Dog Food Linked to Illness in Humans

The latest instance of contaminated pet food has created an even more unwelcome side effect. It appears that some humans in contact with this food have developed salmonella illness, with five people even being hospitalized.

Diamond Pet Foods in the US has recalled some of its products due to contamination with salmonella. It seems all of the problems have been linked to one manufacturing plant in South Carolina in the US. Some brands have been withdrawn for sale and others are undergoing testing to see if they too represent any health risks.

Food recalls and contaminated foods are an ongoing issue for the petfood industry. Virtually every major company and brand (with one notable exception) has recalled their foods due health issues. Usually the problem is discovered only after animals have become ill (and in many cases actually died), which is not good news for pet owners.

So how can you be sure the food you feed is safe?

One of the best ways is to feed a food that is guaranteed not to contain any Asian ingredients. Most of the big companies source ingredients from Asian countries because they are much cheaper. However the quality controls in that part of the world are often simply not there and Asian ingredients are the number one cause of contaminated foods.

Very few companies will guarantee that they don’t source ingredients from Asia and will often reply to the question with a vague reply along the lines of “We get our ingredients from the best sources possible.” It may be best for the company (i.e. lowest cost) but it won’t necessarily be so for the pet.

There is one company that guarantees none of their ingredients come from Asia, and that is a major reason why they are one of the tiny few that have never had a food recall or problems with contamination- and that’s in 25 years of production!

That company is Pro Pac. All of the their ingredients are only sourced from the US (apart from lamb which is brought from Australia or New Zealand). Their foods also do not contain any genetically-modified ingredients, another sign of high quality.

Pro Pac spends more to ensure quality ingredients. The result is one of the safest foods on the market and one you can be confident buying for your dog.

How Much Protein Should Your Dog Be Getting?

Protein is one of the most essential elements of a dog’s diet. We all know that protein provides the “building blocks of life” and are vital for proper growth and development in all animals. But as the ones responsible to maintain our animal’s health, how much is the right amount? And more importantly, can we rely on the food manufacturers to provide the right quantity?

There are two elements to the question about the right amount of protein. Firstly there is the issue of quantity, but secondly (and equally if not more important) is the quality of the protein.

The AAFCO minimum amount of protein for a food to be able to be labelled “complete and balanced” is 18%. However, this is in reality too low to really maintain a dog in peak condition. The true amount should be closer to 23%, although the actual amount for any dog will depend on a number of factors. These include:

Size of the dog: Smaller dogs generally need more protein than larger dogs

Activity level: If a dog is highly active then a high protein food is advisable

Age: Puppies are in need of more protein than mature dogs..

In saying all of this, it is always better to err on the side of more protein than not enough. Studies have shown that there are no adverse effects to a dog from a very high protein diet. In fact, in the wild dogs do survive on very high protein diets.

The other thing about protein, however, is the protein source. The higher the grade of the food the more the protein will come from meat, which is the natural source for dogs and of far higher quality than grain or vegetable-based proteins that predominate in low-quality foods. So in general, the more quality meat in a food, the higher the amount of quality protein – and the better the result.

Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic both have high levels of quality meat which delivers top quality protein that dogs thrive on. Each formula is designed to deliver the right amount depending on the age and breed of dog.

And what is the result? One of the immediate differences of a dog on a high quality protein food such as Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic is the shiny coat and healthy skin. Many owners have been surprised just how good the coat starts to look after moving to these foods.

And of course a food with a high meat component is not only going to make your dog look and feel better – it’s going to enjoy the food more as well. It is vital to choose a food that contains both the right quantity and quality of protein.