Independent Pet Store owners are always thinking, making sure the products they carry are safe for your pet. This is just one example of what makes Independent Pet Stores THE place to purchase your pet’s food.
Christine Mallar of Green Dog Pet Supply went above and beyond looking out for the safety of the pets she sells food to. After reading the EWG.org report on fluoride in pet foods, she decided to ask the manufacturers of raw foods (which contain a higher level of bone than some other pet foods) if the fluoride issue is a concern. Christine shared her excellent thinking with readers on TruthaboutPetFood.com and I thought it should be shared with all.
I had pondered about the fluoride in bone meal issue – it occurred to me that since fluoride is stored in bone, would raw feeders have to worry about all of the bone we feed. No one really knows what levels of fluoride are considered high for dogs (hey doctoral students – what about a study on dogs with osteosarcoma – do they have higher levels of fluoride in their systems than healthy dogs) and I’m sure no raw food companies are testing for fluoride in their bones.
I decided just for fun to contact the raw food companies I know with this question, just to see how they’d respond. I didn’t expect them to have a good answer to this, and didn’t expect them to have really thought about it at all – just putting it out there to see what kind of answers I’d get.
My general question:
Hello – I’ve been pondering the report from the EWG about the levels of fluoride in meat and bone meals (http://www.ewg.or/pets/fluorideindogfood
– I’m wondering what this might mean for those of us who feed raw (and I advocate RMB every day in my store). Do you have a feeling about whether there is a risk of high fluoride levels in bones. Do you test for it? I don’t think there have been studies yet on fluoride levels in pets, but it does make me wonder about it.
Green Dog Pet Supply
The most disappointing response I got was from Nature’s Variety, though I know when you’re dealing just with customer service and not with the owners or the nutritionists themselves, you’re probably not going to get very far on an issue that isn’t very pressing. They said:
Thanks for emailing! The studies presented used foods with high levels of meat and bone meal in addition to by-product meal and other inferior ingredients. Our foods are holistic and as a result do no use inferior ingredients or fillers and are safe to feed.
The best responses have been from Bravo:
I have thought a lot about your email since I first read it. My answer is that I do not know what the risks might be with regards to fluoride and RMB. It does bring up an interesting question and one that I have not thought of before. It is something that hasn’t really been studied before so it is impossible for me to make an informed decision on. I do have my personnel feelings on Fluoride and I am sure that are not far from yours.
Because the use of fluoride is so wide spread in this country it is impossible to get away from. We do not test for it and it would be impossible to do so. We get our meats from various sources and farms. If we were to test specifically for fluoride we would have to run a nutritional on every batch. There is no company pet or human that runs nutritionals on every batch of food that they process. We as a society could not afford the cost that it would add to the product. FYI, a standard nutritional is $1500/.00 to $2300.00.
So we are left with trying to do the best that we can. We are now processing most of our lamb and beef in New Zealand. While they do use fluoride in their drinking water their methods of farming are so vastly different from ours. They get a lot of their water for their farms from the lakes/streams/wells as oppose to water that has fluoride added into it. The rest of our products are from the cleanest sources that we can get but they are from the US and are most likely fed water that does contain fluoride.
I wish I had a better answer for you.
Bravo Raw Diet
1084 Hartford Turnpike
Vernon, CT 06066
HI there and thanks so much for contacting us. I do test the bones and bone marrow for arsenic and lead- we’ve always gotten NOT DETECTABLE level- well since we went to the Organic beef bones- though our bones aren’t labeled as such since there isn’t a use for USDA certified organic beef bones- the California state department of ag won’t inspect and certify for us ( we get our bones from Panorama Meats out of Modesto CA- the same cows that our Organic beef comes from- they are a wonderful group of farmers that 100% grass feed, never brought into a feed lot growers! I love them). In fact only when I first started and didn’t understand how the marrow gets contaminated, and we didn’t “selectively” buy our bones did I ever see levels of arsenic and lead, never fluoride. I will read the article you’ve brought to my attention and look into the options for fluoride testing…again, thanks so much for your time and efforts to research for the benefit of our companions and customer security.
Raw Advantage, Inc
PO Box 456, Kettle Falls, WA 99141
I just like it when anyone takes the time to consider a question for what it is and responds thoughtfully – it certainly makes me respect the company more, and also reminds me of the value of dealing with smaller companies when possible – both of these good responses are from the owners themselves.
I couldn’t agree more Christine; and as a pet owner I love to see when any pet professional takes the time to investigate pet foods to the fullest!
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author, Buyer Beware
Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
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