Here Are All the Best Prime Day Deals for Dog People

It’s Prime Day, which means dog deals galore. Each ‘lightning deal’ lasts just six hours, so you gotta jump on it!

We combed through all the dog bargains to find you the best. And it gets even better. The Rover Amazon store is now live, featuring top dog picks from the nation’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers.

Let’s do this!

To get these deals, you’ll need to have Amazon Prime, if you don’t already. You can try it for free for 30 days.

Times are PST

Ends 2:30 pm


Your small dog (up to 25 lbs or so) rides comfortably and securely in this clever booster seat from respected dog gear brand Kurgo.

50% off at $26.99 

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What is even happening with the cuteness here?

$34.99 plus an additional 20% off 

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20% off this stylish, safe feeder that helps prevent mess and provides extra comfort for your pup.

$39.95 plus additional 20% off at checkout

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The incredibly popular puzzle toy now has a line designed especially for aging pets. Stuff with treats or freeze with peanut butter for extra fun.

$6.90 with an additional 20% off

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Throw one in the car and keep one in the house, and you’re set for any minor pet injuries or mishaps.

$12 plus an additional 20% off

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This puzzle toy is a hit with the Rover community; it keeps dogs guessing and playing even without treats.

$12.89 (57% off) for the ginormous size!

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blue wilderness dental chews grain free wild bones large dog
60% off grain-free tartar control chews for large dogs.

Now $10 for a 10-oz. bag

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Begins 6:25 am / ends 12:25 pm

old mother hubbard original assortment oven baked dog buiscuits large
22% 0ff a 3-pack of dog treats— over 10 lbs. of dog cookies. Includes 1 bag assorted, 1 bag peanut butter, and 1 bag bacon-and-cheese flavored treats.

Regularly $31.49 now $24.25 each

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Begins 7:20 am / ends 1:20 pm

oster professional turbo af 2 speed electric pet clippers
18% 0ff this 2-speed professional trimmers with #10 blade included.

Regularly $105.98 now $86.94

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Begins 7:35 am / ends 1:35 pm

nutro wholesome essentials large breed lamb and rice dog food kibble

25% 0ff  this GMO-free, pasture-fed lamb-and-brown rice recipe dog kibble.

Regularly $47.69 now $37.56 for a 30-lb. bag

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Begins 10:10 am / ends 4:10 pm


Pop this 20″x 16″ gel mat in the freezer for a few minutes and give your dog a truly frosty chill-out space.

Regularly $15.99: click for Prime Day pricing

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Begins 1:50 pm / ends 7:50 pm


19% 0ff! Keep an eye on your pets while you’re away with this wide-angle, zoomable, and night vision enabled camera. Use the app to play games with and talk to your pet, too.

Regularly $143.66 now $129

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Begins 4:05 pm / ends 10:05 pm

barkbath portable dog bath system
20% 0ff ! Revolutionary dog bathing system that washes your dog and sucks the dirty water and dirt right out of the coat. Give them a bath anywhere. The BarkBath was funded via IndieGoGo by enthusiastic dog lovers, and sold out months in advance of its launch.

Regularly $149.90 now $119.99

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Begins time 6:00 pm / ends 12:00 am


This reliable pet collar brand keeps your dog looking good. This deal gives you 11 spring floral patterns to choose from.

Regularly $7.99: click for Prime Day pricing.

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This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you decide to buy something when you click one, we may receive a small commission. Click here to learn more.

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Dog Racing “Death Camp” Is Finally Getting Shut Down

The Canidrome, a racetrack in Macau, China, is infamous for its widespread abuse of hundreds of racing greyhounds.

Described as “hell on Earth” by an update on a Change.org petition, the arena houses up to 800 Greyhounds at a time. The dogs are kept in cramped cages, dwelling in a basement of darkness with no air conditioning and intense humidity, according to Dogs Today Magazine. The article also states that the pups are forced to race even if they’re sick or injured.

After suffering through horrendous conditions during their racing careers, these Greyhounds cannot look forward to retirement; instead, they are euthanized. A story by the South China Morning Post explains that 30 dogs a month are killed at the Canidrome, and many of them young. Two or three year old dogs are routinely put to death if they are “not profitable” by being too unhealthy to race or if they “fail to place in the top three in five consecutive races,” reports the article.

But finally, the efforts of animal lovers are paying off. Local advocacy group ANIMA Macau launched a “Close the Canidrome” campaign in 2012 and have been working hard alongside other rescue groups to shut the arena down.

The Change.org update recounts some landmark events that have lead to the Canidrome’s closure:

A core feature of this campaign is the fight against the exportation of greyhounds to Macau from Australia and later on, from 2015/16, from Ireland and the UK.

Animals Australia, Animals Asia and the AFA Coalition became important allies straightaway on both those fronts (closing the Canidrome and stopping exports), and in later years they were joined by Caged NW, Greyt Exploitations and BGP in the UK, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS), ARAN, Limerick Animal Welfare and Galway SPCA in Ireland, and Pet Levrieri in Italy.

The petition calling for the closure of the Canidrome, launched by Albano Martins and Grey2kUsa Worldwide, was signed by 367,097 people.

The petition to stop the exportation of Irish greyhounds to Macau, launched by GREY2K USA Worldwide, has reached 350,784 signatures.

In April 2016, activists in Ireland but mainly in the UK, coordinated by Caged NW, blocked a transport of 24 greyhounds destined for Macau.

Image Source: ANIMA Macau via Change.org

The one downside is that the arena won’t shut its doors until July 2018. So the next priority for advocates is to get the 650 dogs that are currently at the Canidrome into the safe and loving care of ANIMA Macau.

One major goal has been accomplished in the fight to end cruelty in the dog racing world. To let your voice be heard, sign this petition by ANIMA Macau, stating that the government should relinquish these pups to the rescue. With the help of dedicated animal advocates, these innocent animals can finally find their forever homes!

Tags: advocate, ANIMA Macau, Canidrome, greyhound, humane, news, racing

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Here Are the Best Prime Day Deals for Dog People

It’s Prime Day, which mean Amazon has some screaming deals on everything—including pet supplies. Each ‘lightning deal’ lasts just six hours, so if you want it, you gotta jump on it!

From toys to treats to high tech gadgets, there’s a Prime Day deal for every dog. We combed through all the dog bargains for you to showcase some of the best.

And it gets even better. The Rover Amazon store is now live, featuring top picks for dog essentials from the nation’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers.

Let’s do this!

To get these deals, you’ll need to have Amazon Prime, if you don’t already. You can try it for free for 30 days.

Begins 12:50 am / ends 6:50 am

midwest dog exercise pen
30% off  this exercise playpen for dogs. Includes eight 30″ high  by 24″ wide panels with snaps and ground anchors.

Regularly $37.73, now $26.52

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Begins 2:04 am / ends 8:04 am

kong genius mike stuffable dog toy

This stuffable, freezable chew toy can be combined with other toys from the Genius line to make a mega puzzle.

Regularly $9.44 now click for Prime Day pricing

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Begins 4:44 am / ends 10:44 am

summer bbq flavor nylabone flavor frenzy chew toy 3 pack
Around the world of flavor in just three chew toys. Flavors include corn on the cob, barbecue chicken, and ice cream sundae.

Regularly $9.94click for Prime Day pricing

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Begins 5:05 am / ends 12:05 am

ultimate pet bed and lounge for dogs
25% 0ff . Premium 36″ x 28″ bed lounger with 4″ thick memory foam mattress and padded bolsters.

Regularly $119.95, now $89.95.

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Begins 5:20 am / ends 11:20 am


29% 0ff  GPS location tracker and activity monitor that attaches to any collar. Monitor your pet by app and get alerts when they leave their safe zone.

Regularly $66.58 now $47.49

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Begins 5:44 am / ends 11:44 am


Comfortable and secure life jacket with eye-catching safety color. Neck float keeps head safely above water.

Regularly $18.98 now click for Prime Day pricing

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Begins 5:55 am / ends 11:55 am


Eliminate the dog hair tumbleweeds in your life with this super-efficient, self-cleaning shedding comb. Curved shape for your dog’s comfort.

Regularly $39.99 click for Prime Day pricing

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Begins 6:05 am / ends 12:05 pm

blue wilderness dental chews grain free wild bones large dog
20% off grain-free tartar control chews for large dogs.

Regularly $11.39 now $9.11 for a 10-oz. bag

_

Begins 6:25 am / ends 12:25 pm

old mother hubbard original assortment oven baked dog buiscuits large
22% 0ff a 3-pack of dog treats— over 10 lbs. of dog cookies. Includes 1 bag assorted, 1 bag peanut butter, and 1 bag bacon-and-cheese flavored treats.

Regularly $31.49 now $24.25 each

_

Begins 7:20 am / ends 1:20 pm

oster professional turbo af 2 speed electric pet clippers
18% 0ff this 2-speed professional trimmers with #10 blade included.

Regularly $105.98 now $86.94

_

Begins 7:35 am / ends 1:35 pm

nutro wholesome essentials large breed lamb and rice dog food kibble

25% 0ff  this GMO-free, pasture-fed lamb-and-brown rice recipe dog kibble.

Regularly $47.69 now $37.56 for a 30-lb. bag

_

Begins 10:10 am / ends 4:10 pm


Pop this 20″x 16″ gel mat in the freezer for a few minutes and give your dog a truly frosty chill-out space.

Regularly $15.99: click for Prime Day pricing

_

Begins 1:50 pm / ends 7:50 pm


19% 0ff! Keep an eye on your pets while you’re away with this wide-angle, zoomable, and night vision enabled camera. Use the app to play games with and talk to your pet, too.

Regularly $143.66 now $129

_

Begins 4:05 pm / ends 10:05 pm

barkbath portable dog bath system
20% 0ff ! Revolutionary dog bathing system that washes your dog and sucks the dirty water and dirt right out of the coat. Give them a bath anywhere. The BarkBath was funded via IndieGoGo by enthusiastic dog lovers, and sold out months in advance of its launch.

Regularly $149.90 now $119.99

_

Begins time 6:00 pm / ends 12:00 am


This reliable pet collar brand keeps your dog looking good. This deal gives you 11 spring floral patterns to choose from.

Regularly $7.99: click for Prime Day pricing.

_

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you decide to buy something when you click one, we may receive a small commission. Click here to learn more.

Read More

How Your Dog Can Have Endless Fun with a Single Plastic Pool

Kiddos aren’t the only ones who can have a blast with a simple plastic wading pool. Dogs also love this classic (yet effective and cheap) way to stave off the heat.

Animal experts often say that a pool is the quickest way to cool a hot dog, in fact. This especially true if it’s kept in a shady spot. But there’s more than one way for pet parents to take advantage of a wading pool.

via GIPHY

We’ve rounded up some fun, creative ways to turn a kiddie wading pool into the go-to spot for your canine this summer.

1. An oasis of favorite toys

These don’t have to be water toys per se, but it’s pretty clear that certain plush toys won’t make the most ideal pool playthings. Stick to toys like floating balls, squeaky toys, rings and floaties that can handle those puncture-perfect dog nails.

2. A magical ball pit

Is your pup not a huge fan of water? There are plenty of techniques for luring them into the kiddie pool (treats anyone?)!

But if they need an even more exciting introduction, try filling the pool with plastic balls! We guarantee they’ll be in dog heaven – kind of like this fella.

3. Family-friendly splash mecca

So long as you have a baby-friendly dog (and a dog-friendly tot), you can put them together in the kiddie pool and watch the magical cuteness unfold. They’re bound to tire each other out, take a nap, and make summer a little less stressful for everyone.

Just be sure to keep a careful eye on them, of course. (Bonus if you do that from a nearby lounge chair.)

4. Super-cold spot with ice, ice baby

On those extra-toasty days, nothing will feel better to your pup than a pool of ice. Yep – it’ll melt pretty quickly in high temperatures, but not before Fido gets a chance to play with it.

Pro tip: snow-loving spitz breeds and other northern dogs might find this especially exciting.

via GIPHY

Looking for something other than just the basic backyard pool options? You can get other varieties of dog wading pools as well. The inflatable ones are better for small less destructive dogs, the foldable ones are conveniently portable, and the one-piece pools are generally made from thick plastic, making them sturdier than the others!

Best Dog Pool Options

Collapsible Pet Pool by PYRUS 

This pool has great reviews because of it’s simple yet super efficient design. Easily folded up and taken on the go, this doggie paradise is somewhat durable and a great option for backyard fun.

Foldable Dog Pool Bathing by Frontpet

This pool is made extra-sturdy, plus it’s super easy to set up and break down. Perfect for pups who aren’t too large, you can also use that as an outdoor bathtub after an especially dirty hiking adventure! Your dog will definitely appreciate having a little oasis of their own.

Bone Dog Pool by One Dog One

Want to spoil that pooch? Think about investing in this pool, which happens to be one of the best-rated dog pools around. Yes, the price is a little high compared to the others, but it’s really durable (made from heavy duty truck bed liner material) and will easily hold extra big dogs – or a few smaller ones.

via GIPHY

We know you’re going to be happy with your decision to invest in a kiddie pool for your pup. Not only will they adore it, but you’ll be less concerned about them overheating.

Safety tips: Always supervise your dog in the pool, and remember to be careful with puppies. Make sure the water is shallow.

Happy dog paddling!

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16 Retiring K-9 Officers Are Honored In An Official Ceremony

Law enforcement officers in Ecuador take the hard work and dedication of their K-9 partners very seriously.

When it was time for 16 of the force’s four-legged officers to retire and enjoy their golden years in peaceful bliss, they held a formal ceremony in order to honor them for their remarkable service.

The pooches maintained their professional demeanor as everyone took a moment to pray for the pups who had fallen in the line of duty. Afterward, they were walked down a red carpet and were greeted by their loving forever families.

Don’t worry, most of the doggies got to stay with their handlers! According to a story by El Comercio, 12 of the pups were adopted by the families of their partners. We’d bet that the other four are just as happy, living in carefully-picked homes that provide them with all the time, attention, care, and love that they need.

It’s so refreshing to see dogs getting treated with such respect for a job well done! Best of luck to these 16 retirees, and we hope they enjoy their new peaceful lifestyle!

Tags: ceremony, dog, force, honor, k-9, k9, police dog, retire, video

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5 Common Dog Training Mistakes and What to Do Instead

From my first day working with Pixie, I knew I’d have my work cut out for me. Like most shelter dogs, we didn’t know her background, but it was clear that this six-year old terrier mix hadn’t had it easy.

She didn’t know her basic cues like ‘sit,’ ‘down,’ and so on, but someone had certainly tried to teach her some life skills, and my guess was they’d done so using pain, fear, and intimidation. In the beginning, I couldn’t get close to Pixie, let alone get her to trust my attempts to lure her into simple positions.

After several visits, Pixie finally began to relax. When we were able to start work on our cues, I selected hand targeting (where the dog chooses to touch their nose to the palm of your hand) and ‘sit’ as easy, confidence-building tasks that could help us lay a good foundation for future training.
It’s not that Pixie was dumb. Months down the road, she would be playing dead to my finger-gun “bang” cue and weaving around poles. She was shut down, and afraid of my response to her getting a request wrong.

Working with Pixie, I became very aware of the dog training traps that are so easy for even a professional to fall into. In the beginning of our work together, my mistakes could lead to confusion from Pixie that would lead a backslide that could force us to start all over again. Whether your dog is a learning machine or needs extra care and time like Pixie, these common dog training mistakes are good ones to avoid.

1. Impatience

Every dog learns at their own pace and it doesn’t do you, or them, any good to set a timeline for how quickly they should pick up a new skill.

Be patient! The skills will come.

2. Expecting too much too soon

Along the same lines as general impatience, this one is common. I like to think of building a dog’s ability in any particular cue as equivalent to a child’s journey through school.

What I mean by that is, you wouldn’t expect a 9-year-old learning addition and subtraction to go on to the advanced algebra that kids several years their senior are doing.

Similarly, just because you’ve taught your dog to come when you call inside the house (2nd grade level) doesn’t mean they’ll be able to come when you call at the dog park (college level). To get them to the college level, you need to build their skills through grade school, middle school, and high school levels.

In other words, you need to slowly increase the challenge, building your dog’s ability to succeed in more and more difficult situations over time.

