Pet Food – Why We Like My Perfect Pet

< Updated 23FEB20 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/WhyWeLikeMyPerfectPet >

We discovered My Perfect Pet at an industry tradeshow in September of 2019. After doing our due diligence and evaluating My Perfect Pet we test fed it with some of the Green Acres staff pets as well as some clients who volunteered to give it a try. As a result of that process, we knew the My Perfect Pet blends and the company and people behind My Perfect Pet represented the type of product we wanted to offer to you. In a recent press release, Green Acres co-owner, Don Hanson stated:

Common sense, as well as science, tells us that fresh, minimally processed foods offer the best nutrition for us, as well as our pets. The My Perfect Pet blends provide pets with excellent nutrition, whether fed exclusively or as part of a rotation diet and Muppy and Boomer find it delicious! When we add a brand of food to our offerings, we also want to know about the company and the person making the decisions. When My Perfect Pet owner, Karen Neola, told us ‘My Perfect Pet is an independent family-owned business founded with a mission to improve pet health through education and nutrition and to put pet health over profits’ I knew we had found exactly the type of partner Green Acres can count on and can support.

What We Like Best About My Perfect Pet

  • The quality of the ingredients – All of the ingredients used in My Perfect Pet blends come from suppliers who exclusively sell human-grade food, the same companies that supply restaurants and high-end grocers. The protein sources used in My Perfect Pet include eggs and quality cuts of muscle meat and organs; beef (round & liver), turkey (breast, thigh, & heart), chicken (breast & thigh), lamb (shoulder), and wild salmon (filet). A variety of fresh vegetables (broccoli, carrots, celery, collards, green beans, kale, potatoes, spinach, & yams), cranberries, and kelp contribute important micro-nutrients and vitamins and these ingredients are also fit for human consumption. Lastly, My Perfect Pet incorporates freshly baked whole grain brown rice in their blends instead of adding artificial supplements. Whole grain brown rice provides a wealth of natural vitamins and minerals essential in the dog’s diet, along with fiber and a number of antioxidants, and phytochemicals to promote a healthy digestive tract, cardiovascular system, liver function, and immune system. Antioxidants including vitamin E, tocotrienols, selenium, phenolic acids, and phytic acid are available in immediate-release to slow-release forms and thus are available throughout the gastrointestinal tract over a long period after being consumed.

Look below and you will see images that show you exactly what the raw ingredients and finished product look like.

    • Ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible, and all are from the USA with the exception of the lamb which comes from New Zealand or Australia and coconut oil from the Philippines.
    • No ingredients are purchased from companies that sell “animal feed-grade” ingredients” or ingredients not fit for human consumption.
    • All ingredients are Gluten Free, Non-GMO, and free of preservatives.
    • All food ingredients and vitamin supplements are natural per AAFCO guidelines. Ingredients are purchased only from qualified human food suppliers in their fresh, whole or raw state. Raw meats, poultry and fish have been skinned and deboned, but not subjected to any rendering, hydrolysis, enzymolysis, fermentation, chemical or synthetic processing. Natural vitamins are derived solely from plant or animal sources. Minerals are chelated or otherwise compounded to improve bioavailability and absorption
    • During our Woof Meow Show interview with My Perfect Pet owner Karen Neola, she told us that when they are making the food, it was not unusual for her and her staff to make themselves lunch from the exact same ingredients used in My Perfect Pet blends. [ FMI Click to listen to our podcast ]
  • The minimal processing – My Perfect Pet blends are cooked per FDA food and safety guidelines to eliminate pathogens, removing the concern some might have about feeding fresh food. My Perfect Pet is cooked at much lower temperatures than either kibble or canned food, making it more nutritious, digestible, and delicious. While we still recommend raw diets and feed them to our own pets, in addition to My Perfect Pet blends, we believe that My Perfect Pets gently-cooked process makes sense, especially for anyone uncomfortable feeding raw.
  • The variety of proteins – We recognize and recommend the importance of dietary rotation for optimal health, and My Perfect Pet makes that practice easy with a wide variety of formulas. [ FMI – The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 1 – http://bit.ly/DietRotation1-30JUL19 ]
  • Transparency – If you know me, you know the lack of transparency and intentional deception in the pet food industry really annoys me. For example – there are kibble and canned food products that display prime cuts of meat on their packaging and when you read the ingredient labels you know that is not what is really in the food. When you look at the My Perfect Pet images (below) you know that those cuts of meat really are in the food. But transparency is about more than images. Pet food companies are required, by law, to publish AAFCO Dry Matter Nutrient Profiles; however, that is only half of the story. My Perfect Pet goes one step further than what the law requires and publishes the “As Fed” nutrient profiles, including carbs because they believe that is the right thing to do. Thank you!
  • Formulated By Experts to Meet All Regulatory Requirements – My Perfect Pet works with a wide variety of nutritional experts to formulate their blends and verifies that they meet all AAFCO and NRC requirements and confirms that they meet the nutrient profiles published on the label. They have 13 years of proven results.
  • Realistic – Due to the high quality of the ingredients in the My Perfect Pet blends, it is going to be more expensive than kibble or dry pet food. Like Green Acres, My Perfect Pet recognizes that not everyone will be able to feed My Perfect Pet at every meal; however, even if you can only feed your pet fresh food on an intermittent basis, your pet will still benefit.
  • Karen Neola, Founder & Owner of My Perfect Pet – As Karen explained in our Woof Meow Show interview and as she does on the My Perfect Pet website, Karen started cooking for her own dogs after losing her Labrador Retriever to contaminated commercial dog food.
    • “I vowed never again to buy commercial pet food and started making my own, using only fresh whole, natural and safe ingredients – the same quality I trusted for myself.  I immersed myself in research on dog and cat nutrition and worked with nutritionists, veterinarians, universities and health care experts to create the perfect blend of all-natural high-quality ingredients that provide maximum nutrition for dogs and cats with the least processing and highest safety.  I did not start with any intent to build a business, it just kept growing.”
    • My Perfect Pet is an independent family-owned business founded with a mission to ‘improve pet health through education and nutrition’ and to put pet health over profits.   We didn’t start with a business plan; we started with a mission to teach pet parents how to make healthier choices for their pets and to deliver the same whole food nutrition to their pets that we know is best for the rest of the family.  We don’t answer to equity investors, only to our conscience. As long as my name is associated with My Perfect Pet, we will never compromise on the quality or integrity of our products.”

