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*It's a Dog's Life*
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Nutro Pet Food InformationViews: 1401
Apr 24, 2008 1:00 amNutro Pet Food Information#

Cathy Markowich

another recall:



Private Reply to Cathy Markowich

Apr 24, 2008 2:36 amre: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Ann Rader
Nutro’s not recalling though, and dismisses accusations that its products are causing problems. This large pet food company changed hands within the past couple of years. It has had questionable ingredients and quality control going all the way back to 1998 when the FDA found pento barbital, the drug used to euthanize animals, in Nutro. And during the huge pet food recall of 2007 Nutro had many different varieties involved in the recall.

When we read all the way down through this article, there are people making positive statements about this brand, and some say that simply changing foods can cause digestive upsets like those mentioned by the pet parents who are upset that Nutro has harmed their pet. What the writer doesn’t realize is that most pet food manufacturers switch ingredient sources, and therefore the quality of the ingredients, all of the time, including in the same variety. Feeding the same food over time does not mean that the quality of the ingredients is the same over time.

Some lesser known facts about pet food manufacture:

--Pet food companies are required to list only the ingredients they put into the food. If another ingredient or a substance is added to one of the ingredients prior to the time pet food company purchases it, the pet food company only lists the ingredient it purchased. One example of this is that ethoxoquin, a chemical preservative, is very frequently added to fish meal at the source. A pet food company will list fish meal on the label, but does not have to and does not include ethoxoquin as an ingredient on the label.
--Some pet food companies switch ingredient vendors frequently to get the best prices available at the time. Ingredient quality can be compromised.
--Some pet food companies use ‘batchers’ which are independent companies that locate and purchase ingredients for the pet food company and mix everything together before it’s time for a batch of food to be cooked. The kibble batter, for lack of a better term, is then delivered to the manufacturing plant to be made into kibble. The pet food company is not in control of quality, the batcher, which makes batches for many different companies is in control. The batcher may be lax with quality control and the pet food manufacturer will never know.
--Some pet food companies buy huge amounts of perishable ingredients; higher volume equals higher savings. These ingredients may sit around for days before being used.
--Some pet food manufacturing plants do not have the highest certification for cleanliness and high ingredient standards where the ingredients are actually traced to their source to guarantee high quality. This Certification is called the APHIS Certification for Sale to the European Community. Europe has extremely high standards for pet food manufacture – higher than the United States.
--With almost every pet food manufacturer, once the kibble is made and bagged it is shipped to large national ware houses. At that point, the pet food manufacturer completely loses control of its products. The foods may be stored without proper climate control, pest control such as insecticides may be used around and even on the bags, and the food may sit for months and months before being moved from the warehouse to store shelves. By the time a pet parent opens the bag, the food may be six months to a year or more from the date of manufacture.

There are several HealthyPetNet Representatives who participate in this forum. I’m one of them and I work with Beth Sponseller, who is Rep as well. If you would like information about a company and a pet food that does NOT employ any of the practices I’ve listed here, please let us know. And Beth will be happy to send a free sample if you’d like to try the food with your pets.

Beth’s web site is http://www.NutritonForCritters.com

Private Reply to Ann Rader

Apr 24, 2008 1:42 pmre: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Marielena Alvarez
I am always looking for the best products to feed my dogs and cats. One older dog (Lady the shepherd) is allergic to wheat, so we try to find wheat-free brands. We have used Iams in the green bag, but also try other brands, we used to use the Kirland brand from Costco. Sometimes we treat them with canned Alpo in the lamb and rice varities.

For the cats, all are seniors, ages 11-15, some have sensitive stomachs, one even is on special food Science Diet OM canned (very expensive) and we use the sensitive stomach or hairball formula of Science Diet and try to buy the biggest bags we can find (same for the dog food as both are big dogs 50+ lbs.). We inherited the girls' cats when they went off to college, so hubby has been buying the Friskies (they like the chunky varieties) because it is cheaper. The male, who is skinny (age 11), throws up on a regular basis, despite the sentive stomach dry food and hair ball treats (which he begs for).

Any suggestions for my cats and dogs? With two dogs and four cats, cost is a factor.

