Friday, 5 April 2013

Is Your Dog's or Cat's Dry Food (Dog Kibble, Cat Kibble) Full of Toxins and Carcinogens - Do You Really Know What to Look For?


Note - the information in this article is applicable to cats as well as dogs. Each of the manufacturers discussed also make equivalent cat food. The examples should be used as both a specific and generic template from which to judge your companion animal's current dry food diet.

The examples provided In this article you will find examples of very popular brands of dry dog kibble to help you assess whether you are purchasing and feeding your dog a food that is going to...

  1. Outright destroy the health of your dog;
    • In which case you are literally paying a dog food manufacturer  to kill your dog - death by toxic loading, acquisition of cancer and organ failure, or;
  • Many consumers have absolutely no idea of how they are being conned by the pet food and pet care industry, and;
    •  Despite the claims of most pet-food store staff (and veterinarians) that they are in a position to expertly advise you as they:
      • Say they 'know about dog food they sell as pertains to appropriate and quality nutrition';
      •  I can assure you that pet store staff know very little fact about the topic;
      • Veterinarians do not study nutrition in their standard university courses;
      • And for the most part, what they (Veterinarians and Pet Store staff) do know they have learned from a pet food manufacturers representative; 
  • Dogs do not have a choice regarding what their human feeds them - a dog's health and well being is dependent on the knowledge of their human.
 To protect yourself and your dog, read on...

Example Scenario One 

This product example is widely available in supermarket stores and pet stores in North America - it is seriously detrimental to your dog's health.
  • It is full of species inappropriate food stuff, including corn and soy;
    • The first and most plentiful ingredient corn and corn derivatives are:
      • Species inappropriate;
      • A very poor source of nutrients, and;
      • Worst of all is carcinogenic - this corn is grown from Monsanto's round-up ready Genetically Engineered (GE) seeds;
      • Monsanto's GM corn is now been proven to cause the growth of tumors; 
      • Animal feed grade grains (not screened for aflatoxins).
    • Corn is high in carcinogenic and toxic content - in addition to the corn, this product contains soy (another of Monsanto's GMO products, large factory farm produced soy also has other very significant health issues which you can read about here;
    •  Contains unspecified vegetable oils - which indicates that the oils are low quality Omega 6, GMO oils such as cottonseed oil (also has one of the highest pesticide resides of all crops), safflower oil or canola oil (all GMO products);
    • Contains carcinogenic chemical-based dyes;
    • Unspecified animal fats (likely from 4D animals and can also be rendered down fats from euthanized dogs and cats from kill shelters, rancid fats from restaurants and food manufacturing);
    • Toxic minerals and other additives. 
  • This dry dog food is a huge threat to your dogs daily health, quality of life and will shorten your dog's life span;

Example 1.0 (from Pedigree's line of products) 
GROUND WHOLE CORN, MEAT AND BONE MEAL, CORN GLUTEN MEAL, ANIMAL FAT (PRESERVED WITH BHA/CITRIC ACID), SOYBEAN MEAL, GROUND WHOLE WHEAT, BREWERS RICE, DRIED PLAIN BEET PULP, NATURAL FLAVOR, SALT, VEGETABLE OIL ([SOURCE OF LINOLEIC ACID] PRESERVED WITH BHA/BHT), POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, VITAMINS (CHOLINE CHLORIDE, a-TOCOPHEROL ACETATE [SOURCE OF VITAMIN E], NIACIN, BIOTIN, d-CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, RIBOFLAVIN SUPPLEMENT [VITAMIN B2], PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENT, VITAMIN B12 SUPPLEMENT, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], VITAMIN D3 SUPPLEMENT) MINERALS (ZINC SULFATE, ZINC PROTEINATE, COPPER SULFATE, POTASSIUM IODIDE, COPPER PROTEINATE, MANGANESE PROTEINATE), ADDED FD&C COLORS (RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 2). 

NOT recommended for your dog - this product IS NOT GOOD for your dog's health!
 

