Do you remember that I told you about my friend who was going to heroic lengths to keep her puppy alive? The puppy just came through her second major surgery, and is able to eat normally for the first time in her life (before that, she had a feeding tube). I was reading on Facebook about her first attempts to eat, and asked if the puppy were allowed to eat baby food beef, because my dogs are crazy for it, and it’s the time-honored food for nursing an old or new or sick dog. Someone wrote in saying she’d heard lately that the baby foods often have onion powder in them, and onions are very bad for dogs. I believe they can cause anemia, in surprisingly small quantities.
Just today I’d bought ten jars of the beef, because my dogs hadn’t tasted it in a while. I was horrified that it might contain onion powder, so I called the Nestle helpline. The number was right on the jar–I love that. It turns out to be a 24-hour helpline, and I love that, too. After I’d waited, on hold, through a bunch of sappy lullabies, a very helpful man came on and told me the following information.
Before December of 1996, Gerber 2nd Foods Baby Food Beef did, indeed, contain onion powder. In December of 1996, the company formula changed (the man theorized that it might have been specifically because of the onions versus dogs issue, since the employees are aware of the concerns) and now, that exact product contains no onions in any form, powder or otherwise. Other Gerber products–for instance, ones that include beef with a vegetable, for older babies, I believe–do contain onion powder.
That was good news for me. I keep a supply of the 2nd Foods beef flavor on hand, because, if you need to give a pill in a hurry, and want to make really sure it’s going down, that stuff is the best. And two jars of it makes a terrific broth for my pack, and it’s time for them to chow down on it right now, in fact.