Friday, March 21, 2008

Pets, Naturally

Nothing's too good for my pooches! My pets are my kids. With all the dog-food recalls it's scary to think of what could happen to your pets. But there's a lot we can do to keep our pets in great shape and protected from all the chemicals.

Using a chemical-free cleaner for your pets is one thing you can do to lessen their toxic load. Did you know that our shower gel can actually be used on pets? It's actually a great cleaner for fur. In fact, when my little white cat Hannah decided to play around in the fireplace (bad kitty) the shower gel got all the soot out. She was mad about the whole bath thing, but I was happy to see my clean white kitty again.

Choosing a natural food is a good idea too. Here are my suggestions for some natural foods:

A great dog food. You can find it at Whole Foods and other natural food stores. No gluten, no by-products or fillers. High in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for a shiny coat, plus lots of vegetables and protien. Probably the highest quality dog food that I've found. My dogs especially love the wet food. The downside? The hefty price tag. Ususally $2.50 plus for a can of wet food, and $25 for a 15 lb bag. Same thing goes for the cat food. Higher price tag, but quality ingredients. My cat's don't seem to take to it as well as some other brands, though.

Pet Promise
You can most likely find this brand at your regular grocery store. It's reasonably priced (just a little bit more than Iams) and contains no by-products, wheat gluten, (it does contain corn gluten), rendered meats, or antibiotic-fed meats. Its my cats' favorite food and the dogs take to it well too. I just learned that it's owned by Purina, so now I'm a little sketchy on it.

Newman's Own
This is a good food--a lot of organic ingredients and meat is the first ingredient. It's a little pricier (in-between the Pet Promise and the Wellness) but for some reason my dogs don't like it. They'll eat the wet food, (around $3 a can) but they won't touch the dry food.

Brandon Farms
This is the best value that I've found. The certified organic canned food is half the price of the other premium brands, and the dog food is the most affordable of the brands out there. It too is certified organic. It's not my cats' favorite, but they'll eat it. And the dogs eat theirs up just fine. It's somewhat hard to find, but I can get it at my local Smith's Marketplace a lot of the times. Smith's is owned by Kroger, so most likely you'll be able to find it in your area. (Kroger owns Smith's, Fry's, Fred Meyer, Owen's and a bunch of other chains.)

For more information about the brand you're using, and if it has been affected by any recall, visit The Pet Food List.


Anonymous said...

Honestly, canine pets don't need vegetables, nor are they good for the dogs. Vegetables (OK, grains are a little worse) = carbs = dog diabetes. Check out the raw feeding lists on Yahoo! and elsewhere. We feed our dogs the same quality meats we buy, so there is no chance for deadly melamine contamination, or those other contaminants that hide so nicely in ground up food.

Anonymous said...

I love Rossi too!! Who would want to feed her that regular dog food junk that gets recalled all the time? Yuck. Go organic!

Anonymous said...

Have you checked out the brand called Halo? I heard Ellen Degeneres say on her show that she is co-owner of this holistic pet food company. It is now being sold at Petco as well as online. I am interested in hearing your critiques of their food and pet care products.

Laura said...

The best dog food I've found, and the only one I'll feed, is Orijen. It's pricey, but so worth it for the quality you get. Dogs and cats don't need grains, especially not corn, wheat, or soy (which are all cheap fillers to either make more money or, in the case of soy, to make the food appear to have more vital protein). And there are so many dog foods out there that have more grains than meat, and therefore there has been a rising trend in dog and cat diabetes, since grains like corn turn into sugar in their digestive tract (especially in the case of cats, who are obligate carnivores).

My best advice is to learn how to read the labels. Avoid corn, wheat, and soy. Also, choose a food that has a meat source (a NAMED meat source, such as chicken meal, chicken, beef meal, beef) as at least the first two ingredients--preferably those with a "[meat here] meal" listed before any grains are listed. Why? Ingredients are listed by weight before the cooking process. When you see "chicken" listed on the ingredients, that product was 70% water before the cooking process, therefore, it lost all of that weight during the cooking process. If that ingredient is at the top of the ingredient label, but is followed by a grain, then the grain and maybe up to two ingredients following that grain are actually at the top of the list. Meat meals, however, such as chicken meal, have the water removed before cooking, so it's actually much more accurately placed on ingredient labels.

Choose carefully, folks. Those dog and cat food companies are crafty when it comes to trying to get more money out of you for less.