Advocating for Our Community’s Animals (by Guest Writer Emily Keudell)


To learn more about Emily, first go here to read her brief writer’s biography. Then, check out her animal advocacy site here and her pet adoption Facebook page here.

The Research Question & Collection

My research question was “is the raw diet for pets the healthiest diet?” My public writting is related because it raises questions about commercial pet foods and the nasty ingredients that are in most.

Note: The following research collection was developed in response to the above research uestion.

Source 1:

O’CONNOR, ANAHAD. “The Raw Food Diet for Pets.” Well The Raw Food Diet for Pets Comments. NY Times, 24 May 2012. Web. 05 June 2013.  This is an amazing artical for the New York Times that goes into some detail and first hand experiance regarding the raw diet for dogs. My reasurch question was “is raw food the way to go for the healthiest diet for a pet?” this ties in because the woman being intervied whitnessed the overal change for the better in her dogs health when she changed them over to the raw diet.

Source 2:

Gowen, Christine. “Raw Food Diet for Pets.” Raw Food Diet for Pets. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2013. <;.A great artical that has the oppinions of vets, pet owners, and a holistic dog food shop owner- all ends of the spectrum. Very insightful, and shows many different opinions about the raw diet.

 Source 3:

“Dog Food Analysis – Reviews of Kibble.” Dog Food Analysis – Reviews of Kibble. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2013. <;.  This is a great page that rates pet foods by ingredient quality and quantity.

Source 4:

Sagman, Mike. “Dog Food Reviews.” Dog Food Advisor. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2013. <;.

This site rates dry and raw foods by ingredients-also this page goes into detail about why some ingrediens are harmfull and not nutritous. The about the author page is great. Not only does he know from i biological standpoint he knows from personal experiance.

The Public Writing: A Sample from Emily’s Advocacy Page 

“Dogs and cats are carnivores
Don’t like meat? get a bunny!”

       I grew up with animals and have always wanted the best for them. Like most Americans in the 90’s we bought our pet foods at the grocery store when we were buying our groceries. Looking back my childhood dog was itchy, smelly, pooped a ton, ate a ton, had flakey skin, goopy eyes, bad teeth, and did not live as long as dogs that I have had since. The thought that it was food doing this to her never really passed through my mind. I was a child and like a child didn’t understand the meaning of a healthy balanced diet. But I now have this quote stuck in my head: “you are what you eat.”  If that is true for humans, why would it not be true for pets? If I ate McDonald’s everyday I would start looking and feeling horrible, but if I ate a well balanced diet that consisted of fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean meats I would be energized, look great, and live longer. We know that not all humane foods are created equally, so could that also stand true for pets? Yes, yes it most certainly does. To be honest there are only a few independently owned pet foods that I would even trust!

So what is in grocery store foods? I guarantee you will find at least one of these “no-no” ingredients in the food at grocery stores.

Corn- Corn! It’s in anything and everything- huge culprit of dry itchy skin in pets- hard to digest- very cheap ingredient/pet food filler.

Wheat- hard/impossible to digest-many dogs have allergies to it- very cheap filler and not beneficial.

Soy-almost impossible for there tummies to process. A cheap filler that many dogs have allergies to, also it’s not good for us.

By-products- Parts of the animal that I would not even call meat. Head, feet, entrails, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, stomach, bones, blood, intestines, and any other part of the carcass not fit for human consumption,

Artificial dyes/flavoring-bad for us, bad for them. Why would a company have to add this to a pet food? To make it more marketable, not because its good for your dog. Do you want to feed your dog food that’s best quality is the different colored pieces that come out of the bag?

Un-named meats/Animal digest- this can literally be anything! Any type of animal, even ones that have been euthanized- including dogs

Meats/ingredients from China- Many foods have recalls because of these ingredients- low standards- plus free Tibet.

