Cat Food

Pet Product Recalls Skyrocket in 2018

Something is very wrong in America’s food safety apparatus. Recently, numerous pet food companies have issued recalls for products containing Salmonella, Listeria and even Pentobarbital, a drug used almost exclusively to euthanize dogs, cats and horses. Not only can these contaminants result in pets contracting a serious illness, possibly even a fatal one, but in some cases they can lead to serious harm for anyone improperly handling the tainted products.

So far in 2018, we've seen double the number of recalls vs. 2017 in just two months time. Here's a snapshot of the FDA's pet product recall page ...

snapshot-recalls

What jumps out from the list of recalls is the high number of raw foods which have become increasingly popular in the last couple of years, not only in the US, but around the world. Unfortunately, by their very nature, raw foods carry an exceptionally high risk of bacterial contamination.

THE DANGERS OF RAW FOODS

In fact, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal by a team of veterinary scientists from The Netherlands cited the dangers associated with feeding raw foods to companion animals. In a broad sampling of raw-food products, investigators found a startling amount of bacteria and parasite contamination. Numerous products contained Salmonella, Listeria, E coli, Toxoplasma gondii or other harmful contaminants that not only pose risks to dogs and cats, but also to the pet parents serving the foods. In the study's summation, researchers did not hold back in their conclusions, saying, "Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health."

One company has initiated four recalls since 2016 after receiving multiple complaints from consumers. The FDA and the State of Washington are conducting separate investigations, due to the repeat nature of contaminants and the number of consumers affected. A number of dogs have been gravely sickened and one cat has died as a result of eating these products.

Another company has recalled its frozen raw pet food after reports surfaced of the death of two kittens from Salmonella septicemia, also referred to as blood poisoning. The FDA has launched an investigation, which has already uncovered the presence of both Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in samples of that company's Beef products.

And these are just two of the raw food producers that have issued recalls. The products recalled are too numerous to include in this post, but we encourage readers to visit the FDA site for full details (link provided below).

EUTHANASIA DRUG DISCOVERED IN CANNED DOG FOOD

On February 8th, ABC 7 News (a D.C. affiliate) published a story about their investigation of the actual ingredients in dozens of canned dog food brands. What they found was genuinely disturbing. In all, 31 different foods tested positive for Pentobarbital. Most of the foods were produced by one company, The J.M. Smucker Co. The company first denied the reports, then issued a "withdrawal notice" asking retailers to return defective products. The FDA launched an investigation and the company finally issued a recall.

Smuckers-recall-one

Smuckers-recall-two

Consumption of a pentobarbital-laced food can cause dogs to suffer drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, inability to stand, nystagmus (jerking movement of the eyes), even coma or death. Needless to say, if you believe your pet is suffering from such problems, please contact your veterinarian right away.

A Class Action lawsuit has been brought against Big Heart Brands, a subsidiary of Smuckers.

If you're looking for a brand that puts the needs and wellbeing of companion animals before profits, we invite to you check out our health-promoting line of products for dogs and cats. We don't sell anything we wouldn't feed our own pets, who we treat like family. We only work with thoroughly vetted and trusted manufacturers and suppliers who provide top-notch ingredients. Our pet foods are made in small, frequent batches and go directly to our five warehouses where they are carefully boxed and shipped to customers. We've never had a recall, but we have a procedure in place that would allow us to contact every single consumer of our products directly (either by phone or by email) if there's an issue. At Life’s Abundance, we not only make premium products but we also ensure that we deliver premium products.


New Year's Goals For Pet Kids

Bella has always been on the slim side, that was until Carter started "sharing" his food with her. We were always very conscientious about not giving Bella table food and limiting her treats. This became very difficult with Carter who shows us he is finished eating by clearing off his tray of food onto the floor. Although Bella isn't allowed in the kitchen and by the table when we are eating she is a sneaky little lady and finds the perfect opportunity to get by his chair and help by cleaning up the floor.

In the cold Wisconsin weather we aren't great about getting out for our walks and playing outside like we do when the weather is a little more tolerable so over the last couple of months I have noticed Bella is getting a little chubby! I call it her winter pudge:)

Like Dr. V talks about in the article, I know the importance of managing Bella's weight and being proactive about leading a healthy active lifestyle for not only Bella but for the entire family. Luckily this past weekend we were able to get out and take Bella for some walks and run around outside with her. I will admit on the second day of getting back into walks we got right past the driveway and she needed a lot of encouragement to continue on. It was like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum, she was refusing so move. Once she got moving again we both did fine and made it home in one piece.

New Year's Goals for Pet Kids

Frenchie

Ah, January. A season for new beginnings, new resolutions, and some measure of regret for all the indulgences of the holiday season. If my gym is any indication, “get more exercise” is still on the top of most people’s list of New Year’s resolutions.

Fur kids don’t make resolutions, but if they did, half of them would be joining us in our pursuit of a healthier weight. Here’s a few facts about canine and feline weight you might not know:

1. More than half of dogs and cats in the US are considered overweight. It’s right up there with dental disease in terms of how frequently it is diagnosed. Because it creeps up slowly over time, many pet parents don’t even realize it’s happening until an annual vet check. Suddenly, your 12-pound cat is now 15 pounds. Yikes!