Nutrient Profiles – Cat Blends –

https://www.myperfectpetfood.com/store/assets/pdf/PROFILES_Cat_Blends.pdf

Nutrient Profiles – Standard Dog Blends – 

https://www.myperfectpetfood.com/store/assets/pdf/PROFILES_Std_Adult_Dog.pdf

Nutrient Profile – Buckaroo Puppy Blend – 

https://www.myperfectpetfood.com/store/assets/pdf/PROFILES_Puppy_Blend.pdf

Nutrient Profiles – Personal Care Dog Blends

https://www.myperfectpetfood.com/store/assets/pdf/PROFILES_Personal_Care_Dog_Blends2019.pdf

Images of My Perfect Pet Blends

Cat Formulas

Dog Formulas

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

Our Philosophy on Pet Nutrition http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil

Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense http://bit.ly/DietRotation

The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 1 http://bit.ly/DietRotation1-30JUL19

The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 2 http://bit.ly/DietRotation2

 

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ )

 

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©23FEB19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Pet Nutrition – Which Companies Are Behind Your Pet’s Food?

Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware

< A version of this article was published in the October 2019 issue of Downeast Dog News>

< A short link to this page – http://bit.ly/PetFoodComp >

As a pet food retailer, I am part of an industry that many believe; myself included, has a well-deserved reputation for being deceptive. Many companies practice “legal’ marketing practices that any well-informed consumer would find intentionally unsettling. Some of the schemes used in the pet food industry make me hang my head in shame. I try to make up for that by learning everything I can and providing people with the information they need to feed their pets for optimal health. [  http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil ]

In her book Dog Food Logic: Making Smart Decisions for Your Dog in an Age of Too Many Choices, author and animal nutritionist Linda Case states. “We find that more than 50 % of dog owners do not distinguish between the brand name of a food and the company that produces (owns) that brand. This confusion is not the fault of owners, by any means, since it is in the best interest of large companies to keep consumers in the dark regarding exactly how many brands of food they produce and market.” I believe that if you want to do the best for your pet, this is information you need to know — caveat emptor.

Before you even consider specific brands of food, it is essential that you understand the companies behind the pet food industry.

Pet food is big business. According to data provided by Petfood Industry magazine, pet food companies had revenues of over $44 billion in 2018 for North America alone. Six companies, accounting for 106 different pet food brands took in over $39 billion or 89.3% of all pet food revenue. It is essential to understand that all of those different brands you see advertised and see on retail shelves may not be as different as they would have you believe.

Leading the list of multi-national conglomerates in the pet food business is Mars Petcare, part of the Mars Candy company. Mars accounted for 41.08% of all the pet food sold in North America across their 41 pet care brands. Brands owned by Mars include; Cesar, Dreamies, Eukanuba, IAMS, Nutro, Pedigree, Royal Canin, Royal Canin Veterinary Diets, Sheba, Temptations, Waltham, and Whiskas.

Mars also owns the following corporate veterinary practices, which I find equally alarming. They include Banfield Pet Hospitals, bluepearl, Linnaeus, and petpartners. I don’t know about you, but I find the thought of a pet food company owning a chain of veterinary clinics and hospitals akin to a drug company owning medical clinics and hospitals; the antithesis of what is beneficial to health and a consumers finances.

Sometimes these conglomerates find the best way to deal with a competitor is to buy them and shut them down. In 2014, Mars purchased IAMS, Eukanuba, and Natura brands (California Natural, Evo, Healthwise, and Innova) for $2.9 billion. The Natura brands were, decent foods, but today they no longer exist thanks to Mars.

Nestlé Purina PetCare claimed the second position and 29.98% of pet food revenues across their 30 brands. Pet food and treat brands owned by Nestlé include: Alpo, Bakers, Beggin’, Beneful, Beyond, Busy, Castor & Pollux, Cat Chow, Chef Michael’s, Deli-Cat, Dog Chow, Fancy Feast, Felix, Friskies, Frosty Paws, Gourmet, Just Right, Kit & Kaboodle, Mighty Dog, Moist & Meaty, Muse, Purina, Purina ONE, Purina Pro Plan, Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, Second Nature, T-Bonz, Waggin’ Train, and Zukes.

Like Mars, Nestlé has also entered the veterinary practice market with its investment in Independent Vetcare Group International. How would you react if the primary source of food you buy for your family was also trying to control where you seek healthcare for your children?

At the third position on the list is J.M Smuckers, the jam company. They are relatively new to the pet care industry, having purchased several companies over the past few years. They are a food company but not known for producing food that is good for you. They control 6.6% of the pet food market in North America with 14 brands accounting for $2.9 billion in sales in 2018. Pet food and treat brands owned by Smucker’s include: 9 Lives, Canine Carry-Outs, Dad’s,  Gravy Train, Kibble ‘n Bits, Meaty Bone, Meow Mix, Milk-Bone, Milo’s Kitchen, Natural Balance (Dick Van Patten), Nature’s Recipe, Pup-Peroni, Rachael Ray Nutrish, and Snausages.

Colgate-Palmolive, the toothpaste and dish soap conglomerate, owns Hill’s Pet Nutrition, also known as Science Diet, and is number 4 on the list. They control almost 5.3% of the North American market with four brands, accounting for $2.3 billion in sales for 2018. Their brands include; Science Diet, Prescription Diet, Ideal Balance, and Healthy Advantage.

Number five on the list is Diamond Pet Foods who makes their own food but is primarily this high on the list because they are a co-packer and manufacture food for a wide variety of other companies. They account for 3.4% of the North American Market with $1.5 billion in sales for 2018. Brands owned by Diamond include Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Diamond Naturals Grain-Free, Diamond Care, Nutra-Gold, Nutra-Gold Grain-Free, Nutra Nuggets Global, Nutra Nuggets US, Premium Edge, Professional, and Taste of the Wild. Brands made for other companies were not disclosed.

Last on our list is General Mills, best known for brands like Cheerios, Pillsbury, and Betty Crocker. Primarily a processed food company, not known for fresh, healthy food, General Mills entered the pet food business in 2018 with the purchase of Blue Buffalo. That gives them almost 3% of the North American market with $1.3 billion in sales for 2018. Blue Buffalo currently has six brands: Life Protection, Freedom, Basics, Wilderness, Carnivora, and Natural Veterinary Diet. Blue Buffalo is probably best known for television commercials that claim they include specific quality ingredients in their food and never use certain low-quality ingredients. Blue Buffalo has faced several lawsuits over these claims and in one was required to pay $32 million for false advertising, as Blue Buffalo pet food did include lower quality ingredients they claimed were not found in their products

You might think, well I eat food from all of these big companies and feed it to my children. What’s the harm in feeding it to my pet? The difference is that you probably consume a tiny percentage of food made by Mars, Nestlé, Smuckers and General Mills, and it is not your primary source of nutrition. In many cases a pet’s entire diet may come from one of these companies.

