Dry dog food is a 35 billion dollar industry in just the US alone. Much of that profit is reinvested into enticing packaging designs, convincing marketing tactics, and deceiving labels.. Pet food stores are stocked to the brim with low quality dry dog food - consisting of mostly filler ingredients like corn meal and corn gluten.
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Due to minimal regulation, nutrition labels are often manipulated by using the “wet weight” of a key ingredient like, say, salmon. Roughly 70% of the salmon’s wet weight is water. A manufacturer can easily compare it to the dry weight of the other ingredients, allowing salmon to be the first ingredient on the label. However after dehydration, it wouldn't make it to the top 5.
This is one of several issues surrounding the dog food industry.
And what about Grain-Free? In June 2019, the FDA put out a market disrupting report linking popular grain-free dog foods to Dilated Cardiomyopathy, an enlarging of the primary chamber of the heart. It is believed that the carbohydrate sourced used instead of grains, specifically potatoes and legumes, block the absorption of taurine, an essential amino acid found naturally in meat, fish and dairy. Over a lifetime, a lack of taurine leads to this heart condition. Many boutique vegan diets are linked to dilated cardiomyopathy for the same reasons, and are also addressed by the FDA.
Many believe a Raw diet is far superior; however it's not without its own concerns. Feeding a raw diet requires you, the owner, to gather the ingredients and prepare each meal. Inadequate research and understanding of a dog’s nutritional needs often leads to an unbalanced diet that may damage the health of the dog if given for an extended period. A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association, found that bacterial contamination is common in commercially available raw meat diets, suggesting that there is a risk of foodborne illness in dogs fed these diets as well possible risk for humans associated with the dogs or their environments. If you choose to go the raw route, I recommend using a company, like the company We Feed Raw, that will ship balanced raw meals formulated specifically for your dog, right to your house.
It’s now that you're probably wondering, what can I feed my dog?!
We’ve compiled a list of 10 dry dog foods available right now on Chewy.com, that we believe are fantastic choices for the health and longevity of your dog. Not only have we broken them down into adult, puppy, grain-free, and grain-inclusive. We’ve covered the entire spectrum of cost, so there’s something for every family!
Check out our list: www.PawsomeUniversity.com/Food.
This is a transcript from the Pawsome University Podcast Small Bite Episode 3.
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Strohmeyer, R. Journal of the American Veterinary Association, Feb. 15, 2006; vol 228: pp 537-542 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16478425/