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Ann Martin on Pet Food Safety and the Menu Foods Recall
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B: But people need to understand that what is meant by “table scraps” isn’t the leftovers from processed, packaged or fast foods that so many people in this country eat today. Rather, it means good home cooking.

AM: I have a 160-pound Newfie—the only thing he won’t eat is shrimp and blackberries. But everything else. And I don’t eat junk food either.

B:
Eat well yourself and feed your dog well and you will both thrive, it seems.

AM: When I hear from people who are so uptight about the diet for their dogs—“Shouldn’t I add this supplement, this vitamin?”—I wonder if they do this for their children? Or for themselves?

B: What made you start to cook for your animals?

AM: When my two dogs got sick around 1990, they were on a commercial diet. Our vet, who was from England, said to take them off that food and feed them ground beef, brown rice and vegetables. I thought, If I do that, I am going to kill them! Because we have been brainwashed by the vets to feed them this garbage food. And I was amazed—the dogs did great on that diet.

Many of the nutrition courses taught at vet schools are sponsored by the pet food industry, as too are conferences and symposiums. It is a shame. I would like to see some of the old vets teach the younger ones, because they know how well the animals do on table scraps.

The life span of a Newfie is eight years, but my last guy lived to be 14. I had a cat die last year, he was 27; I have one now who is 20. So apparently, with home cooking, you can’t screw it up that much.

B: Do you think that even with the heightened public awareness and the recent senate hearings that we can expect more pet food recalls?

AM: Without a doubt recalls will continue until there is some kind of reliable, independent regulation of the pet food industry. It may even be too late to rein in the pet food industry and its questionable products. The good news is that this most recent recall is a wake-up call for pet owners to take matters into their own hands and to educate themselves about how to best meet their animal companions’ nutritional needs. Some people may make the extra effort to cook for their animal companions so they will know exactly what goes into their dog’s food. And for those who cannot cook for their dogs, they can learn to read labels and purchase pet food from small, responsible pet food companies that can assure them that their foods only contain human grade ingredients.

 

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 42: May/Jun 2007
Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark's co-founder and editor in chief. thebark.com
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