More dog food problems

deb18May 5, 2012

Diamond strikes again. People are getting salmonella from handling their pets' food. Scroll down in the article for a list of affected products. They include Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Chicken Soup, Natural Balance, and others.

Here is a link that might be useful: Salmonella in dog food

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Yep.........I bought it for the first time last week, and saw the blurb in the paper, checked my bag and it had the affected product code, except it was made in an earlier batch, not supposedly affect I find out. Makes you wonder, though, doesn't it?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 8:22PM
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Thank you for the heads-up ... several of those are very high-quality brands, too.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:22PM
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Wow, was I worried when I read your post! My cat threw up a couple of days ago and then twice today - once this morning and once this afternoon, and I feed dry Taste of The Wild to both my cats. I followed that link and read the article, since I dump the food out of the bag and into a separate container I went right out to the garbage can and dug through Tuesday's trash bag to find the empty cat food bag! I bought the food on Tuesday. I decided to call the 1-800 number on the bag even tho it says it's from Taste of The Wild Pet Foods in Meta Missouri not S.C. There was an extension especially for the pet food recall and I actually was able to talk to a real person. She said the cat food is NOT affected, only the dog food. I had checked the dates on the bag and the production number and read those off to her anyway. She said there is nothing to worry about.

Well, I think I'll hold off feeding the cats the food at least for awhile. The one that threw up is fine otherwise but the food pellets were in her vomit.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:06PM
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I just got an e-mail from our local pet food store, telling about the recall.
They have removed the Wellness brand from their shelves, and the others they stock were not the lots affected.
Good business sense for them to let the customers know, and reassuring to me.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 1:57AM
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My cat came in to eat this morning as chipper as always, I'll be watching though. If she continues to throw up meals then a vet visit is in order. Could be she's eating little varmints and needs a good worming or other such.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:53AM
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spedigrees z4VT

It is a chore to home cook for my two dogs and my cat, but the peace of mind is worth the effort. The commercial petfood industry has been suspect since they poisoned 40,000 American pets with melamine in 2007. I've home cooked since then, and don't foresee ever buying commercially made petfood ever again.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:20AM
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spedigrees, would you mind sharing any recipes? I've been feeding mine half dog food and half cooked food because I fear leaving something out if I feed just cooked. I tried raw momentarily, but couldn't get past feeling uncomfortable about it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:47AM
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Thanks, I Still feed my dog cooked food every now and again. Think It might be the perminent option from now on.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:32AM
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I feed my dogs raw prey mode and they do great and best of all I do not have watch for every recall. Seems like every day there is a new one. When I grew up out dogs were well fed but there were no kibbles and they did great. No vets anywhere near and never needed them

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:31AM
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From a nutritional standpoint I would feel safer feeding my dogs all raw food, but I have trouble getting past my fears of salmonella and e-coli in the environment if I feed them that. I've read all the arguments, but I couldn't stop worrying about it. On the other hand, I worry whether cooked food is losing too many nutrients and whether they're in balance. I do add calcium to the meat and a good supplement. Then I read about all the dog food issues and go round and round reading the pros and cons of different methods until it makes me crazy. I should probably spend half as much time worrying about what I put in my own mouth as I do my dogs.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:56PM
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I have many friends who feed raw and yet have to see a case of salmonella or e-coli . It's no different than human food. It's frozen and can be fed frozen or just taken out of the freezer long enuff to thaw out a bit. You can buy a lot in grocery stores when there are good specials on. Dogs eat it so fast it never sits around long enuff to cause a problem. But that is how I feel about it and I know many people do not agree. Another thing their poops are much smaller and less as what they eat is all used. Not just heaps of useless fillers to be pooped out. But like I said many are against it so read up on it and talk to people who use it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 4:24PM
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I'll second what deb18 said. I've been giving my dogs some home cooked food but am uncertain about if I'm doing it right despite viewing several websites and youtube videos. I add calcium, fish oil, and a tiny bit of zinc but only because my German Shepherd has developed skin problems and I read zinc is good for that. Still unsure if I'm doing the right amounts though but will continue to research and would be interested in hearing about what others do as far as home cooked.

I was feeding canned and kibble but now have substituted the canned with home cooked. For kibble I use Dogswell Happy Hips mostly because it tells me it's made in America but now it seems there are problems with that too!

I am also nervous about raw because I read the meat has to be very fresh so you can't buy from the typical grocery store. I would be especially nervous about giving the specials meat raw but then again with what my dogs seem to get away with eating out of the back yard maybe that's not such an issue. See it's just so hard to know what's correct and what's not and it's making me crazy too.

I'll just keep doing my research and hopefully get it right eventually. In the meantime the dogs LOVE the home cooked.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 7:42PM
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I've been rawfeeding my dogs now for 9 years now without any issues. Before that I cooked for them, no issues there either except the learning curve at the beginning on both counts. Cooking does break down enzymes that are beneficial for the dogs, but still a better option than kibble, IMO. Now, that said, I feel that how we feed our dogs is an each to his/her own. I personally feel rawfeeding is the better option for my dogs, but I don't judge the kibble feeders. Know that there are some pretty decent ones on the market these days, but I still like having a better control on knowing what my dogs are eating. can feed grocery store meat to the dogs without an issue...I've been doing it since I started. If I can eat it, so can they. Never had a problem. As far as cooking, I found Pitcharin's book very helpful in finding balance. For anyone else that wants to learn more about cooking or rawfeeding, there are a couple of yahoo groups that are a great resource for learning more about it.
Hoping that everyone's pets are ok from this last scary.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:56AM
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spedigrees z4VT

In answer to your post, Deb, and to others, I don't exactly use recipes to cook dogfood, but more of a formula. My first ingredient is always meat. I do add some filler to save money, but the amount of filler I use is less than what is in commercial petfood. Also I add calcium to substitute for the bones that a dog would naturally consume along with meat from prey in the wild. Additionally I add digestive enzymes and vitamin/mineral supplement.

