The GD of pet food

The fur will fly and a few tails will be stepped on. It’s the PETA crowd vs. the relaxed pet owner.

I contend that this over-concern for the “proper” food to feed your pet is a bunch of hogwash. Dog and cats have been successfully living off of table scraps since creation. So what is wrong with making your own dog food? Why must we buy that expensive specialty food to feed our pets? Commercial pet food is good enough to feed fido or fluffy. The pet food industry is making a bundle by making us feel guilty by not feeding our pets their “properly blended” brand of doggie/kitty overpriced slop.

I was buying dog and cat food from a pet store this past weekend and mentioned to the clerk who asked if I needed any help that the Fancy Feast[sup]TM[/sup] had been moved. She looked in horror at me and said “Fancy Feast[sup]TM[/sup] is ok if you don’t mind feeding your cat McDonalds[sup]TM[/sup]”. Well, my cat eats one brand of cat food and is even picky about what flavors of that brand she likes. Now, I understand the risks of a urinary tract infection if a cat is not fed a diet low on ash, so I pick flavors for her that has low ash content, but she likes Fancy Feast[sup]TM[/sup] and she will eat Fancy Feast[sup]TM[/sup]. For a picky eater you can’t ask for more than that. What the pet store workers have done is buy into the brainwashing by specialty pet food makers that commercial brand pet food are bad and should not be fed to our pets.

So I contend, I am a loving pet owner who feeds her pets commercial food and table scraps and it’s ok.

What does PETA have to do with this? I know lots of pet owners who choose to feed premium kibble (for a variety of reasons), and have no association with PETA.

The first paragraph is an attempt at humor. The PETA thing was a JOKE.

This is just my experience, but since I started to feed my cats the more premium foods (Pro plan, Purina ONE, Purina Special Care) their poop is less smelly. I presume it is because of fewer undigestible fillers.

Also, just to point out, I consider Fancy Feast a “premium” brand, its pretty expensive isn’t it?

Dogs and cats haven’t been eating table scraps since the creation; I have reliable information that there were neither dogs and cats, nor table scraps, at that time.

Wild (as opposed to feral) dogs and cats had a simple formula for eating: if they couldn’t get the quantity and/or quality of food that they needed, they died of malnutrition or other disease. Indeed, hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) is with us far too often to this very day. Cardiomyopathy and retinal degeneration from taurine deficiency are, fortunately, rare now.

I won’t say that it’s only the food, but all my cats have been long-lived( 18, 19, and 22 years for my departed pets, eight years for my current). They’ve all been fed the same brand exclusively. It may not be empirical evidence, but it works for me.

Galan, yes my pets have lived to be a ripe old age, over 14 years old.

My mom has been cooking her 17 yr old Chinese Pug his food for quite a few years. She, of course, makes sure it is a nutritious, balanced meal. This diet also has cut down on the gas problem.

My argument is not that we should neglect proper nutrition for out pets, just not buy into the hype that these specialty pet foods are better than those available on your grocer’s shelves for far less money.

Akatsukami, since dogs and cats were created on the 4th day, my statement is true, but that is a different debate :). The problems with malnutrition for a wild dog or cat has been replaced in our times by obesity in pets. As a responsible pet owner we need to make sure our pets eating habits are good as well as that they have the proper amount of exercise.

Fair 'nuff… but still no table scraps: no tables. :slight_smile:

How exactly do you get a cat to exercise?!

Mine didn’t take any notice of the gym membership and I have to say people look at me very oddly when I walk her on a leash. :slight_smile:

Maybe this is a joke, or maybe it isn’t, but PETA is more relaxed if people feed their cats and dogs on table scraps rather than certain proprietary foodstuffs.

If a pet eats IAMS or Eukanuba it consumes a product which is tested on other cats and dogs, many of which die a painful death during this process.

A logical person avoids purchasing these foods, as it makes little sense to care for cats in general, for example, by feeding them items which are a direct cause of suffering to other members of the cat family.

I investigate this matter several weeks ago, and contact the RSPCA and Blue Cross animal welfare organisations, only to find that they impose a moratorium on contractual relationships with the manufacturers of these foods, whilst these manufacturers come up with good reasons why they kill animals for profit.

I telephone the IAMS helpline in the UK and ask them various pointed questions about these killings, and IAMS do not confirm that deaths occur, and they do not deny it either.

