Let Them Eat Pine: Questionable Pet Food Ingredients

Pet food production line with ingredients coming in on one side, and dog food coming out the other

At what point do we look at modern food practices and say “how did things go this insanely wrong?”

Two new trends in pet food ingredients are probably really, really bad ideas wrapped up in sexy science and jargon.

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Answer To Allergies

Example number one is a brand new ingredient that a major pet food manufacturer has rolled out in order to fight allergies. Are you ready for this? The new ingredient is chicken feathers. Here’s what the president of this company has to say about their newest ingredient:

“This product was ten years in development, and designed to address a very specific need. Some dogs have intense allergic reactions to certain kinds of proteins. Conventional wisdom was focused on limited ingredient diets – fewer ingredients that would minimize the chances of an allergic reaction. But some dogs would not respond even to these diets. Anallergenic takes it a step further – through a completely different source of proteins.

“We have a team in France that is traveling the world to find ingredients. In this case it’s feather meal. It’s not only nutritious but can also be made very palatable to dogs. Feathers are broken down to an amino acid level and don’t have much of a taste. Then we add palatizers for taste. In this case, we have to be very careful not to provoke an allergic reaction. That’s why it took so long to develop this particular food. We’re looking for lots of different sources of protein for our foods: hydrolyzed soy; we are currently researching worm meal as a potential protein source for some of our foods in China. I tried some kibble made with worm meal once – it tasted very good. So our approach goes way beyond feathers.”

Feathers? Worms? Hydrolyzed soy?? Isn’t soy one of the foods most likely to cause allergies in the first place? Aren’t most dogs allergic to chicken?

RELATED: Vaccination and allergies: The surprising truth …

A Swedish study shows that soy, like its cousin the peanut, could be responsible for severe, potentially fatal, cases of food allergy. (Allergy 1999;54)

This is interesting because both soy and peanuts have been recently introduced as vaccine adjuvants. It’s likely no coincidence that some kids these days can’t be in the same area code as a peanut! And while we’re on the topic of vaccines, do you know how they grow those little germs? On animal protein. Two very common sources are chicken embryos and bovine (cow) serum.

Vaccines contain antigens and these are made from foreign proteins. These foreign proteins are made from animals. Normally, dogs eat other animals … having other animals injected directly into their bloodstream is really not something the body plans for. Dr Robyn Crosford explains:

“When we eat protein it is broken down into its constituent amino acids…if a foreign animal protein makes it into our bloodstream without having being broken down this can set up an autoimmune type response…By injecting things never meant to be in the body we are not only bypassing body defenses but wrongly activating other defenses.”

So the outcome of injecting foreign animal protein into your dog (and you) is autoimmune diseases (such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, arthritis, etc.), or … get this, food allergies related to the food that was injected directly into your dog!

Getting Back To Feathers …

If you don’t want your dog to suffer allergies, then maybe the best step would be to not inject foreign protein matter into him in the first place. It’s just common sense.

Or, if you are forced to vaccinate for rabies or choose to vaccinate for puppyhood diseases, then do it only as often as necessary (for most dogs, that’s only once or twice in their lifetime) and cross your fingers that it doesn’t cause a lifetime of allergies in your dog. Allergies are very hard to treat, so why go looking for them?

But the conventional mindset is “Don’t worry, we’ve got an arsenal of steroids and other scientific and wonderful aids at our disposal to mop up the mess.”

RELATED: Learn why most dogs’ allergy treatments fail …

This is where it all goes to hell in a hand basket. This is where it ends up with feathers, and hydrolyzed soy in a bag. I’m sorry, I don’t see the logic in feeding poor quality nutrition to a dog with autoimmune disease in the hopes that it will create a long term solution. While it’s true that food is medicine, it’s a bit of a stretch to consider feathers and hydrolyzed soy as food!

Speaking of non food, check out this article.

In a nutshell, they fed some pine tree sourced carbohydrates to six dogs and found that their stools had several indicators of a healthy lower digestive system and at higher concentrations, an increase in some beneficial bacteria.

Now this might not be all bad, but the logic behind it is as follows: “let’s feed dogs a processed kibble that creates leaky gut and other digestive issues, but we’ll spray a pine tree substance on it to make up for the number the processed food does on the digestive tract. Oh, and it has beneficial bacteria to make up for the lack of any real life in their processed diet.”

Wouldn’t it make more sense to just not feed processed foods so the dogs don’t need to have pine tree carbs sprayed on it to mitigate the gastrointestinal damage it can cause? Does anybody follow me here? There’s plenty of beneficial bacteria in fresh, whole foods and what the heck are “indicators of a healthy lower digestive system” anyway?

These strange and barely edible food additives show how science can get out of hand. They show how conventional medicine is designed only to put out fires, not cure the disease. Does your dog have allergies? Feed him genetically modified, hydrolyzed soy. Does that make him worse? Then let’s try feeding him feathers. Is his digestive tract messed up now? Good news – we’ve got pine tree spray! Where does it end?

Life is much less complicated – and a whole lot healthier – when we focus on preventing these issues in the first place. Feed your dog a fresh, whole food diet, complete with beneficial bacteria, and refrain from toxins that cause cause allergies and other chronic disease. If pet owners follow these two simple principles, they’ll spend a lot less time wondering whether their dog needs to be fed feathers and pine tree carbs.

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