Thursday, September 20, 2007

Now it's toxic TOYS! Where will it end?

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I honestly don't think this is ever going to end. The list of "toxic" items, both food and otherwise, grows exponentially each day it seems. Here is the latest from Itchmo....

Expertox, a Texas lab, claimed that they found elevated levels of lead, chromium, and cadmium in two Wal-Mart pet toys. But Wal-Mart said the lab has “severely misinterpreted” the results. Expertox stands by their findings and said their results are “rock solid.”

Here is a link to the full story:

News for cats and dogs - Pet Industry Responds To Lab Finding Lead, Other Toxins In Wal-Mart Pet Toys

Also, for those of you feeding a RAW diet, here's some recall news that may affect you.
Bravo! Raw Diet has announced a recall of certain varieties of its poultry products for pets. Here is the press release dated September 18 that is on their website:

Bravo! announces a voluntary recall of select tubes of three of its poultry products for cats and dogs. The pet food is being recalled because two of the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, while the other product has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Here is the rest of that story:
News for cats and dogs - NEW RECALL: Bravo! Recalls Select Poultry Products For Cats And Dogs

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

AVMA warns of potential new threat to pets

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American Veterinary Medical Association Announcement

"The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently been made aware of several complaints from pet owners and veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats manufactured in China have been making pets sick. Symptoms of illness have included vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. To our knowledge, no deaths have been reported.

The AVMA posted an alert on its Web site to inform its members and the public about what was known. Today, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) issued a statement saying it also has become aware of an unusual number of dogs presenting similar symptoms and abnormal test results associated with consumption of some jerky treats.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently testing several products to see if a contaminant can be found. So far, they have ruled out melamine, one of the chemicals that led to the massive pet food recall this spring, but have yet to identify anything that might be making pets sick. (more.......)

As of this morning, PetSmart has pulled various Smokehouse Brand dog treats off of their shelves. There have been reports of pets becoming ill after eating the treats, and as a precaution, PetSmart has removed the products. There has been no formal recall as of yet.

*Here is the SKU list of the Smokehouse Brand dog treats that have been pulled off of PetSmart shelves:
7856525052 5108696 Chicken Chips 1lb.
7856525053 5108692 Chicken Chips 8oz.
7856525092 5108693 Chicken Poppers 8oz.
7856525093 5108698 Chicken Poppers 1lb.
7856525134 5108691 Chicken Tenders 8oz.
7856525137 5126536 Chicken Breast Tender Snacks 1lb.
7856525138 5126535 Chicken Tenders 2lb.
7856584255 5126702 Duck Breast Tenders 8oz.
7856584256 5126534 Duck Breast Tenders 1lb.
7856584257 5126532 Duck Chips 1lb.
7856584258 5126531 Duck and Sweet Potato 1lb.
7856585808 5108695 Chicken Tenders 1lb.

Here is a link to the Itchmo site with the rest of the article. Itchmo is probably the best source of information on the recall mess that I have found. You can sign up on their site to receive updates on any new findings. I highly recommend it.

Keep updated on recalled pet food!
Click the above link to sign up for recall updates from the National Pet Foundation.

*The National Pet Foundation will update you with any new information about specific jerky products and name brands as soon as it becomes available

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Just what IS in my dog's food? Part 6: Preservatives

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Quality products are preserved naturally, but sadly there is almost always a possibility of products containing hidden preservatives and additives, since manufacturers only have to declare ingredients on the label that they have added themselves. If they purchase for example fish oil and meal, fats or other prepared ingredients from suppliers with stabilizers and other additives already added, these do not have to be listed.

The higher the ingredient quality, the less effort must be made to delay further degradation of the product, making natural antioxidants like rosemary extract and vitamin E very effective. Any chemical preservative should not be trusted. Some of them are even banned from human consumption in some countries outside of the U.S. due to their questionable side effects.
Here are some of the various preservatives used in pet food:

The Good

mixed tocopherols: Superior source of natural Vitamin E oils.
citric acid and rosemary: Natural preservatives although citric acid (Vitamin C) can be harsh on digestive tract.
rosemary: Natural preservative.
postassium sorbate: Mineral-based mold inhibitor.

The Bad, and the Ugly

ethoxyquin: The most carcinogenic preservative, most in industry have stopped using it except very cheap, poor quality foods.
BHA: Chemical. Highly carcinogenic preservative.
calcium propionate: Chemical. Potentially carcinogenic, antifungal.
propionic acid: Potentially harmful mold inhibitor.
propyl gallate and citric acid: Chemical preservative, can cause digestive upset, stomach irritation, deceptive adding with natural Vitamin C.
sorbic acid: A mold and yeast inhibitor.
DL-alpha tocopherol acetate: Synthetic source, non-nutritive. Used generally as a "natural" preservative.
DL-alpha tocopherol acetate: Synthetic source, non-nutritive.
sodium bisulfate: Used as disinfectant!

Mmmm.....anyone feeling hungry yet? Ugh!

What to look for:
►Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Rosemary-, Sage-, or Clove Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid and other forms of Vitamin C

What to avoid:
►BHA (Butylated Hydroxysanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), Ethoxyquin, TBHQ Tertiary Butylhydroquinone), Sodium Metabisulphite

Next time....flavorings, both natural and artificial
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