Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food Info

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The commercial pet food industry has a secret to hide
— and Ann Martin wants to make sure you know it. Her research
reveals some startling facts: that the pet food industry conducts animal
testing in order to improve their product, and includes euthanized cats
and dogs in the mix to heighten protein content. In this revised and
updated edition, Martin continues to explore the shocking processes by
which commercial pet foods are produced. She offers alternative recipes
for feeding pets, nutritional advice, and an exploration of "Pet
Peeves," in which she explores several scams aimed at pet owners. This
groundbreaking book gives us a glimpse into exactly what we are doing
when we buy pet food.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food:

5

Feb 04, 2009

Shocking information about the pet food industry in the United States. There are periodic mentions of other pet food manufacturing processes, to include: United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Japan, but for the most part this book dealt with the United States.

Who regulates the Pet Food Industry in the U.S.? Basically, the pet food industry has been left to regulate themselves. There is not a single organization that oversees this billion dollar business. And NO ONE regulates what goes into pet food. Shocking information about the pet food industry in the United States. There are periodic mentions of other pet food manufacturing processes, to include: United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Japan, but for the most part this book dealt with the United States.

Who regulates the Pet Food Industry in the U.S.? Basically, the pet food industry has been left to regulate themselves. There is not a single organization that oversees this billion dollar business. And NO ONE regulates what goes into pet food. Period. There are some regulations for labeling, but many have figured ways around the "ingredients."

"Splitting" is used by some to hide the fact that their product contains a lot of corn. Manufacturers will use different terms for the same product to get out of showing a product, corn for instance, is the highest ingredient. Manufacturers will put corn-meal, and other names for corn throughout the ingredients...tricky and deceptive.

I was horrified to read that euthanized pets, road kill, diseased farm animals, dead zoo animals, etc are sent to "rendering" plants and processed for pet food. Collars, tags, flea collars, plastic bags and all. I thought they were sent to land fills. Nope. Turns out that euthanized animals contain the barbituate pentobarbital and if the animal is not buried very deep or cremated any animals (birds, etc) will die eating them.

A story of a man that buried his pet 10' in the ground was later dug up by a mamma bear and her two cubs. They were found dead and tests said pentobarbital poisoning.

Veterinarians have started conducting their own studies as to why pentobarbital is not working like is used to. What they learned was pets are eating this product in small doses are becoming resistant to it.

Per the author of this book, many pet food manufacturers deny using euthanized dogs and cats in pet food; however, undercover agents have learned this is not true. When some were finally forced to prove their ingredients did not contain dog or cat DNA it could not be proved because when cooked at 275 DNA is lost. But, evidence of pentobarbital was there and it came from euthanized animals.

Currently, most of the large manufacturers no longer deny they have no dogs or cats in their products but state they make every effort not to. Except people are still tracking large trucks of pet bodies all the way to rendering plants that are usually located very near large pet food plants. Trucks are seen leaving rendering plants to pet food plants on a regular basis.

Also, diseased cows and other animals with liver disease, etc are slaughtered for pet food. Shavings from chicken pens, feces from chickens--including pine shavings--hogs, cows and other animals are used for pet food. Manufacturers also add--massive quantities--of synthetic vitamins. They tend to overspread it and if not mixed well one batch can contain harmful amounts of synthetic Vit K (which is a known cancer causing ingredient) or D, or zinc that can kill or make pets very sick.

The March 2007 pet massive pet food recall was a big eye-opener for me. I remember when the news first announced a problem with one brand, then another, then another: turned out to be 195 brands. Why? Because they all got a portion of their contents from the same place. Whether it was Science Diet or Ole Roy, the basic ingredients were the same, just the packaging and price varied.

A private lab ran tests to find out what was in the food that the pet food companies continued to state they didn't know. What was found: rat poison.

Most veterinarians are not trained in pet nutrition and are just as guilty as some of our medical doctors of learning about drugs from the very companies that sell them. Veterinarians and veterinarian schools are "bought" into promoting high-cost "healthy" pet foods that are no more healthy than the cheapest dog food at the local discount store.

A few veterinarians are trained in pet nutrition. They've had to seek this training OUTSIDE of vet school, though. Right now the large pet food manufacturers are buying their way into veterinarian offices by sponsoring veterinary schools, etc.

