Friday, August 5, 2011

Our Pets Are What They Eat!

The commercial slowly fades in as the dog runs through the wheat field. The "healthy" ingredients rain from the sky - chunks of meat, vegetables, grains.

But look closely at the actual bag of food. What are the real ingredients? Poultry by-products, corn gluten meal, animal fat? This certainly isn't what the commercial might suggest.

Pet care goal for the day - read the ingredients on the bag or can of food you are feeding your pets.

Quality Foods Should Contain:

  • Superior sources of protein, either whole fresh meats or single source meat meal (e.g., chicken meal rather than poultry meal).
  • A whole-meat source as one of the first two ingredients.
  • Whole, unprocessed grains and vegetables for dogs.
  • No grains or limited complex grains for cats.

Quality Foods Should NOT Contain:

  • Food fragments, which are lower-cost by-products of another food manufacturing process, such as wheat bran.
  • Meat by-products.
  • Proteins named generically (e.g., poultry fat instead of chicken)
  • Animal fats, which are often blended from a variety of rendered products, including restaurant grease. These fats are sprayed directly onto extruded kibbles and pellets to make an otherwise bland or distasteful product palatable.
  • Artificial preservatives such as BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, propyl gallate, and propylene glycol (a substance related to ethylene glycol, also known as antifreeze). Propylene glycol is often added to "chewy" foods to keep them moist.
  • Processed grain products. Two of the top three ingredients in pet foods, particularly dry foods, are almost always some form of grain products. Why? Grains (corn in particular) are much cheaper fillers than meat!
  • Artificial colors, sweeteners, or any other additives made to enhance the appeal of a pet food.

Want more information on picking a quality dry, canned or raw food? Visit the links below or come in to AARF Pet Central and we'll help you find a good food for your pets.

How to Choose the Right Dog Food
Dog Food Advisor
Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition
Raw Fed Cats

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ban Bad Owners, Not Dogs

The city of College Park recently passed a new ordinance targeting "potentially dangerous dogs." All dogs who are predominantly one of six breeds (American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Doberman and German Shephard) must register the dog, pay a registration fee, have the dog microchipped and prove they have insurance to cover any damages.

There is no doubt about the following statement: THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT BREED-SPECIFIC LEGISLATION IS EFFECTIVE AT MAKING COMMUNITIES SAFER. In many issues, I can often see the other side of the argument. Not this one.

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is not based in real data, but instead, based in media sensationalism and fear.

  • All of the dogs on the "potentially dangerous dogs" list scored higher in the 2010-2011 American Temperament Test Society tests than Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Akitas, Bloodhounds, Miniature Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, and the Presidential dog, Portuguese Water Dogs, Why aren't any of these dogs on the list?
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have released statements against BSL.
  • BSL is expensive. The state of Georgia will spend over $12 million to enforce breed-specific legislation. How much will your state or county spend? Learn how much here.

There is so much evidence proving that BSL doesn't work. Yet. our communities continue to focus on banning the dogs instead of the owners. We can create much safer, humane communities by enacting and enforcing tougher leash laws, anti-chaining laws, animal cruelty laws and spay/neuter laws.

Learn how to combat BSL in your neighborhood, city, county and state here.

On a personal note: Three times I have required medical attention for a dog bite. Not one of the three was a dog on the "potentially dangerous dogs" list.