We wrote a brief review of this book for Amazon.com and have expanded on that for you here.
Not Fit for a Dog! The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food is written for pet parents by Michael W. Fox, B. Vet. Med., Ph.D., D.Sc., M.R.C.V.S., Elizabeth Hodgkins, D.V.M., and Marion E. Smart, D.V.M., Ph.D. It was published in 2009. The mission is to enlighten us about manufactured pet food, nutrition, and the limited education provided to veterinarians.
We found this book to be the most calm and informative of all the pet food books. The others seem too intent on shocking pet parents, some with the purpose of scaring them into buying. Fear mongering is rampant on this topic and some people are making a lot of money by exploiting how much we care about our pets. This seems even less ethical than what some companies in the pet food industry have done, and we caution pet parents to watch out for them.
The qualifications of the authors of Not Fit for a Dog to write a book on the topic of pet food would be difficult to question, and that is something that clearly sets them apart. While I don’t agree with their sweeping appraisal of the pet food industry, I don’t pretend to be qualified to specifically question the validity of their arguments either.
The main problem I had with this book is it is too generalized in its view of the pet food industry, and even veterinarians. Much of the opinion is based on the assumption that they’re all the same and that’s not the case. This is common in industry books though – they judge an entire industry by what the worst in the industry does. I’m excited about the improvements being made in the pet food industry, and the new products that try to make kibble the best it can be. We don’t expect potato chips to be equal to potatoes, however, and neither should we expect kibble to be the same as fresh food. It’s an ‘apples to oranges’ comparison that I see little point in making.
I wholeheartedly agree with the authors that improvements have to be made and accountability has to be insisted on. I also agree that fresh is best, as long as pet parents are thoroughly educated in their pet’s dietary requirements. Surely if we can manage to raise a healthy human child, we can handle a proper diet for our pets. To do so, we must seek out reputable sources of information and take the internet noise on the topic at face value. Not Fit for a Dog provides us with solid information that we can act on, and gives us a knowledge base with which we may judge the validity of information from other sources.
This book provides easily understood nutrition and health information, and I appreciate the fact that it is written by pet professionals. I can tell that they made a concentrated effort to make it an easy read. As long as pet parents keep a level head on their shoulders while they read it, they’ll benefit from the contents. Overall, it is a good book on the subject and I have referred to it more than once.
Have you read this book? What did you think?
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