Published at Friday, 17 May 2019. Dog Food. By Denys Hebert.
Commercial dog foods tend to be comprised of one meat product and several other items that are generally carbs or meat by-products. The first five ingredients listed on the side of a bag of dog food tends to be a basic summary of 95% of its contents. This is fine, but the issue is when pet food companies embellish on the value of the product within the bag. It is a no-brainer that any dog owner should pay close attention to these items, and the way the items are placed and worded on the package.
The multinational pet food companies have increased bulk-purchasing power; those that make human food products have a captive market in which to capitalize on their waste products, and pet food divisions have a more reliable capital base and, in many cases, a convenient source of ingredients. The ingredients listed on the label are very much less as to what is actually present in the food – they are tiny; and the items themselves are usually scraps and rejects from processors of human foods-certainly not the whole, fresh ingredients they want you to picture. The labeling of dog food is a confusing discussion to say the least and very much a tell half-truth scenario. Many label rules exist such as; the ”Flavour” Rule that states that a food may be labelled as ”Beef Flavoured Dog Food” even if it does not contain any beef, as long as the flavour is ”sufficiently detectable. When a label reads ”With Real Turkey,” a consumer may assume that he is purchasing quality turkey dog food for his pet. If the label reads ”Beef and Liver for Dogs,” the food must contain a combined amount of beef and liver to total 95%, and again there must be more beef since it is listed first. However, as I outlined above the amounts in there are based on tiny morsels and weight – weight is inclusive of water content too.
How to find out whether your dog's food may be giving him allergies. If you suspect your dog's food may be giving him allergies, you can try feeding him a special diet to determine what is giving him trouble. The diet is composed of food that is scientifically created with very low-molecular-weight proteins. Proteins below a certain molecular weight are thought to be incapable of causing food allergies. You can find this food, in wet and dry formulas, online and at many veterinarians' offices. If after six weeks of feeding this special diet, you find that your dog's allergy symptoms are alleviated, it's safe to assume that his food is the cause of these symptoms. To determine which ingredient is the culprit (usually by-products from meat and poultry sources), reinforce each one into the diet to see if your dog's symptoms recur. Check the ingredients list on your regular dog food label, and add each item-chicken, turkey, corn, bulgur wheat, potato or rice, for example into the special diet one at a time, every three weeks. At each meal, add ten percent of the test food to the bowl, and reduce the special diet by ten percent. Obviously, you won't be testing the chemicals but you can eliminate quite a few ingredients once you have determined which ones caused the allergy. If your dog has no reaction to the added ingredients, the culprit is likely a chemical or by-product- which you will want to eliminate along with corn, wheat, sugar and salt from your dog's diet, indefinitely. Don't be surprised, however, if you find several ingredients cause a reaction. Once you have discovered the allergens, search out high-quality dog foods that do not contain these ingredients. Your dog may find an allergy-free or vet-recommended diet to be bland but a bland diet is better than a miserable dog! As long as he is drinking plenty of water, don't be alarmed of he doesn't take to it right away. When he gets hungry enough, he will venture into the new food for a nibble. Eventually, he will adjust to his new diet especially if you compensate with some yummy, allergy-free treats!
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