“Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility
to preserve and nurture and care for all life.” -James Cromwell.
If you’ve read the headlines, you already know that the dog food industry has long been corrupted by tainted ingredients and unscrupulous manufacturers. We see multiple pet food recalls every year. Listeria and salmonella outbreaks are becoming all too common. It’s a terrifying situation for dog and cat owners looking to provide their pets with good nutrition to foster holistic wellness. No one wants to feed their pup questionable kibble. So why is there such a lack of oversight?
The FDA is tasked with regulating the dog food industry, but its resources are stretched thin. In an effort to prioritize human safety, the oversite of pet food has largely shifted to the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Unfortunately, this private organization lacks the authority to wield any control, and instead is left to establish voluntary guidelines. The AAFCO’s guidelines outline minimum nutrition standards, but they do not establish acceptable sources for those nutrients. We know that not all nutrient sources are equal—or safe for consumption.
In 2007, rice protein tainted with melamine (an industrial chemical) led to the recall of over 5,000 products from 150 brands—but not before contributing to the deaths of as many as 8,000 pets. Shockingly, some of those products were from big labels like Iams, Science Diet, and Advanced Nutrition.
The escalating corruption in the dog food marketplace is cause for alarm for conscientious pet owners, often leading to frustration and decision fatigue. Many are unsure what brands to trust. You may recall our blog on all-natural food brands bought out by less scrupulous manufacturers. A similar trend is happening in the pet food industry. In 2018, premium brand Blue Buffalo was sold to General Mills. Merrick is now owned by Purina, and Science Diet is produced by a subsidiary of Colgate.
These new parent companies tend to streamline formulas and ingredients to increase profits—often at the cost of health and safety. Even respected brands like Natural Balance are now produced with ingredients made in China where manufacturing occurs under few guidelines and little testing (Dogs Naturally, 2020).
The path forward has to involve greater transparency. As a consumer, you affect the pet food industry with your purchases. Let’s support companies that are fully transparent in their testing of both individual ingredients and finished products. Look for data on mycotoxins, bacteria, and mercury levels. Final products should be free of synthetic ingredients with vitamins provided by natural sources. The ideal pet food will contain only table-grade, recognizable ingredients that have been federally approved for human consumption. Look for proof that all ingredients are certified organic, and that protein sources are from Certified Humane Farms or adhere to Ocean Wise standards.
One trustworthy source for organic dog food and treats is Loyal Companions, a store led by nutritionists, groomers, and behaviorists—working together to support holistic pet wellness. We all want the best for our companion animals. Do your research to ensure you are feeding your pets the best nutrition from the safest sources available.
For more information on caring for your pets, read Energy Matters, LLC’s blog on Energetic Healing for animals. Or, for additional guidance, consider scheduling a remote Animal Healing session with Rose.
*This blog contains Amazon affiliate links. The owner of this site may receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.
What To Remember:Dog food isn’t regulated as closely as you might think.Even big-name brands have been found to use questionable ingredients and practices.Choose organic food from a reliable source to protect your pet’s health.
Carroll, Linda. (July,2019). After FDA warning about grain-free pet food, what's safe to feed our pets? NBCNews.com https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/after-fda-warning-about-grain-free-pet-food-what-s-n1026881
Food and Drug Administration. (June, 2019). Pet Food. FDA.gov. https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-food-feeds/pet-food
Thixton, Susan. (January, 2018). Pet Food’s Corruption Gets Worse. TruthAboutPetFood.com. https://truthaboutpetfood.com/pet-foods-corruption-gets-worse/
My Amazon Picks: