Pretty Poison

You’ve seen the ads, where cats and dogs eagerly devour bowls of colorful kibble and moist, luscious canned food, while pet parents proudly beam, knowing they made the right choice.

But did they?

What the ads don’t show you are the horrors of rendering plants, where containers, brimming with decaying and diseased animals, are ground to a bloody pulp, cooked and transformed into a dry protein powder – the basis for most pet foods on the market.

Like most Americans, I too believed the marketing, and I felt sure I was feeding my furry family members the very best pet food money could buy.

But I was wrong.

My search for healthy pet food began, as it does for so many people, with a tragedy that forced me to examine my beliefs about commercial pet food.

One night, one of my cats, Blackie, straggled in and collapsed at my feet, unable to move. After rushing Blackie to the vet, he said my cat’s bladder was blocked, and the only way to allow the bladder to drain was through a catheter. What seeped out onto the cold metal table was a sickening mixture of blood, urine, puss, and crystals slowly trickled from Blackie’s lifeless body.

The veterinarian told me that if I wanted Blackie to live, I would have to drive him immediately to a veterinary hospital 75 miles away. With instructions not to stop for any reason, the vet hung the IV attached to Blackie from my car window – and with that my journey began.

Blackie’s diagnosis was Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder which causes inflammation, crystals, and stones in their bladders and kidneys; symptoms which are exacerbated, if not caused, by dry food. Blackie’s treating veterinarians were emphatic: Blackie was never to have dry cat food ever again.

During my obsessive search for the perfect pet food, quite unexpectedly, what emerged was a deeply troubling picture of the pet food industry.

What I learned was that despite the overabundance of labeling requirements and regulations, the majority of commercial pet foods fail pets; the myriad of rules serving only as obstacles too quickly cleared.

While the American public buys bags of pet food plastered with pretty pictures of ingredients, the contents belie what consumers envision. Tragically the current system of regulation is woefully inadequate, and American consumers are swindled out of billions of dollars by false and misleading advertising every year. And pets are paying the ultimate price.

What I learned, changed forever the naive trust I once placed in pet food manufacturers. My transformation from innocent consumer to informed pet parent compelled me to share what I had learned with other pet parents.

And that’s how Poisoned Pets was born.

Despite the overabundance of labeling requirements and regulations, the majority of commercial pet foods fail pets and their owners; the myriad of rules serving only as obstacles too quickly cleared. While the American public buys bags of pet food plastered with appetizing pictures of chicken and fish, the contents themselves often contain anything but the chicken and fish we envision. This section reveals the true contents of most commercial pet foods and proves that the current system of regulation is slowly killing our nation’s pets via confusing labels, misleading ingredient names, and inadequate regulation of the manufacturing process.

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