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Processed Food Health Problems

Illnesses and disease have risen dramatically that are directly or indirectly caused by diet

The year 2007 had probably the biggest recall in dog food history. Tainted wheat gluten from China sickened or killed thousands of dogs. Also, in 2007, a rice protein concentrate from China was found to contain melamine, as well. Royal Canin, Blue Buffalo, and Nature’s Balance were a few that were affected. In 2012, Diamond pet foods recalled food due to salmonella contamination in humans. This included labels from Diamond, Kirkland (Costco), Solid Gold, Wellpet, and Canidae. Purina recalled canned cat food due to low levels of thiamine. In 2011, Advanced Animal Nutrition, Petrus Feed & Seed, Arrow brand, Carghill, and more recalled their food due to Aflatoxin, and the industry also saw recalls from numerous manufacturers for pigs ears tainted with Salmonella. In Dec. 2008, the FDA issued a preliminary notification on possible contamination of chicken jerky treats (Food & Drug Administration, 2012). Nothing has ever been done; however, the complaints to the FDA this year alone has been over 600 and over 1,300 since 2006. Purina refuses to do a voluntary recall and encouraged vets to advise their clients that their treats are safe (Morrissette, 2012). These are just to name a few.


The rate of incidences of food sensitivity in dogs is on the rise due to poor quality and biologically inappropriate ingredients. Most of the blame falls on proteins (Becker, 2011). However, the use of animal feed grade grains, high in carbohydrates and a poor source of protein, causes allergies, also. These grains are a by-product of flour mills. For example, humans get the wheat and dogs get the chaff. They are always handled last and sit around longer allowing storage mites, insects, and moulds to grow. Atopic Dermatitis (AD) affects 15% of the canine population. A peer reviewed study by Dr. White found that consuming storage mites may be responsible for increased AD (as cited in Brown and Taylor, n.d.). Another study in 2003 by Dr. Arlian showed that 94% of the dogs studied with AD had serum 1gE against storage mite antigens, while another study in France in 2002 showed 120-150 dogs that had AD tested positive for either storage mite or dust mite antigens (as cited in Brown and Taylor, n.d.).


grains can also contain mycotoxins that are the waste produced from moulds. A few of the major classes of mycotoxins are aflatoxin, trichothecenes; also known as vomitoxin, and fumonisins. These toxins survive the cooking and extruding processes. They are found in wheat, corn, rice, barley, oats, peanuts, soybeans, and nuts. The effects of consuming mycotoxins are cumulative and can cause suppressed immune system damage to body organs, reproduction issues, and death (Brown and Taylor, n.d.). Contamination by Salmonella and E. coli is also a factor. Cooking may destroy these bacteria, but it doesn’t destroy the endotoxins that are released when they die (Animal Protection Institute, 2004). Preservatives have to be used in dry food to keep fats from going rancid. BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin have been used for years. These potential cancer causing agents are permitted at low levels. Extensive studies haven’t been conducted, but it is believed that long term build up leads to diseases, skin problems, and infertility. The additional additives, emulsifiers, flavour enhancers, humectants, lubricants, stabilizers, texturizers, and many more are a concern. Some scientists believe that dangerous interactions happen due to their synergistic effects on one another (Animal Protection Institute, 2004).

Periodontal Disease

Is an epidemic with increasing amounts of dogs suffering from rotting mouths. Periodontal disease patients often suffer low grade dermatitis and arthritis. It suppresses the immune system because it is a chronic infection of the mouth. Feeding commercial pet food is the prime cause of this disease and is associated with gastric dilatation and torsion, a substantial cause of diarrhoea, and dermal pruitus (Lonsdale, 2001).