3. Bribing instead of training with rewards

We know from scientific research that rewards-based training is the most effective way to teach new skills.

When the dog sees what is in store for them, they are likely to offer whatever behavior they think might win them the treat. However, when the treat isn’t present, the behavior falls apart.

But there is a right and a wrong way to use those rewards. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when teaching a new cue? They hold a visible treat in their hand while asking the dog to complete an action.

When the dog sees what is in store for them, they are likely to offer whatever behavior they think might win them the treat. However, when the treat isn’t present, the behavior falls apart.

Instead of holding the treat in front of your dog before they complete a cue, it should appear after in a sequence of action-and-consequence. For instance, the dog sits, and the treat appears as a reward from out of the blue.

4. Yelling or using a raised voice

Dogs, like children, are much happier to respond to a request when it is spoken with excitement and happiness.

An angry tone or raised voice, on the other hand, might indicate that you are already angry with them and cause the dog to avoid you at all costs. I see this happen most often at the dog park, where guardians screaming at their dogs are less likely get their dogs to come than those calling out with joy.

5. Using physical corrections

Using your strength to correct your dog’s behavior will never have the desired effect.

Not only does physical force typically backfire as a long-term management strategy, but it frequently results in a fearful or withdrawn dog.

As a professional dog trainer, I understand just how frustrating dog training can be! However, taking that frustration out on the dog will only make the situation worse.

What to do instead

Consistency, positivity, and reinforcing good behavior with rewards is the key to a well-trained dog. For further tips, see: 3 Training Exercises to Perfect Your Dog’s Manners for Life.

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Netflix’s “Pet Fooled” Reveals The 10 Big Secrets The Pet Food Industry Is Trying To Hide

Earlier this year, a documentary called Pet Fooled made its debut with an aim to expose the secrets and lack of transparency in the pet food industry. Marketed toward humans, but made for consumers who can’t speak (our dogs and cats), pet food companies have learned how to navigate through verbiage and loopholes. The end result is a product that’s cheap and easy for them to make, while buyers are promised that they’re giving “quality,” “healthy,” and “nutritious” food to their pets.

Insights and knowledge are shared by multiple interviewees, including Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets, Dr. Barbara Royal, founder of The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center and Oprah Winfrey’s veterinarian, Susan Thixton, founder of Truthaboutpetfood.com.

Trailer for Pet Fooled:

There are a few major takeaways from this documentary that every pet parent should know. Here are 10 harsh truths about the pet food industry, exposed by Pet Fooled :

1. The vast majority of the pet industry is monopolized by 5 major companies.

Despite the fact that there are thousands of brands for different foods, toys, and products, only 5 major companies account for most of the $60+ billion industry – and that’s just in America. The overwhelming monopoly means that these companies dictate the bulk of commercial pet products, including what’s in them, how to produce them, and how to increase profits.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

2. A massive and deadly recall in 2007 made consumers lose trust in the industry.

You may remember being part of the widespread panic of pet parents after contaminated wheat gluten killed thousands of cats and dogs. The culprit was melamine, a toxic chemical used in plastic and foam products that causes renal failure when consumed. Although multiple pet products and brands were affected, it was discovered that the tainted ingredient came from a single company located in China. This made consumers seriously question the health and safety of their pet’s food.

3. Our dogs’ DNA is 99.9% identical to wolves, so they require the same nutrition.

Biologically, dogs are nearly identical to wolves, with the small percentage of differing DNA accounting for all the different types of breeds that we know today. Dr. Karen Becker compares dogs’ variety of appearances to humans having different eye, skin, and hair colors, heights, builds, etc. Just because we look different, we’re all humans with the same basic nutritional needs – and the same goes for dogs, whose diets should resemble their wild cousins.

