Is My Dog’s Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs?

Is My Dog’s Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs?

My husband and I are vegans. Being a vegan does not equate to automatic magical health. Trust me, there’s a lot of vegan junk food out there, and just like our non-vegan friends, we struggle to balance taste with nutrition….and health. Also, we’re label readers and we are vigilant in our goals to eat local, organic and GMO free. Yes indeedy, we’re living large – we’ll likely live to be 142! No, we won’t – the goal is simple, really: eat nutrient-rich foods loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and healthy fats in order to minimize the effects of aging, free radicals and degenerative diseases. But…what about our dogs? Is my dog’s tummy full of yummy GMOs?

Is My Dog's Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs? Find out more, read here! From Rebecca Sanchez, The Pet Lifestyle Guru at MattieDogWhat Is A GMO?

Genetically modified organisms are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding (Non-GMO Project). Think of that Sesame Street game, “one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong.” Unlike the Sesame Street game, where finding the odd object was easy to ferret out, finding a GMO is not. Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. GMOs equate to a study in chemical agriculture at the hands of the world’s biggest chemical companies – this includes seed management. Makes you think twice about chomping on that apple, don’t it? It likely should – the long-term effects of GMOs is unknown – however, emerging studies point to serious and detrimental maladies.

GMOs For Fido?

When I was a kid, oh let’s say more than a few decades ago, our family dog was served ‘stew-like’ pet food….stinky, stinky ‘stew-like’ pet food. The kind of stink that stunk going in and eventually, again when it came out the other end. That was the early 70’s – the real Mad Men marketing times, where advancements in production, packaging and distribution were king…nutrition, not so much (agriculture policy aborted farmer support for commodity farming). Boy, in just a few short years (wink-wink) have times changed! Thankfully, as humans have become more conscious of our own health (a return to organic, locally sourced, farm-to-table), we’ve also seen pet food companies striving to learn more and provide truly healthy and nutritious meals. Referred to as “the humanizing of pet food” an act that has resulted in more companies serving foods free of genetically modified organisms/ingredients (Pet Food Industry: Report: 95% say pets are part of the family, March 6, 2016). Nearly 50% of pet owners would gladly pay more if needed in order to get non-GMO pet food for their fuzzy loved one.

Where Do I Find GMOs and How To Avoid Them?

Is My Dog's Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs? Find out more, read here! From Rebecca Sanchez, The Pet Lifestyle Guru at MattieDogGenerally speaking the US and Canada do not require GMO labeling, including farm feed – and many (50+) other countries have severe GMO limitations or bans (these include UK, Spain, Italy, France, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Russia, Mexico, etc.). GMOs are prevalently found in maize or corn, soybeans, canola, squash, sugar beet, alfalfa, tomato, zucchini, papaya and cotton/cotton seed oil. Don’t eat those things? Don’t be so sure, soy, corn and sugar beet are in a vast majority of processed foods…and can be in dog food. GMOs are hard to identify, and can be labeled as ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, citric acid, sodium citrate, high fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic acid, maltodextrins, molasses, monosodium glutamate, sucrose, textured vegetable protein (TVP), xanthin gum and the like. Now that you know what GMOs are, how do you avoid them for your pet (Non-GMO Project):

  • Labeling: non-GMO labeling is taking hold! Read the labels and if your pet’s food is not labeled, call, ask and gently encourage change.
  • USDA Organic: use your buying power – organic produce and seed must be free of GMOs to be labeled as such.
  • Proteins: know the source of the proteins, understand if the animals are herbicide/pesticide free grass fed, ideally free range and fish are ocean caught.
  • Read and Compare: read ingredient labels, today you can find many organic pet foods, as well as a growing number using the non-GMO label.

Live, Learn, Laugh and Feed Well

Is My Dog's Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs? Find out more, read here! From Rebecca Sanchez, The Pet Lifestyle Guru at MattieDogLife is short. My husband and I have decided that for us a plant-based diet is important, we both have familial histories of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. We’re far from perfect…and sooner or later, I will get the clothes off of my treadmill and go for a run. Since our time here on earth is a gift, we think it’s important to live life to it’s fullest: learn where possible, laugh often, and eat well…and share great finds with friends. That’s where you come in, friend! We’ve done comparison shopping and found that organic and non-GMO pet food doesn’t cost more than premium pet foods. So, why not feed your fuzzy family member using the same nutritionally positive concepts that you have with your human family members? We do! Oh, and no, our dogs are not vegans…in fact, some would argue that they eat better than us!

