Monday, February 9, 2009

The Good The Bad and The Ugly - Iams

Today I'm going to blog about something different. It's been a long time since I've posted a Good, Bad and Ugly (the last was about breeders I believe) and I thought I'd put this one out there.

One of my very strong beliefs (VSBs) is that everyone is entitled to an opinion - however, everyone should be given all the information they can to be able to formulate that opinion accurately.

Please note that I'm not trying to sway your opinion in either way regarding the following. All I want is for you to be able to make educated decisions about what you buy and see in the store.

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So, we've all seen the Iams commercials - they make claims that their food is superior to other kibbles and in order to have a happy healthy dog, you should feed Iams. Their food was recommended to me by my vet (who also uses it on her 4 dogs - Eukaneuba High Performance). It's not a bad food as far as kibbles go (quality-wise).

Iams is also host of the "Home 4 the Holidays" campaign. This is a campaign where they send a bunch of free booklets and food to all shelters and rescue groups that sign up for it and they track all the adoptions through the months of October, November and December. This really helps a lot of shelters and rescues.

Iams does a lot of good out there. But there are some who strongly believe that the good Iams does every year does NOT account for all the bad things it does in its labs.

If you are not already aware of this, Iams tests their product on animals. There is, of course, a hung jury out on this one - for some, animal testing is wrong; while for others, animal testing is just another step to research breakthroughs. Check out this website here to see some information about IamsCruelty (note - it is a PETA site). Please take your time reading through it and educate yourself on this topic.

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Personally, I continue to purchase Eukaneuba for one of my dogs even though I am aware of this testing and do not agree with it. I continue because she has severe allergies and Eukaneuba was the last step before moving her over to a RAW food diet. With every other food she's been on, her skin breaks out into an itchy rash and her skin dries up so it cracks open and bleeds. She also ends up with no hair (have you ever seen a hairless Aussie/BC mix? It's not pretty).

I do this and accept that my decisions affect many others. It is a difficult choice for me having always been an animal advocate, and a selfish one (since I could have gone with RAW - which yes, would have been against my vets recommendation), but it is the one I have made. Perhaps I will be ready to move over to a RAW diet at one point for her, but not yet - problem is that I don't know if the RAW food would poorly affect her and kick up her allergies or not?

I want each of you out there to make your decisions knowing as much as you can about the choices you make and how they affect others - other people and other animals. I hope I've given you something to think about.

Whatever you decide to do, please make sure you are aware of everything and everyone this decision affects.
DDF In After Publishing: Note that I want you to ask questions! Please feel free to ask as many as you want in the comments. If you agree or don't agree - post it. I like to hear your opinion whether it coincides with mine or not! (This could be stated for all my posts, not just this one). This is a controversial topic - that's my favourite kind because it sparks so much discussion! I love a good debate.

13 comments:

OldMorgans said...

Frankly, if PETA publishes it, I tend to not believe it. I wish you had found another source of how Iams tests. PETA has an agenda and is willing to do what ever they want to push it.
Stop feeling guilty about what you feed your dog. The important thing is that you have found what is best for your dog.

sagebeasties.blogspot.com

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Ok ... here are another link from a different source regarding this.

http://www.iams.com/iamstruth/en_US/jhtmls/article/IT_Article_Page.jhtml?li=en_US&pti=RP&articleID=6

Here's the thing -- if there have been inquiries, than that means that someone is concerned for the well-being of the animals. For me, that is enough. Like I said - it's a hung jury on this topic in general.

No, PETA is not the best source for anything, but that doesn't mean that just because it comes from there it is to be disregarded.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Oops - sorry for the terrible grammar - "here are".

For everyone out there who is cringing ... I apologize. I did when I reread my post.

Lynda said...

I feed my guys RAW. I fed Eagle Pack Adult Holistic kibble when they were young and they had awful-smelling, large, watery stools all the time. I made the switch to RAW after a particularly bad episode of diarrhea and haven't looked back since. Now I have teeny, tiny, hard poops and my guys have clear skin, soft fur, the redness is gone from their eyes and my girl's whole attitude has changed.

I love RAW. This is strictly what works for me and I only tell people I feed RAW when they ask. And having Great Danes, people do ask often what I'm feeding them.

Bev & Bailey said...

I am so sorry to hear that one of your dogs has a food allergy--that's no fun for the pooch or for you. I'm glad that your dog has found relief through a Eukanuba diet. I work for Iams/Eukanuba.

With respect, I disagree with what you've written about me and the people I work with.

Did you know that over 70% of our "animal testing" is done in consumers' homes? On wwww.IamsTruth.com you will see a video that details how this works. A link to that video is available on this web page: http://www.iamstruth.com/iamstruth/en_US/jhtmls/landing/IT_Landing_Page.jhtml?li=en_US&pti=CV

You also might be interested in what Dr. Steven Hansen, a Senior Vice President of the ASPCA, has to say about us. He talks about our research and our facility (we have only one) in a YouTube video that includes footage of our facility and animals involved in our research. Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dExk5nJY6AI.

