Many faithful dog owners tend to buy pet foods that are readily available. The ones that are low cost and familiar to us. How many times have you grabbed a bag of dog or cat food because it’s the same brand your parents used to buy? So out of habit, and sometimes lack of awareness of current pet health discoveries, we end up purchasing bags with brand names that end with “chow” and “feast” without any more thought. However, just like with fast food, substandard pet foods can be terrible for the long term health of your dog. Some of these old standby pet foods are high in carbohydrates, which are not easily processed by your pet’s metabolism. The carbs come from fillers that are added like corn, wheat, and husks of vegetables. All of which have been added to keep the cost down but the volume of the food up. Look at the list of ingredients on the pet food bag. More often than not, corn and soy are the number one ingredient in your pet’s food, with meat and or meat by product several places down the list. The higher an ingredient is in the list, the greater amount used in producing the food.
You may be thinking “So what? I mean, they’re animals, and animals are used to eating whatever they can find. I’ve seen my dog drag home worse things to eat than corn”. Ok, hopefully you’re not thinking that extreme, but it still may be an afterthought. To that point however, that mystery object that Fido or Fluffy is happily gnawing away at is the least of your pet’s health concerns. While eating roadkill may not sound like a great dinner for your pet, it’s actually far healthier for them than a lot of pet foods on your local super market shelves. The bacteria will be broken down during digestion, along with the rest of the flesh, bone, and whatever else is consumed. It’s part of their natural diet.
Pet foods with a high carb content and a slew of artificial preservatives aren’t natural, with the carbohydrates often stored away in your pet’s body as fat. Additionally, pets that are fed a diet of mainly dry pet food can actually be mildly dehydrated at all times, which can then lead to kidney problems down the road. Reason being that most dry pet foods do not have the moisture content that wet or natural diets do, and most pets do not have the thirst drive that humans do to help compensate.
But back to those pesky carbs being stored as fat…just like humans, pets are susceptible to obesity, heart, liver and kidney problems from poor diets. Indoor pets inside run a much greater risk of these health condition due to lack of physical activity. However, unlike humans, pets can’t change their eating habits, so it’s up to you to provide them with a healthy, balanced diet that is consistent with their natural food sources to help avoid costly and life threatening health conditions.
We’re not advocating you start feeding your pets a plateful of chicken and steamed veggies every night. Besides, that can be just as detrimental to their health unless you are adding in trace minerals and amino acids that would be missing. But plenty of commercial pet food stores are offering balanced and healthy raw or frozen versions that can be prepared at home. If raw or frozen seems a bit much for you, then consider purchasing human grade canned pet food. It’s more expensive than the commercial canned food but has better quality ingredients with higher processing standards.
While high grade, premium pet food can be extremely expensive, there are other options available that are far healthier than the fast food equivalent you may be feeding your pet at this very moment. Look for foods that have meat as their primary ingredient, as little filler as possible, and a high moisture content. While there is no guarantee that changing diets will prevent health issues, it will at least not be the cause of them.
No matter what you decide to make for a meal, you can always treat your pet to a healthy snack. Check out our selection of made in the USA, healthy treats for your dogs.