It is really outlandish to know that most of the dog-owners are barely aware of how their pet’s health is! If asked, they will always answer confidently, as to them their pet is always in the ‘pink of health’. Notwithstanding, even any short-term examinations every so often expose that a heap of our ‘four-legged friends’ aren’t actually keeping that well.
The most common signs of ill-health are now so widely spread that they get often over-looked, by assuming that it is nothing but just the natural feature of any dog, similar to wagging their tail or smelling other dogs bum!
Altogether, these problems do outbreak hugely on our four-legged friends. Nevertheless, if they have never given a second thought and these early signs are over-looked, then it can turn worse.
Health and diet – go hand-in-hand
Food is considered to be the essential factor in their proper health. Over our dog’s diet, he can fix all the necessary nutrients that are needed to build-up their tissues and maintain their cellular process running strong. But too much or too little of some of these nutrients can cause stomach upset or even worse.
From preventing in the correct manner through the old age, it is the diet more than any other factor that will determine the quality and span and health of our dog’s life. But the tough-to-believe fact is that nowadays most complete food are failing our dog’s health.
Most of us are aware of what our dogs prefer eating – juicy bones and luscious meat. It is as well known to us that they enjoy binging on fruits, veggies, herbs and so along. Agreeing to the Nutritionists, it is a ‘healthy and natural’ diet.
And, we also are aware of those food items that can cause a health issue. Excessive salt, sugar or fat and artificial additives are also harmful to our dogs, as they are from us!
In malice of all these facts, if we get a sneak-peek at almost any well-known dog food brand, we can find a chock-o-block ingredients list, comprising of unhealthy ones and with no similarity to the ‘healthy and natural diet’.
Pets & Profits?
The big question is that why would any good company prepare sub-standard dog food. And, the answer is, simply, for money! Making profit out of dog food, notwithstanding their health, is the first concern of these companies. Instead of using good ingredients like meat and whole fruit and vegetables, they rely upon using the cheapest ingredients and fillers. Knowing the very fact that these ingredients are neither useful nor tasty to the dogs, they continue with manufacturing cheap protein supplements, vitamins, and mineral mixes, in order to make up for the lack of nutrients and sugars, salts and fats to as a substitute for the lack of taste. To make it appealing to us owners, artificial colors are used (it is certainly not for the dogs as they are color blind) and chemical preservatives are added on to cater for its long shelf-life.
The end effect is the ‘fast selling’ factor of the product and to restrain the dogs alive!
Wheat, for instance, is the most commonly used filler in the cheap quality dog foods. But, it is a long known fact that dogs have a relatively high rate of Gluten intolerance. It is also known to the manufacturers that a lot of dog owners do not like ‘wheat’ written on the labels. And then instead they write ‘cereals’, ‘grains’ or even ‘derivatives of vegetable origin’.
Dogs require a sufficient amount of protein and that comes from meat. But plant sources, like maize protein, pea protein and soya stand out, to be a lot cheaper. Regrettably, they are much tougher to digest and causes dietary intolerance. But this never stops the manufacturers from producing these products while using plant proteins in place of real meat.
The widespread use of artificial additives in low-grade pet foods is the worst. Some of us might not be aware that the wide-spread usage of common colorings causes behavioral issues and several artificial preservatives have been named as the potential root cause of Cancer.
Basically, with every mouthful of food, our dog is consuming more and more amount of Toxins and thus the health issues take place. But sadly enough, they are not the end of the story. Many Nutritionists believe that these signs are just the initial ones, and as the months pass by, the flow of Toxins increases, while troubling their bodies with chronic health problems, Diabetes, and even Cancer.
Nutrition – both problem and the remedy
But every problem has a solution. Cure is always there. Getting our dog’s diet right, by shifting to better quality food, is always recommended. We can then give our four-legged friend a new lease of life.
Feeding ‘better’ dog does not necessarily have to break the bank either. By giving less fillers and nutrients per gram, we actually have to feed them less of good food than of a low-grade one. Sometimes, as much as half!
Whole vs. Balancing
Whole Dog food
In recent times, whole Dog food is by far the most popular amongst us, dog owners. They are now available in many forms, including dry, wet and raw. Food must contain all the nutrients in sufficient amount, in order to be legally labelled as ‘whole’. It thus keeps the dog healthy, meaning that it should not be harmful to feed it alone and for an extended time.
In the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF), we can find out the nutritional guidelines for complete pet food. In meet FIEDIAF’s nutrient levels, the majority of complete foods incorporate a broad range of added Vitamins and Minerals.
Balancing Dog food
Balancing dog food is generally in the wet or raw form. They do not contain the whole range or the correct amount of nutrition, which are required to keep our dog fully fit and healthy. Hence, other than ‘whole’ food, home-cooked food or dog-biscuits, ‘balancing’ food have to be fed.
Start for the right option!
For years, well-known pet food manufacturers have been the perfectionist in the art of curbing the cost of making their products. As a consequence, our four-legged friends are on the brink of paying the toll. Only then, with a simple switch-over to the better and nutritive food, we can readjust the balance while proving our dogs with exactly what they need to develop well as nature meant.