Monday, May 24, 2010

Delta Farce

Delta Society Bans Dogs' Natural Diet!

The Delta Society is an association that coordinates activities of therapy and service dogs nationwide. In a move that can only be described as "boneheaded," the Delta Society has banned from participation in its programs any dog that is fed raw proteins. Citing myths, hearsay and studies (which they seemingly did not read) regarding the diet of the dog and risks to human health, they foolishly promote unsubstantiated "old wives tales" that were promulgated decades ago by...yep, you guessed it....the commercial pet food industry. The vote by the Delta Society Board of Directors to ban raw-fed dogs was reported to be unanimous.

Examine the board of directors list on the Delta Society website, and who do we find?

Brenda Bax, Delta's Secretary. Coincidentally, Brenda is also a marketing director for Purina.

It's interesting to note that the very study that Delta quotes to support their decision did not find a higher rate of pathogens in raw-fed dogs vs those fed a dry diet. In fact, just the opposite! There was a significantly higher rate of several pathogenic bacteria in dogs fed a dry diet, including Campylobacter, MRSA (resistant Staph), and VRE (Vancomycin resistant Enterococcus). The rates of E. coli were essentially the same in either raw-fed or dry fed dogs, with salmonella higher in the raw fed group....but existing in the dry food group as well.

Studies show that pathogens can reside naturally in dogs' intestinal tracts...regardless of their diet. In one study, over 1/3 of dogs were found to carry salmonella. And these dogs were fed a diet of kibble. Imagine that! This shouldn't surprise us because salmonella is present in a wide variety of foodstuffs, in water, and in dust and dirt. But, dogs transmitting GI pathogens to people....just not happening. Where is the evidence?

Humans can also carry pathogens without suffering illness. Disease risk varies depending on the immune resistance of the individual. Salmonella is not limited to protein sources, and has been found in vegetables, including such unsuspecting sources as tomatoes and peanut butter. Somehow, I don't see us hysterically banning salads or peanut butter in nursing homes. But raw fed dogs.....not allowed!
From the Delta website:
Did you know?

Delta is a Greek symbol of change and is represented by a triangle. Delta Society’s triangle represents the interconnectivity of Pets, Pet Owners, and Medical Professionals (human and animal). Together they change lives.
Yet it seems Delta sorely lacks the knowledge base that marks true progress and "change." And shouldn't one have a somewhat enquiring mind to be dubbed a "Medical Professional?" Rather than one who blindly accepts commonly-held "facts" that are eventually proven false.

Hey, I'm just sayin'....

Luckily, Delta has extensive pet loss and bereavement pages on their website, including a resource directory and a page of articles and research related to pet loss.

Forcing their participants' dogs to eat a diet of dry stale foodstuffs, bereft of natural vitamins and minerals, and laced with chemicals and yes even pathogens....their owners are definitely going to need all that bereavement info. Dogs have too short a lifespan under the best of circumstances, but commercial foods have just recently killed droves of pets....melamine, cyanuric acid, vitamin and mineral toxicosis, aflatoxin poisoning.....killing our dogs by the thousands. Documented!

News that Brenda Bax probably doesn't want to get out!

As to the rest of Delta Society, I hope when they get to the land of Oz, the wizard has some extra brains to pass out. And maybe some bones for the dogs?

Heaven forbid, dogs eating raw bones! That just goes against nature.



  1. Oops forgot to mention another bright star on the Delta board of directors...Dr. Marty Becker, from Pet Connection.

  2. THanks for the enlighting article and you should also list the studies so people can see them for themselves. Conflict of interest seems to abound on this board.

  3. HUH?? Conflict of interest? In what way? First I am accused of being a shill for "big ag", now I am supposedly going to benefit personally from dissuading people from commercial dog food?

    The only interests expressed here are those related to ownership rights and care of our animals. End of story!

    Seems like anyone who posts a nonsensical comment feels the need to tag themselves as "anonymous". Funny, that!

    Will post info from and links to the studies later, although you certainly can do your own research in the meanwhile on this issue. There's plenty of it available.

  4. Um...I think "Anonymous" meant that the conflict of interest abounds on the DELTA board, not this message board. In which case, I think you owe "Anoymous" a heart-felt apology.

    Anonymous II

  5. Oh gee, well I now have mud on my face!! LOL. I do profoundly apologize, if that was indeed the intent. It is so often impossible to discern true intentions from cryptic posts. I've had a couple who critized me as a shill for "big ag" so that really kept me on the defensive!

    Anonymous 1, if what Anonymous 2 stated was your true intent, I sincerely apologize!

  6. I have a long letter that was sent to Delta from a canine nutritionist. She cites the studies and evaluates them. I'll post it as a new entry.