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Holistic Veterinarian Dr. Gerald Buchoff on Grain-Free Dog Food and Disease

I strongly advocate more research on the benefits of an ancestral, species-appropriate diet to foster longevity in our pets, Dr. Buchoff says.

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Dr. Gerald Buchoff

(PRESS RELEASE) LITTLE FALLS, NJ — The news media and the pet industry have been buzzing about the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) investigation into the connection between grain-free diets for dogs and the incidence of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The possible link between grain-free pet feed and disease has incited panic among consumers and many of my clients have been reaching out in search of new ways to healthfully feed their dogs. With the FDA investigation continuing, we don’t have clear cause and effect data to make solid conclusions as of yet. However, the very investigation sparks an important discussion about the quality and appropriateness of the food that we offer to our pets and raises awareness about how broken the pet food industry really is.

First, a little background: One year ago (July 2018), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted the public to reports they had received about dogs who were fed a grain-free diet developing dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease in which the heart chambers become enlarged, making the heart unable to pump efficiently which leads to the heart valves leaking and the lungs and abdomen building up fluids, a condition called Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). The dog with CHF may experience cough, difficulty breathing, weakness, fainting, collapsing, or even death.

Most of the cases of pets involved were eating dog foods labeled as “grain-free” that contained peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans, other legume seeds (pulses), sweet potatoes, or white potatoes in various forms (whole, flour, starch, fiber, or protein derivatives) as main ingredients (listed within the first 10 ingredients). The odd thing about these cases is that many of them were in breeds not previously recognized to be genetically prone to the disease. This report has been updated in February and again in June of this year although conclusions are still forthcoming.

At the crux of the problem in the vast majority of the cases reported to the FDA is the deficiency of amino acids in the diets of these dogs. Essential nutrients such as Taurine and the two amino acids that the dog’s body can use to manufacture its own Taurine – namely Cysteine and Methionine – were at low levels in these “grain-free” fed dogs.

For many years, commercial pet foods have been manufactured with corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley, or other grains because they serve as cheap fillers. These bulky grains reduce the cost for the manufacturer over the higher-priced proteins. However, as consumers have become more educated about species-appropriate diets, there has been an increasing demand for dog foods made without grains. Indeed, dogs do not need – nor do they thrive on – grains. The problem is, however, not just with grains but with starchy carbohydrates in dog food. By replacing grains with other fillers – legumes, potatoes, or peas, for example – commercial pet food manufacturers seem to have worsened the nutritional deficiency of their products in response to consumer demand. Grains and legumes are both poor sources of taurine, so swapping one out for the other is not a remedy to the bigger question we are all failing to ask: What is the best, species-appropriate diet for my dog?

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Let’s take this opportunity to address the issue head on: Pets don’t need grains or starchy carbohydrates and they shouldn’t eat them. High carbohydrate diets lead to obesity as well as to metabolic and autoimmune diseases like diabetes, arthritis, allergies, and cancer. While the research being done on “grain-free” diets and DCM is certainly valid and worthwhile, I believe that more attention should be on what we SHOULD be feeding our pets, not what we shouldn’t.
In my own 38 years of practice as a veterinarian, I have spent many years researching the connection between nutrition and wellness and like many pet owners, I firmly believe that raw, fresh, wholesome species-appropriate ingredients are exactly what pets need. Both dogs and cats thrive on meat/protein-based raw diets that offer complete and balanced nutrition. Our pets benefit when their food is consumed in its natural state and is not sterilized. Raw, unadulterated food offers good beneficial bacteria and digestive enzymes that are a very important part not only of the pet’s nutrition but of their overall immune system. Your pet’s food should also include not only the meat of the animal, but tissues from many or all animal organs. From the science of glandular therapy, consuming organ meats offers healing to the whole body of the pet. Even more, we can serve our pets’ immune system with the inclusion of functional superfoods, such as green tripe for probiotics and garlic for immune system support, to truly maximize their wellness potential. These functional ingredients can also help to protect the body from bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.

While I fully support the efforts of the FDA to investigate any possible links between grain-free diets and DCM (or any other conditions of disease), I strongly advocate more research on the benefits of an ancestral, species-appropriate diet to foster longevity in our pets. I hope that the silver lining here is one that brings greater consumer awareness to raw feeding and more visibility to those manufacturers and retailers who are striving to offer pet families the products that they deserve.

