Rachel Ray’s deadly dog food recipe

Rachel Ray was featured on the cover of “Modern Dog” Magazine with an accompanying article promoting her new pet food line, “Nutrish.” Inside there was also a recipe from Rachel that looked like it was a pet food recipe. She called it “Isaboo’s Butternut Squash Mac and Chedder,” named after her pit bull Isaboo, who loves squash. The only problem was that the recipe contained onions, which are completely toxic to dogs and cats and can kill them. It was intended to be a people food recipe, but was not labeled as just for people, was misleadingly named after her dog and seemed like a recipe specifically for dogs.

The recipe is still on Rachel Ray’s “Everyday” Magazine website under a “Pet Friendly” header and accompanied by a photo of her dog looking like he’s chowing down on the dish – which again contains onion:

To promote her “Nutrish” line of dog food, the super chef recently published a recipe that’s intended for human consumption in a popular dog lover’s magazine. The recipe, “Isaboo’s Butternut Squash Mac and Chedder” was inspired by her pit bull Isaboo’s love of squash. But readers were confused and believed the dish, that included an ingredient that could kill dogs, was mean for their dogs.

Nowhere in the dog magazine did it state that the recipe was intended for humans, not dogs. And the text accompanying the recipe contained a disclaimer warning owners to check with their dogs’ veterinarians, again leading many to believe the recipe was for dogs…

Dr. Dana Harman, D.V.M., of Boca Raton, Fla, explains that onions can cause “potentially fatal hemolytic anemia” in dogs.

[From The National Enquirer, print edition, January 5, 2008]

“Modern Dog” has since added a mild disclaimer to the website about how the recipe was intended for people but the amount of onion wasn’t that much anyway. The commenters are upset, though, and say that “Modern Dog” should have known better than to present a dish containing onions as if dogs could eat it. They also say that while Ray may be a dog lover and does promote shelters, she’s openly talked about getting her dog from a breeder.

Hopefully no pets were harmed by Rachel Ray’s misleading recipe. The Rachel Ray people really need to change their website soon, so that no one else makes it for their dog thinking it’s ok.


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124 Responses to “Rachel Ray’s deadly dog food recipe”

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  1. Kink says:

    That is sooo irresponsible! She’s lucky there were no dogs killed or the lawsuits would be piling up…another example of people thinking famous=inteligence.

  2. Aspen says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with buying from a reputable, humane, and educated breeder. I totally respect people who adopt from rescues, and I abhor puppy mills…but buying from a breeder is also a correct and respectable choice.

    One must take care in where they obtain animal family members, for sure, but wanting a purebred animal has many motives. Vanity is not the major factor for most purebred owners. It is the personality of a breed, the functionality of a breed, the security of knowing the bloodlines and temperament of the dog’s gene pool, the knowledge of the dog’s medical history and genetic history as it applies to health problems.

    So…yeah, she’s a right IDIOT for putting a recipe for dogs up that has onions. She’s a horrid liar for trying to backpedal and claim she didn’t mean for dogs to eat it when HER dog is clearly eating it in the photo. The magazine should apologize for the dangerous article it posted.


    Lay off of her for buying from a breeder. The respectable breeders out there are the reason we still have great diversity and good temperaments to choose from. They love their breeds, KNOW their breeds, and are activists in helping, rescuing, and educating owners about how to care for their breeds. They are champions of dogs and dog welfare, so there is no hypocrisy in buying from one of them.

  3. Celebitchy says:

    Thanks Aspen, I’m not that educated about it and appreciate your explanation. I do have friends that have purchased dogs from breeders as they were looking for specific breeds and I should have been more careful in how that was worded. Point noted!

  4. tooey says:

    If you want a purebred dog, there are plenty of rescue organizations that specialize in just about every breed there is. We have a beautiful purebred German Shepherd with a fantastic disposition and temperament that spent one year in a city shelter and another year in a GS rescue organization. It is a myth that shelter dogs or rescue dogs have personality problems. Some dogs do, some don’t, same as at a breeder or anywhere else. But some wonderful dogs get surrendered or lost or whatever and languish and/or die in shelters everywhere because people believe the myth that they can buy a “better” dog at a breeder or store.

    People are free to get their dog where ever they choose, but I admit to being sick at heart when I see people spending hundreds of dollars (or more!) on a dog when there are so many homeless ones dying every single day.

  5. Carrie says:

    In Rachel Ray’s defense. She is not a vet and like most people would not have known that onions hurt dogs. I am sure she is like most celebs here is the product and such as her line of dog food and she just slaps her name on it. I really doubt she would intentionally hurt her dog or anyone else’s.

  6. Bella Mama says:

    buying from a reputable breeder is different than buying from a puppy mill.

  7. JH says:

    The problem I see with dog breeders is that they use dogs as a product. They make money out of their dogs.

    Animal shelters are filled with “pure breed” dogs, because lots of people only want a pure breed for vanity and don´t realize that having a dog is a huge commitment.

    With so many homeless animals I think it´s just irresponsable to continue breeding dogs.

  8. MomInNH says:

    I got my dogs from breed specific rescue groups. If you’re looking for a specific breed of dog and can’t find one at your local shelter I would just do a quick search for a rescue group devoted to that breed. It gives a home to an animal who wouldn’t have one, doesn’t line a breeder’s pockets and discourages those puppy mills!

    Like Tooey said, there are rescue groups for pretty much every breed of dog there is! Last Christmas I even found a Dachsund rescue group and got my aunt a gorgeous little puppy that she had been looking for years to find. Leave it to a red head to ONLY want a red headed Dachsund!

  9. jess says:

    the problem isn’t the personal intelligence of the breeder but the fact that they are creating a dog surplus forcing other dogs to be forgotten and put down. we boycott breeders for humane reasons. there are plenty of loving smart and loyal dogs living on death row and buying from breeders instead of humane societies, the aspca and local shelters continues this deathly cycle.

  10. MomInNH says:

    I forgot to add that as far as Rachel’s recipe is concerned, I would find the blame with the magazine itsself. Isn’t it their job to have editors and people checking these things out? Maybe Rachel omits the onions when feeding it to her dog. Maybe her dog just isn’t sensitive to them. The magazine did go on the record saying that there wasn’t much onion in the recipe, but even a little could be too much for a small dog’s system to handle. If it’s a dog magazine with recipes in it, I’m going to assume that those recipes are pet friendly. If they’re not, the magazine should clearly state that when printing it.

  11. Kaiser says:

    Uhhh… I give my dog food with onions all the time. Perhaps it’s only for some dogs?

    The only thing my dog refuses to eat is peas. But he loves carrots. And groundhogs.

  12. Syko says:

    Thank you, Aspen, just what I was wanting to say.

    I refuse to apologize for buying a pet from a reputable breeder. I have rescued a large number of pets from shelters and abusive situations in my life, and just once I wanted a pedigreed animal, something a little special. So I gave it to myself. And I had it neutered.

    The problem is not where we obtain our pets, it’s whether or not we bother to neuter and spay them after we get them. You are not solving any problems if you adopt a shelter pet and then let them reproduce.

  13. Baholicious says:

    Regarding the comments about “lining breeders’ pockets” and them breeding for profit. Reputable breeders also show their dogs at the national and international level and some use handlers, both of which take money. There are also stud fees or purchase of new breeding stock as well as the veterinary fees involved.

    The fact is that breeders of purebred dogs make very little return on a litter of pups – except for the people providing these ‘designer’ dogs. I’ve heard of people paying thousands for ‘yorkiepoos, cockapoos, whatever else the poodle mix is that Perez Hilton has…at the end of the day, these people are paying thousands of dollars for a mutt. Some of these people are adamant their dog is a ‘breed’ and it isn’t and can’t be registered. These are also the types of dogs most likely to come out of a mill or backyard operation. Personally I try and do my part by never buying pet supplies at an establishment that also sells animals which is where you find a lot of these cross-breds.