 

Top 6 Pet Food Companies in North America – 2018 2018 SALES
COMPANY (million USD) % TOTAL # BRANDS
Mars Petcare Inc. 18,085.00 41.08% 41
Nestlé Purina PetCare 13,200.00 29.98% 30
J.M. Smucker 2,900.00 6.59% 14
Hill’s Pet Nutrition 2,318.00 5.26% 4
Diamond Pet Foods 1,500.00 3.41% 12
General Mills (Blue Buffalo) 1,300.00 2.95% 5
Top 6 Pet Food Companies in North America – 2018 2018 SALES
COMPANY (million USD) % TOTAL
Mars Petcare Inc. 18,085.00 41.08%
Nestlé Purina PetCare 13,200.00 29.98%
J.M. Smucker 2,900.00 6.59%
Hill’s Pet Nutrition 2,318.00 5.26%
Diamond Pet Foods 1,500.00 3.41%
General Mills (Blue Buffalo) 1,300.00 2.95%
Everyone Else 4,725.20 10.73%
TOTAL 44,028.20 100.00%

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

Green Acres Pet Nutrition Resources Page – http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Home

GAKS Philosophy on Pet Nutrition http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil

Pet Foods We Offer At Green Acres Kennel Shop http://bit.ly/GAKS_PetFood_Brands

Things I Wish I Had Known… The Importance of What I Feed My Pets  – http://bit.ly/Things-Nutrition-1

Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – Part 1 – My story with Gus – Maine Dog Magazine – Winter 2017 http://bit.ly/Gus-Nutrition

Pet Nutrition – What Should I Feed My Pet? http://bit.ly/What-Should-I-Feed-My-Pet

Pet Nutrition – What Do You Feed Your Dog? – WWM-JUN2016 – http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourDog

Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet? http://bit.ly/ShouldIFeedMyPetARawDiet

Pet Nutrition – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton with link to 1 hour video http://bit.ly/Video-Dr-Richard-Patton

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://bit.ly/DrPatton-Podcast

Podcast – Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry with Kohl Harringtonhttp://bit.ly/WfMw-Pet-Fooled

Pet Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense http://bit.ly/DietRotation

Pet Nutrition – The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 1 http://bit.ly/DietRotation1-30JUL19

Pet Nutrition – The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 2 http://bit.ly/DietRotation2

Shared News Story – An Exposé on Prescription Diets from WJLA ABC7 Newshttp://bit.ly/Nut-RXDiets-WJLA-24MAY19

FDA Update on Heart Disease in Dogs & What Should You Do? – 7JUL19  http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19

Shared Articles – More on the FDA, DCM and Pet Food – 10JUL19 –  http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-10JUL19

Shared Articles – Do the Vets Behind the FDA Investigation Have A Conflict of Interest?http://bit.ly/DCM-FDA-Conflict

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS – http://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Kymythy Schultze Author of Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health http://bit.ly/KymythySchultzeCatNutrition-Podcast

Podcast – An Eastern Approach to Pet Nutrition with Dr. Michael Munzer from All Creatures Acupuncturehttp://bit.ly/WfMw-Munzer-EstrnNut-2018

Podcasts – Interview with Steve Brown about Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diethttp://bit.ly/WfMw-SteveBrown-2010

Podcast – DCM, the FDA, and Dog Food-the Science and the Hype with Canine Nutritionist Linda Casehttp://bit.ly/Blog-DCM-FDA-8AUG19

Podcast – Pet’s in the News–No. 4 Pet Food, DCM and The FDA http://bit.ly/WfMw-DCM-FDA-20JUL19

Other Online Resources

Pet Fooled on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/petfooled/

Pet Fooled Webpage https://www.petfooled.com/pet-fooled-part-1.html

Wysong – The Truth About Pets Foods PDFhttp://bit.ly/WysongTheTruthAboutPetFoods-pdf

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©1OCT19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Pet Nutrition – The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 2, Introducing Your Dog to Dietary Rotation

< A version of this article was published in the September 2019 issue of Downeast Dog News>

< A short link to this post http://bit.ly/DietRotation2 >

Introducing Your Dog to Dietary Rotation

Last month [ FMIhttp://bit.ly/DietRotation1-30JUL19 ] we explored why dietary rotation should be a regular part of your pet’s life. Understandably, you may be hesitant to make this change based on past experiences where you changed your dog’s diet. I have been there personally, and the initial consequence of diet change for one of my dogs was ten days of bloody diarrhea and a miserable pup. Often, it only takes one bad experience to convince ourselves that we should never try again. My argument stands, however, that we should not succumb to this fear, but instead we need to work on slowly and methodically strengthening your dog’s gut so that they can handle dietary change with ease.

The first step in introducing dietary rotation is to consider your dog as a unique individual. Things to reflect upon are your dog’s age, health issues, and how long they have been consuming a specific diet.  When dogs are young, it is usually easy to train their systems to handle a variety of diets by simply introducing an assortment of foods. Puppies typically are fed three to four times a day, and there is no reason that each of those meals cannot be something different. There is no question that it is a little more work and a bit more costly, but feeding a variety will have lifelong benefits.

For the older dogs that have been eating the same diet for months, if not years, it will most likely be necessary to move at a slower pace. A good starting point is to first determine if you want to use a different manufacturer or feed an alternate protein source from the same company. Many of the pet food companies have come to understand that people want variety for their animals. To keep you as a loyal consumer, they have tried to make transitioning your pet within their product line as easy as possible. There will often be common ingredients in their diets, identical vitamin and mineral packs, and similar probiotics and prebiotics. Usually, I recommend you start by changing the protein source to something new. Instead of feeding a chicken-based diet, choose one formulated with beef, salmon, turkey, anything but chicken.

On the other hand, if you are looking to switch manufacturers (remember many manufacturers make several brands), it may be best to match the protein source to keep the ingredients somewhat similar. For example, if an animal has been eating a chicken product from Manufacturer A, look for a chicken-based product from Manufacturer B to start. The sourcing, nutrient availability, and formulation will be different, so this keeps some things constant during that initial shift.

Whether changing proteins or manufacturers, it is recommended to start with ¼ of the new food and ¾ of the current diet and then increase by ¼ every four days. Slowly altering the diet in this manner allows for 16 days to completely switch to the new diet. Once eating 100% of the new diet, the next step is to alternate back and forth between these two diets daily. One day you feed Brand A, the next you feed Brand B. As your dog begins to tolerate this easily, it is time to add another protein source or manufacturer until you have a sufficiently wide variety of choices for your pet. For the dog with a sensitive gut, you may need to start by introducing the new food as a treat, a few kibbles at a time. If your animal has underlying health concerns, these, of course, must be taken into account; however, this does not have to mean that some rotation is not feasible.

The second area of focus regarding dietary rotation is determining what you want to include in your pet’s diet. Are you considering kibble only or are you contemplating adding some canned, dehydrated, or commercial frozen or freeze-dried raw food? If you are adding canned food to your pet’s diet, it is easiest to add a small amount to the kibble as a topper. This can be a great way to increase your animal’s moisture intake and meat consumption. (Do remember, as with kibble, not all canned is created equal.)  When introducing raw, it is easiest to start with a freeze-dried food, albeit not the least expensive way, to go. Just sprinkle some freeze-dried food on the dry kibble and you are done. From the perspective of introducing frozen raw, giving two or three nuggets a day as a snack can be a great starting point. With all of these kibble alternatives, the key is to increase gradually and methodically until you can make a complete meal out of them.