Example Scenario Two

These product examples are exclusively sold in Veterinarian Clinics, Veterinary Hospitals, Veterinary Offices;
  • These products are very expensive and are detrimental to your dog's health;  
    • They are just slightly better then the example provided in Scenario One above as they do not contain:
      • GMO vegetable oil;
      • Food colouring);
  • These products (example 2.1, 2.2) are much more expensive than example 4.1 and 5.2 which are 'premium' dog foods sold at the better dog food stores, and;
  • Example 5.2 is about as close as one can get to a species appropriate dry dog kibble;
If you are purchasing your dog food from a veterinarian and the ingredients look anything like the examples provided in Scenario 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 should reconsider what you are feeding your dog as these products contain:
  • Species inappropriate ingredients, including corn and soy;
  • High in carcinogenic and toxic content (read the rest of the article below);
    • GMO corn, unspecified vegetable oils, etc.;
    •  Animal feed grade grains (not screened for aflatoxins),
  • Unspecified animal fats (likely from 4D animals and can also be rendered down fats from euthanized dogs and cats from kill shelters, rancid fats from restaurants and food manufacturing);
  • Toxic minerals and other additives. 
  • Impacts your dog's daily health, quality of life and shorten your dog's life span;
  • And while the upfront cost of purchasing a bag of this food may be relatively inexpensive your long-term cost is high:
    • You must feed your dog larger quantities of this food (than you would a better food) as the nutrition is so sparse;
    •  You will accumulate numerous costs in veterinarian bills over the life-span of your dog to treat the health issues caused by eating this food...
Example 2.1 (from the Royal Canin Veterinary Care line of products)
Corn, chicken meal, brewers rice, brown rice, chicken fat, natural flavors, dried beet pulp, wheat gluten, vegetable oil, fish oil, sodium silico aluminate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, salt, fructooligosaccharides, DL-methionine, potassium phosphate, choline chloride, taurine, L-lysine, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid. 
NOT recommended for your dog - you can take a look here to understand more.

Example 2.2 (from the Hills Prescription Diet line of products Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Brown Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Sorghum, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Lactic Acid, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Tryptophan, Mixed Tocopherols added to retain freshness, Citric Acid added to retain freshness, L-Threonine, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.
NOT recommended for your dog - you can take a look here to understand more.

Example Scenario Three 

These product examples are widely available in pet stores across North America, these products are seriously detrimental to your dog's health.
  • Full of species inappropriate ingredients, including corn and soy;
  • High in carcinogenic and toxic content (read the rest of the article below);
    •  GMO corn, GMO soybean oil, animal feed grade grains (not screened for aflatoxins), etc.;
  • Unspecified animal fats (likely from 4D animals and can also be rendered down fats from euthanized dogs and cats from kill shelters, rancid fats from restaurants and food manufacturing);
  • Toxic minerals and other additives. 
  • Impacts your dog's daily health, quality of life and shorten your dog's life span;
  • And while the upfront cost of purchasing a bag of this food may be relatively inexpensive your long-term cost is high:
    • You must feed your dog larger quantities of this food (than you would a better food) as the nutrition is so sparse;
    •  You will accumulate numerous costs in veterinarian bills over the life-span of your dog to treat the health issues caused by eating this food...  
Example 3.1 (from Iams' line of products) 
Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Pork Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Corn Gluten Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Dried Beet Pulp, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Pork Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols added to retain freshness, Citric Acid added to retain freshness, L-carnitine, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract. Dried Apples, Dried Broccoli, Dried Carrots, Dried Cranberries, Dried Peas.
NOT recommended for your dog.

Example 3.2 (from Purina's line of products)
Chicken (natural source of glucosamine), brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), whole grain wheat, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), soy flakes, soybean meal, animal digest, glycerin, calcium phosphate, caramel colour, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulphate, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, ferrous sulphate, sulphur, manganese sulphate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulphate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. T-4154-C
NOT recommended for your dog .

Example 3.3 (from Hills Science Diet's line of products)
Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Corn, Pork Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Corn Gluten Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Dried Beet Pulp, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Pork Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols added to retain freshness, Citric Acid added to retain freshness, L-carnitine, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract. Dried Apples, Dried Broccoli, Dried Carrots, Dried Cranberries, Dried Peas.
NOT recommended for your dog.