  14. boomchakaboom says:

    Kaiser, I didn’t know about onions and dogs either. I have large dogs who love veggies and I know I’ve given them food w/onions cooked in it. Maybe labs are less susceptible to the deadly onion? Hell if I know.

    If you own a pitt bull it is nice to know what kind of temperament lurks in its gene pool. Maybe not totally necessary, but nice anyhow. Those dogs get a really bad rap.My son has one and people beg him to breed their dog w/his because of his dogs’ great disposition. He’s being neutered soon so they’ll quit asking.

  15. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    Wait, how are onions toxic for dogs?? My pup is always right near me as I’m cooking and if I’m dicing anything up and some falls on the floor, she usually gets to it before I can. She’s had onions before, and other veggies too, and I think the only thing that upset her tummy was a piece of celery.
    And to the anti-breeder folks out there – it’s not always as simple as going to a shelter. I wanted a dog that isn’t often found in shelters (Rhodesian Ridgeback) and I’m so glad I went out of my way to get the breed I wanted because she’s perfect! The shelters near me had all these mutt (mixes of breeds) and my hubby is allergic to long hair dogs so we couldn’t just rely on the “guess” of what breeds might be in a puppy. Plus, even the shlters were charging a few hundred bucks to get a dog that’s fixed and has shots… we might as well spend the money on a breed we really want. Yes, it was a lot more money (eeek!) but still. And the breeders usually know more about how to breed and take care of the dogs better than anyone else, they’re not abusers at all!

  16. Nova says:

    I didn’t know that dogs couldn’t have onions….not that I feed any to my dog, but I still may have given her something with them in it before and not known it would harm her. Good information to know!

    As for getting a dog from a shelter its not as easy as it sounds. I went to our local shelter to adopt a dog and they had a super long set of guidelines they had before you could adopt one. At that time I couldn’t adopt because their rules stated that you had to have a “high” fenced yard…while I only had a waist high fence. Go figure. I ended up getting a dog from a breeder instead. I tried though and now that I live somewhere with a high fence, I may try again. 😀

  17. Kayleigh says:

    Isn’t buying from a puppy mill the same as a pound? What do you think those puppy farms do once the puppies aren’t cute anymore?

    • Jackie says:


      I have to agree with Kayleigh. I now adopted 2 puppies from a store and I don’t see any difference. These little babies need rescuing too. This man said I adopted this puppy “just in time.” They need rescuing too and I think it’s horrible when people say you should not get your puppy from a breeder or a store. So these puppies deserve to die because they end up in a store? Geez. We started out with the local humane society, but they offered mostly larger breeds. We wanted a small breed and we ended up with a long-haired chi who fits our family just right. That’s more important if the dog fits your family.

  18. Baholicious says:

    @aaaaaa: “Plus, even the shlters were charging a few hundred bucks to get a dog that’s fixed and has shots…” You say that like that’s unreasonable or something. The spay/neuter fees, shots and cost of housing and feeding a dog while there is what is in the cost of a shelter dog. You’ll pay more than what the shelters ask from your vet when/if you have your dog fixed: If you have a no-breeding clause in your contract of sale with your breeder, they will decide when and if your dog will be fixed. If they determine your dog is show-quality when it gets older (even if you got a ‘pet quality’ pup) and you fix it, they can sue you. If your dog gets out and ends up with a litter of pups, they can sue you.

    All I’m saying is that while purebreds are great, buying from a show kennel doesn’t necessarily help the pet overpopulation problem as does getting a new friend from a shelter.

  19. GG says:

    It is a shame this breed is taking over shelters because of poor breeding and handling. I volunteer at a local shelter just packed with this breed (70%). Nothing against the breed, but lets be responsible and not just breed this particular “fighting” breed for a few bucks. Most are euthanized anyway and they just take up space for wonderful, adoptable dogs.

  20. MonicaBH says:

    Onions & garlic are both toxic to dogs and cats; they cause what is called hemolytic anemia. For whatever reason, dogs & cats (and ferrets, for that matter) can’t metabolize those things like humans do. It causes their red blood cells to break down, which causes significant (and often fatal) anemia.

    I’ve been a veterinary technician for over 10 years, and fortunately have only seen one known case of onion toxicity. It was in a miniature pinscher that got a hamburger from McDonald’s with those little reconstituted onions on it a few days prior. It seems as if the dehydrated product or the powders cause the most problems, since it’s such a concentrated amount. (That doesn’t mean it’s okay to give Fluffy or Fido raw onions or garlic though!)

    Did you also know that grapes are toxic and can cause acute renal failure and death in pets?

  21. Sunnyjyl says:

    My grandmother fed her dogs table scraps, including onions, for their entire healthy, long lives. Perhaps onions are only toxic to some breeds, like chocolate.

  22. Codzilla says:

    aaaaaaa: Not sure where you’re from, but when I adopted my dog from a shelter in San Francisco, the fee was only $50. And that included spaying, shots, and a microchip. I’ve never heard of adoption fees in the “few hundred dollars” range, and I’ve adopted pets in three different states. Not saying it isn’t possible, but that sounds like an exaggerated figure to me.

  23. Baholicious says:

    Small amounts of garlic isn’t toxic for dogs (it definitely is for cats though) and provide a natural repellent to fleas. Vets will tell you garlic is toxic so that you purchase their flea repellent pills, chewables and sprays (*wink*). That being said, I agree the powdered garlic is not good because it is far too concentrated. I’d give mine a little chopped garlic in oil in their food once a week. I never had a flea problem and they were outside and around other dogs a lot.

    Chocolate is toxic for dogs as is adult aspirin. Although I had a shelter dog once who was a stray and had a cast-iron system: she once ate an entire box of chocolate liqueurs, foils and all, and was okay. I still took her to the vet though to be on the safe side.

  24. GG says:

    I paid over $350.00 for my adopted dog, so yes I believe some shelter fees are difficult for most to afford.

  25. Bodhi says:

    I love Ridgebacks. If I wanted one I’d get it from a breeder too. Even though both of my furbabies are total mutts.

    Since Rachel is trying to promote her own line of dog food, I assume that she’d done at least SOME preliminary research. All you have to do is Google “bad food for dogs”. She is so obsessed with her cutesy image that she can’t even tell when she is shooting herself in the paw.

  26. Louwho says:

    I have a shelter pup- the best dog in the world. I also am heartbroken when people go to a breeder when there are so many pure bred dogs needing to be rescued. I feel that it is socially irresponsible to be increasing the dog population when so many animals are dying because they can’t find homes. PLEASE ADOPT!!!

    And oh yeah, what the hell was Modern Dog thinking? They absolutely should have known better than this. Rachel Ray is an idiot, so I expect it from her.

  27. Howie says:

    I am honestly shocked that there are dog owners on this site that haven’t heard that onions are toxic. You’ve NEVER bothered to check to see what things might KILL YOUR PET? I am horrified! Completely irresponsible. It’s called freaking Google, for chrissakes.

  28. Syko says:

    I used to put garlic powder on my cats’ food to help them ward off fleas. We lived at the beach in Florida, and no matter what you do, you carry sand fleas into your house on your shoes. This was before they invented the one-drop stuff they have now to keep fleas off pets, and my vet suggested it.

    It is quite expensive to adopt from a shelter, the one here charges $75 plus you have to be approved, and that does not include spaying/neutering or anything but the basic puppy/kitten shots.

    Pet breeders, not the puppy mills but responsible breeders, do not get rich from doing it. It has to be for love of what they’re doing. My daughter had a Siamese cat once and bred it, and by the time she paid the stud fee, vet fees, fed the growing kittens, and ended up giving away two of them, she came out about $10 richer for the whole litter. I know the breeder who bred my cat spent a lot on vet bills, she was very conscientious – such as when one of the adult cats developed worms, she had all the cats in the house treated by the vet and delayed my getting my kitten for a week until the vet could recheck them all and make sure he was healthy and ready to come to his new home. She also considers all the kittens she bred to be family members, and still loves to get pictures and reports on the cat’s progress.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great thing to adopt a pet that will otherwise be euthanized. But if you want a certain breed, there’s nothing wrong with using a reputable breeder.

