Documentary Profiling Critics Of Pet Food Industry And Pet Owners Airs On CBC-TV On Thursday

DogYap films’ new documentary, PET FOOD: A DOG’S BREAKFAST, delves into the world of pet food manufacturing and profiles three pet owners who said their pets have gotten sick or died as a result of eating tainted food.

The documentary also features Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, a veterinarian and someone who used to work in the pet food industry. Hodgkins says in the documentary, “Unfortunately the pet food industry is cutting corners, is not doing the testing it says it’s doing, is not using the quality of ingredients it wants pet owners to believe are in that bag and can, and is not forthcoming with pet owners about those facts. It is not a truthful industry.”

In the documentary, Ppet owners also speak out about what they went through when their pets became ill or were dying from eating recalled food. They speak about their anger and the emotional trauma that they endured.

Dr. Meg Smart, of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, says that expensive pet foods labeled ‘premium’ are often no better or different than cheaper food. She also warns that many vets don’t know as much about pet food as consumers think they do.

PET FOOD: A DOG’S BREAKFAST airs on Thursday January 24, 2008 at 9pm on CBC-TV and will repeat on Saturday January 26 at 10pm ET on CBC Newsworld.

Source: CBC

(Thanks Stefani)

30 Responses to “Documentary Profiling Critics Of Pet Food Industry And Pet Owners Airs On CBC-TV On Thursday”

  1. Kaffe says:

    This is a documentary every pet parent should see.

  2. Lynne says:

    You sure as heck won’t see anything like this in the American media.

  3. Carol says:

    As hard as it will be for alot of us to relive this –the truth has to come out. It is a year ago now that so many pet parents were dealing with this disaster—wondering what was happening to their furkids, what did they do wrong, what did they “get into”—–and feeling so alone. I found this site in April and only then discovered what really was going on—prior to then I did believe the mainstream media and felt that my two guys were just part of a few isolated cases of ARF and I just couldn’t understand why no one was helping me—-now I think I see why—this was much bigger than anyone could ever comprehend and I hope the real truths of this industry come out—-and not only from ” a few hysterical pet parents” as we have been so labeled. Finding out some of what goes on behind the scenes IS the reason I am now a hysterical pet parent!

    We have to find out how to get this shown in the US!!

  4. Pukanuba says:

    Does anyone know if we can watch it through their website……I assume they must have a website. Those of us in the US want to see it & I’m not sure how we can.

    Anyone know?

  5. Purringfur says:

    Ditto, Carol. This must be aired. Many of us are coming upon the anniversary of the deaths of our pets, for me in just a couple of weeks.

    I remember being at the emergency vet’s office before the recalls started and saw a man rushing in with two beautiful Dalmatians, saying he thought they got into rat poison, but he didn’t know how they could have. Both had been vomiting non-stop, were hanging their heads and drooling profusely… The dogs were rushed in for treatment… I doubt if it was a package of rat poison… more likely a package of “premium” pet food!

    I could recount various stories of people bringing their pets in for treatment with symptoms that matched what we witnessed.

    It’s swful to think about, but I also remember seeing 10-16 boxes of pet ashes sitting on the shelves at the vet’s office each time I went before and during the initial pet food recalls. I always knew what the boxes contained, but I remember think at the time just HOW MANY there were. The number of boxes of ashes has decreased markedly since then to 2-5 boxes at any time… I think the numbers are far higher than we will ever know. The original Banfield estimates, I believe, are correct.

    I spoke to a woman yesterday who cooked for her dog from April to September and then stopped. She said she was always cooking for her dog. I was sorry to hear that she stopped, so I shared that I cooked in bulk and froze food and that I will never again trust the large commercial brands… now that I know corporate greed comes before safety for pets AND for us.

    We must urge that this documentary be shown as widely as possible. Congratualations to Yap Films for completeing this show and for realizing the importance and scope of the massive poisoning that affected so many people and altered their ways of living forever.

  6. Jackie says:

    It is a shame that it won’t be aired here. At one point I would imagine it will probably be available to view on the internet or for sale by Yap Films.

