Know what your dog eats.
Think about your food; do you check labels on everything you eat? In the last 10 years or so, the use of GMO’s and harmful chemicals have been revealed in food that we eat every day. Because of this, more people have started checking what is actually in their food; but do you check what’s in your dogs food?
Most people don’t, simply because they think their dog digests food the way humans do. Despite them being man’s best friend, dogs’ digestive tract don’t operate like ours! It is well known that dogs have been domesticated from wolves, so it makes sense that they would have a similar diet. This diet includes mainly meat, but wolves also consume a variety of insects and berries.
Unfortunately though, when you look at the majority of dog foods, the main ingredients are things like ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, and whole wheat flour. Dogs would not eat these things in the wild, and they are bad for dogs’ health and digestion. The only reason so many dog food companies try and promote the use of these ingredients is because they are a cheap filler product. Companies refine corn by grinding it down to a meal, and then cooking it. This makes the corn digestible (as it was not before), but this only allows the corn to be broken down into glucose, or sugar. Small amounts of glucose are used to fuel the body, but excess amounts cannot be burned off fast enough and get converted to fat, encouraging weight gain. Wheat flour is also a cheap filler used by dog food manufacturers that can be allergenic to dogs and cause joint swelling that leads to arthritis.
This being said, it’s not only the fillers that you need to watch out for! Any sort of by-product, even if it is from meat, is bad news. By-product is an extremely flexible term and can include tumors, diseased animals, feet, beaks, and even long dead animals.
You may think that good food for your dog is too expensive, but if you go down the dog food aisle at the grocery store and look at all of the ingredients, you’d be surprised that some of the well known brands that cost more are mainly corn. There are many types of dog food that have meat as the first ingredient, and will cost the same as the dog foods with corn as the first ingredient. This is because companies making dog food with fillers and lower quality ingredients are making a much larger profit from it.
Feeding your dog a higher quality food with a higher meat/animal fat content will cause your dog to eat less, and also poop less! Most filler ingredients do not get broken down in the dog’s digestive tract. This means that for high filler foods, very little is digested and the rest is discarded by the body as waste. That means lots of poop to clean up! High quality foods have more nutrients that are usable by the body, and therefore are broken down and absorbed into the intestines. This means that although higher quality food might be more expensive, they won’t need to eat as much of it.
Most people just aren’t aware of these things! Like any other industry, there are going to be companies that put profit over health. Luckily, you can tell which ones do this by looking at the ingredients! Real meat, and meat meal (chicken meal, beef meal, lamb meal, turkey meal, etc.), are what you want to see as the first ingredient; not grains or by products!
This is a public service announcement from Mary’s Menagerie, where your fur babies come first!