For instance the food my dogs are eating this week is chicken and rice. I cooked 4 lbs of ground chicken and 4 lbs of ground turkey in a big pot. To this I added about 3 cups of cooked white rice and meat pulled from the bones of a baked chicken and the juice from the chicken. Then I stirred in 3 heaping teaspoons of powdered calcium carbonate (I buy NOW brand at I also added the powder from about 5 capsules of digestive enzymes and from two vitamin/mineral capsules. These are human grade supplements. It is important when using human vitamin/mineral pills for pets to buy iron-free supplements.

Last week my dogs' menu was ground pork and boneless pork chops cut into tiny bites with some cooked macaroni and the same supplements added. Basically this food was made using the same proportions as the poultry mix they are eating this week.

I use ground beef sometimes, also liver, and sometimes I whip up an omelet with cheese and meat scraps from about 4 to six eggs and about 1/2 a teasp of calcium.

In place of store-bought powdered calcium, you can use ground eggshell. I use it when I have it on hand. I save eggshells in a dish in my freezer and when I have enough, I bake them at 350 degrees for an hour, then grind them into a powder for one minute in a small electric coffee grinder that I bought for this purpose, and store the powdered eggshell in the fridge. Powdered eggshell is mostly calcium carbonate, 90-something percent.

For my cat, I feed only chicken, because that is all Miss Picky will eat. I pull the meat into tiny bites and add all the above named supplements (in smaller proportion) as well as a small amount of taurine.

Kitty can sometimes be persuaded to eat some tuna or a few bites of other meats, but she tires of it quickly.

I hope this is somewhat helpful to those of you wondering about home cooked petfood. I figured out the proportions of calcium to meat sometime ago based on pet nutrition studies somewhere on the web. I fed my two old dogs home cooked for the last 4 years of their lives and they were in good health up until the end when I lost one to cancer and the other to respiratory disease at ages 12 1/2 (the collie) and 14 (my sheltie). My new dogs are doing well on this food, and my 19 yr old cat has been eating home cooked for the past 5 years and is in good health for an old timer.

I also thought about a raw diet, because it is definitely the natural food of a dog or cat. Like some others I am sort of squeamish and got cold feet about the idea of feeding bones. I know that if bones are uncooked they are supposed to be safe, but it's so ingrained in me not to feed them that I just wimped out and went the home cooking way instead. I will say that all my cats have been indoor/outdoor cats most of their lives and they certainly have eaten rodents and birds, bones and all, with no ill effects. In fact, I suspect that this partial natural prey diet may have been responsible for their longevity, as they lived to be 23, 21, 20, and 10 (the last having died from an injury) and my current cat is 19 and I expect she will live into her 20s too. So I'd have to say there is a lot to be said in favor of a raw diet, it's just not the way I chose to go.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Thanks for the info, spedigrees. I use eggshell for calcium too, but I buy Eggshellent Calcium and use it most of the time and occasionally I bake my own shells.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 7:18PM
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I think any homemade fresh food diet(raw or cooked)can be a great option for pets. There are some good books out there with info on home cooking and balancing the diet.

I'm a raw feeder too, (Prey Model Raw) and haven't had any issues. I was nervous about feeding it at first, with the raw bones, bacteria, and everything else that's weird about it, but I got use to it and now I'm not worried about everything. My dogs love it, and to be honest both of them have had noticeable health improvements from the high quality kibble switch to raw (no offense kibble feeders).

I found home cooking to be more involved with balancing nutrients and adding supplements/enzymes. When I ran the nutritional data numbers of the raw foods I feed, against the NRC nutrient guidelines for dogs, feeding just a variety of raw meat, organs, and bones in certain amounts met all the guidelines. It's interesting to look at the nutritional data in the raw food, like a turkey neck, and find that it naturally meets the right ratio of Cal/Phos for dogs, with no extra balancing needed.

Bacteria was a big concern of mine, till I started reading about how much bacteria (Salmonella, E-coli etc.) lives on different surfaces in a home, outside, and in public places, and how much contact we have with it on a daily basis. I'm probably over careful, I wash my hands after touching any raw meat, and use gloves when I butcher several pounds of meat up at a time or when I know I have a cut on my hands, wipe down surfaces etc.

Top 30 spots for bacteria in a home

Vet Dr. Karen Becker, why dogs and cats can eat raw meat (bacteria, parasites, etc. issues)

Grocery store meat is fine for dogs, even older meat is ok, I've fed my dogs some slightly turned meat and they loved it and handled it fine with no issues afterwards. I didn't enjoy feeding it with the smell and all but they seemed to actually prefer the stinky meat.

With raw bones, you just have to be careful about feeding them properly (considering the size of the dog, size of the bone, if the dog is a gulper/or power chewer etc.).

Dr. Becker on feeding raw bones

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:42AM
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