Call me crazy! But, do you ever get the feeling our dogs, who we consider family, are treated like rats in a laboratory? At times, it seems like the ingredients in some pet foods are shots in the dark and the side effects are something brands decide are worth the risk. Are these brands telling the whole truth or is it only the dog food manufacturers who think this nonsense makes sense.
This is my rule-of-thumb – If it’s processed, then it can’t be natural!
In other words, if it comes in a bag and has been pressed into cute, dog-friendly shapes, it cannot be considered a healthy option, no matter how good the ingredients start out to be. And it’s so sad to me, that it’s marketed as such.
Remember, the cheaper the food, the cheaper the ingredients, the worse the nutrition.
Consider these sad facts –
A third of our dogs and a quarter of our cats are now classed as Obese.
Liver, Kidney and Heart disease in our pets has reached epidemic status.
One in Three of our pets will contract Cancer.
How then can processed foods be good for our pets?
Like people, dogs are what they eat! Dogs and people share roughly 75% the same genetic makeup, and we have similar nutritional needs. What we’re doing to our own bodies and general health by eating processed foods, we’re also doing to our pets. Only for them, it’s happening much faster.
If processed foods like take-aways, ready-meals and junk-food high in sugar and fat, make up most of your diet, then this can cause major health problems. Well here’s the thing, commercial dog food is processed food – often containing high levels of sugar and fat, so by the same analogy – commercial pet food IS junk-food!
For me, even the quality of processed commercial food is suspect!
Dog food may legally contain animal by-products, ingredients labelled as grain that are actually dust from the floor, and corn contaminated with high levels of pesticide. All of which add up to a recipe for ill-health.
Lets look at one of those ingredients; Corn. Most kibble is filled with corn, because its a cheap filler.
Unfortunately, the corn isn’t the kind you imagine and certainly not the kind you and I eat. It’s feed grade corn (like cattle eat), or cheap feed corn remnants. Even corn meal dust counts as corn. The corn may even have been contaminated with pesticides. If that weren’t bad enough, corn which gives us both high fructose corn syrup and corn oil, is fattening. Any wonder so many dogs are obese and suffer from diabetes!
Contrary to popular belief Kibble does not clean your pets teeth.
Almost all dogs age three and over have dental diseases. Most of these dogs eat kibble. That should be enough to tell you something. Although a small study once suggested that kibble might clean teeth better than tinned food, better doesn’t mean effectively. Pretending that kibble will keep teeth clean will only lead to huge vet bills, lost teeth and more suffering for your beloved pet.
Complete & Balanced does not necessarily mean optimum.
Complete & balanced in commercial dog food terms, is a food that meets minimal theoretical health requirements for the average dog.
Food companies who boast that they have conducted feeding trials often test only one product in a line of foods. Trials, too, are for only a small number of dogs for a short period of time. Over time, nutrient and enzyme deficiencies are inevitable.
Of course, complete and balanced is better than not complete and balanced, but again, better does not mean good.
Feeding the same food day after day limits nutrition.
Imagine eating corn, rancid fat and chicken carcass (without meat) every meal of your life, with the same mix of cheap vitamins and minerals added…
Nutritionists urge people to eat a variety of foods, both for improved nutrition and also to prevent allergies. Dogs need variety, too.
Don’t Presume either that the food your Vet sells is a superior product!
Veterinarians, like medical doctors, learn relatively little about nutrition at college. Much of what they do learn comes directly from pet food company vets, sales reps, articles, studies, and seminars.
For me the answer lies in an entirely different approach; a natural raw diet. Although a natural raw diet is still considered a new alternative to most, it shouldn’t be an alternative at all. It should be the very first option, with everything else being the alternative.
Raw feeding is not only all-natural, it is greatly beneficial for our pets. It is after all, about feeding our pets the diet they evolved to eat over millions of years of genetic adaptation.