  29. Michelle says:

    It is not regualar chocolate that is toxic to dogs, it is baker’s chocolate. Technically it is the caffeine that is in the baker’s chocolate. Dogs have a faster heart beat than humans so the caffeine is what can kill them as it speeds up the heart. I bought my cat from the ASPCA, and it only cost $60 including the neuturing, shots, and microchiping. I bought my pug from a wonderful breeder. He was retired, had a beautiful house, showed us the whole operation, where he kept his dogs, everything. I am sure he made some money, but that is not why he did it. He loves pugs and is retired, hence wanted something to do. His parents bred them when he was growing up so he loved them. He had a really nice set up. Brought expectig mothers into his own bedroom in a really nice cage/pen thing so he could watch them really well. Some of the specialty breeds aren’t as profitable as some would think. Pugs can only have 1-3 per litter and can cost quite a bit for if something goes wrong.

  30. MonicaBH says:

    All I can do is roll my eyes at the comment about garlic being nontoxic to pets. Whatever. I suppose veterinary toxicologists and researchers have nothing better to do with their time than make up bogus studies about animal welfare. But I digress. Heartworm disease, parvovirus and rabies are probably all phony bologna too…

    Carrying on… Chocolate is toxic to all dogs. Baker’s chocolate is the most toxic. White chocolate is the least toxic. There’s a dosage range for each type of chocolate and the toxicity to expect from each type when a certain amount is ingested. If you want specifics, I can provide them but it’ll have to be tomorrow. I’m off today (thank doG!)

    I’m very thrilled to know that some of your pets have not been affected by eating things that are known to be toxic; that’s great news! But, knowing that these things could cause fatal problems, you’re still willing to feed it? That doesn’t make any sense to me… Just because something hasn’t caused a problem in the past doesn’t mean it never will.

    And lastly, I have rescued/fostered more dogs and cats that I can remember. Upon placement into their new homes, they’ve ALL been spayed/neutered, vaccinated and started on heartworm & flea prevention. Four of my current dogs are rescues; one was purchased from a BYB when I was an uneducated kid. However, knowing what I know now, my next rottweiler (my “heart” breed) will come from a reputable, Code of Ethics breeder with the health clearances and obedience/working/conformation titles that I am looking for. I’ll still foster and rescue when I can or want, but not every breed has what I want in a dog.

    I’m fostering a little West Highland White terrier that was relinquished to me now. She is very cute, but very, very sick. Her name is Twiggs.

  31. Baholicious says:

    @Monica BH: “I suppose veterinary toxicologists and researchers have nothing better to do with their time than make up bogus studies about animal welfare.” There are a few who don’t and they work for the pet food industry. Just an example, check out the situation with regard to Iams and animal testing. That’s not vets looking out for animal welfare that’s for sure.

    I’ve met vets who know surprisingly little about animal nutrition and what they do know about it is confined to whatever the salesmen from Hill’s and whatever other premium/special diet chows they sell in their clinics tell them.

    Anyway, we could open a whole other can of worms with feeding dogs the Raw food diet. People either swear by it or say it is tremendously detrimental. Some people make their own dog food with success and others say it’s not nutritionally complete. Anyway, people know when their animal is thriving and no loving and responsible pet owner would deliberately do anything to jeopardize that.

  32. barneslr says:

    I strongly support animal shelters (I have my 9 lives “Million Cat Rescue” doll on my desk even as we speak!) and have adopted from them in the past, and surely will again in the future. However, I’m not going to knock someone for going to a breeder if that is their preference.

    If someone is going to take another living creature into their home and make it a member of the family, then of course they should ultimately be the ones to decide whether to go to a breeder or a pound. It’s great if they choose to give a home to an otherwise homeless animal…but they shouldn’t be reviled if they don’t.

  33. Syko says:

    @Baho – I once had a German shepherd that ate tubes of caulking, as well as broken glass. I’m sure those things weren’t good for him, but it never occurred to me that he might try to eat them!! Luckily he survived, only to be stolen from my fenced back yard.

    I’m not sure exactly what raw feeding entails, but I have a friend who does it for her dog. She seems to believe in it totally, but it seems expensive and a lot of trouble to me. The dog is fairly large, eats quite a lot, and she is off with the kids’ wagon a couple times a week to drag home the raw food. Plus, they don’t have a lot of money, and I’m pretty sure the raw feeding costs a lot more than picking up a 50 lb. bag of Dog Chow.

  34. Bodhi says:

    I was vastly impressed with my vet (well, the doggies’ vet) the last time I took Big Dog in. He was overweight & the vet immediately went online & looked up the nutrition info for his food & told me exactly how much to feed him.

    I mean, I cold have done it too, but it was so nice of her to write it all down for me.

    Edit: Oh no Syko!

  35. NotBlonde says:

    My puppy Batman came from a shelter. We had to take him to go get neutered as soon as we left the place and had to pay for it. The adoption fee was $80 and the neutering/de-worming/whatever else they do was $200. This was in Los Angeles County so…adopting can be expensive too. And he’s a little mutt.

    I think the rules are the same for humans as they are for dogs. Alcohol poison for humans but we ingest that shit like it’s going out of style. My dog managed to jump onto a skinny table and get a hold of an entire bowl (two bags) of dark chocolate M&Ms. My mom freaked when she saw the carnage and rushed him to the vet. He examined poor little Batman and he was fine and told us to come back tomorrow and monitor him over night to see if there were any changes. He’s been perfectly fine since.

    I wouldn’t ever feed him dark chocolate but I do wonder sometimes why my dog didn’t have a bad reaction when others do. Beside that, the fault lies in the magazine for not specifying, not Rachel Ray.

  36. Bodhi says:

    My Bodhi has eaten about 3 packs of cigarettes & she was fine! :shrug:

  37. Baholicious says:

    Caulking, cigarettes, M&Ms…bless their little scavenger hearts! They’re such opportunists *smile* I can’t get over the eating glass though, he must’ve liked the crunch LOL!

    Syko, I had a dog stolen from my yard when I was a child. I was heartsick…I’m sorry that happened to you too. Mine was a little Maltese, but a German Shepherd is a handful to walk off with. Did you ever find him? I didn’t find mine. People that steal dogs are the purest form of a$$hole. That’s somebody’s friend they’re taking, it’s not a car or a piece of jewelry.

  38. Cinderella says:

    My two small breed dogs eat small portions of leftovers that sometimes contain bits of cooked onion. I never thought it would be harmful. They are 10 and 13 and handle onions better than I do.

  39. MonicaBH says:

    I’m not suggesting that every veterinarian on the planet is ethical and does the right thing 100% of the time. Over the past decade, I’ve met and (sadly) worked with my fair share of doctors that were at the exact opposite. It happens. Not all vets are nutritionists, but for the most part, they’ll have a good idea on what’s going to kill your pets. However, 50 different doctors may well give you 50 different opinions. I base my opinions on a combination of what I’ve seen, read and heard (from veterinary lectures) over the years.

    I am not sure where raw feeding came in to this; however, I have no real feelings either way on it. I do believe it’s a risk, but on the other hand, I can understand why a pet owner would feed this way. I do not personally feed my dogs, cats or ferret raw, but mostly it’s because I’m far too lazy. I like the convenience of a dry kibble. I’m picky (but not obsessive) about what my pets eat, but I barely have time to feed myself these days. Syko, many proponents of raw feeding suggest that it is cheaper per pound to feed than a dry kibble.

