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Pattaya Daily News

29 September 2010 :: 16:09:04 pm 41393

How Good is Processed Food For Our Pets?

Rebecca Hosking is the person who led Britain’s first campaign against plastic bags and when her ten month old collie became seriously sick, she and her partner Tim turned detective after vets could offer little help.
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In early spring, she and Tim were in the meadows on their farm keeping an eye on their border collie Dave as he chased moths. This was to be the last time for months that they would see their pet frolicking around.

Soon after arriving home, they heard a thumping from outside. It was their beloved pet, convulsing violently, head uncontrollably banging the floor while his legs jerked wildly. They put a blanket under his head for what little protection and comfort they could offer. Dave was having a ‘grand mal’ seizure, the first of many to come.

The Vets explained that dogs can have seizures for a number of reasons and that there were only so many tests they could do and that as in Dave’s case the cause cannot be identified, the diagnosis of ‘idiopathic epilepsy’ is made, meaning ‘he is having seizures, but we don’t know why.’

Their pet was prescribed with anti-convulsing medication, but the seizures continued. The only advice they were given was to ‘live with canine epilepsy, not for it.’

The couple buried themselves in research, in a journey that took them on an unbelievable trip far beyond canine epilepsy. Sifting through veterinary and scientific journals and forums, they discovered numerous incidences of diseases of the joints, internal organs immune systems, cancers and epilepsy, just a few of from the endless list.  However, one piece of advice kept cropping up with every ailment they came across, ‘get your dog off commercial pet food.’

After a month or so of their pets’ seizures his physical condition deteriorated with his coat becoming scraggy, his gums pale, persistent skin irritations and recurring diarrhea. It was then that the couple changed the diet to natural food, raw meat and bones.

The worry of their pet choking on a bone played on their mind, but they were reassured that nothing was risk free and the risks that comes with not feeding raw bones was far higher than of feeding. Not giving your dog raw meat resulted in gum disease with 85 per cent of dogs over the age of three having gum disease and or tooth decay. A raw bone to a dog is like a toothbrush is to us.

Sadly, although Dave’s overall health and condition improved greatly after only a few months of being fed a raw diet, he had one seizure too many. At the time of having their beloved pet, they thought he was being fed a high quality dried food or ‘kibble’ which was described as rich in meat with wholesome ingredients and 100% complete and balanced, but the ingredients printed on the back of most pet food packaging is vague and misleading.

After seriously delving into the processing procedure and ingredients used, it was found that the waste by products of industrial grain processing, vegetable pulp, wood chip, a ground down mix of non nutritious animal parts along with fats and oils, possibly from restaurant fryers and food processing units, preserved with powerful antioxidants that are banned in the UK for human consumption and linked to liver and kidney damage, stomach tumours and cancer were all part of the end product.

The pet food industry is dominated by multinational corporations and is estimated to be worth £30 billion a year.  Profits are maintained by the use of the cheapest ingredients that regulations permit. Mammalian meat and bone meal, a key component in pet foods has been shown to include the ground up remains of euthanized pets including their flea collars, name tags and microchips.

Makers of pet foods say that processed pet foods are safe and nutritious while others argue that commercial foods being composed of cooked cereal grains is inappropriate for animals that evolved eating raw meat and bones.

Pet food manufacturers would have us believe dogs are not carnivores, but omnivores. This is a deliberate misclassification in the face of all scientific evidence with many vets agreeing that a diet of processed food was linked to many chronic ailments and degenerative conditions in our beloved pets.

Whether the diet of processed foods caused Dave’s illness is not certain, but being fed less than 5% of meat a day was not in his best interest and could well be a contributing factor.

Sarah Goldman

Photo : Internet   Category : Lifestyle

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