Tabby

2. Being overweight increases other health risks. Diabetes, joint disease, heart and lung disease, some forms of cancer and high blood pressure are all linked to excessive weight in dogs and cats. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same list we see in people. We all need to make an effort to go out and play, walk or run as a team!

3. Weight loss is a process. Some companion animals lose weight more easily than others, so it may take some experimentation to figure out the best course of action for your own dog or cat. One of the most common pitfalls is neglecting to measure food portions. When my dog Brody put weight on after my son took over feeding duties, I was shocked to realize that he was dumping food in the bowl without measuring. Brody was being overfed by almost 30%!

Whippet

4. Helping your fur kid be healthier can make you healthier, too! The Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that people who live with dogs are 34% more likely to walk at least 150 minutes a week. And if your fur kid is a puppy, guess what? You walk faster than people walking without a dog. Sometimes not in a straight line, am I right?

5. Pet kids at a healthy weight live longer. Dogs and cats at a normal weight have an average life expectancy up to 2.5 years longer than those who are overweight. So commit today and add more and better years to not just your own life, but your companion animal’s as well!

The great thing about weight, compared to other medical conditions, is that it is reversible. Talk to your veterinarian about the course of action that’s right for you. They can help you figure out your companion animal’s caloric requirements and ensure weight loss is done gradually and safely.

  Health For You And Pets www.HealthForYouAndPets.com


The Scoop On Grain Free Pet Foods

Dog and cat laying on grass

This month, I’d like to talk to you about a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. Finding the perfect pet food that reflects both your expectations and represents the best veterinary science has to offer. In particular, we’ll be taking a closer look at grains in dog and cat foods, addressing the top three concerns of pet parents. Are these concerns valid or are they misrepresentations of reality? The truth may surprise you!

The Belief Grains Are Responsible for Allergies

Food allergies or adverse food reactions are abnormal reactions to ingredients found in everyday foods. Recent estimates indicate that less than 5% of skin diseases in dogs and cats are accurately diagnosed as being caused by a food allergy. Even though the incidence of adverse food reactions remains unclear, a lot of pet parents believe that grains are prime suspects. However, the most commonly identified food allergens among dogs and cats are proteins in beef, dairy, chicken, soy and corn. Food allergies can cause itchy skin alone or even gastrointestinal problems as well.

The place where many pet parents get confused is comparing canine or feline food reactions to celiac disease in humans, which is a heritable autoimmune disease associated with a hypersensitivity to gluten proteins in wheat, barley, and rye. There has been a very rare similar heritable gluten sensitivity described in a small number of dogs with the symptoms being weight loss, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea, but celiac disease and adverse food reactions in companion animals are rare.

The Belief Grains Have No Real Nutritive Value

Whole grains, like the ones used in many of our foods, contain the entire kernel. Whole grains are used in human and pet food because they pack a nutritional punch. Not only are they a good source of carbohydrates, they also contain essential fatty acids, amino acids, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and even antioxidants! They add to the nutritional profile of the food, which means that they add to your pet’s nutrition as well. The grains used in our foods meet or exceed the criteria of the European Community, which currently exceed U.S. standards for quality.

The Belief That Pets Can’t Digest Grains

Some pet parents believe that carbohydrates from grains are not easily digested by dogs or cats. Like other mammals, cats and dogs have a metabolic need for carbohydrates in the form of glucose. Glucose fuels many parts of the body, including the brain, nervous system, red blood cells, the kidneys, and the female reproductive organs during pregnancy and lactation. If the diet fails to provide sufficient carbohydrates, the body can manufacture glucose by robbing it from amino acids (the building blocks for protein) and triglycerides (in fat), but this is hardly ideal. Both dogs and cats will utilize glucose from ingested carbohydrates to meet their needs. Additionally, both species have sufficient digestive enyzmes to allow for the efficient digestion of properly cooked carbohydrates. We know that not only is the quality of the grains important, but also the manner in which they are cooked. Our foods are prepared in such a way that the grains are broken down during the cooking before they enter the intestines, allowing them to be digested more easily.

So What is the Truth?

The key take-away from all of these points … you must feed the food that most closely meets your own standards and expectations for your pet kid. After all, you know them better than anyone! For all of you who want the best grain-free option for your companion animal, I’m pleased to tell you that our two latest foods are both grain-free!

Grain-Free Formulas That Are Nutritionally Balanced

Like all our foods, our new grain-free foods offer excellent, balanced nutrition. Rather than relying on grain content, these natural formulas do have carbohydrates such as peas, potatoes and a selection of healthy vegetables in the grain-free dog food. Ideal for all life stages, our newest nutritious foods provide another great option for pet parents who want the best for their dogs and cats. For detailed information about these products, including ingredients, guaranteed analyses and more, visit our site today.

Grain Free Dog Food www.HealthForYouAndPets.com

Grain Free Cat Food www.HealthForYouAndPets.com

For more information or to try a sample send me an email at HealthForYouAndPets@gmail.com