Where's The Beef???
this 'safe pet food' controversy about, anyway?
Since the tragic dog food recall last year, public
attention has focused on the important question of what really is a
safe food for your dog. Most pet food manufacturers suffered tremendous
financial losses when their foods were recalled for containing unsafe
ingredients. And even some who weren’t targeted for having dangerous
melamine in their foods came under close scrutiny, and heavy sanctions,
for advertising quality products that were not actually present in
Dogs are carnivores. No matter how many "designer dog"
breeds we may invent, and no matter how strange they may look, one
thing about dogs remains the same: they love to eat meat.
For millions of years, before we opened our homes and
hearts to dogs, they lived in packs and hunted for their meals. Now we
are their packs, and they offer us their unconditional love and
But they still crave meat. It’s how they’re made. Their
digestive tracts just aren’t set up to eat corn and wheat. After all,
when’s the last time you saw your pampered pooch chow down on a big
bowl of Cap’n Crunch, or munch its way through a box of Wheat Thins
while watching the big game on TV?
Oh sure, many dogs do enjoy some roughage in their
diets. Jo O’Brien, owner of Cocoa Village’s Rainforest Pet Store, says,
"Whenever my mom fixes a big chef salad, she shares it with her four
dogs (two standard poodles, a bulldog, and a weimaraner). And they all
crunch their lettuce, carrots, and celery with enjoyment." Such is a
dog’s love for its human, that it will willingly eat foods it normally
would sneer at.
But in its heart, every dog would prefer a rare chunk
of steak or chicken or venison to a dry kibble made up of bone meal,
animal by-products, and grain fillers. Why? Because dogs are
carnivores! And they don’t just crave meat; they need it for healthy
bones, teeth, and coats.
Dry kibble is convenient, because it can be stored for
a long time (especially if it’s loaded with preservatives), and dumped
into a bowl at mealtime. Cleanup is easy; just wipe out the bowl and
refill it. But is it healthy for your dog? More and more experts are
In the wild, dogs hunt for their prey. When they bring
down an animal, they eat its meat. Any plant matter they eat is
incidental, the occasional by-product of eating the prey’s last meal
along with the prey itself.
So why are we feeding our most loyal friends food
that’s loaded with grain fillers, artificial ingredients, animal
by-products, antibiotics, hormones, and chemical preservatives? Even
pet foods that are commonly considered healthy by the media are often
worse than the bag of Cheetos sitting in your cupboard. It’s no wonder
that so many dogs suffer from food allergies that result in everything
from acute nausea to severe skin lesions, hair loss, and even death.
So what can be done to improve your dog’s health and
happiness? Well, there are several possible solutions.
1) You can cook your own grocery-fresh meats, such as
chicken, beef, or turkey, and mix in small amounts of vegetables that
have a reputation for not causing pet allergies. (Vegetables that are
generally considered non-allergenic include sweet potatoes, squash,
parsley, alfalfa, and Icelandic kelp.) Preparing your dog’s meals from
scratch insures that you will know exactly what’s in its food.
But unless you really love to cook, it can quickly become a nuisance.
2) You can feed your pet a dry kibble or canned food
that really is healthy. The highest quality brand of dry or canned food
is Solid Gold. When Sissy Harrington-McGill, founder of Solid Gold
Health Products, began breeding world champion Great Danes in 1958, she
realized that there were no dog foods in America that were good enough
for her "babies." In 1974, she founded Solid Gold Health Products, and
named her first product "Hund-n-Flocken," which is German for
"dog food flakes." Hund-n-Flocken was the very first holistic
dog food to be approved by the FDA--and for nearly 35 years it has set
the standard for holistic dog foods in America by maintaining the #1
position for quality.
Solid Gold Health Products now offers several different
kinds of food, specially tailored to your dog’s size and age, from
Wee Bits, which is specially made for small dogs, to Wolf King,
which offers superior nutrition for large breeds. Their formula for
elderly or overweight dogs is called Holistic Blendz, and their
premium line, Barking at the Moon, offers exceptional quality
with lower carbs, for those health-conscious connoisseurs.
3) You can buy a variety of pre-made frozen raw foods.
These typically include a mix of fresh meats and vegetables, to offer
your pet a balanced diet. Simply thaw a patty (or chunk, if you buy the
bulk packages called "chubs") overnight, and serve it to your dog the
next morning. No fuss, no special trips to the health food store for
those hard-to-find ingredients, no slaving over a hot stove for hours
There are several brands of raw foods available. The
highest quality product is called Raw Health. Their beef or chicken
patties are sold in 5 pound chubs, or in 4 pound bags that contain 32
patties per bag. The number of patties you should feed your dog per day
depends on your dog’s weight.
Raw Health prides itself on offering convenient
quick-frozen patties made of USDA PREMIUM (restaurant quality) chicken
or beef, cancer-fighting Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils, Icelandic kelp,
farm-fresh sweet potatoes, alfalfa, squash, and parsley. NO artificial
ingredients, artificial colorings, chemical preservatives, antibiotics,
hormones, ground corn (or grains of any kind), animal by-products, or
fillers. Just 85% USDA premium meats, and 15% vegetables and nutrients.
Jo had this to say about the growing trend in
high-quality pet foods: "I’m constantly amazed by the number of people
who come into our pet store to buy these holistic pet foods, when
they’re content to munch on a McDonalds cheeseburger themselves. When I
asked one customer why she’d skimp on her own nutrition, but buy the
highest quality food for her little Pomeranian, she looked at me like
I’d lost my mind, and said, ‘She’s my baby! She deserves the best!’ "
That really says it all, doesn’t it?
The Rainforest Pet Store offers a huge variety of pet
supplies for all kinds of animals, including durable toys, nutritious
treats, grooming supplies, leashes and collars, beds, and of course the
very highest quality holistic foods such as Solid Gold dry and canned
foods, and Raw Health frozen beef and chicken patties.