but I'm really not. However, I do recommend you be very choosy about the fish you feed your pets. And I certainly don't recommend feeding an exclusive diet of fish protein to dogs or cats.
Fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to your pet's well-being. If you supplement your pet's diet with fish, I suggest you use sardines packed in water. Sardines don't live long enough to store toxins in their bodies, and they're a terrific source of omega-3s.
Feeding wild caught salmon in rotation with other proteins is also an excellent way to get those omega-3s into your dog or cat. If you choose not to feed any fish, I recommend you supplement your pet's diet with krill oil or another omega-3 fatty acid.
I also recommend you scrutinize any fish-based commercial pet foods you may be feeding. As with any pet food, there can be quality issues.
Substandard ingredients are added to pet food, which means the runoff from the human food industry ends up in pet food formulas. And chances are there is mercury, ethoxyquin and other potentially carcinogenic preservatives in those fish-based diets.”
Top 10 Reasons Pets Go Under the Knife
“In a small study published in 2003 in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, researchers also discovered a link between flea collars and squamous cell carcinoma in cats. Cats wearing flea collars had five times the risk of developing SCC as cats that didn’t have the collars.
Although we can’t say for certain why canned tuna cat food perpetuates SCC, I have a few conclusions of my own. First, a cat’s natural diet does not include seafood. Ancestors of today’s domestic cat came from the deserts of Africa. They did not hunt from the sea.
Your kitty didn’t evolve to eat seafood, but that doesn’t mean he won’t become addicted to fish-based cat food. Feeding the same protein source over and over can cause your pet to develop allergies, which commonly happens to cats fed a constant diet of fish meal.
Because cats like fish, pet food manufacturers use a tremendous amount of seafood in their cat products. Fish must be heavily preserved during the manufacturing process. The most commonly used seafood preservative in the pet food industry is Ethoxyquin, a known carcinogenic preservative.
This toxic chemical does not show up on your cat’s canned food label because it was added to the meat prior to the pet food company purchasing the raw pet food ingredients.
Additionally, the tuna is a very large fish that accumulates toxic amounts of mercury and other contaminants in its body. It’s well known that people should watch their intake of fish loaded with heavy metals, but we tend to not extend the same courtesy to our feline family members.” From:http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/11/25/prevent-pet-sicknesses-to-lessen-pet-surgeries.aspx
Your Pet Needs More Protein As They Age: .
In this video Dr. Karen Becker talks about your carnivorous pet’s lifelong requirement for a diet rich in high quality, natural protein.
Dr. Becker's Comments:
“Dogs and cats need 22 amino acids to be healthy.
Dogs can synthesize (make) 12 of those 22; cats can synthesize 11 of them. The remaining amino acids must come from the food they eat, which is why they’re called ‘essential’ amino acids.
Pets get amino acids from the protein they eat. And the quality and quantity of protein is extremely important for carnivores – it’s the very foundation of their health.
Not All Protein is Created Equal
Protein quality is extremely variable. There are highly assimilable and digestible proteins (proteins your pet’s body can easily absorb and make use of), and there are proteins that are wholly indigestible. For example beaks, feet, hides, tails and snouts are 100 percent protein, but all 100 percent is indigestible.
All protein has a biologic value, which is its usable amino acid content. Eggs have the highest biologic value at 100 percent. Fish is a close second at 92 percent. Feathers, as you might guess, have zero biologic value. They are all protein, but they are neither digestible nor assimilable.
Now there are some foods high in protein that are not species-appropriate for dogs and cats. Soy is a good example, with a biologic value of 67 percent. Many popular pet foods contain soy as a protein source, as well as corn. This is an inexpensive way for pet food manufacturers to increase protein content on the guaranteed analysis printed on the label.
But because soy and corn are not species-appropriate, I don’t recommend you feed pet foods that contain it.
Unfortunately, digestion and assimilation are not measured for dog and cat foods, so manufacturers can include other types of protein that have no biologic value for the species of animal eating it (this is also why melamine was added to pet foods that killed thousands of animals). You can be fooled into thinking you’re feeding a higher-protein food, when the reality is the protein isn’t biologically appropriate for your pet.
Your Pet’s Protein Requirement Increases with Age
The good news is the quality of pet food has increased dramatically in the last 30 to 40 years.
And in 1992 Dr. Delmar Finco, a veterinary nutritionist, discovered protein requirements actually increase as pets age. Even in animals with kidney failure, restricting protein didn’t improve their health or longevity.
In fact, Dr. Finco’s research proved cats on low protein diets developed hypoproteinemia. They had muscle wasting, became catabolic, and lost weight. The more protein was restricted, the more ill these kitties became. Fortunately, Dr. Finco discovered it was the level of phosphorus in foods, not necessarily the amount of protein that exacerbated kidney disease.