    As far as alcohol consumption in comparison to feeding toxins to pets… I guess it’s apples to apples. We drink alcohol knowing that we may get sick (with the possibility of an acute overdose and death). We feed our pets things that we know may cause fatal problems. Despite the risks involved, we opt to throw caution to the wind and hope it’s all okay in the end.

    My point, though, was that these things are known to have caused a severe and often life threatening problem, and that I think it’s dumb to purposely feed those things. And although I don’t intend to quit drinking, I’ll freely state that some nights I get drunker than others on the same (give or take) amount of alcohol.

    And on that note, I am going to bed. I’ve worked 12 hr overnight shifts all weekend and I am beat.


  40. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    LOL I can’t help but crack up hearing about the things some doggies eat! Cigarettes and caulking?! Oh man! Glad to hear everyone’s pups are OK now and no serious damage was done.
    Just to reply to a few of you: Baholicious, all I was saying is that if I’m going to drop $$ in the hundreds of dollars range, I am going to spend it on the dog breed I want who will best fit into my lifestyle and meet my needs. The shelters I looked at here in NJ were asking about $200 to $250 and another poster noted shelter charges of $350, so, uh, no I wasn’t exaggerating. Bodhi, if the time comes for a new pup and you still want the Ridgie, I would highly recommend the breed. She thrives on strong training but the hard work is so worth it. She’s great with kids, has a super sweet personality and is very high energy. Howie, I check into things, but there’s no way to know it all. I did know about grapes and raisins, so I don’t give her that stuff. Actually, I try to keep her away from all people food, it’s just a few things she gets to on the floor before I an pick them up that sometimes get into her system. Mostly, she’s all doggie food. Please don’t act like I don’t care about my dog – she’s my baby!! I do the best I can by checking reviews on her food, treats and toys and keeping an eye out for any news alerts regarding pets. Weren’t we just discussing the similarity in having a dog and having a baby? Well, just like I’ll do when I have kids, I do the best I can for my pup. She’s very healthy and strong… even if she has had a few onions in her day!! (NOT ANYMORE!)

  41. Syko says:

    Baho – no, we never got him back. This was at a time when people stealing animals and selling them to labs for scientific experiments was in its heyday and I always figured that’s what happened to him.

    I think the best we can do is about the best we can do for pets, kids, whatevers. Until today I never had heard that onions and garlic are bad for animals. My cat doesn’t like people food except for potato chips, but even then he eats one or two and is quickly bored with it, while I on the other hand have no problem with finishing the entire bag.

  42. Baholicious says:

    That’s so heartbreaking Syko. People with no heart and no conscience. It never ceases to amaze me what some are capable of.

  43. Codzilla says:

    aaaaaaaaa: I was the one who thought the $250 adoption fee seemed exaggerated, not Baho. So snark at me, if you must. All I was saying is that I’d never encountered fees that high, but admittedly it’s been a few years since I last adopted, and obviously prcies have shot up since then.

    Ps: Syko, that’s awful about your dog!

  44. Polkasox says:

    As someone who has had many, many shelter dogs and cats in my lifetime, I am currently looking for a good breeder to buy from in the spring. Yes, it’s very sad that so many animals are sitting in shelters, but any good animal advocate wouldn’t tell you just “go adopt!”. Adopting a dog is a 10-year or more commitment, and people have to choose what is right for them.

    My family had a wonderful golden retriever, purebred, but not bought from a breeder, who died very suddenly this year at the age of 7. We were totally heartbroken. (Goldens normally live 10 years, so he was still a baby in our minds!) He had a great personality, but he had terrible hip dysplasia and had to have major surgery when he was 3, which meant thousands of dollars. Hip dysplasia, cardiac defects, and other issues that are common in this breed can be avoided by good breeding.

    Buying from a breeder isn’t just about getting a good temperament, it can save the owner money and heartbreak in the long run if the dog’s parents are properly screened.

    Like some others have mentioned before, quality breeders are not out to make money. They want to improve the breed. Many breeders have multiple dogs but only have a few litters a year- they don’t want to stress out their dogs too much. If they were out for money, they would be constantly trying to keep the females pregnant.

    Many good breeders will make sure there is enough demand before trying to breed. Like anything else, there are good and bad out there, but don’t give all breeders a bad wrap just because of the bad ones.

  45. raven says:

    Just lost my comment. This is it in brief:

    Theobromine, not caffeine is the toxic ingredient in chocolate.

    Onions are toxic. If too much are fed, dogs will die.

    I feed a raw diet. It is excellent for my pets. It is not that expensive, but has an initial steep learning curve.

  46. raven says:

    One more thing. Rachel Ray prepares food and did design her own dog food. She needs to take responsibility for the business about onions, if the display was misleading, and straighten it out.

  47. daisy424 says:

    My Lab Scout would eat almost anything; onions, apples, kibble, bagels, ice cream, popsicles, sidewalk chalk, even wood mulch from the back yard. Once he ate $75 worth of chocolate we had just brought back from Paris.(He could open drawers with his teeth)
    He wouldn’t eat lettuce though.

    He died from a brain tumor at 10 years old, not food poisoning.

  48. Obvious says:

    I refuse to aplogize for getting my dogs from a breeder. My Jack Russels are fantastic and I love them. I do volunteer with the local chapter of the Jack Rescue, and they prefer people adopt form them or go through their lisencsed breeders than the punds, because the dogs we offer are trained and adjusted, many of the jacks that end up in pounds to have behavioral problems (people don’t realize that they are one of the toughtest breeds to own, as they are devious, intelligent and high energy).

    All of you condemning us who choose to buy from breeders should eb ashamed. It’s not us who is fueling the large number of abandoned dogs, it’s the puppy mills adn the people who buy a dog and give it up when they get bored. GO after them, not the rest of us pet lovers.

  49. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    Sorry Baholicious – yes, I see now it was Codzilla’s comment I was referring to but no snark was intended. Codzilla, it could very well be a geographical disparity in shelter prices too. You said you were in San Fran, right? I would imagine if there’s more pups in the shelters, they would drop the prices or something. I’m in suburbia, so it’s not that common to see strays around. Usually they show up in litters at the pound, so I would assume it’s ppl whose dogs got prego by accidental encounters who couldn’t find owners for them all. There’s also a lot of pups from families with allergic kids/hubbies/etc. or people who are moving and can’t take their pet with them. (which breaks my heart!) Just my impression – I could be wrong.

  50. Baholicious says:

    @aaaaaa: No worries!

  51. Codzilla says:

    aaaaaa: Sorry if I seemed bitchy in my last post — I honestly didn’t mean it. My kids (the human variety) are bouncing off the walls today, so I can barely string two thoughts together. Anyway, your point about the fees being lower in more populated (or at least stray-heavy) areas makes a lot of sense. Although, after moving from SF to Sandpoint, ID (population: too small to count), I adopted a companion for my dog and the fee was the same as in SF! The Idaho shelter was no-kill, though, so that might explain why the fees were as high as those in the city. Oh well, I ended up with my two precious pooches which is all that matters.

    As for the breeder vs. shelter debate, I think that if someone adores and looks after their pets (regardless of how they found them), then it’s all good. Everyone has a right to make their own decisions based on personal reasons that, frankly, are nobody’s business but their own.

  52. Jane says:

    Omg. I can’t believe some of you didn’t know onions were toxic. So is chocolate, grapes, garlic, etc. I think people should do more research before feeding theirs dogs whatever they want.

  53. NotBlonde says:

    I’ve never read that grapes were bad for dogs…we give him frozen grapes during the summer when it’s a million degrees and he’s healthy as a horse.

  54. vdantev says:

    Never trust anyone who grins that much. Perpetual happiness is only suitable for morning DJs and gameshow hosts.

  55. boomchakaboom says:

    I’m taken aback that some people believe pet owners who don’t do freakin’ research, for chrissake, are irresponsible pet owners. Excuse me, but dogs and people have been successfully cohabiting since waaay before GOOGLE entered the scene. Yeah, that’s right. Look it up.

