Dog Food Scandal: What If They Were What They Ate?

When the recent horse meat scandal erupted, I knew it was not the last we would hear about deceptive meat substitution on a large scale.

Then, a relative forwarded to me this story from an agricultural industry trade journal:

Pretty disgusting, huh?

According to the full version of the story by the Daily Mail, it is suspected that stray dogs were picked up off the streets in Spain and stolen from animal sanctuaries. Then, their bodies were processed into animal feed.

Everything about this story is disturbing.

And that should be true for you whether or not you are a dog person.

It’s amazing how little we really know about any of the food we buy.

dog food taste test.jpg

Whether we are getting kibble for our pets or enjoying a fancy meal out, we make our decisions based on what the label or menu says.

We trust stores, manufacturers and restaurants to tell us the truth. We have to.

For while we might know what a hamburger tastes like, our senses cannot tell us if the meat is composed of something more than beef.

Who’s to say about that filetĀ of fish, either?

According to The Atlantic, 59% of the “tuna” eaten by Americans is not tuna at all.

As with the horse meat and tainted pet food, the fish findings are based on genetic testing. Without whistle blowers and a scientific investigation, no one would know the truth.

Considering the precarious economic state of the world right now, I fear there may be more disgusting new like this to come.

So, what do we do – as humans and pet caretakers?

  • Whenever possible, consume food that is grown and distributed locally.
  • If that isn’t practical, pay attention to the labels. Buy the highest-quality pet food you can for your pets, preferably with ingredients sourced in the United States or Canada.

What advice would you add to this list? Do you worry about where your food – and your pet’s food comes from? What are you currently feeding your pets?

The Wayward Dogs currently eat Petcurean grain-free kibble that we get from the Boutique at Kennel Creek Pet Resort.

About Crystal K. Wiebe

I live with two formerly wayward dogs, and helping other dogs find new homes is my passion. I recently founded the company Beer Paws to help celebrate the relationship between people and pets.

Posted on March 11, 2013, in Dogs, Food, Random Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Good points! My best advice is to take an active role in learning what you’re feeding your dog(s) and don’t be afraid to ask about things like ingredient sourcing. Max eats a homemade raw diet that was balanced for him because of questions about the meat sourcing from the commercial raw diet we used to feed. It was just more peace of mind to have a diet created for him and do it ourselves. So Max is beef, fruits and veggies, yogurt and a calcium supplement, all from the grocery store or butcher.

  2. Oh, for goodness sake – cannot believe this but sadly know it’s probably 100% true :( It’s worse than the horse meat scandal as probably the brain and spine didn’t make it into the food chain but with these dogs, it sounds like everything will have been turned into protein. The mad cow disease was warning but as this is simply criminals behaving as they will do, the final resting place of this protein must be found.

  3. WOW – In the back of my mind I do think about this. I usually buy foods with ingredient lists I can read and if not I am not taking it home with me. Happy Monday:)

  4. I’ve heard about such cruelty things, as they said someone found pieces of collars in dog food and they said it was made from dogs. And now I read this is true – how cruelty and disgusting. What will some people do next for their profit?

  5. Gag! I thought transitioning Melvin to raw was nauseating (for me, not him) but this story is far worse! What is wrong with people?

  6. This is actually an old scare. Although when it initially happened (in the late 90′s I believe) it was the traces of phenol barbitol (as found in euthanization serums) that tipped the FDA off to the presence of dogs and cats being used as rendered ‘meat meals’ in pet foods.

    My best advice – Know your labels! Any thing not specifically identified (like that aforementioned ‘meat’ meal) skip it. Also, know that due to AAFCO guidelines, not all ‘chicken meal’ is created equal, which means.

    Know your pet food! Where is it manufactured? By whom? Does your petfood company own their own facility? Or do they have it made at someone elses? (<– most common) If so, what precautions do they take (pay for) to ensure their food isn't tainted by that of other companies? Where do they source their ingredients from?

    The label may read well (Think Costco's Nature's Domain), but if that food is made by a company with a history of recalls, are you willing to risk it?

    My Solution? Locally made raw or Champion Products (Orijen, Acana).

  7. Shocking. I’m simply horrified and the problem is, that manufacturers such as these, are hardly going to list the ingredients honestly.

  8. OK… I’m battling some nausea now… my vivid imagination is running away with itself!

  9. We eat Verus. A Maryland ( local )dog food company

  10. Horrific but It sadly it does not surprise me in the least. There are so many unscrupulous, immoral people :(

  11. Scary news to say the least. I think we can all do something to be vigilant when it comes to calling these companies out. Doesn’t the FDA have a say in vetoing what kinds of foods hit our shelves? There needs to be some kind of accountability at all times. That being said, I always purchase pet food that’s made locally to ensure my dog is getting exactly what the label says on the packet.

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