Published at Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Dog Food. By Noel Perrin.
Although dogs enjoy meat, it is not a balanced diet. Raw meats may contain parasites, and cooked meat can be high in fat and do not contain a proper balance of nutrients. Some raw fish can cause a deficiency of the vitamin thiamine. Symptoms of a thiamine deficiency include anorexia (complete loss of appetite), abnormal posture, weakness, seizures, and even death. Raw salmon will also transit deadly parasites. Raw liver, fed daily in large quantities, can cause a vitamin A toxicity in dogs. This is particularly true if it is fed along with a complete and balanced diet already containing ample vitamin A.
So, why is a high quality meat based diet so important? For dogs, meat is the appropriate source of protein and fat is the appropriate source of energy. High quality meat contains all the proteins, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients needed for dogs to live a long and healthy life. Yet, carbohydrates have become the dominant nutrient found in most dog foods. Why is this? Because they are abundant, have a long shelf life, and are cheaper than protein and fat. What does this mean? Less expensive dog foods generally include less meat and more animal by-products and grain fillers. Is this good? Keep reading to find out.
When dealing with meat in general, the first 50% of a slaughtered animal that can be used is considered to be ”human grade.” Some people have felt that serving their dogs ”human grade” food is a proper solution to all of their dog food needs. A lot of pet food companies use the words ”human grade” as a catch-all phrase to make some of their food sound better than it really is. While the idea of a ”human grade” food is a great one, but it isn't an absolute. To say that a food is human-grade is relatively misleading. What the term means is that the food is good enough to be consumed by humans. This has little to do with the processing of the product. The term ”made with human-grade ingredients” doesn't mean that the end product is human grade. In short, the processing of human-grade meat could in fact be something that wouldn't be healthy for human consumption at all. The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) doesn't even have a definition of ”human grade” ingredients.
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