In the film, Dr. Royal comments that her 12-year-old dog doesn’t look his age due to his excellent diet of raw foods. / Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

4. Every species requires a certain diet to fulfill their biological needs – and most pet foods miss the mark.

In the documentary, Dr. Becker talks about species-appropriate diets, meaning that each animal has a biological need for certain nutrients. While many wild animals will simply avoid the foods that are unnecessary for their bodies (she uses the example that if you give a snake a salad, it won’t eat it and will just die), our domesticated friends have been forced to consume additives and fillers. Cats and dogs are designed to be carnivores, and while they’re resilient, the nutritional deficiencies of their diets manifest themselves in a myriad of health problems.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

5. When it comes to our pets’ declining health, grains are a huge culprit.

Dr. Barbara Royal points out that the overuse of processed grains like corn and wheat are a cheap way for companies to add “bulk” to their foods, but provide little nutrition for our four-legged friends. The consumption of these low-quality grains, she believes, is the cause for the widespread obesity, diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and allergies that afflict our pets. 

6. Kibble was an invention of the pet food industry during World War II, and it has led to some serious consequences.

During the war, there were rations on meat and tin. Up until then, packaged pet food was in cans, meaning it had a higher moisture content similar to their species-specific diets (in other words, fresh meat that they killed). But when meat became limited and tin reserved for ammunition, the pet food industry knew they had to formulate a convenient type of pet food that they could package in a bag – dry kibble. Now that this dry food is the norm, pets live in a state of chronic mild dehydration, and rates of kidney disease, organ failure, and diabetes have skyrocketed among pets.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

7. The dietary advice from your vet may be influenced by the major pet food companies.

In the film, Dr. Karen Becker points out that the major pet food brands have a large part in funding vet students, therefore influencing their education. She and Dr. Royal point out that there’s a huge lack of education surrounding raw diets, and they’re taught to promote the big-name brands in the industry. What’s more, the doctors say that many modern vets have learned to discourage raw diets because of potential pathogens and bacteria. But in reality, our pets’ systems are designed to digest this material, in part with a high stomach acidity pH of 1. After all, Dr. Becker points out, dogs eat poop and lick their butts on a regular basis – behaviors that could kill a human. While any food brand is susceptible to being recalled (humans make mistakes, after all) raw food companies tend to make smaller batches, and make them with more care.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

8. The people that set the standards for pet food have more to gain from profits than your pet’s health.

AAFCO – or the Association of American Feed Control Officials – is the organization that sets all the standards for pet food, including nutrient ratios, ingredient allowances, and the terminology that’s allowed on packaging. While this group works with the FDA, it is not government regulated. AAFCO also doesn’t approve products for safety, that’s where the FDA comes in.

AAFCO holds a yearly conference to update pet food standards, and according to Pet Fooled, representatives from major pet food companies attend the meetings so they, too, can weigh in. The danger is that these companies can define terminology and slip through loopholes in order to benefit their profits.

9. The terminology on pet food packaging is NOT what you think.

As mentioned above, AAFCO is responsible for defining terminology on packaging. For instance, your dog’s beef “dinner,” “nuggets,” or “formula” only have to contain 25% meat. If your cat’s food is labeled as “chicken with salmon,” the word “with” may only represent 3% meat. And the label “flavor” is the worst – “flavored” foods don’t have to contain any real meat at all. What’s more, foods with added colors are made to appeal to humans – your pets can’t even see the different hues when the food is dyed.

You also may have looked for protein percentages on your pet’s food. While this is a good place to start, that protein may not be meat. It could have been derived from wheat flour or gluten that’s been fortified with protein.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

10. By-products are the result of processed animal carcasses from unknown sources.

Meat by-products and meals are commonly found in pet foods. They’re the result of what’s leftover when animal carcasses – feathers, hooves, teeth, and all – are boiled down and processed into a powder. But the most disturbing part is where the corpses could have come from: leftovers from slaughtered farm animals, road kill, diseased animals, and euthanized animals are all examples of what’s being rendered.

According to the National Renderer’s Association, putting the recycled carcasses in pet food is necessary because… well.. where else would they dispose of them?

So, now what?

In the documentary, Doctors Becker and Royal are strong advocates for feeding pets raw diets, food that is very similar to what they’d consume in the wild. If you’re used to feeding your dogs and cats kibble, as most pet parents are, the thought of switching to a raw diet can seem like a huge, expensive, undertaking. But don’t worry, there’s help out there!

If you want to make the switch but you aren’t sure you can commit, even just supplementing your pet’s diet with fresh foods can give them a big boost in heath. (Also, when transitioning your pet to a different diet, you should begin by introducing the new food a little at a time.)