Private Reply to Marielena Alvarez

Apr 24, 2008 1:58 pmre: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Gretchen Hulett
I don't feed my dog commercial dog food. I homecook for her. She gets raw meats like chicken, beef, pork and organ meats on occasion but for the most part she will get cooked unsalted foods we eat. She loves the following

Scrambled Eggs
Wheat toast
Cherrios w/milk
Wheaties w/milk
Yogurt with wheat berries

Turkey on whole grain bread (no may but a little mustard)
PeanutButter on whole grain bread
Vegetable soup (lukewarm)
Cottage Cheese & Peaches

All meats
Brown Rice

She is a YorkiePoo so doesn't eat a lot each meal so I figured that homecooking is a wonderful choice for us. I have found several groups on Yahoo that are dedicated to this type of feeding.


Private Reply to Gretchen Hulett

Apr 24, 2008 2:50 pmre: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Ann Rader
Hi Marielena,

The IAMS, Hills, and Kirkland are all mass produced and do not contain high quality ingredients, there's just no other way to say it. IAMS is owned by Proctor and Gamble, Hills by Colgate Palmolive, and the Kirland brand, I don't know, you would have to ask the company who manufactures their food for them. Why not visit Beth's site, http://www.NutritionForCritters.com and read about the HealthyPetNet foods. As for the daily cost to feed, dogs and cats eat less Life's Abundance than with other brands because the food is highly digestible: high quality ingredients, high quality manufacturing practices, and freshness. I would recommend feeding your dogs Life's Abundance for three months and decide if the differences you see in your pets are worth the little extra money you might spend. My feeling, knowing you here on Ryze, is that you will be so pleased with what this product does for your beloved pets!

For your kitties, the same applies regarding the quality of the foods. When cats regurgitate after eating it's often because they eat too quickly. For cats we recommend feeding both a dry and a canned food so that the cat receives adequate nutrition. Canned foods are 70-80 percent water and most cats don't consume enough volume to get enough real food out of a canned-only diet. If you are feeding some dry food, one way to get a cat to slow down is to spread the kibble pieces on a flat surface so that he has to move around to pick up each piece. With canned food, feed a little at a time.

Hairball remedies are best fed apart from mealtime and not contained in the food because the roughage can interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Look at Metamucil for people -- it says to take it between meals. This is why Dr. Jane Bicks, HealthyPetNet's formulator, makes a special hairball treat and does not include a hairball remedy in the food.

On the http://www.NutritionForCritters.com web site, be sure to listen to Dr. Jane's audio and to view the Truth About Pet Foods video.

If you have any questions, just ask Beth or me.

Best, Ann

Private Reply to Ann Rader

Apr 24, 2008 3:09 pmre: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Ann Rader
Hi Gretchen,

I understand your sentiments and the pet food recall of 2007 was horrendous! It's really hard to know who to trust when it comes to pet food manufacturers. A home-cooked diet is an excellent choice for a dog or cat -- providing that the diet is complete and balanced. If it's not, nutritional deficiencies will have an insidious effect on your pet. And it can be difficult to trace heart disease, organ disease, joint disease, blindness, to diet. However, I urgently recommend that you contact the veterinarians on http://www.petdiets.com and have them formulate a balanced diet for your dog.

The menu you list here is wholly inadequate and unbalanced. How do you know that your dog is receiving enough Taurine for heart and eye health? Did you know that fat provides the energy by which the essential amino acids contained in meat are utilized by the body and that the protein/fat ratio should be at least 50 percent (by weight) fat to the protein content? What percentage of your dog's diet is useable protein -- do you have any idea? I could go on but I won't -- there are many other deficiencies here. You cannot start adding different vitamins to correct these shortcomings -- you need a balanced and complete foundation. I feel badly that you've been mislead by people on the Internet who don't know anything about the basics of nutrition. Dogs and cats are very complex and need very specific nutrients. It's not easy formulating a pet food.

If you have any questions or if I can help with anything, please let me help you.

Best, Ann

Private Reply to Ann Rader

Apr 24, 2008 3:18 pmre: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Gretchen Hulett
I already have a wonderful spreadsheet that I used for tracking vital nutrients in her diet. I then do a search for foods higher in that nutrient online and have built a diet plan just for her. She is a 7# YorkiePoo and it makes cooking more fun when you have a spreadsheet and the internet.

I have done all the research for her. Most commercial foods are loaded with filler anyway I like to know that she is eating way better foods in her diet.

Thanks for the link though I will add it to my arsinal of links.

