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What you Should Know About Commercial Dog Food

Updated on May 15, 2009

The image of a dog running happy and healthy posted on a bag of dog food is an effective advertisement strategy to trick naive owners into thinking that by purchasing such dog food, they are doing a favor to their canine friends.  After all, there is a long list of nutrients on that bag that make it look like a healthy choice, right? Wrong.

The simple fact that dog food should not be consumed by humans should already raise a  big red flag. But let's bypass this peculiarity for now and go straight to the facts: the pet food's label. 

Pet labels may be quite difficult to understand. There may be words that seem to mean something when they really mean something totally different. Saying that pet labels are deceptive is an understatement, especially when it comes to innocent pets that deserve the very best by their owners.

We have already seen the after math of the several pet food recalls which have caused the loss of thousands of cats and dogs. While such recall was relevant because of the many deaths produced within a very short time frame, it appears that many owners seem not to react much when the pets deteriorate quite slowly. This is sadly something that is happening to pets being fed commercially prepared dog food.

More and more dogs are being diagnosed with diseases that once were barely heard of. Diabetes, obesity, food allergies, cancer, cataracts, auto immune disorders,  just to name a few. Veterinarian offices are more and more full of sick dogs and cats as they neverwere before. It is almost as if a plot between the pet food industry and the veterinary industry has been issued where the biggest victims are the owners and their pets.

Truth is, most veterinarians are not well trained in nutrition. They often go by what they were thought in school and what  pet food reps state. Of course, pet food representatives will only say good stuff about their foods. Sometimes, they even offer incentives when their foods are pushed to owners. Something similar in a way  to doctors pushing medications even when they could be avoided or when they may do more harm than good.

Going to the facts, let's take a closer look into what is contained in that average bag of ''healthy'' dog food.

-Meat by products

The name does not sound too bad. The word meat makes it sound good. The word by products makes us presume that it is meat inferior to the meat humans consume. Nothing wrong with that, until we realize that meat by products include often heads, feet, entrails, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, stomach, bones, blood, intestines and all the alike.

-Meat meal

Again, the name seems to be something acceptable for our pet's consumption. But again, these are meats not suitable for human consumption or any other live being in the world.  Read no further if you have a sensitive stomach. Meat meals includes but are not limited to: euthanized dogs and cats (often with a collar bonus included) zoo animals, road kill, and meat from  4-D animals (dead, diseased, disabled, dying).  


Because meat is expensive for pet food manufacturers, they try to stuff their food with what are called ''fillers''. That is, grains like rice, soy and corn. Again, these are not ordinary grains, rather, grains that are discarded for human consumption because of the presence of foreign debris, germs odors etc.

-Sodium Nitrate

Sodium Nitrate may sound familiar to you because it is contained in hot dogs and various cold cuts to preserve their nice colors. In pet food, this chemical is what brings that nice red color to kibble in order to make it appealing to owners.  Dogs may care less and by the way, dogs are reported to be color blind!

-BHA and BHT

Both these chemical preservatives have been reported to cause kidney and liver problems. There have been reports on these two substances of causing cancer, but more studies are under way.


Salt may appear as being an innocuous addition, however, the quantity added to pet foods is what makes the difference. Excessivequantities of salt may cause high blood pressure, heart diseases and increased thirst in pets. Pets with heart, kidney and liver disorders should be put on a low sodium diet.

These are just a few of the bad ingredients found in some of those dog foods claimed too be nutritionally complete and good for your dog.  So what good is left now in that batch of dog food? Not much. Actually, many dog foods may even lack important nutrients such as enzymes and Vitamin C.

As owners, we often think we are doing the best for our pets when in reality, we are doing more harm than good. The solution? Consider a natural home made raw diet for your dog or look more information about  the ''BARF'' diet. These diets are what the dog's bodies were ultimately meant to eat.

Feeding your dog cheap kibble is not a great act of love as thought


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    • ocbill profile image


      10 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      truly a shame. not suitable for human consumption or by any live being. industrialization for profit.


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