That's a harsh statement to make but that is exactly what I did. Every day for his first 14 months of life I fed him a bowl of commercial kibble. Wanting the very best for him I only purchased the top brands. I had every confidence these companies used top quality ingredients and did a lot of research to make sure dogs received the necessary nutrients to sustain long, healthy lives.
Then I discovered how wrong I was! One day just surfing the net I started coming across eye opening articles about what was really going into commercial dog food. There were too many to ignore and the more I read the more alarmed I became. Instead of whole chickens Kirby was eating chicken heads, beaks, feet, and intestines. Instead of choice cuts of beef Kirby was eating cow brains, tongues, disease-ridden tissue with high levels of hormones and pesticides. My stomach was turning into knots.
Manufacturers have learned to take inedible scraps, fortify them with artificial vitamins and minerals, preserve it to sit on the shelf for more than a year, and add dyes to make it attractive. Then the kibble is sprayed with a combination of animal fat, lard, and kitchen grease. Dogs love the taste of this sprayed fat which also acts as a binding agent for other flavor enhancers. No wonder there have been so many dog food recalls!
Animals rejected for human consumption are routinely used. These include 4-D rated animals which are dead, dying, or diseased, thereby not meeting human food qualifications. Mad Cow anyone? Very little goes to waste. When cattle, chickens, and other animals are taken to a slaughterhouse, the choice cuts are trimmed away from the carcass for human consumption. The remains (bones, blood, intestines, ligaments, hooves, horns, beaks) are used as the protein source for dog food.
Even more disturbing were the "pet byproducts" which it turns out are the rendered euthanized bodies of dogs and cats. That means the drugs used to euthanize are processed into the food which is then absorbed into the body of the dog eating the kibble. Trace amounts that can accumulate over years possibly contributing to cancers that develop over time. The following video actually shows the President of AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) admitting just that, even mentioning "Fluffy" by name.
Although manufacturers claim that millions of dogs can thrive on a diet consisting of nothing but commercial pet food, research and an increasing number of veterinarians say processed pet food is a source of disease or at the very least a contributing factor for a number of degenerative diseases. For example, kidney disease is listed as one of the top three killers of dogs. The extra protein and harsh ingredients of many pet foods places an overload on the kidneys. The toxic buildup leads to vomiting, loss of appetite, uremic poisoning, and death. In the last few years, large statistical studies have shown the link between processed dog food and a variety of cancers, heart disease, allergies, arthritis, obesity, and dental disease. The API (Animal Protection Institute) has conducted research on the vast majority of pet foods available on the market today and found they provide less than optimum nutrition for companion animals.
Consumers must be informed. We should know what we are feeding our beloved companions. I now make educated decisions when feeding Kirby because I want him to have a long, healthy life. I now prepare the majority of his meals in my kitchen using human grade ingredients from the grocery store utilizing extensive research to find the best nutrition to sustain his little body. I can only hope that feeding him healthy food repairs any damage his body has already sustained.
I hope you have been enlightened to what your four legged friend could be consuming. Is this information a fallacy, a big hoax? Snopes does not yet confirm any of this but I believe there is too much generated information out there to ignore. The increasing number of dog food recalls and the increasing number of pets dying from diseases gives me cause for concern.
Do you have a dog food brand you trust? Do you prepare home made meals? Maybe a combination of the two? Please share!