COULD YOUR DOG’S FOOD BE MAKING HIM SICK?
The answer is YES! The wrong foods could be making your dog sick with anything from allergies to diabetes to autoimmune disorders to obesity. Lucky for dogs people are becoming more and more educated about what constitutes a healthy diet for dogs. Find out more in this informative article from Small Animal Nutritionist, Alla Koegh.
Those of us who have done any research into the human food industry know that there is a great deal of misinformation about what goes into what we’re eating. The same goes in the pet food industry.
The majority of pet foods cause, rather than prevent, disease. Those of you who have read our articles or attended our seminars know that the pet food industry’s mission, contrary to advertising, is not to create a high quality species-appropriate diet for your dog or cat, but in fact to generate huge profits, unfortunately often at the expense of your pet’s health.
One of our favourite holistic vets, Dr Karen Becker from the US, says, ” … 90 percent of pet foods out there contain totally inappropriate ingredients that are not nourishing and actually create low-grade inflammatory processes, diabetes and obesity. All the same health issues occurring in the pet world are occurring in the human realm in terms of overall health. On top of the inappropriate ingredients in pet food, if people really knew the quality of food they are feeding their pets, they would be totally appalled.”
The Importance of Human Grade Ingredients
For example, the scrap meat that is deemed unfit for human consumption (because it contains tumors, abscesses, diseased tissues, etc.) is often treated, and labelled as “protein” in pet food. The reality is that if you feed a mass marketed commercial pet food, your dog or cat is typically getting a cheap, poor quality combination of leftover animal parts that include not only diseased meat but also things like beaks, feathers, snouts and feet, not to mention a whole host of other inappropriate ingredients like genetically modified (GM) corn, soy, wheat and rice.
Why Buy Australian?
When you chose an Australian-made locally sourced product, not only are you supporting the growing Aussie pet industry and keeping your money within Australia, you are also ensuring the food you’re buying for your fubaby complies with our strict quality and hygiene standards and is free of the harmful, and sometimes fatal toxins and chemicals contained in imported pet foods. Irradiation, a heating process that most imported pet foods are subjected to upon their entry into Australia, is scientifically proven to have health risks. Irradiation changes the molecular structure of food, forming toxic chemicals linked to genetic mutations, vitamin deficiency, immune system disorders, tumours, stunted growth and reproduction problems.
If you buy an imported pet food brand, please check with the manufacturer to see whether the product is in fact irradiated or manufactured in an AQIS approved facility in its country of origin.
The truth about Carbs
Grain-based carbohydrates form the basis of most commercial pet foods. But your pet was not designed to eat grains. As carnivores, cats and dogs do not have a carbohydrate requirement at all, and by feeding them species inappropriate diets containing wheat, rice and other grains we are compromising their metabolisms and causing their bodies to degenerate faster than they should. Why do most pet foods contain grains if they are not necessary for your pet’s nutrition?
Sadly, it all comes down to profits. Grains are cheap fillers, and this is why they’re added to most pet foods. Real meat-based food like FoodiePooch costs a great deal more to manufacture, and what most pet owners don’t realise is that by spending less on high quality meat based food, they are actually paying more at the Vet’s in the longer-term. Think about it in terms of your own lifestyle – would you rather eat healthy and stay away from the Doctor? Or consume junk and suffer the consequences down the track?
Grains, Carbs and their link to Diabetes in Pets
Lots of high end kibble manufacturers are now marketing “grain-free” varieties. But read the ingredient label closely – these will often still contain carbohydrate-based fillers such as vegetable “fibres”. And many Vets will still argue that carb fillers such as these are “excellent sources of energy”. But are they really?
Dr Becker says, “We know that dogs and cats are not requiring any of these grains and carbs – they break down into sugar. Sugar, of course, causes an insulin release. Insulin then causes blood sugar to drop. Cortisol is then released to rebalance blood sugar. So dogs and cats are dealing with this whole cycle of carbohydrate ingestion, insulin release, and cortisol release. The metabolic syndrome that’s occurring in people – leptin resistance – is absolutely occurring in pets as well. We’re seeing diabetes in dogs and cats, most certainly, and obesity that leads to musculoskeletal issues and secondary organ degeneration. The whole cycle is occurring in pets.”
Another ingredient often touted as an ideal food for pets is rice. Often causing intolerances and contributing to skin problems, we only recommend rice as part of a bland treatment diet for sick or convalescing dogs, for a short period of time. Rice should not form part of a dog’s staple diet.
Is your GP a Nutritionist?
No? Well neither is your Vet. The small component of Animal Nutrition studied as part of a Veterninary Science degree is not taught by a nutritionist, but typically by a representative of major pet food companies, and as a result most vets graduate without having any unbiased nutrition information. Vet students aren’t taught what to look for in terms of nutrients to support health and healing… they are however taught to “prescribe” a certain brand of food. This might explain why your vet tells you to only feed your pet a certain grain-heavy “prescription” diet, or to avoid offering “people food” (even if it’s healthy, species-appropriate food for your pet). Hands up if you’ve ever tried to discuss raw or natural feeding alternatives with your vet, only to be met with defensiveness or resistance? Read Dogs Naturally Magazine’s article (http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/give-them-meat-raw-dog-food/?inf_contact_key=ed1ce869969b456d2ac25dbe053d0f2f54876fbe0d1630ef79389a368f0e941c) on why this might be the case.
So what are my best options?
So you’re convinced you want to make the switch to a good quality grain free pet food that doesn’t cost the earth? You don’t have the time or the knowledge to DIY? That’s OK! Here we have compiled a list of what we believe are the very best Australian or NZ, Grain-Free Pet Food Options, and rated them on Cost, Ingredients, and Convenience:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fuelled by a passion for great food and a keen desire to offer pets and their parents the very best choices when it comes to their diet and health, Small Animal Nutritionist Alla Koegh formulated a new line of high-quality, human grade, natural, grain and preservative free pet meals. FoodiePooch‘s product line consists of dehydrated meals for dogs and cats. All ingredients are Australian grown, and products are manufactured locally in Prime Safe licensed premises in Melbourne’s inner South-East.
Ph: 1300 1 POOCH or (03) 9571 7501