Private Reply to Gretchen Hulett

Apr 24, 2008 3:54 pmre: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Marielena Alvarez
CiCi the pit bull loves to share the milk bowl with the cat (who is on the special diet OM). Daddy gives the "kids" some cooked lamb now and then (we don't have it often, too expensive). I found a Halal butcher (nice Persian man, introduced by Persian friends, best tip I got from them) who gives me a free bag of bones (lamb or goat) for soup (when asked) when I buy other items.

At one point the vet had me make some special food for the dogs, rice and chicken. They loved the home cooking, but I work full time and have little time to cook for the two bipeds (although I enjoy cooking when I have the time), much less the six quadrupeds! The dogs liked the boil-in-the bag brown rice, which was easy enough to make in the microwave.

Both dogs like an occasional piece of bread, but Lady can't have wheat, however, she likes the wheat-free peanut butter-flavored glucosamin treats we just bought (less expensive than the other Glucosamin treats). I tell her she can have a cookie if she finished her meal, CiCi likes them too.

I work with folks with food allergies and help them find similar alternatives to the foods they can no longer eat. As a person with food allergies (and a background in dietetics and nutrition), I had to learn what no one showed me (doctors just give you a list a what you cannot have - not too helpful) and found some wonderful alternatives to familiar favorites, and in some interesting places! I've also worked with folks who are on special diets (to help find healthier alternatives), including diabetes, high cholesterol and now my mom, who has high blood pressure (DASH diet). I am very interested in the area of canine and feline nutrition.

I've tried but none of my pets are interested in fruits. My folks have a cat that likes cantaloupe and papaya and had a Siamese that was fond of watermelon (my dad would position it in a vice on the floor for Ming, after getting tired of holding it for the cat).

If I spill some frozen veggies on the floor, CiCi thinks of them as flavored "ice cube" treats, will gobble up everything but mushrooms.

We used to take care of a dog that would "speak" for carrots, she loved them. She went to live in Ethiopia with her missionary parents and was buried there when she died (was a senior dog when she moved there).

Can anyone tell me more about the BARF diet or perhaps post a link?

Thanks, I appreciate your input

Private Reply to Marielena Alvarez

Apr 24, 2008 5:43 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Ann Rader
BARF means bones and raw food. There are many companies that make it. Or some people get it at the supermarket themselves. It's not complete and vitamins must be added. Bacterial counts are high and so are toxins associated with bateria such as salmonella. The tissue may contain parasitic worms, worm eggs, and the toxins from worms.

I guess you can tell that I'm not a big fan of feeding raw food! If you do, be absolutely sure that what you feed is balanced and complete.

And immune compromised pets should not have it -- nor should it be fed in a household where a person is immune compromised.

Private Reply to Ann Rader

Apr 24, 2008 6:30 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Gretchen Hulett
Think of the BARF diet as anything out in the wild that dogs would eat. Raw meat, bones, grasses and such. Dog in the wild know what is edible but pets need us to help them out. BARF diet is really as just a high in bacterial as say eating sushi. If you get unground meats the count is lower just as it would be for humans to not eat ground.

And dogs that are on the diet have much healtier teeth becuase the sinues in the meats act like dental floss and clean the teeth while tearing the mean apart.

Ground egg shells can be added or give the dog a hard boiled egg for added calcium. Just as dogs in the wild will raid a fowls next of eggs.

I researched this too, but due to my dogs size it wasn't really an option for us.

Private Reply to Gretchen Hulett

Apr 24, 2008 6:36 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Gretchen Hulett
Baking for is alot of fun too.

1 jar unsalted Peanut Butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
3-4 cups oatmeal

Mix all ingredients and drop by spoonfuls on to cookie sheet. Bake 15min.

My kids even like these becuase they have no salt of sugar

Private Reply to Gretchen Hulett

Apr 28, 2008 7:15 amre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Ann Rader
There's no question that raw food contains more nutrients than a cooked food.

There is evidence that raw food contains more bacteria than cooked food. Raw foods have been tested over and over again and contain salmonella, ecoli and other bacteria, in higher levels than in kibble. Bravo had a food recalled recently due to a high content of Lysteria. That's a deadly bacteria!

The slaughter house process for meat is different than the process for killing fish. Otherwise, I can't comment on the comparison between raw processed meat and sushi. I do know someone who has gotten intestinal parasites from eating sushi. Another delightful parasite.