I make these enquiries of various people from the standpoint of a guy who has a cat, a guy who likes cats generally, and a guy who fails to see the logic of killing one cat to feed another.

IAMS is made by Procter & Gamble, who ignore emails on this matter and continue to deny there is a problem with what they do.

There is very little website information on this matter, as the RSPCA does not wish to go public with its fears until IAMS publishes a rebuttal, which never comes as far as I am aware.

I pass all the details, including a report of the experiments conducted, and newspaper articles, to my local supermarket, who express horror but do nothing, for what is a cat or a dog here and there when there are profits to be made.

I also have emails from this supermarket, which is a large corporation, and these emails promise to inform customers that ethical problems may exist with these foodstuffs, but these promises are never kept.

Such is life.

I am only going from personal experiences here but my cat will only eat one specfic brand of cat food and will starve herself if anything else is out out in front of her. In the last 2 years (she is 7) she has been brought to the vet a couple of times with problems relating to her digestion.
The thing is, my previous cats were never fed cat food, the ate what we ate, healthy dinners. They never had to be brought to a vet (besides check ups) and they lived over 15 years.
So I have to say that giving your cat what is on your table is much more healthier than the tins of cat food that are available.

I feed my cats middle-of-the-road Meow Mix. They snarf it up by the double handfuls. In a marketing snafu, I once picked up a bag of something else. The cats pawed old M’Mix bits out from under the benches rather than eat the fresh-from-the-bag other stuff. I tossed the other stuff and got more Meow Mix. The cats are more than happy to supplement their own diet with fresh mice and redback voles, which is, in fact, their job- keeping the varmints from the horse feed. With no other assistance, both cats are healthy, active, friendly and have glossy coats. Neither are anything close to overweight and both are spayed.

Just keep in mind that cats are not designed to be vegetarians, and everything will be just fine.

*Originally posted by Nostradamus *

Oh. My. God.

I just bought a giant bag of Eukanuba for my 11 week old labrador puppy. I swear to you, if this is true, I will take the remainder back to the pet store and demand my money back. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. Testing on animals! Completely unnecessary in this case.

Even more ridiculous is the fact that the possibility never occurred to me. I assumed that a company that made “special” food for animals cared about how those animals were fed, and therefore treated.

Of course my new puppy (who I find myself not only treating like a member of MY family, but a member of the ROYAL family) cannot have table scraps. I’m concerned about obesity and making sure he gets the right amount of calcium to avoid hip displasia. This means that I have to find an alternative to those foods created by companies that test on animals.

I have an appointmen with the vet this afternoon at 3:00. I will ask him for alternatives. In the meantime, thanks for the education.


*Originally posted by Nostradamus *

Something goes awry with my syntax here, and what I really mean to say is:

‘If a pet eats IAMS or Eukanuba it consumes a product the development of which includes testing on other cats and dogs, many of which die a painful death during this process.’

There is detail on this matter on the PETA website, and I take the trouble to confirm PETA’s sources personally before acting as previously described.

The newspaper I refer to is the Sunday Express in the UK, which is by no means a disreputable publication, and the first relevant article appears on 27 May of this year.

IANAV, just a pet-owner.

Humans, as omnivores, typically desire and require more variety in their diets than other animals. You can feed your cat or dog table scraps, but then you’re not feeding a consistent diet, and you will probably see variations in their digestion, potentially including irritating (diarrhea on the living room rug) or harmful side effects, like the bladder problems that forced my mom to put her Shih Tzu on kibble, even though she had been feeding a careful balanced diet of “people food.”

Cats and dogs don’t mind a monotonous diet; as some posters have said, some pets insist on it. I used to feed our cat dirt-cheap Purina, then had to switch to slightly more expensive “Mature Formula” because it’s lower in calories, and she thrived on both.

And, Nostradamus, could you possibly find and post some links? I searched IAMS and then Eukanuba at using their own search engine and turned up no results for either. Through Google, I did find this page from IAMS denying the allegations made by PETA and stating:

The page links to statements of support of IAMS’ research from several anti-cruety organisations.

IAMS is owned by Proctor and Gamble, which doesn’t have a very good animal-testing record for its other products.

Iams was only recently purchased by P&G so I don’t think we should rely on guilt by association.

In regards to Nostradamus, do you have any evidence that you can offer us?

I can only refer you to thissite which regrettably does not contain the full detail which is there several weeks ago.