Since that research was published, veterinary recommendations have changed. What we’re recommending for animals struggling with under-functioning kidneys and livers is that you feed really good quality protein that is highly digestible and assimilable.
We also recommend you restrict phosphorus in the diet, but not necessarily protein.
We know that cats and dogs, as carnivores, require lots of high quality protein not only to maintain good organ and immune function, but also to maintain healthy muscle mass as they go through life and the aging process.” More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/04/26/make-this-mistake-with-your-pets-food-and-you-could-destroy-their-kidney-and-liver.aspx
Soy, Protein Dog and Cat Owners Should Steer Clear Of:
- “Despite ample evidence that soy in processed foods is harmful to man and beast, use of soy products continues to spread, infiltrating the ingredient lists of countless people foods and commercial pet foods as well.
- The plant estrogens in soy are well-documented endocrine disruptors, as evidenced by cases involving creatures as diverse as rare exotic parrots in New Zealand and captive North American cheetahs.
- In addition to phytoestrogens, soy also contains phytates that prevent mineral absorption, substances that block the enzymes needed to digest protein, and other anti-nutrients.
- The soy in traditional oriental diets doesn’t remotely resemble the soy in Western diets, including pet food. Whereas the former is slowly fermented for one to two years, radically altering its chemistry and increasing nutrient availability, the latter is processed through a series of shortcuts that potentially make it more, not less, harmful when ingested.
The health risks associated with soy products far outweigh any potential benefit, which is why pet owners should avoid exposing their dog or cat to any food containing soy.” Article at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/03/28/avoid-using-soy-on-pets.aspx
Cashing in on Worried Pet Owners
“Because pet food companies realize dog and cat parents are growing more concerned about the quality of food they feed their pets, they are trying to cash in by fiddling with ingredients just enough to introduce ‘new’ formulas that they claim are somehow more ‘natural’ than other formulas.
Producers of processed food for both humans and pets have been cashing in on trends like this for decades.
You want your beloved pet to eat a diet closer to what nature intended? They’re happy to oblige. They’ll switch one preservative with an unpronounceable name for another, slap on a redesigned label featuring the words ‘natural’ and ‘healthy,’ and off to market they go.
It’s bunk. Please don’t be fooled.
It’s impossible to feed your pet a biologically appropriate, relatively natural diet from a can or bag unless you’re willing to spend a small fortune on grain-free formulas made with true human-grade ingredients.
These brands are less than 10 percent of pet foods available on the market. They are hard to find and well beyond the budget of most pet owners. In fact, if you’re buying pet food made with true human-grade ingredients, you should be spending about three times as much as you would for a non-human grade formula.
And even most of the highest quality commercial pet foods still contain additives, preservatives, flavor enhancers and/or extra fats, which hardly qualifies them as holistic, despite clever labeling. After all, they must be able to sit on a shelf for six months to a year after being manufactured, without growing mold.” More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/10/21/selecting-the-best-cat-pet-and-dog-pet-food.aspx
When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet
- “A newly adopted 5-month old Sphinx kitten was taken to the vet by his owner because he was showing signs of rear leg lameness.
- X-rays revealed the kitten had below normal bone density (osteopenia), a growth plate problem in the right back leg and a fracture in the left back leg. In addition, the kitty was diagnosed with central retinal degeneration resulting from a taurine deficiency.
- Fortunately, with several weeks of cage rest and a balanced diet, the kitten made a full recovery. But his story is a cautionary tale for pet owners who think feeding a species-appropriate diet to a dog or cat is as simple as offering hunks of raw muscle meat.
- Strange as it may sound, feeding your pet an AAFCO approved commercially available processed diet is better than feeding unbalanced homemade meals. It’s crucially important your dog or cat gets all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients his body needs.
- The ideal food for most healthy pets is, of course, balanced, species-appropriate raw food prepared at home, or purchased from one of several small companies who produce human grade, high quality raw diets for dogs and cats.” More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/06/06/raw-food-diet-of-pets.aspx
Cat's Teeth Are Not Made for Chewing Dry Food.
“As is typical of carnivores, the teeth of the cat are appropriately modified for grasping, puncturing, and tearing (cutting), rather than for true mastication. With the exception of "crunching" dry food, cats do little, if any, actual chewing. The hinging of the lower jaw can only be moved up and down and possesses no ability for a lateral chewing motion.
The cat has no first premolars and no lower (inferior) first or second premolars; the molars consist of a single upper and lower tooth on each side. When the mouth is closed, the upper sectorial tooth (P4) slides across the vestibular surface of the lower sectorial tooth (Ml), producing an effective scissor-like cutting action, rather than a chewing action.
Thus the dental benefits of feeding dry food are grossly overrated. The arrangement and spacing of the cat's teeth will more likely trap small, saliva-moistened pieces of dry food. Carbohydrate based dry cat foods also leaves a starchy coating which promotes plaque. Nothing replaces professional dental care."