  7. FiverCat says:

    Many of the documentaries aired on “Doc Zone” are available on the CBC website. Check their website in the coming days to see if the program has been posted.

  8. anon says:

    Since the media in this country has joined in the cover-up of the truth about the pet food recall, even some of the pet “experts” have found the pockets of the PFI to be lucrative and ethics to be optional, maybe the rest of the world is where the truth can be told?

    I understand that the truth and ethics have more value in journalism in other countries , sad that it is necessary to do so.

    Though, since the USA exported poison and there is plenty of poison to get rid of somehow, it is only moral to warn the rest of the world.

  9. Bridgett says:

    I wonder if we could start a writing campaign too Animal Planet to encourage them to show this documentary in the US?

  10. Lynne says:

    Animal Planet is sponsored by pet food companies. Pay attention to the commercials next time you watch. I seriously doubt they would run such a special. The only American media outlet I can imagine would run it is Democracy Now!, which is Free Speech TV on one of the satellite systems.

  11. Cheryl says:

    I am so thankful that more people are speaking the truth about the Junk Pet Food industry that continuously tries to tell us that it is as good or better than natural food. I have been writing about this on my website now, with alot of information from Dr. Tom Lonsdale, who was not only threatened by deregistration, jail time and or fined for shedding the light on this issue. My 21 year old cat was affected by the poisoned food in a can, and luckily she has survived. Her Kidney disease has now been reversed by natural food and healing remedies.
    I hope that other animal owners can prevent the disease rather than treat it .The first step is to STOP feeding our pets Junk Pet Food.

  12. Don Earl says:

    I’m glad to see this coming out. I know quite a few of us were in contact with Yap when they began working on this. If they do the subject justice, they should have plenty of information to work with.

    The US media is a bad joke on the American public. Most people don’t realize our media has been concentrated in the hands of a very small number of mega media corporations. The pet food industry alone accounts of a third of a billion dollars in ad revenue each year, and in most cases, that advertising is a tiny fraction of the total ad budget for companies such as P&G. The conflict of interest is obvious. The media isn’t going to bite the hand that feeds them.

    There is a lot of hype that our media is liberal, but it is a far cry from anything of the sort. If you can control what people think and believe, you can control what they do. If they had TV in Lincoln’s day, he would have said, “You can fool most of the people, all of the time.”.

  13. Dave says:

    I bet the spin doctors at the big pet food companies already have their PR machines working full blast to overcome any bad stuff aired. Anyone calling or writing to the big pet food companies about their pet food will likely be told that “this company does not process bad pet foods and we follow industry standards” and “we cannot discuss our product contents due to company secrecy & competitive rules/policies”.

    The big pet food companies have had one year to differentiate themselves from the rest of their competitors. Not one came out with full disclosure or advertisements about being trully/totally different except for a few smaller companies. Each one continues to hide underneath their “industry umbrella” of lies. The power of the internet along with increasing consumer awareness will eventually bring this industry to its’ knees including the vets who pretend to have nutritional knowledge for pure financial gain.

  14. Barb says:

    Yesterday I got this email from a friend in the Los Angeles area:

    “Do not feed California Natural Lamb and Rice (same company as Innova, Evo & one or two others, and comes in Chicken and Rice and maybe other flavors).

    I have been feeding their brand kibble for 4 or 5 years.

    These last few days I have been feeding one of four new bags I bought in the past month (their newly designed bags).

    The kibble is filled with tiny little splinters. They appear to be hard plastic bristles. One actually stuck in my finger when I grabbed several handfuls of kibble,

    and it had to be pulled out with tweezers, and my finger bled!

    I had noticed these little tiny “splinters” floating around in one of my dog’s meals on which I have to pour hot water to soften the kibble, yesterday for the first time. I thought they were chopped up hairs. I didn’t know they were sharp! I have now collected a bunch of them and taped to white tissue and sealed in a little

    zip lock bag.

    I bought all four bags At Red Barn Feed in Tarzana— I will alert them tomorrow.