The end goal is for you to be able to routinely switch what you feed your pet and not be fixed only feeding them one, specific diet. While this can be an undertaking at the onset, it pays off in with a healthier gut. Remember, always be vigilant and avoid the potential pitfalls of feeding one food and one brand forever.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 1http://bit.ly/DietRotation1-30JUL19

Pet Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense http://bit.ly/DietRotation

GAKS Philosophy on Pet Nutrition http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil

Pet Foods We Offer At Green Acres Kennel Shop http://bit.ly/GAKS_PetFood_Brands

Things I Wish I Had Known… The Importance of What I Feed My Pets – – WWM-MAR2019 – http://bit.ly/Things-Nutrition-1

Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – Part 1 – My story with Gus – Maine Dog Magazine – Winter 2017 http://bit.ly/Gus-Nutrition

Pet Nutrition – What Should I Feed My Pet? http://bit.ly/What-Should-I-Feed-My-Pet

Pet Nutrition – What Do You Feed Your Dog? – WWM-JUN2016 – http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourDog

Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet? http://bit.ly/ShouldIFeedMyPetARawDiet

Pet Nutrition – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton with link to 1 hour video http://bit.ly/Video-Dr-Richard-Patton

Shared News Story – An Exposé on Prescription Diets from WJLA ABC7 Newshttp://bit.ly/Nut-RXDiets-WJLA-24MAY19

FDA Update on Heart Disease in Dogs & What Should You Do? – 7JUL19  http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19

Shared Articles – More on the FDA, DCM and Pet Food – 10JUL19 –  http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-10JUL19

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

Podcast – DCM, the FDA, and Dog Food-the Science and the Hype with Canine Nutritionist Linda Casehttp://bit.ly/Blog-DCM-FDA-8AUG19

Podcast – Pet’s in the News–No. 4 Pet Food, DCM and The FDA http://bit.ly/WfMw-DCM-FDA-20JUL19

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://bit.ly/DrPatton-Podcast

Podcast – Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry with Kohl Harringtonhttp://bit.ly/WfMw-Pet-Fooled

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS – http://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Kymythy Schultze Author of Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health http://bit.ly/KymythySchultzeCatNutrition-Podcast

Podcast – An Eastern Approach to Pet Nutrition with Dr. Michael Munzer from All Creatures Acupuncturehttp://bit.ly/WfMw-Munzer-EstrnNut-2018

Podcasts – Interview with Steve Brown about Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diethttp://bit.ly/WfMw-SteveBrown-2010

Other Resources

Wysong – The Truth About Pets Foods PDFhttp://bit.ly/WysongTheTruthAboutPetFoods-pdf

Pet Fooled on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/petfooled/

Pet Fooled Webpage https://www.petfooled.com/pet-fooled-part-1.html

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©31AUG19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Shared Articles – Do the Vets Behind the FDA Investigation Have A Conflict of Interest?

< A short link to this post – http://bit.ly/DCM-FDA-Conflict >

< Updated – 31JUL19 >

I promised to keep you informed of any information on the current FDA investigation into dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM and pet food. Today, I received two articles which you are going to want to read before making any decisions about what you feed your pets. Both suggest the possibility that the FDA and some of the veterinarians working with them have a financial conflict of interest in this investigation. Financial misdeeds by large corporations and their minions may not surprise many of us, but none the less it is extremely inappropriate.

The first article was published on crossfit.com on July 26th and is entitled  Bad Science and Financial  Conflicts of Interest Plague the FDA’S Investigation into “Grain-Free ”Pet Foods and Dilated Cardiomyopathy.” I’m going to highlight some of the critical points in this article but encourage you to read it in its entirety at the link I have provided below.

Unfortunately, these stories [ the news stories that appeared on June 29th ] all have two things in common: They ignore the financial conflicts of interest possessed by the veterinarians at the heart of the FDA’s investigation, and they mischaracterize the actual state of the scientific record concerning canine DCM. [ Emphasis Added ]

I spent four years writing a book about the pet food industry’s long track record of using oft-concealed financial conflicts of interest and concerted misinformation campaigns to manipulate the veterinary nutrition community and pet-owning public, often at the expense of household pets. [ Emphasis Added ]

…it is abundantly clear to me that the FDA’s DCM investigation bears all the hallmarks of a corporate influence-peddling campaign. [ Emphasis Added ]

The only three veterinarians identified by name as consultants in the investigation are Dr. Joshua Stern, Dr. Darcy Adin, and Dr. Lisa Freeman, and all have financial ties to one or more of three of the largest and oldest pet food companies in America: Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Mars Petcare, and Nestlé Purina PetCare. These same three companies are conspicuous for having lost considerable market share to their grain-free competitors over the past decade. They’re the only three companies recommended by the anonymous creators of a new website devoted to raising awareness about the issue of DCM. And they’re the only three major international pet food companies not to be named in the FDA’s investigation. [ Emphasis Added ]

The author of the article, Daniel Schulof, also discusses an article by the veterinarians mentioned above entitled Diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs: what do we know? which was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) in December of 2018. The article has been treated by the FDA, the media, and many in the veterinary community as if it was a-peer-reviewed study, the standard for scientific studies, but it was not.  Schulof maintains the JAVMA article contains misleading information and …suspicious statistical and methodological irregularities.

Schulof has gone so far as to write letters to the editorial board of JAVMA demanding that the December article be retracted. He has also filed a federal lawsuit against the FDA for their failure to disclose government records on this issue as required by the Freedom of Information Act.

It is worth noting that the JAVMA retraction letters were not just signed by Schulof, but also by 200 veterinarians, pet food professionals, and animal scientists, when they were presented as drafts at the 2019 American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition conference in June. Schulof has many highly educated animal nutritionists who agree with his concerns.

You can read Schulof’s article in Crossfit at https://www.crossfit.com/health/bad-science-and-financial-conflicts-of-interest-plague-the-fdas-investigation-into-grain-free-pet-foods-and-dilated-cardiomyopathy

I also encourage you to explore the public website www.veterinaryintegrity.org, where Schulof has posted the evidence supporting his allegations. Unlike the FDA, Schulof has provided access to his evidence.

Please, do your own research, do not let the news media and the big-pet food companies make decisions for you.

The second article I received today is entitled Debunking Pet Food Myths and Misconceptions –  ‘BEG’ pet food does not equal DCM written by Ryan Yamka, who is has been board certified in companion animal nutrition by the American College of Animal Sciences. The article was published at PetfoodIndustry.com, a member website. I cannot share a link but will share the highlights of Yamka’s article.

…the reality is that no link or diet type has been proven to cause DCM in dogs. [ Emphasis Added ]

Yamka’s then goes on to destroy the entire argument made by veterinarian Lisa Freeman about ‘BEG’ (boutique, exotic ingredient, and grain-free diets) dog foods.

