As a kid growing up in a family full of dogs, I remember the old days when mom and pop used to feed our dogs any type of table scraps that we had from our meals; not acknowledging any degree of dog health. And sometimes, the dogs would all have their meals prepared ahead of time. We ate all types of food and back in those days so did our animals, except for one major difference of today’s house pets – they didn’t eat a bite of commercial dog food.
Interestingly enough, three out of the four dogs we owned lived to the age of 18 and 19 years of age, with one dog reaching 21 years of age. And the only reason why the fourth did not hit these high numbers was because of bone cancer. Now our experience with these dogs does not negate any type of nutritional value that commercial dog food may provide, especially considering the leap in information and nutritional research that we have today, but it is a little ironic that standard human food did so well just a few years back.
Pet Food Advertising Has Brainwashed Us
A lot has changed over the past 20 or 30 years. Most dog owners feel that feeding their pets commercial dog food makes the most sense. They believe that high quality dog food sold in stores is not only the most convenient way to feed their animals, but it also is thought to give their dogs and puppies the best nutritional value offered, even better than human food. They believe that this decision is the right thing to do.
You hear this sort of thing over and over again whenever a discussion takes place about dog food and dog health. Just the other day I was discussing some dog tricks with my neighbor and the subject switched to what we fed our dogs. One comment that he made which is quite redundant is that “I feed my dog ‘dog food’ because it’s for dogs. Why would I feed him human food?” My neighbor goes on to display his sense of knowledge about nutrition for dogs by insisting that my way of feeding Charlie (my dog) table scraps was cheating him of the proper foods he needs for energy and growth.
Processed Food is still Processed Food
I realized that there was little chance of me convincing my neighbor of his falsely believed notions about proper nutrition and his dogs. Try convincing one of these people that a dog and a human both need similar nutritional foods. It’s not that easy. However, I did get across one point in which he understood and that was about processed food.
No matter how you look at it, or what you believe a dog should eat as opposed to humans, processed food is still processed food! This stuff is manufactured, which means it goes through various steps of processing, preservatives, and other additives before it hits the can and is packaged. Every step that is taken to get this food to the store shelves reduces its quality and nullifies most of its nutritional value, degrading proper dog health.