Charlotte Peltz Living with Your Dog "But, it is so Expensive" brought to you by Joy Beckner Artist/ Bronze Sculptor

Living with Your Dog

But, it is so Expensive!

By Charlotte Peltz

Just the other day someone called to arrange for private classes to teach his adolescent, very large dog some manners. Great progress was made with just two classes and, clearly, the dog and owner were delighted with the new understanding that evolved from proper communication.

At the time of the class I noticed that the dog was scratching, had a dull coat and was overweight. When I asked what was being fed to the dog I was not surprised to learn it was some popular brand sold in supermarkets. I patiently explained how bad that is for the dog and made a few recommendations. Then came his bottom line, "But it is so expensive -- I can't afford that kinda food."

In a recent issue of Journal of Longevity, there was an article, "Special Report: Drugs and Pet Food may be Disabling your Dog," written by Barry Henson, D.V.M. In it, Dr. Henson makes the following statements: "According to a 1999 press release from the Animal Protection Institute, most commercial pet food is made up of slaughterhouse waste and moldy, contaminated grains that are considered unfit for human consumption. Mysteriously labeled 'by-products' are, in reality, a deadly mixture of contaminated animal heads, toenails, bones, blood, pus, intestines, chicken feathers, hair and lungs.

"Unfortunately, other dogs and cats are another source of meat you won't find mentioned on pet food labels. They've been euthanized via drugs at our nation's animal shelters and sent to rendering plants - a fact that has been substantiated by the American Veterinary Association. According to Dr. Belfield, 'the sodium pentobarbital used to put pets to sleep survives the rendering process and ends up as a toxin in your pet's food!'"

In another article, in the February 2000 issue of Whole Dog Journal, mention is made of the unavoidable awareness of the increase "in allergies, skin problems, behavior problems (aggression, separation anxiety, etc.) autoimmune and immune-deficiency conditions, cancers and diseases of internal organs."

Since people cannot see most of these problems, they seem to believe that dogs do just fine on the garbage sold as dog food, but dogs are indeed dying from substandard food -- they just aren't dying right away!

The Whole Dog Journal article, "WDJ's Top 10 Dry Dog Foods,' in part, says the following: "Is a Rose By-Product Still a Rose?" "If a dog food label says it contains lamb, beef, or chicken, then by law, it really must contain 'the clean flesh (from that animal) ... limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart or in the esophagus...'" So far, so good.

"Lamb meal, beef meal or chicken meal is 'the rendered product' of those meats. Though the meat has been cooked, dried, and ground, it's still meat and has not had any 'added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.'"

When you get to by-products, you've really departed from a product of any quality -- A "digest" is worst of all. This is a by-product that has been treated with heat and water to create slurry. "Chicken" is better than -- "poultry." And, in turn, -- "chicken meal is better than -- "chicken by-products," which is better than -- "animal digest." But, from my perspective, anything less than "meal" is not fit for dogs!
And that brings me back to the title. Yes! Good dog food is more expensive than cheap dog food. (You will feed a whole lot less, however, which most people don't realize.) And, if you cannot afford to properly feed your dog, frankly, you shouldn't have one!

Oh, and, the same person noted earlier in this article decided that, after just two classes, he had solved his problems and he would not be coming any more. Hmmmmm.

"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.

Charlotte's additional note: The machines that make kibble cannot form those cute little pieces when the meat percentage is high. There must be a minimum of 40 percent grain and surely there is always more. Add to the remaining 60 percent all the additives, bone meal, flavorings, etc., and there is simply no chance of getting much meat.
[Please see Charlotte's Recommended Reading.]

"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.

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