If the press and others took the time to actually review all the cases reported to FDA (submitted through April 30, 2019), they would have seen other brands like Purina ONE, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Halo, V-Dog, Lotus and others. What is more important is that the majority of brands named in the report are not boutique brands and can be found in large pet specialty, grocery and mass market stores. Thus, the “B” in BEG is inaccurate and a misnomer. [ Emphasis Added ]

Of the cases investigated, 75% were common protein sources (chicken being No. 1), 24% were novel protein sources and 1% were vegetarian foods. In case you were wondering, kangaroo was only 9.3% of the total cases. Thus, the “E” for exotic in the acronym BEG is also inaccurate and a misnomer. [ Emphasis Added ]

What people fail to recognize is that almost 10% of the report cases were grain based. Thus, having veterinarians focus on grain-free foods only will likely miss cases of dogs consuming grain-based foods made by larger companies. In other words, if you don’t look for it in all food types, you will not likely find the root cause. Thus, it makes one question if grain free (the G) is truly the issue, especially when the issue does not exist in the other food forms (wet, raw, home cooked or freeze dried). [ Emphasis Added ]

There is no doubt that DCM is a serious issue for some dogs and a tragedy for those that share their lives with those dogs. However, financially-corrupted science and disingenuous reporting is not justified nor helpful and may actually delay finding the real answer to DCM and saving dogs lives. – Don

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

GAKS Philosophy on Pet Nutrition http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil

Pet Foods We Offer At Green Acres Kennel Shop http://bit.ly/GAKS_PetFood_Brands

FDA Update on Heart Disease in Dogs & What Should You Do? – http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19

Shared Blog Post – FDA Updates on Heart Disease in Dogs – Hemopet – Dr. Jean Doddshttps://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2019/04/12/shared-blog-post-fda-updates-on-heart-disease-in-dogs-hemopet-dr-jean-dodds/

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/08/06/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs-wdj-blog-post/ >

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/27/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/ >

Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/22/pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/ >

Things I Wish I Had Known… The Importance of What I Feed My Pets – – WWM-MAR2019 – http://bit.ly/Things-Nutrition-1

 

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

Podcast – Pet’s in the News–No. 4 Pet Food, DCM and The FDA http://bit.ly/WfMw-DCM-FDA-20JUL19

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MShttp://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

Web Sites

FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathyhttps://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy

Tuffy’s Pet Foods (NutriSource/PureVita/Natural Planet) – A Message Regarding DCM Concernshttps://nutrisourcepetfoods.com/images/content/Tuffy’s%20DCM%20Statement%20(7-1-19).pdf

Fromm Response to Updated FDA DCM Complaint Reportinghttps://frommfamily.com/connect/fda-dcm-20190701/

Zignature Statement in Response to FDA Findingshttps://www.zignature.com/statement-on-dcm/

 

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©31-Jul-19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Pet Nutrition – The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 1

< A version of this article was published in the August 2019 issue of Downeast Dog News>

< A short link to this post http://bit.ly/DietRotation1-30JUL19 >

< Updated 26AUG19 >

Would You Be Healthy If You Ate the Same Thing At Every Meal?

By Guest Columnist, Kate Dutra, CPDT-KA

Tokyo turnips dipped in cilantro hummus; a ham, cheese and lettuce sandwich on organic seven-grain bread; raw pepper, tomatoes, and cucumbers; a handful of pretzels – this is what comprised my lunch today. Overall, most would agree that it was a healthy, well-balanced meal.  Now, what if I ate this same meal every day, twice a day, for several years? Is that still considered healthy and well balanced? Probably not.

Why then do we deem this acceptable for our canine and feline companions? Pet food companies, veterinarians, breeders, and others have convinced us that changing our pets’ food is difficult and will result in digestive upset. Intuitively we know our pets should have more variety in their diet; however, there is also a grain of truth to the tummy troubles. If animals have been eating only one food for several months or longer, it is only natural that they will experience digestive upset, and possibly diarrhea, when their GI tracts are exposed to other types of food.

The reality is that many companies do not want us to change our pets’ food because it impacts their bottom line. Fortunately, several companies now offer their foods with a variety of animal protein sources and have made adjustments in their diets to allow for a smooth transition from one type of food to another. While this is a good start, it is insufficient. When speaking of dietary rotation, it is not just limited to rotating within a brand of food, but also rotating among brands as well as food types.

The reasons for dietary rotation are many. The most obvious is to increase our pets’ exposure to a variety of meat sources, thus giving them variation in both macronutrients and micronutrients. Whether it is kibble, canned, freeze-dried, or raw, varying the meals between red meats, poultry, fish and some of the more novel protein sources, can be a simple way to benefit our companion’s nutritional well-being.

By rotating brands, even when using the same meat protein, we are increasing the odds of some small variations in diet. All chickens (turkey, pigs, etc.) are not created equal. For example, one company may source their chicken from a poultry farm in the Mid-West and another from New York. Both farms may be Certified Organic, but the soil in the Midwest has different nutrients than the soil in New York. Additionally, the air and water quality will vary, and the farms may be using dissimilar poultry feeds. This results in small differences between the chickens, and as we learn more about nutrition, we are discovering that these differences matter. Another rationale for brand rotation is the vitamin and mineral packs that are often supplemented in pet foods. While all of these packs should meet industry standards, there will be some variation because many of these vitamin and mineral packs are proprietary blends manufactured for specific pet food companies.

Additionally, we still do not understand everything there is to know about nutrition. Nutrition is a very complex science and one that shifts with evolution and the environment. Currently, we are experiencing an apparent increase of (DCM) in dogs (and a few cats). It has yet to be determined if there even is a link between diet and DCM, or what that link may be, but we do know that many of the dogs in the analysis did not have any variation in their feeding. If it is concluded that something in diet plays a role in DCM, had those dogs been on a rotational diet, there is the possibility that they may have had less exposure to whatever is causing the increase in DCM. In our world of genetically modifying everything, who is to say that we have not damaged the bio-availability or essential makeup of some nutrients?

Furthermore, recalls and shortages do happen. If your pet can only eat one food, and that food is recalled or unavailable for some reason, you may find yourself floundering for what to do. If however, you have introduced multiple foods and proteins to your pet, you will have other options available. It is essential also to have an alternative protein because when there is a shortage in an ingredient, it is likely to impact multiple lines of pet food.

A final reason to change up our pets’ diets is boredom. There is a middle ground between creating a picky eater and offering a variety. We control so much in our pets’ worlds, and unintentionally deprive them of choice and experiences, and this is an easy way to enrich their environment. Next month, we will explore transitioning your pet to a variety of diets, what to do about those pets that truly have sensitivities to foods, warming and cooling foods and other questions such as these.

