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Your HoundBytes Issue for SEP'07 -- Are Local Grown Dog Food Ingredients Safe?
September 12, 2007

Another month has passed already and so it's time for the second issue of HoundBytes. Time flies when you're having fun!

Book Releases

This last month I have been working to complete my first e-book ‘A Bit of Tender, Love and Care for Dogs’. I had announced it would be published on Best Dog Food Guide before September and so I'm glad it was all finished by the 17th of August.

It’s free for all subscribers to this newsletter, so if you haven’t grabbed you copy then go to the Members Only pages and get yours. Remember: the password is ‘barktwice’.

On the Members Only pages you also find ‘DogWhisperWoman answers YOUR Questions’. This e-book is written by Rena Murray especially to accompany ‘A Bit of Tender, Love and Care for Dogs’ as a SPECIAL BONUS. It's a beauty. Go and check it out if you haven't already done so.

I've had so much fun with this project and got to know several dog trainers and veterinarians in the process. The book is the result of a wonderful across-the-globe collaboration.

And this was not the only reason to party in August. Both my Japanese Akita dog Kensho and I have grown a year older and (ignoring the number of years) we are only two weeks apart.

Exciting New Feature

A frequent visited page is the one about Demi the happy Labrador that suffered from various allergies. This article is based on an interview I held with Nell Kremers. I had submitted this to ezinearticles as well and it appears to be very popular.

And so I decided to collect similar stories online. Do you have experience with allergic dogs? I'm inviting you visit this page and submit your story, tips or whatever it is you want to share. Your experiences may benefit the lives of many dogs so please don’t be shy. Demi has already entered her tip for allergy relief.

Should you know some one who might be interested in this, then forward this newsletter to them.

I would love to have some interaction with you on my site.

Highlighted Article: ‘Would You Pay More for Local Grown Dog Food Ingredients?’

Dog food labels show you the company and product name, net weight, list of ingredients, feeding guidelines etc. but not all ingredients are usually listed and also the country of origin of those ingredients is missing.

Foods are shipped all over the world because of huge differences in market price and decreasing shipping costs. But as the world gets smaller by globalization, the food safety issue gets bigger. Morals, ethics and standards for food safety differ.

According to Consumer Reports, 92 percent of Americans want ‘country of origin’ labels.

Dog food typically has more ingredients and these can come from different countries. Also, ingredients can be grown in one country and processed in another. So the label would have to list all countries as they all contributed one way or another.

Suppose food labels would show the country of origin and it said ‘China’ (*1). Would you buy that food or would you pay more for food from your own country? You could make an informed decision. Go for cheaper foods or for the more expensive home-grown products.

What are the consequences?

  • You can make an informed decision and ‘vote’ for home-grown food products. It’s like some exclusive restaurants that are starting to market their menus by saying they only use regional ingredients and/or buy ingredients from local producers. They choose for quality and appeal to a feeling of chauvinism instead of going for the lowest prices. Also it supports local farmers and it gives a feeling of control. One can trust his neighbor to not adulterate the food, right?
  • Less environmental pollution due to decrease in food shipments. Being environmentally aware is ‘in’, especially since the documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ appeared.
But also:
  • Expensive record-keeping drives up dog food prices.
  • What are the consequences for trade barriers and agricultural subsidies?
But what about dog food safety? Will this increase? We cannot make a guaranteed safe decision based on country of origin. Not all imported feed and food is toxic and not all home-grown food is safe. We can only be sure when the food is tested and found safe. But still… before the melamine scandal, no one knew melamine was something to test for. Despite having analytical testing methods with increasingly lower detection limits, the scope of compounds for concern seems to grow faster than developments in testing methods.

In the middle ages, rich people employed food tasters. This was an important and responsible job in those days to make sure the food served was safe to eat and free of toxins and poisons.

So perhaps this is an idea for the pet food companies…. Eat your own dog food before selling it

(*1) By the way, I have specifically named 'China' as an example because of the recent issues with exports coming from this country. It is not to single out one specific country; it is a fact based example.

New on

As announced in last month’s edition of HoundBytes, I had planned to write about Dog Food Regulations and Natural Dog Food. The work is not finished yet though the section about regulations and authorities in dog food is quite large already. I will expand further both on this topic as well as on natural dog food as there is so much to tell about it.

Some other new articles:

Soon on

When I examine the site statistics I notice there is a need for more information about dog digestion . At the moment I have written only one page about this, listing some differences between you and your dog. To fulfill the apparent needs of visitors like you, I will expand on that subject.

Lately I have been asked a lot of questions by new dog owners. Guess we all run into the same issues sooner or later. In the future I’ll create a Frequently Asked Questions section on my site for easy reference.

Any more wishes?
Just let me know by submitting these via the Contact Form on my website. I can't promise to cover all by next month as things are pretty hectic lately, but for sure I'll do my best!

Paws up,

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