Diamond Pet Foods of Meta, MO, USA has posted a press release on their website, dated April 6, 2012 advising those that purchase some of their pet foods of a voluntary recall.
In part, the press release advises,
Diamond Pet Foods is voluntarily recalling Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice. This is being done as a precautionary measure, as the product has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond manufactured products are affected.
If you are feeding Diamond's "Lamb & Rice" formulation, please visit the press release linked above and check the product codes against any of the pet food packaging you have. If you find that you have pet food that is subject to the recall, you are requested by Diamond Pet Foods to stop feeding it to your pet and discard the food.
YesBuiscuit has updated the list of the brands of pet foods that were hit by the recall due to the toxic, poisonous substance of aflatoxin being found in them. As YesBuiscuit points out, aflatoxin, which can cause a variety of cancers (more here), is a fungi that can arise in grains like corn. So called "premium" dog foods such as Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy food were included in the recall.
So the debate among pet owners and veterinarians who have little training in nutrition other than what the pet food manufacturers tell them continues over feeding a raw meat diet to your dogs and cats. Personally, I don't trust the pet food companies. They of course don't want you to feed a raw meat and bones diet to your dog as they would lose a lot of money – millions upon millions of dollars in North America. They have a vested interested in using scare tactics to keep you away from the real healthy choices you can make when deciding on what to feed your pet.
In 2007, it is estimated that perhaps as many as tens of thousands of pets died as a result of eating poisoned pet food. And guess what? Many brands of pet foods were involved in this, from non-premium to premium. How could this be? Well, because many of the brands of pet foods are simply relabelled. In 2007, melamime, aminopterin (a rat poison), and cyanuric acid (a chlorine stabilizer) was found in pet foods made by Menu Foods, a Canadian based pet food company that made foods for a wide variety of labels including Eukanuba, President's Choice, Wal-Mart (Ol' Roiy) and 17 of the largest pet supply chains. Furthermore, investigators and scientists found little difference in the nutritional value between less expensive and so-called "premium" pet foods.
It's also been discovered that the labelling on pet foods is very deceiving. Pet food manufacturers label the ingredients by weight, and they want you to believe that the meat in their dog food is the main ingredient. However, this is not true because although they may have used a pound of a beef byproduct, they then might add for example, half a pound of corn grits, a third of a pound of some other corn by product, and a quarter of a pound of rice, along with other grains. Ultimately, there is more grain by weight than meat in the pet food.
Pets may be able to "get by" on such a diet, but they are not thriving to the best they can be. It would be like you eating convenient fast foods every day for your entire life. Which ultimately would poison you and probably cause you to have a shortened life span with the increased risks of health issues. That's what is happening to our pets that are fed most commercial pet foods.
Are veterinarians experts on nutrition and what brands of pet food to recommend? Well according to a documentary recently created, even a staff member at one of the most renowned Veterinarian Schools, located in Saskatoon, SK, Canada, admits that Vets have very little training in real pet nutrition!
You can watch this documentary here – although it is almost 45 minutes in length (come back and read more below once you've watched it):
I don't know about you, but I don't want to poison my dog. Interestingly, before switching to a raw meat diet for my dog, I had Beans the Boston Terrier on Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy food. Am I ever relieved I did some research and switched him over! This was brought about due to some comments a very good friend made to me after talking about the problem Beans had with his short piggy type tail and his feces often get stuck to it. Green tripe was also mentioned in this conversation, and I began my own extensive research into dog nutrition.
The more I read, the more I researched, and the more I read the illogical responses of commercial dog food advocates, I decided to give it a try. It did scare me of course, to think that Beans might eat raw chicken bones and other softer bones – but eventually I tried it. I was amazed and quite a bit happy to watch him crunch through some "meaty bones" – lamb riblets. He ate them like we would eat crackers and hard cheese. He loved me for it, too!
Other benefits since putting him on this diet is that the problem with the feces being stuck to his tail has almost been eliminated. His poop is not a gooey, sticky poop like it used to be. In fact, there really is little clean up required! The stool (poop) of a dog fed a raw meat and bones diet for dogs is much different than that of a dog fed commercial dog food. It is more solid but crumbles easily and does not have the same foul odor.
Boston Terriers are known for their flatulence issues, farting quite often; it's become a running joke with Boston Terrier owners. However, since putting Beans on a raw meat diet, I have noticed far less a problem with flatulence as well!