A good place to start is Dr. Karen Becker’s video, The Best and Worst Foods to Feed Your Pet:

For more information about raw food diets for pets, check out these YouTube videos by Dr. Becker. Another great resource is Truthaboutpetfood.com, founded by a pet parent and advocate who made it her mission to uncover the secrets of this industry.

You know your pet better than anyone, and there’s no “one size fits all diet.” It’s up to you, as their guardian, to do your research, be diligent, and decide what works best for your companion and lifestyle.

You can watch the entire Pet Fooled film on Netflix to get all the nitty gritty details that documentary uncovers. You can also rent it on YouTube for $3.99.

Tags: documentary, health, pet food industry, Pet Fooled, safety, secret

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Pet Fooled Reveals The 10 Big Secrets The Pet Food Industry Is Trying To Hide

Earlier this year, a documentary called Pet Fooled made its debut with an aim to expose the secrets and lack of transparency in the pet food industry. Marketed toward humans, but made for consumers who can’t speak (our dogs and cats), pet food companies have learned how to navigate through verbiage and loopholes. The end result is a product that’s cheap and easy for them to make, while buyers are promised that they’re giving “quality,” “healthy,” and “nutritious” food to their pets.

Insights and knowledge are shared by multiple interviewees, including Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets, Dr. Barbara Royal, founder of The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center and Oprah Winfrey’s veterinarian, Susan Thixton, founder of Truthaboutpetfood.com.

Trailer for Pet Fooled:

There are a few major takeaways from this documentary that every pet parent should know. Here are 10 harsh truths about the pet food industry, exposed by Pet Fooled :

1. The vast majority of the pet industry is monopolized by 5 major companies.

Despite the fact that there are thousands of brands for different foods, toys, and products, only 5 major companies account for most of the $60+ billion industry – and that’s just in America. The overwhelming monopoly means that these companies dictate the bulk of commercial pet products, including what’s in them, how to produce them, and how to increase profits.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

2. A massive and deadly recall in 2007 made consumers lose trust in the industry.

You may remember being part of the widespread panic of pet parents after contaminated wheat gluten killed thousands of cats and dogs. The culprit was melamine, a toxic chemical used in plastic and foam products that causes renal failure when consumed. Although multiple pet products and brands were affected, it was discovered that the tainted ingredient came from a single company located in China. This made consumers seriously question the health and safety of their pet’s food.

3. Our dogs’ DNA is 99.9% identical to wolves, so they require the same nutrition.

Biologically, dogs are nearly identical to wolves, with the small percentage of differing DNA accounting for all the different types of breeds that we know today. Dr. Karen Becker compares dogs’ variety of appearances to humans having different eye, skin, and hair colors, heights, builds, etc. Just because we look different, we’re all humans with the same basic nutritional needs – and the same goes for dogs, whose diets should resemble their wild cousins.

In the film, Dr. Royal comments that her 12-year-old dog doesn’t look his age due to his excellent diet of raw foods. / Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

4. Every species requires a certain diet to fulfill their biological needs – and most pet foods miss the mark.

In the documentary, Dr. Becker talks about species-appropriate diets, meaning that each animal has a biological need for certain nutrients. While many wild animals will simply avoid the foods that are unnecessary for their bodies (she uses the example that if you give a snake a salad, it won’t eat it and will just die), our domesticated friends have been forced to consume additives and fillers. Cats and dogs are designed to be carnivores, and while they’re resilient, the nutritional deficiencies of their diets manifest themselves in a myriad of health problems.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

5. When it comes to our pets’ declining health, grains are a huge culprit.

Dr. Barbara Royal points out that the overuse of processed grains like corn and wheat are a cheap way for companies to add “bulk” to their foods, but provide little nutrition for our four-legged friends. The consumption of these low-quality grains, she believes, is the cause for the widespread obesity, diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and allergies that afflict our pets. 

