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on August 9, 2009
Anything to increase peoples awareness of how flawed the commercial pet food industry is, and to encourage people to feed their pets real food of which they have full contol, is an important and needed endeavor. I loved the title, which was a take off of Fast Food Nation, a great eyeopening book. However, one piece of dangerous advice, and other inaccurate information has prompted me to write my first book review in order to prevent people who are new to this arena from buying this book and doing potential harm to their pets (people who are old hands at making food for their pets will easily pick up these flaws, and hopefully not give this book to newbies).

On page 134 it is recommended to limit water intake to pets with diarrhea. Anyone who has had to take care of puppies with parvo virus ( a deadly virus which causes diffuse watery diarrhea) would know this would be one way to quicken the demise of these patients. A common misconception is that "watery things" like canned food or water itself causes diarrhea or soft stool. It was disheartening to see this comment, as these poor animals who already have a fluid deficit from abnormal watery stools (diarrhea) need MORE water, not less. Of course they also need help finding the cause then getting some help for the problem.

Other more minor things: the first four recipes listed for dogs (which are classified as ones to be used as main/daily) are seriouly lacking in calcuim, not to mention other nutrients. The author does touch on calcium/phosphorous, and vitamns/minerals in other areas in the book, but for someone using the book as a reference before reading it cover to cover would not know this. Her arguments against fresh/uncooked(raw) diets is that they are "ick"y, she has personal reservations about the people that feed this way (they "are a bit much" ),and feels that fresh feeding is too complcated and very strict, which actually couldn't be further from the truth. Most anti-fresh/raw proponents feel that those diets aren't strict enough.

For people just starting out, please refer to a book that is tried and true, and has stood the test of time, Dr Richard Pitcairns , which is carried on Amazon:

[...]

The new Dr. Michael Fox book, Not Fit For A Dog, is a great current synopsis of the latest pet food crisis, including all the most recent recalls.
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VINE VOICEon February 24, 2008
The beauty of this book is it is packed with solid information AND provided in a fast and fun read. I have read multiple books on this topic and this one is certainly the easiest to put into action. This book's cat wet food recipes are quick and easy to make and of course much cheaper than "factual premium natural" or organic canned. It's only a Sunday event of an hour or less for me to make and freeze the following week's supply. Many of the healthier ingredients (can't afford ALL organic ingredients, but aim for 75%) needed for the recipes can be found here on Amazon at a much cheaper price than I can get locally. I have 5 cats and a few years ago (thanks to the DVD extras on Super Size Me) started my own journey for healthier human and pet food choices. Thanks to About.com, I switched from Purina and Iiams (yes I was fooled by the hype) to Natural Balance and Castor & Pollux Organix Feline and their non-organic cat food. While I still plan to use those brands, I recently happened upon By Nature's Organics (also make less expensive Naturals) and now this is my first choice back up supply for canned and primary source for dry food. They do not use wheat, corn or soy (Newman's and some other "natural and organic" use soy or all 3). Although it is not found in this book, those 3 fillers are the most common allergens for cats, plus it is very challenging for their digestive systems to process those and can cause significant health issues. It is best to use oatmeal (try McCann's-yummy for people and pets), brown rice, and barley. I stick w/ the rice and oatmeal since it is readily available in my pantry and it is easy to make extra while preparing it for myself. I also use organic coconut oil (does not turn rancid), which has amazing health benefits for people and pets alike. Sure it's a bit of a time commitment, but after a while it becomes routine and what better way to express your love and affection?
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on August 14, 2007
Just finished reading my copy of "Pet Food Nation." The author has packed this book with easy to understand nutritional information. Whether you want to simply add supplements to your pets commercial foods or want to cook complete meals for your pets, this is a must read. Easy to follow recipes and healthy alternatives.
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on July 9, 2007
I have just finished reading PET FOOD NATION and have to say that the book answers so many questions about commerical dog food. It offers different ways to introduce "people food". It directs the reader to realize that a balanced diet is so important for our dogs and the necessity of learning the proper foods and proportions. I especially liked the diet for the older dog and the easy recipes that were included. The different feeding options that were discussed has given me the opportunity to make positive decisions regarding my dogs. Sue Weiss
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on November 3, 2007
In Pet Food Nation Weiskopf gives an overview of the pet food recall of recent months, even calling it a scandal, which I'm sure many would agree with. She wants pet owners to be informed and educated about what they feed regardless of how they choose to feed their pets. This book gives a brief overview of the recall and her views on the healthiest way to feed our pets to give them the best shot at a long and happy life.

