What to Feed Your Pet

Two authoritative books about pet food and nutrition reveal surprising information and enable pet owners to make better choices.

| April/May 2007

  • AUB-pics
    We love our pets, and while the recent news about pet food recalls has left many concerned and confused, it's easy to learn how to make the best food choices for our beloved companions.

  • AUB-pics

With the recent pet food recalls, many pet owners are concerned about the contents, quality and regulation of cat and dog foods. Many are considering natural or organic pet foods, or even homemade meals for their four-legged companions.

Two authoritative books about pet food — particularly the problems with conventional foods and how to find healthier alternatives — are Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts about Pet Food and Protect Your Pet: More Shocking Facts, both by Ann N. Martin.

Over the course of more than 15 years of research and work with federal agencies, veterinarians, pet food companies and animal-rights groups, Martin discovered a disturbing reality of conventional pet foods that included chemicals, dyes and by-products, and sometimes a near dearth of nutritional value.

While the books' titles focus on the worrisome nature of the information found within them, the books also enable pet owners to make better choices with a wealth of helpful, positive information, such as:

  • the real diet and nutritional needs of your cat or dog, including necessary minerals, vitamins and nutrients
  • information on pet food companies that use ingredients closer in quality to that we'd expect for our food
  • questions to ask about pet foods in order to evaluate your options
  • vitamin and mineral supplements for your pets

Martin also discusses homemade pet food and offers recipes for feeding cats and dogs, including many from veterinarians and other experts. The recipes can be tailored for pets that have allergies, are picky eaters, or  need to lose a few pounds. Here are two samples:

Doggie Dinner: Spaghettiwith Meat Sauce

8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 pound hamburger, fried
4 medium mushrooms, cut into pieces
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup tomato juice

Mix hamburger with mushrooms, celery and chopped tomato. Stir in tomato juice. Pour over spaghetti and serve warm.

Jeri Kastner
6/20/2009 4:37:42 PM

My 14 yr old "puppy" started having siezures. The vet nearly killed her attempting to draw blood for tests, and my little girl was slipping from us quite quickly. I started extensive web-research. Overwhelming evidence suggested I change her diet from the "quality" commercial food that I've been feeding her for years. After a little more than 2 weeks, my girl has come back to me and so far, is siezure-free. I stabilized her on home-made beef, chicken, veggies & rice. Further research has led me to start feeding a RAW diet, which we are gradually changing over to. I have high hopes for her recovery! I was shocked & sickened by much of what I learned on the web regarding most commercially prepared pet foods-dry kibble OR canned. Read labels! Any food that includes "Meat By-Products" or "Animal By-Products" must be avoided. Read the definition of Meat By-Products on Wikipedia. BAD STUFF! Corn is a primary ingredient in most pet foods. It is un-digestible by dogs! Most grains cause allergy problems in dogs, as well. That includes the ever-popular rice that is recommended for most home-prepared pet food. And remember that the claim to be USDA inspected, doesn't necessarily mean that the company passed! There is a ton of information on the web for pet nutrition, but following are a few sites I found to be most useful & enlightening. The fluffy dog site includes information on toxic foods for dogs & why they are toxic--information requested by a previous poster--check out the "Articles" portion of the site. http://www.fluffydog.net/Articles.php http://www.seespotlivelonger.com/ http://www.canineseizuresbreakthroughs.com/r2.htm

2/14/2009 5:16:36 AM

I,too, cannot believe that such a well-established, well-thought-out magazine as MEN would push a cooked meat recipe for dogs. Please read Juliette de Baircli Levy's "The Herbal Handbook for Dog and Cat" - absolutely brilliant. I have proved this over decades, and my animals are disgustingly healthy. This is a woman who trained as a vet in London, and then, after WWII, travelled, with her champion afghan hounds, to the Middle East, where she learned all she could about looking after animals (she also has written "The Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable) from both gypsies and nomadic Arabs. She ended up teaching them. A film has been made about her and her work. I cannot recommend her work highly enough. I would suggest that if you want to buy her books, you will find them still in reprint after reprint, from Faber Publishers. Thankyou so much. Dominus tecum Leonie in Warrnambool, Australia

Richard Guevara
9/8/2008 9:35:45 PM

I have been using an organic dog food called Wenaewe for some time now. My dogs really enjoy it. It has some great ingredients which are organically grown in South America. Free samples are available from petfoodfreebies. Rick

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