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Latest Consumer Magazine - About any Animal food is okay?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm sure the ConsumerReports magazine is going to get well-needed flack from those of us who want to feed our furbabies responsiblly.

I don't know who the vets were that they talked with - but, sure wasn't anyone I would have directed them to.

The article is in Mar 09 report, pg 10 "Vets weigh in on Fido's food". (Yes they talk about cats' food, too.)

One sentence on "Grain-free food" really made me wince - "It's not clear whether there's any benefit to a diet high in animal protein."

Then when the heading asked "What ingredients should you look for?", I guess the words on the food package should read "Complete and Balanced", and that's sufficient. ?

I'm going to re-read the article as soon as I settle down, maybe it's not as bad as my first glance determined.
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
I forget what the forum rules are about posting links to articles - if you do a "Google Search" with
"Vets weigh in on Fido's food", the article will be in the search results ... under the heading
"Pet food prices what you get by spending more"
you'll be able to read the article online.
post #3 of 10
I wonder whether there's "no evidence" because very few studies have actually been done (?).

It will be interesting to see what vets have to say about this issue in, say, five years. My impression is that more and more people are scrutinizing pet food labels these days and talking to their vets about alternatives to grocery store brands, although the ailing economy might slow the trend for a while.
post #4 of 10
Truth is NO one does truly know about high protein dry foods as a entire lifespan has not been lived solely on...

I know personally I have had very good success with many grainy foods( 30 work and only 1 did not ) and only success with a few grain frees ( ie tried 10 and 2 work well one so so )... I do believe there are some issues that go both ways ... My crew now three have been on grain free all but a few months of their lives ... one is fine , one has high ph and uti issues, one has off blood work without being too off ... My Zoey is fine on grain and grain free , she has been on high end foods all but 9 months of her life. Her gingivitis was eliminated with the grain eliminated from her foods ... Dahlia was on " science death " as my vet calls it and has improved greatly on no grain... Note all are under 5 and long term who knows
post #5 of 10
The article basically says that nobody knows much of anything about animal nutrition. They interviewed 8 vets from 7 different schools--an extremely small sample--and only one of them (1 vet? 1 school?) had not received funding from the pet food industry. The main point of the article seems to be that cost does not necessarily correlate with quality, which I think a lot of us already knew.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
It's good to hear your input - now I have to re-think my "learning". I thought my sources were sound, but lately some things that I was observing weren't fitting into what I had come to believe was the right food for my cats.

For example: my black male - going to be 5, had been to the vet because of urine difficulties - guess I had been giving him canned meat that contained fish - oh, and he loved tuna.

The Vet described KiKi as having the struvite crystals, (too much magnesium - found in fish) and put him on canned formula (Royal Canin Uninary SO). It would balance the calcium and struvite crystal issues.

The ingredients are/were troubling - chicken meal, grains - UGH!

I've read the resources that this Site refers to - and, if I understand correctly, raw food is preferred, then premium canned food not containing "meal", or "grains". Some authors condemn any dry food.

There's no possible way that I could get involved with raw food, I'd end up not getting the supplements right, and/or making my cats sick - so I rely on certain brands of premium cat food to give them the nutrients that will give them good health.

Then, there's stories of cats that live to be 20 years old, and fed what I thought was "bad" food - it was cheap - my sister took care of ferals, some she was able to tame enough and bring in - they didn't have $$ to feed the expensive stuff.

My daughter's cat lived to be 18 - that was after he had surgery about the age of 4 for crystals - the surgeon did something that was a new procedure back then - he shorten his little penis - making it larger, able to pass anything. He was fed mostly Iams - dry, all of his life, or whatever my daughter could afford.

So, I'm going back to school on this one, trying for a sane balance of what healthy food is ... I am convinced that healthy food is the key to a healthy body, and it's better to pay out $$ for health, than for vet (doctor) bills, and suffering.
g
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloriaJH View Post
There's no possible way that I could get involved with raw food, I'd end up not getting the supplements right, and/or making my cats sick
Do you ever cook for yourself ?

Quote:
Then, there's stories of cats that live to be 20 years old, and fed what I thought was "bad" food - it was cheap - my sister took care of ferals, some she was able to tame enough and bring in - they didn't have $$ to feed the expensive stuff.
But how many other cats did not live that long or suffered ailments that could've been prevented on a different diet ?


-----------------------------------

Here in the Netherlands and in Germany two consumer organisations did reports on cat food recently (they used the same lab so they could share the costs). Turned out they only looked at the separate nutrients in the food and not the overall quality of ingredients.
The problem with this approach is that in theory they could've taken the sole of a shoe, cooked it, ground it and with the right supplements added it would've goten a great analysis, totally balanced with everything a cat needs.

I do not buy into the theory that you should just feed a cat a set of nutrients. I think actual food would be the best thing to feed.
They tell us over and over to stay away from the processed stuff and eat food with real, fresh ingredients. Why would it suddenly be the other way round for a cat ?

I don't care what any professor theorizes about something he has or more often hasn't researched, cat's don't have to research a mouse before they eat it, just by still being around as a species after all this time they have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that they do great on their natural diet, so I'll stick with that.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloriaJH
There's no possible way that I could get involved with raw food, I'd end up not getting the supplements right, and/or making my cats sick

Just a little raw info. IMO If we look at the current AAFCO cat nutrient minimum recommendations we can come up with a diet that has four ingredients. These four ingredients will meet and most of the time exceed the current recommendations. They are meat, bones, and organs (hearts, livers). Usually there is fat on the meat or hearts so I don't include that as an ingredient. But if the meat is lacking then some needs to be added. Really no supplements unless you can find something.

Good luck with your kitty and learning the exciting world of feline nutrition.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimosa View Post
Do you ever cook for yourself ?

Well, as little as I can.
So, this is a link that shows me how to prepare raw food for my cat - but first, I have to invest in a grinder, and other ingredients other than - in this case - chicken.
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Raw-Cat-Food
YIKES!
I love my cats, I really want them to live long, healthy lives - but, alas - don't think I'm up to all this prep. - and, then not really understanding the safety aspects, and, I'm not versed in all the nutritional needs, so I'm not sure if I'm up to this responsibility.
Oh, and, I REALLY heard your great point about "processed foods" - ugh!

I really didn't intend to start a conversation about Raw Feeding - I was just troubled by the "findings" of the Consumer magazine.

Now, I don't know what to do about KiKi who is on this Prescription food that looks so unhealthy - but I have a fear of getting him clogged up again and having the Vet shake his finger at me, and saying he tried to warn me ...?
post #10 of 10
you know Science diet actually makes a HOMEMADE recipe for their RXs for folks in really rural areas ( or so they said )
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