In response to the title, it’s easy to start talking about Pedigree or Cesar and their selection of products, but of course it’s deeper than that.  The strange thing is most of us don’t know much about the manufacturing process, and thus don’t know what we’re feeding our dogs.

Dogs are an omnivorous species recommended a feed made up of meat and vegetables, so surely that makes all store bought dog food perfect, right?  Unfortunately this isn’t the case.  Many brands we see on the shelves are neither healthy nor sufficient and you could be putting your best friend in danger with a whole range of negative health effects.

It’s likely that at one point or another you’ve checked the packaging of your dog’s food and noticed that the ingredients section could not be more vague.  Perhaps the underlying reason why manufacturers are hesitant to share this information in detail is because consumer rates would drop.  Would you happily feed your family pet discarded plastic, euthanized animals, toxic waste and cattle ID tags?  Sure, it’s easy to brag about the percentage of protein in each bowl, but does that have the same value when the source is dirty, infected slaughterhouse waste?  Would you use your own body as a waste disposal?  When we think about it, it’s obvious that manufacturers won’t use the finest ingredients because that wouldn’t be cost or time efficient.

While most popular dog food brands contain the above, it’s not uncommon for companies to allow chemicals to enter their products too.  Euthanized animals from shelters, zoos and veterinary clinics often end up in the product, meaning that Sodium Pentobarbital, the poison used to kill animals, is eventually fed to our pets.  This is just one example but we all know it doesn’t end here.

If this worries you but you’re thinking that you may not able to afford 100% organic, natural, unprocessed, gold-laced kibble there may be other options.  To many people’s surprise, dog’s systems are capable of digesting various forms of proteins.  Stories such as that of Bramble, a Blue Merle Border Collie who lived to the age of 27 on a diet of rice, lentils and vegetables, show us that diet affects health greatly. Dogs can survive without toxic garbage?  The story also suggests that not only do the harmful ingredients found in most store bought dog food bring health risks; it also cuts their lives short in general.  So, if you’re struggling to find replacement kibble, feeding your dog natural food wherever possible is a great start.  Examples of five star dog food can be found here, but it’s always a good idea to research the brand you regularly purchase from as you might find you have nothing to worry about.

We all love our pets and treat them as members of the family, so if researching their diet for 5 minutes means we can add years onto their lives it’s probably worth it.

(It is)