A family that we were close to, and as a result considered their pets as our own, lost their treasured black lab this past winter – to cancer, a likely result of low quality dog food.
He was a sweet old guy that was loved by all. A few years back he started to develop some lumps and there was nothing that could be done for him. Not long before he left this world, my own big girl Kizzie departed. She had similar issues.
Without sounding like a duffus I have to be honest with you and let you know I took Kizzie’s death as a sign of my own inability to protect and care for her. It has been a long struggle back to the land of the living and self-forgiveness.
The lab’s owner had just began the investigation of dogs with cancerous lumps and the reasons why he developed such a severe case. It is believed the cause of this rising trend is the commercial feed we give our dogs.
To honor my Kizzie and your own pets, I’m writing some articles to expose the disgusting creation of cheap commerical dog food, the ingredients used and some good alternatives. May it serve your household of favorite pets. And may it honor my Kizzie girl.
Dog Food Ingredient Labels
Knowing the ingredients within your dog’s bag of food is a must for anyone who knows and loves and is concerned about the health of their dog.
If you read the label and understand the contents that are being used in commercial feed, you’ll also be able to investigate the potential threat to your dog’s life this may have. Learn to waive some ingredients while shopping for your dog and also know what to look for.
Dog food isn’t just found on grocery store shelves. In fact the readily available and cheap dog food is akin to you and I eating TV dinners or fast food every night. Eventually we’d become fat and sick as well (anyone seen SuperSize Me?). Fresh dog food – prepared in home – consists of freshly cut chicken pieces with rice (it doesn’t have to be the best cuts of chicken, but it should be lacking in added chemicals, hormones and medication residues.)
If you come across any different kinds of preservatives and if the dog develops signs of food allergies, you can safely suspect the unwanted and chemical ingredient in the dog food.
Another item to watch labels for is moisture content. If the dog food has more moisture it is easier to digest, but you’re paying for water, fats and added oils – not freshness.
In specialty higher grade dog foods you may find beet pulp, pasta, soy bean oil, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, copper sulphate, iron sulphate, zinc oxide, choline chloride, etc. are often the ingredients in case of vegetarian based diet items offered to the pet animals like dogs.
Raw egg, chicken, beef, mutton, and fish are natural and easily accessible ingredients for dog food made at home. If you don’t want to feed your dog meat, shop for vegetarian dog food paying special attention to thiamine and taurine content as a dog will miss this in his diet.
Many premium dog food preparations contain essential fatty acids, carbohydrates with adequate fiber contents, vitamins like A, D, E and B complex vitamins.
Added minerals such as zinc, are essential ingredients for skin health, and calcium is essential for bone growth and density. Though the higher grade dog food may be more expensive they should help you get more years out of your treasured pet and not have to say goodbye prematurely.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
As for zinc and calcium, other minerals – magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and more – are also supplemented to all natural diets. Sodium and potassium may also be required.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are the most important components in any dog’s feeding. If there is a balance in the vitamin and mineral supplements, then the animal’s needs are being met and will be less likely to get sick. His immunity will not be compromised. He’ll be able to fight off diseases as well as infections, expediently.
Dog owners should know that vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. Other vitamins are water-soluble. Thiamine and pyridoxine are responsible for nervous system health and function. A deficiency of vitamin A leads to night blindness and skin lesions and deficiency of vitamin D leads to the softening and weakening of the bones. It isn’t all about calcium after all – a balance is required here, same as with humans.
Vitamin A as valid as it is, can be toxic, as can vitamin D. Cod liver oil has more vitamin A than many whole and natural foods.
All dogs may not need supplements of minerals or vitamins to live well at this point in time, but they are important for their future. If they become sick or aged and haven’t been fed properly, supplementation later in life may help.
Always check with your veterinarian before you proceed. Careless supplementation of vitamins and minerals may lead to diseases – exactly what you were trying to prevent – and veterinarians should always been consulted about a dog’s changing needs. That is, after all, why you have one and why you pay them top fees.
Switching Over to Quality Dog Food
If you can’t prepare all of your dog’s meals with fresh ingredients every night, but still want to feed him or her fresh food, consider making up a batch to last a month and freezing the portions. You will find that your dog needs to eat less fresh food than commercial, have smaller bowel movements, but remains fit and healthy nonetheless.
Cost of All Natural, Organic Feed
I know that premium, all natural foods aren’t cheap and there are times when you’re told a food is chemical free, and you pay top dollar, only to discover that it wasn’t chemical free at all. In fact it was only preservative-free, and ran rampant with other life-robbing chemicals and additives. Giving your pet cancer, heart troubles and more. If you investigate fully you will find that buying a great food in bulk is beneficial. Good dog food today results in lower veterinarian bills in the future (less sickness).
Although the cost of healthy dog food is prohibitive, when you consider that many of us feel our dog is a family member, the question arises: "Is he really?" I mean if you wouldn’t feed a lesser grade food to your grandma or your children, why would you give the comparable quality dog food to Rover?
I’m not making a judgment call here. After all, I was the one who, at the beginning of this article lost my own dog due to a low quality food. My eyes have been opened and I can no long love Kizzie, but I will honor her memory by writing to you about your dog food, your dog, and the life you have left with him or her.
Think about it anyway. Spend some time doing a little more research on the dog food you choose. If it cost you just $10 more a month, for a few years, and as a result you got two extra years with your dog – wouldn’t you spend that much more?