I know if you are reading this, you love your pet like I love Beans! Your pet is a part of your family. Perhaps your pet IS your family! Would you feed other members of your family poison or a diet that is not the best for them? I think not!
And because you love your dog, you will want to learn more about the best nutrition you can feed it. Your dog can't do it for itself. And because you love your pet, and you're the caretaker of it's life and health, you will want to know more about how best to feed your pet – click here.
A raw meat diet for dogs should include the addition of green tripe. What is green tripe? It is the stomach of a cud chewing animal like cows, sheep and goats.
Green tripe is one of the healthiest foods you can give your dogs, and they will love you for it! Green tripe differs from the white tripe that you might see at your local grocery store, which is white. The stuff you might buy at the grocer is not quite the same in that it has been cleaned, bleached and scalded and does not have the same nutritional benefits as the green stuff.
Although it is not as common in North America, green tripe has been used as a food or supplement in Europe for quite a long time, and it's only beginning to catch on in the Americas including the US and Canada. It has been found to have a perfect ratio of calcium and phosphorous, essential minerals to the well being and health of dogs and other pets. While humans will likely find the stuff to be a bit stinky, dogs love the smell of it and will gobble the stuff up!
The green in the tripe is actually the grasses and plant material digesting in the stomach at the time the cow, sheep or goat was slaughtered. It is this content that makes tripe so nutritious to dogs as it contains amino acids, digestive enzymes, and gastric acids, as well as vitamins and minerals. Even those dog owners that don't want to feed a raw meat diet to their pets have realized the nutritious value of green tripe and will add it to kibble.
When first starting to feed your dog green tripe, it is best to start off slowly as it does contain a lot of fiber. Add a tablespoon at the most for the first few days if you plan to feed it daily. Making sudden changes in your dog's diet can induce tummy aches and in this case, diarrhea. After a few days, you can increase the amount you are feeding, but watch your pet's stool and cut back if you have to.
Eventually, as your dog's digestive system gets used to the green tripe, you can add more to its diet.
The first time I opened up a can of green tripe, Beans, my Boston Terrier immediately started sniffing the air. Although some claim that the odor to humans is awful, I did not find it that bad – it wasn't great, but it wasn't over poweringly nasty. Beans licked the tablespoon clean, and looked at me as if to say, "More please!!"
It really is a delicious food to a dog, and wild canines will eat the tripe of their prey.
The best green tripe if you can find it is raw and fresh, with the fat trimmed. Some places will sell green tripe that is ground, but also contains a high fat content. Finding it in this form is more difficult today; grocery stores don't generally sell it and it's getting tougher to find a local butcher shop these days.
The next best form is flash frozen. If you can find this locally to you, try to make sure you are getting good quality fat trimmed ground tripe. You can also get whole (not ground) tripe; I've never tried this and am told it can be quite messy so it is best served outdoors.
Some pet stores sell green tripe in a can, and if this is the only thing you can get, my research shows that the best value and highest quality is that offered by Tripett. You can get it also by clicking here.
The first time I gave Beans, my Boston Terrier, a raw egg, I cracked it into a bowl and set it down in front of him. He looked at the bowl, looked at me, sniffed the egg, and then licked at it. After that first lick, he turned around and looked at me again as if it say, "Wow! Thank you, Daddy!" and then proceeded to slurp the egg right up. When he was finished, he was licking his chomps as if he had some special dessert.
Dogs do like raw eggs, and it would be the most natural state for a dog to eat eggs raw, along with raw meat and bones. However, there are some concerns that some dog owners and vets have about feeding raw eggs to dogs. Let's take a look at two of the more common objections:
This is perhaps the scariest warning we hear and read about. We're told that a raw egg has the risk of salmonella poisoning, and therefore all eggs should be cooked. Well, I personally have been eating raw eggs (generally in a milkshake) ever since I was a teenager, and I've yet to come down with a case of food poisoning. It may be that I have a stronger immune system – but I doubt it.
Raw eggs that are cracked open and then left out without being cooked or consumed immediately do have a very high increased risk of becoming laced with bacteria cultures that we just don't want to put inside our bellies, or the digestive systems of our dogs. I definitely would not consume a raw egg or feed a raw to my dog if the egg shell had been cracked, or if the egg white and yolk had been left out for a length of time after being cracked open.
