My goal with this blog is for you to enjoy your time here. Most of the posts talk about my experiences raising my two yellow Labrador Retrievers, some are just for fun, and others share the best dog related information and products I have found.

Use the tabs above for quick navigation. I have imbedded links for as much as possible so that you can find the resources easily from this blog. The links in the side bar are for websites that have been helpful to me. I hope that you find them useful for you and your canine "family member"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Celebrating "100": For the Love of "my" Labradors

I've always wondered why the 100th episode of any TV series is such a big deal, especially when it's been a show I've liked. "Of course, they'll be here next season," I'd think. Then came the late 90's and early 2000's when reality TV came on the seen and sitcoms that I thought were great were canned just as I was really enjoying them. That's when it hit me why there's all the "hoopla" and celebration when it comes to the "100th" episode.

Getting to my "100th"post came on me almost unawares. I was doing some label editing recently when I realized, looking at my blogger dashboard, that "100" was not too far off. So, here's to eveyone who has become a regular here on my humble blog.
With the recent dog food recall making headlines across the nation I was doing some reflection today and the realization hit me that if I had never done the Google search "What's really in dog food", I would still be feeding my Labradors Eukanuba. The thought sends chills down my spine. It's been a long time now that I have despised commercial dog food. You only need look as far and the ingredients label to see why. If you don't know what all those words mean you probably should not be feeding them to your dog. I told our first vet (trust me she's no longer our vet and hasn't been for a long time) that I refused to feed my Labradors dog food that contained corn, rice, or wheat, as the primary sources of protein or calories. Then I read today in the Reuters news article (Pet deaths expected to rise despite recall: FDA), that the tainted item was wheat gluten (in my opinion an inferior protein source). I can remember clearly now, how my first vet scoffed at me and looked at me like I'd gone "left of center". This same doctor insisted that (one of the recalled labels) Eukanuba's "puppy formula" was better suited for my dogs.

My dogs switched to Flint River Ranch all stage dog food the next week when the food I'd ordered arrived, and I haven't regretted it for a second. (I covered some of these details in my previous post "What to feed a Labrador Retriver.") For those of you wondering, here's the ingredients label for the "Fish-n-Chips" formula I feed my dogs. When you compare this list to what the "Animal Advocate" has to say, you'll see why I recommend this dog food for my Labradors.

If there's one thing that convinced me to look for the best dog food possible it was the realization that the five largest processed food manufactures were also responsible for the majority of the dog food labels out there.

Three of the five major pet food companies in the United States are subsidiaries of major multinational companies: NestlĂ© (Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog, and Ralston Purina products such as Dog Chow, ProPlan, and Purina One), Heinz (9 Lives, Amore, Gravy Train, Kibbles-n-Bits, Nature’s Recipe), Colgate-Palmolive (Hill’s Science Diet Pet Food). Other leading companies include Procter & Gamble (Eukanuba and Iams), Mars (Kal Kan, Mealtime, Pedigree, Sheba, Waltham’s), and Nutro. From a business standpoint, multinational companies owning pet food manufacturing companies is an ideal relationship. The multinationals have increased bulk-purchasing power; those that make human food products have a captive market in which to capitalize on their waste products, and pet food divisions have a more reliable capital base and, in many cases, a convenient source of ingredients.
What they can't sell as addictive crap to humans they sell as toxic leftovers to our beloved pets. I won't apologize for being angry. This just hits the wrong button for me. The irony is infuriating, and the FDA in my opinion has turned too blind an eye in the pet food industries direction.
Most people don't know that the pet food industry is largely self-regulated. The few laws that do exist are poorly enforced, leaving consumers with little recourse. In addition to modest federal standards, some states have enacted tougher rules, but even these are generally inadequate. For example, in California, no resources are allotted for enforcement of the state's pet food regulations, which are based on guidelines that are more than 30 years old. The sad fact is that concerns about the quality of pet food fall low on the list of priorities of government officials, even though good nutrition is one of the most important factors in determining whether an animal will lead a long and healthy life.
Maybe now consumers will vote with their pocket book. That always proves to be most successful in the long run. The multi-nationals can no longer hide their dirty little secret. They don't give a rats ass about your pet or their health and wellness despite the cute, charming, emotionally drenched commercials, that they spend millions on.
I am thrilled that the absolute unique visitors to my site is growing. I hope that what I've shared here has made others look twice at what they are feeding their pets.

2,601 Absolute Unique Visitors . . .
and counting!!

So, here's to 100 more posts that continue to make the best information readily accessible for anyone truly looking for answers.

Remember, "never stop learning" . . .
it might just save the life of someone you love!!!


Author Mom DogNut said...

Happy 100th!

Terrific post. Thanks for the research.

I feed Wellness (another good brand)plus some raw and bones.

"Sunshine" said...

I just took a close look at Wellness and see why you chose it. The ingredients are very close to Flint River Ranch with a company commitment to back it up.

The best thing for me and ordering Flint River is not having to hall it from the pet store. It comes right to my door step my the UPS guy. It also keeps me from procrastinating. When the dogs food canister is half empty I go online and place an order. Two days later it's at my door. No, "I'll do it on my errands tommorrow", only to forget for a weeks worth of tommorrows.

I hope Wellness comes to you conveniently as well.

jan said...

Congratulations on your century mark and may you have many more to come.

I really appreciate reading your research on dog food. I've always been kind of casual about what I've chosen for my pack to eat, but I think I will follow your lead here. It makes a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunshine,

The first time I read your blog I discovered that you feed Flint River to your dogs. I was so glad to find another pet owner that refused to feed their dogs the crap that the vet and pet stores try to sell you. We have been using Flint River since our first lab was 12 weeks old. We were feeding her the same puppy food that she had been raised on and she always had really bad loose stool. Would go in her crate multiple times during the night even though I was getting up every two hours with her. I knew then the food she was eating did not work for her. I was going to start making my own dog food when I discovered Flint River Ranch. The lamb, millet, and rice formula is what we use. It solved her stool problems right away. We started our second lab girl on it the day we brought her home. We always get comments on how shiney and beautiful their black coats are. I was so grateful when the word came out about the tainted food this week that we were on Flint River and didn't have to worry.

FYI Flint River also has auto delivery. They send you an e-mail reminder a few days before they ship and you can speed it up or delay it as needed. I always get my shipment the next day, Love the free shipping on 40 lbs of food!

It is great that you are putting the word out to others. Thank You!

Jamie from Denver

"Sunshine" said...

Jamie, I was wondering who my faithful reader from Denver was. You've been stopping by for a while now. Glad to finally know who you are.

You're right about "crap", our vet insisted that Science Diet was the only thing that would help our dogs. What a load of crap, I found an article online talking about the kick backs that Science Diet gives to Vets. Wish I'd saved the link to put up here now. Then there's just the fact that veterinarians are not regulated by a medical board, like our physicians, but by a trade union. Yes, that's right a trade union that also represents pet food manufactures. Now tell me that is not a major conflict of interest.

Do the Google searches yourself and see. Veterinarians have actually been hauled into court for speaking out against some pet food companies. Now, this may all be urban legend but it stinks of the rotten truth to much for me to ignore.

On a side note, our holistic vet has actually met Jim Flint, the founder of Flint River Ranch Food, and visited their manufacturing plant in Riverside, CA when they were first getting started. He resoundingly indorses thier products. They are a distributer referral company but I refuse to taint my recommendation of their food my giving out my real name on my blog or setting up a re-sell number. I'm just happy knowing that a great dog food is getting a little press here on my blog, and that it may help another dog out there live a healthier life.