This article is a result of numerous written letters and phone calls from concerned pet owners as to why our pets do not enjoy good health. Some of the common complaints are lack of energy, skin allergies, flea control, arthritis at an early age, vomiting, epileptic seizures, hypo activity diet, etc. etc. and the big one ...
why our dogs are dying at such an early age??
I use herbs and Homeopathy (Natural Medicine) to treat sick pets, so the thoughts I am putting on paper here are after many years of research and study and working closely with vets who share my view. eg. reprint with permission article from 'The Australian' on processed food. I wish to share some of my findings with my fellow pet owners.
No doubt you have all heard the saying, "You are what you eat." and that certainly is the case with our pets as well. What our pets ate a hundred years ago was a lot safer, cleaner and better in nutritional value than it is today.
The supermarket and the pet food manufacturers do not provide safe food for our pets despite all the clever television commercials that claim their brands are complete. The bagged and canned food billed as complete and a balanced diet, is primarily made up of rubbish, consisting mainly of beef or poultry by-products, what they really mean is, contains - feet, organs, blood, hides, hooves, beaks, feathers, etc., also containing diseased or cancerous animal tissue from cattle or poultry that have been condemned for human use. Blood soaked sawdust from slaughterhouse floors is also considered to be meat and poultry by-product.
I have personally witnessed this in progress and when I inquired with the worker what he was doing with all the blood, bone offcuts and intestines he was hosing off the floor, etc he happily said, "It is dog food, mate." It is these by-products that comprise 40% of our pets food. The other percentage of commercial dog food consists of vegetable fiber, grain and chemicals. Vegetable fiber is made up of corn husks, peanut hulls, ground up corn and what nutrition less waste it is. In many cases, it is grain or soy meal which has been condemned from human consumption because of mold, debris, odor or bacterial contamination.
Then come the chemicals which are fed to beef, poultry and farm animals. Some of these are hormones and growth induced steroids designed to bring the animals to slaughter earlier. All of these drugs remain in the flesh of the slaughtered animals and are passed on to the pet or humans that eat that flesh.
It seems with pet manufacturers that anything goes. And I wonder how many of our pets have died as a result of these slow poisons in the food. One of the most prevalent of the preservatives is 'ETHOXYQUIN'. This is used in the premium veterinary lines of dog food as a preservative. People are buying these more expensive foods thinking they are giving their pet a better food. Did you know that ethoxyquin was developed by a rubber company as a rubber hardener and as an insecticide? It is believed to cause liver and kidney disease, cancer, immune diseases and skin problems, along with hair loss, gross birth deformities and thyroid problems. Watch for this and B.H.A and B.H.T. as particular prevalent pet food hazards and more importantly avoid them.
Then come the artificial colorings and preservatives, sugar, and salt, which prevent the fat in food from going rancid, these in turn cause many pets to become addictive to certain foods. How many times have you heard a fellow dog owner say "My pet will not eat anything but ........"? Salt, just like in humans can be dangerous in large amounts, they may prompt heart disease and kidney failure which are routine pet killers today.
Sugar can comprise as much as 25% of the semi moist dog food packets and dog biscuits. Sugar and salt
become addictive, resulting in diabetes, arthritis, cataracts, allergies, overweight, tooth decay and nervousness. As humans we get sick when eating too much of such processed foods, well so do our pets. I tell you, fell pet fanciers, the connection between poor diets, early death and high rate of chronic disease can not and
should not be ignored.
Today's diseases are chronic and long term, usually involving the slow and painful of the body by breaking down the body's immune system. Diseases like cancer, kidney diseases and heart problems were rare 40 - 50 years ago, today they are the top killers of both humans and pets. Have you noticed that more and more
of our pets are manifesting human-like diseases and are dying in numbers like never before.
The pet food manufacturers are under great pressure and rightly so, to change their ways, and some are now using Vitamins such as Vit.A, E and C, instead of deadly preservatives, but still fall short of what is required for total health.
So read the label and ask questions.
To finish off this section, I can not tell you what to feed your dogs, I can only share with you some of this information and suggest.
First and foremost, the dog is a carnivore which is a flesh eater, raw meat that is. Raw meat is the central ingredient in optimal diets for both cats and dogs. Both animals are carnivores and require flesh derived protein for total health. This meat for our pets should be of human consumption quality, fed raw because cooking it, you destroy the vitamins and minerals needed for digestion.
Cooked and canned food is dead meat for our dogs and causes mucus to form in the animal's intestines, mucus being the main food for worms and parasites.
See your local butcher for good quality offcuts, chicken, rabbits, bones with meat on them are even better, bones are the secret to good health. Never feed port, it is very high in preservatives.
Chopped raw vegetables are my second ingredient, chopped up finely or lightly steamed is okay and animals learn to love them. The best are carrots, broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, peas, parsley, asparagus, and garlic to name a few. Fresh vegetables and non-citrus fruit are fine.
Get all your pups/dogs on vegetables early as possible they will love them.
Whole cooked grains are the third basic pet food ingredient. These include barley, oat bran or flakes, brown rice and corn meal. Some of these grains need to be cooked, some are okay soaked overnight in water. Cereal mixes from health food shops can be used, therefore use whole, unrefined grains. There are many other good foods we can feed our pets but time does not allow us to mention them all, so please remember by increasing quality nutrition and eliminating sugar, starch, chemicals and allergy causing foods, our pets will enjoy better
health and longer life. In summary, preservative free feeding lessens or will eliminate diseases like kidney, liver, arthritis, asthma, skin allergies, heart diseases and can reduce even hip dysplasia (which I believe is mainly due to a poor diet).
So fellow reader, I urge you to try the natural diet if you haven't already and you will know what I am saying. Make use of the vitamins and minerals and good quality seaweed and you will not only surprise yourself but also your vet.
I invite you to contact me by email or phone if you want more information, or to share your findings.Located in Australia so please consider the time of day before you call). I don't claim to know all the answers, as I said, the information I am sharing with you is after a lot of research and contact with professional people not only in Australia but the U.K. and the U.S.A. Wouldn't it be nice to have a committee researching the quality of dog food and if we got that right, there would not be a need for a lot of other research, in fact there is talk of a group forming to lobby for a better deal for our pets so stay tuned and good health to you all.
Written by John Buckley
References "Give Your Dog A Bone" Ian Billinghurst
"The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" Juilette de Bairach
"The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs & Cats" Diane Stein
"The Australian" Juilian Cribb