Example Scenario Four

These products are available in better pet stores across North America: This company makes fish-based kibble which they state is ethoxyquin-free. While this is a better product than those provided above they still contain species inappropriate ingredients. This manufacturer does make grain-free products.
  • After processing this product is (by volume and weight) primarily species inappropriate starchy carbohydrates. This product also contains toxic food additives including synthetic minerals, inflammatory Brewer's yeast and a carcinogenic preservative.
    •  Can cause serious health problems due to their species inappropriate nature, and
    •  In addition, if the grains are not human grade they can carry aflatoxins;
      Example 4.1 (from Performatrin's line of products)
      Salmon, Salmon Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Chicken Meal, Whole Rice, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Dried Egg Product, Potato Meal, Vegetable Pomace (Tomato, Carrot, Celery, Beet, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress, Spinach), Potato Protein, Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat stabilized with Mixed Tocopherols (a natural source of Vitamin E), Dried Whey Protein Concentrate, Extra Virgin Olive Oil stabilized with Mixed Tocopherols (a natural source of Vitamin E), Alfalfa Meal, Fresh Whole Sweet Potatoes, Fresh Whole Carrots, Peas, Lecithin, Brewers Dried Yeast, Sea Salt, Potassium Chloride, Lentils, Pumpkin, Whole Cranberries, Chicken Cartilage (source of Natural Chondroitin), Chicory Root Extract, Dried Kelp, Choline Chloride, Fresh Whole Apples, Whole Blueberries, Flaxseed, DL-Methionine, Whole Blackberries, Spinach, Taurine, Dried Yeast, L-Leucine,  Glucosamine Hydrochloride, L-Carnitine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Fresh Garlic, Green Tea Extract, Ascorbyl Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Caesi, Bifidobacterium Bifidium, Streptococcus Faecium, Zinc Proteinate (source of Chelated Zinc), Zinc Oxide, Iron Proteinate (source of Chelated Iron), Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ground Ginger, Manganese Proteinate (source of Chelated Manganese), Manganous Oxide, Dried Camomile, Ground Fennel Seed, Dandelion, Rosemary, Basil, Sage, Copper Proteinate (source of Chelated Copper), Copper Sulfate, Dried Lemon Balm, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine, Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Peppermint, Calcium, Pantothenate Pyridoxine, Hydrochloride Inositol, Beta Carotene,Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Cobalt Proteinate (source of Chelated Cobalt), Calcium Iodide, Selenium Yeast (source of Organic Selenium), Sodium Selenite



      Example 4.2 (from Performatrin's line of products)
      Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, oatmeal, whole rice, pearled barley, dried egg product, salmon meal, chicken fat stabilized with mixed tocopherols (a natural source of vitamin e), tomato pomace, sunflower oil stabilized with mixed tocopherols (a natural source of vitamin e), whole millet, whole rye, natural chicken flavor, alfalfa meal, fresh whole sweet potatoes, fresh whole carrots, peas, potassium chloride, lecithin, sea salt, calcium carbonate, flaxseed, chicory root extract, dicalcium phosphate, dl-methionine, pumpkin, whole cranberries, fresh whole apples, whole blueberries, dried kelp, choline chloride, whole blackberries, spinach, taurine, dried yeast, Yucca schidigera extract, fresh garlic, ascorbyl polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus caesi, Bifidobacterium bifidium, streptococcus faecium, zinc proteinate (source of chelated zinc), zinc oxide, iron proteinate (source of chelated iron), ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ground ginger, manganese proteinate (source of chelated manganese), manganous oxide, dried camomile, ground fennel seed, dandelion, rosemary, basil, sage, copper proteinate (source of chelated copper), copper sulfate, dried lemon balm, vitamin A supplement, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, peppermint, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, inositol, beta carotene, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), cobalt proteinate (source of chelated cobalt), calcium iodide, selenium yeast (source of organic selenium),sodium selenite

      Example Scenario Five

       
      After processing this product (by volume and weight) is comprised of starchy carbohydrates which cause and contribute to health issues and chronic disease in dogs and cats.  These species inappropriate ingredients include beans, peas and sweet potato. Acana's dry food is not species appropriate.
        Example 5.1 (from Acana's line of products)
        Deboned chicken, chicken meal, green peas, turkey meal, chicken liver oil, field beans, red lentils, whole potato, deboned turkey, whole egg, deboned walleye, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fibre, chicken liver, herring oil, whole apples, whole pears, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach greens, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, rosemary.

        Contains good ingredients but also contains a large volume of legumes (green beans, field beans, red lentils, pea fiber, alfalfa) all contain lectin proteins that are not absorbed by a cat and dog's digestive system. The type of lectin proteins present in these legumes, travel through the gastrointestinal tract, adhere to the stomach, travel through the blood stream where the lectin can cause or exacerbate inflammatory disaease. Legumes also contain phytic acid - when ingested in larger volumes (such as in this food) are anti-nutrients.

         
        Example Scenario Six
         
        Example 'Now Fresh' and 'Go' Dry Dog food by Petcurean
         
        Example of a 'Go' Grain included Product - Salmon Dog Food ( dry food)
        Salmon meal, oatmeal, potatoes, whole oats, de-boned salmon, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), apples, natural flavour, flaxseed, quinoa, kamut flakes, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, dried kelp, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, inositol, niacin, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc methionine complex, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulphate, ferrous sulphate, calcium iodate, manganous oxide, selenium yeast), dried chicory root, L-lysine, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, yucca schidigera extract, dried rosemary.

