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This is the "before" me on an expensive, super-premium "natural" canned food combined with a top vitamin supplement. See my ugly red tears? I'm mortified to have you seeing me look like this, but I've swallowed my pride to help save your dog's life. You now owe me BIG TIME!
It was bad enough that I looked like a canine Vampira when this photo was taken. My blood and urine tests, and Jiggy's, revealed inner scenarios that were even more revolting. I was lacking in Vitamin D, folic acid, phosphorus and chromium. Jigs and I shared deficiencies in B-6, lecithin, calcium, manganese, selenium, and bioflavinoids, plus we both had poor fat absorption and excess sodium. Jiggy, who was on a top "medical" food for his sick liver, showed additional deficiencies in Vitamins A, C, D, and E, digestive enzymes, zinc and copper. Both our foods were labeled "complete and balanced." I'm prompted to ask, as compared to what?
Upon seeing our test results, our new holistic vet, Dr. Tamara Hebbler, convinced Mom to switch us to fresh "people food" and supplements. And guess what happened? Within days of changing our diet, Jiggy's heart-stopping breath (previously a barrier to our romance) became give-me-a smooch-baby fresh. We practically had to leap out of the way to avoid the tartar tumbling from our teeth. Then onefine day we noticed our red tears were gone. My career as a supermodel was back on track.
How can you tell if your dog's food is hurting your dog? Take a good look at her. Does she have red gums, brown teeth, bad breath, smelly ears, ugly red tears or gummy gunk in her eyes? (Hint: she shouldn't.) Does she climb the walls with hyperactivity or languish about like a lump? How's her temper? Pissy? Maybe her coat's dull or sheds in fistfuls? Or she has fleas, allergies, bowel disease, recurring ear infections or parasites, anal gland problems or a musty doggy smell? Does she suffer from arthritis, cancer, diabetes, liver, kidney or heart disease? With so many dogs suffering ill health, something universal has to be at fault. I can't promise you that an improved diet will fix everything that's wrong with your dog, but I can tell you that Jiggy's blood test results improved 50% in just one month. Within three months, both of our blood tests were 75% back to normal. Clearly, a good part of the source of our health problems had been lurking in Mom's pantry.
The way this dog sees it, most of us aren't on health food diets, we're on fast food diets. You can almost hear manufacturers say: "Do you want fries and a shake with that?"
Are things really that bad? Judge for yourself. After commercial food sickened her two dogs in 1990, Ann Martin, author of Foods Pets Die For, began a decade-long quest to find out what could legally go into her dogs' food. What she learned was beyond shocking. Believe it or not (I didn't want to), manufacturers regularly serve up proteins from "downer" animals, what inspectors call "4-D": the dead, dying, diseased and disabled. (Why so surprised? Feeding downer animals to cattle is what Mad Cow disease is all about, and cattle are part of the Human food chain!)
Pet foods may legally contain roadkill, zoo animals, and even euthanized dogs and cats. Ann's research uncovered food with traces of the euthanasia agent sodium pentobarbital; sweepings from mill and rendering plant floors; moldy grain; restaurant grease; residual antibiotics and hormones; artificial texture, color and flavor agents; and chemical preservatives banned in Human food in the U.S. and in pet foods in other countries. If you like real-life horror stories, read an excerpt from Ms. Martin's book at newsagepress.com.
Okay, you have your yummy ingredients. (Yeah, right.) Next comes processing, cooking at moderate to high temperatures for hours until bacteria and most of the vitamins and enzymes are gone. (Ever wonder why they add back vitamins?) Unfortunately, endotoxins (produced by the bacteria) aren't destroyed, nor are mycotoxins (produced by molds and fungi). In fact, mycotoxins, which are potentially present in all dried foods, have caused at least two manufacturers to recall products after dogs fell ill or died.
Bet you don't know how the dog food industry operates. Well, picture a pack of lions with a carcass. The biggest cats feed first, tearing off the best stuff for themselves. Then the hyenas dig in. After the hyenas come the jackals, and so forth, all the way down to the dung beetles. The same thing happens in the pet food industry. The parent company takes what it wants for you Humans, selling the leftovers (mostly food earmarked as unfit for Human consumption) as food for pets. Ever hear the expression, "The Devil gets the hindmost?" Well, your little angel is that Devil (or dung beetle). This profit-making from refuse and surplus has built a $14 billion a year industry in the U.S. alone. If you want to learn more, go to api4pets.org and search for "Pet Food." I bet you won't come away hungry.
