“What you put into a dog’s stomach, really does matter. In many cases it’s the difference between your dog thriving, or simply surviving.”
(UPDATED and re-published October 31, 2018)
My mom was a great proponent of good nutrition throughout her whole life. Although she believed that what you put into your body was critical to your health, she wasn’t a “fanatic.” It’s more than once on our frequent trips to Albuquerque (to buy organic produce and meat), that she had the urge for an order of fries from MacDonald’s. The meat we bought on those trips, incidentally, was as much for our dogs as for us . . . they were treated to the same wholesome nutritional standards that we set for ourselves.
I have to admit that today I’m more selective about my dogs’ nutritional needs than my own, so I spend a lot of time researching appropriate and safe foods for my “ragtag pack of lovable misfits” . . . the dogs I rescued who no one wanted and who would have been destroyed at Roswell Animal Control. Some are in my “sanctuary program” because they are too old or “damaged” emotionally or physically. Others became part of my permanent pack because they found a job that was unique to their talents, and others are waiting for the perfect home to show up. They all get the same top quality nutrition.
Every single one of these dogs has had such a bad start in life . . . neglected and/or abused, and fed the worst kind of trash for dog food. It was clearly evident in their dull and dry coats, their foul breath, the emaciation and the bad teeth . . . one-year old dogs who are fed well should not have brown teeth! It takes time for good nutrition to take effect, and it’s unmistakable when it does. There’s a glow and shine to their coats and eyes that comes from their core . . . because they finally become healthy.
We all know about fallout from jerky products made in China. What is not so well-known is what manufacturers of dog food are allowed to get away with. It’s no longer enough to just read the ingredients on a package of dog food, you now need to scrutinize and interrogate the manufacturers as to “where” the components are put together and processed.
Legally, a manufacturer can claim that the dog food is made in the USA if the “final step” is in the USA. They don’t have to disclose that the meat ingredients are shipped to China and processed into meal there and then shipped back. See the following post about other “products” that end up in dog food, and you will understand why the cancer and kidney failure rate in dogs has skyrocketed.
There are so many factors critical in the manufacturing of dog food products. AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) has specific requirements for labeling. It’s no wonder owners remain in a state of confusion. On top of everything else, there’s a recent concern from veterinarians about a possible connection between grain-free dog foods and a heart disease called canine dilated cardiomyopathy, which can cause an enlarged, weakened heart and eventual heart failure in dogs. There are other claims, too, such as too much protein can damage their kidneys, that dogs’ digestive systems don’t process vegetable/plants or carbohydrates. And what’s the deal with beet pulp and pea products, just a filler with no value?
Fads come and go, with stalwart proponents of each: raw, vegetarian, home-cooked . . . all of this is enough for conscientious pet owners to set their hair on fire.
After much research, as well as personal trial and error, I’ve narrowed down my use of dog kibble and buy only from trusted sources. The “fruits of my labor” will be published in an easy to read e-book, “What You Should Know About Your Dog’s Kibble,” so that you can make an informed decision of the type of kibble to feed your best friend.
Because I have found it best to feed a variety of protein sources, I list all the brands I use in a spreadsheet, along with the ingredients and nutritional requirements. This usable and modifiable excel worksheet will also be part of the e-book, which will be a digital product listed on our online store, The Puppy Potpourri.
From now until the end of 2018, we will be offering a complimentary copy to all donors to our Dog Food Campaign (both one-time and recurring). Be sure you have signed up for our email list so that we can let you know when it is complete and listed, and send you a coupon code for your copy.