Life is a journey – and we’re so glad to share ours with you. Thanks for joining our journey as we continually ramp-up our knowledge of dog nutrition (great leaders on the topic: Keep The Tail Wagging, Rodney Habib, Dr. Karen Becker). Do you have some great pet nutrition tips you’d like to share with our readers? If so, we’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading, and until next time – take care and keep on lovin’ your dog!

Photo Credit: Non GMO ProjectRebecca Sanchez, The Pet Lifestyle Guru at MattieDog

 

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45 Comments

  1. Lots of good information here; thanks for sharing!

    Boy, we sure live in a different world nowadays. When I was a kid, most people I knew bought the cheapest dog food they could find and even fed their pets directly from the human dinner table. No one gave a second thought to whether something was okay for dogs to eat. I love when I read posts like yours, from pet parents who are thoughtful and deliberate about what they feed their pets. It really is proof that our dogs today are more than just pets; they’re family.
    Christina Berry | The Lazy Pit Bull recently posted…5 Puppy Potty Training Tips and Help from BountyMy Profile

    Reply
    • So true – that stinky stew I referenced in the post….yup, it’s still being made (and purchased)! It is very rewarding to include our pup’s nutrition as a part of our overall health.
      MattieDog recently posted…Is My Dog’s Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs?My Profile

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  2. Great info. Short of growing your own corn, it’s scary how many foods contain GMOs. I don’t know if Mattie also eats a vegan diet but a debate has been raging recently about vegan cat food since cats are obligate carnivores and can’t process plant protein.

    Reply
    • It is concerning how GMOs have just made their way right in to our meals. I actually answer that question in this blog post – Mattie and our pups are not vegan. Although, oddly enough, he does eat our organic tofu as a little treat every now and again!
      MattieDog recently posted…Is My Dog’s Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs?My Profile

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  3. As someone that is a food activist and has studied nutrition for 8 years I enjoyed this post. We make our own food for wee Montecristo precisely so we can be sure of content and origin. He eats what we eat (with some exceptions and additions) – on the whole it’s organic, non GMO and local if possible. We don’t eat grain so neither does he. We are vegetarian – he is not. We do buy local as much as possible … it is important to help prevent allergies. Great research here.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much! We are so humbled to be in the company of so many pet parents who take their fuzzy one’s nutrition as seriously as they take their own health!
      MattieDog recently posted…Is My Dog’s Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs?My Profile

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  4. I started home cooking for my dogs in the mid-90s. Consulting for a cancer prevention non-profit, I learned about rendering, what was included in kibbles and canned dog food, and about the 4-D’s allowed into pet food (dead, diseased, dying and downed animals or their parts). I never looked back.

    It was recently reported that glyphosate, the suspected carcinogen in Round Up, is being sprayed on grains after they have been harvested 🙁 I have no words…

    Thanks for spreading the word! Too many aren’t aware as I see promotion after promotion of dog foods that aren’t about optimal health.
    Mary E Haight recently posted…Dog Behavior Studies: Preventing Broken BondsMy Profile

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  5. I try whenever possible to purchase organic products and look for the butterfly.

    I hope that one day we don’t have to worry about whether there are gmos in our or our pets food.

    Thanks for the informative post.

    Reply
  6. Lots of good information. Thanks for sharing! We had a pet who recently passed away who was sensitive to just about everything. It took us and our vet some time to figure out and pin point that a lot of her issues were contributed to the food we were feeding her. Although none of our other 3 dogs had issues she did. Once we learned of her sensitivity we changed the food for all of our dogs.

    Reply
    • This is so true! We have one pup that cannot digest raw veggies unless they made/pulverized to mush. It’s great that you did all the work to identify the issue!
      MattieDog recently posted…Is My Dog’s Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs?My Profile

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  7. The whole situation with GMOs is sad, upsetting and out of control. The Pandora’s box was opened and that’s not a good thing.

    Reply
  8. Mr. N definitely eats better than I do. Most of his food is organic and grass-fed and hormone and antibiotic-free.