    I hauled many a stray dog home as a child and not once did it ever occur to me to reference our set of Encyclopedias to find out what they ate. I just took a shot in the dark and got them dog food and sprinkled it liberally with table scraps when we had ’em. It worked and THEY LIVED!

    Bitch, please.

  56. tooey says:

    I had a shepherd mix, bought from what I thought was a reputable breeder, paid $200 for her and she was “AKC registered” as a purebred German Shepherd; I still have the papers. As she grew, it was clear that something else got mixed in there, most likely Lab. She was a great dog regardless, lived to be 14.5 before passing away last October. When she was a pup she got into SO much stuff! She ate a six foot leather leash all the way down to the clip, mountains of foam from a mattress that she dug a hole through all the way down to the floor, red touch-up paint (we thought she was foaming at the mouth with blood!), an entire raw fish defrosting on the kitchen counter and probably lots of other stuff I can’t remember. She had a cast iron stomach.

    I can see using a breeder when you are looking for something uncommon, like the Rhodesian Ridgeback someone mentioned – I love those, too! If I were to get a pitbull I would use a breeder also, because the mess this country has made of that breed! So, I can see using a breeder, but I still think of the great dogs I’ve had that are shelter dogs – the above referenced dog was the only one we’ve bought from a breeder.

    Anyway, how does one go about finding a truly good breeder? And I ask that in all seriousness, not snarky, because of our past experience. We thought we had done a decent job when clearly we hadn’t so just for future reference I was wondering.

    Oh, and when we adopted from the SPCA in 1999, the cost of our dog was $135 (Dallas metro area) and that included his neutering later one. My GS from the rescue organization was $200, but she was heartworm positive, so that covered her heartworm treatment as well. So adoption fees can be high, in part to maybe keep out the non-serious potential adopters.

  57. anastasiabeaverhausen says:

    I have googled what foods and plants are toxic to dogs AND cats, since I have owned both (I only have cats since my dog passed away in March). I especially looked into what plants are toxic to cats and have a list of them in my purse, because I love plants, have a green thumb, but I don’t ever want to bring one home that could harm my kitties. It’s pretty easy to find out what’s toxic to animals.

    And I hate Rachel Ray. She bugs me.

  58. Howie says:

    “I’m taken aback that some people believe pet owners who don’t do freakin’ research, for chrissake, are irresponsible pet owners. Excuse me, but dogs and people have been successfully cohabiting since waaay before GOOGLE entered the scene. Yeah, that’s right. Look it up.

    I hauled many a stray dog home as a child and not once did it ever occur to me to reference our set of Encyclopedias to find out what they ate. I just took a shot in the dark and got them dog food and sprinkled it liberally with table scraps when we had ‘em. It worked and THEY LIVED!

    Bitch, please.” –Boomchacaboom

    Yeah, it never occurred to you because you’re irresponsible. And before Google, there were vets. Vets who would have told you that onions will kill your pet- but you don’t have the time to research silly things like HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A DOG. I’d like to hear you spout this same shit if we were talking about a baby, and how you just ‘took a shot in the dark’ about basic do’s and don’ts …

    So, please continue to put your dog’s health and life at risk because you don’t want to take advantage of everything that’s been learned during all that ‘successful cohabitation’. I’m sure it hasn’t been all that successful for the poor pets that died from ingesting something toxic that could have been prevented.

    Bitch, please.

  59. Jinglee Bells says:

    Onions and garlic are other dangerous food ingredients that cause sickness in dogs, cats and also livestock. Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.

    Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop haemolytic anaemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.

    At first, pets affected by onion poisoning show gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhoea. They will show no interest in food and will be dull and weak. The red pigment from the burst blood cells appears in an affected animal’s urine and it becomes breathless. The breathlessness occurs because the red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body are reduced in number.

    The poisoning occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion. All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can cause illness.

    Onion poisoning can occur with a single ingestion of large quantities or with repeated meals containing small amounts of onion. A single meal of 600 to 800 grams of raw onion can be dangerous whereas a ten-kilogram dog, fed 150 grams of onion for several days, is also likely to develop anaemia. The condition improves once the dog is prevented from eating any further onion

    While garlic also contains the toxic ingredient thiosulphate, it seems that garlic is less toxic and large amounts would need to be eaten to cause illness.

    Recently, there was a letter in the AVMA Journal from Dr. Gwaltney-Brant and others at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center discussing grape and raisin poisoning in dogs. Apparently, grapes and raisins can be toxic to dogs when ingested in large quantities.

    The grapes and raisins came from varied sources, including being eaten off the vine directly. The dogs exhibited gastrointestinal signs including vomiting and diarrhea and then signs of kidney failure with an onset of severe kidney signs starting about 24 hours after ingestion of the grapes or raisins. The amount of grapes eaten varied between 9oz. and 2 lbs., which worked out to be between 0.41 and 1.1 oz/kg of body weight. Two dogs died directly from the toxicity, three were euthanized due to poor response to treatment and five dogs lived. Due to the severity of the signs and the potential for death, the veterinarians at the poison control center advocate aggressive treatment for any dogs suggested of ingesting excessive amounts of grapes or raisins, including inducing vomiting, stomach lavage (stomach pumping) and administration of activated charcoal, followed by intravenous fluid therapy for at least 48 hours or as indicated based on the results of blood tests for kidney damage.

  60. MsTriste says:

    To sum up the list of foods we should NEVER give ANY DOG:

    MACADAMIA NUTS (cause neurotoxicity)

  61. Baholicious says:

    Howie, before the advent of Google no-one hauled their dog to a vet to find out what to feed it. You asked a neighbour or someone else who already had one and went from there.

    I’ve had two Great Danes and not once did either of my 2 vets tell me about bloat, a potentially fatal condition caused by feeding the dog too much at once. I was warned about it by a breeder and other Dane owners who told me to feed them twice a day, not just once.

    If a vet doesn’t know about warning a giant-breed owner about bloat which can happen from just feeding as you would a smaller dog, I bet he sure as shit won’t know about onions being toxic.

    They also don’t know diddly about feeding the large breed pups either: feed them low protien ie. adult dog food so they don’t grow too fast and compromise their skeletal system and end up with arthritis among other problems.

    There’s an awful lot vets don’t seem to know (edit: especially when it’s breed-specific) so I wouldn’t rely entirely on them. They are part of responsible ownership, not Moses on the Mount.

  62. boomchakaboom says:

    Howie, step down off your high dog here. My current dogs are 9 and 10 years old and I’ve had them since puppyhood. There’ve been dogs, cats & horses in my life since I can remember. Where I live we have one vet who mainly treats livestock and zero “vet technicians.” It takes a lot of common sense and experience to keep your dog happy and healthy, and frankly feeding them onions and garlic never occurred to me.

    And yeah, my one child did manage to survive my hit or miss approach. I didn’t even have GOOGLE yet he still lived. Somehow my brother, sister and myself managed to live through our research-less childhood. It can happen.

  63. Bs says:

    I’m a die-hard pitbull owner for 20 years. My best pitbull was my running dog of 11 years. I would NEVER buy a pitbull from a shelter. I would only buy from the “old” breeders, Colby and the like.
    These pits are child sensative smart pedigrees.
    Absolutely nothing wrong with buying from a breeder for the right reasons. My son was raised with in-home (not outdoor) pitbulls and he’s the better for their protection and love.

  64. Bs says:

    By the way Ms Triste, my running dog Raven LOVED grapes. She ate them like candy and we shared them often.
    Her mother Princess ate chocolate (when she could steal it).
    Its sort of a risk, but its a matter of allergy. Just like a humans. Some are allergic to grass, pollen etc. Many dogs have no adverse reactions to these items and maybe she thought it was safe.