I was horrified to read the animal research that many of the major pet food manufacturers conduct--in secret--on animals all in the name of pet food. No way! Proctor and Gamble are one of the worst. Undercover agents found horrific evidence that just made me sick.

The author explains how the pet food industry turns its wheels to produce pet food. She provides where she got her information and when companies did not respond to her. She has had to invoke the Freedom of Information Act on many--repeatedly--to receive evasive responses in over a year's time or none at all.

The large pet food manufacturers have refused to allow people inside their plants stating "trade secrets."

The author does list several organic pet food companies that she considers to be okay--for now. For now? Because these companies change ownership quickly. One that may be okay now, may get bought by Hills or another and keep the same label. Be aware.

She recommends contacting a manufacturer of organic pet food and asking them:

1) Do you manufacture all your product in your plant?

This is crucial because most of the large scale pet food manufacturers import ingredients from CHINA and then that ingredients doesn't have to be included on the package.

She includes a few website to subscribe to for updates, recalls, etc.

2) Do you experiment on animals?

The author stresses that the best pet food for our pets is our food. She includes a list of foods and suggested feeding times and a list of foods NOT to feed animals: grapes, raisins, chocolate, avocados, etc.

Basically, if we eat healthy food, our pets can most likely eat it too. The author gives her pets a bowl of oatmeal in the morning with small amount of fruit or cooked meat. She doesn't recommend giving pork to dogs because it causes stomach upset. She recommends cooking all meat because it decreases bacteria even though kills some of the good protein pets need.

She feeds her pets cut-up apple chunks, celery, etc for snacks.

There are several recipes for dogs and cats in the back that are very simple. Dog cookies, etc.

She repeats information in the book--a lot--but I assume it is for people not reading the entire book, but chapters here and there. For the most part, she says pet food manufacturing launched a large scare campaign to scare us into NOT feeding our pets human food. NOT TRUE.

Dogs were actually meant to live into their 20's. Yet because of their diets, they rarely come close to that. ...more
2

Jan 17, 2010

Ann N. Martin exposes a number of problems that she has uncovered in the pet food industry. She gathered information by making a number of calls and collecting "facts". The problem with her conclusions, however, is that they are circumstantial. For example,a phone call that is not returned, does not mean that there are unsavory practices going on, simply that heads of companies do not necessarily have the time to indulge a conspiracy theorist.

Martin makes many claims about certain ingredients Ann N. Martin exposes a number of problems that she has uncovered in the pet food industry. She gathered information by making a number of calls and collecting "facts". The problem with her conclusions, however, is that they are circumstantial. For example,a phone call that is not returned, does not mean that there are unsavory practices going on, simply that heads of companies do not necessarily have the time to indulge a conspiracy theorist.

Martin makes many claims about certain ingredients contained in foods which simply do not occur. One argument says that rendered pets (collars included) are used in pet foods. According to regulations, this practice is not allowed - all ingredients have specific definitions when listed on the ingredient panels (and that definition includes what components can and cannot be a part of that description). Because of these regulations, a number of the situations she describes simply cannot occur.

Another complaint of Martin's is the use of pets in studies and experiments. While these practices may seem unsavory, the fact is, it is necessary. Controlled experiments are the only way that scientists and nutritionists can gain information on nutrient requirements for dogs and cats. Without these studies, we would not know how to properly formulated foods for them, which may help others live long healthy lives. Throughout experiments animals are treated humanely, their needs are taken care of, they have regular veterinary care, and tests avoid pain and discomfort to the animal. All of these points are forgotten or ignored in her book.

Martin does include in her book useful information about nutrients and how they contribute to the overall health of the pet. She also includes several recipes that an owner can prepare for his or her pet; however, there is no information about the nutrient component of the foods. There is no evidence that any of the recipes were formulated by a veterinary nutritionist; and, many of them are deficient in nutrients needed by pets.

