Pets now take a high priority within the family spectrum. In most cases, dog owners spend more money on their four-legged friends’ food and health care than they do on their own! Much of this money ends up in the pockets of the dog food producers and veterinarians who are paid to treat allergies and immune diseases which are often caused by poor pet food choices by owners.
In addition to the drug therapy, special foods are often recommended to alleviate issues. These specialty foods with their claimed ‘cures’, often mean the dog owner having to reach further into their pockets without any guarantee their four-legged friends will feel better.
So, it begs the question, in the 21st century, are dogs generally less healthy?
Feeding your Dog is easier than Ever!
Rarely has it ever been so easy to feed a dog as it is today.
An owner simply opens a can or removes the appropriate portion from a sack of dry food and that’s it! Meal complete! Even the quantity of food to give your dog is simple and understandable. Manufactures tend to spell it out on their packaging relating to the weight and physical capacity of your animal.
However, it has been claimed that some feeds ensure good growth in puppies, some increase the activity levels and fitness of dogs and others suggest a stable health and a long life for our four-legged friends! But, how do the producers come to such conclusions?
The production of ready-made dog food is a billion-dollar business and manufactures are hungry to earn more and more each year.
There is a common misconception that higher prices promise a higher quality feed.
However, this isn’t always the case. For an 800-gram can of dog food, the buyer pays about between 70p and £6 compared to 20kg of dry dog food which is available for an average of £40. For these prices, beef, lamb or chicken or typically not available but for manufactures to continue gathering custom, they add various additives into their feeds.
Truth about Dry Dog Food
The dry food is attributed to various positive properties. For example, some producers promise healthy teeth due to the mechanical friction of the food chunks to eliminate plaque, however this is a myth. Dry dog food is also advertised as extremely compatible with all breeds and types of dogs. However, this isn’t always the case.
Dry food also seems to be easier for the owner to feed. Feeding your dog dry food is as simple as opening the bag and giving the food. However, surely your pets health is more important than the quickness and easy nature of the feeding process?
It is important to note that just because your four-legged friend doesn’t experience diarrhoea with dry food doesn’t mean they are healthy.
Dry dog food is created by removing moisture from the food components. Added substances such as corn, wheat, rice gluten and sugar beet pulp can bind moisture. If they pass through the gut during digestion, they absorb water.
As a result, the faeces appear drier than it is. Dry food is therefore by no means healthier than wet food. It rather prevents the organism from excreting pollutants as quickly as possible.
For more information on dry food, see our report on the myths of dry food for your dog.