Declining Sperm Counts In Dogs And People

Judge rules against prescription dog food companies

Rewards 12.5 Million judgement

One of my favorite authors, Dr. Marion Nestle, coined the phrase “The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine”.  She was referring to the health and safety of the American food system in her book, Pet Food Politics.

The pet food industry has its roots in the human food industry, where raw materials unfit for human consumption are being recycled into pet food and feed for livestock. When pigs, cows, and chickens are fed these waste products, they are bound to find their way into the human food chain.

This summer, a study out of the school of veterinary medicine at the University of Nottingham, England, found that sperm motility in dogs has declining over the last 26 years.  The study looked at 5 breeds: labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, curly coated retrievers, border collies and German shepherds. A significant number, between 42 and 97 dogs, were tested annually from 1988 to 2014. They found that 30% of all the tested breeds had a decrease in sperm motility. Puppies from these stud dogs had a 10 fold increase in the incidence of undescended testicles. They also saw a 3 fold increase in death of female puppies as well. Not only was motility effected, but so was the testicular tissue. They tested the tissue and found concentrations of the same chemicals found in electrical transformers, paint, and plastics.  Similar chemicals were also discovered in the semen.

Researchers made an interesting discovery, “The same chemicals that disrupted sperm quality were also discovered in a range of commercially available dog foods – including brands specifically marketed for puppies.”

Further studies are being conducted on ovarian tissues in female dogs as well. They will be looking for reproductive problems and chemical concentrations in these tissues too.

Toxins can be found in our environment. We clean our homes with chemicals and treat our lawns with pesticides and herbicides. Air and water pollution influence the health of us and our dogs, but we also have to be aware of the foods we feed our families.  Why increase the toxic overload by feeding highly processed kibble and other poor quality dog foods?

Over the last 70 years, the article showed that there has been a decline in human sperm quality too. We are also seeing increased rates of testicular cancer and undescended testicles, just like in the dog study.  One fifth of young men have low sperm counts and one in six couples is having difficulty conceiving.

People and dogs are having similar issues with their health. We all live together and one aspect of health that we can control is our diet. Toxic chemicals are leaking into our bodies from the food we eat because of our reliance on convenient, processed food. It’s time to get back to the basics of a whole food based diet for ourselves and our furry family.

The use of Presciption dog food is one of my pet peeves and shows that the
phrase “Marketing over Mother Nature’ holds true.
If you are a dog owner, you may have heard about the class action suit
against prescription dog foods. Hills, Science Diet, Royal Canin and Purina
are some of the brands that are accused of misleading consumers and
veterinarians about the benefits and ingredients of their products. The
lawsuit claims that:

  • these companies charge premium prices for prescription dog foods that are not significantly different from regular dog foods. In fact, they are made in the same facilities, using the same suppliers as low-quality grocery store brands like Alpo and Beneful.
  • they do not have any scientific evidence to support their claims of treating or preventing various health conditions in dogs. They are not made in facilities that follow traditional drug manufacturing protocols.
  • that these companies have violated consumer protection laws and engaged in false advertising.

The class action suit was filed in 2019 by a group of dog owners who purchased prescription dog foods from these brands for their pets. They are seeking refunds, damages and an injunction to stop the companies from selling prescription dog foods without proper authorization and
. The suit is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Prescription dog foods are supposed to be specially formulated to address specific health issues in dogs, such as kidney disease, diabetes, allergies, obesity and more. However, according to the lawsuit, these products are not
regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other agency,
 and they do not require a prescription from a veterinarian to be sold.

The lawsuit claims that these companies have exploited this loophole to market their products as prescription dog foods, even though they are not approved or tested by any authority.

This suit also accuses these companies of using low-quality ingredients and fillers in their prescription dog foods, such as corn, wheat, soy, by-products and artificial colors and flavors. These ingredients may not only be ineffective for treating or preventing health conditions in dogs, but they may also cause adverse reactions and allergies in some dogs. The lawsuit cites several examples of dogs that suffered from health problems after
consuming prescription dog foods from these brands, such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, skin infections, kidney failure and death.

The lawsuit seeks to hold these companies accountable for their deceptive and unlawful practices, and to provide compensation and relief to the dog owners who have been harmed by them. It also aims to protect the public interest and the welfare of dogs by ensuring that prescription dog foods are properly regulated and labeled, and that consumers and veterinarians are informed about their benefits and risks.

Please be aware that the FDA does not review or verify the health claims on any veterinary diet.

Take a close look at the ingredient list and ask your vet for evidence that the foods in the prescription diet are any better than most regular diets. Also please keep in mind that while your vet has the best intentions, they get little or no nutrition training and often what little training they do get comes from the very companies that are named in these lawsuits. 

Ultra processed foods made with poor quality ingredients are not what your dog needs if they are suffering from an illness. Give your dog a fighting chance with fresh, quality foods for a long and healthy life. 

This lawsuit was settled in July of 2021. Hills Pet Food paid $12.5 million to participants.

Is it any wonder that here at Lucky Dog Cuisine we believe wholeheartedly “Fresh is Better”
The food we send your dog is the exact same food we feed our own beloved pack. 


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