The Dog Food Industry and the Dog That Come Back From the Veterinarian
Dog food is pet food specifically designed and meant for consumption by canines and other domesticated animals. Dogs are typically regarded as carnivores with a purely meat-oriented bent. They also have 10 genetic genes which are responsible for glucose and starch digestion, better adapted for the consumption of animal-based foods than of plant materials, yet possess five genes which are primarily responsible for amino acid metabolism and protein utilization. The remaining two (Protein and Lipids) are directed towards specific functions in the dog’s body.
Commercial dog foods are a big business. With more than 150 million dogs as of today, dog food companies are literally billions of dollars in revenue annually. Owners and dog breeders are highly consulted in terms of what best to feed their canines, in line with the needs and tastes of their own canine friends. Although commercially processed dog food may seem better for our pets in the short term, what we fail to consider is that what may be a convenient and readily available product (dog food) can also be the source of potentially serious toxins and harmful chemicals that contribute to numerous health problems later on.
For example, bovine insulin-like growth factor or Boki is a highly processed commercial dog food ingredient that may actually cause certain types of cancers. Another common dog food additive is BHA, which is often called fatty acid. It’s supposed to be an immune system booster and helps keep your dog healthier. Recent studies however, have shown it to have negative health implications, such as depression, liver and kidney disease, and arthritis.
Many commercial dog foods contain high levels of sodium, sugar, and fat. These ingredients are necessary to give your pet that salty, sweet, or creamy taste. However, research has shown that excessive sodium and sugar consumption may play a role in hyperactivity, poor digestion, and ulcers. Fatty acids found in many dog foods may contribute to the development of coat and skin problems, urinary tract infections, heart disease, and diabetes. And the cholesterol in dog food may play a role in clogged arteries and heart attack.
The dog food industry boasts how their food products are natural and premium. In reality, most commercial dog foods are highly processed, chemical-laden, and laden with harmful additives. Processed foods are usually made by severely limiting the nutrients found in the meat. Animals are usually fed huge amounts of grains, which are useless and are almost sure fire causes of weight gain and related health problems. The chemical-laden preservatives commonly used by the dog food industry contribute to immune disorders, allergies, and disease.
Most people know that commercial dog food contains inappropriate levels of minerals, vitamins, and fat. But few people realize that the dog food industry heavily depends on corn and wheat as sources for filler. Corn is highly profitable because it’s cheap to grow and is widely available. Wheat is even more profitable, since it’s necessary for manufacturing chocolate, brie, and tuna. A diet high in grains and carbohydrates, especially animal-derived products such as meat meal, dairy products, and sugar are highly problematic for dogs with diabetes, kidney, and heart problems.
Unfortunately, this is not the only problem with the dog food industry. The pet dog has also become a victim of profit-driven marketing strategies. The dog food industry depends on animal fats to give us that moist, smoky taste, while promoting fast weight gain. And we have yet to hear one humane cry from the dog who suffers the consequences of these unhealthy diets.
To sum up, dog food manufacturers want to take your money, but they have no intention of producing healthy dog food. Their product is high in calories and low in quality ingredients. They want to keep their profits and use any excuse to do so. If you choose to feed your dog commercial kibble, make sure you opt for a well-known brand with a reputation for using quality meats and vegetables, and make sure to read the labels of each food product to avoid purchasing an unhealthy product.