Recent news about Purina – the big dog (sic) of the pet food industry being sued for killing over 4000 dogs with its toxic dog food ‘Beneful’ has raised a lot of questions about the dry, extruded and industrially processed pet food.
Pet food was not always this dry and hard. This sort of food had it’s beginnings in the World war II food scarcity where food was rationed as ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’. Of course, during the war, pet food was branded as ‘non-essential’. Previously pet food used to be wet and was sold in tin cans. Due to food scarcity, marketers thought of a clever idea to sell pet food, only it was dried. Remember that this was supposed to be only a temporary measure. But pet-owners loved it so much because they could leave the food in the bowl all day and it didn’t smell like the wet food did.
The essential thing that needed to be remembered was forgotten.
Did pets deserve dry food that was against their digestive system just because of human convenience?
Did the pets like what they ate?
Did it give them the same nutrition that they would get if they ate raw food and protein (usually what they would consume naturally)?
Did they deserve the health complications caused by humans unnecessarily injecting chemicals and additives in their food?
Well, the short answer is NO.
Just like there is a natural awareness towards organic food and clean eating for humans, it’s time to move on to a better food system for pets and more importantly food that preserves the pet’s health. Raw pet food can be cooked from scratch. There are some brands that also sell raw pet food.
What Should I Look For In My Pet Food?
The most important thing you should be looking for is food that is free from cereals, fillers, chemicals, sugars, meat meals or meat derivatives, artificial flavourings and colours.
Avoid chemicals like Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). The World Health Organization has named both BHT and BHA as suspicious cancer-causing compounds. And the State of California has now identified BHA as a possible carcinogen.
Look for these commonly added additives in your pet food Propylene glycol, Ethoxyquin, TBHQ, and Propyl gallate.
What Does A Good Raw Diet For Dogs Look Like?
-Meat and other animal products should make up at least half of your pet’s diet. Unless your dog gets regular, intense exercise, use lean meats (no more than 10 percent fat), remove skin from poultry, and cut off separable fat.
-If you choose to feed raw meaty bones it should make up one-third to one-half of the total diet.
-You can include poultry and red meat.
-You can include canned fish with bones like sardines (packed in water, not oil), jack mackerel and pink salmon. Remove bones from fish you cook yourself.
-You can feed liver, beef liver is especially nutritious. Chicken and other types of liver can be fed occasionally.
-You can feed fruits such as melon, berries, bananas, apples, pears, and papayas as training treats.
-You can feed a whole egg to dogs weighing 20 pounds. If your dog weighs less, give a smaller amount.
-Dairy products like plain yogurt and kefir are okay.
–Starchy veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes (including pumpkin), can be given to skinny and very active dogs. Quantities should be limited for overweight dogs.
-Cook broccoli and cauliflower if you’re giving them in large amounts.
-If you’re planning to give raw vegetables, it must be pureed in a food processor, blender or juicer in order to be digested properly by dogs, though whole raw veggies are not harmful and can be used as treats.
What Should You Not Feed Your Dog?
-Don’t feed raw pacific salmon, trout or related species.
-Don’t feed cooked bones.
-Don’t feed weight-bearing bones from large animals. For example don’t feed bones such as a cow’s femur to your dog because they can break teeth and it can cause digestion problems.
-Apart from ricotta and cottage cheese, don’t feed others types of cheese as they are high in fat.
-Avoid grapes and raisins, which can cause kidney failure in dogs.
-Grains can contribute to inflammation caused by allergies, arthritis, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); as well as seizures and other problems. If your dog can tolerate it then, Grains and starchy veggies should make up no more than half the diet. Good choices include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and pasta. White rice can be used to settle an upset stomach, particularly if overcooked with extra water, but its low in nutrition and should not make up a large part of the diet.
Edited by Rachelle Chandraan