It is virtually impossible for bacteria to be found inside an egg that has not had it's shell cracked or broken. My research on the matter has discovered that scientists estimate that the liklihood of salmonella bacteria being found inside an egg to be about 0.005% (five one-thousandths of one percent). The average consumer might come across a single contaminated egg once in 84 years. That's a risk I'm willing to take. And when you consider that it's not just the fact that you may come across a contaminated egg that contains bacteria, but that the conditions have to be right, meaning not refrigerated and kept in an environment that is conducive to bacterial growth, the risks of illness are still pretty low.
When you consider even further that a dog's digestive system is more acidic than a human's, the risk for the dog if fed a raw egg become even lower. Canines in their wild state eat eggs all the time, and these are eggs that are not kept in the refrigerator nor do they go through any strict sanitary procedures in their production and incubation.
So, if you are concerned about food poisoning if you were to feed a raw egg to your dog, I think it is safe to lessen the anxiety and realize that a raw diet for dogs is natural and safe, especially if you are buying your eggs in a refrigerated state and they are kept in a refrigerated state when you arrive home, and none of the egg shells have been cracked or chipped.
The next common objection to feeding raw eggs to dogs is the risk of a deficiency in the B Complex vitamin, Biotin. A deficiency in this vitamin can affect the skin, hair and nails. In humans, it can be the cause of skin issues around the nose, forehead and other parts of the body, and cause weak nails and hair loss or thinning. However, a biotin deficiency in humans is rare. Indeed, the FDA has not even estabilished a minimum daily intake requirement for biotin in humans because the digestive system creates biotin. As well, such a deficiency is considered mild and easily correctable.
I have not been able to find any information on whether or not a dog's digestive system also creates its own biotin, but it is known a deficiency in dogs can have similar effects: hair loss and lesions on the skin. So how could feeding raw eggs to dogs cause a biotin deficiency?
Well, the yoke of an egg contains a good amount of biotin (in fact, it's one of the moset dense sources of biotin), but the egg white, in it's uncooked state, contains a protein called avidin which prevents biotin absorption. When the egg white is cooked, this is no longer a factor. However, if a dog is getting biotin from other sources such as liver, there should be no issues with a lack of biotin in the diet.
From what I have read and seen, most of the objections to feeding dogs raw eggs because of the fear of a biotin deficiency are the result of a study done in 1963 where dogs were fed a diet high in egg whites. Not the whole egg, just the whites. It was during this study that dogs showed symptoms of a biotin deficiency. But please keep in mind when you are faced with objections about feeding raw eggs because of the fear of biotin deficiency, that these fears originate with this study which had nothing to do with feeding a couple of raw whole eggs a week to your dog. The study conducted consisted of a diet already high in egg whites – not just a few eggs a week.
I have been feeding my Boston Terrier a couple of raw eggs a week for several weeks now. As soon as he hears the egg being cracked, he comes a running! He has shown no signs of biotin deficiency; in fact he has a lovely coat, and there are no issues with his stools or any other visible signs of any issues. And eggs contain so many other valubable nutrients that giving him a few ever week is more likely to doing him far more good, nutritionally.
So get cracking and give your dog an extra treat of a delicious whole raw egg!
Learn more about a raw meat and food diet for dogs. Click Here.
Now, I will admit that I'm not a Veterinarian and I have no professional qualifications as far as nutrition. Having said that, I won't feed my dogs anything that I think is unhealthy for them. I have done my own research and these are the conclusions I have come up with after reading extensively on the subject. I find it odd that many Veterinarians and so called health professionals will advise against things because no scientific studies have been conducted and there is only "anecdotal" evidence. Well, the anecootal evidence and my own experiences are sometimes good enough for me, and perhaps the reason no such studies have been done is that it just might cause a bit of a dent in the commercial dog food producers' profit margins.
Raw meat for dogs – many people are wondering about whether the commercial foods they feed their dogs, including Boston Terriers, are of the quality they've been told. Sometimes referred to as the "BARF" (Bones And Raw Food) diet, it is based upon the fact that a natural dog's diet would be in fact, raw meat mixed with some raw vegetable and plant. And certainly, there is something to be said for a diet that consistently mostly of raw meat.