        • First ingredient is salmon meal. Petcurean states that they use farm raised fish, and when available in season they also use wild-caught fish. If the wild-caught fish used is sourced from deep cold clean waters, and is a fish that is low in mercury it is a good choice - you can read about wild-caught fish here. You can read about the issues with farm raised fish here. Petcurean states that the fish meal used is ethoxyquin-free.
        • The second ingredient is oatmeal, the fourth ingredient is whole oats, a little further down the list quinoa and kamut flakes - all four are grains. Petcurean states that all grain ingredients used in their products are screened for, and do not contain aflatoxins. Oatmeal, whole oats, quinoa and kamut are species inappropriate.
        • Canola oil is the 5th ingredient on the ingredient list, the canola oil is not organic. If you are purchasing this 'Go' product in North America, the canola oil in this product is not what I would consider a good source of Omega-3. In North America, canola oil (unless noted as organic), is derived from GMO round-up ready (agent orange) canola crops. GMO canola is subject to the same herbicide residue issues as GO soy and GMO corn. Many pet food manufacturers choose to use canola oil as it is readily available, and inexpensive in comparison to a better quality, lower herbicide residue oil - such as sunflower oil.
        • When probiotics are included in dry pet food products the manufacturer chooses one of the following methods: a) the probitics are added to the food ingredient-mix prior to cooking; or b) the probiotics (liquid, or powder form) are spray-applied to the kibble after it has cooled. Probiotics are heat sensitive. Method 'a)' renders the probiotics 100% non-viable, meaning they have no nutritional or biological value - the probiotics are dead. To remain 100% viable the probiotic ingredients must be kept refrigerated, so even when using method 'b)' it is not possible to maintain full viability, thus benefit derived at time of consumption becomes minimal. Petcurean employs the better of the two methods, but as noted - at time of consumption value or probiotis minimal. You can read more about probiotics here.
        Example of a 'Now Fresh' Grain-free Product - Fish Recipe for Adult Dogs (Dry food)
        De-boned trout, whole dried egg, potatoes, potato flour, peas, pea flour, apples, flaxseed, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavour, de-boned salmon, de-boned herring, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato, alfalfa, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, pomegranate, papayas, lentils, broccoli, dried chicory root, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, inositol, niacin, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulphate, ferrous sulphate, calcium iodate, manganous oxide, selenium yeast), taurine, DL-methionine, L-lysine, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, L-carnitine, dried rosemary.
        • First ingredient is de-boned trout. Wild-caught salmon as first ingredient would be preferable. Salmon has a higher nutritional value than trout, for example salmon is higher in protein than trout, and salmon is considerably higher in omega-3. However, trout is still a passable choice if it is a wild-caught fish (as opposed to farm raised fish). Petcurean states that they use farm raised fish, and when available in season they also use wild-caught fish. If the wild-caught fish used is sourced from deep cold clean waters, and is a fish that is low in mercury it is a good choice - you can read about wild-caught fish here. You can read about the issues with farm raised fish here.
        • A dog's species appropriate diet consists of +/- 57% good-source protein, 30% good-source fats, and +/- 13% carbohydrates. This product is grain-free, and for that reason alone is a better product than a grain-in product. Even though this is a grain-free product it is proportionally heavy in carbohydrate content.
        • Canola oil is the 9th ingredient on the ingredient list, the canola oil is not organic. If you are purchasing this 'Now Fresh' product in North America, the canola oil in this product is not what I would consider a good source of Omega-3. In North America, canola oil (unless noted as organic), is derived from GMO round-up ready (agent orange) canola crops. GMO canola is subject to the same herbicide residue issues as GO soy and GMO corn. Many pet food manufacturers choose to use canola oil as it is readily available, and inexpensive in comparison to a better quality, lower herbicide residue oil - such as sunflower oil.
        • When probiotics are included in dry pet food products the manufacturer chooses one of the following methods: a) the probitics are added to the food ingredient-mix prior to cooking; or b) the probiotics (liquid, or powder form) are spray-applied to the kibble after it has cooled. Probiotics are heat sensitive. Method 'a)' renders the probiotics 100% non-viable, meaning they have no nutritional or biological value - the probiotics are dead. To remain 100% viable the probiotic ingredients must be kept refrigerated, so even when using method 'b)' it is not possible to maintain full viability, thus benefit derived at time of consumption becomes minimal. Petcurean employs the better of the two methods, but as noted - at time of consumption value is minimal. You can read more about probiotics here.
        • This product includes synthetic primary amino acids DL-methionine, L-lysine, L-carnitine - synthetic primary amino acids are included when the whole food protein content is insufficient to meet the desired amino acid content requirement.
        Is Price an Indicator of Assured Quality?
        No, absolutely not. Don't rely on advertising, pet store staff or stamps of approval - such as AAFCO as an indicator of the ultimate value and safety of a 'food' product. In North America, the FDA and Health Canada allow many ingredients into the human and animal food chain which are not safe for consumption. Big industry pours a lot of money into the lobbying government agencies, leaving ethics to the wayside.



