Published at Wednesday, May 22nd 2019. by Ames Bouchard in Dog Food.
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.
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.
Browse any grocery store or pet food store to buy Dog Food and you will agree that trying to decide on what is best for your dog is an exhausting task. Scanning the shelves of products available, you are bombarded by foods extolling different health benefits as well as a huge range of prices. The pet food industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and pet food manufacturers are eagerly marketing for every dollar. Not only are they marketing us to death, but also developing new products to put in front of us. Those products include ”dry”, ”canned”, ”semi-moist” and health targeted products such as ”senior”, ”premium” and ”gourmet.
Contrary to belief, carbohydrates are not essential for a healthy dog diet. Nor is fiber a required nutrient for dogs. Dogs do not need corn, wheat, barley, oats, brown rice, millet, potatoes, or sweet potatoes. Carbohydrates and fiber are poor substitutes for meat protein and fat. Dogs are carnivores; meat eaters. The best digestible protein sources for a dog are meat, eggs, poultry, and fish; and are far better choices for meat eaters. Carbohydrates from grains, on the other hand, provide energy in the form of sugars. So keep your dog away from grains as much as humanly possible; unless your dog has medical issues that require a lower protein diet. It is always a good idea to consult with your vet about your dog's dietary needs and to get a clean bill of health.
The next level of meat is the meal. Various meat meals are extremely common ingredients in pet food. The reason the word ”meal” is used is because the food is not necessarily fresh. It is also meat that has been rendered. Rendering means that the meat has been pulled apart in such a way that oil and fat are separated from the flesh through a serious boiling in a cauldron or vat. 4D foods are used much more readily with meal. Once again, they are cooked in such a way that all dangerous microorganisms are destroyed.
Think about this… have you ever seen your dog enjoy commercial dog food the way he/she enjoys a good meaty bone? I never have and I have had a lot of dogs in my lifetime and through my business care for all different breeds of dogs, sizes and ages. Do you know why? It is because bones are fresh meat, exactly as you purchase them is exactly what you give your dog. However, with commercial dog food some companies may list real meat as their number one ingredient, but they may actually have more fillers, which reduces the ratio of quality ingredients to useless ones. Ingredients, such as peanut hulls, are used for filler or fiber, and have no significant nutritional value. Because the ingredients they are using are not wholesome, their quality may be extremely variable, and the harsh manufacturing practices destroy many of the nutrients the food had to begin with. Cereal grains are the primary ingredients in most commercial pet foods. These are often the result of an allergy or intolerance to pet food ingredients. And to top that off, sometimes a manufacturer may not have added any preservatives, but the meat or other ingredients may have had preservatives added to them by suppliers. So, by the time the food gets to your dogs plate the good quality that may have been slightly present in the beginning has disappeared. And not every batch of dog food is the same because meat by-products and meat and bone meals vary from batch to batch creating an unstable source of nutrition for pets.
Most dog foods are high in protein content and this protein breaks down into amino acids. Amino acids are used by your dog's body to build and replace tissue cells. They also create urea which is a waste by-product. In a healthy dog, their kidneys and the process of urination would simply remove the urea from the blood. However, in a dog that is already suffering from kidney failure or damage, the urea will just build up in their bloodstream and literally poison your dog to death. This is why it's so important to begin feeding a quality diet as soon as possible. Because even though you can feed specific dog foods that are designed for dog's suffering from kidney failure, they will not cure your dog once the disease has started. However, by beginning a quality dog food now, you will be giving your dog the valuable nutrition they need to fight kidney failure.
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