  65. LondonParis says:

    perhaps rachael’s obliviousness when it comes to what is toxic for dogs is what caused her first dog, boo to “pass away suddenly”?

    can’t stand that woman.

  66. kate says:

    @ daisy: one of my dogs opens drawers with her teeth, too! she likes to get into my underwear drawer and walk around with my undies in her mouth. really embarassing when we have company and out comes avery with a thong in her mouth. she has also figured out how to nudge open the doggie door with her nose. she is a mastiff/bloodhound mix so when she smells something interesting she just has to get at it!

  67. MsTriste says:

    By the way, BS, the list I posted came from the National Geographic magazine a year or so back. Go tell them how you fed your dog grapes with apparently no problems. I’m just trying to be helpful here, no need to get crotchety at me.

  68. Lilly Munster says:

    I viewed her show once and it ( her “dish” )sure looked like my dogs food! Yuk

  69. JayLeno says:

    Learn to spell: It’s “Rachael” not “Rachel.”

  70. Scott says:

    I’ve given my dogs onion before. They love them and suffer no ill effects. I also know someone who gives their dog malted milk balls and the dog is fine-I was told chocolate is poison to dogs too.

  71. Bodhi says:

    To me, nothing is worth risking my furbabies’ lives.

  72. Aspen says:

    I have adopted two generations of personal pets from shelters. Three kitties have lived happy lives of total adoration and real care in my home. I tried to adopt a dog from a rescue when it was time for us and we had a place that would accommodate the needs of a dog. I am an animal activist in my way and I took time and money and effort to learn about how to care for a dog and understanding what to expect and prepare for…financially and personally.

    My family chose a breed based on activity level, security and temperament with children, size, personality, and several smaller factors that included things like appearance, coat length, and level of comfort without a large backyard (which is always a possibility for us).

    We wanted a particular breed, and it was not vanity. It was not greed or fashion or anything untoward. We knew what kind of dog we wanted…and we spent THREE YEARS waiting for the right time, the right puppy, and the right situation before we committed.

    Reputable breeders and not the reason dogs are in shelters. Reputable breeders are large FUNDERs of shelters. They are the people who run rescue societies and organize the tag-team adoption runs to deliver shelter dogs cross country. Breeders are the people who make legally-binding contracts with owners to make sure that their pups NEVER go to a shelter. They make sure that if they owners change their minds that the puppy comes back to THEM. They tend to be activists in the dog community who educate about feeding, grooming, adopting, health care, and rescuing. They’re not in it for the money. They’re in it for the dogs.

    I applaud shelter pet parents…but shelters are not the only moral and respectable place to get puppies.

  73. Amber says:

    she is so stupid to let her beautiful dog eat some thing that is sotoxic to dogs and i got a trial size bag for free at my grocery store i am now afraid to give it to my dog after hearing this

  74. RaraAvis says:

    Look at the picture of Rachael and her dog. That dog ain’t eating what she’s serving. Maybe he knows about the onions…?

  75. Rhianna says:

    My dog is a mutt, rescued from a shelter. We’re the 3rd family to take him home, and now he’s lived in Europe with us for several years.

    My cat is a pure-bred Chartruex. You go ahead and find a rescue place that will load one onto a plane for 14 hours to an unknown family on a different continent. I went to a breeder for her, and there’s only 3 I know of in Italy! Lay off the breeders!

    I’m not a vet, and I know onions are poisonous for dogs. You’d think a ‘chef’ (I use that term oooo so loosely and with great trepidation) would know what would be dangerous to feed people and animals as she claims to ‘make’ food for her dog. Guess that’s what you get in the Oprah-nation! Stupid, vapid, and paid too much.

  76. Veil Of Deception says:

    Breeders are out to make money, nothing wrong with that if it helps feed your family. Puppy mills are disgusting. It all boils down to a choice. Do your own research of breeds. Do you pay $500-600 for a pure-breed dog? Do you go to a breed-specific rescue organization and pay $200-300? Do you go to the local animal shelter for one under $100? We decided on a Shar-Pei rescue and have the most delightful dog we could ever imagine. And most mix-breeds have a lower cancer rate for some reason. Pure-bred (or almost) dogs should be checked for mast cell tumors that can be surgically removed, can be expensive also. I knew about grapes and chocolate but now I know about onions.

  77. Mairead says:

    Good grief, the list goes on… now macadamia nuts? I honestly never knew raisins, onions or garlic could be toxic to dogs or cats. I had heard about chocolate though.

    Jinglee, your article was interesting, but I would query the amounts quoted though. One medium onion weighs about 100grams. Eating 6-8 raw onions on the trot would give anyone a dicky-tummy not just Fido, I should think.
    Most recipies for humans will only have about 1 onion or 1 clove of garlic per 4-8 portions, so again, I would raise my eyebrow at a portion of left-overs containing 150 grams of cooked onion, even if you’re like me and regularly use two onions per dish.

    We only had a dog once when I was a child as we live on a busy road and he chased cars. Generally it’s been cats that just wander in the front gate and decide to stay so the practice of going to somewhere to get a pet is completely out of my range of experience.

    But unfortunately, the poor things have never had the opportunity to be poisoned by root veg – one died from skin cancer (we never found out that white ears need sunblock until it was too late – and there was no such thing as Google in the 80s dearie). The most deadly thing for the rest of them was the internal combustion engine – perhaps you’d like to Google that?

  78. Rosebudd says:

    Thank you all for the interesting discussion. We have all learned a lot. On my fridge I have a list of items not to be fed to dogs. Many have been mentioned above already, but here goes: alcohol, avocado, chocolate, caffeine (chocolate covered coffee beans), fatty foods, garlic, onions, garlic, (& powders especially), raisins, grapes, salt, products sweetened w/ xylitol, yeast dough,….The list if fr. newspaper fr. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Many dogs have eaten table scraps for years, things off the floor & otherwise. If we now know, please don’t let your dog have & try to minimize items around house that dogs love to chew. One friend’s pug ate all then stuffing fr. her bed quilt & required emergency surgery. Another had a much loved pet that accidentally ate choc. covered coffee beans & died in her young son’s arms. Very devastated child because she was 11 & he was 13 at time. Like I child-proofed my entire house, please don’t take a chance. Too many ppl. get pets & cannot afford. It is a big responsibilty! Like
    vets, doctors prescribe medicines for ppl. & do not know what the hell they do. I go to the pharmicist for that. Enjoy your pets, either bred or rescued. They are such a joy. Thank you all again.

  79. Stacy says:

    I have always had a dog. They eat whatever I eat, and are VERY healthy animals. My german shepard LOVES onions and chocolate. He isnt dead. In fact, he is very energetic. So while it may cause one dog/cats death……it doesnt mean it will always kill an animal. Just like we humans have a sever allergy to peanuts ect…doesnt mean all humans cna not eat peanuts. I had a mini poodle that lived to be 13, and he ate chocolate ice cream with me often. He ate garlic pizza, jealopenos, cheese, raw eggs in his food. So dont tell me tnhat this stuff can kill when ALL my animals get fed the same way and live for years and years…..only going to the vet when shots are needed.

  80. Meg says:

    I find it almost funny how people are harping on the breeding issues. Breeders aren’t hungry dog misers who want to make a buck, they also better the breed. In many cases, breeders are trying to reverse the affect of bad breeding, like German Shepherds and Hip Displasia. They’re trying ot breed this trait out, and slowly but surely, they may. Breeders attempt to purify the breed…it’s really a lot of work. My dog is a purebred border collie from a farm…and too bad we don’t have a farm, because he’s bred for what he has to do (and the cats in my house, restrained to one room of the house by a hyperactive dog, are very upset about it) While you may find a dog to do this work in a shelter, it’s unlikely that you’ll see this trait so strong in a dog.

