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Reach Out Rescue & Resources is a small group of rescuers with a large amount of passion for dogs and cats!!
Last Updated:
11/27/2020 8:24 PM

How Do You Choose the Right Food?

With all the recent news about the 100 plus pet food companies recalling their products, the question is, how do you know what the right foods are? The recall is directly related to wheat gluten, rice protein and corn gluten and a food enhancer called melamine. These ingredients are imported from China and other second world countries. Often they are coated with various pesticides and melamine, known to boost the protein levels in pet foods.

So how do you decide what are safe and good foods for your pet?

Learn to read the labels... if you don't know what it is, then it's not good for your pet. There are many things like preservatives and other flavor enhancers that are known to produce problems in animals... like cancer, tumors, skin problems, allergies and more.

When reading the labels, ingredients are listed in order of the volume of percentages in the food. By-products include intestines, chicken heads, duck bills, chicken and turkey feet, feathers and bones, soy, cottonseed hulls, corn cobs, peanut hulls, citrus pulp, weeds, straw and cereal by-products.

When you see beef, chicken and poultry by-products, these are not required to include actual meat. Rendered meat includes dead, diseased and dying animals, including dogs and cats euthanized at shelters, road kill and left over carcasses from processing plants that often have tumors, cancers, drugs, flea and tick collars. Parts of animals that are not considered fit for human consumption, so why feed it to your pets?

If you see any of these in a label, think twice: Ethoxyquin (a cousin to antifreeze), BHA (butylated hydroxyamisole), and BHT (butylated hyroxytoluene), are chemical additives used as preservatives and not allowed to be used in human food. These products are known to cause carcinomas in stomach cancers and fast acting, urinary bladder and thyroid carcinogenesis and kidney carcinogesis as well as tumors of the stomach.

Avoid any foods listing meat meal, meat by-products, poultry meal, poultry by-products, fish meal, fish oil, tallow, beef fat, chicken fat, yellow grease and fatty acids. If you see these products, it means a toxic brew of dead animals, rancid kitchen grease and old frying oil.

Years ago our pets lived to 18, 20 and 22 years old. And it might just have something to do with the fact there weren't nice packaged foods sitting on shelves for our convenience. Pets were fed the same foods that we eat…and those are the healthiest foods for our pets.

Rule of thumb, if it's good for humans, it's good for pets with the exception of grapes, raisins and onions which are toxic to dogs. Of course we all know about chocolate but that's not "healthy" for anyone!

So feel free to feed your pet left over vegetables and meats. Raw marrow bones are extremely healthy for dogs... never cooked bones!

Look for human grade ingredients in the foods, it will be on the packaging and you will recognize all the ingredients. The first ingredient should be a protein of some type of all meat; lamb, chicken, beef, etc. After that you will see a list of other healthy ingredients such as various vegetables, fruits, vitamins and supplements that you recognize. Corn and wheat are fillers and offer no nutritional value.

Initially you may think these "human grade" foods are more expensive but pound for pound, they are only two to three cents more. You will feed less because more nutrients are actually be absorbed by the pet. A typical dog that gets 2 cups a day of the lesser foods might only take one to one and one-half cups of the better foods. Also, if you supplement with fresh vegetables (or canned, unsalted string beans, carrots, etc.) you will feed less as well.

Canned foods are excellent for dogs and cats. In the wild, both canines and felines obtain most of their water from their foods by eating roots, berries, and meats. So it stands to reason that using canned foods or mixing canned foods in with dry is much more appealing to your pets as well as healthier for them.

Canned foods are nothing more than the dry foods without the water removed. So whatever brand of dry you feed, try using that same brand of canned.

Just as humans like change in their diet, consider your pets as well. Changing foods every 6 to 9 months eliminates those finicky eaters, as well as reducing the chance of developing food allergies.

There are a number of excellent, human grade foods available for your pets. Read labels, ask knowledgeable people and by all means – do your own research! Your dog or cat's life depends on it!

Find out about the quality of your pet's food:
Dog Food:
Cat Food:

A list of the seven worst dog foods put out by holistic group.

