Friday, February 11, 2011

Truth About Pet Food

Susan Thixton does not shy away from any pet food issue, or anyone for that matter. On a personal crusade for the truth on what is in the food we feed our pets, what harmful substances might sneak their way into the manufacturing process, what constitutes good and nutritional food - the list is endless, but suffice it to say we can be thankful to have her in our corner.

In her website, Truth About Pet Food, Thixton combs through the ingredients contained in various brands, provides invaluable information on those that are most healthy and those that are indeed risky; in addition, her site is full of facts about the effects of feeding certain products or additives to your pets. Whether you're curious about a particular food, or wish to become a more educated consumer, her site can be a gold mine for you.

She doesn't hesitate to blast companies that lie to the public, through their labeling or through their advertisements, nor does she hold back on what we need to know. For this, as well as her tough stance against the silence of the AAFCO and FDA on many pet food ingredient issues, she has indeed become a controversial name. I don't know about you, but I'd rather lend an ear to someone who's had the chutzpah to stand up and accuse government agencies of not protecting consumers, and listen to what they might have to say. Nothing is set in stone, but this woman does a remarkable job of uncovering untruths, as well as digging up the dish on the latest recalls and pet food news.

You can subscribe to receive her weekly newsletter, which never fails to provide some interesting and helpful information; in addition, you'll receive emails as soon as she learns of any news such as recalls. You can also find her on Facebook. If you subscribe to her Petsumer Reports, you can learn the details of what her investigative work has produced as to the exact ingredients (or lack of), as well as their sources (i.e. China), in each of her reviewed foods, both canned and dry.

As she states, only pet food companies are allowed to lie to the consumer, and allowed to falsely advertise, by our own governmental agencies meant to protect the ones who eat this food. We do most definitely need clearer guidelines and enforcement in the pet food industry.

See more details about pet food

No longer are we a country that feeds their dog leftover table scraps, or whatever kibble we can buy cheaply. We've learned through some harrowing experiences that what goes into the food we feed our pets does, in fact, matter quite a bit. The resources supplied by Susan Thixton and her websites give us a good starting point for finding just the right food for our pets.


  1. hi cindy lu's muse,

    i'm going to check out that link, thanks!

    last year, i had to switch to a no-fat, post-pancreatitic, home cooked diet based on rice, oatmeal, lentils, veges and lean meat for rufus. it was just easier to feed georgia the same.

    after just a month, it was obvious that they're both SO MUCH BETTER for it! even nagging skin allergies have almost disappeared.

    we were using a good brand [royal canin], and now use holistic select, just a little for the crunch more than anything. but i think if i can find a good filler other than rice, i might just go all the way to 100% natural.

    we've lately been meeting some really old dogs that are healthy, arthritis-free and perky. the one thing they all have in common? - a homecooked diet :)

  2. Thanks for the link! There is a lot of information out there and I find it really hard to struggle through it all. Dog food is obviously a hot topic. As a consumer, I find it really overwhelming. I know that my dog's coat is a lot smoother now that I have switched to a higher quality brand but I still don't know if this brand is actually good for her. It's really frustrating. I think most dog owners want to feed their dogs food that is healthy, tasty, and affordable. Is this even possible?

  3. I'll second what Georgia Lil Pea said, a homemade diet is terrific. But it's also a lot of work. I cooked a home cooked diet for two different dogs in the last two years of their lives. I know it made a big difference in their health.

    But I'm currently feeding Honey a premium kibble required by our breeder. I know she'd be even healthier on a home cooked diet, but I'm barely keeping up with what's on my plate now. I'm going to just be "good enough" for a while.

    That said, if a home made diet is out, it's worth it to be premium dog food. And although it's much more expensive than cheap supermarket brands, it's still a great bargain. Imagine feeding yourself for as little as $40-$60 a month!

  4. What a great article and thank you for the link to her site, I look forward to reading it. Dog nutrition is something that I have been very interested in learning more about over the last few years!

  5. Hi Y'all,

    Thanks for the great link!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  6. It's amazing how much of a difference you can literally see in your dogs (or cats) when you feed them the right food, isn't it? And yet, like you mentioned, it's so hard to make it yourself, and equally hard to figure out exactly what a good food really is. Too much info out there, without enough substantiation! You can count on Ms. Thixton's reviews, though, she's very thorough.
    Best wishes to everyone's health - two-legged and four-legged alike! :)

  7. I have definitely become more aware of what's in my dogs' food. I am going to check out that link! Thanks!

  8. What a great post and a great site, I subscribed to the newsletter!

  9. When I got Jersey 8 years ago, I "accidentally" discovered what was actually in pet food. I never thought much about dog food until I picked up a dog training book by the Volhards and read up on their feeding advice.

    I was astonished to learn that most of the supermarket dog foods barely have any meat protien at all, and when they do, it comes from dubious sources.

    As a puppy, Jersey was a *very* fussy eater and I ended up making homecooked meals in desperation. I suppose that she was trying to tell me something :)

    I've been feeding her homecooked for the alomst entire time I've had her. Sometimes, for convience sake, I get canned tripe. Making homecooked meals for your pet costs a little more than buying commercial pet food, but it is worth it! For 8 almost 8 years old, Jersey looks great and is very healthy!


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