    Stacy- your comment comes off as arrogant and misguided. Our dogs are the same as yours, they eat off the table with us, and they eat exactly as we eat, but onions and chocolate are not NEARLY the ‘allergy’ problem you seem to think they are. These toxins are dose specific, as in, if you have a big dog and give him an onion ring, it probably won’t hurt him in the slightest. If you give a chihuahua a onion ring, the dog will get sick (and probably die) the reason nothing has happened to your pets is probably because you aren’t feeding them enough for anemia (onions) or heart failure (chocolate). Our dogs love M&Ms, but a 45 pound dog, gets ONE candy, not a handful.Our St. Bernard LOVES french onion dip on chips, but tha’ts about 1/2 a cup of dip, for a 145 pound animal…(in which, you have like a teaspoon of onion). Ratios like that will do NOTHING to a dog.

  81. vet says:

    I am a veterinary nutritionist. Stick with what your vet tells you. Chocolate, onions and garlic will kill dogs. So will an all meat diet…it causes ketosis. Feed only a diet sold at a vet clinic. Toxins are not breed specific either.

  82. Thea says:

    Yes, I agree you should not speak bad about buying a dog from a reputable breeder. Ideally, everyone should get their dog from a good breeder, who takes the dog back when you end up not being able to keep it. If everyone did this, we would have no shelter dogs! Of course you should also consider adopting from a shelter, but breeders are necessary!

  83. Tina Sanchez says:

    I tried the recipe dog food. I have four dogs and my dogs started vomiting horribly afterwards and I wondered why and now I know. This abviously wasn’t intensional but you need to have the recipe checked by a vet. before you post it you think?…. I hade dogs that are a rare breed so to lose them I would freak… I had to ctake my dogs into the vet with the recipe and had it checked.

  84. robstoots1998 says:

    This has all been very interesting reading and full of good information for everyone who loves their pets. I have a Shepard mix who once chewed through a bottle of car oil and he got very sick of course! Now he has a very sensitive stomach and I have to be very careful what I feed him. I tried Nutrish for him when a friend recommended it. Not only does he love it but it never bothered his stomach. For me this was good because it made him happy and I didn’t have to worry about him getting sick from it. My Sheltie (a purebred “Free to good home”) also loves it and did not get sick from it. One thing I do when switching foods is to slowly mix in the new food with the out-going food to make the change over less stressful to their digestive system. It seems to help my pets.
    I like the idea the all of the profits from the food are good to donation and Rachael is not just worried about padding her own pocket. I wish more celebs would follow that lead.

  85. 1225mochie says:

    Wow… it’s very interesting to hear all the stories posted by readers. It just made my day.

  86. Paul says:

    I almost to try her food for my dog.Lucky me.

  87. Annelouise says:

    I’ve been feeding her dog food to my two terriers for a couple of months. They are fine. Yes, I read the ingredients. Its a very small flavoring of onion. Its better then the crap Wal-mart sells and look at all the dog owners that buy that. Rachel is helping shelters out with this food, so STOP BEING SO IGNORANT AND BITCHY.

  88. stef says:

    God i can not believe this woman, even if no one reads this i will at least let out what i feel about her!

    i was such a fool to think her food was good!! i thought it would make a great diet for my dog and never imagined i was slowly making her sick, no wonder she didn’t want to eat her dinner after two days of her nasty product!!

  89. mandy says:

    That’s funny cause onions and garlic are in all dog food out there. My vet says it’s not toxic in small amounts and can be good for them but it is not for cats. Which is fine because I don’t have cats.

  90. Ang says:

    Rachel Ray also has an “organic” or “healthy” dog food brand that she is promoting. One of the ingredients is either propylene glycol or ethylene glycol, either is used in anti-freeze (which will kill humans or animals). I don’t recall which one was used, and either way this is NOT a good thing.

    Ethylene is used in the plastics they are now telling us is not safe for us to drink from. By the way it is also used in the new “Green Bags”.

    Propylene glycol is used in make-up, perfumes, and cigarettes, amongst other items.

    Rachel is not the only one to use this toxic stuff in dog food, most brands of treats have this listed as one of the ingrediants.

    If anyone considers antifreeze an organic material keep doing what you’re doing. To everyone else, start looking at your dog food labels! Buyer beware!

  91. Bunny says:

    Interesting conversation about the food. I am feeding my dog Mikey ( a Lhasapoo) an organic diet. I am a social researcher and if you think the dog food is bad…check out the PEOPLE food. Go to seedsofdeception.com and order THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO. You can also see it online. I think the reason why our animals have so many cancers and such is because they are like the “canary” in the mine when it comes to the food supply.
    Seems like everyone is getting sick these days so it would stand to reason that it would start to affect us all.
    MONSANTO is a dangerous company that was responsible for PCB’s and DIOXIN and agent orange. All of which are just as deadly if not more so to our animals. Please check this out. I try to get the information out on as many social platforms as I can. Check out organicconsumers.org also. It is a real eye opener.
    Peace and Joy

  92. Dog Chic says:

    Rachel Ray is not a pet expert, but by putting her name on something she should have had people around her that do know these kinds of things. Bottom line is to be aware of what YOU are feeding to your animals. Never trust marketing.

  93. nj says:

    I came across this blog from another website talking about Rachael Ray’s pet recipes. I had heard about it one time but never followed through or followed up on it. When I did, I must say that I am quite irate at her brazeness. It is quite alarming, that Rachael Ray is still putting up those recipes, and apparently has done so since 2006. Her last entry was April 2009. Almost 30 pet recipes, every single one of them a potential for serious illness in pets, if not a fast and suffering death.

    I too am a veterinary technician and can validate MonicaBH’s statements. Onions and garlic are fatally toxic and as she duly notes, it is the dose that makes the poison. Don’t depend on a small dose not making any effect, even minute doses in a not-so-healthy animal can kill, you also have to remember the physiology of every individual pet and realize their metabolism changes constantly. When poisoned, these pets go through agony. Cats suffer worse, since they cannot metabolise thousands of compounds that other species can.

    It is not only the onions and garlic that is concerning, it is also the heavy use of eggs, butters and creams (high fat), bacon and meats (high fats), oils, unnecessary baking spices, breads (high in carbs and sugars), various cheeses (high in fats), salts and soy sauce (detrimental to kidneys and heart function in pets, plus electrolyte imbalances and fluid losses), cornmeal and wheat flour that many dogs are sensitive to, olive oil in nearly every single one of her recipes (high in fat) and let’s not mention the peppercorns, pepper, hot sauce she adds to her recipes. How could any pet owner with a conscience want to feed this crap to their pets?! With the campaign against pet obesity, Rachael Ray is the poster child for negligence and all the idiocracy that fits.

    I would encourage each and every one of you write to them and demand they take her recipes off-line, promptly. I have done just that although I don’t expect a response, there is power in numbers. The parent company of Rachael Ray’s website is Reader’s Digest. I suggest you use the contact form on Rachael’s website, as well as the Reader’s Digest site.

    Btw, chocolate toxicity includes sweet, semi-sweet, dark and bakers chocolate. It contains both caffeine and theobromine, no matter what the type of chocolate, the potential for toxicity is the same, remember metabolism, health status, and other factors and just play it safe, keep all chocolate away from your pets. There is documented evidence that as little as 0.25 oz can be potentially fatal in dogs. Any amount can be fatal in cats.

    The ASPCA’s National Poison Control Center database online is a good resource for you to bookmark. Don’t stop there however, literature suggests there are many more toxins in pets, so check any reputable veterinary site as well.

    Sorry so long, just wanted to be thorough.

  94. Elina says:

    For the smart people who advise to check things out for your pet and research for ourself – bravo for a few of you with common sense. For those who rely on media and celebs to inform them on everything, get a clue and get a life- you shouldn’t be a pet owner anyway

  95. Rico says:

    Thank God I don’t have a dog now, as to me a dog ..yes is a companion but at the same time still is a pet… when I had a dog I treated it with respect he ate our food left overs, fruit and everything we ate (just not sweets) he lived for over 15 years and died of old age extremely happy. Nice posting though!! Rico-Recipes

  96. DestinyBoi says:

    Thank God that reading this post. Don’t buy any unreliable food for your dog. He ‘s too good to eat anything to harm himself.