6. Kibble was an invention of the pet food industry during World War II, and it has led to some serious consequences.

During the war, there were rations on meat and tin. Up until then, packaged pet food was in cans, meaning it had a higher moisture content similar to their species-specific diets (in other words, fresh meat that they killed). But when meat became limited and tin reserved for ammunition, the pet food industry knew they had to formulate a convenient type of pet food that they could package in a bag – dry kibble. Now that this dry food is the norm, pets live in a state of chronic mild dehydration, and rates of kidney disease, organ failure, and diabetes have skyrocketed among pets.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

7. The dietary advice from your vet may be influenced by the major pet food companies.

In the film, Dr. Karen Becker points out that the major pet food brands have a large part in funding vet students, therefore influencing their education. She and Dr. Royal point out that there’s a huge lack of education surrounding raw diets, and they’re taught to promote the big-name brands in the industry. What’s more, the doctors say that many modern vets have learned to discourage raw diets because of potential pathogens and bacteria. But in reality, our pets’ systems are designed to digest this material, in part with a high stomach acidity pH of 1. After all, Dr. Becker points out, dogs eat poop and lick their butts on a regular basis – behaviors that could kill a human. While any food brand is susceptible to being recalled (humans make mistakes, after all) raw food companies tend to make smaller batches, and make them with more care.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

8. The people that set the standards for pet food have more to gain from profits than your pet’s health.

AAFCO – or the Association of American Feed Control Officials – is the organization that sets all the standards for pet food, including nutrient ratios, ingredient allowances, and the terminology that’s allowed on packaging. While this group works with the FDA, it is not government regulated. AAFCO also doesn’t approve products for safety, that’s where the FDA comes in.

AAFCO holds a yearly conference to update pet food standards, and according to Pet Fooled, representatives from major pet food companies attend the meetings so they, too, can weigh in. The danger is that these companies can define terminology and slip through loopholes in order to benefit their profits.

9. The terminology on pet food packaging is NOT what you think.

As mentioned above, AAFCO is responsible for defining terminology on packaging. For instance, your dog’s beef “dinner,” “nuggets,” or “formula” only have to contain 25% meat. If your cat’s food is labeled as “chicken with salmon,” the word “with” may only represent 3% meat. And the label “flavor” is the worst – “flavored” foods don’t have to contain any real meat at all. What’s more, foods with added colors are made to appeal to humans – your pets can’t even see the different hues when the food is dyed.

You also may have looked for protein percentages on your pet’s food. While this is a good place to start, that protein may not be meat. It could have been derived from wheat flour or gluten that’s been fortified with protein.

Image Source: Screen Shot via Pet Fooled

10. By-products are the result of processed animal carcasses from unknown sources.

Meat by-products and meals are commonly found in pet foods. They’re the result of what’s leftover when animal carcasses – feathers, hooves, teeth, and all – are boiled down and processed into a powder. But the most disturbing part is where the corpses could have come from: leftovers from slaughtered farm animals, road kill, diseased animals, and euthanized animals are all examples of what’s being rendered.

According to the National Renderer’s Association, putting the recycled carcasses in pet food is necessary because… well.. where else would they dispose of them?

So, now what?

In the documentary, Doctors Becker and Royal are strong advocates for feeding pets raw diets, food that is very similar to what they’d consume in the wild. If you’re used to feeding your dogs and cats kibble, as most pet parents are, the thought of switching to a raw diet can seem like a huge, expensive, undertaking. But don’t worry, there’s help out there!

If you want to make the switch but you aren’t sure you can commit, even just supplementing your pet’s diet with fresh foods can give them a big boost in heath. (Also, when transitioning your pet to a different diet, you should begin by introducing the new food a little at a time.)

A good place to start is Dr. Karen Becker’s video, The Best and Worst Foods to Feed Your Pet:

For more information about raw food diets for pets, check out these YouTube videos by Dr. Becker. Another great resource is Truthaboutpetfood.com, founded by a pet parent and advocate who made it her mission to uncover the secrets of this industry.

You know your pet better than anyone, and there’s no “one size fits all diet.” It’s up to you, as their guardian, to do your research, be diligent, and decide what works best for your companion and lifestyle.

You can watch the entire Pet Fooled film on Netflix to get all the nitty gritty details that documentary uncovers. You can also rent it on YouTube for $3.99.

Tags: documentary, health, pet food industry, Pet Fooled, safety, secret

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Kiki Kane is a lifelong animal lover owned by two rescue dogs, a cat, and a horse. She has been blogging professionally since 2009.

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