KNOW WHAT YOU ARE FEEDING YOUR PET!
Do Your “Ingredients” Homework!
Feeding your pet a low quality diet has been linked to common ailments such as skin allergies, chronic gas, hot spots, skin and ear infections, food allergies, kidney damage, tumors and cancers (from certain preservatives), liver disease and others. Animal protein should make up the majority of your pet’s food. Dogs are omnivores with an undeniable carnivorous bias…meaning their genetic link to wolves makes them obvious carnivores but to be fair… and more accurate… dogs must also be recognized for their significant omnivorous ability. Do not ignore the fact their bodies are optimized for eating meat; therefore the carbohydrate content of their diet should be at a minimum.
In many of the commercial brand foods, carbohydrate levels exceed digestible protein and can compromise your pet’s health… most specifically by significant weight gain, digestive issues and allergies. What these commercial food companies don’t want you to know is that you will need to feed your pet larger amounts…partly because so much of it is non-digestible and also because additional amounts are required to meet your pets nutritional needs. This typically results in more stored fat (weight gain) and excess waste (poop). Additionally because of the lack of specific enzymes, a carnivore’s carbohydrate digestion is decidedly more difficult which will often explain those upset tummies. Simply put…the dogs digestive system is overworked and tapped out trying to digest non-digestible ingredients.
The word “Natural” is very over used and misleading in today’s marketing. For most categories of products there is no legal definition for “natural”. In pet products AFFCO guidelines allow companies to use the term “natural” as long as the ingredients are derived from natural sources. For example…corn is a natural product…chicken is a natural product. However in many cases all major nutrients are extracted either mechanically or chemically, leaving “by-products” which are still considered to be “natural”. These are not ingredients you want to feed your pet so be aware.
Natural vs. Chemical Preservatives and Additives…
There are chemical and natural preservatives. It is a fact that certain chemical preservatives are known to cause cancer and organ damage. The chemical preservative and additive list is extensive and can be overwhelming while the natural preservatives are limited to just a few.
Chemical Preservatives Natural Preservatives
- BHA – Linked to organ damage
- BHT – Linked to organ damage
- Bone Phoshate
- Glyceryl Monostearate
- Ethoxyquin – Known carcinogen
- Propylene Glycol – Huge allergen; This is the chemical used in anti-freeze!
- Parabens – Benzylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben…etc
- Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite
- Phosphoric Acid
- Coloring: Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6
- And More!
- Mixed Tocopherols
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Citric Acid
Corn Syrup – A good rule of thumb is “the softer the treat or food the more sugar it contains”. Commercial products have to disguise inferior ingredients with additives like corn syrup, which is pure sugar, so the food is more palatable to the pet. This leads nowhere but to “PICKY EATERS”. They become junk food addicts and unfortunately the sugar is not just adding unnecessary calories but sugar in excess is very harmful in the long run to your pet.
Corn Meal Gluten – This is a By- Product that provides no nutritional value and is essentially glue that holds the food together. Healthier alternatives are chickpea, tapioca, sweet potato or pea starch.
Don’t Forget about your Pets Treats…
Treats can be an important part of your pet’s diet so the same rules apply. Read labels! Whether you feed packaged treats or individual chews it is equally important to “know what you are feeding” your pet. Many chews are non-digestible…RAW HIDE is a perfect example! These chews do not break down in the digestive system and can cause serious health risks…most importantly intestinal blockage! These chews are inexpensive and easily available but a disaster waiting to happen. Bully sticks and raw bones are just a couple of healthy and safe alternatives.
The Bottom Line…
We know you love your pets! The commercial and mainstream pet foods and treats are convenient and appear to be less expensive. The companies that manufacture these brands have money for advertising and some of them do a great job at convincing you that you are feeding a quality food. Keep in mind pet food is NOT REGULATED BY THE FDA in this country which makes it just that much more important you educate yourself. Many if not all of these mainstream pet foods are investor owned and the majority of the ingredients are bought on the open commodities market. Even if the foods are made in the USA those ingredients can be sourced from anywhere! The most pro-active thing you can do to help keep your pets healthy is to know what you are feeding them. The Good Dog Co. Atl is committed to you and your pet! We are here to help you! Ask questions! If we don’t have the answer we will find it for you!