    I’ve now opened two bags and both have the splinters, and all bags are all the same batch (Exp. date).”

    I immediately asked myy friend to email Itchmo telling you about this but since she has yet to do that I thought I’d post it. Today she wrote me this:

    “I got a call back immediately

    from Natura Pet Products, and will call them back today. I need to at least see what they have to say.

    I exchanged my four big bags for small smaller and more

    expensive bags of duck and potato Natural Balance, Dick Van Patten’s. This is the only kibble I know of which has

    made allergic dogs and intestinal problematic dogs healthy again. So it can’t be too bad. I think it’s the most expensive food

    on the market. $39 for 30 pounds! And that’s at Red Barn Feed in Tarzana, which is cheaper than anywhere else.”

    Sounds like she didn’t save the bags, which I think she should have done, then gotten them tested.

  15. Denise says:

    Barb Inova is suppose to be one of the best foods out there. I am so sorry and I hope your baby is alright. I think this is airing in the US about the food. I would say the web site CBS would have some information also. take care and keep us posted. Denise

  16. Don Earl says:


    At a buck thirty a pound for recycled yuck, you might consider homemade.

    Rice is cheap and any budget cut of meat at your local market is orders of magnitude better than the hooves, hide, hair and assorted offal that goes into pet food. For example, a pound of hamburger at $2 per pound and 3 pounds of rice at $.60 per pound, averages out to $.95 per pound. Add in some pet vitamins, put it in baggies in the freezer, and you’re good to go.

    That may be somewhat over simplified, but that’s the basic idea. The majority of the commercial pet food on the market today is nothing more than over priced, recycled garbage. Not everyone finds it convenient to make their own, but if it’s practical in your situation, it might be worth considering.

  17. 5CatMom says:

    Could some of our Canadian friends please record the Yap documentary?

    We can figure out how to get it posted later.

  18. Barb says:

    Thanks for the tips Don, but I’ve always fed my dogs Canidae and never had any problems. What I wrote above was written by a friend of mine, to whom I will pass on your tips. She’s the one that found these plastic splinter bits in her dog food.

  19. Steve says:

    Here’s the problem and we have brought this to some extent on ourselfs and that’s buying from China who is the lowest bider. I stop buying trearts from Petsmart and those other stores. I saw the crap they were putting in and I won’t eat it! I found this store in VA which makes their own treats. They now sell their treats on the web and I even got them mailed to me when I was in London. My dogs love them and won’t eat anything else. The woman who started the company was in the Washington Post about a year ago and she just loves animals. In fact she just moved to MO to build a bigger facility. Her web site is I also like this because I’m buying American!

  20. Stefani says:

    I was advised to check the YAP FILMS website to see if they post the video.

    They are at

    and they are the producers of this film.

    Does anyone have connections in the Cable industry? To get to somebody about rebroadcasting? Contact YAP!!

    If not, maybe we can ask them to webcast it.


  21. shibadiva says:

    I’ve also emailed - CBC this time - and asked if they planned to post it on their website for viewing. (No response yet).

    I’ve asked a friend to record it, and will remind him again.

  22. Velvet's Dad says:

    California Natural is one of the labels of Natura Pet Food and they are among the better commercial foods. I would be very surprised if they did not respond with promptness and genuine concern. Would like to read a followup on this.

    Re Don Earl’s first comment (a great one), if Lincoln were alive today, the media would totally ignore him. After all, he’s gawky, physically unattractive and mostly a loser, having lost all but one election before being elected president. And the clincher is, he’s far too intelligent and makes far too much sense for the talking “buttheads” on TV who are only into spin and couldn’t recognize an intelligent commentary if it bit them on the nose.

  23. shibadiva says:

    Einstein also wouldn’t have made it in our modern-day society. He might be relegated to some special-ed class somewhere, and end up doing postal work. Period full stop.

