For a long time I’ve felt, believed and experienced that nutrition is key to health. Junk goes in and the result is poor health. Maybe not immediately but definitely it will add up to a toxic level and cause poor health. This goes for all living things. No one or being lives forever, obviously, however we want to extend the time we have and make the time we have a healthy one.
During my hundreds and hundreds of hours research in investigating dog foods I found the most remarkable things. Some of what I found was shocking and other facts were down right disgusting. For starters, the dog food industry is totally unregulated meaning that manufacturers can, and do, put whatever they want into “food”. There are documented reports of animal waste products, ground up dog carcasses, non human edible grade products, and other animal wastes put into dog foods. These acts are not myths or legends unfortunately.
Among the ingredients in about 99.99% of dog foods you find sugar, salt, corn, phosphates, artificial flavors and colorings. It appears as if the simple dog food has turned into a fast food garbage dump.
Dogs are naturally carnivores and scavengers however since their domestication they have relied on human help in the nutrition arena. As we have moved from fresh foods to processed foods so have our dogs. Just like us our dogs have now inherited human like modern diseases (from cancer, diabetes, and skin ailments to early death).
Veterinarian Dr Jane Bicks has written that dogs should be living in the range of 18-25 years old. This has been supported by friends of mine from other countries where dogs who eat “closer to the earth” commonly live to those ages. Basically we are killing our dog with processed foods.
I must admit to having certain biases based upon personal experience, knowledge about health, and what I’ve learned. For example, there is a lot of literature on the inability of animals to assimilate fractioned nutrition. What is fractionated nutrition? It is vitamins and supplements. Check the super market or even some of the premium dog food brands and you’ll find them packed with vitamins and supplements. But, that doesn’t mean they are good!
Let me explain. The processing of and extracting of “nutritional value” causes molecular differences between food and these “vitamins”. The result is that the body doesn’t assimilate it. Here are list of some of the things you loose with fractionated vitamins over foods: compound vitamins and minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, flavonoids, carotenoids, pigments, terpenes, chlorophyll, coenzymes, covitamins, amino acids and much more.
Animals aren’t designed to consume fractionated nutrition. Animals are designed to consume food not chemicals. The concept that altered nutrition fulfills the body’s requirements is false. This goes for all animals not just humans.
So, the movement toward providing dogs with raw (such as the BARF diet) and pure foods is a fantastic one. As a dog owner I know it can be rough to provide and shop for my dogs like they are humans but it is necessary for them to be healthy and live long lives.