Weiskopf's view on commercial food is that it is not the healthiest diet for our pets. She explains why she believes this is the case (explaining the use of rendered products and other ingredients) and talks about other options. While she recognizes there are many ways to feed pets...commercial, a combination of commercial and homemade, strictly homemade, raw, and so on...she encourages people to switch their pets over to homemade. She believes a diet of fresh and cooked foods is the most nutritious diet for our pets. And, if you do decide homemade is the way to go for your pet, you'll find quite a few recipes included in the book.

While her preference is to feed homemade, Weiskopf recognizes that won't work for everyone. With that in mind, she goes into how to read a pet food label - what the placement of ingredients means, what those ingredients actually are, and what terms like lite, low-calorie, and lean actually mean.

Pet Food Nation is a good book to read to get an overview of the current pet food situation and what changes you might want to consider making to your pet's diet as a result of all the recalls. Is it the only thing you should read on pet nutrition, different ways to feed your pets, or on this year's pet food crisis? Absolutley not, but it's a fast read and worth reading, especially if you haven't been watching the recall all that closely or feel a bit overwhelmed and unsure of what to feed your pet.
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on July 24, 2007
This book is packed with great nutritional information giving the reader a clear understanding of what our pets need to keep healthy and thrive.
The recipes are easy to understand and follow. I enjoyed the myth busters and fun facts the author included, as well an explanation of what commercial dog food REALLY contains.
With the knowledge gained from "Pet Food Nation" I am now able to "kick it up a notch" when preparing our dogs meals.
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on July 10, 2007
I have now read Pet Food Nation cover to cover. I am so glad I did. I want to be sure my three dogs and my sisters cats live to a healthy and ripe old age. This book has given me really good ideas in how to improve on what I am feeding. I have been worrying about the hidden ingredients or quality of the named ingredients in dog food, hoping I won't be learning a scary lesson at the expense of my wonderful companions. Now, I know better how to safely feed them the best diet and I hope, extend their natural lives.
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on August 19, 2007
I just finished this book and think it is the best argument for feeding your pet food that you make yourself like you do the other members of your family. Homemade food for your pet is more work but is manageable, the author gives some very good recipes and time saving tips (like making batches and freezing).

The point is a pet is not an express type of deal, if you don't have the time to feed it properly then maybe you are not ready for a dog or cat. Things take time and the author acknowledges that it will be a process to even transition from packaged/canned foods to homemade foods. It just comes down to this question: is your pet worth the extra effort?
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on September 14, 2008
Pet Food Nation is a quick and easy read and a good primer to get you thinking about your pet's nutrition and diet.

The book is divided into three general parts. The first part talks about the history and the state of the pet food industry. The second part goes into your pet's general nutritional requirements and commercial food (and it's ingredients) versus home cooked food. The third part discusses nutritional requirements for different breeds (very general), provides some sample recipes (about a dozen each, for cats and dogs) and lists different vitamins and minerals and their sources, functions and the results of deficiency and excess.

The book also contains a lot of factoids, questions and answers (FAQ style) and debunks some popular pet food/nutrition myths. I'd recommend this book to start you out in your pet nutrition research, but you'd probably want to read additional books for more in-depth information.
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on January 17, 2008
I got this book looking for a solution to feeding my dogs food that I didn't see fit to feed myself. I was concerned about all of their nutritional needs being met as well. With this book, I found answers to all of my questions, helpful recipies and good information. If you are looking to step away from the commercial dog food, this would be a good book for you.
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