What you don’t know could turn out to be bad for your dog!
While most of us don’t pay a lot of attention to what we’re feeding out pets, we really shouldn’t be trusting manufacturers to label things accurately and follow regulations. There aren’t many rules about what can be used in dog food, and what you don’t know could make your dog VERY sick.
Not Fit To Eat
Did you know that many different brands of dog food could contain unpleasant substances like hair, ligaments, organs, skin, nervous tissue, and meat from diseased animals? Or that spoiled meat and the bodies of euthanized zoo animals and pets could be used?
Even the good meat that ends up in cat and dog food has undergone heavy processing, losing most of the value it once had. Ingredients like “poultry broth” and “animal meal” are far removed from the meat we imagine.
Animal meal, for instance, is what’s left after fat and meat have been processed out of a carcass. What’s left is dried and ground, resulting in a meal similar in texture to cornmeal. Broths are made up of processed carcasses from many different animal types, in just about any condition.
It’s Not Illegal!
You might think this sort of thing would be against the law. After all, there are strict rules about what can be used in human food and those laws are fairly well enforced. Unfortunately, pet food regulations are a lot looser and are rarely well enforced.
Just about anything could end up in your pet’s food, and the labels mean almost noting, even if they claim the food is balanced and healthy. Those words just indicate that the food has a particular percentage of protein, fat, and artificial minerals and vitamins.
All of us have probably heard of the recent pet food recalls created by contaminated wheat gluten from China. However, melamine isn’t the only dangerous additive that can be found in pet food. There are a lot of preservatives that aren’t allowed in human food, and which cause illnesses like cancer, kidney failure, liver failure and more.
Expensive Brands, Too
Unfortunately, it’s not just the cheap brands that are causing the problem. High end and organic foods are also poorly regulated. They might be higher quality, but there’s no good way to tell what ingredients they’re using. That can make it extremely hard to find foods that are appropriate for your dog, since even those recommended by the vet could be dangerous.
There are a number of things you can do to protect your dog. First, learn to read the label – ingredients higher on the label are in larger percentages. That means you should look for named meats instead of generic terms, broths or meals.
You can also learn about the additives and preservatives that can hurt your pets, and look for the foods with the lowest percentage of grains. There are also a number of excellent recipes out there that can help dedicated pet owners make their own foods. Just be sure to do something, since most foods are actually dangerous.