Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

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3 comments on “Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

  1. L. Scott Meade "Scottee"
    87 of 89 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A MUST READ for all veterinarians, and for all pet owners!, May 31, 2000
    By 
    L. Scott Meade “Scottee” (Burke, VA United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    I put off reading this book for a long time, fearing that it would be sensational. It IS sensational, but in the positive sense! Ms. Martin has carefully researched her subject and has presented it with diligent documentation to back up her shocking disclosures.

    Cats and dogs in pet food? How can this be? Ms. Martin explains how domestic pets, zoo animals, and road kill end up in pet food, along with many other ingredients unfit for human consumption.

    No wonder our pets die so young! I started feeding fresh foods nearly 8 years ago, and my dogs are living longer, healthier lives because of it. After reading Ms. Martin’s book, I now know exactly why I have been feeding fresh food.

    We all believe that the “government” regulates everything and ensures safety and efficacy. Not so with pet foods, where the only regulation is voluntary industry-based regulation. The definitions and permissable ingredients are clearly laid out and explained in this book. Knowing the definition of “brewers rice” or “byproducts” is important. I find myself referring back to this book over and over to look up definitions of label ingredients, as I help other pet owners sort out their companions’ diets.

    There are some good brands of pet food, that use healthy ingredients. This book will help you recognize those brands by reading the labels, so that even if you choose not to cook for your pet(s), you can provide a health diet.

    I do wish that Ms. Martin had eschewed the recipes and instead referred readers to other books for guidance on feeding a fresh raw diet to their companion animals. But that section will not stop me from recommending this book to everyone I know.

    My own veterinarian, who has been advocating fresh raw diets for more than a decade, thought he knew a lot about pet food. After he read this book, he told me he was shocked at what he learned. I wish that EVERY veterinarian in the US would read this book. Then they might have greater success in curing the ills of their patients.

    This book will help pet owners provide a better diet and improved health for their animal companions. Three cheers for the courage and dedication of Ms. Martin to researching and writing this book!

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  2. 201 of 208 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Good Info on Commercial Pet Food – Bad Info on Homemade Diet, January 26, 2000
    By 
    Sasha

    Ann Martin’s investigation into the commercial pet food industry has become a classic. This is the book I often recommend when people ask me what’s wrong with (most) commercial dog and cat foods. However, I can’t recommend this book without pointing out some of the errors in the second part of the book, the part that focuses on feeding a homemade diet.
    First of all, it needs to be said that while cooking the meat can indeed destroy bacteria and parasites (as well as destroying valuable enzymes and changing the meat’s molecular structure), cooking does *not* destroy the antibiotics, pesticides, artificial growth hormones, etc., as Martin claims. The only way to avoid these harmful substances is to stop supporting factory farming and buy ethically raised, organic meats. Yes, such meat is more expensive, but personally I’d rather pay more and know that I’m not supporting the needless torture of animals and the destruction of the environment. At this point you may wonder why we feed our dogs meat at all. Well, the humans in our house are indeed longtime vegetarians, but dogs are carnivores and while they can survive on a properly supplemented vegetarian diet, such a species inappropriate diet is far from ideal. Our family’s GWPs have been thriving on a diet based on raw meats and bones for thirty years now. While it’s been my experience that raw diets are indeed preferable for most dogs, there are certainly cases where cooked diets are more appropriate. Some dogs — usually due to certain medical conditions — simply do not do well on a raw diet, and in such cases a homecooked diet is the best option.
    Unfortunately the recipes offered by Ms. Martin are not properly balanced. For instance, while she is clearly aware of the correct calcium to phosphorous ratio (as well as of the damage caused by calcium deficiencies), her recipes do not contain nearly enough calcium to balance out the high phosphorous levels of the meat and, to a lesser extent, the grains. She seems to be under the impression that one can use yogurt or cottage cheese as a calcium supplement; however, while dairy products are good sources of calcium, they also happen to contain plenty of phosphorous (some types of cottage cheese actually contain more phosphorous than calcium), so obviously dairy products cannot be used to balance the meat’s high phosphorous levels. The best way to supplement calcium is to feed the meat with plenty of raw bone (nature’s way of balancing calcium and phosphorous) or by adding ground eggshell powder to boneless meats. Feeding a properly balanced homeprepared diet really isn’t as difficult as the pet food industry and their supporters would have us believe, but getting the Ca:P ratio right is important.
    My suggestion: Read Ms. Martin’s book to find out why it’s not a good idea to feed processed pet foods (if you don’t already know), but then get yourself another book to learn how to prepare a balanced homemade diet for your animals.

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  3. 169 of 172 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Pet owners, read this book!!, May 28, 1999
    By 
    B. Smawley (USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    First thing: of course the pet food industry did not comment for this book. Why would they admit to putting garbage in pet food when they own multi-billion dollar companies? But the sort of information contained in this book has dribbled and dabbled out off and on for years — diseased animals, road kill, zoo animals, etc. And when you consider we can’t even get good laws for animal abuse, is it any wonder no one much cares what goes into pet food? If I sound frustrated, it’s because I am. It sickens me to think of what these big congomerates get away with chasing after the almighty dollar!! Back to the point. It took Ann Martin 7 years to track down the information contained in this book, a remarkable feat considering she’s Canadian and most of the pet food companies are right here in the USA.

    One of my cats died far too young of cancer. I always wanted all four of them to eat better but advertising has scared us to death of giving our pets anything good for them. Thanks to Ms. Martin’s book, I now cook for my other three cats. They are thriving. (The difference in their coats, demeanor, etc. was obvious almost immediately. If you don’t cook, there are natural brands, with real meat, on the market like Innova and PetGuard to name just two.) It’s hard to get people to change, I suppose, but if you want additional information, please also read THE NATURE OF ANIMAL HEALING by Martin Goldstein, D.V.M. Not only does he back up Ms. Martin’s findings, being a vet, he’s able to explain in great detail the health implications of poor diets. Apparently, he sees it every day in his practice. There are other books here at Amazon.com on the subject which I haven’t read yet.

    As to raw vs. cooked, there really are two very distinct opinions on this. Animals do eat raw food in the wild. And Dr. Goldstein eventually switched to raw (organic, however). I intend to do so when I figure out how. Ms. Martin home-cooks. Meanwhile, home-cooked is certainly better than BY-PRODUCTS. By the way, BY-PRODUCTS are essentially anything people can’t/won’t eat such as beaks, feathers, feet, and other sickening things I won’t mention, plus the already mentioned diseased animals, road kill, restaurant grease and our euthanized pets. Ms. Martin wrote this book as a result of pet food sickening her own animals (she has independent lab tests showing why). I hope you will read the book, then decide for yourself. We owe it to our wonderful pets who give so much and ask for so little in return.

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