Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I am still learning about dog food
I am still learning about dog food. Yes, I was a dog food virgin...I knew very little about dog nutrition and all that technical stuff. When the dog food recall of 2007 hit, I wasn't as shocked as I should have been, based on what I didn't know. What I did know is that even our food isn't as safe as it used to be. Too bad anyone (anything) had to die because of unsafe practices by OTHER PEOPLE!
I am still learning about dog food. There are so many products on the market today. How does the average consumer buy something good for his/her dog? The first thing to learn is that all dog foods are not the same. Just because it has a "pretty" name doesn't mean it's at all healthy for your dog. One of the most popular major chain-store dog foods with the beautiful packaging and healthy-sounding name is actually one of the worst foods on the market. I would never have known if I had not read a label.
I am still learning about dog food. Dogs are classified as herbivores...they eat meat and grasses. (Cats = carnivores...that's an easy one.) But, dogs' systems don't always like corn, wheat, or soy. They can have allergic reactions to these ingredients. Many companies put these ingredients in their dog foods as filler...it's a way to give the consumer more "bang for the buck." One of the biggest culprits is a well-respected "prescription" dog food. They put these fillers in their food and then a trusted pet professional (i.e. vet) sells the food. Then the dog has an allergic reaction and the dog has to go back to said professional for treatment. Thus, the vicious cycle begins. Don't get the wrong, those "trusted professionals" aren't in the scheme directly, but it helps that said company donates a lot of money to certain schools...
I am still learning about dog food. Can I tell you if kibble is better than canned, raw better than cooked? At this point, I can suggest what I know and go on. If a dog has an allergy, but it isn't known to what, we narrow focus and take out foods that may cause the allergy and see what happens. I care about what we put into our animals, just as I care what we put into our own bodies. I can only imagine what kind of damage we may be doing...to us and to our pets.
I'm preparing to get certified in pet nutrition. I hope it helps. I'm actually looking forward to it. I want to know so I can pass that information along to customers, friends, and family...yes, even an old-school family of dog showers who only knew that they needed a high-protein dog food. We've come a long way, baby.