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Behind the scenes at Hero’s Pets

** The hardest part of managing Hero’s Pets…
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…is dumping a beloved brand of pet food. It’s inconvenient and people question why we’d ban a brand when other stores who claim to have a similar mission are happy to sell it.
We want to share the following story to give you a little insight into why we do that… and why we believe we really do know better than most stores what is safe to sell.

** First, let’s talk about Evanger’s…
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which we used to carry. It’s a canned dog food with gravy. How wrong can you go with a single ingredient, right? Here’s how we knew BEFORE THE RECALL that we needed to drop it…

** Several years ago
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Hero’s learned of a discreet practice in the pet food industry called “denaturing.” In this process (required in canned pet products) the color and smell of meats are altered to prevent consumption by humans. Methods may be toxic, but allowed, to deter humans from eating dangerous pet foods.

** How a manufacturer handles this says a lot about them…
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Officially, there are two ways for a company to comply with FDA enforced denaturing rules:

1) Add a denaturing pre-mix composed of Coal Tar, Carbolic Acid, Citronella and 5 different colors of food coloring (all known to be carcinogenic)

2) Add Charcoal. While charcoal has the benefit of absorbing toxins it also absorbs nutrients. So, this is the preferred practice, but we don’t love it.

Unofficially, there are 3 more ways to comply with FDA enforced denaturing rules:

3) Use exclusively human food quality ingredients, in a human food facility, and label them as a pet food product. In this case no denaturing is required because it would not be dangerous if a human consumed the product.

4) Raw food companies also managed to get the FDA to agree that Bone Meal Powder is sufficient for denaturing.

5) There is a loophole if a product is manufactured out of the country. It may not need to be denatured as long as the product is labeled for pet food consumption prior to entering the country. (In some cases this makes foreign products HIGHER quality than American products).

Based on this info Hero’s Pets discontinued sales of every product which uses the denaturing premix

because the potential side effects include skin allergies, photo-sensitization, acne, severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, bloody vomit, oily hair, neuralgia, gas, cramps and cancer. Evanger’s, a natural company who has recently recalled several of their products due to euthanasia drug contamination, was one of these companies. This was a second blow to Evanger’s as in 2010 they were accused of stealing $2.3 million of gas and electricity:(https://truthaboutpetfood.com/evangers-pet-food-owners-accused-of-stealing-2m-in-electric-and-gas/ )

We were also shocked to learn that no product is required to list denaturing agents on their label since the denaturing is mandatory.

As a matter of fact, companies such as Evanger’s, who manufacture products for other companies, are not even required to tell those companies that they are using denaturing agents in THEIR products… because it’s a mandatory practice. Using a denaturing agent without the knowledge or consent of a business’ owner is legal. But, Evanger’s markets themselves as natural and holistic. They did no research to ensure that the denaturing option they chose was the least toxic option AND they didn’t offer options to the companies whose products they manufactured.

We felt this was highly unethical.

At Hero’s Pets, we are constantly learning and advancing. We benefit not only from the obsessive investigations our employees carry on, but also from the personal experiences our customers share with us every day. We have an entire community of people here striving to find the best products and comparing notes on how things work. This is a huge cumulative resource and asset over the years!

It may seem a little frustrating at times (like when we drop a line of hypo-allergenic food we previously recommended, and you have to switch your sensitive pets’ food.) we only do so in the best interests of your pet and family.

In the past Hero’s Pets also chose to discontinue:
* Merrick and Zuke’s prior to their sale to Nestle Purina
* We dropped Natura (Innova, Evo, Karma, Healthwise and California Natural) immediately when they sold to Proctor and Gamble, which subsequently endured 2 solid years of constant recalls, then was discontinued.
* We also refuse to carry:
* Taste of the Wild
* Blue Buffalo
* Stella & Chewy’s
* Primal
* Nature’s Variety Instinct
* Northwest Naturals
* Rad Cat
* and numerous other “natural” products because we care far less about a label than we do about the company ethics, quality control standards, and sourcing.

No matter how a label reads THESE are the things that are important in making that label honest, safe, and worthy of your pet and family. We’re sure that we could make a lot more money on selling products that people ask for, rather than spending time with every customer explaining the dangers of those products. But we are in this industry to make a difference by doing our part…

to regulate quality, regardless of what the manufacturers or government agencies are, or are not, doing

…to keep your pets happy and healthy. We’re not here to help a corporate manufacturer convince you that their television ad reflects anything truthful about their products.

That is also why we are currently discontinuing another brand:
Nature’s Logic.

For years we have supported this company’s refusal to use dangerous synthetic vitamins and minerals in their foods. This has cost them a lot and they have been invaluable to the progression of the natural food industry and its continued education.

However, in 2017 they have implemented High Pressure Pasteurization on their raw foods, a practice we firmly disagree with (ask us for the science).

Additionally, while there have been no recalls yet and only one complaint, we were notified by a customer that she found very small pieces of plastic in her dry Nature’s Logic food. It may seem extreme for us to drop the entire line over these two issues. But we specialize in keeping tabs on the industry and we feel that we are doing right by you and your pet by asking you to switch off of Nature’s Logic.

If you currently feed Nature’s Logic please ask for free samples of better alternatives.

Open Farm has offered to accept your Frequent Buyer Card.

At Hero’s Pets we recognize that a company’s ethical standards is of the utmost importance to us because your pet and your family is of utmost importance. It’s more important to us than selling a product… any product.

Thank you for your continued support as we navigate the ever changing landscape of the pet food industry. Every dollar you spend with us assists us in learning, educating, and changing this industry for the better.

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