You can learn how to implement this health practice with your dog at The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet, Part 2, Introducing Your Dog to Dietary Rotationhttp://bit.ly/DietRotation2

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet, Part 2, Introducing Your Dog to Dietary Rotationhttp://bit.ly/DietRotation2

Pet Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense http://bit.ly/DietRotation

GAKS Philosophy on Pet Nutrition http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil

Pet Foods We Offer At Green Acres Kennel Shop http://bit.ly/GAKS_PetFood_Brands

Things I Wish I Had Known… The Importance of What I Feed My Pets – – WWM-MAR2019 – http://bit.ly/Things-Nutrition-1

Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – Part 1 – My story with Gus – Maine Dog Magazine – Winter 2017 http://bit.ly/Gus-Nutrition

Pet Nutrition – What Should I Feed My Pet? http://bit.ly/What-Should-I-Feed-My-Pet

Pet Nutrition – What Do You Feed Your Dog? – WWM-JUN2016 – http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourDog

Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet? http://bit.ly/ShouldIFeedMyPetARawDiet

Pet Nutrition – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton with link to 1 hour video http://bit.ly/Video-Dr-Richard-Patton

Shared News Story – An Exposé on Prescription Diets from WJLA ABC7 Newshttp://bit.ly/Nut-RXDiets-WJLA-24MAY19

FDA Update on Heart Disease in Dogs & What Should You Do? – 7JUL19  http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19

Shared Articles – More on the FDA, DCM and Pet Food – 10JUL19 –  http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-10JUL19

 

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

Podcast – Pet’s in the News–No. 4 Pet Food, DCM and The FDA http://bit.ly/WfMw-DCM-FDA-20JUL19

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://bit.ly/DrPatton-Podcast

Podcast – Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry with Kohl Harringtonhttp://bit.ly/WfMw-Pet-Fooled

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS – http://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Kymythy Schultze Author of Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health http://bit.ly/KymythySchultzeCatNutrition-Podcast

Podcast – An Eastern Approach to Pet Nutrition with Dr. Michael Munzer from All Creatures Acupuncturehttp://bit.ly/WfMw-Munzer-EstrnNut-2018

Podcasts – Interview with Steve Brown about Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diethttp://bit.ly/WfMw-SteveBrown-2010

Other Resources

Wysong – The Truth About Pets Foods PDFhttp://bit.ly/WysongTheTruthAboutPetFoods-pdf

Pet Fooled on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/petfooled/

Pet Fooled Webpage https://www.petfooled.com/pet-fooled-part-1.html

 

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©26AUG19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Podcast – Pet’s in the News–No. 4 Pet Food, DCM and The FDA

< A short link to this post –  http://bit.ly/WfMw-DCM-FDA-20JUL19 >

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from July 20th, 2019 Kate and Don discuss one of the hottest topics in the news and social media; pet food and dilated cardiomyopathy in pets, and the FDA’s June press release. There has been an incredible amount of “news” on this topic, much of it more conjecture and misinformation than useful facts. Kate and Don review four new articles on this subject that add clarity to the information missing from the nightly news.

If you are worried about what you are feeding your pet, you will want to listen to this show and podcast.

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

GAKS Philosophy on Pet Nutrition http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil

Pet Foods We Offer At Green Acres Kennel Shop http://bit.ly/GAKS_PetFood_Brands

FDA Update on Heart Disease in Dogs & What Should You Do? – http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19

Shared Blog Post – FDA Updates on Heart Disease in Dogs – Hemopet – Dr. Jean Doddshttps://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2019/04/12/shared-blog-post-fda-updates-on-heart-disease-in-dogs-hemopet-dr-jean-dodds/

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post –  https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/08/06/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs-wdj-blog-post/

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs –  https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/27/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/

Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs –  https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/22/pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/

Things I Wish I Had Known… The Importance of What I Feed My Petsbit.ly/Things-Nutrition-1

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MShttp://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

Web Sites

FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathyhttps://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy

Tuffy’s Pet Foods (NutriSource/PureVita/Natural Planet) – A Message Regarding DCM Concernshttps://nutrisourcepetfoods.com/images/content/Tuffy’s%20DCM%20Statement%20(7-1-19).pdf

Fromm Response to Updated FDA DCM Complaint Reportinghttps://frommfamily.com/connect/fda-dcm-20190701/

Zignature Statement in Response to FDA Findingshttps://www.zignature.com/statement-on-dcm/

©26JUL19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

FDA Update on Heart Disease in Dogs & What Should You Do?

< A short link to this post – http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19 >

If you are concerned about the latest news from the FDA and Grain-Free pet foods, please take the time to read this post. Much of what you hear in the mass media is misleading. Here are some of the facts.

  • There is currently no FDA recall of any brand of pet food related to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
  • While the loss of a pet to DCM is tragic, there have been only 524 cases reported to the FDA since January 1, of 2014 out of an estimated 77 million dogs in the USA. The number of dogs corresponds to 0.000007% of cases possibly being related to diet.
  • Genetics plays a significant role in DCM, with typically larger breeds being more predisposed. The majority of these reports have been submitted in the last year, suggesting an increase in reporting.
  • While the situation certainly warrants further investigation, there is currently no corroborating scientific evidence that the increased cases in DCM are related to diet.

From the FDA

On June 27, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration issued a press release entitled FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy updating the investigation that began a year ago based on reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods, many labeled as “grain-free.” In my opinion, the most significant statement in this press release is “Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.” In other words, there is still much research that needs to be done, and at this point, we can still not draw any definitive conclusions as to the specific cause for the rise in cases of DCM.

Other statements of note in the FDA press release include:

“The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. Most dogs in the U.S. have been eating pet food without apparently developing DCM.” [ Emphasis added ]

Another puzzling aspect of the recent spike in DCM cases is that they have occurred just in the last few years. The FDA is working with the pet food industry to better understand whether changes in ingredients, ingredient sourcing, processing or formulation may have contributed to the development of DCM.” [ Emphasis added ]

Grain free foods have been available for many years, with increases in DCM only reported recently. As previously indicated by the FDA, the possible link between diet and DCM may be based on a variety of factors, and there is still much research to be done. The FDA press release encourages anyone with a pet that is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions (decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing, and episodes of collapse) to seek veterinary care immediately. That is excellent advice and will help to further our understanding of any link between DCM, diet, and genetics as well as other possible environmental factors that may be at play.

While the FDA report lists several brands of food that have been reported to have been fed to pets diagnosed with DCM, they did not list all brands nor specific formulas; this is unfortunate. If there is a link between DCM and diet, it would be beneficial to know which specific formulas are involved, as not all formulas of a particular brand may be of concern.

Green Acres Kennel Shop sells food from three of the companies on the list; Fromm, NutriSource, and Zignature. Each of the companies has contacted us, and they want to get to the bottom of this as much as the FDA, maybe even more so. All three are family-owned companies that are genuine pet lovers that have been producing some of the highest quality pet foods in the world for many decades. I have included parts of their responses below. If you would like a full copy of their response, please stop by the store.