Lastly, in my opinion and with respect, I think you're incorrect to minimize our involvement with pet adoption. Because of our work helping shelters and rescues with Iams Home 4 the Holidays, 1,202,751 pets were adopted into forever homes from October 1, 2008 to January 5, 2009. Over 3,000 shelters in 17 countries participated.

Our aim with Iams Home 4 the Holidays is to surround the participating organizations with support that promotes the orphaned pets in their care. The program delivers support in the form of how-to guidelines, adoption kits (with pet owner education), Consumer Relations support, PR and functional support (the organization have a direct dial contact within Iams and within the Helen Woodward Animal Center), plus a boatload of PR that drives traffic to their web sites and into their shelters. Many of us here at Iams spend a great deal of time on this project--both on and off the clock--year round.

You mentioned our commercials. Two of the best commercials we have ever paid for are here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu7plXJQsjk

And here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnVBGeGL1Hw

Thank you for allowing me to post. And no matter what food you feed your pets, I wish you a long, happy, and healthy life together.

Splash said...

I tend to agree, I don't really have a problem with feeding Eukanuba, if it works for your dog, then great. I don't even have a problem with Purina -- they were kind enough to give me a $5K scholarship, and way back in 1976 that was enough to get me through two years of college and earn my lifetime goodwill.

I personally feed Solid Gold. I met the owner at a dog show 15 or so years ago, and have not found any food that my dogs do as well on.

GoLightly said...

Timely post, DDF, I'm struggling with food and my dogs. They've been on Purina ProPlan, and Barf, at the Farm they came from. But, I am having problems with Flip, and nausea. BIG time. I've put both dogs on MediCal Gastro.
Wet for older Flip, dry 9with water) for younger Blaze. ANt Acids agains, for Flip, with meals. She gulps, and gulps and gulps, but never as a result of anything overt..
They have both lost weight, which is good, both needed it, but they seem to need more of this food than I thought they would. Blaze puppy is actually kinda skinny, right now:(
Flip, too, is thinner. But they feel great, playing running, pooping peeing all totally normal.
Just Flip, with her night nausea, and coprophagy, which was quite a sudden and obsessive craving.
eating pooo. I know.

Read More About this oh so fascinating (to me) topic, on tovet.blogspot.com in the comments about Isaac, his cat.
Great find, BTW, that Blog, DDF, thanks!

I wish I could cook. I would if I could, feed them a proper, balanced diet, homecooked. Must learn to do that for myself, first.

Purina spends tons on research, and both dogs had been pretty great on it, but. They are both off of it now.

I don't know. Pet Food scares me..

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Bev & Bailey - thanks for your great post! It's wonderful to hear from a different side of the coin. I will certainly check out the website and I will post the links you have provided to assist the readers of my blog with their own decisions!

Splash - we tried Purina with the same poor results. I don't think we tried Solid Gold. We did try the Medical Hypo. There is also a kangaroo meat hypo that the vets sell ... we tried a whole bunch over a two year period.

GoLightly - sorry to hear about your troubles with foods and Flip. How long have you been feeding Gastro? I assume you've already had bloodwork run on her to ensure you don't have any hormone issues (thyroid) or organ weaknesses?

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Thoughts said...

I have been in contact with representatives from IAMS for months now and they insist that all animal testing has stopped. All the labs that PETA found YEARS ago have been shut down and the process of animal testing does not happen anymore. PETA still tries to promote the issue however to wrinkle feathers. I would urge you to take with a grain of salt whatever you hear from PETA, they are radical and outlandish and will do anything to push their own agenda.

Rebecca said...

Do you know what it is in the food that your dog is allergic to? I know how awful food allergies are. :( My parents have struggled for years with their dog's food allergies, he would tear open his own paws and his belly especially would turn so red it was scary. Last year they paid for an allergy test, and now have foods with nothing he is allergic to in them and he is doing soooo much better. They had always tried to just switch foods but nothing stopped his itching well enough to even halt the weekly shots. I'm glad it worked for you. :)

Lexie said...

I have a Shih Tzu with tons of allergies, food and environmental. I was quite surprised that no one mentioned Urban Wolf in the comments. My vet recommended it for Bentley, and we haven't looked back since. You buy a bag of the Urban Wolf base, than add your ground meat (cooked or raw, your preference, I buy chicken breast parts cheaply from the processing plant in bulk), add canned salmon, sunflower oils, eggs, and for B we add an extra fibre, either pumpkin or sweet potatoes (he gets itchy butt really easily). It's been the best thing for him. No more steroids twice a day, no more antihistamines, no more spring trip to the ER. The next step for us would have been a RAW diet, but this one has done so much for him, that there's no need. And you know exactly what you're putting into your dog (the ingredients in the base are all human consumption safe). I think the website is urbanwolf.com, but I'm sure you can google it.

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