Saturday, September 5, 2009

The "Natural" Pet Food Scam

"The fastest growing trend in the pet food industry today is the natural pet food sector. As awareness builds among consumers of potential links between commercial dog food deficiencies and the growing number of serious medical conditions in dogs, demand for super premium, natural dog food, and supplements rises in lock-step with their concerns. Our marketing goal is for All American Pet Brands to emerge as the category leader at retailers with a full line of healthy, natural products."

American Pet Brands became a publicly traded company in 2007 with a marketing plan that capitalizes on pet owners' ignorance of what constitutes a healthy diet for carnivorous pets (e.g., raw meats and meaty bones). The company is hyping kibbles in a variety of shapes and sizes to appeal to myths about good pet care. They capitalize specifically on "The humanization of pets", a trend they say includes veterinarians who recommend feeding dogs twice a day.

"The ingredients and packaging of our products are positioned to maximize the trend towards the humanization of pets with a variety of shapes and flavors. As a result of this trend of the humanization of pets, the Company is focused on an exciting, new and unique concept in pet nutrition. We were the first line of commercial dog food specifically targeted for the morning meal, because “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” - for dogs too."

What? Breakfast cereals for wolves? Wolves are lucky to make two kills a week, and to eat perhaps 4 meals in a week, not 14 meals. Wolf digestion is geared to gorging and fasting on meat and meaty bones. Why on earth would one want to feed them twice a day? To sell breakfast cereal to wolves, of course!

As the humanizaton of pets continues, pet food companies capitalize on the mistaken notion that dogs and cats need starchy cereals, which neither evolved to eat or digest well. The fact that stachy diets make pets sick feeds into the next marketing ploy: pet health care.

"The fastest growing segment of the companion animal market is pet healthcare with annual revenues of $34 billion (bigger than the toy, pasta, and baby food industries combined), and growing at about 15% per year. The domestic pet market which includes 75 million dogs in the U.S. is driven by people who are becoming educated regarding healthcare, at the top of their economic cycle and have a high propensity to purchase health products for their pets. "

Because veterinarians promote and sell commercial pet foods, manufacturers vie for shelf space in vets' clinics. Hills Science Diet, Pedigree, Iams and Eukanuba brands predominate on vets' shelves. Other companies, such as this upstart, want a share of the market. All kibbles are necessarily heavy on sugary carbohydrates, not the advertised meats and vegetables. Once the kibble mixture is cooked at the high temperatures required to produce dry kibbles, any meats they began with are reduced to a tiny portion of the final product. Make no mistake: Kibbles are all cooked carbohydrates, no matter how much you pay for them.

"The Company produces super premium dry dog food, the fastest growing segment of the $10.6. billion dollar dry dog food market. Super premium dry dog food represents $1.1 billion in annual sales with nearly 10% annual growth and higher growth for the morning meal due to Veterinarians’ recommendations for multiple feedings each day. "

If pet owners understood they are victimized by promoters of unhealthy carbohydrates for carnovorous pets, they would be outraged, but no one in authority is telling the truth about pet diets. So, the newest fad of "breakfast for dogs" will be launched and more dogs will be forced to eat cereals that irritate their bowels, coat their teeth with gummy sludge, cause gum infections that spread toxins throughout their bodies, and cause chronic illnesses that result in prolonged suffering and early death.

So, American Pet Brands strives to gain its share of the multi-billion dollar dry pet food market with pretty packages, clever advertising, and to give its share of pets lifetimes of chronic illnesses and early deaths. This company is no different from dozens of others, who see profits in the deliberate deception of pet owners, who spend money in the hope their beloved pets will have long, healthy lives.

Selling pet owners foods that make their pets sick brings big profits to veterinarians, who both sell the bad foods and treat the resulting illnesses. A recent message from a veterinarian who supports feeding raw meats and meaty bones illustrates this point in a conversation she had with a veterinary colleague. She suggested that she could advocate raw-meaty-bones for pets to attract new clients. Vet colleague said that advocating RMB would cause the practise to lose a lot of money because of the loss of all the dentals!

What about all the pets whose owners cannot afford annual $300 dental treatments for their pets with rotting teeth and gums infected by processed foods? They just suffer and die sooner. How needless all this suffering and early death. Feeding a truly Natural diet of raw-meaty-bones easily prevents the foul mouths and chronic illnesses, if pet owners only knew the truth about processed pet foods.


  1. well said
    the greedy pet food companies fuel the incompetent vets

  2. It's even worse than this. We, humans and animals, are walking toxic waste dumps--it's in our food, the air, the water we drink and the clothes we wear. The door is now wide open for big corporations to do as they please or should I say lie as they please. More recently, in the last few decades, genetically altered grain has been pushed on us. It is in our food, high fructose corn syrup (under many names to lower it on the ingredients list), filler in highly processed foods sold to us as cereal, snacks, etc. and even more so in pet food. Check out why grain has to be genetically altered--don't look to Cargill or Monsanto for real answers. At first they say it is not for human consumption and will only be used in making ethanol, an additive to our fuel which we spew into the air daily. But now the waste or by-products are being refined further into a very sweet syrup called high fructose and the bulk part of the grain is being put into our cereals, snack and pet/farm animal foods. They call genetically altered grain "round-up ready"--you research this one! and while your at it, although it's been completely "glossed-over" and ignored, check out mad cow disease.


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