Thursday, September 6, 2007

Vets Agree: Buy Commercial Dog Food Or Your Dog Will Die

I found this article very interesting...and not in a good way. I find this to be a good example of why the attitude of "a vet said it, so it must be true" is dangerous. This vet claims that commercial dog foods are the only way to give your dog a balanced diet. Canine nutrition is so complicated the average person couldn't possiblly figure out how to handle it on their own.

So then how did wild dogs stay healthy before humans came along to overly process their food for them? How did they manage to perfectly balance their requirements for meat, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals? And if we can't keep a dog healthy with a nutritious diet, how do we keep ourselves healthy? Don't humans too have requirements for protein, carbs, minerals, vitamins, etc.? Maybe Iams should expand to people food as well.

I think the only thing in this article that makes any sense are the comments at the end calling this lady out for selling out to dog food companies.

The "Never feed your pets..." list mostly consists of food that give indigestion, nothing worse. In fact, the only things on there that cause anything worse than indigestion is chocolate, onions, and raisins, at least from what I've read. I've read dogs can't digest milk very well, but that cheese and yogurt are actually a good source of calcium for them. And while onion is bad for dogs, some garlic can be beneficial. This list is very misleading and I've found a ton of sources that contradict half of the items on it. My personal favorite is number 15: Moldy Foods. What does she think is in commercial dog food?

5 comments:

Tori, formerly known as "A.J." said...

Not to mention the fact that garlic is actually an ingredient in some leading brands of dog food! (Trust me, I spent last weekend pouring over ingredients at the pet store.)

I think that commercial diets are beneficial when purchased correctly for your dog. For example, Corgis often have weight problems, so buying a ton of high-fat, wet food to feed your Pem is a bad idea. Not to mention that there's a lot of poorly made food out there.

The best recommendation I had was to research any food before you serve it to your pet. And that means if you're going to go through all the trouble of cooking meals for your dog, make sure you've got what you really need to make your dog's life better: consistent, high-quality vitamins, amino acids, and nutrients; the right balance of fat, calories, cholesterol (good and bad); taste; level of digestibility; etc. I've found that my lifestyle doesn't work well with puppy-catering needs, so dry dog food it is. But carefully and lovingly selected dry food!

Besides, since when was anything black, white and never grey when it comes to nutrition? (or anything for that matter?)

JuLo said...

Exactly. If you're feeding with nutrition in mind, whether checking ingredients in store bought food or making your own, then anyone should be ok. It's not brain surgery. We feed ourselves everyday, why should a dog be any different from a baby? Obviously their individual needs are different, but both need you to feed them what they need to stay healthy. If people can feed babies, I can feed my dog.

the Corgi Girls said...

Yay! Kudos! Great post... such an important topic too...

JuLo said...

Thanks! As much literature there is out there on how bad commercial dog food is, and recipes for home cooking, I haven't been able to find a whole lot on what I should be feeding my dog. I mean in terms of quantities/ratios. Where's the doggie food pyramid that says a dog's diet should be 50% meat, 20% grain, etc. That's what I'd really like to find.

Ash said...

Good (old) post, and I agree commercial food is rarely as good as what we can make ourselves and many of the points are absurd...
but I must comment about your post that wild dogs are often far less healthy and few have good diets. On average, wild dogs live barely 1/3 to 1/2 as long as a well fed and cared for pet dog, and a major part of that is the wild dogs' often poor diets.

And the note about garlic is tricky... while most dogs will be okay with some garlic, some dogs are sensitive to even small amounts, and develop the same anemia symptoms as onion can cause.

And as for moldy food, most commercial foods are loaded with rather potent preservatives. Whether that is good or bad is debatable, but it does mean mould should rarely be a problem.