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Gott Pet Products Welcomes New Inside Sales Rep

She brings 15 years of experience to her new role.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Gott Pet Products, manufactures of Charlee Bear dog treats and Hound & Gatos natural food for pets, has announced that Gina Schlueter has joined the team as its inside sales and customer care representative. Schlueter brings 15 years of experience to her new role, which includes managing customer service duties as well as working closely with the supply chain.

Schluter, who holds an associate’s degree in supply chain management from Milwaukee Area Technical College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Green Bay, is a certified continuous improvement manager.

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Prior to joining Gott Pet Products, she served as a special projects manager and supply chain manager for Malteurop, where she was responsible for planning, developing, managing and implementing the department’s standards and operating procedures, in addition to managing the procurement, customer service and logistics team.

At Gott Pet Products, Schlueter hopes to improve the internal processes and provide a better customer experience from order to delivery. When it comes to customer service and supply chain, her goal is to not only set processes in place but also document these processes for future improvement. Schluter is most excited about working with the new product introduction team, including opportunities to grow and launch new products. She is also eager to work closely with the sales team, by providing them with the support and tools they need to hit their markets more aggressively.

“Gina brings with her a great deal of knowledge and experience, and we’re excited to have her join the Gott Pet Products family,” says Patrick McGarry, general manager of Gott Pet Products. “I’m confident she will add a lot of value and make our processes more turnkey thanks to her unique ideas.”

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Pet Product Innovations Features Zen Clipper Precise at SuperZoo

It will be giving demos to show how simple the clippers are to use.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Pet Product Innovations will feature its worry-free nail trimmer, Zen Clipper Precise at SuperZoo and will be giving demos to show how simple the clippers are to use.

PPI’s Zen Clipper Precise is a game-changing product that will give pet parents the confidence and peace of mind they deserve while trimming their pet’s nails thanks to its unique feature that “Clips the Tip, Not the Quick!”

Features of the Zen Clipper Precise include:

  • First and only adjustable nail clipper that’s safe, even when your pet moves.
  • The adjustable blade limits that amount of nail being clipped.
  • Made from high-quality stainless steel for a long-lasting, sharp-clipping edge and blades.
  • The cushioned non-slip handle and stainless steel makes for a comfortable clipper that is durable, attractive and easy to use.
  • Designed in the USA.
  • Zen Clipper is especially helpful for pet owners with limited near vision since it will prevent you from cutting off too much of the nail, even if you cannot see up close.
  • Suitable for any size pet from dogs to cats, birds to reptiles!

Other PPI products that will be showcased at SuperZoo booth 1274 include: Bandana Bowl (portable water/feeding bowl and/or cooling collar), Paw Plunger (the No. 1-selling paw cleaner in America), SmartLeash (the first and only retractable leash that automatically stops your dog when running or lunging), and Venison Joe’s Gourmet Pet Chews.

petppi.com

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SodaPup Launches 4 Nylon Dog Toys

Each design aims to minimize destructive chewing behaviors.

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(PRESS RELEASE) SodaPup founder and CEO Adam Baker has announced that SodaPup is continuing its expansion into durable, American-made, FDA-compliant nylon toys for dogs.

“At SodaPup, we’re dedicated to creating the highest quality, safest, most innovative dog toys in the industry. In the nylon category, we continue to introduce fresh and unexpected designs to a category dominated by bone shapes,” Baker said. “There’s no evidence to suggest that dogs prefer bone shapes, so we focus on designs that will appeal to consumers and trust that dogs will like them too. We’ve also developed a one-size-fits-all design philosophy that has the two-fold benefit of maximizing a retailer’s assortment and also providing greater safety for dogs by reducing the potential choking hazard of smaller toys.”

SodaPup has five brands of dog toys, each focusing on different consumer segments and different channels of distribution. The addition of nylon toys to the current rubber toy assortment helps bring these unique brand stories to life. The latest additions include a shovel toy for the Industrial Dog brand, a paw print and a hot dog for the SodaPup brand, and a Funny Bone for the MuttsKickButt brand. Each new toy is large enough for big dogs yet thin enough for smaller dogs to enjoy. Each design also features interesting shapes and textures designed to hold a dog’s interest and minimize destructive chewing behaviors.

All SodaPup dog toys are made in the USA from FDA-compliant materials.

sodapup.com

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