So you've heard of the lawsuit against Champion Pet foods, Below is Champion pet foods statement and white paper concerning the issue.
Did you just here some disturbing news that your pet food may have toxins in it? Not to mention in the food you eat?
Before you panic about what your feeding, lets take a look at the bigger picture and what you can do about it.
Dr. Bannink is an Oncology Vet and a friend of The Urban Dog in Michigan and gave us her personal insight on the issue.
" People are asking me left and right about the toxic dog food issue that is just now coming into people's Facebook awareness (this isn't a new issue by the way - you just didn't know about it so you were happy). Because everyone and their brother is freaking out, I'll make a long statement here....which I don't do often on Facebook. It isn't the place. But, it does reach a lot of people....This is my DISCLAIMER AND RULES. These are all my personal opinions (educated opinions, but they are still my own). You are free to have your own opinions. I'm offering this in the hope it will help some people who are very worried think a little objectively and effectively about this issue and how it impacts the life of their whole family and this global human community that we are all a part of and contributing to. I'm not getting into a big debate on Facebook about this, although respectful discussion and compassionate awareness with the heart of educating ourselves and taking positive action to be of service to the world is always welcome. And I do think this is something to think about and then take enlightened PERSONAL ACTION...but on a global scale...not only by changing what round processed convenience you put in your pet's bowl. I also DON'T give veterinary advice on Facebook so I will unfriend you if you ask me to do that or go on a negative or excessive rant on my page...JUST FAIR WARNING ;) Love Rules here. So, before you comment ask yourself "Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it bringing more happiness or enlightened action into this world?" (positive words and compassion are always necessary, btw) Thank you for being part of the solution. I believe these rules should be global for all of Facebook. Now....about the toxic food we are ALL eating.... ******************************************************
firstly. Fresh, human grade ingredients (!!!! not rendered (you can google it) and unfit for human consumption meats), nutritionally balanced, minimally processed (definitely not high heat processed, which is most kibbles), organic, Non-GMO, not-full-of-cheap-fillers and chemical colorings and preservatives (which are used btw so YOU will buy the dog food because the price tag is lower and you can keep it in your pantry for months) is what to look for in my professional opinion and clinical and life experience. This is not different for your dog than it is for you. BASIC COMMON SENSE. If you feel you MUST feed a kibble, I usually tell people to try to find something that is at LEAST less than 30% carbs and slow baked...blessings on that journey because it isn't easy to find. Yes. It will cost more. Yes, this is where we as consumers have to take personal responsibility for our choices and why we are making them. Where we put our money speaks to what we value. So, we all need to get really honest with ourselves before we get angry and point the finger at someone else. We are not victims in this world-wide epidemic of toxic food and toxic environment. We are active participants by these choices we make. All high heat processed kibbles, while convenient and economical, will fail at least one of the the low toxin tests because the high heat processing liberates carcinogens (think of charring a steak on the grill and eating the blackened char....toxic...high heat + meat = toxins). Orijen, by the way does NOT use high heat processing....so they are at least trying to do something right in offering you the convenience of a dry kibble bagged food. **********************************************************
Secondly: when I come across an article like the one that is flying around Facebook about the toxic Orijen Dog food law suit these are the questions I ask myself: How does this compare to other dog foods that are your options? Specifically other slow baked food grade ingredient kibbles? Have they tested those? So, how do I know if I change to another brand of food I won't be giving my dog something worse? How would these levels come back if I took my own food that is on my dinner plate to the lab and tested it for these toxins? Is this really a problem with this specific brand of dog food, or is it a problem with our food supply? Where does Orijen source their food ingredients? Just because I don't know the food I am eating/feeding my dog contains toxins doesn't mean it isn't a problem. So it is vitally important to bring a little critical thinking to these types of issues. I refuse to single out Orijen in this issue because #1: this is a widespread problem with the contamination in our food on this planet and #2: although yes they are a business and make decisions to stay in business and economically viable, I do believe at heart they are trying to offer something better to the consumer who is wanting to feed kibble...high grade ingredients, responsibly and locally sourced, slow baked...for example, lets look at their six fish food, which has one of the highest levels of contamination based on the law suit - yes, I agree the levels are alarming, but what is scarier is that all these toxins are below the legal limit from what I can tell....that is even more