DSC_2412“Our dogs can not choose what they eat. They are dependent upon us to take care of them and provide the best possible healthy life we can give them. So before you go to you local dog food store to buy that bag of Pedigree, ole-roy,, iams, pedigree, science diet and eukanuba make certain that you know what you’re really feeding your dog”!!

What’s really in your dog’s food?
Most commercial dog foods are made with ingredients unusable or less desirable for human consumption.

Playful PuppyMeat by-products:
Meat by-products are ground rendered, and cleaned slaughtered meat carcass parts such as necks, feet, bones, head and intestines.  In many cases meat by-products are derived from animals that arrived at the meat packing plant diseased, or decayed. Ingredients listed as “meat, beef, chicken, and or poultry by-products on commercial dog food labels are not required to include actual meat, and “rendered meat” on labels can refer to any mammal meat including euthanized dogs and cats. (Dog Health Report).

KBC_3962Animal and Poultry Fat:
Like meat by-products animal and poultry fat is often rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils to rancid or deemed inedible for humans: “Restaurant grease has become a major component of feed grade animal fat over the years. This grease, often held in fifty-gallon drums, may be kept outside for weeks, exposed to extreme temperatures with no regard for its future use. “Fat Blenders” or rendering companies then pick up this used grease and mix the different types of fat together, stabilize them with powerful antioxidants to retard further spoilage and then sell the blended products to pet food companies”. (The Dog Health Report).

IMG_0544Grain, Grain and more Grain:
The amount of grain in cheap commercial dog foods accounts for more than 60% of the total nutritional value in a bag. Once considered fillers, now grain products replace a large portion of the meat that was used in commercial dog foods.  One may ask why we are feeding a corn based diet to our dogs. The answer is that corn is a much cheaper “energy source” than meat. (Dog Health Report) Corn is not the only grain utilized in commercial dog foods. Wheat, soy, even peanut hulls are all used. Grain, although a cheap filler is not a nutritionally valuable ingredient. Studies have linked grain products to allergies, yeast infections, and itchy scratchy skin.

Additives and Preservatives: (Please read)
All commercial dog foods must be preserved so they stay fresh. Dog food companies need to ensure that their dry/canned goods have a long shelf life and remain edible after prolonged storage.  Chemicals are added to improve the palatability. However, additives and synthetic preservatives add no nutritional value, and through studies have even
shown to be potentially harmful.

KBC_3254“All commercial pet foods must be preserved so they stay fresh and appealing to our animal companions. Canning is a preserving process itself, so canned foods contain fewer preservatives than dry foods. Some preservatives are added to ingredients or raw materials by the suppliers, and others may be added by the manufacturer. In order to preserve a long shelf life, fats used in pet foods are preserved with synthetic or “natural” preservatives. Synthetic preservatives include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less tocic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin.

For these, there is little information documenting their toxicity, safety, interactions or chronic use in pet foods that may be eaten every day for the life of the animal.

20131016_164004_resizedPotentially cancer-causing agents such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin are permitted at relatively low levels. The use of these chemicals in pet foods has not been thoroughly studied, and long term build-up of these agents may ultimately do harm. Due to questionable data in the original study on its safety, ethoxyquin’s manufacturer, Monsanto was required to perform a new, more rigorous study. This was completed in 1966. Even though Monsanto found no significant toxicity associated with its own product, in July 1997, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine requested that
manufacturers voluntarily reduce the maximum level for ethoxyquin by half, to 75 parts per million. While some pet food critics and veterinarians believe that ethoxyquin is a major cause of disease, skin problems, and infertility in dogs. (Dog Health Report)