        A Few More Basic Things You Need to Be Aware Of

        1.0 Understand the Important Details

        To understand in detail why the ingredients shown above may be good or bad for your dog I recommend that you read this article.
         

        2.0 No Dry Dog Food is Species Appropriate

        • A dog's natural species appropriate diet is a raw food diet comprised of about 57% protein, 30% fat and about 13% carbohydrate. Any manufacturer that claims their dry dog food is species appropriate is stretching the truth. 

        3.0 No Dry Dog Food is Nutritionally Complete

        Over the years I have seen many different types of dry dog food and despite manufacturer's claims not one I have seen is 'nutritionally complete'.

        No dry dog food is nutritionally complete.



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        29 comments:

        1. Fabulous post! A lot of dog parents don't know the good from the bad or they opt for less expensive food OR go for a big name brand like Iams. My vet pushes Science Diet. I flat out told her, it's junk. :) Definitely passing this one along. Thanks!

          ReplyDelete
          Replies
          1. Thank you Bren, it drives me nuts that so many dogs suffer because the pet industry is such a scam. Paw hugs, Karen

            Delete
        2. I'm thankful for blogs and sites like yours! Our last dog died from cancer & I'm sure it was the dry dog food that poisoned out sweet Sammy! I feel so bad hat we fed that crap to him. Last week I made Bella the homemade dog food you have on your blog! I swear, after she slurped it up she smiled!! We were feeding her Dr. Harvey's before or grain with meat- but no longer will she have that! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us! I'm just trying to figure out how much to give her! Thank you again!

          ReplyDelete
          Replies
          1. You are so very welcome Karine :>)

            For the most part the pet food industry is irresponsible, abusive and cruel. What they do is criminal, but not inditeable.

            Knowingly putting toxins and carcinogens in food is abusive, it is cruelty. I see this as no different than when an individual intentionally poisons a dog. Both are criminal actions - it is just that:
            The atrocities practiced by the Pet Food Manufacturers are 'legal' and for the most part unregulated (FDA's and Health Canada's regulations are inadequate to say the least). AAFCO is not a regulatory body in truth - they are a compilation of representatives from the pet food manufacturing industry. Its SHAMEFUL!

            Paw-hugs K

            Delete
        3. I had a dog that was 5.5 years old and died of cancer.
          At the time I vowed to never feed my dog that crappy dogfood again. Now 7 years later I have a 3 year old golden retriever and while I do feed her kibble...I am looking and trying to research on what to feed her. Everyone has a different opinion and if you ask them they are right and most other are wrong. I am also looking into not getting the vaccinations, but still need to do some research on that. It's difficult and EVERYONE has an opinion...I guess what people decide what to do depends partly upon what theory of nutrition they subscribe to and what makes sense to them....the same thing goes for human nutrition. All of that to ask what your thoughts were on the kibble....Canidae- pure elements is the type and it is a grain free food.

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          Replies
          1. Canidae's line of dog foods does not get great marks from me for the following reasons…
            The manufacturer claims that their dog food:
            1. Provides Balanced Omega 6 & 3 Fatty Acids & DHA – this claim is false, read my articles on Omega fatty acids to understand more.
            2. Provides Guaranteed Viable Micro-Organisms – they are playing with words to fool the consumer;
            3. When the micro-organisms were added to the food they were viable, but after going through processing and manufacturer of the food, the micro-organisims are dead and therefore of zero beneficial value. Read my articles on probiotics to understand more.
            4. GMO Oils are NOT good for your dog, read more about GMO oils in my article ‘ How to Choose a Good Dog Kibble for Your Dog’

            While it is not a terrible dog food - meaning there are many that are worse, it is not a fantastic dog food. The company definitely over-claims the quality and features of their product.

            Cheers, K

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          2. Other than making your own, what brand would you recommend for a 3 year old golden retriever?

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          3. Example 5.1 in the article above - as noted 'YES - Recommended for your dog (as far as dry dog food goes) as a healthy product'.

