Thursday, November 19th, 2009 | Random Stuff | 1 Comment
I will admit, I’m very disappointed in the folks over at Taste of the Wild right now. I contacted them (by phone even) on Monday, hoping to get someone in marketing who was interested in making a comment about the Ethoxyquin article. I thought it would be great if one of them to comment on the blog, or better yet, write an article. Sadly, they wouldn’t even let me speak to someone on the phone. I was told to email someone instead.
Well, I did. And here we are, 48 hours later, and I’ve heard nothing back at all. No “we’ll consider it” or “sorry, we’re not interested.”
Nada. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Zip.
I know I’m not a big deal. I have what, 7 readers now? Maybe 8? Ok, maybe a bit more than that. But to be excused and avoided like that really chaps my hide. The intent of my inquiry was to give them a chance to tell you why you should still consider their products, not to speak poorly of their brand. But in their lack of communication, I feel they’ve done that themselves.
Thursday, November 12th, 2009 | Uncategorized | Comments Off
I’ve received a few private, non-posted comments about the Ethoxyquin article written by Dana last week, so I’m going to make a few comments.
Dana’s article is based off of research, but is one person’s opinion. Dana has never provided bad information to me or people that I know, but it is her opinion. You don’t have to agree, and I understand that there is conflicting evidence out there. The point of asking Dana to write about it was to provide you with information that you may not have been familiar with otherwise. I mentioned that I personally would have a hard choice to make if I was told that the Fromm kibble I feed Beowulf contained ethoxyquin because he does so well on it, as did Indy before she went raw.
The only ingredients that we are aware of that contain ethoxyquin are those with fish meal. Some companies have many formulas, but only those with fish meal are of concern. However, there are a few companies that use fish meal in all of their products, regardless of whether the main ingredient in that food is fish.
Some people seem to think that the FDA and/or the US Coast Guard require ethoxyquin to be used as the preservative in the fish meal. I have not been able to confirm or deny this as of yet. My initial research makes me believe that they require a preservative, but it does not have to be ethoxyquin. I hope to be able to get a decisive answer next week, or at least work on getting down that path.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope the information was able to help you make a decision that is good for you and your dog(s).
Sometimes, I’m very happy to be a mostly-raw feeder. Silly, picky Basset.
Friday, November 6th, 2009 | Random Stuff | 24 Comments
Ethoxyquin has become quite the topic of discussion with crazy dog people like me of late. It’s been determined that it is contained in quite a few premium food brands, several of which are used by Swissy people. And those Swissies have been doing very well on the food while it has contained ethoxyquin all along.
As some people here may know, both Indy and Gryffin are raw fed while Beowulf is on kibble. We are lucky enough that the kibble we feed (Fromm) is not on the list of foods containing ethoxyquin. But the question still remains…should you switch your dog’s food if it is on the list? Would I if it were me? I can honestly say that if we were feeding Beowulf one of the foods containing it, and he was doing well the entire time, it would be a very tough choice for me.
So, to help you understand why ethoxyquin is such a big deal, Dana Montero, aka the Dog Food Guru, has written today’s guest post.
I have recently been getting a large number of questions regarding a preservative that is sometimes found in commercial dog foods called ethoxyquin or “E”. I would like to take a moment to try to explain to the readers of this blog what ethoxyquin is, the controversy and facts surrounding it, why we don’t want it in our dogs’ food, and what alternatives there are. I will also relay my findings after having personally contacted several dog food manufacturers and verified the use (or not, as the case may be) of ethoxyquin as a preservative in their products.
What is ethoxyquin, exactly?
Ethoxyquin was developed 35 years ago as a rubber stabilizer, has been used as a chemical preservative and is regulated by the FDA as a pesticide. Yes folks, I said pesticide. Scary huh? The FDA recognizes that this chemical has toxic side effects and as such has restricted its use in human foods, allowing for only trace amounts (.5 to 5ppm), yet they continue to allow its use in pet foods. The allowed amount for pet foods is extremely high (150ppm). Ethoxyquin has been linked to liver and kidney problems, cancer, reproductive issues, behavior problems, hemolytic anemia, stillborn pups, birth defects such as cleft palates, and various skin and coat conditions. The developer of ethoxyquin, Monsanto, even made sure that warning labels on containers of this chemical warn workers to wear eye and respiratory protection, and to only handle it with gloves. The container itself features a prominent skull and crossbones sign with the word POISON on it and it is listed as a hazardous chemical by OSHA. Ethoxyquin has also been linked to seizures. A mere 10 drops of this substance is enough to cause convulsions, coma and death.
If ethoxyquin is so bad, why is it used in pet foods?
Ethoxyquin remains stable at very high temperatures and protects fats and oils from becoming rancid. Foods preserved with ethoxyquin have a rather long shelf life and are less expensive to produce than foods using a natural antioxidant as preservatives. Some pet food manufacturers claim that the US Coast Guard REQUIRES them to use ethoxyquin as a preservative in their fish meals. This is not accurate – US Coast Guard regulations require that fish meals be preserved with antioxidants, and specifically name ethoxyquin – UNLESS the manufacturer has a special permit to use other antioxidants.
OK – so ethoxyquin is potentially harmful and we don’t want it in our pets’ food. What other alternatives are there?
Vitamin C, citric acid, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) and Naturox are all safe, natural alternatives. Naturox is the brand name for a combination of mixed tocopherols (usually Vitamin E), citric acid, vegetable oil and rosemary extract. The downside to natural preservatives such as those named above is price – they are more expensive to use, and shelf life is shorter. This means producing more batches of dog food more often.
Does my dog food brand contain ethoxyquin?
Pet food manufacturers are not legally required to list ethoxyquin on their labeling unless they add it themselves during processing. This means if their suppliers use it on their crude ingredients before delivery to the processing plant, they are not required to list it on the bag. Note that foods containing FISH, SALMON, OCEAN FISH, MENHADEN, HERRING, WHITEFISH, etc are ethoxyquin free, unless otherwise specified on the packaging, as these ingredients are made from fresh fish. The ingredients that you should be concerned about are fish MEALS (ocean fish meal, herring meal, salmon meal, etc).
I have personally contacted several manufacturers by telephone, fax or email and received responses. If your brand is not listed below, this means that either I have been unable to reach a representative, have not received a response as yet, or have not yet contacted that particular manufacturer. Should you have questions about your brand of food and it is not listed below, feel free to contact me via my website and I will work on getting answers for you.
Foods confirmed to be ethoxyquin-free:
Flint River Ranch
Halo (Spot’s Stew)
Castor & Pollux
Foods confirmed to use ethoxyquin (should be avoided):
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul
Taste of the Wild
Fosters & Smith
When there are foods out there that are free from toxins, why feed food that could potentially harm your dog – when you have a choice?
If you have questions for Dana, they can be posted here and I will make sure she gets them. You may also contact Dana through her website and she will answer you directly.
This was a rather confusing issue for me up until now. I hope Dana’s information has provided you with the insight you need to make your decision.
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