NutriSource/PureVita/Natural Planet/Tuffy’sIn addition to your pet’s overall health, transparency is of the utmost importance to us. On June 27, 2019, the United States Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put a multitude of brands, along with NutriSource, in the position of defending ourselves in a confusing situation about grain-free dog diets and their potential link to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

  • The comprehensive health of EVERY SINGLE pet is extremely important to us. We are continuing our efforts to study DCM and closely monitor all the information that the FDA can provide. The FDA’s published updates have not concluded that there is a causal relationship between diet and DCM. [ Emphasis added ]
  • All NutriSource diets include supplemental TAURINE to boost naturally occurring levels derived from our high quality meats and fish. Due to the potential link between taurine-deficiency and DCM, we felt it important to take this step as a safeguard to protect pets until scientific research is complet [ Emphasis added ]
  •  We have committed funds for additional research on our diets and initial results have shown that our products deliver the recommended nutrients to support normal levels of taurine.
  • We have proactively funded independent research at Kansas State University to study pet health including the issue of canine DCM. [ Emphasis added ]

< Click to read Tuffy’s July 1, 2019 message regarding DCM concerns. >

 

Fromm responseAlthough no conclusive evidence relating diet to DCM has been scientifically substantiated, each of the recipes in our full line of grain-inclusive and grain-free dry foods is supplemented with taurine. In addition, our foods contain ample levels of cysteine and methionine which dogs also use to metabolize their own taurine. All of our grain-inclusive and grain-free offerings are held to the same high nutritional standard, and our variety of recipes allows our retailers and consumers to make buying decisions they are most comfortable with. [ Emphasis added ]

While the FDA continues their investigation, we want our retailers and consumers to feel confident knowing that Fromm has and will continue to follow the most up-to-date research. Our family-owned-and-operated company is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of pets and has been since we began making pet food in 1949.

< Click to read Fromm Response to Updated FDA DCM Complaint Reporting. >

 

ZignatureWhile DCM impacts less than one percent of U.S. dogs, with .000007% being supposedly related to diet, we recognize that these studies are of critical importance to those families whose beloved dogs have been afflicted by this heart diseases.

As you review the FDA’s most recent report, it’s important to understand the following:

  • The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. Most dogs in the U.S. have been eating pet food without apparently developing DCM. [ Emphasis added ]
  • The FDA continues to believe that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors and that the actual cause has still yet to be determined.
  • Among all the cases from all brands that were reported to the FDA, the overwhelming majority of impacted dogs belonged to breeds genetically predisposed to DCM, a disease that was first discovered in the 1980’s well before the grain-free diets were available for pets.
  • The FDA issued the June 27th update, even though it has no definitive answers yet, to solicit additional reports from pet owners and veterinarians to help further it’s investigation.
  • Is there a link between exotic proteins and DCM? – Based on the most recent data released by the FDA, and contrary to previous speculation, that does not seem to be the case. Most of the cases (more than 50%) reported to the FDA were for foods containing chicken, lamb and salmon. [ Emphasis added ]
  • How does Zignature formulate its food? – Our meticulously designed diets have been formulated by a thought-leading team of veterinarians, PhD animal nutritionists and veterinary research scientists to deliver the safest pet products on the market that exceed the industry’s AAFCO guide for balanced and thorough nutrition. [ Emphasis added ]

< Click to read Zignature Statement in Response to FDA Findings >

What should we do for our pets?

  • Stay informed and go beyond what you hear or read in the mass media (TV, Radio, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and be a critical consumer of information.
  • If possible, rotate your dog’s diet through several different protein and carbohydrate sources as well as brands of foods. If you are not sure how to do that, ask us. We have been recommending dietary rotation for many years. FMI – http://bit.ly/DietRotation
  • Do not be in a panic to immediately change what you are feeding. However, if you stop by, we would be glad to introduce you to other pet food options.
  • If you have a breed that is already genetically predisposed to DCM, and you are very concerned, strongly consider rotating diet your dog’s diet and possibly including some balanced raw diet or high meat content canned food.
  • Know that there are many pet foods available that are not grain-free; however, also know that there is still no scientifically substantiated link to DCM and grain-free diets. The foods cited by the FDA are primarily kibble or dry foods. Pet food comes in many other formats such as; canned, freeze-dried, and frozen, all of which have many benefits over conventional dry kibble. We have many right here at Green Acres.
  • Never stop reading the ingredient list on your pet’s food nor presume that all pet food companies are equal and are primarily concerned with your pet’s health. We have always preferred the small, family-owned companies that mainly focus on pet food as opposed to the megalithic multi-national corporation. We like companies like; Bravo, Eagle, Fromm, Fussie Cat, Grandma Lucy’s, Health Extension, Koha, Natural Planet, NutriSource, Primal, PureVita, Steve’s Real Food for Pets, Vital Essentials, and Zignature. We are not fans of the enormous multi-national conglomerates that control 70%+ of the pet food industry (Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, Mars Candy, Nestle Candy, and Smuckers) as in our 25+ years of experience there are much better products available. If you want to know why, stop by and ask us or watch the documentary film Pet Fooled.
  • Purchase your pet food from locally-owned retailers who educate their staff and will spend time teaching you about what’s important when feeding your pet. No big-box store or online pet food marketer offers that same level of customer service or knowledge.
  • Subscribe to our email newsletter, Don’s Words, Woofs and Meows blog, and “Like” and follow the Green Acres Kennel Shop Facebook page. We will be updating this story as we get more information in all three areas.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

 Shared Blog Post – FDA Updates on Heart Disease in Dogs – Hemopet – Dr. Jean Doddshttps://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2019/04/12/shared-blog-post-fda-updates-on-heart-disease-in-dogs-hemopet-dr-jean-dodds/

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/08/06/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs-wdj-blog-post/

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/27/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/ >

Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/22/pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/ >

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MShttp://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

Web Sites

FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathyhttps://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy

Tuffy’s Pet Foods (NutriSource/PureVita/Natural Planet) – A Message Regarding DCM Concernshttps://nutrisourcepetfoods.com/images/content/Tuffy’s%20DCM%20Statement%20(7-1-19).pdf

Fromm Response to Updated FDA DCM Complaint Reportinghttps://frommfamily.com/connect/fda-dcm-20190701/

Zignature Statement in Response to FDA Findingshttps://www.zignature.com/statement-on-dcm/

 

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©7-Jul-19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Things I Wish I Had Known… The Importance of What I Feed My Pets

< A version of this article will be published in the March 2019 issue of Downeast Dog News >

< A short link to this article – bit.ly/Things-Nutrition-1 >

When I brought home my first puppy in 1975, I bought the dog food recommended by her veterinarian. When I got married, and both my dog and Paula’s dog came to live with us, our only thought about dog food was budgetary. I now know that feeding the food that costs the least per pound can have significant hidden health costs.