So, as I wish to be accurate here, and to protect the interests of our hosts, I say as follows:

I have in my possession a piece from the Sunday Express dated 27 May, and it is this piece which originally attracts my attention. The story accuses IAMS of animal experimentation for product development, and includes an acceptance of this fact from an IAMS spokesperson. The Sunday Express does not seem to offer online facilities to people wishing to examine its back issues, but I can provide a telephone number for the newspaper if so required.

The Sunday Express bases their article on a report from an organisation known as Uncaged Campaigns, and I have copies of this report. It details the experiments which are carried on various cats and dogs, and it provides sources for them. I have a telephone number for Uncaged Campaigns if anyone wishes to know it.

I am prepared also to send, at my own expense, hard copies of the Uncaged Campaigns report to any interested parties, as I wish to be known around here an honest guy.

I have telephone numbers for the RSPCA and the Blue Cross animal welfare group.

I advise anyone reading a rebuttal from IAMS or Procter & Gamble to scrutinise the statement very carefully indeed, as it is important to understand what these rebuttals say, and what they do not say.

So, my statement on the matter is now:

On many occasions in the past, and certainly as late as one year ago, if not more recently, IAMS sponsor and/or conduct experiments on cats and dogs which are tortured and killed for the sake of product testing.

First off, it appears that Eukanuba is made by IAMS, so that’s why I couldn’t find any specific Eukanuba information before.

Now, any comment, Nostradamus, on the supportive statements?

From the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

From the American Veterinary Medical Association:

See also the AVMA’s statement on animal experimenation.

And for heaven’s sake, man, would it kill you to link to as specific page? I surfed around the anti-Proctor-and-Gamble site whose front page you linked to, and couldn’t find any reference to IAMS other than a list that says don’t buy IAMS. I appreciate that you want to spread the word, but providing nothing but generic links to anti-industry sites and promises of hardcopies isn’t going to fly in GD. I’m satisfied that several independent pro-animal groups agree that the research sponsored by IAMS was reasonable given that the fruits of that research improves the quality of life of pets, so I’m done trying to do your research for you. You can copy brief exerpts from copyrighted articles without violating copyright law or the rules of the board. Also, the article was published back in May, so there has been plenty of time for reaction to hit the web and be cataloged in search engines, so go forth and Google if you want to prop up your case.

If you are against any and all animal experimentation, then by all means I agree, don’t buy IAMS. But, you are aware that they chop up fishes and cows and chickens and little baby lambs to make the stuff in the first place, right? If you want food for animals made without animals suffering, you should look for vegetarian alternatives, though be advised that special care must be taken when feeding a cat on a vegetarian diet.

Nostradamus I do admire your dedication to the welfare of animals, but thanks goes to Podkayne for helping clear this matter up.

Podkayne, you are a prickly guy, and your use of sarcasm is unseemly on this occasion.

I say already that the full detail is not featured on the PGINFO site, and it takes you maybe 30 seconds to click on products in order to see that IAMS is on the list, and I am sorry I put you to so much trouble.

I speak of this matter from a UK standpoint and, as you may know, the law as it pertains to animal experimentation differs in our two countries, the UK law being more stringent in its requirements. This is maybe why the US organisations are satisfied that the matter has gone away.

I do not see a problem in the promise of hard copies since the organisation Uncaged Campaigns has no website, as far as I know. Furthermore, just because information exists on the web does not mean it is true, and I do not know what you may wish me to do other that tell you what I know.

I make these and other points from the standpoint of a guy who has a cat, and who sees no logic in feeding this cat with food, the development of which involves the torture and killing of other cats.

I am never a member of any Animal Rights Group and never take an interest in such matters before this time.

I stand my my final statement on my previous post.

Regarding how the stuff was tested to get the “ultimate cat food blend”, I guess I am missing something. Why would cats and dogs have to die to test their product? The only things I can think of is if their initial tries of their product were so contaminated that the animals died from eating it, or if they had to dissect the little guys to determine how well they were digesting the stuff, but why couldn’t they just test the stool?

I do not know if this is currently happening, but up until a few years ago, pet food contained animals that had died of natural causes. This meant that an animal in a feedlot that had died of a disease could end up in fido’s food dish.

Here is an site on this issue
Here is a site that lists some of the ingredients in pet food, I point your eye to the sugar and salt content in most pet foods.