Published at Monday, May 13th 2019. by Mimi Charlot in Dog Food.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, just like everyone else, have specific nutritional needs and they need proper vitamins and minerals every day. Low quality ingredients, excessive chemical additives, and poor labelling standards all result in problems for your companion pet, from skin allergies to cancer. Commercial pet foods and some pet food ingredients have been implicated in a number of diseases in companion animals. One potential problem with commercial pet food is pesticide residues, antibiotics, and mould contained in pet food ingredients and manufacturers will not disclose very much information about the sources of ingredients, how they are processed, their quality control standards, or, in some cases, even where the food is made. Doesn't that make you have some doubt as to how trustworthy a company is if it cannot even tell you those things? It makes me very doubtful!
Less expensive dog foods generally include less meat, and more animal by-products and grain fillers. So as you can see, commercial ready made processed dog food contains many indesirable substances and strong chemicals that will cause a lot of health problems to your dog if being fed over a long duration of time. So, technically yes! You can lengthen your dog's life span and sometimes as much as double its lifespan if you know dog nutrition and educate yourself of what is really inside a canned of dog food or pet food for that matter. There are many records that had proven a dog can live much more longer if we feed it the food it meant to eat in its natural environment.
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