Our holistic veterinary clinic is a magnet for pet parents who are truly dedicated to their furkids. Yet most pets presented to a specialized practice like AsiaPaws suffer from chronic, deep-seated, severe health problems.
The task of a holistic veterinary consultation is highlighting possible disease triggers and illness contributing factors. This can make all the difference between long-lasting suffering and reaching the goal of a healthy, happy and long-lived pet companion.
90% of all cats presented to me in the clinic have fish as the number one protein source in their daily food. And even dogs are increasingly fed salmon or other fish-based foods.
It looks like fish and pet-food is a “match made in heaven.” So, what could be possibly wrong with this treasured food source for our pets?
Most cats love fish, they actually crave for it. We pet lovers indulge our cats. Because we enjoy watching them savor their meals. But... cravings are not a reliable indicator of quality fuel for body and mind... Just think about your very own cravings… be it for chocolate or for potato crisps with an overload of sugar and carbs …
Besides being addictive (yes, fish can do to cats what sugar does to humans – causing a greater addiction than, for example, cocaine does!) fish-based food sports serious health concerns and disease triggers.
1. Fish, especially large species from the sea (for example tuna) and tasty kinds like salmon (due to the salmon’s fat content) show high levels of mercury contamination. A study from 2016 was quoted by Dr. Sarrah Dunham-Cheatham as “in 16 of 100 pet food samples mercury levels were far above the maximum tolerable limit”. (1)
Mercury is accused of contributing to a range of very serious, even deadly diseases, among them cancers and neurological disorders.
2. Another study from 2018 found 20 brands of canned sardines and sprats from 13 countries over 4 continents to contain micro- and mesoplastics. (2) This means that “human grade” canned fish contains plastic particles in worrying numbers. If we think about it, fish used in pet food is unlikely to even come close to human quality standards. How much plastic is likely to be found in the fish of your pet food?
3. And there is this study highlighting “pet cats are exposed to MeO-PBDEs through cat food products containing fishflavors” (3). The blood levels of these toxins are directly related to the toxin levels in the studied pet’s food. Translated into practical language, these toxins in fish-containing pet food are co-factors triggering hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroid cats suffer tremendously. The disease may start slowly, without any red flags.
However, the end stages of an over-functioning of the thyroid gland produces gravely ill cats.
Restless, ever-hungry, meowing, sleepless and severely emaciated, treatment for hyperthyroidism is never straightforward (after all, it’s a hormonal imbalance) and few cats recover and survive...
Although feline diseases due to fish-based pet foods are better documented, plastic particles and high toxin contamination levels leading to hormonal and glandular changes are equally detrimental to dogs.
These facts are sad proof for the saying "what goes around comes around"... man-made pollution of the sea comes back to haunt us and our innocent pets.
For a list of American based “worst and best” (most and least contaminated) pet food and treat brands, take a look here: https://www.cleanlabelproject.org/pet-food/
Obviously, local brands are not on this list. So, contamination levels in your local Malaysian, Thai and other Southeast Asian brands are anyone’s guess… and that worries me even more!
These facts should answer one of the frequently asked questions why FeedLOVE doesn’t feature “fish meals” for cats and dogs.
Fish as a main protein source of regularly offered food for pets must be extra carefully sourced. Professionally composed, researched and balanced pet meals from FeedLOVE are based on taking responsibility for your pet’s health and well-being.
PS: We are working on “clean” and uncontaminated FeedLOVE fish meals in the future. Having said that, without a 100% reliably clean and uncontaminated source, we won’t commit to fish based FeedLOVE meals.
PPS: Above facts are the reason why we don’t use salmon oil or other fish-based omega-3-fatty acids in our FeedLOVE meals!
So, the next time when you reach for that pet food or those treats made of fish… remember the “fishy facts” – and by giving in to your pet’s cravings you very likely feed your pet’s suffering and disease.
Mercury concentrations in wet and dry cat and dog food.
Citation data: Animal Feed Science and Technology, ISSN: 0377-8401, Vol: 222, Page: 190-193
Publication Year: 2016
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, University of Nevada Reno, MS 186, Reno NV 89557, United States
Received 19 March 2016, Revised 14 October 2016, Accepted 30 October 2016, Available online 31 October 2016.
KEYWORDS: Mercury consumption
Sci Total Environ. 2018 Jan 15;612:1380-1386. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.09.005. Epub 2017 Sep 25. Microplastic and mesoplastic contamination in canned sardines and sprats.
Karami A1, Golieskardi A2, Choo CK3, Larat V4, Karbalaei S2, Salamatinia B3.
KEYWORDS: Additive; Canned sardine; Heavy metals; Mesoplastic; Microplastic