Martin herself, is simply known for her distaste of commercial pet foods. While she is a known writer on the topic, her background, at least from the "About the Author" section of her book does not include any formal training in the area of nutrition, let alone pet nutrition. She has a B.A. in business, not even in biology, biochemistry, microbiology, or any other scientific area that may pertain to pets or pet industry. ...more
5

Aug 14, 2015

Wow! Scary, sad, moving reading.
Although this is primarily concerned with the U.S. market it is thought-provoking for NZ as well.
It has proven to be an insight into a field of our lives that we probably don't often consider.
It is well written and paced, doesn't overload with masses of technical jargon but keeps it accessible as well as being grounded in scientific research.
An highly recommended read.
4

Jun 01, 2010

Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food by Ann N. Martin exposes the problems with commercial pet food. She explains the pet food regulations and where they fail. She reveals the truth about the ingredient labels on pet food. Her investigation discovered misleading labels, problem chemicals, ineffective vitamin and mineral additives, the actual nutritional value lost by the process of preparing the food, the use of unfit food and foodlike substances to make pet food, and the Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food by Ann N. Martin exposes the problems with commercial pet food. She explains the pet food regulations and where they fail. She reveals the truth about the ingredient labels on pet food. Her investigation discovered misleading labels, problem chemicals, ineffective vitamin and mineral additives, the actual nutritional value lost by the process of preparing the food, the use of unfit food and foodlike substances to make pet food, and the heartbreaking experimentation pet companies perform on animals. The chapter on experimentation shocks, horrifies, and saddens anyone who cares for animals. She also reveals the extent of the cover ups involved in the pet food recalls of recent years. Food Pets Die For provides a solution for feeding pets nutritious, tasty, and filling food. Martin explains the benefits of homemade food for pets and provides easy to make recipes for food for both cats and dogs. Food Pets Die For is an eye-opening, well written, expose on the pet food industry that will leave pet lovers more informed as well as questioning marketing claims and possibly even some veterinarians.
...more
3

Jul 19, 2008

A friend of mine who is becoming a vegan and is very concerned about animal rights gave me this book to read after I told her about my ordeal with my two Siamese cats becoming sick after the Menu foods recall last year. I must say that what was in this book didn't surprise me after my research of all the horrible things in pet food. I really don't have the time to cook for my cats, which this book clearly advocates. (I barely have time to cook for myself and my husband). But I am very careful A friend of mine who is becoming a vegan and is very concerned about animal rights gave me this book to read after I told her about my ordeal with my two Siamese cats becoming sick after the Menu foods recall last year. I must say that what was in this book didn't surprise me after my research of all the horrible things in pet food. I really don't have the time to cook for my cats, which this book clearly advocates. (I barely have time to cook for myself and my husband). But I am very careful now to purchase only organic pet foods from reliable companies and I look at the ingredients closely. This book gives you descriptions of what some of these ingredients really are, and what to look out for and stay away from. ...more
1

Jul 06, 2013

I think I would be less angry about this book if I hadn't just had a client today treating her dog for mineral deficiencies because of similar bad advice she got from a book like this. Just because the author's pets haven't had a problem so far, doesn't make the advice safe. This book has a very casual relationship with words like "authority" "expert" and "fact". This book is not very well researched and brings little true expertise to the table.

Frankly I think some of the advice within is I think I would be less angry about this book if I hadn't just had a client today treating her dog for mineral deficiencies because of similar bad advice she got from a book like this. Just because the author's pets haven't had a problem so far, doesn't make the advice safe. This book has a very casual relationship with words like "authority" "expert" and "fact". This book is not very well researched and brings little true expertise to the table.

Frankly I think some of the advice within is dangerous. I highly recommend instead checking out Feed your Pet Right by Marion Nestle if you are looking at an outsider's but more scientifically based point of view. ...more
2

Jan 15, 2012

This is a message for everyone who writes about pet food; stop scaring us and tell us what the solutions are. It appears no one will take on the huge pet food manufacturers and tell us brand by brand which are the best. It can't be so complicated and the public would obviously support the effort as they keep reading these books and magazine articles that give them no factual data. The fact of the matter is you would be scared of the food you eat if you knew what was in it and how it was handled. This is a message for everyone who writes about pet food; stop scaring us and tell us what the solutions are. It appears no one will take on the huge pet food manufacturers and tell us brand by brand which are the best. It can't be so complicated and the public would obviously support the effort as they keep reading these books and magazine articles that give them no factual data. The fact of the matter is you would be scared of the food you eat if you knew what was in it and how it was handled. As for me, I will cook stews for my dogs made out of the same food I eat and use a reliable kibble as a base. ...more
5

