Would you put your dog on a raw dog food diet? The food industry has been heavily influenced by people moving away from small farms and villages and into towns in the last hundred years or so. People have now started relying on low quality, heavily processed, overly cooked, convenience foods. Even though these foods are not healthy they have still managed to make it into the meals of our four legged friends and as a result of this they have started experiencing the same health repercussions as humans.
Raw Dog Food Diet
It is perfectly fine to give our dogs raw meats, you can also freeze the meat for three days to avoid any salmonella worries. Did you know that a dog’s stomach contains natural enzymes to remove salmonella from their system? Here is a wonderul read on salmonella worries in a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet. If you go into the history books you will find that canines were never meant to eat cooked foods. They subsisted off live prey and fermented carrion. It’s only in the last few decades that they have been fed cooked foods. Their historical diets clearly show that they’re carnivores since their teeth, their gut and their digestive physiology support this. Dogs have powerful, hinged jaws with canines and carnassial teeth for tearing flesh and crushing bone. They don’t have the molars to grind plants or a multi chamber stomach to digest food slowly. They have a small digestive tract, a large stomach and a small cecum which prove that they need to eat large quantities of high protein foods for quick digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Raw Feeding VS Commercial Dog Foods
Why then are more than 90% of animal owners feeding their dogs a kibble diet which contains of more than 60% carbs, little moisture and very low quality protein? Much of this protein is plant based and expecting pets to be satisfied with this type of food day in and day out doesn’t really make any sense. The basic reason why kibble came into being is because of the unrealistic cost of meat at the time of the Great Depression. It was also promoted quite heavily at the end of the WWII because of its low cost, convenience and ease of distribution.
But this begs the question, if our dogs have survived off kibble for so long, is it really that bad for them?
The answer is quite clear. The pet population of today suffer from a number of chronic degenerative diseases, kidney, liver and pancreatic diseases, auto-immune diseases, etc. and cancer rates are at an all-time high as well. What people don’t understand is that apart from the substandard contents, there are quite a few different types of toxins which are introduced into the bodies of our pets through these kibble diets. Toxins like heterocyclic amines, aflatoxins, acrylamides and PBDE’s are all found in kibble.
1. Aflatoxins – Grains like corn, rice and wheat and legumes and nuts are usually contaminated by molds either before or after the harvest because of substandard growing and storage conditions. These molds are known to grow and produce potent carcinogens. What makes it worse is that they are stable and even high temperature processing is not going to harm them in any way.
2. Heterocyclic amines – Many tests have confirmed the presence of this cancer causing substance while cooking meat & fish and have also demonstrated the relation between these amines and cancer.
3. Acrylamides – This toxin has been categorized as a probably carcinogen by the WHO and the EPA. It is formed when high temperature heats are applied to vegetables. Specifically when asparagine reacts with the simple sugars from these foods.
4. PolyBrominated Diphenyl Ethers – Even though further studies may still be required to understand if there are any toxicological effects from this toxin, it is still disturbing to know that it is usually used as flame retardants. Studies suggest that this may be formed during processing as opposed to being a part of the food itself.
So you see, commercial kibble is nothing more than a dead food product. Unfortunately, many people still buy these expensive kibbles that claim to use natural or organic ingredients. But the fact still remains that even if kibble contains quality ingredients, they will still be going through a preparation process which nullifies all of its nutritional value. All you get is denatured protein and inactive enzymes.
Synthetic minerals and vitamins are sometimes used to try and add back nutritional value to kibble but even though they call their foods complete and balanced, they are far from being so. Giving our pets a raw diet is the only way to ensure they thrive and maximize their chances of a long and healthy life. As providers for these amazing companions, it is our responsibility to take care of them and ensure their immune systems remain healthy. Here is a great guide on feeding your dog a raw diet.