alarming, right?! The six fresh fish kibble is 85% fresh whole fish responsibly sustainably caught from the world's rivers, lakes and oceans (they have often put their fish foods on back order when the fish population was being overfished...so put that in your data bank on ethical practices as we read on), 24% carbohydrates and not high heat processed....not easy to find in a kibble....so we need to think about the big picture here.....do I eat fish? (personally not often....but I bet many of you do)...this should make us pause and ask "what am I putting in my own mouth? and where are all these toxins coming from? ultimately....human pollution....this isn't the fault of one dog food company who is, quite frankly, offering you something better than 90% of the other kibble foods out there. So, how do I know what food is better? This brings me to information like the clean label project: http://www.cleanlabelproject.org/brand-report-cards/
Thirdly: the real, intelligent question is "what do we do with this information ???" I think the main thing is to realize this is an all pervasive issue and instead of blaming one person or company we need to try to find a solution to this overarching problem of pollution and toxic contamination of the environment and our food stuffs. And that is going to take an army that is made of one person, and one person, and one person....so if you are passionate about it, try to fix it or take responsibility for how you as an individual are contributing to it. But, sadly it seems easier to people to point the finger to someone else....so, that's my soap box. Take it for what it's worth. I don't like to rant about these things on Facebook. Just do your homework and take positive action. Maybe we can use this disturbing information to wake ourselves up! **********************************************************
lastly: EMPOWER YOURSELF....Things to think about for yourself as well...because you probably eat worse than your dog:
In mice, diets consisting of 5% and 10% of Chlorella significantly increased urinary and fecal excretion of mercury, and decreased mercury levels in the brain and kidneys, without affecting glutathione levels 9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21297350/);
In mice, cilantro supplementation alongside lead administration resulted in significantly less lead deposits in the bones (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11535365/);
When methionine was added to the diet of rats, it significantly increased fecal excretion of lead 9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2514724);
Selenium is a crucial nutrient when it comes to chelating heavy metals, increasing the activity of glutathione. Increased levels of selenium are associated with increased levels of glutathione in the blood (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21462082), In rats exposed to mercury, selenium prevented the destruction of neurons and suppression of protein synthesis caused by mercury and helped repair damaged myelin sheath (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/6683195/);
this list goes on.....zinc, vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid (example...eat organic, GASP!, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, beets, spinach), glutathione, spirulina, Atlantic Dulse, Barley grass powder.....educate and empower yourself and be the solution. **********************************************************
So, go in Love and make a positive difference in the lives of those you care about and for yourself. Change takes effort and commitment. But if we don't change, the world won't. Change starts with YOU and what you do in your own life. If you don't make a real and true effort to take positive action, the world isn't going to fix our problems. We do that, one heart, one mind, one person at a time....that one person you have responsibility to change is YOU....not someone else. Your money talks in this current economic system. If you want to use your money as a tool for good, use it to support your authentic passions. If the health of your pet and your family is one of them...you are what you eat....just saying.....and you are talking to a celiac vegetarian (heavy emphasis organic/non-GMO food) who doesn't eat sugar....so I don't have much authentic sympathy for "it's too hard" or "it's too expensive". If it's important to you, you'll do it. You will find a way. And you will be part of the solution. If it's not, you won't. THE END.
Brand Report Cards - Clean Label Project
Clean Label Project completed the most comprehensive pet food study ever conducted on industrial and environmental contaminants, toxins, and ingredient quality in America’s favorite pet foods.
Feeding a complete raw meat diet to your dog is the best way to provide an easily digestible, balanced diet that mimics the way his ancestors naturally eat in the wild. However, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about feeding a raw food diet to dogs. This can be confusing and discouraging for dog owners looking to do the right thing for their dogs.
As advocates for raw feeding, we hear these myths all the time, so we want to tackle these misconceptions head-on and give you the full story about feeding your dog a raw food diet. Get the facts … here’s the truth behind 7 of the most common myths about a raw meat diet for dogs.
Myth #1: A Raw Meat Diet Isn’t A Balanced Diet
One of the main myths that big pet food spreads when it comes to discouraging dog owners from feeding a raw diet is that it isn’t balanced, and doesn’t provide for all of your dog’s nutritional requirements.
