(PET FOOD/DOGS) Is commercial dog food secretly killing your dog? The shocking truth about processed pet food reveals extremely high toxin levels that could be causing a rapid decline in our pets’ health.

In the article below, Denver-based veterinarian Dr. Dan Berman addresses the rise in animal cancer and other life-threatening diseases as a result of their diet and long-term exposure to toxins like heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, pesticides, and other contaminants–demonstrated in the Clean Label Project’s list of 10 Best & Worst Pet Foods.

This comprehensive list examines over 900 of the most popular pet food products, testing for 130 environmental and industrial toxins linked to cancer and other fatal diseases. The results are sure to make you think twice about what you’re feeding your pet–don’t be fooled by unclear labeling and advertising jargon.

As no regulation currently exists nor is testing for these deadly toxins required, read on to learn how you can educate yourself and spread awareness about contaminated pet food products.  — Global Animal

Some dogs eating Beneful have experienced Internal bleeding, diarrhea, seizures, and liver malfunction. Photo credit: ABC 7 Chicago
Photo credit: ABC 7 Chicago

I’m a Veterinarian and You Need to Worry About What’s in Your Pet’s Food

After the melamine contaminant tragedy in 2007 that took roughly 10,000 animals’ lives, it’s hard for pet owners not to worry every time they hear about a recall — but then, when they hear the products effected aren’t their brand, they breathe a sigh of relief. But should they?

Pet food recalls have become a part of daily life for animal lovers. Salmonella, beef thyroid hormone, and pentobarbital have topped the recall list this spring. Most recalls are voluntary — which means responsible companies can decide if and when they issue one — and they often use phrasing like “an elevated amount” of a given contaminant, which leads one to assume that there is a “standard” amount of these contaminants in their products every day.

Why aren’t we talking about the long-term exposure to these and a host of other contaminants in pet food? Not just the things that cause a rapid decline in our pets, but the chemicals and contaminants that, over time, cause compound damage. Most pet owners and veterinarians don’t even know this is something they should be concerned about.

Purina stands by their argument that Beneful is a high-quality, nutritious meal. Photo credit: http://dailysavings.allyou.com/
Photo credit: dailysavings.allyou.com

But I’m optimistic. Consumers are catching on to unclear labeling and advertising jargon. They are learning that ingredients like chicken meal are good. A new report on many of the top pet food brands could bring pet owners to a tipping point.

For the first time, a large-scale, independent third party test has been conducted, and the results are bad news for animal lovers and our pets. The Clean Label Project, a national 501c3 focused on consumer health and safety through testing and labeling, recently published a report revealing dangerous amounts of environmental and industrial contaminants in pet foods across the board — and price is no indicator of purity. Over 900 of the most often purchased cat and dog foods were tested and ranked.

The study found lead in some pet foods at 16 times the concentration of Flint, Michigan’s tainted drinking water. There is no documented tolerance of heavy metals for animals, but for a 10-pound cat, or even a 50-pound dog, who eats twice a day, seven days a week, the long-term prognosis is disturbing. I fear we are in the midst of an epidemic and the consequences may be shortening the lives of our precious pets. Why aren’t we talking about the consequences of long term exposure to these toxins, even at low levels?

Unfortunately, the inclusion of these toxins in pet food isn’t regulated. This isn’t a conspiracy of the pet industry. The fact that testing isn’t required for these contaminants means many brands probably don’t know they’re letting consumers serve up arsenic to their beloved furry family members in astronomical amounts. Now that we know, what are these companies going to do?

Over the past several years I have noticed pet owners willing to spend more money buying food that claims to be “natural,” “human-grade,” or other signifiers of purity. There’s growing awareness among shoppers that many of these terms don’t have a legal meaning. Companies play on pet owners’ good intentions and regulations do little to rein in extravagant advertising.

With proof that many of these brands are anything but what the labels say, I expect many of my clients will change their buying habits.

Anyone with a pet should go to cleanlabelproject.org and look up the pet foods they buy to make sure they know what they’re feeding their cats and dogs. Until the level of contaminants are regulated, companies aren’t going to change — unless we make them incorporate these new findings. Go online, evaluate your products, and demand better for your furry family.

Author Bio: Dr. Dan Berman holds a master’s degree in animal science and has practiced veterinary medicine for 34 years. His experience includes heading the veterinary department of Denver Dumb Friends League and a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Berman opened Denver Animal Hospital in 1997.