Someone says ‘dog food’ and the image of dry kibble pops into your head. As a society, for over fifty years, commercially manufactured bagged kibble and canned ‘wet’ food has been synonymous with those simple words.
The first processed dog ‘biscuit’ was invented by James Spratt of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1860. Yet, it was World War II that spurred commercial manufacturers to start pushing the ease of kibble and canned food onto the already stretched family unit. It was convenient, affordable and no one considered the quality of the food or the ingredients that went into this new time saver because it had to be better then the table scraps that domestic animals enjoyed at the time, right?
Wrong! You can excuse the early adopters, but generations later, dog diseases are near epidemic levels. In spite of the evidence that something is wrong, millions of people continue to give their dogs manufactured dog food.
We’ve Been Lied To for Profit
For everyone involved, the commercial pet food industry was a win-win operation! Farmers sold off both grain and vegetable crops that were unfit for human consumption. Slaughterhouses had a market for body parts they would normally have to pay to dispose of. The manufacturers quickly worked out how best to market their products to unwary pet owners and Purina even developed a way to expand or ‘fluff up’ the kibble before drying, called extrusion, so consumers felt they were getting more for their money.
In 1964, without scientific basis, the Pet Food Institute began their massive media campaign against table scraps. Veterinarians throughout the world jumped on the bandwagon and by the mid 1960’s, few people were feeding their four-legged family members anything but this wondrous, convenient and readily available food.
Forty years after the campaign to remove table scraps from your pet’s diet, pet stores, some breeders, and most veterinarians (who peddle the AVMA approved brand- as supposedly being “better”), continue to extol the virtues of commercial dog foods in spite of the evidence. People who think outside the box are often demonized for feeding their dogs a more natural diet.
Pet food manufacturers wrote the book on how to manipulate nutritional content; lists of ingredients and marketing to best highlight the ‘good’ while entirely avoiding the ‘bad’. Do you really expect a forty-pound bag of dog food that costs $12.98 to have any nutritional value? Consider this: Forty-pounds of human-grade corn meal (commonly used empty calorie filler linked to diabetes) used in commercial pet foods, costs nearly $120! Can you imagine what is in your dog’s food if the human-grade ‘filler’ costs nearly ten times that of the entire bag of food? You do not want to know.
If this wasn’t bad enough, starting in the late 1990s recycled restaurant grease (reused for days at carcinogenic temperatures) is sprayed on kibble! Why? Just to give this otherwise tasteless “dog food” some flavor! The incidence of cancer, heart conditions and strokes are all steadily rising. Diet related illnesses, such as diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, Crohn’s disease and obesity are at the minimum common place, and some are epidemic.
Commercial Pet Food = Fast Food
Commercial dog food is the equivalent of McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Popeye’s, Churches… but for dogs. Eye catching packaging, combined with multi-billion dollar Madison Avenue advertising specifically designed to appeal to the masses, does not change the fact that manufactured dog food should only be used during emergencies.
If you believe that the fast-food industry cares about your health, you are sadly mistaken! They are in the business of making money for their stockholders. It is your responsibility to learn what is healthy and what is not. Fast foods should only be eaten occasionally, if at all.
Have you ever seen Lemmings following each other off a cliff? None ask “Why?” they just follow the others! And the “others” have been bombarded with slick advertising campaigns for over 50 years! Just because your mother and her mother and her mother before her bought commercial pet food doesn’t mean it was ever the right choice.
The documentary ‘Super Size Me’ is based on what happens to the human body when eating nothing but McDonalds 24/7 for thirty days. Independent filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, was curious to know whether or not a fast- food is bad for you. He put himself on the McDonalds 24/7 diet. Doctors specializing in internal medicine carefully monitored him. He gained over 24 pounds in the thirty-day span – nearly an extra pound a day! He also suffered from mood swings, depression, lethargy, sexual dysfunction and potentially irreversible liver damage. He vomited on only the second day of this experiment and by the third week, was suffering from heart palpitations! The decline in his health was so rapid, that his doctors urged him to end the experiment after just two weeks.
The True Cost of Low Cost Food.
Processed foods are slowly killing North Americans and their pets. Proof of this fact is the preponderance of people (and their pets) under medical care and medication. Some people might argue that humans and animals are living longer, but what about quality of life? People and their dogs are not only on more meds than ever, millions are on multiple meds!
Meds are akin to magic; they do not heal, they simply make the symptoms disappear from view by overriding your pets’ immune defense systems. Taken long enough, your pets’ immune defense systems eventually shut down, relegating the user to a lifetime of meds, and a lower quality of life.
The cost to your dog’s overall health and well-being is not just expensive, it is heart wrenching. Today, it is all too common to find “older dogs” (dogs over 10 years of age) in poor health and on multiple meds, shells of their former selves.
The Effects of Commercial Dog Food Over Time .
Along with obesity, diabetes, heart conditions and cancer, commercial dog foods are linked with many chronic disorders of the digestive system. What starts as an occasional one time vomiting spell increases to once a month, then weekly and, before long, every other day. From the start, it is a downhill slide for your pet’s overall health.
The good news is that most of this damage is reversible if you immediately change your dog’s diet. Transitioning to a nutritionally packed, homemade diet should be done over the space of a week to avoid stomach upset. Within a few short weeks you should easily notice a marked improvement in your dog’s health, happiness and vitality. If you are unable to make your own dog food, click here for our list of top recommended dog food.