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April 05, 2007

Someone's Killing Our Pets

Someone's killing our pets, and I'm damned angry about it.

In case you've been living under a rock, the company Menu Foods has been recalling pet food right and left along with some other manufacturer's products because they have been contaminated with a poison or more likely poisons that are killing cats and dogs at a much higher rate than the "official" death toll of 16.

How do I know this? I've been following the reports in the news, that's how. Numbers are put at least in the hundreds if not thousands, with many more being affected with renal failure that will shorten their lives. My heart aches at all the deaths and the bereaved owners, many now blaming themselves for feeding their pets poison when all they were trying to do was take care of them the best they could.

So far the smoking gun points squarely at China, source of the wheat gluten suspected of being the primary contaminated ingredient, but there may well be more. Not all animals are having signs of renal failure. There have been reports of pancreatitis and liver failure as well. The recalls may spread from just wet and foil pouch food to dry, sending many of us into a frantic search for a pet food that doesn't contain wheat gluten or hasn't been manufactured by Menu Foods.

One good thing that is coming from all this - people are looking at labels now and insisting on an explanation for the piss-poor ingredients in our pet food. Another is that people are looking to the FDA for more oversight on our food supply in general and testing in specific.

It is possible to feed a raw diet as well as cooking at home for the pet. Google around for recipes and instructions but remember that cats and dogs need specific (and different) nutrients to have a balanced diet. Be sure the web sites you visit take that into account. Canned tuna as a diet for your kitty can have disastrous consequences long term. Your best bet may be to contact your vet or failing that a good book on the subject.

Let's not let up the pressure on our elected and appointed officials and local and national news agencies so we get to the bottom of this. Our pets deserve no less.


karen said...

Thanks for the great information Linda, especially the part about looking into what is good food for your pet.
A local newscaster said he was going to start feeding his cat just tuna. He meant well, but as you pointed out, both cats and dogs have special needs.
Thanks again,

Lin Neiswender said...

Glad you got something out of my post, Karen. I might add that there are some people foods that should never be given to dogs (sorry cat people- I just don't know much about them), among them are chocolate, grapes, raisins, and onions. Cats shouldn't be fed on tuna due to lack of taurine and presence of harmful chemicals. I'm sure there are many others for both species- Google it and I'm sure you will turn up quite a list.