Understanding the Ingredients in Dog Food

It may not shock you to discover that as many people learn about the harmful ingredients in commercial dog food brands, they switch to giving their dogs a healthy home made diet. You can easily give your pet a longer and healthier life by providing them quality, fresh home made meals.

When you look at dog food labels, the ingredients are listed in the descending order of quantity. The meat in dog food refers only to beef, pork, chicken, and meat from goats and sheep. And even then, it only includes the specified muscle tissue.

But dog food is also comprised of animal by-products. When cattle, pigs, chickens, lambs, or other animals are slaughtered, lean muscle tissue is trimmed away from the carcass for human consumption… but there is still a large percent of the animal that is not used. Whatever is left of the carcass– including heads, feet, bones, blood, intestines, lungs, spleens, livers, ligaments, fat trimmings, unborn infants, and other parts– is used in animal food, pet feed, fertilizer, industrial lubricants, cleaning agents, rubber, and other items. The dietary quality of byproducts varies.

Here’s another fact… in the past, roadkill was also used in pet food. There are still no laws or regulations against it, but using roadkill in dog food is unheard of today. Even so, animals identified as “4D,” which implies dead, dying, unhealthy, or impaired, were only just recently banned for human usage, and can still be a component part in dog food.

My wife has a cousin that has a large operation…  he raises newborn pigs to a certain size, and then sends them on to the next step in the process. He has a large… I mean really large freezer where they place any stillborn or otherwise dead baby pigs. These are sent to a different process plant altogether that specializes in food for animals.

What About Grains and Veggies?

The grains and vegetables utilized in dog food are not much better than the meats. There are a lot of products that are designated as unfit for human consumption. The quantity of plant items included in dog foods has risen drastically over time, and now they replace a large percentage of the meat that was used to be included in commercial dog foods.

As you can imagine, this switch can results in serious dietary deficiencies.. Many dry dog foods contain a liberal amount of cereal grain or starchy veggies to provide the food texture, such as chunks, shreds, flakes, and slices. These high carb plant products also supply a cheap source of energy in the form of calories. Gluten meals, which are high-protein extracts from which most of the carbohydrates have actually been eliminated, are often used to boost protein portions without requiring the more expensive animal-source ingredients. Corn gluten meal is the most frequently utilized form… but wheat gluten is also utilized. Wheat gluten is also used as a thickener for gravy.

In most cases, dog foods that include vegetable proteins are among the poorest quality meals.

What About Low Carb Dog Foods?

In low carb dog foods, grains are substituted with potatoes, green peas, and other starchy vegetables… but these offer no particular benefit to pets either (with the exception of benefiting dogs that are hypersensitive to grains.) Dry, low carb diets tend to be extremely high in fat, and could lead to weight gain.

Additives and Preservatives

Besides lacking in nutrients, dog foods are also saturated with additives and preservatives. Commercial dog food producers also have to ensure that dry meals have a long shelf life (normally 12 months) to remain nutritious through shipping and storage. Therefore, the fats that are sprayed on dog foods to make them more flavorful to dogs are preserved with either synthetic or natural preservatives.

Dog Food “Eye Appeal”

Dog food makers use marketing methods that rely on “eye grabbing hooks” to reel in new customers. For instance, a dog food supplier marketing a new kind of dog food could say that their new product has “fresh beef,” is “hypoallergenic,” and that “your dog will undoubtedly adore it.”

Do not be deceived by these marketing campaigns. Prior to purchasing a brand new dog food brand, examine the product label. Is the new dog food truly more nutritious than what you are offering your dog now?

Look at the appearance of the meal… does it look too fresh and too colorful? If it is, we can easily be certain of 2 things: 1) the dog meals supplier has used a great deal of artificial color to make the meals more appealing to dog owners, and 2) the dog food manufacturer undoubtedly went to wonderful lengths to hide the truth that they made use of meat byproducts.

As mentioned above, by “meat byproducts” we are talking about bone meal and other “non lean meat” ingredients. And here’s the thing: dogs undoubtedly do not appreciate that their brand new canned food looks like a restaurant style steak with gravy. Dogs appreciate food with scent and taste. And in the final analysis, the new food will only be worth the cash you paid for it if your dog becomes healthier by eating it.

Make the Switch

It is plain to see why a lot of pet owners are switching over to feeding their dogs home made fresh meals instead of relying on commercial, store bought products.

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