  97. Easy Recipes says:

    wow. since the recipe was named after her dog for loving sqush, her dog most likely eats people food and foods that she cooks for him.

  98. CLAWZ says:

    Tooey (#4 towards top), I agree 100% with everything you said about people buying dogs from breeders verses people adopting dogs from shelters. Although, I must say, I think I feel much more strongly about the issue than you do. In my opinion, there is not one good reason why a person should ever buy from a breeder (or of course a pet store) when 600 dogs and cats die every single hour of every single day in the United States. This thought causes me to shed many tears and lose many hours of sleep. I have three lab mixes, all who were rescued, and they are absolutely the best dogs I could ever ask for. I read all the time if you must have a “pure bred,” at any given time shelters have 25%-33% pure breds. Sometimes, you may have to wait up to a few months to find the exact one you’re looking for; you just have to be patient. I actually think some people like to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a dog from a breeder just for the purpose of boasting about it.

  99. Crystal says:


    Did you ever happen to think that MAYBE those ingredients caused his brain tumor. it does not cause food poisoning. Many cancers and diseases have also been reported by giving their animals things such as onions, caffeine, chocolate, garlic, grapes (raisins), raw potatoes, macadamia nuts, alcohol, and avocados.

  100. Rachel Ray says:

    Rachael Ray Nutrish covers all the bases with a full line of premium dog food that delivers superior nutrition with real meat and no by-products. Rachael Ray actually has a number of pet food recipe on her website.

  101. Hihi..that dog look funny…

  102. Big Jake says:

    I never knew onions were toxic to dogs,(not that I have ever fed my dog onions).
    Here’s what I found:

    ONIONS are toxic to your dog!
    Onions are toxic to dogs. The toxicity is dose dependent, so the bigger the animal, the more onion need be consumed to cause a toxicity. Onion toxicity causes a Heinz body anemia. Heinz bodies are small bubble-like projections which protrude from a red blood cell and can be seen when the cells are stained. This “bubble” is a weak spot in the red blood cell and, therefore, the cell has a decreased life-span and ruptures prematurely.

    If numerous red cells are affected and rupture, anemia can result. It is a form of hemolytic anemia. Onions are only one of the substances which can cause Heinz body anemia. Other substances such as Acetominophen (Tylenol) and benzocaine-containing topical preparations can also cause Heinz body anemia in the dog.

    The toxic effect of the onions are the same whether the product is raw, cooked or dehydrated. The hemolytic episode usually occurs several days after onion ingestion (lowest hematocrit around day 5 post ingestion). Daily feeding of onions could have a cumulative effect due to ongoing formation of Heinz bodies versus a single exposure with a wide gap until the next exposure, allowing the bone marrow time to regenerate the prematurely destroyed red cells.

    The cat is even more susceptible. Recently, Gerber began to add onion powder to all its meat baby foods. They are labeled as “better tasting”. Since baby food is often used in sick cats that are not eating (to stimulate their appetites), there was concern that the onion powder would cause a Heinz body anemia in these cats. Within a week or two of the change, there were numerous reports of Heinz body anemia in cats receiving Gerber baby food in their diets.

    I strongly recommend NO ONIONS for dogs. There is no benefit and certainly the potential to cause harm.

    Written by Dr. Wendy Wallner, DVM

    NOTE: Garlic is safe for your dog used in moderation and can help with a myriad of things such as gas, flea prevention and it has natural antibiotic properties.

  103. veilann says:

    I dont know about this article in modern dog mag, but i got a free sample of rachel rays nutrish in the mail and my 5 lb chi LOVED it i thought great a dog food this picky eater will eat ,but the very next day he was acting different,not much to worry so i gave again he ate it like an addiction which i thought was strange anyway ,well the next day ,my dog is stagering and not responding to me ,so i stopped the food and slowly he started acting normal ,still sleeping a lot but eating and drinking normal,I cant swear it was the food but something small dog owners might want to consider.

  104. Thanx for information, nice and good animal article.

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  107. sport hats says:

    Excellent, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that.

  108. Sharon says:

    Why should we have to clean up irresponsible people’s mistakes when they breed their mutts? Why can’t people have a choice of what breed they want/like and the traits that make a dog endearing to an individual can be as different as night and day from one breed to another breed. I have a rough collie and an Australian Shepherd (I have had both breeds previously because I love what they look like and their overall sweet nature and energy level). I looked at Pet Rescues for both breeds and found mixes or very elderly dogs with a lot of health problems. Of course I feel very sorry for these dogs and I would love to give a home to ALL of them but realistically this can’t happen. I researched both breeders and made sure they were breeding responsibly and for the love of the breed. I support breeders because they don’t make a lot of money, they do it because they love the breed and their dogs. Both of my pet quality puppies are neutered or spayed.
    Not everyone wants a pit bull or a pit bull mix.
    And as far as onions…I’m surprised anyone can even get their dog to eat them! My dogs wouldn’t go near them, or any of the things on that list that is harmful to them.

  109. Is the food she makes for people even safe or healthy? If you’ve noticed over the years she has gained some considerable weight.

    I think I leave the dog food recipes to the dog experts out there.

    Thanks for the article

  110. Dog club says:

    God help people. the information is quite amazing. i also didn’t know that onions are toxic to dogs. So i better won’t give the food with onion to my dog. But along with this, the training is also necessary at the side, so feel free to go through our site for more info on dog training.

  111. frankenfish says:

    I am in a way satisfied with the amount of information this post has provided. I got the new information regarding the onion. I used to think it is good for the dogs as it is good for human being, but here case is different.

  112. Nepali Food says:

    Very helpful information, its my lucky day i found the right site. Hope to find such helpful information in future as well.

  113. Pet Food says:

    Better to just buy food at Petco, IMO

  114. Thanks for the info, I have 2 cats and 1 dog at home.

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  118. Ryan says:

    AVOID this dog food. Both my dogs got sick from this brand. Yes we made a gradual change. My dog was so ill we had to throw out his kennel, blankets and pillow as well as several toys. In over 25 years I have never had a dog react so badly to a dog food. DON’T FEED YOUR LOVED PET THIS FOOD!

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  121. Connie says:

    I think most people that say only buy from reputable breeders are they themselves breeders or someone close to them is. I’ve read predictions all dogs will become extinct in our lifetimes…and if you think about how many people demand everyone to spay/neuter their pet, that could easily happen! That said, I do believe owners of large dogs should be especially careful about breeding their pets, because litters are so large. Also not many people can truly handle the demands of a large breed dog and many do end up in shelters around the world. Smaller dogs are always easier to place, can live in many apartments and everyone is happy. Lumping all dogs together is crazy, trying to control what other people do is crazy! Puppy mills are bad, I think we all agree on that. Many puppy mills have more than one breed of dog. I also say lay off designer dogs…all small dogs have value and worth, because they are excellent companions for the elderly, people in apartments, empty nesters…the list goes one. I love large breed dogs, too, don’t get me wrong. I used to own a Great Dane and loved her, she was a handful though. I also believe people need pet quality dogs, in all breeds. Owning a small dog shouldn’t be kept to the wealthy…if a person loves their dog(s) that’s most important. Some people will complain about everything. I’ve seen dogs eat onions without even getting sick, at all…even small amounts of chocolate without getting sick. From what I’ve read about some commercial dog foods, having the plastic coverings and “bowls” mixed into the dog food, because it’s too costly to pay someone to remove them from past sale date grocery meats. Now that’s toxic and it won’t even kill your dog right away, in most cases. How about we stop attacking each other and just love our dogs?

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