Another Great Reason to Throw Out That Dry Cat Food
- “A recent study conducted at the University of California-Davis concludes that cats eat less, lose weight and maintain healthy body composition when fed wet diets.
- Not only that, but wet (canned) cat food does not contain the massive amounts of fiber found in many dry cat food formulas. Fiber has been shown to interfere with the digestibility of other nutrients in cat food – and kitties aren’t even designed to process fiber and grain.
- The UC-Davis researchers also concluded that cats much prefer canned food to either freeze-dried or dry food.
If you have a cat who is still eating dry food, you can find tools here to take you step-by-step through the transition to a species-appropriate diet. And if your cat needs to lose weight, you’ll find information on safe dieting for kitties as well.” More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/05/25/wet-cat-food-diet.aspx
How to Win the Healthy Food Battle with Your Fussy Feline…
Rule #1: This Is Not a Race
“It is critically important that you transition your cat to her healthy new diet very, very slowly. Your kitty has a unique metabolism. If you push dietary changes too quickly she’s very likely to just stop eating, because the new food doesn’t satisfy her cravings.
If she fasts, she runs a high risk of developing a life-threatening condition called hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver disease.
That’s why you shouldn’t even consider making a “cold turkey” switch from your cat’s old food to a healthier food. Despite what you might have been led to believe, your kitty won’t necessarily eat when she gets hungry enough. Cats have been known to starve themselves to death by refusing to eat a certain type of food.
If your kitty refuses to eat and develops hepatic lipidosis, it will be tremendously costly to try to save her, and there are no guarantees. The last thing you want is a deathly ill kitty, massive vet bills, or the heartbreak of losing your pet altogether.
So please take this warning seriously. Convert your kitty very slowly to a new, healthier diet. Prepare to spend as much as six months, even a year, making the gradual transition to a raw food diet.
Your consistency, determination, patience – lots of patience – and yes, trickery, will one day soon be rewarded.” Rest of article at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/03/10/how-to-transition-your-cat-to-raw-food-diet-part-1.aspx
From Me: My Mistydog and Bobbiecat are over 17 years old now, and I try to feed them the best. Due to Misty not being fed or taken care of properly, her vet bills were horrific when I first got her. Now I need to make sure she doesn’t get sick and have to go to a vet. Cheap food is expensive, or even deadly in the long run. (Just like people food). I’d rather buy them good food now, than have a vet bill later.
Good pet food can’t usually be bought at the grocery store, very few grocery stores sell the top organic brands of pet food. ‘Natural’ can mean anything. It is expensive at the pet stores, but it is worth it, even then you still have to look at the labels. NO corn, soy, rice, wheat, or other fillers, NO meat by-products or anything you can’t pronounce. Some of the name brands are not that healthy when you look at the ingredients. I try to stick with Wellness or Organix, and stock up when it is on sale.
On This Day:
John Wayne dies, Jun 11, 1979:
“On this day in 1979, John Wayne, an iconic American film actor famous for starring in countless westerns, dies at age 72 after battling cancer for more than a decade. His first acting jobs were bit parts in which he was credited as Duke Morrison, a childhood nickname derived from the name of his beloved pet dog.
In 1939, Wayne finally had his breakthrough when his old friend John Ford cast him as Ringo Kid in the Oscar-winning Stagecoach. Wayne went on to play larger-than-life heroes in dozens of movies and came to symbolize a type of rugged, strong, straight-shooting American man. John Ford directed Wayne in some of his best-known films, including Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Rio Grande (1950), The Quiet Man (1952) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962).
Off-screen, Wayne came to be known for his conservative political views. He produced, directed and starred in The Alamo (1960) and The Green Berets (1968), both of which reflected his patriotic, conservative leanings. In 1969, he won an Oscar for his role as a drunken, one-eyed federal marshal named Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Wayne's last film was The Shootist (1976), in which he played a legendary gunslinger dying of cancer. The role had particular meaning, as the actor was fighting the disease in real life. During four decades of acting, Wayne, with his trademark drawl and good looks, appeared in over 250 films. He was married three times and had seven children.”
Muffie arrived for her grooming. She has behaved better about being groomed since she was groomed at a pet shop. But I didn’t let her have her customary nap on my bed between her bath and the final clipping and scissoring. Muffie is the one dog that takes more time, and her ‘Dad’ seemed upset about her being here so long. She got aggravated and her sharp teeth got the middle finger on my left hand. I don’t know why she does that, as she knows that I will just stick on a Band-Aid and finish grooming her anyway. It is so strange, as she loves me to pieces, but just doesn’t like to be fooled with for long.
I am tired of going over or around the barrier to my bathroom, but so far, keeping Prime out of Bobbiecat’s territory is working, and Bobbie has been using her box. Right now they are both on the screen porch, but they will have to come back in when it becomes warmer today.