I have long felt, believed and experienced that nutrition is key to health. Garbage gets in and the result is ill health. Maybe not right away, but it will definitely add up to a toxic level and cause health problems. This is true for all living beings. No one or being lives forever, obviously, yet we want to extend the time we have and make the time we have healthy.
During my hundreds and hundreds of hours of digging into dog food research I found the most remarkable things. Some of what I found was shocking and other facts were downright disgusting. For starters, the dog food industry is totally unregulated, which means manufacturers can, and do, put whatever they want into “food.” There are documented reports of animal waste products, shredded dog carcasses, human inedible grade products, and other animal waste being put into dog food. These acts are not myths or legends unfortunately.
Ingredients in approximately 99.99% of dog foods include sugar, salt, corn, phosphates, artificial flavors and colors. It seems as if simple dog food has become a fast food dump.
Dogs are naturally carnivorous and scavengers, however, since their domestication, they have relied on human help in the field of nutrition. As we transition from fresh foods to processed foods, so do our dogs. Just like us, our dogs have now inherited human diseases like modern ones (from cancer, diabetes and skin diseases to premature death).
Veterinarian Dr. Jane Bicks has written that dogs should live between 18 and 25 years of age. This has been supported by friends of mine from other countries where dogs that eat “closer to the ground” commonly live to those ages. We are basically killing our dog with processed food.
I have to admit that I have some biases based on personal experience, health knowledge, and what I have learned. For example, there is a lot of literature on the inability of animals to assimilate fractional nutrition. What is fractional nutrition? They are vitamins and supplements. Check the grocery store or even some of the premium dog food brands and you’ll find them packed with vitamins and supplements. But that doesn’t mean they’re good!
Let me explain. The processing and extraction of “nutritional value” causes molecular differences between foods and these “vitamins”. The result is that the body does not assimilate it. Here’s a list of some of the things you lose with fractionated vitamins on top of food: compound vitamins and minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, flavonoids, carotenoids, pigments, terpenes, chlorophyll, coenzymes, covitamins, amino acids, and much more.
Animals are not designed to consume fractional nutrition. Animals are designed to consume food, not chemicals. The concept that altered nutrition meets the requirements of the body is false. This applies to all animals, not just humans.
So the movement to feed dogs raw (like the BARF diet) and pure foods is fantastic. As a dog owner, I know it can be difficult to provide and buy my dogs like humans, but they need to be healthy and live a long life.