Oct 14, 2012

We need more books like this to accurately portray how consumers are conned. In this case how we are feeding our furry families a whole lot of junk!.. sometimes toxic junk, and paying for it. Every consumer should make their own choices, but they should be armed with the facts. Read this book and it will make you look at your pet's food completely differently. I am indebited to Ann Martin for all her research and tenacity on bringing these horrific realities to light. A seriously EXCELLENT BOOK!
4

May 02, 2009

This was a very informative book. Some of the topics are painful and downright horrifying to read about (animal experimentation, disposal of companion animals, etc.), but the information is eye-opening. The book touches on the lack of regulations for the pet food industry, what ingredients go into the food and what those ingredients really are, the lack of nutritional education for vets, ways the pet food companies test some of their products, the recalls of 2007, and more. Martin also includes This was a very informative book. Some of the topics are painful and downright horrifying to read about (animal experimentation, disposal of companion animals, etc.), but the information is eye-opening. The book touches on the lack of regulations for the pet food industry, what ingredients go into the food and what those ingredients really are, the lack of nutritional education for vets, ways the pet food companies test some of their products, the recalls of 2007, and more. Martin also includes some recipes for people who want to make their own pet food, which I found very useful. ...more
5

Jul 25, 2011

Did you know that pets euthanized at your local vet may be making it the big brand bag of pet food you just bought at the grocery store for your dog or cat? Yeah. Neither did I. Okay, lets say you're not horrified by the idea, because meat is meat, right? What about meat that is full of sodium barbiturate the vet used to humanely euthanize that pet? So, intentionally poisoned meat.
3

Jul 04, 2012

If you have a pet, you should read this book.

It talks about what is in pet foods. If you are feeding your pet food that has meat meal in it, you are feeding your pet the carcasses of dead cats and dogs. How ghastly is that?!

If you want to avoid feeding your pets processed food, there are lots of recipes you can make at home.
5

Sep 18, 2010

This book will change your life. I am not particularly fanatic about issues, but this book left me feeling horrified and ill all at once. I immediately made changes in my own lifestyle and that of my pet's feeding habits. It should, without doubt, be handed out as a manual to every new pet owner. We should all be made aware of the facts in this little book and act on them.
2

Nov 23, 2011

The author has a decidedly more pessimistic view of the commercial pet food industry than the other pet food book I recently read, Feed Your Pet Right. This book covers many similar topics, but is not as even-handed on the research and is older.
5

Jun 22, 2013

Shocking! Unbelievable what is put in our pet!s food. I can't believe what they are getting away with. Now I understand why my Pom would rather eat my food. Definitely changing her diet, Roxy's my companion and I want her around as long as I can!
4

Jun 30, 2013

Not the most fun book to read, but very enlightening. The material is sometimes drawn out, sometimes disgusting, but the information is so important if you love your pets. Includes some recipe ideas in the back of the book.
4

Jan 29, 2010

Good book that exoses the horrible pet foods out their. Just as human food has changed drastically over the years and is no longer healthy for us but actually harmful, the same has happened to pet food.
5

Mar 06, 2010

This book gave some of the best insights into the pet food atrocities I have read. If you care at all about your pet, read this book and follow its instructions. It is the least we can do for our companions.
4

Mar 03, 2012

Shocking is right. The information in here disgusted me and I will definitely be reading pet food labels as carefully as possible.
0

Jan 18, 2017

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Read 2nd Edition
Reading 3rd Edition
5

Dec 09, 2009

A must read for anyone who loves pets and/or works with those who loves pets.
5

Jan 04, 2013



Eye opening.. I can't believe what they put in most commercial pet foods. I will definitely switch brands and consider a homemade diet for my cats, even the one with kidney disease.
5

Apr 19, 2013

Great information. I am very picky about what I feed myself, my family and my dog. I do wish they would right an update as it was published years ago.
5

Aug 11, 2008

If you own a pet, you should read this. It's a super easy read.

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