Does your Dog’s Food Really Keep them Healthy?
In the modern age, we all try to make healthy choices. With all that we know about heart disease, cancer and so much more, we’re inspired to buy premium, organic groceries and closely monitor what is entering our body.
But is the same true for our dogs? We all love our pets and only want the best for them. So when we stroll through the food aisles of our local pet store, we think that reaching for the more expensive dog food on the top shelf that boasts it contains “premium” ingredients will keep our pet perfectly healthy for years to come. Higher price should mean high quality, and we trust these signs that claim natural ingredients and show pictures of happy, healthy dogs.
The truth is, what we feed our dogs is a bit more complicated than that. These dog food brands, no matter their price, commonly contain ingredients proven to not benefit our loyal companions, and sometimes even harm them.
It can be overwhelming to read the labels and understand what each product is and which to avoid, so let’s break a few common offenders down.
Common questionable ingredients:
Butylated hydroxyanisole, also known as BHA, is used as a preservative in human food, animal food, rubber, cosmetics, and petroleum. As you can assume for something that is used in both food and petroleum, it is not an ideal ingredient. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services says it is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”, a cancer causing agent. BHA in a diet has also been noted to cause certain types of tumors in laboratory animals. BHA provides no health benefit to your pet and is only used to preserve the shelf life of the food in stores.
- Meat and meat-meal
Dogs are carnivores. For any food, the first ingredient should ideally be meat, as it should comprise the majority of your dog’s diet. If an ingredient list says “meat meal” or “meat”, your pet is getting the worst meat possible. It’s a purposely vague term, as it’s a gamble as to what it is. It’s usually leftovers that could be from a diseased animal, expired meat, compromised meat, etc. It’s heated to remove pathogens, but it also removes the few nutrients it has that your dog needs. In the end, it just becomes a filler for the food that can raise the protein content, but not offer any actual usable protein.
- Animal by-product
Similar to meat and meat-meal, animal by-product is essentially everything that is left of an animal carcass once the meat and bones have been removed. This is basically leftovers from a slaughterhouse and can include things like feet, beaks, feathers, hair, hide, tumors and more. Dogs can have trouble digesting these things and provide no nutritional value. These are not proper sources of meat and you should focus on a diet that again has meat as the first ingredient.
- White Flour
White flour is a simple carbohydrate that has basically all nutrition stripped from it. Similar to processed foods for humans, it causes a spike then drop in blood sugar after consumption. This causes your dog to become hungry again soon after eating. This is very similar to sugars in human food, and can lead to obesity and diabetes in our beloved pets.That isn’t to say that good dog foods don’t exist. They certainly do, and they provide a good foundation for our beloved pets. But just as humans use vitamins to supplement their daily intake, so can our dogs.
- Sodium Hexametaphosphate
You’ll find this ingredient in many dog foods and treats that boost dental health as a benefit. This long-winded ingredient is meant to reduce tartar and plaque buildup, which sounds great! Dental disease is a big problem in dogs, but is this the best way to help prevent it?
Probably not. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet for sodium hexametaphosphate, it has the potential risks of “pale and swollen kidneys, increased kidney weights, bone calcification, muscle fiber size changes, hyperplasia and severe skin irritation.” While it may inadvertently help diminish plaque, it is mainly used just to help keep the food and treat bonded together, as a preservative basically, just like many other bad ingredients.
Brushing your dogs’ teeth with a natural toothpaste still seems to be a better route for the time-being.
So how can I help my dog?
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to feed your dog food that has ingredients that are safe for human consumption. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, it may not be the best choice for your pet.
That’s why Buddy Custard is a great choice for an addition to your pets’ life. Good dog foods provide a foundation for our canine friend, but Buddy Custard is a petraceutical, a health product that helps boost these good ingredients so our dogs can live long, happy, healthy lives. It’s not a fad diet, it’s not filled with hard to pronounce ingredients and fillers, it’s simply a supplement to help your pup thrive.
As a supplement, it includes only four simple ingredients: cottage cheese, flaxseed oil, stevia and peanut butter flavoring. Flaxseed is full of fiber, can produce antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects and has been noted in research to help lower risks of certain cancers in animals. These natural, immune boosting ingredients give your pooch a boost in the areas their food may be lacking!
Cottage cheese is fermented, which means it contains very little lactose and is safe for dog digestion. It is very rich in calcium and protein and can aid a dog with stomach illnesses. Our peanut butter flavoring is free of xylitol, which is very harmful for dogs. Stevia is a completely natural sugar and is 100% safe for our pups to enjoy.
Put all of these ingredients together and you have Buddy Custard, an immune-boosting agent for your pups’ system! But no health product can undo a bad diet, just like in humans, so be sure to research your dog food’s ingredients and consult your veterinarian if you’re considering a diet change.