I have more bad news. You Humans have been sold myths along with the food.
MYTH #1: "People food" is bad for dogs. My ancestors decided to live with your ancestors because they wanted to share Human food rather than hunt for their own; in more recent times, your grandparents fed our great, great ... great grandparents their leftovers. Anyway, if pet food companies think the food Humans eat is bad for dogs, why do their ads promote "real" beef and "real" lamb? Maybe the "people food" that's bad for us is junk food. And maybe what's really bad about "people food" is its affect on company profits.
MYTH #2: Dogs shouldn't eat fruits and vegetables. Our ancestors were either opportunistic carnivores or scavenging omnivores. (Experts disagree.) They ate meat, game, poultry and fish, plus whatever veggies and fruits they could score inside or outside their prey's tummies. People are always surprised to see Jiggy and me doing tricks for steamed broccoli or green beans or apples. Humans surprise easily.
MYTH #3: You should overlook all that grain in dog's food. Ever see a "scaredog" to keep dogs out of cornfields? Our ancestors ate some grain, but for the most part, they stunk as farmers and cooks. What grain they did eat came, for the most part, predigested in their prey. Never was it genetically altered, chemically fertilized or stripped of nutrients during processing. Companies making grain-loaded commercial dog foods know this, and also know that corn, soybeans and wheat can cause allergic reactions in sensitive dogs, but think you prefer cheap over everything else. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
MYTH #4: Dogs should eat the same food every day. Allergy specialists will tell you that the best way to give yourself food allergies and nutritional deficiencies is to eat the same thing meal after meal, day after day. Variety's not just the spice of life; it's necessary for a healthy life.
MYTH #5: Variety equals diarrhea. An abrupt change of diet can give us diarrhea, but usually only temporarily. When you're initially changing foods, stretch it out over a week or longer, adding a little new, and subtracting a little old, and watching our poop to see how things work out (so to speak). After an initial week or so of runny poop, Jigs and I began eating something different at every meal. And guess what? No diarrhea. Nowadays we eat pretty much like you do with no gastric upset-because we're mammals just like you.
MYTH #6: Dogs must eat what you put in front of them or they'll become finicky eaters. If something tastes awful, smells spoiled, or makes us feel achy or queasy, how else can we tell you other than to push it away? If we initially turn up our noses at fresh food, maybe it's because we're addicted to fat-laden junk food, just like some of you are. Once we get used to fresh food, we'll love it.
MYTH #7: Dogs' nutritional needs are too complicated for Humans to figure out. Our bodies are so similar to yours that they test your products on us (not something Jigs and I favor), so am I missing something here? If you've managed to stay healthy yourself, with just a few adjustments, you can keep us healthy, too. (On the other paw, if you live on junk food, tequila shooters and cigarettes, better keep us on a good commercial food.)
MYTH #8: The most nutritious food comes in cans and in bags. Highly-processed food is better than fresh? "Meat flavoring" is better than meat? Mom has some real estate she'd like to sell you.
MYTH #9: Quality food is too expensive. Wholesome dog food doesn't have to be expensive, and can be a bigger bargain than processed food even before you figure in health benefits. After health benefits, there's no contest. If you feed your dog junk, sooner or later she'll probably get sick and require expensive medical care.
MYTH #10: "Complete and balanced" means optimum. Foods can get this designation in two ways: with a chemical analysis (meaning that these foods theoretically meet a certain standard) or by passing feeding trials. Trials are a higher standard, but can ultimately be met by exclusive feeding of the food for six months to six dogs. Even though most of us want to live longer than this, there's no requirement to follow dogs past the initial period (although some companies do). Here's another shocker. One food in a brand "family" might pass the trial and allow the rest of the "relatives" to tag along. I don't know about some of your relatives, but considering mine, that idea's pretty scary.
