A Short History of Dog Food
The story of poor dog food starts with modern America. For decades domesticated dog good has consisted of human food scraps. They got what was leftover from human meals. Just like human food before the 1950s, it wasn’t processed (adding preserves, chemicals, and supplements).
With the advent of modern life, convenience has taken over and with it has come to the processed food industry. This applied not only to us but to our pets.
Dog Food and Dog Health are Locked Together
We often feed our dogs like we feed ourselves. It often isn’t until something drastic happens (like an illness) that we start paying attention to what we are consuming. Who wants to wait for that costly and emotionally upsetting event where it can be too late to correct? Dog food and nutrition has incredible regenerative affects. However, it requires the consumption of quality products. Proper dog food nutrition is essential in countering environmental toxins such as flea products, pesticides, air pollution, molds, etc. Without quality nutrition a dog will degenerate. Sometimes this will happen slowly or more rapidly. The core problem is they basically don’t have the quality fuel to keep them alive and well.
Did you know that in many parts of the world dogs live to 20+ years old? It is only since we began feeding our dogs processed foods that their life spans have been significantly shortened.
Personal Experience with Dog Food
Our dog Shelby at around 3 years old had a problem with his back. We thought maybe he pulled something or injured it jumping but eventually he was diagnosed with disc spondylosis. My wife and I were sick of watching our friend in pain. He couldn’t jump and could barely move. Discospondylosis is somewhat of a mystery to vets and is very difficult to treat. It is “degenerative” and believed to be viral in nature. We were intent that nutrition and high-quality food could either cure him or at least improve his condition. After providing him nutrition and revamping his diet I’m glad to say he’s fine. To me, it’s really a miracle because he shows absolutely no signs of the problems he once had. This is a massive testament to nutrition and food quality and how amazing the self-healing powers can be of a dog.
There’s more… about two years after Shelby had his issues we adopted 4-month-old Cassidy, who unbeknownst to us was ill. The second night we had her home she had a seizure and we rushed her to the vet. After a series of tests the diagnosis was that she had epilepsy. Previous to us she spent her life in a kennel that fed her store-grade pet food. We were intent that we were going to cure her. We did extensive research and found information that animals could outgrow epilepsy. The vet gave us medication which we gave her while simultaneously switching her to a raw meat plus (rice, fresh veggies, fresh fruits, and supplements) diet. Within a month we began weaning her off the medication which the doctors told us she’d require for the rest of her life. After three months she was completely off the medication.
Our conclusion was that she was malnourished. In retrospect, she was pretty scrawny and thought to be a runt of the litter. Now she’s a proportionally sized dog, healthy and happy. Obviously, we are not recommending avoiding the advice of a vet or not taking seriously the need for medications for epilepsy. Unfortunately, our experience may not work for everyone. We are fortunate that our little girl was simply undernourished and over stressed. Ah, thank God for happy endings! We just love them!!
Our stories are definitely not rare among those that shift a dog’s diet. Many individuals have documented the problems with dog food and the subsequent health benefits when moving their dog to a more nutritionally sound diet. If you have heard enough to convince you of the power of healthy dog foods jump over to information about premium dog foods and how they can benefit your dog right now.
What’s Good Nutrition?
There’s been so much confusion over what good nutrition is and is not. In humans, we also have the confusion of the term diet thrown into the mix. Fortunately, things are a bit simpler with dogs. After all, they do not require three meals a day that is composed of diversity, they do not eat out, and they do not encounter challenges to their willpower and, finally, they aren’t challenged by sweets. But, one thing that is critical to keep in mind is that dogs are carnivores. That’s what they are and will always be.
Still, there is massive disinformation with marketing spin and hype from companies jumping on catchphrases to capture market share. Among the terms utilized by companies are natural, balanced, whole, healthy, nutritious, and complete. We need to look behind the words to a company’s ethos, motivations, ingredients, and methods.
Dog food containing ingredients that claim to be “healthy” does not always make healthy dog food. Combining foods in proper proportion as well as quality and nutritional content after processing (baking, cooking, treating, adding supplements, etc) is vital. One measure of good nutrition is the biological value (the amount of amino acid completeness of the proteins). While some foods score high – like eggs – a diet of just eggs would be insufficient for a dog.
Poor quality foods have been known to cause growth issues such as Canine Panosteitis (Pano), Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD), and Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD). These result from an unbalanced fat to protein ratio or poor quality proteins and fats. These are the problems that develop from playing chemical roulette in foods rather than utilizing whole foods.
Dog foods must be digestible so that the nutrition can be absorbed into the dog’s body. Determining the digestibility of a particular food can typically be provided by contacting them or through a dirty little process. Over a period of 2-4 days weigh the food you provide your dog and then weigh their stool. This will provide you a percentage of digestibility. The stool should be dried to approximately the same point as the food you gave your dog.
Pure Food – What A Crazy Idea
When it comes to food, pure is best. What this means is without preservatives, fillers, chemicals, and additives, etc. Are those things important? Does it matter? YES and YES! An animal, whether human or dog, is NOT designed to process and digest man-made chemicals. A buildup of elements, which cannot be broken down by the body accumulates in various organs that eventually become diseased. Before that happens systemic problems develop due to the chemical backlog (such as allergies, sickness, lethargy, pain, etc).
Even cooking changes the structures of foods which can make it bad for a dog. For example, wheat and corn that is cooked and heavily processed result in an indigestible product for dogs. Their existing enzymes cannot break down the corn and wheat resulting in a buildup of toxicity leading to allergies and disease. There is a lot of evidence that corn is not proper food for dogs because their digestive systems cannot process it effectively.