What’s really in your pet’s food?
Dog owners have heard countless times the human foods that are bad for their pets, and why they should not feed them human food. Have you ever considered that maybe the common commercial dog food might also be made up of harmful ingredients for your pet? This might sound unlikely, as it is supposed to be made especially for them, but let’s take a look at what we are actually feeding them.
Not all dog food will have all of these ingredients, but they are the ones most commonly used by the dog food industry. Dog food is usually made up of veterinary premixes, artificial coloring, methylethylene glycol, maize by product, maize, meat byproducts and meat.
Veterinary premixes are usually in powder form, and are a mixture of substances meant to be added to large quantities of food only for medically prescribed purposes. Despite what you might think, these are not good for your pet. In 2007, they were the cause for the death of many dogs and cats, and the only reason it is added to dog food is because after all the processing, the food no longer has any nutritious value. On top of that, studies have shown that vitamin premixes can cause many health problems on its consumers, including cancer. Another ingredient used in dog food with these health risks is artificial coloring.
Its primary use is to keep food moist, however, it has been prohibited in cat foods because it kills them by killing their red blood cells. No dogs have died in a quick manner through its consumption, but it is unknown what eating so much of it, even if over long periods of time, might do to them.
This ingredient is also used to kill weeds, which already says a lot about its healthy properties for living beings. It is used in order to add to the protein count and to absorb the toxins of the contaminants in the food sources.
Contrary to belief, maize is not beneficiary to dogs. Not only is their system not built to handle it, but this ingredient is in general difficult to digest. Another problem with maize is that it usually has contaminants in them when harbored in large quantities, causing the dog to develop diseases and being one of the leading causes for food related dog allergies. It is a carbohydrate used mostly for its cheap use, claiming it is a great source for energy, when it is not.
Although this may include parts that your pet would find tasty, such as esophagus, diaphragm, and tongue; it also contains parts that are not used in human foods for obvious reasons, such as bones, unborn babies, and fat trimmings. These parts are also used in products such as fertilizer, rubber, and lubricants. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a study by the FDA that looked for traces of phenobarbital (a common drug for euthanasia) in dog food, given the rumors that there were dead dogs and cats in it. Sadly, the food did have traces of this drug in it.
Now finally, a healthy ingredient, right? Not quite. What they don’t tell you is that this usually contains byproducts as well and not exactly what you were imagining as meat, although this is not always the case. Even if it were the healthier parts of the “meat”, after processing, all the nutrients are lost, diminishing its value. This often means that when they say the food contains protein, it does not come from the meat, which has lost all its nutrients, but from the veterinary premixes added to be able to say the food is nutritious.
For these reasons, it is often recommended to make the food yourself, or use vegan products already provided by companies. Whichever it is, be sure to look out for your dog’s best interests to keep them healthy!