Private Reply to Ann Rader

Apr 28, 2008 1:00 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Gretchen Hulett
I don't feed raw all the time but I do on occasion. I believe for any feeding style takes research to see what is best for you and your pup. Just because commercial dog food are out there doesn't mean every one is complete or something for eveyone and every dog. It pays to do research on different styles and brands. Just as you probably did your research on your business prior to starting to see if it would be best for you and your family this is also the same thing.

Private Reply to Gretchen Hulett

Apr 28, 2008 1:54 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Ann Rader
All the commercial dog foods available on the market are complete and balanced according to AAFCO's minimal standards, if they say on the bag that they are complete by these standards that is. And every brand that I know of makes that claim. However, the variety of ingredeints, the quality of the ingredients, the quality of the manufacturing, and the distribution process all vary enormously.

I SO much agree that we should all research what we feed out pets -- and look at the science behind what we read. It's a shame that people are feeding their pets really poor quality foods like those available on the supermarket shelves without really thinking about it. Just like with us nutrition is the foundation of health for our pets too. They can't choose for themselves, it's only right that we make the most informed choices for them.

Private Reply to Ann Rader

Apr 28, 2008 2:09 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Annie Sires
I used to buy commercial until the big recall. All the big brands were doing the same thing. Then I home cooked. That's a pain and hubby hated helping. So I buy from www.honestkitchen.com through a buyer I found on eBay. Her name is Cyrille Young (eBay = tairis) and her prices are great. Honest Kitchen makes freeze dried food. I feed my two dogs embark which is freeze dried Turkey and vegetables. I usually supplement with a little oatmeal, rice and ground beef, usually in small amounts. My German Shepherd and my rat terrier probably go through a big bag in about a month or so. It's a little more expensive, but worth the time and effort for their health.

Oh, and I wouldn't trust AAFCO if you paid me to. They had okayed all the foods that were used and their standards are looooowwww. www.theonlinevet.com Dr. Andrew Jones has an interesting report on the recalls.

Private Reply to Annie Sires

Apr 28, 2008 2:17 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Gretchen Hulett
You nailed that one on the head when you said

"They can't choose for themselves, it's only right that we make the most informed choices for them."

We tried several brands of supermarked kibble and Frenchie turned up her nose at all of them. It got really expensive since we couldn't try before we buy.

Here is the spreadsheet I mentioned earlier.


Private Reply to Gretchen Hulett

Apr 28, 2008 2:53 pmre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Ann Rader
Smart doggie!

Thanks for the spread sheet. Hopefully, Marielena will see it, since she was interested.

I'm aware of the pros and cons of raw diets for pets.

Pros: enzymes and other nutrients are not lost to cooking.

And the cons: Most brands and home-made solutions are NOT complete and balanced and that essential task is the responsibility of the pet parent.

Worms live in tissue, not just in the digestive system and when pets eat live food they are exposed. These parasites can get into the animal's brain and liver. If the food is properly frozen and then thawed the parasites are killed.

However, there's a down-side to freezing and thawing as Andrew Wysong so insightfully states. Research on his web site.

Raw food contains higher levels of harmful bacteria. Because dogs' and cat's digestive systems are short, the bacteria do not usually have time to grow and expand, as they do when consumed by people. However, with high levels, dogs and cats can become ill or animals with compromised immune systems are susceptible. And so are people who are around the raw food. These bacteria create toxins that are untreatable.

Dogs have the same physiology as wolves, but a VERY different life-style. Wolves eat every seven to fourteen days and they gorge! They eat the entire animal: muscle, bone, fur, organs and viscera. Then they digest for days. A wolf who has just finished eating is so bloated she can hardly waddle along. Compare that to the lifestyle we give our dogs.

As for Internet web sites, there’s so much compelling information on the Internet and much of it is presented as fact, but is actually opinion, with absolutely no scientific foundation. Again, it’s up to us to research every choice we make for our pets.

Private Reply to Ann Rader

May 10, 2008 2:55 pmre: Nutro Pet Food Information#

Sharon@Dove Chocolate Discoveries Sr. Chocolatier
In Case yall dont know after menu foods and law suits, Nutro was bought out by The Mars Company,You know the Candy bar Company In Brentwood Tennessee, They have several gro store brands pet food and also some of there own private Labels in the Mass Dog Supply Chains.

Private Reply to Sharon@Dove Chocolate Discoveries Sr. Chocolatier

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