You Are What You Eat
by Erin McLaughlin ◊ Jul 06, 2012
With the recent pet food recalls, a lot of us are wondering what to feed our pets to keep them safe. Unfortunately, there is risk in whatever you choose, so nothing will be foolproof. All the same, educating yourself on what your pet is eating and where it comes from helps to lower that risk. First rule: Read the labels!
Pet foods are not regulated like peoples’ food. Unfortunately, it’s considered unnecessary to share the origins and the quality of the ingredients with the public. Oftentimes, labels will read “meat byproducts” or “meat meal.” Steer clear of such terms, as these are the leftovers that are unfit for human consumption. Many pet food companies are large conglomerates more interested in profit, and not as interested in making sure that your pet’s coat and health are all they should be. When you read “byproducts” and “meal,” don’t think “meat” and “protein source.” Think feet, beaks, lungs, entrails, kidneys, heads, and slaughterhouse extras. Roadkill, euthanized pets, and sickly livestock are another source for these mystery ingredients often termed “MBM” or “meat and bone meal.” It’s not pleasant to imagine, but when you want to give your family a nutritious meal, you wouldn’t feed them the same ingredients you’re putting in front of your dog or cat. Think about it: the chemicals used to euthanize animals are being put back into your pets in small amounts!
Pet foods can also be loaded with preservatives in order to lengthen their shelf life. Because pets are smaller and their life spans are shorter than ours, these toxins add up in their systems faster and make a noticeable impact on the length and quality of their lives. How many of your friends’ pets are being diagnosed with cancer and diabetes? It seems to be much more common than it was even ten years ago.
There are alternatives to the kibble you see in the stores. Your first option is to cook your pet’s food at home. There is some research needed to give them a well-balanced meal. Here are a couple of places to look:www.dogfoodadvisor.com and www.naturalnews.com/012647.html.
Erin McLaughlin is the Owner of Little Shop of Howlers Pet Salon and Spa, creating an enchanting escape for your pet. Little Shop of Howlers is located at 26 Corporate Ridge in Hamden, and can be contacted at 203.288.3330. For more information, please visit www.LittleShopOfHowlers.com.
Please note the following event at Little Shop of Howlers:
July 14 – The shop will be closed while we attend New England Pet Grooming Professionals trade show and competition. Erin will be competing with Seamus (Golden Retriever), Clare (Kerry Blue), Maela (Havanese x), and Simon (Min Poodle).