Sunday, March 21, 2010


Arguably, where there is a Petsmart, there is a Petco. At least in my experience.

I prefer Pet Suppies Plus either way. They typically sell Sojos, EVO, Orijen/Acana, Wellness Core, Nature's Variety, Horizon Legacy... all exceptionally great foods.

I get a few emails here and there asking for the best food you can find at Petsmart. I try to ask if one of the other two stores are local to them as well, and if the answer is "no", then there are one of two foods that in a total bind, I might feed.

- The first is Blue Buffalo Wilderness, but seeing that each variety (original, duck & salmon) has chicken in it, I wouldn't be able to feed it to one of my dogs with a proven chicken allergy.

- The second is Avoderm. The funny thing about this brand of food is that it garners either die-hard lovers, or adamant haters. Why the haters? The ASPCA warns us not to feed our dogs avocados, which is a major ingredient in Avoderm (if you couldn't tell...)
However, the company says:

Concern has been expressed by the ASPCA about the consumption of the leaves, fruit, bark, and stems from the avocado tree, with the exception of the avocado fruit which is used for the oil and meal; none of these parts are factors in any of the AvoDerm Natural pet products formulations. 

Dr. Art Craigmill, UC Davis, Professor and Extension Specialist in Environmental Toxicology has said that his studies and other research in the United States and Australia have shown that the problem of toxicity is in the leaves and the pit of the Guatemalan variety; the avocado meat of the fruit and oils have not been shown to be toxic. AvoDerm Natural pet products do not utilize any Guatemalan variety avocados, nor do we use any leaves or pits of any variety of avocados for our avocado meal and oil.

The avocado meal and oil used in the AvoDerm Natural pet products comes from the meat of the fruit and does not contain leaves, bark, skin or pit of the fruit.  The oil is extracted from ripened fruit in which the meat pulp has been separated from the skin and the pit. Through a mechanical separation process the oil is extracted and filtered and placed into sealed containers. The pulp of the fruit is dried, ground, and screened before being placed into its final packaging and than shipped to our facility.

So, if you believe their research, you should also believe that avocados are full of vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, and essential fatty acids for excellent skin and coat condition. 

I'll admit that I was a skeptic with Avoderm, because of the toxic potential of parts of the fruit, but I decided to try one of their canned products anyway so that IF you can never, ever find any other store than Petsmart, I could safely say "try Avoderm".  
I chose the Lamb & Rice canned formula because of its exclusion of chicken and beef (nice!). 

Lamb, Lamb Broth, Ground Whole Rice, Lamb Liver, Dried Eggs, Flax Seed, Lecithin, Guar Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Kelp, Avocado Oil, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B Complex), Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Choline Chloride, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Biotin, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Carbonate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Carbonate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.

Would I feed this long term? I would have to say no, honestly. Avocados contain persin, which leeches into the fruit from the pit. At toxic levels in non-humans (which may vary), symptoms include gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the tissues of the heart and even death. So, you know, it's just not worth it when varieties of fish contain the same essential fatty acids and coat health properties without the persin.
In fact, I'm pretty sure I won't be trying any other Avoderm products again, because other safer foods exist out there with the same benefits. I'm not an adament hater, I just feel the risk doesn't exceed the benefit.


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