Disturbing but I’m glad that I watched it. Pet Fooled takes a deep dive into the commercial pet food industry and features a few veterinarians who discuss the industry.
Now, it’s not 100% clear that there aren’t some alternative reasons for producing this movie that goes against the pet food industry so I view with an open mind (and maybe some skepticism), but overall I think it provides some good reasons to do a lot of research into what you are feeding your pet. It is definitely worth watching; it’s well done and engaging.
Here are some key learnings:
- Physiological Fact: Stomach Acid will Kill Bacteria in Raw Meat - Dogs have a very acidic stomach acid levels. The idea that raw food can carry bacteria that may be detrimental to a dogs' health is negated by that fact. Bacteria cannot survive in that environment. Also, think about what wolves, coyotes, and wild-dogs consume in nature. Not only do they eat raw meat, but also carrion.
- Dog Food Industry is Run by Candy Bar Companies - The same companies that heavily use sugar/sweeteners, preservatives, and fake radioactive colors are making our dogs’ food! Yep! They know how to make food addictive and low-cost.
- The Dog Food Industry has Only Been Around for 100 Years - Prior to that people fed their dogs raw food, canned meat or table scraps. During WWII the US government needed tin to make ammunition and therefore couldn’t use cans for dog food anymore. Dry kibble was then introduced as it used alternative ways to package food.
- Dry Food is Convenient - Once dry kibble was introduced it was easily the most convenient and affordable means of food. It still is. However, domestic dogs/wolves eat moist, rich foods. As do cats. Recently, dry cat food has been linked to kidney disease because of its high carbohydrate base. Raw protein may be easier to break down than dry kibble.
- 2007 Recall Killed Thousands of Dogs - In 2007 many dogs died from “tainted” food. Food imported from China was the culprit. As dogs were getting ill and dying from eating certain dry foods, the company began testing the contents of the food. A chemical called Melamine was found in dog food, and is not an ingredient that should be consumed. Poor regulation, monitoring and accountability led to far more injuries and deaths than should have ever been allowed.
- Protein Content Doesn’t Need to be Meat - The protein in dog food can come from many different sources. Wheat, gluten, meat by-products are all considered protein sources…..but they may not be what’s best for dogs' health.
- By-Product is Leftover yuckiness - When a dog food bag says chicken, beef, lamb, goat, pork by-product they are using the leftovers of the animal. Not only is it gross, but it may not be of good nutritional value.
- Packaging can be deceptive - When a dog food says “WITH” it only needs to contain a small 3% of that product. When it says “dinner” or “formula” it only needs to contain 25% of that product. When a package says beef, lamb, salmon, etc. flavor it doesn’t even have to include that meat source. The word “natural” can be put on the package even thought it has been rendered through chemical processes that are not natural. Organic can be placed on the label even if only 3% of the product is organic!!! Although many of the bags have appealing labels and keywords, the ingredients are far from what any consumer would assume the food is made from.
- Some Vets Aren’t Taught to Research Raw - It is saddening to know that the people who love dogs just as much as us are being fooled too. Students in veterinary school are taught about nutrition from “kibble” companies. Take a look at Ohio Vet school website with a direct link to Purina...
Guest speakers come in to talk to students and give out free product. Some companies even give products to vet students during their schooling. Who wouldn’t want to take free dog food as a college student? Rarely are students taught about raw food diet benefits and drawbacks.
Do your research and be smart about what products you pick for your furry loved ones. There is confusing information everywhere so take a practical approach (think simple, understandable ingredients with safe sources) to picking treats and food for your pup.