vet kibble

The Problem With Kibble

Most dry and canned foods are denatured by cooking and processing (and sometimes chemicals). This makes them virtually devoid of raw enzymes, probiotics and natural vitamins and minerals. Processed foods contain carcinogens and often times carbolic acid (which is toxic), coal tar, charcoal, citronella oil and carcinogenic food coloring.

Since dry and canned foods are cooked and processed into indistinguishable, mashed pieces it’s easy for unethical pet food companies to purchase rotten, unusable scraps and leftovers from the human food industry, including meat goo and produce that was rejected by grocery stores and other manufacturing facilities.

By comparison, most raw and dehydrated formulas maintain their natural vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, proteins and probiotics. You can see, smell, and your pet can taste the individual raw ingredients in dehydrated and raw foods, unlike kibble and canned foods.

Vets Against Raw Dog Food

Unfortunately, veterinarians often only recommend kibble or canned and are becoming more and more “anti raw” since the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) officially released a statement opposing raw diets, claiming that there are “potential risks of pathogen transmission to humans.” (Note that they don’t mention potential pathogen risk to pets) This has become their stance even though they openly admit that, “no confirmed cases of human salmonellosis have been associated with these raw diets.” (There have been several cases of humans contracting salmonella from raw meat purchased at the grocery store that was fed to pets.)

Think of it this way: If your child’s Pediatrician told you to feed your child nothing but Fruit Loops because they’re “complete and balanced” and “scientifically formulated” and said, “never give your child raw fruits and vegetables because spinach and peanuts have had recalls before” you’d find a new pediatrician. Why should we believe that cereal made from refuse from the human food industry is nutritious for our pets? Upton Sinclair once said, “It is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.”

Bias And Sponsorship

In addition, the Mark Morris Institute offers the only curriculum provided for the one and only nutrition class required for Veterinarian students at any Veterinary College. Mark Morris is the founder of Hills Science Diet. Veterinarians also receive ongoing “Veterinary Research” and “Support” from Hills Science Diet and Royal Canin. Virtually all nutritional information supplied to Veterinarians is provided exclusively by two of the largest pet food manufacturers in the entire world (neither of which manufacture or sell raw or dehydrated food diets).

Obviously this makes it difficult for veterinarians to get accurate, unbiased information about nutrition and the health benefits of anything not manufactured and advertised by Hills Science Diet or Royal Canin/Waltham. Science Diet spends millions of dollars every year keeping veterinarians “educated,” offering awards to and through the AVMA, giving vets free food, etc. Until veterinarians are able to get information from unbiased sources they will continue to be misinformed regarding nutrition.

Prescription foods sold in veterinarian offices do not meet high standards for quality ingredients, quality control, business ethics or eco-consciousness. They are also not DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) regulated, meaning none of them contain pharmaceuticals, as the name implies, that may assist in healing your pet. Prescription foods address single problems using ingredients such as sawdust (powdered cellulose) to dry up diarrhea, peanut shells (hulls), soybean shells (mill run – GMO), corn gluten (GMO – used to artificially raise protein levels when meat protein is insufficient) or table salt to increase water consumption for urinary tract issues but none are a healthy solution for overall long term health.

Food Safety

There have been 270 pet food recalls in the last year. Pet product recalls have been nearly exclusive to dry kibble, canned pet foods and Chinese made pet treats.

Here is a short list of dry, canned dog and cat foods recalled due to salmonella or aflatoxin:

4Health, Advanced Animal Nutrition, Apex, Arrow Brand, Biljac, Canidae, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Eukanuba, Iams, Kirkland, Kroger, Natural Balance, Nature’s Variety, Pedigree, Petrus, Premium Edge, Professional, Purina, Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, Two Dog, Wellness

Additionally, Blue Buffalo, Purina and Royal Canin have had recalls for Vitamin D toxicity. Royal Canin has had 26 recalls in four years on its prescription foods for vitamin D toxicity. Vitamin D toxicity often causes irreparable kidney and heart damage and death.

Raw pet food recalls:

Primal – Chicken only (once in 2011), Nature’s Variety – Chicken only (once in 2010), Feline Pride – Chicken only (once in 2010)

The FDA lists recalls on all pet and human products. Dry kibble pet foods are among the most likely things to be found on a recall list. Raw pet food recalls are few and far between and as long as you wash your hands after you feed it (and who wouldn’t?) then you, your pet, and your pocketbook are going to spend less time at the vets and be much healthier and happier.