Moab Happenings Archive
Return to home

PET HAPPENINGS September 2015

GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) in Pet Food
by Kaye Davis of the Moab BARKery


In an ongoing effort to take better care of our four legged friends, deciding what is best to feed them is sometimes a challenge. There are standard dry and canned foods, then the specific diets for age, medical conditions, and weight loss. Next come RAW diets and home cooked diets. All of these choices have pros and cons. All of these choices have to be considered for your lifestyle, finances, and the needs of your four legged friend.

There are always the physical and medical needs to be considered, as well. Many hours of questions, research, and label reading may go into this decision for the well- being of our friend. But, we have an additional piece of information to consider, GMO ingredients in our pet food choices.

A Genetically Modified organism (GMO) is created when a scientist in a laboratory takes the genetic material from one species, such as bacteria, viruses, animal or human, and inserts it into the genes of another species, either a food crop or animal. This creates a new genetic code and new traits for a new species that was not made by nature. There are many of these creations, but for this discussion, genetically modified food crop species are marketed as being able to create increased crop yields and decrease needs for chemicals on crops by creating their own insecticides.

These food crops that have been grown since 1996 and include corn, soybeans, cottonseed, some zucchini and yellow squash crops, some papaya crops, sugar beets, and canola, and most recently alfalfa. According to the Center for Food Safety, these crops are currently in 70-85% of processed foods in United States Supermarkets, including dog and cat food. The U.S Food and Drug Administration do not require safety testing on these genetically modified products nor do they require labeling.

It can be very confusing because of the multiple layers of potential exposures to the GMO crops and the common ingredients made from GMO crops. When you review the ingredients in standard commercial dog and cat food, chances are you will find these GM crops or one of their over 200 derivatives.

The genetically modified portion of the food eaten and digested may be recognized by the body as foreign and not naturally occurring in nature. The body responds to foreign material in many ways. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine reports that “several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM foods.” These health risks include, but are not limited to, accelerated aging, immune problems, changes in major organs and the digestive system.

There are also documented profound allergic reactions to the components of GM food crops. Observation and evidence based medicine have confirmed positive changes in weight maintenance, immune function, fertility, as well as decreases in inflammatory diseases, agitation, need for antibiotics and other medications. In these cases, the removal of all GMO foods alone results in these positive changes.

So what are concerned pet owners to do when it comes to buying healthy food for our pets? It comes down to this. Be an informed customer, read labels and learn what’s in your pet’s food products. Brush up on GMO ingredients and try and avoid them when you can. A great resource is the Non-GMO project. Lastly ask questions, the Moab Barkery staff does extensive research when choosing the products for our store and pride ourselves on having a well-informed staff.

The Moab BARKery currently carries many options for pet food and treat brands that are either non-GMO verified or the company has verified for us that they use no GMO ingredients. These brands are Acana and Orijen Dog & Cat Foods, Open Farm Dog Food, Wellness Cat Food, Honest Kitchen, Weruva Cat & Dog Food, Party Animal & Cocolicious Dog Canned Food, Steve’s Real Food Raw Diets & Bones, Stella and Chewy’s Raw Diets & Treats for cats and dogs, Plato Dog Treats, Cloud Star Dog Treats and Whimzees Dog Treats.

The more consumers ask and demand high quality products for our pets, the more quickly manufacturers will get that this issue isn’t going away and they need to respond to demand.


MoabBARkery website


Dog Friendly Walks/Hikes in the Moab Area
Trail or Walk Difficulty Length
(one way)
Proximity to Downtown
MillCreek Pathway
easy 1.1 miles Little to no driving
Starts at 100 S & 100 W
Portal Overlook
(trailhead @ Jaycee Park)
Hard 2.0 miles 25 min drive N on US-191 to W on Utah 279 (4.2 miles)
Moab Rim Hard 3.0 miles
(to Hidden Valley trail)
8 minute drive 2.6 miles down Kane Creek Blvd from US-191
Negro Bill Canyon
(aka William Grandstaff Canyon)
Moderate 2.0 miles 10 minute drive N on US-191 to
W on Utah 128, 3 miles
Hunter Canyon Easy 2.0 miles 25 minute drive (mild off-road)
7.5 miles down Kane Creek Blvd from US-191
Corona Arch Trail Easy/Moderate 1.5 miles 25 minute drive N on US-191 to
W Utah 279 (10 miles)
Hidden Valley
(trailhead at end of Angel Rock Rd)
Hard 2.0 miles 10 minute drive S on US-191
3 miles to Angel Rock Rd
Fisher Towers
(trailhead 2.2 miles off Utah 128)
Moderate 2.2 miles 35 minute drive N on US-191 to Utah 128, then 21 miles

Tips for enjoying your time with your dog here in the Moab area:

  • Bring lots of extra water for you and your dog.1 gallon per day for every 60lbs of dog!!
  • Don’t let dogs chase wildlife (especially coyotes, they can lead dogs into an ambush).
  • In the city, dogs are required to be leashed, but on public lands off leash with voice control is allowed.
  • Slickrock and sand is very abrasive!  Check paw pads often, or buy and use booties.
  • If it’s over 85 degrees only consider early AM or late PM hikes, daycare or leave your dog at home.
  • Pack out my poop!  Seriously or the other hikers without dogs will eventually demand no dogs allowed!

To see past articles about animals, pets and their care check our archives.

Return to Archive Index
return to home
Return to home