A panel at the recent 2010 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo criticized pet kibble and suggested that manufacturers consider the health implications of their products. Panelist and renowned pet oncologist, Dr. Demian Dressler (known as “the dog cancer vet”), recommended limiting foods that contain ingredients rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, such as corn products, canola oil, soybeans, vegetable oil and grain-fed meats. Hey, wait a minute–that reads just like the ingredient list on the vast majority of commercial dry pet foods! Those ingredients are all high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which, Dr. Dressler explained, “tend to increase inflammation, blood clotting and cell proliferation, while Omega-3 fatty acids have the opposite effect. He pointed out, “The problem is that the typical American diet–for people as well as their pets–tends to be overloaded with omega-6s and deficient in omega-3s.” Hello! That’s what we’ve been saying for years — it’s nice to see science finally catching up!

The panel also recommended reducing calories, particularly those from sugar, which has the additional danger of not only causing obesity, but also feeding cancer cells and encouraging their growth. Starchy carbohydrates like corn, wheat, and potatoes are rapidly metabolized into sugar in the body…they are a source of concentrated calories, and a main contributor to pet obesity.

Dry food is bad enough for dogs, but it’s even worse for cats, because it causes dehydration, and, consequently, stress on the urinary system. Bladder and kidney disease are the result.