I remember when I was a young boy and we had the old fashioned butcher shop nearby where the meat was processed in that shop and not in some large corporate "factory" which is what we mostly have today. Often, we would go to the butcher shop and he'd give us big meaty bones for our dogs, for nothing. He couldn't sell those meaty bones for anything, and was happy to give them away to those of us that new our dogs loved to chew and gnaw at them. Sometimes for hours, they would keep the dogs occupied, and certainly we didn't cook the bones and the meat that was on them.
Our dogs never got sick either, and whenever they were taken to the Vet for their annual rabies shot and checkup, they were always given a clean bill of health. There were no teeth issues, the vet never needed to remove tartar and we were never told we needed to brush the dog's teeth. They were always very healthy. They did have a mixed diet of commercial dog food and whatever scraps we had available.
Later in adult life, I began to switch my thinking, believing that Vets were experts on dog nutrition, and what I studied suggested that the best food for a dog was a high quality commercial dog food, generally a dry kibble. Oddly enough, I still had to supplement this food with a vitamin and some oil (the Vet at the time suggested corn oil) to help improve the coat and skin. Corn oil might have been ok, but there are far better alternatives!
When we first got Beans, our Boston Terrier puppy back in May, I was still stuck in the mode that high quality brand name dog food, supposedly "specially formulated" for the demands of puppies, and then adult dogs, etc etc was the best choice to make. And indeed, when we took him to the Vet for his first check up and vacinations, we were asked what we were feeding him. When we replied with the brand name we had chosen, we were told we had made a good decision. But, we were also told that he still might need supplements and other things as he grew to keep him in top notch shape.
Why is that? Well, perhaps it's because commercial grade dog food isn't all what it is shaped up to be. It seems to be "convenient," no special handling required, and yet there is still a good chance that he might need supplements? Well, when commercial dog food is made, it's not exactly the best stuff available. Often, the meat that is used is meat that is not considered "human consumable." In other words, this food is not even what a "natural diet" of canines would be – imagine wolves, coyotes, and other dogs, whose digestive systems are exactly the same as our pet's, going for the "non-human consumable" parts of their prey! That just doesn't make sense.
Further, dry dog food kibble contains a lot of filler including grains that are simply not natural for canines to eat at all. This creates a carbohydrate imbalance to protiens that would is natural for canines. And when the meat that is in commercial dog food is prepared, it is subject to such high heat that it destroys enzymes and nutrition to the extent that additives have to be added back in. Certainly, in this respect, a raw meat for dogs diet is superior.
In their natural state, canines would eat not only raw meat from mammals such as lamb, beef, and other animals, but also fowl such as chickens and birds that they could capture. Raw eggs are also included in that natural diet. While bones from cooked foul like chicken bones are dangerous, uncooked chicken bones pose very little hazard to dogs, including Boston Terriers. And, there is the additional benefit of bones of all types that they help to keep teeth clean and free from tartar build up.
One of the common arguments against feeding a raw meat diet for dogs is that there is no scientific studies to show that this is preferred. Well, indeed this is true – but this is because there have been no scientific studies conducted! That's kind of like in the "old days," when the common belief was that the world was flat, to tell sailors not to believe or consider the anecdotal evidence because it was not "scientific" belief of the day. Although the scientists of the day had conducted little or no study on the matter, imagine telling Christopher Columbus that he should not sail across the Altantic because he risked falling off the edge of the world simply because that was belief at the time, and to ignore the anecdtotal evidence that science, ruled by The Church, refused to study!
So in this case, the best evidence we have, is indeed anecdotal evidence. And it is that anecdotal evidence that motivated me to give it a try, knowing that all wild canines seemed to survive, and thrive, on a raw meat for dogs diet. I am weaing Beans the Boston Terrier puppy off commercial dog food, to a raw meat diet – and Beans appears to not only enjoying it, but thriving even better on it!
As far as preparation and safety considerations, it's not different than what I would consider for myself. Raw meat on it's own, as long as it has not been left out for hours and hours at room temperature, is safe. And in that regard, canines have a digestive system that is far more resistant to bacteria anyhow. So if I am using safe practices for myself, but instead of cooking, giving raw and uncooked, Beans will be quite safe.
There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that pet dogs fed a raw meat diet including bones live longer, have fewer health issues over time, and in fact, over the long run, this type of diet is less expensive than a commercial dog food diet.
If you'd like to know more, I would highly urge you to go here and find out more!