In 1991 my wife and brought home our first puppy as a couple. On the advice of Paula’s employer, a veterinarian, we fed him a premium pet food. Within a year Gus developed a chronic urinary infection which his veterinarian believed was related to how he processed food.  Thus begin our journey of learning about pet nutrition. Late in 1995, we relocated to Maine where we became the new owners of the Green Acres Kennel Shop. Gus was still struggling with urinary and bladder issues, and we were committed to learning all that we could about the best nutrition for our pets and those of our clients. Eventually, we found a food that helped Gus, and we also begin to look very critically at every pet food we sold.  (FMIhttp://bit.ly/Gus-Nutrition).

I am often asked by clients how they can learn more about their pet’s nutritional needs, something I encourage every pet parent to consider, and these are the resources I recommend.

Books

Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack, by Dr. Richard Patton. While very technical, I believe this book does the best job of explaining the science and rationale for feeding our pets a biologically appropriate diet. ( FMI – Podcast –  http://bit.ly/DrPatton-Podcast, Videohttp://bit.ly/Video-Dr-Richard-Patton, Book reviewhttp://bit.ly/RuinedByExcess-BookReview ).

Dog Food Logic – Making Smart Decisions For Your Dog In An Age Of Too Many Choices, by Linda Case. A good review of dog nutrition, the pet food industry and what dog parents should look for and even more importantly, look to avoid.

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats – The Ultimate Diet, by Kymythy Schultze.  If you want to learn how to feed your pets a raw and natural diet that you make, from ingredients that you choose, this is the best place to start. NOTE: I specifically recommend against anyone feeding their pets a homemade diet if they have not done adequate research. If you fail to formulate an appropriate diet, you can harm your pet. This book provides sound advice.

See Spot Live Longer, by Steve Brown and Beth Taylor. By the founder of Steve’s Real Food for Pets, this book is an excellent introduction for anyone considering feeding a raw diet. Steve’s second book, Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet, is also another excellent book for understanding the benefits of feeding raw, even if it is not for every meal. ( FMI – Podcast http://bit.ly/WfMw-SteveBrown-2010 ).

Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, Ph.D. This book was the one that initiated our search for natural healthcare and nutrition alternatives for Gus. The recipes for pet food are sound, but a bit biased towards grain and carbohydrates.

The Truth About Pet Foods by Dr. Randy Wysong. This book by Dr. Wysong dramatically changed my view of the pet food industry. It went from my naïve presumption that all pet food companies must be trustworthy to one of “buyer beware. A veterinarian and the owner of a pet food company, Wysong’s approach is very non-conventional. In this book, he states “It seems that the ideal would be for people to make their own pet foods.” Wow! The owner of a dog food company suggesting that pets will be healthier if their owners make their food from fresh, whole ingredients instead of feeding commercial dog food. Dr. Wysong is someone I can respect and trust. He was also the first person to help me understand the importance of rotating what we feed our pets and the reasons not to food them the same food day after day. (FMIWhy Rotating Diets Makes Sense http://bit.ly/DietRotation ). (FMI – download the book for free –  http://bit.ly/WysongTheTruthAboutPetFoods-pdf )

Videos

Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry is a 2016 documentary film about the pet food industry. Everyone I know who has seen Pet Fooled has a new attitude about what they feed their pet. The film is available on Netflix and other video-on-demand services listed at the Pet Fooled web site ( https://www.petfooled.com/ ). The filmmaker also maintains a Facebook page with valuable information on the pet food industry (

https://www.facebook.com/petfooled/ ). You can listen to an interview with Kohl Harrington, the director of Pet Fooled at  http://bit.ly/WfMw-Pet-Fooled

The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – This is a video of a presentation that Dr. Patton did for Green Acres Kennel Shop in April of 2016. ( http://bit.ly/Video-Dr-Richard-Patton )

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©04MAR19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – An Eastern Approach to Pet Nutrition with Dr. Michael Munzer from All Creatures Acupuncture

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from May 19th, 2018, Don learns about the Eastern or Chinese Medicine approach to nutrition from Dr. Michael Munzer from All Creatures Acupuncture.  Last year Dr. Munzer completed a certification program in Chinese Food Therapy from the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. He discusses the critical differences in the Chinese Medicine approach to nutrition as compared to what he learned in veterinary school where the approach was what is the bare minimum of nutrition necessary to sustain life. Chinese medicine looks at food more deeply for each individual patient. This can make the method better suited for treating specific health issues. Tune in and learn about this interesting approach to feeding your pet for optimal health from Dr. Michael Munzer.

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://www.wzonthepulse.com or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show and can be downloaded at www.woofmeowshow.com and the Apple iTunes store.

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

Contact Info

Address: 77 Main St, Bucksport, ME 04416

Phone: (207) 956-0564

Website: http://www.allcreaturesholistic.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/allcreaturesholistic/

 

©19MAY18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Recalls – What Do I Need to Do If My Pet’s Food is Recalled?

The information you will need when you learn of a recall includes:

  • The specific brand name and formula of the food being recalled. (g., Yummy Pet Adult formula)
  • The size of the package being recalled (g. 3.2lbs bag). In some cases only a specific size package may be recalled, other times it may be multiple package types.
  • The SKU number for the product(s)
  • The manufacturer’s lot number, used to identify the date and time the food was manufactured.
  • The “Best by” or expiration date.
  • What to do with the product you have remaining.

When Green Acres Kennel Shop learns of a pet food recall we first determine if any of our clients have purchased the product. If a client has provided us with contact information, we call or email them if they have purchased the recalled product. We then post a recall notice on our blog at www.words-woofs.meows.com and on the Green Acres Kennel Shop Facebook page to alert others who may have purchased the recalled product from someplace other than our store. If you subscribe to our blog, you will be emailed these notices automatically. If you like and follow the Green Acres Kennel Shop Facebook page and set Following to “See First,” any recall notice we post there should automatically appear in your Facebook newsfeed. I say “should” because we all know Facebook is constantly changing. You can also retrieve information on pet food recalls from the FDA’s website at https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/.

Once you have the above information, you can determine what to do next. As long as you have kept the original bag/can/container/package which the food came in, you can compare the product SKU, lot number, and best by date to determine if you have a product that has been recalled. We recommend that you always keep the container the food came in until you have used all of the food. At Green Acres, we can tell you what SKU you purchased and when you purchased it, but we do not have access to lot numbers and best by dates.

If your specific pet food is not affected by the recall, you do not need to do anything.

If your specific pet food is affected by the recall, contact the retailer where you purchased the product, and they can provide you with instructions on how to proceed. At Green Acres, we will offer you a full refund on products that have been recalled, provided the product was purchased at Green Acres, and that you have the original packaging.

If you do not have the original packaging and therefore cannot determine if the food you have has been recalled, it will be safest to dispose of the food.

©10MAR18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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