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        4. This question might seem completely unrelated to this blog, but I found this blog after having Googled the question, so I'm hoping you can help. I am pet sitting a relative's dog for a couple of months while they are in Europe. The dog has a tumor the size of a melon on her chest and she is skin and bones. It was quite startling to see. I asked why they hadn't removed it, and they said it didn't seem to bother her and since it is a fatty tumor they saw no reason to remove it. I have quite a different take on that. However, since she is so emaciated, I'm wondering if the tumor is the reason. Is it possible that all the fats and nutrients the dog eats is actually feeding the tumor and not her? It feels like it weighs about ten pounds.

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          Replies
          1. Hi,

            Actually the question is not off topic at all :>)

            Fatty Tumors form when the body is unable to rid itself of toxins via the body’s natural systems for toxin elimination – the intestines, kidney and liver. When a dog is constantly ingesting toxins the kidney and liver are forced to work overtime to clear out unwanted substances from the body. If the toxic load becomes too much for the kidney and liver to process affectively the toxins end-up remaining where they are not wanted - in the blood stream, digestive tract, etc. The constant presence of contaminates in the body puts added stress on the endocrine (glands which secret various hormones to regulate metabolism, sleep, mood, etc.) and immune system in addition to the kidney and liver.

            The body’s natural reaction – the next line of defence is to engage its largest excretory organ, the skin. The body ‘captures’ the toxins and shifts them out of the way by storing the material in fat deposits just under the surface of the skin. You can read more about that here and, as well how diet can be used to effectively reduce or resolve the tumor
            http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/03/fatty-tumors-lipomas-in-dogs-benign.html

            Regarding her emaciated state...
            Read the article (as per the link just above) it explains in depth how the tumor forms and grows. Take a look at the dog food that they gave you to feed her - if it is grain-based, has a lot of corn, soy etc. there is not much nutrition value that her body can utilize from the dog 'food' Some dog's (more so than others) have an even tougher time deriving nutrition from this terrible diet.

            If you can afford to do so you can add some real fresh food to her diet, fresh fruit and veggies would also help her to detox - get some of the toxins out of her system http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

            Cheers, Karen






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        5. I can't thank you enough for this invaluable information. You are a real treasure to the pet owner community, Karen.

          ReplyDelete
        6. Can any of you pass the recipe on to me for the homemade dog food? Thank you, Ruth

          ReplyDelete
          Replies
          1. http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/home-made-diy-dog-food-recipes-grain.html

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        7. What about Blue Buffalo dog food. It seems to be made from ingredients that fit into your recommendations?

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          Replies
          1. Hi Fly,

            I do not recommend Blue Buffalo. I am assuming you are referring to Blue Buffalo's grain-free foods as opposed to their grain-in foods - regardless the food is not a good quality product, and no it does not conform to my recommendations :>) Blue Buffalo use a lot of fillers in their grain-free just as the do in their grain-in products. their products are shamefully low in Omega-3 fatty acids and contain probiotics which are not viable (are dead and provide zero value).

            Here is one such example - their large breed puppy food...

            Tapioca Starch is the 4th ingredient - a cheap and nutritionally poor filler, followed by peas - an inexpensive source of vegetable protein. While many 'better' dog foods do contain peas, they can usually be found lower in the list of ingredients.

            Tapioca

            What It Is
            `Tapioca is derived from the cassava bean;
            Tapioca is an inexpensive filler;
            An inexpensive source of fibre;
            Why It is Used
            Tapioca is readily available and inexpensive;
            It increases the volume of the food;
            And is an inexpensive source of carbs;
            Gluten free, so Tapioca can be used as an
            alternative to wheat flour when the presence
            of gluten can exacerbate a health condition.
            Issues
            High in Calories and is associated with
            weight gain;
            Contains almost no nutrients;
            Tapioca that has not undergone proper
            rocessing can cause cyanide poisoning;
            Example of a Healthy Alternative
            Sweet Potato, Squash

            Orijen's grain free products are a much better choice. For example

            Orijen’s Grain Free Puppy Food http://www.orijen.ca/blog/products/dry-dog-food/puppy/

            Ingredients: Boneless chicken*, chicken meal, chicken liver*, whole herring*, boneless turkey*, turkey meal, turkey liver*, whole eggs*, boneless walleye*, whole salmon*, chicken heart*, chicken cartilage*, herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, chicken fat, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, yams*, pea fiber, chickpeas, pumpkin*, butternut squash*, spinach greens*, carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, cranberries*, blueberries*, brown kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium.

            Orijen's grain-free products are MUCH better quality than Blue Buffalo's, and although it may cost a little more, you will feed your dog a little less of it as it has less fillers – so in the end the price works out to about the same.