    Reply
  9. I cook all Layla’s food plus I make her treats so I know exactly what goes in that tummy – she eats better than me BOL

    Reply
  10. I’ll tell you I find this whole topic quite overwhelming. I’m so glad to see that produce cannot be labeled “USDA Organic” if it contains GMO’s. That helps a lot. Even if you grown your own, the seed or plants you purchase may not be organic or free of GMOs. I used to garden organically, only using fertilizers labeled “organic” but then I discovered that the seeds may be genetically engineered – so frustrating! Organic food is much more expensive for humans, it’s not always affordable for us to eat organic as much as we’d like to, let alone for our pets. Great information though, thank you, it’s really helpful.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    Reply
    • We agree – we actually do farm our own, and use organic soil, non-GMO seeds, etc., and yes, it does cost more so for us it’s our peace of mind. Thanks for your important input in to this complicated topic – we appreciate it!
      MattieDog recently posted…Is My Dog’s Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs?My Profile

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  11. I am liking this trend of people becoming more engaged with their pets’ nutrition. I remember before the big food recall, we still had people feeding their dogs Ol’ Roy, and it was difficult to express the dangers of low quality foods!

    Thank you also for understanding that as omnivores, we can be vegan, but it’s far less healthy for dogs and cats! 😉

    Reply
    • You are so welcome Erin! What works for one does not work for all – and we have to allow for options. Our fuzzy baby’s nutrition is just as important as our own – it’s just different. But what is the same is the need to have organic, non-GMO produce/protein!
      MattieDog recently posted…Is My Dog’s Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs?My Profile

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  12. I stick with one brand of all-natural holistic food that I believe in and have become an ambassador for the company. Reading labels is a must for humans and pets.

    Reply
    • We are getting to that point – which will limit some of our outreach but we do believe it is so important! Thank you for helping to lead the way on this topic!
      MattieDog recently posted…Is My Dog’s Tummy Full of Yummy GMOs?My Profile

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  13. Great information – we don’t have the same issue with GMOs in Australia. But regardless, I often buy my veges from the farmers market, organic always tastes so much better.

    Reply
  14. Interesting post. Thank you for all the great information!

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  15. Great info! It’s amazing how far we’ve come with pet nutrition— thank goodness. I remember when I was growing up we’d let our pets eat everything under the sun, it’s amazing they survived, when you think about it. Very interesting post!

    Reply
  16. Thanks for sharing this important information. Although I have been trying to make sure there aren’t GMOs in the food the humans in my family eat, I hadn’t considered that there would be GMOs in pet food. I need to up my label reading habits.

    Reply
  17. What a wonderful post to read. Pet food labels have been difficult to read since, well, they started. Day by day it gets more confusing. I really never considered the GMO’s in my pets food. It’s time to start looking closer and requiring more conscientious labeling on pet food. The pet food industry is in the billions of dollars. We can cause change if we really ban together.

    Reply
  18. Proper labeling and transparency is so important.

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  19. Great post! I have RA and my (now furangel) Gibson was an epileptic dog, so I do only organic and non-GMO, as chemicals are a trigger for me, and possible trigger for Epi-dogs, not that it’s good for any one. Lots of great info here. Thank you. I’m Pinning this, too!
    FiveSibesMom recently posted…Happy Easter!My Profile

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  20. GMOs are so scary! I hope that one day we do require labeling of GMOs here in the US. It is so sad that we live in a country where we must put the words “Caution: Contents May Be Hot” on a coffee cup but our right to know whether or not we’re eating the organism we think we’re eating is denied. I don’t think it would kill the GMO industry – there are plenty of people who would eat it anyway. I just want to know what is on my plate and on the plates of my pets.

    Reply
  21. Great info. Something we don’t think about enough. Whenever people hear I am vegetarian they automatically think I am super healthy, but I tell them it is very easy to be vegan or vegetarian and still eat junk. It does not automatically equal healthy and skinny like people think.

    Reply
  22. Thank you for sharing such a nice and valuable information. Most of the time we make the food ourselves so we know what is the content used. We also buy from local market so we are quite sure about the quality. Thank you for spreading your finding and this may increase the awareness among those we buy the dog food after seeing the promotion.

    Reply

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