These ingredients are just a few of the more common “sketchy” ingredients. You will find these ingredients in foods at grocery stores, Pet-cos and Pet-smarts, or any other large chain store. You will usually only find high quality foods in high quality small or independently owned stores that actually know something about nutrition. The fact is that a good pet food company will usually only want to associate itself with other good food companies, and therefore will usually never be in a shop that carries food with low quality ingredients.

I have been working in the pet food industry for six years, and I feel like I learn something new everyday. I have seen the changes that a food can do, and I am a strong believer in food therapy. A good diet can do wonders for people and pets, and if you take good care of yourself why not take good care of your pet? Why have a pet if not to keep them the healthiest and happiest that you can within reason? I always tell people that a cute new collar or bed for a pet is a fun thing to buy but healthy food should be number one. Sacrifice the cute new collar and cute new dog bed to pay that extra dollar for some healthy food that can potentially cut down vet bills and make Fido live a long and healthy life.

If you want more information on the food you feed your pet and all other foods, there is a dog food comparison website I love called Dog Food Analysis. . It is a great tool to look at the food you feed and possibly find better ones. This site is also great and works the same way. Enjoy!

This is a list of foods that I stand by and always will. These foods have amazing websites filled with great information:

Orijen and Acana- made by Champion pet foods. A dry kibble that is composed of 60-80 percent fresh meat, no grain, no added salt, and some formulas are even potato free!- low starch!

Honest Kitchen-dehydrated fresh foods.

Stella & Chewy’s- Frozen and freeze dried formulas make feeding raw safe and easy.

Vital Essentials- An amazing raw food for cats and dogs.






  1. Sharon Bartley

    I really appreciated your post and being that I have grown up with animals and my project’s theme was geared toward animals really made it relatable. Also, my family gardens, mostly because we like knowing how our produce has been treated and how it has grown. I also don’t like the ingredient, corn, in food, I try not to buy it (or foods with it) because it is a cheap filler for foods. I have tried to annihilate food coloring and artificial diets from my diet and inform my family how bad they are for us as well as our pets. We need to help people see what is healthy for us as well as our pets that we love and care for every day.
    I have grown up with animals as well and am hoping to find a good dog food for my dog. He is a Shih Tzu of 8 years and his paws have turned from white to a reddish brown. He licks them constantly after eating certain foods. We took him to the vet and they told us he was allergic to some enzyme. Do you know of any such enzyme that seems to be consistent in most dog foods that could not be in one dog food that I could try? I really want him to be healthy and happy, while my mom also wants him to look nice and not dirty. Do you have any suggestions? We have tried IAMS and even made our own dog food but that is time consuming…. He likes what we make him but we have not run a control group of that ffor a decent amount of time. I will definitely check out those dog food websites to get some better ideas!

    • emily keudell

      Hi Sharon! just got done with your posts! and i love them!
      for food, i truly only have a few brands i love:
      orijen or acana- made by champion pet foods- honestly the highest quality dry food you will ever find-visit there site for a store location- you will never find them in grocery stores or petco petsmarts- they have no corn wheat soy byproducts low quality meats lots of filler- that other food have. also please dont choose a food from the vet- they contract and sadly in my opinion do not offer you the healthies choice. if you are in portland- i would love for you to go to one of these two shops to talk about food- The Hip Hound 610 nw 23rd st portland 97210 or a store on se burnside in portland called MEAT- they are all amazing people at these stores that know so much about pet food.
      again fav brands
      because your pup has been on iams a slow transition might be needed- try acana classics or reg. acana 1st then over time move to orijen and again i think going to one of the stores i listed would be helpful 🙂
      brands i love
      great life

      These are all great foods but raw is always better and comes frozen or freeze dried-premade with all the things a pup needs to be healthy- most dogs with food problems do the best on raw
      my fav brands for this
      vital essentals
      stella and chewys
      northwest naturals

      again alll have amazing web pages and your dog can be made healthy with the right food.

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