            Please remember – all dog kibble is made to favour profit over health of your dog. I have yet to see a commercially produced kibble with a properly balanced Omega Fatty Acids, (there is always much more Omega-6, than Omega-3 in commercially prepared dog-food) therefore it is important to compensate by adding other dietary items to boost the Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio to 2:1. You can read my article on Omega fatty acids. You should also be supplementing with probiotics - for example a truly good yogurt or kefir - read here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/07/dairy-products-cheese-kefir-yogurt-are.html

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        8. I am using Wellness Large Breed puppy food for my 6 month old Lab. Would this rate as one of the better kibbles?

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          Replies
          1. Wellness large breed puppy gets most of its content from grains - so it gets a total fail grade from me. Read about the use of grains here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/how-to-choose-good-kibble-for-your-dog.html Although they do not include corn or soy as a direct ingredient - the grains that they are using are not human grade and therefore can contain aflatoxins. Grains are also the #1 cause of yeast infections in dogs - including ear infections, skin infections, etc. Take a look at the number of Face Book 'likes' on this article http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/04/herbal-ear-infection-treatments.html Ear infections in dogs were the #1 non-life threatening reason for bringing a dog to the veterinarian in 2012, and remains at the top of the ranking in 2013. Grains are also inflammatory - not something you want in a large breed growing puppy as you want his joints and ligaments to be fully developmentally supported - you do not want to set-him up for future arthritis.

            If you want to feed dry dog food purchase grain-free Orijen, Acana or EVO and add liquid to the dry kibble - you can read why here http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/10/homemade-chicken-or-meat-stock-recipe_20.html

            Cheers, Karen

            I strongly recommend that you go to a grain-free food. The best diet is raw or a properly balanced home made diet - here is a recipe http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/home-made-diy-dog-food-recipes-grain.html

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        9. Love your articles! We just adopted a 1 1/2 year old mastiff mix. We did some research and debated between orijen, artemis and merrick . We decided on merrick grain free. What are your thoughts?

          ReplyDelete
          Replies
          1. Hi Kim, congratulations on your new family member. Mastiffs are beautiful dogs.

            Orijen is definitely a better product than Merrick. Here is an example....

            Merrick 'Real Chicken'
            1) Yes the first three ingredients are meat, however two of them are meal rather than whole.
            2) Carbs are mostly sweet potatoes and potatoes - no protein in those carbs,
            3) The last few lines of listed ingredietns are a total waste of money - dead non-viable probiotics;
            4) The omega 3 to 6 ratio is way out of balance.
            Omega-6 fatty acid* (min.) 4.80 %
            Omega-3 fatty acid* (min.) 0.40 %
            Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potato, Peas, Potato, Chicken Fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), Salmon Meal (source of Omega 3 fatty acids), Natural Chicken Flavor, Apples, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Salmon Oil, Minerals (Salt, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Rosemary Extract.

            Now look at the Orijen equivalent;
            Orijen Adult Dog Food
            1) Plenty of good sourced protein - much more than in the Merrick;
            2) Sources of carbs are also source of protein - i.e. lentils and protein and rich in nutrients;
            3) last ingredient is a non-viable probiotic;
            4) Includes many other excellent ingredients that are not in the Merrick
            5) While no dog food has the correct balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 (which is why you have to supplement food with additional Omega-3) the balance is not as far out in this food
            Omega-6 (min.) 3%
            Omega-3 (min.) 1.1 %
            INGREDIENTS
            Boneless chicken*, chicken meal, chicken liver*, whole herring*, boneless turkey*, turkey meal, turkey liver*, whole eggs*, boneless walleye*, whole salmon*, chicken heart*, chicken cartilage*, herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, yams*, pea fiber, chickpeas, pumpkin*, butternut squash*, spinach greens*, carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, cranberries*, blueberries*, kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium.
            * FRESH AND PRESERVATIVE-FREE
            SUPPLEMENTS
            Vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast.

            I recommend that you ditch the Merrick and go with Orijen :>)

            Cheers, Karen

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        10. Hello Karen,

          I hope this question doesn't seem off topic, but I'm having difficulty keeping my three dogs from eating each other's feces. Do you have any recommendations? I have tried using fresh pineapple, but am not sure how much is safe. I have also tried using Deter, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Any suggestions you can offer would be most appreciated.

          Thank you for all you do.