Do you know exactly what you're feeding your dog? Are you sure? Remember when Dorothy and her friends thought the Wizard of Oz was invincible until little Toto pulled back the curtain to reveal a befuddled imposter? Well, that's what I want to do. I'm pulling back the curtain on dog food. Grab your cans and bags and let's take a look at those labels.
Excerpted from Scared Poopless by Jan Rasmusen Chiclet T. Dog Copyright © 2006 by Jan Rasmusen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted May 16, 2010
this is a very informative book. it for sure makes you want
to take care of your dog as you would your own child...(that is the people who are taking good care of their children & feeding them healthy foods). many children & pets are being fed foods that are terrible for them. if you wouldn't eat it, don't feed it to them!! there's many other helpful topics in this book besides just feeding your dog. this is actually a "fun" read & neat pictures throughout the book. i would recommend all dog owners (pet owners!) to read this book & pass it on to your family & friends...better yet, buy them their own copy!!....absolutely worth it!!
Posted January 12, 2006
I just got a puppy, and even though I bought what I thought was the best puppy food on the market, he developed some digestive problems. They got so bad he was dehydrating. Then someone turned me on to Jan Rasmusen's book, SCARED POOPLESS, and I read what she said about feeding our dogs. After reading up on all of the 'human' foods we can give our dogs, I began by changing Bailey's food and introducing a bit of the approved human foods she mentioned. Within just a few hours, Bailey's problems had begun to subside, and having changed his diet for the last few days, getting him off of the dog food, has had amazingly wonderful results. Just to be sure, I still took my puppy to the vet. The vet absolutely agreed with the dietary changes I had made for the pup, and thankfully, Bailey is now doing fine. Scared Poopless has become our reference guide for the care and feeding of our new family member. It's a must-have reference, especially for NEW dog owners. Don't know what we'd do without it! --Alyscia K.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2005
If you love your dog, read this book. It is loaded with solid information. As with our own medical care, canine health and safety have also evolved. This book written with fun and humor, provides much needed advice on everything to help your dog stay healthy and safe. A fantastic reference book that you will pull down off your shelf time and time again. A staple for every dog loving home.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 21, 2005
When I bought Scared Poopless, I clearly underestimated just how dramatically it would affect my knowledge of canine health issues. I was immensely impressed by the volume of often revolutionary material and the incredible research. I found some of the facts surprisingly unsettling, making me doubt the quality of my own many years of pet ownership but giving me new hope for the future welfare of my three dogs. Jan and Chiclet¿s interjections of humor and 'trivia treats' were especially welcome devices for making the learning fun. The humor, fabulous photographs and the boldness of this book will set it far apart from standard pet care manuals. Jan has truly crafted a legacy on behalf of canine welfare. To say that I was surprised by the impact this book had on me may indicate just how much misinformation prevails about dogs and their needs.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 17, 2005
First of all - the photos! Amazing, expressive, adorable, and varied which can't help but touch all dog owners (actually, any animal lovers)! The photos pulled me in! I myself am a Maltese owner of two -- I had to look throughout the book at all the human-like actions of the dogs! I just couldn't resist then I had to read something about each topic from first page to last. Not being able to stop at just perusing the chapters, I couldn't resist then getting into the meat of the obvious extended research that went into the facts expressed. It all makes so much sense. Chiclet writes with humor, honesty, research, and new-health education -- all in a human-interest manner which makes the learning easier and presents a new form of health patterns which will change the way people think and how animals thrive! A simply delightful book that I have already recommended to my friends! It has a place on my coffee table. Thank you, authors - you did a lickingly delicious job with this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 16, 2005
This book may save your dog's life. I was given a copy, read it in 2 days, and have purchased it for Christmas presents for all my dog-loving friends. Comprehensive information on dogs meds, foods, training, plus information I haven't found anyplace else. Throw away your other books and 'amaze your friends' with your knowledge. The dog, Chiclet, is one smart dog. She's the book's author AND she knows what she's talking about. Thoroughly researched and documented - the book you need to add years onto your dog's life. I have a large German Shepherd and it is every bit as relevant for him as for a small dog. Can't say enough good things about the book and its authors.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.