Natura Pet Expands Recall of California Natural, Innova, EVO and More. On March 29, 2013, Natura Pet announced it is expanding its recall of certain lots of some of its most popular dry dog and cat foods due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.
To learn which products are affected, please visit the following link:


Reports of possible problems with Kirkland Dog Food:


Find out about the VeRus All Natural Holistic Pet Food "Rescue Frequent Feeder Program:


Find out more about a class action lawsuit that may affect your rights if you purchased Innova, EVO, California Natural, HealthWise, Mother Nature, or Karma dog or cat food products during the time period from March 20, 2005 to July 8, 2011:


Could your pet's food contain Pentobarbital (the drug used in euthanasia)? Visit this site and find out:


What exactly is in my pet's food!?!? (there are two additional links at the end of the article and the video is from 2008):


Where's the Beef? Why Your Dog Should Never Eat Another Milk-Bone or Beggin Strip, and You Should Avoid the Slim Jims:’s-the-beef/


10 Best Dog Food Brands from Dog Food Scoop:


Top Worst Dog Foods – Bad Dog Food Brands and What Ingredients You Should Never Feed Your Dog:


Why Dogs Can't Eat Chocolate (free article, but requires you to register):


PetMD's slideshow of foods your dog should never eat:


If you want help with developing a healthy diet program contact Janet Oquendo:


The American Veterinary Medical Association has something called the "AVMA Collections", which spotlights a single topic into article "collections", such as "Spay/Neuter", "Obesity in Dogs" and "Rabies":


Nature's Nibbles is now selling an acceptable ALL NATURAL alternative to Pill Pockets! Pill Buddys! Pill Buddys come in two formulas: Chicken or the allergy formula made with duck! is working with a veterinarian to develop the largest library of content on the web related to dog food and general dog nutrition.

Web Image: recallDiamond Pet Foods Recall

Diamond Pet Foods has voluntarily recalled some of their dry dog foods, manufactured in Gaston, S.C. due to possible Salmonella Contamination.

The brands affected by this recall include: Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul; Country Value; Diamond; Diamond Naturals; Premium Edge; Professional; 4Health; Taste of the Wild; Apex; Kirkland Signature/Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain; Canidae.

In addition, makers of the following brands have announced voluntary recalls of additional specific products: Wellness; Natural Balance; Canidae; Solid Gold. here for more information on the recall from Diamond Pet Foods here for more information on the recall from Canidae. here for more information on the recall from Natural Balance. here for more information on the recall from Wellness. here for more information on the recall from Solid Gold. here for more information on the expanded recall from Diamond Pet Foods.

Petigree announces voluntary recall of limited range of canned dog food: Click here for more information on this recall

Bravo! Raw Frozen Dog Food Recall
April 3, 2013 — Bravo! of Manchester, Connecticut has announced it is voluntarily recalling three of its raw diet frozen foods for dogs and cats because they could potentially be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.
According to the company…

“…while these products tested negative for pathogens by an independent third party prior to distribution, they were run on the same day or an adjacent day to a product that tested positive for pathogens.

“The product that tested positive has been 100 percent contained and is not subject to this recall.”

What’s Being Recalled?

    • Item #21-405 – 5 lb chub (tube) of Bravo! Chicken Balance frozen raw diet with a “best used by” date of 3-6-15 or 3-12-15 printed on the plastic casing of the package


    • Item #21-102 – 2 lb. chub (tube) of Bravo! Chicken Blend frozen raw diet with a “best used by” date of 3-21-15 printed on the plastic casing of the package


  • Item #51-508 – 5 lb. bag of Bravo! Beef Blend Burgers with a “best used by” date of 3-21-15 or 3-22-15 printed on the back panel of the plastic bag

No other products are affected.