    (Been reading too much Temple Grandin…)

  24. Aurora says:

    The only way you know and control what goes in your pet’s food is to make it yourself! Dogs’ taxonomy classification is Carnivore, cats are Obligate Carnivores which means they require certain amino acids from raw meat or they die [unless you use a synthetic supplement, which is not the healthiest option]. Yet the pet food industry tell us feeding our pets a mummified food product made mainly from cereal is good for them. This is why we spend thousands of dollars on dental cleanings and health care [diabetes, thyroid, pancreatitis, itchy skin, ear infections, renal failure, cancer] for our short lived pets whose life span has dropped from 25 - 30 for cats to 12 - 14 and 7 or 8 years for dogs who should live to 20 years!
    The mentors at RawPaws have been helping pet owners feed a safe, vet approved home diet for over 12 years now. Its as easy as feeding anyone else in your family and costs less than bagged diet.

    Diet is only the beginning… question every vaccine your vet wants to give your pet. Google ‘adverse vaccine reactions’ on the web, read how OVER vaccination is harming your pets! Research has determined most vaccines give immunity for 7 years [think about it, humans are not vaccinated yearly though the pharmaceuticals industry is working on this cash cow]! There are options such as titre tests to determine whether your pet has immunity or not without subjecting them to increased risk of cancer or other harm.

    Feed them yourself, take control of what goes in the food bowl. Read the following book - sorry I don’t recommend any of Martins books after this one - the folks at RawPaws are cutting edge and their motto is Research, Research and MORE Research! Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food …
    Food Pets Die for: Shocking Facts About Pet Food by Ann N. Martin was the first expos‚ of the shocking practices within the pet food manufacturing industry. … - 242k

  25. Don Earl says:

    RE: “Here’s the problem and we have brought this to some extent on ourselfs and that’s buying from China who is the lowest bider.”

    This comment plays nicely with my earlier comment about the quality of the US media.

    Try going to the FDA’s site and pull up their archives on recalls for past years. What you will find is that recalls of off shore goods are the rare exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of unsafe products in the US are homegrown.

    Calling China the “low bidder” is inaccurate. China has cheap labor that is easy for corporate America to exploit. Try this experiment: go to your favorite clothing store and read the labels where a run of garments are made. What you will find is an identical item will be made in dozens of different countries. There are import limits on how much product can be imported from any given country. When a major US garment company hits the limit for a given country, production ramps up for the next country on their list.

    In most cases, these so called “imports” are from US companies owned and operated off shore. You aren’t dealing with foreigners with shoddy practices. You’re dealing with corporate America in all its glory.

    The food that killed our pets was made in the US and Canada. The second you forget that, you’re painting a big fat bullseye on your pet.

  26. Bichon Mom says:

    Usually, the Doc Zone documentaries are posted for online viewing after they have aired on CBC and on CBC Newsworld. This particular Documentary film will be aired on Jan 24th (CBC) and on Jan 26 (CBC Newsworld) so I’m guessing that the links to where you can see it online will be posted sometime after Jan 26th.

    Keep checking the link below. When the online version is available, the link will be posted there:

  27. stefani says:

    Thanks, Bichon Mom!

  28. shibadiva says:

    The documentary was very well done, and a nice reminder to the PF industry that we haven’t forgotten about this tragedy.

    Precis of the documentary here, for those that may not get a chance to see it on CBC Newsworld this Saturday, although hopefully CBC will post it on their Doc Zone web page or Yap will distribute it.


  29. shibadiva says:

    Just got a response from CBC:

    They’re not able to offer this online in Doc Zone, since “It was an independent production (not produced internally) so we don’t have the necessary rights to the material.”

    Hopefully, we’ll have better luck with Yap Films.

  30. FiverCat says:

    I watched the documentary and I was a little disappointed, but perhaps my expectations were high. Ever since the most recent pet food poisoning I have been reading numerous articles about the pet food industry. I already know that 99% of the pet food brands are crap. The documentary referred to the larger companies like Hill’s and Iams and how their versions of “premium” foods area no different from their regular versions. What I really want to know is if I can trust the smaller companies like Wellness, Solid Gold, Innova, Weruvia, etc… I have emailed most companies but again, can I trust what they tell me? I am supplementing with home cooking but working two jobs, I need the convenience of store bought foods.

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