Would you feed this to your dog?

#dermatitis #itchy #allergies #expensivevetbills


As a Holistic Pet Nutritionist specialising in the dog, the plethora of misinformation that big kibble companies sprout and spread never ceases to amaze me. Like so many big global brands, whether it is kibble, skincare or health products, it is ultimately the consumer that loses.  The marketing is so well executed that we truly believe these companies have our best interests at heart.240_f_29075516_q1bhrwo2agu9ljuscqj3e97ipmmrxx8d

So let me ask you this – would you be happy to feed your dog ground up feathers or meal worms? Now, at first glance, the ‘feather thing’ it’s kind of interesting, and you wonder if it could possibly be explained via the whole argument that wolves in the wild would consume fur and feather with whatever prey they had taken down.

However, of the many people I’ve posed this question to after providing them with information about the hydrolysed chicken feathers contained in Royal Canin’s ‘Anallergenic’, I’m yet to hear any resounding ‘Absolutely I would feed my dog that’. Yet, this food is precisely what Royal Canin want you to believe that dogs with atopic dermatitis, eczema and other skin conditions should be fed.


In May 2013 Marc E. Babej wrote an article for Forbes about the new Anallergenic brand of food (now released) created by Royal Canin. According to the President of Royal Canin USA Mr Keith Levy;

“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”

It sounds plausible doesn’t it?

He then goes on to say;

“By using alternative sources of protein, we’re using something that would otherwise end up in a landfill”

So Royal Canin are selling dog food (with a premium price tag of approx $127 AUD per 8kg bag) made with ingredients that are ready for landfill? Mr Levy claims the feather meal is ‘hydrolysed’ allowing the amino acids to be released, creating a highly digestible protein source. Whilst this is correct – with enough heat anything can be broken down and the resulting product IS absorbed efficiently through the digestive tract, the reality is the Biological Value (Bioavailability) of Feather Meal is zero (0). *

* Biological Value is a measure of the proportion of absorbed protein from a food which becomes incorporated into the proteins of the organism’s body. It captures how readily the digested protein can be used in protein synthesis in the cells of the organism. By way of example, the BV of an egg is around 93.7 (%)


But wait, it gets better. A quick analysis of the label shows the following ingredients.


Not only is the primary ingredient nothing more than a cheap filler, holistic vets and nutritionists will be quick to point out that maize is highly allergenic. If you have a dog with any type of skin disorder you need to steer clear of grains, starches, chicken, beef and dairy.


The following piece of research is the absolute closing argument as to why feather meal shouldn’t feature in your dogs daily meal – or perhaps we could even go as far to say, why we need to put big kibble companies under the microscope.

Feather Meal: A Previously Unrecognized Route for Reentry into the Food Supply of Multiple Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs)

The researchers from this study took 12 independent samples of Feather Meal and here’s what has me mad. Every sample tested positive to traces of antibiotics, plus up to 10 different drugs were found in some of the samples. These drugs included caffeine, tylenol, prozac, norgestimate (hormone) and pesticides.

Sounds like a feast fit for a king doesn’t it! All that money and ‘research’ ability behind them and whilst they claim they aren’t trying to monetise, sure sounds like it to me.

What then is the answer, as Royal Canin isn’t the only kibble company with questionable ingredients.

A growing global trend toward healthy, organic and ‘back to basics’ food for humans has spurned a generation of people devoted to raw food diets for their beloved pooch.

My own take – you can’t get much better than natural whole foods for both you and your dog. There is a plethora of information available on the internet to help you get started. This health trend has also seen a number of new, small businesses devoted to the health of your pet ACROSS AUSTRALIA who are able to provide you with complete raw foods, often delivered to your door.

Feel free to ask questions below and we will attempt to answer as many as possible.

**If you are a raw food provider feel free to leave your details in the comments section with a link to your website. **


Original story published here


July 2013





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