Published at Friday, May 17th 2019. by Manville Maillot in Dog Food.
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.
So, what if you cannot afford a high quality meat based diet for your dog? Then, of the dog foods available in your budget, choose the best one. And to supplement your dog's diet, offer your dog bone free table scraps that contain healthy, digestible protein and fat content. Better your dog benefit from the nutrients and variety rather than disposing of them. Please be aware that several common seasonings, including onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and avocado can create problems for your dog and should be removed from the table scraps.
Some of the key items that are found in commercial pet food are animal leftovers that can't be sold at the local grocery store. These items of the animal are usually the brains, bones, eyeballs, blood, intestines, lungs, spleens, livers, ligaments, membranes, and fat trimmings. These leftovers are called ”by-products” and tend to get used in pet foods. A good thing to know about animal by-products is that hair, horns, hooves, beaks and feathers aren't a part of the equation. As a general rule of thumb, higher-end pet foods don't even use meat by-products. If one registers at the AAFCO website and looks into animal by-products, the results could be considered encouraging. An example of this would be 4D meat (dead, diseased, dying or disabled) is considered ”adulterated” and shouldn't be included in pet food unless it has been treated to a point where all dangerous microorganisms have been destroyed. Obviously, a dog food with meat by-products as the main ingredient is inferior to one that has a specific meat and then a by-product listed afterward.
Just like the potato chip analogy, many commercially processed dog foods are made with fillers such as corn gluten, corn meal, and other such ingredients to help keep production costs down. These ingredients have virtually no nutritional value and will not benefit your dog in any way. Many quality conscious dog food producers will include vegetables, ”human grade” meats, meat proteins, oats or whole grains in their foods. These ingredients have great nutritional value, and will generally keep your dog healthy and active.
Dog food protein is essential to your dog. Dogs require more protein than humans. Interestingly enough, protein hasn't always been the focus of dog food. Wikipedia has several examples from the 1800s that show a dog food focus on cheese, milk, buttermilk, oats, barley-meal, potatoes and animal fat. Dog food has come a significantly long way. Now, dog food companies are concerned with dog food protein and the many different ingredients are needed to come up with a pet food product that matches the amino acids that a dog requires. These can all be synergised by using various different food combinations. Some feel that because dogs are direct descendants of wolves, that their protein requirement are one hundred percent meat based. Another argument is that dogs are naturally scavengers and will eat basically anything, whether it is a protein or not. Still others feel that with the domestication of dogs, and the fact that they have been living with humans for thousands of years, that they have evolved into incomplete carnivores. And there are more opinions beyond those as well. Even though dogs are built to take in more than just meat, the meats that go into regular commercial dog food are something that should be thoroughly comprehended. This subject is extremely broad, and I am going to do my best to touch on the major points. There is an incredible wealth of information on this topic and some of it is rather frightening.
Dogs don't get to choose their own diet we do that for them. Our choice of food for our dog depends on our own education of what is best for our dogs, with our information predominantly gathered from TV commercials by pet food companies and vets who recommend certain products because of product alliance. These TV commercials on dog food fill your screen with plump chickens; fresh vegetables and a selection of grains and all show a happy, healthy dog on the advertisements. They are generally beautiful ads, emotional marketed to YOU. Dog food commercials are not for your dog, they are produced and marketed for you. Dogs are colour blind, so pet food manufacturers only change the colour and texture of dog food to make it look better to YOU, not your dog. I hope that in this article you discover some interesting pieces of information that you can put into play in the way you select the food for your dog and enlighten you as to how the pet food companies cater to you, alone, and not your dog.
If your dog is already suffering from kidney failure, a prescription dog food that is designed with low protein content, will at least give your dog some comfort for the rest of their life. These dog foods are designed specifically to help replace missing nutritional content which is caused from the damaged kidneys. By lowering the protein content, you lower the amount of urea produced which allows for the amino acids to repair tissue cells. The food is not only low in protein content but includes calcium, vitamin D3 and increased availability of these same nutrients. They also cut out high amounts of carbohydrates which only increase waste production in the urine. These special dog foods also show their quality by leaving out preservatives, chemicals and fillers, unlike the commercial dog foods.
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