          ReplyDelete
          Replies
          1. I have 11 dogs - given the chance three of them will indulge in coprophagia the other 8 would never do so. They all eat the same food http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/home-made-diy-dog-food-recipes-grain.html and have a truly nutritionally complete diet. Their daily diet includes brewers yeast, garlic, as well other B vitamin and potassium rich foods etc. Digestive enzymes as well. The three that eat poo given the opportunity simply have undiscerning greedy appetites.

            Some cases of coprophagia occur becasue the dog has an insufficient diet or becasue the dog's digestive system is not able to properly absorb the nutrients in the food.

            Other dogs that practice coprophagia do so becasue they get on the habit and devouring poo also is a way to indulge a greedy appetite.

            The only sense that dogs have that is less than ours is their sense of taste.

            Dogs have about 1700 taste buds, while we humans have between 7000 to 9000. For dogs with insatiable appetites and a non-discriminating palette steak tastes good as so does, dog poo, rabbit poo, deer poo, horse poo. While other dogs with a more refined palette would not touch poo with a 10' agility weave pole :>)

            You can try adding a good quality digestive enzyme to their Daily Meals - Dr. Mercola makes a very good product. If that does not work and the other additives you have tried have not work I suspect your dogs conform to the habit/greedy appetite group.

            In which case the only solution is to pick the poo up as soon as it is deposited. You can train your dog not to touch the poo by offering him/her something else instead however if you are out-of-site you may also be considered to be-out-of-mind in which case your dogs may re-indulge themselves.

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        11. One of the three is a very greedy eater and can never seem to get enough. She is the newest to the pack. The other two had never eaten poo before she came. I think I will try Dr. Mercola's product first. Thank you so much for your invaluable advice, Karen.

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        12. Hello Karen,

          I discovered this dry dog food at a local shelter fundraiser recently. It is called Nature's Select. It is made in the USA. Could you please tell me if any of the following ingredients are bad for my dogs' health? I didn't see any of them listed in your "bad for you" categories. Thank you so very much.

          Ingredients
          Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Oat Meal, Pearled Millet, Chicken Fat Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Lamb Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Flax Seed (Source of Omega 3 fatty Acid), Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed Oil, Potassium Chloride, Dried Kelp, Yeast Culture, Whole carrots, Dried Celery, Dried Beet, Dried Parsley, Dried Lettuce, Dried Watercress, Dried Spinach, L-Lysine,
          Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Taurine, Dicalcium Phosphate, Dried
          Chicory Root , L-Carnitine, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate,
          Selenium Yeast, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), D-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Lecithin, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Oil of Rosemary, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product.

          ReplyDelete
          Replies
          1. Although 'marketed' & priced as a 'better' product...
            in actual fact it is cheap garbage low in nutritional value and high in inappropriate - yes dangerous ingredients that will trigger short term health issues and long-term serious chronic health issues.

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        13. Oh my. I'm so glad I checked with you first. I can't thank you enough!

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        14. I work at a pet store and my passion in life (besides my 3 dogs) is nutrition. I read constantly and research dog foods and ingredients which is why I also subscribe to you Karen. I am always advocating a raw food diet for cats and dogs so not everyone who works at a pet store knows little about nutrition. Just saying... But unfortunately, most have no clue what they are selling! Keep up the good work and keep spreading the word.

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        15. My GSD has megaesophagus and I'm trying to find the right dry food for him. After reading your articles, I will take him off the dog probiotics I have him on and switch to yogurt and add turmeric, ginger, and garlic to his food. Right now I add slippery elm and Nature's Sunshine Chlorophyll (https://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/chlorophyll-es-liquid-16-fl-oz/1483/) to his food.

          What are your thoughts on Petco's WholeHearted Easy Digestion food?
          Potatoes, egg product, potato protein, dried beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, natural flavor, menhaden fish oil (a source of omega-3 fatty acids), dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, psyllium seed husk, ginger root powder, dried chicory root, choline chloride, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid (preservative), vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid.

          And should I give slippery elm at a different time from the other supplements?

          Thank you for all your research! I am trying to keep him as natural as I can so Mother Nature can help him!

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          Replies
          1. Continue to read the articles on my site - the product you specify above contains multiple inappropriate and health-harming ingredients. While no dog should be fed dry highly processed food products, highly processed pet food is even more damaging to a dog with megaesophagus.

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        Important Note

        1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

        Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

        Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

        Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

        If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

        2.0 Definition of Holistic…

        Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

        If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

        Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

        Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press

        Adjective

        "relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

        "Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

        Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

        3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

        A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

        Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

        4.0 Leave a Comment

        I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

        I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

        Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

        Karen Rosenfeld
        Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
        Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
        Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats

        karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca

        1-613-622-1139
        1-613-293-3707

        00-1-613-622-1139
        00-1-613-293-3707