Dangers of Pet Food: Health Alert You Need to Know

Contaminated foodsThe food you feed your dog or cat could make your pet sick. But worse, it could make you or your family sick as well. In fact, illness caused by contaminated pet food is on the rise around the world and surprisingly common. And yes it does even happen in New Zealand. Here is what you need to be aware of to keep you and your family (including your pets) safe.

Both raw and dried foods can become infected with harmful bacteria. The most common of these is salmonella. This can be passed on to humans by handling the food and can cause diarrhea and other unpleasant effects. Another less common but also harmful bacteria found in contaminated pet food is campylobacter.

Contaminations are very common and every year there are numerous food “recalls” where companies remove their products from sale due to the ingredients being tested positive for harmful bacteria and other problems.

Although feeding dried food appears to be safer than feeding raw (in fact the CDC, The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention “recommends against feeding raw food to dogs and cats because of the risk of illness to the pet as well as to people living in the household”*1) there are things you can do to ensure your risks are minimized.

When handling any pet food make sure you wash your hands thoroughly immediately afterwards. Also store the food away from human foods and don’t prepare the food in the same area as you prepare human foods.

However, the easiest precaution you can take is to feed a brand of food that has a high safety record and scrupulous health and safety practices.

And which company has the best record in all of these areas? Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic. These are the only brands of pet food that have never been recalled due to contamination in their history – and that is 25 years!

While all of the other well-known brands have had numerous recalls, Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic have never had a single instance of contamination – and there are a number of reasons why:

Firstly, all batches of Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic that are exported (including to New Zealand) are produced to European Union requirements, which are much stricter than US standards. Most, if not all, other companies export their food to New Zealand using US standards.

European Union standards require a higher level of testing of the food and checking of suppliers of the ingredients. There is simply a lot more time (and cost) involved, which is why other companies avoid it if they can.

Secondly, Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are made only from ingredients from named, US-based suppliers. They do not use ‘anonymous’ ingredients from Asia, which have been the source of big problems in pet food. Virtually every other well-known pet food company will use Asian ingredients – and they will certainly not guarantee that their products don’t contain them. The corn used in Pro Pac is also non-GMO – unique for any US pet food.

Thirdly, both Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic undergo testing far in excess of the norm for pet food. Every batch is tested by an independent laboratory five times before it is sent from the factory! This is the most rigorous testing in the pet food industry.

Fourthly, both Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic only use natural ingredients that have been proved to be nutritionally beneficial to pets. There are no by products, artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives or any of the low-cost fillers that are found in the majority of other brands.

Food contamination – harming both pets and humans – is becoming an increasing problem worldwide. By feeding Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic you can be assured of protecting your family to the highest level possible by using the safest foods on the market.

To order Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic in New Zealand direct from the importer visit www.petfooddirect.co.nz

*1 CDC website, http://www.cdc.gov/Features/SalmonellaDryPetFood/

Should I Feed My Dog Raw Food?

dogeatingMany of our customers supplement feeding Pro Pac or Earthborn Holistic to their dogs with raw food. But is it such a good idea? The fact is that there are many health risks associated with raw food, not least of which is salmonella contamination. This can cause illness to the person handling the food, and spread to other family members as well.

Unfortunately, any hint of criticism of raw food brings out a huge reaction from a fanatical, almost cult-like segment of dog owners who have a long list of reasons why raw is ‘natural’ and how their dog thrives on a raw food diet.

While it’s also true that there is an element of politics in any ‘official’ statement about dog food (or any other product in an industry with huge profits), it’s interesting to see what the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine in the US has recently said about raw food. In a new report they describe raw feeding as “dangerous”, stating that it could pose a serious health risk to pet owners and their families.

You can read the full report here:

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm373757.htm

If you’ve “heard” that raw food is good for your dog and are wondering whether you should use it or not there are a couple of things to bear in mind:

  1. Petfood is a highly confusing, emotional and political subject – and seemingly deliberately kept that way by interests that stand to benefit from selling inferior (even harmful) ingredients for profits instead of pet health. For every ten people you ask about pet food you will get at least twelve different answers, but you need to ask yourself: “Do they really know what they are talking about?”. At the end of the day you can only do your own research, which comes down to looking at ingredients in pet food and understanding what they actually are.
  2. A quality dried food is simply the best, most economical and most convenient food for your dog. If it has only high quality ingredients and has been made in such a way as to preserve the nutritional value, then your dog is going to get everything it needs (and nothing it doesn’t need) except of course water. Of course there is a vast range of dried foods (and probably the majority of them are not “only high quality ingredients”) so it’s important to choose wisely – based solely on the ingredients, not the claims, packaging and marketing of the producer.

Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic are two of the highest quality foods available, with no fillers, by-products, artificial ingredients or allergy-causing foods such as beef or wheat. They also have the highest safety record of any food company in the world – not a single recall due to contamination in their 25-year history. They are the only major pet food company to achieve this.

Based on the facts, you can’t do better than feed these foods to your dog. To order in New Zealand (and for more information) visit the exclusive New Zealand supplier, Petfood Direct, online at www.petfooddirect.co.nz