Rene over at ATC contacted me regarding an article she saw in the May 2014 issue of Reader's Digest. She wrote a post about it, asking people to write to RD and tell them what we felt about the last two "secrets" they shared.. Yes, I was a little bitter when I wrote to them. Rene encouraged me to share my words here since I told her I sent her an email
So in the May issue of your magazine you have an article "50 Secrets Your Pet Won't Tell You". I take extreme exception to this article.. as none of them are really secretes, and worst of all you started dabbling in something you had no business dabbling in, pet nutrition.
"Secret" 49 regarding 'hype' about grain free food. Who told you it was hype? Pet food makers? Maybe you went to an actual vet who told you this, but were they ever trained in nutrition? Did this vet tell you that dogs and cats have COMPLETELY different nutritional needs (and the same goes for every other pet species, rabbits, birds, etc so making such a blanket statement regarding pet food is not only lazy reporting it is incompetence) Cats are "obligate carnivores" and if you do not know why that means cats shouldn't have grains in their diets, let me hand you a dictionary..
How about you talk to a veterinarian nutritionist, one who has actually studied feline nutrition like Lisa Pierson DVM over at http://catinfo.org or Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM who wrote the book "Your Cat" and then go consult one who studies canine nutrition. I don't know any off the top of my head as I am an a feline advocate, but I'm sure you can find one rather easily. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=canine+nutritionist
Lest you think I'm ragging on vets, please note that if YOU have a question of nutrition beyond 'eat more fruits and vegetables' your own doctor will refer you to a RD or an RDN (which if you aren't careful will land you in the pocket of big food - http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/10/how-ada-are-manipulated-by-food-industry.aspx )
As for #50, yes, raw diets MAY cause cracked teeth or bacterial infections, but you do know that more 'cooked' and 'processed' foods have been recalled for bacterial issues then raw right? How about all of those foods that have been tainted http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/2007-04-19-pet-food-usat_N.htm
I personally had a problem with a commercial treat product I purchased. Getting the company to accept any responsibility for the issue is impossible, and most companies dismiss individual claims using the excuse that anything could have caused it.. Just as GM did with their cars for 14 years..
Do you know why the ASPCA, the CDC and the great and awesome "Prevention" discourages raw diets? The ASPCA follows the JAVMA, which follows the money. The major pet food companies donate a lot of money and do a lot of 'research' that supports their food products as being the best alternative (why wouldn't they, they have a financial stake in the outcome. It would be like if PepsiCO studied the healthfulness of Pepsi and then spent millions of dollars to convince the RDs of the world that their product is fine in moderation - oh wait.. they did http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/10/how-ada-are-manipulated-by-food-industry.aspx ) The CDC is against it because of their absolute fear of salmonella and ecoli. While it is appropriate that we are aware of these and other bacterial contamination, using basic sanitary practices and being aware of where you source your food - something we should be doing anyway because I don't know about you but I am not all that interested in eating killed ecoli or salmonella.
Pet food companies believe they can provide food that is 'complete and balanced' for your pet. I find this claim fascinating in the fact that we still don't even know everything there is to know about nutrition in general. The more the 'experts' dabble in our own health the unhealthier we are getting as a society. Back before we had "health experts", most of the human population was thin and relatively healthy. Moves to reclaim our health harken that we need to return to traditional foods turning away from processed foods and food like substances that were invented in the last 100 years..
it is not nearly as difficult recreating a pet's natural diet as you might thing. Some meat, some bone, some organ. Try to keep the bone size down to something akin to what the animal might actually take down in the wild. A cat would never take down a cow, so giving a cat a cow bone is silly. Yes a cat would eat dead cow if it came across it in it's travels since a cat is not above being a carrion, but on the whole if you stick to smaller prey, the cat's teeth and digestive system were designed (either by design or evolution) to rip flesh from bones, crack bones and consume them. You will not find a wild cat who breaks into grain stores or hunts down wild corn. Although you will find them frequently hanging out in those areas to catch the mice and the birds that feed off those grains - which is how cats became domesticated in the first place.
I have a feeling you don't really care if these 'secrets' are accurate or not, but I in good conscious could not let this go with out saying something..
Webmaster of kittyblog.net
foster home for kittens since 2002
owner of 7 raw fed cats - several of which are alive simply because they are on a raw diet.