The Truth About Pet Food: Bad Ingredients

  An important part of being a responsible advocate for your beloved furry friend means knowing exactly what kind of food and treats are going into your dog's body. To ensure the high quality of the food they are eating, it is vitally important to pick up the package and read the ingredient list carefully.     As scary as it may sound, many pet owners do not pay any attention to the ingredient list on the back of their dog's food, which is a big mistake that can be detrimental to their pet's health in both the short term and long term. If you are a dog owner who cannot tell anyone what kind of food your dog is eating, or what kind of ingredients are in it, make the change to get familiar with your pet's food and be an active advocate for providing proper nutrition.     When reading the ingredients on the back of your dog's food or treat packaging, you will want to see ingredients that are familiar to you. Whole food ingredients such as deboned bison, coconut flour, sweet potato, chicken heart, kale, spinach, blueberries and deboned lamb should make up all of the ingredient list, not including added vitamins and minerals. Next you will want to ensure that the company producing the food or treats is located somewhere in North America, AND sources the ingredients for their products locally. Avoid any food or treats that are not made in Canada or the United States.

  There are a handful of ingredients found in poor quality food that should be avoided to ensure that your dog remains healthy and strong for its lifetime with you. Avoiding these ingredients will allow your dog to receive proper nutrition and quality in their food. By doing this you prolong their life, set them up for less illness or a shorter duration of illness, and inevitably lower your vet bills. Animal Digest   One of the most, if not THE worst ingredient you could possibly feed your best friend. This "ingredient" consist of unspecified pieces of unspecified animals from unknown sources which is cooked down into a gruel. Animal digest can contain things like slaughtered animals, animals that died of disease or were disabled at the slaughterhouse, roadkill, useless scraps of meat not fit for human consumption and worst of all - euthanized pets. Poultry Byproduct   Byproducts are famous for being controversial, but the reality is that the parts and pieces of poultry that go into this "ingredient" includes everything we do not consume. These ingredient are often unfit for human consumption and include parts such as under-developed eggs, intestines, ligaments, blood, feet, foetuses and carcasses. Animal Fat   Rendered fat from unspecified animals that can also contain rancid restaurant grease and oils that have been labelled as unfit for human consumptions. Corn   Whether it's corn, corn meal, corn gluten meal or any other corn product, it is a cheap filler and inexpensive form of protein that dog food companies use to cut costs when manufacturing their kibble. Corn is not easily digested by dogs, nor is it a healthy source of protein. It is highly unnatural for carnivorous canines, and is one of the leading allergen sources for pets in our modern world. Corn contributes to making our pets bodies sluggish, while contributing to that "dog smell" that many pet owners complain about. Beef Tallow   This is another gross ingredient that has no place in your dog's food, consisting of rendered fat and tissue from cattle. Whether or not the cattle was diseased, disabled or dead before slaughter is unknown since there are zero regulations for it. Oat Hulls / Rice Hulls / Other Hulls   Hulls are extremely inexpensive and utterly useless to our pets, often taken from processing for human food. This kind of product acts strictly as a filler to bulk up and bind kibble. There is no nutritional value other than difficult to digest fiber. Salt   Extra salt in pet food is as unhealthy for them as it is for us and there is absolutely no need for salt to be included in a kibble, treat or food. There is enough sodium in healthy, whole meat that there is no need for any additional salt to a dogs diet. Flavouring / Colour   A good quality kibble has no use for flavouring or colour, since both of those things are often chemical additives that do no good for our pets. These are added strictly to encourage your dog to eat the food, and also to make it more visually appealing to you. If the kibble is coloured, don't buy it! Ethoxyquin Ethoxyquin is used as a preservative in many pet foods and should be avoided at all costs. This chemical is believed to contribute to kidney damage, liver damage, cancer, hair loss, eye disease, chronic colitis and more by many reputable veterinarians.

The ingredients I have listed as the main components of a bad quality kibble, and should be avoided. In order to determine what a good quality food is, read my "The Best Dog Foods" article. Consider switching to a raw food diet or a homemade diet where you can control the quality and ingredients yourself. A raw food diet is the very best nutrition you could provide your pet with, but there are also very good kibble options on the market that promote health and well-being! Get informed and be an advocate for your dog! Don't forget to like K9 Instinct on Facebook to get new blog updates and news!

Angel K9 Instinct


April 4, 2013 EXPANDED Pet Food Recall: Innova, Evo, California Naturaland Healthwisefor potential Salmonella contamination.

Natura Pet Foods has expanded last week's pet food recall to add substantially more affected product.
Call for specifics, at 212-595-4200.