New book reveals dangers of the dog food industry

“Big Kibble” authors Dr. Oscar Chavez and Shawn Buckley discuss their eye-opening new book that investigates the pet food industry.
4:32 | 01/14/21

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Transcript for New book reveals dangers of the dog food industry
this week expanded the recall for some of the dog and cat food varieties produced by midwestern pet foods warning pet owners it may contain potentially fatal levels of toxin after the illnesses of more than 80 dogs and the death of more than 70. That certainly got us wondering what is actually going into the food that we feed our pets. We have SHAWN Buckley and Dr. Oscar Chavez, the authors behind the book "Big kibble, the hidden dangers of pet food industry and how to do better by our dogs." Welcome to "Gma3," both of you, and Dr. Chavez, I'm a dog owner myself, and we're now obviously all wondering what do you see as the biggest problem with mainstream dog food? Amy, thanks for having us. You and Dr. Ashton have been covering this really well, on the human side, during the pandemic, and it's exactly that, that fresh whole foods are a lot healthier than processed kibble. And on top of that, the processed kibble that we use as pet food is made with substandard b-grade ingredients. The leftovers in the food chain. And there's very little rules and regulations, and that's the real issue. In fact, your company has financed research on those processed foods, and what have you learned? Exactly. So we learned that research done on our food showed that dogs that ate real food produced 55% less poop than dogs eating a leading kibble. So a lot less waste coming out which means a lot less waste going in. And the fda, the federal food and drug and cosmetic act requires that all food, including pet food, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions and be labelled in a truthful and nonmisleading manner. So is something like this, are we going to see more of it? Is this just a one-off that we're seeing? Or are the conditions right, do you think, in this industry, for this to be happening more often? It's definitely the latter. In the last few years, we had an average of over one pet food recall per week. It's about one every five and a half days. And we had that kind of recall, if we had that kind of recall on human food, our whole world would be turned upside down, when you take a look at the size of the pet food business compared to the size of the human food business. So the one thing I would point at is that while it does say that, and of course, they made that statement, there are all kinds of other issues surrounding foods. We do want to let our viewers know what we are hearing back. We did reach out to the association of American feed control officials, we did not hear back from them, but we did hear back from the pet food institute saying the fact that the pet food is strictly regulated and pet food owners can be assured that no matter their shopping choice, U.S. Pet food makers are taking important steps to produce safe food. I want to ask you this, Dr. Chavez. As a vet, what advice do you have for pet owners? What should we be doing? It's tough because there's a lot of information out there and not all vets are on board with these restrictions yet, so it's hard to get information. But you can work with a veterinarian, or a veterinary nutritionist who can design a recipe that you can make at home. You don't have to buy the food. You can make the food at home. There is also the availability of getting our recipes on our web site as well. And so, you know, it's something you can do for yourself, at home, as long as you have the guidance of a veterinarian. You do have a line of pet food for full disclosure here, but you're saying they don't have to get it from you. We have 60-plus million households in this country that have dogs. So the motivation here for you two here is simply what, keep the pet healthy? It's not very different than what you guys are doing. We want to get the word out. And that's why all proceeds to our book go to rescue. We don't want to make a dime off that. You know, we knew that some people would say hey, you have a company, so that is what this is about. It's not. What it is really about is getting the word out, because just like whole food nutrition, with at-home health, it's no different for our pets. Dr. Chavez, SHAWN Buckley, thank you both for being with us and all of the insight you gave us today. We will ask everyone if they would like to, they can pick up a copy of "Big kibble." It's in stores now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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