Saturday, 23 July 2011

the dangers of commercial pet foods in Australia

When Penny was eating a commercial dry food as part of a hypo-allergenic diet to deal with skin issues, I was unhappy, because I prefer not to feed her that kind of food. I can't see that a monotonous diet of one product could possible be healthy. I was relieved when we went to a skin specialist who told us to discontinue the diet.

Recently there has been a report in a newspaper in Queensland, raising serious doubts about the levels of sulphur dioxide in some commercial pet meat products. I sometimes buy these sorts of products, but avoid the ones where there is an extremely long use-by date, because I'm wary of the effects of preservatives on Penny's health.

We do buy 4Legs products, because they say they don't use any preservatives. It was a 4Legs email that sent me the link to the newspaper article, so I guess they are wanting to reassure pet owners that their product is not involved in this problem. On their site they have this to say about pets fed exclusively on pet mince, pet meat or food rolls.
The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has warned that pets fed exclusively with pet mince, pet meat or food rolls that are high in preservatives may suffer fatal health problems. This is because these products often contain high levels of sulphur dioxide. Known as Preservative 220 – 228, sulphur can inactivate the vitamin thiamine (Vitamin B1), which is vital for brain development. Degeneration of brain function can quickly lead to paralysis, seizures and death.
In one way this is scary stuff, but on the other hand I don't think anyone would feed their dog exclusively on these products. I think it's more likely that an owner might choose one dry food product - which I think is equally questionable, as I said at the start of this post.

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