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The Commercial Dog Food Controversy

Jul 14, 2008
Can you trust your veterinarian for advice about which food to feed your dog. Unfortunately, vets are often placed in a compromising position because they are not necessarily experts on dog nutrition because many veterinary colleges list animal nutrition as optional course. Also, some vets make a profit from selling commercial pet foods themselves. Often, the relationship between dog food companies and veterinarians is more about business than about pet health.

In the light of recent dog food recalls many are asking what is the best diet for their dogs. This is a relatively new problem that has been developing for the past 100 years or so. Before that, dogs lived fairly healthy lives for thousands of years by eating the scraps and leftovers from their owner's dinner tables. It is now argued that many of the problems found in our dogs these days are a result of the commercial dog foods that consist of poor quality meats, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients that dogs have not evolved the ability to digest. These same people point out that commercial dog foods also lack nutritional sufficiency.

Another potential difficulty with commercial pet food is the pesticides, molds and antibiotics that can be found in the ingredients. In the 1990s there were 2 major dog food recalls of dry dog food by manufacturers because of fungal toxins that were contained within the grain used as a main ingredient. The second of the 2 contaminations resulted in the death of more than 20 dogs. In 2007, commercial dog food manufacturers recalled over 140 brands of dog food across America alone because of Melamine contamination. This contamination resulted in literally thousands of reports of dogs and cats suffering kidney failure and death after ingesting the these products.

It's true that the FDA does have legal over site of dog food manufacturing and attempts to maintain a quality product, but the loopholes that currently exist are enormous (I guess because dogs don't have any money to start a lobby group). One example of this is the fact that some commercial dog food companies are permitted to label their products as "No Preservatives Added." But what they don't tell you is that these companies get the meat and meat by-products from slaughterhouses and other sources that add preservatives before they ship their ingredients to the manufacturers. However, since the dog food manufactures don't actually add any preservatives themselves, they're allowed to use this misleading label.

Some have pointed out that several dog manufactures use a wide range of diseased, dead or dying animals in their dog food mix. Other websites have pointed out that their investigations show that you will even find recently euthanized dogs and cats in some of the cheaper dog food products. Also, most of the so-called nutrition that may have been present is often destroyed by the cooking processes itself.
Is it any wonder why so many caring dog owners have started using homemade recipes to make their own dog food.

If you do decide to continue feeding your dog commercial dog food, you can still make a positive nutritional change by adding in some real food every now and then. The more fresh foods you can add, the better the nutritional benefit will be for your dog.
About the Author
Garry Neale is and avid dog enthusiast and creator of the popular e-book, " The Dog Lovers Guide ", a FREE dog owners handbook you can download at no cost from his Dog Lover Website .
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