Fido as Food

Moose and Tank

You may think I am nuts or the worst animal parent in the world based on the sad looks of these poor dogs!

Moose the Min Pin and Tank the Toy Fox Terrier are my babies. They have supported me through a 16-month deployment and many lonely nights. They have traveled the west coast like troopers. They camp, hike, bark and lounge like the pros they are. And I’m sure your Fido/Fluffy/Snookums is no different. Our animal companions are important to us, some more than others, but the love is still there. I can’t imagine my life without these critters!

With that said, I have some information for pet parents. It’s gross, and sad, and highly unnerving, but I wish someone would have told me this long ago. About 6 months ago my husband and I changed our eating habits away from the standard american diet (SAD) to a diet high in plant foods. It changed our lives in a way we could have never imagined, so I thought, why not do it with our dogs? I found a dry food by Orijen and replaced their wet and dry Pedigree with this. The dogs LOVE the new food and since it’s so protein dense, they need less of it. Moose eats 1 cup a day total and she is shiny and healthy. At her recent check-up at the vet, she was given the highest score for her healthy appearance, no weight loss or gain needed and she is as perky as the day we got her. She’s 7 1/2.

I still felt like I needed to do a bit more reading on pet stuff, so I picked up Ann Martin’s Protect Your Pet: More Shocking Facts. I had no idea what it held for me! Within the first 28 pages I was disgusted and angry and in denial. Quotes from the book:

“Blood cleared from slaughterhouse floors, including sawdust,  can be used in pet food.” (pg. 12)

Delmer Jones, Chairman of the National Joint Council, USDA Meat Inspectors: “Animals, hogs, cattle and poultry are condemned and used for pet food. They are condemned for disease, also spoiled for lack of refrigeration; old products and products that become contaminated during processing.” (pg. 12).

“‘Meat by-products’ is described by the AAFCO as the ‘non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughterhouse mammals’… This is material deemed unfit for human consumption; however it can be used in pet food. Lungs filled with pneumonia or tuberculosis are condemned for human consumption but however can be used in pet foods.” (pg. 12) In fact, the third ingredient in my Pedigree wet food was Meat by-product…

Condemned animals end up in a rendering facility, a place where animals from shelters, roadkill, and/or euthanized companions animals can be processed. The processed result is purchased by pet food companies, as many of them own their own rendering facility. I don’t know about you, but this information is enough to make me want to feed my animals scraps of fruits and veggies from our own meals only! The immense pet food recalls should have woken me up to what’s going on. It happens with meat ‘fit for human consumption’ too. In fact, Pepperidge Farm sesame sticks were recalled less than a week ago for wire pieces!!

Overwhelming? Yes. Containable? Certainly. I found an awesome page on Facebook that makes rating your pet food super easy! It even has foods already rated below. Check it out!

I don’t want to be a fear monger-er, just an information share-er. So grab that can/bag of pet food and see what it has to say. If you wouldn’t eat it, Fido probably wouldn’t either!

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About Sarah Hiller

Eco-maniacal! I love learning about food and health, and then sharing! I'm also an aspiring photographer, lover of kale, dogs, yoga, anything fitness, sunshine, rainbows, unicorns and heavy metal. It is my goal to empower and support people through nutrition and attitude. I have an Etsy store you can check out as well www.etsy.com/shop/ironballoon

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