It’s true that just feeding your dog a juicy steak won’t provide all of the nutrients he needs to thrive, but this isn’t what a commercially prepared raw diet or a proper homemade diet is about.
Feeding a raw diet to your dog is about much more than just meat. Dogs fed a raw diet require variety in their meals to provide all of the vitamins and minerals they need for optimum nutrition. You also need to add bones, essential fatty acids and crucial supporting vitamins and minerals to make a balanced diet that will keep your dog fit for life.
Myth #2: Feeding Raw Meat Places Your Dog At Risk Of Salmonella
Various well-publicized health scares over the last couple of decades have made consumers very wary of the threat of salmonella and other bacterial nasties. What’s ironic with these reports is that no one seems to make a big deal when commercial kibbles are recalled due to contamination.
Ideally your dog’s digestive system can handle bacteria in the gut without a problem. Dogs’ bodies are built to prevent harmful bacteria like salmonella from invading the body and upsetting the healthy balance of intestinal flora. Dogs have highly acidic stomachs as well as natural digestive enzymes and bile that help them process Salmonella and other bacteria without becoming ill.
It’s when dogs are fed kibble that things become an issue. Kibble doesn’t contain those live enzymes, so your dog’s digestive system can become overrun.
You can further avoid bacterial contamination if you choose, store and prepare your dog’s meals with good hygiene protocols in mind and get his meat from reputable suppliers.
Myth #3: Feeding A Raw Meat Diet Is Time Consuming And Complicated
If you’re planning to go out with a bow and arrow and hunt down prey before dragging it home and preparing it for your dog from scratch then sure, that’s probably going to take up most of your time.
However, choosing and buying the right ingredients to make up a complete raw meat diet for your dog is no more time consuming than shopping for yourself, and you don’t need a degree in canine nutrition to get things right!
Myth #4: Most Dog Owners Can’t Afford To Feed Raw
If you’re transitioning your dog from a low cost, generic store-bought dog food brand to a raw meat diet, chances are it’s going to cost you more to provide each of your dog’s meals.
However, feeding a raw diet may be less costly than you think. Good quality but cheaper cuts of meat, bones and organs don’t have to cost a lot. Source out a local butcher or farm to save and look for cheaper cuts of meat that will provide just as much nutrition. If you’re concerned about your dog’s nutrition and want to feed a good quality diet, you’re probably already paying a premium for good quality kibble or commercial food.
Myth #5: A Raw Diet Will Make Your Dog Aggressive
This is one of the biggest myths surrounding feeding a raw meat diet to dogs, and perhaps the one that has done the most damage. The thought that feeding your dog a healthy, complete raw diet will turn him into a slathering beast with insatiable bloodlust is common, but based on nothing but fear.
Feeding a raw meat diet won’t make your dog aggressive, but as with any food that your dog really enjoys, some dogs may be defensive or territorial when eating and won’t want to share! Teaching your dog good manners and polite behavior around food is essential, regardless of the type of diet he eats. A raw meat diet won’t cause or worsen any behavioral problems in your dog, nor turn him into an aggressive monster.
Myth #6: It’s Dangerous To Give Bones To Your Dog
It’s a fact that not all bones are suitable for dogs. Small, fine bones that may splinter and cooked bones that are brittle can pose a hazard to your dog’s health. However, any proponent of raw feeding will tell you that bones of those types aren’t included in a raw meat diet for dogs.
Wild dogs and wolves gnaw on raw bones to get essential calcium and to help to keep their teeth clean and strong. Providing that you choose dog-safe bones and prepare them correctly to match your dog’s size and life stage, they make up an essential, healthy, highly palatable addition to your dog’s diet.
Myth #7: A Raw Meat Diet Isn’t Suitable For Small And Toy Dog Breeds
Many people think of a raw meat diet as something that is suitable exclusively for large, robust working dog breeds, and that you shouldn’t feed raw to small and toy dogs safely and efficiently.
This myth arose from a fear of choking on bones, which we’ve covered in myth number 6 above. There is no reason at all why your pint-sized pooch can’t enjoy a raw meat diet alongside their larger cousins, as long as the diet is planned and served up in the right way to meet the needs of your own individual dog. Bones that are good picks for smaller dogs include chicken or duck necks and wings, and lamb riblets.