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Hound Dog Mom

DoggieDoc22 –

“One last thing, don’t buy into the marketing machine and get all hung up on ingredients. Your dog needs nutrients, not ingredients. Its protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels that are important, not corn, soy, potato, etc.”

Question, if a new meal replacement bar came onto the market for humans that contained all the essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids (synthetically added) a human needs plus adequate levels of protein, fat and carbohydrates and the main ingredients were refined grains, high fructose corn syrup and partially-hydrogenated oil would you quit eating real food and eat this for every meal? I mean it contains the necessary “nutrients”, right? Hopefully that analogy makes you understand how ridiculous your statement is.

Ingredients matter. As I told you on another thread – you can’t put ground chuck into recipe and get filet mignon in the end. Garbage is garbage. Yes, all living things need nutrients but these nutrients (or at least the majority of these nutrients) should be derived from fresh, whole, species-appropriate foods. I’ll give you some food (no pun intended) for thought.

1) Many health organizations (including the U.S. Cancer Institute and the United Kingdom Health Department) advise humans to get their nutrients from whole foods and not synthetic supplements (shouldn’t our pets do the same?). When dealing with synthetic nutrients, the chance for overdose is much higher – chance of overdose is minimal when consuming whole foods. Errors in compounding synthetic concoctions happen and pets die – for example the excess vitamin d recall. You don’t have to worry about there “accidentally” being too much vitamin d when the vitamin d source is real, whole foods.

2) You say that the inclusion of ingredients such as “corn, soy and potato” are inconsequential – what matters it the “guaranteed analysis” of the end result. So a mixture of corn, soy and potato is perfectly fine as long as the protein, fat and carbohydrate levels are where they need to be and the food is pumped up with artificial nutrients to account for the lack of nutrients in the ingredients themselves, right? Well let’s examine these ingredients that you say are fine to feed:

-Soy: contains anti-nutrients which hinder the ability of digestive enzymes needed for proper digestion; contains phytates which limit the body’s ability to absorb key nutrients such as zinc, magnesium and calcium; loaded with isoflavones that disrupt endocrine function and have been linked to infertility and breast cancer (in humans); contains goitrogens which block the synthesis of thyroid hormones; most soy is genetically modified (studies in animals have linked consumption of GMO ingredients to negative hepatic, pancreatic, renal and reproductive side effects that may alter the hematological, biochemical and immunologic parameters).
-Corn: contains lectins, has a high glycemic index, one of the most genetically modified crops (see above), highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination.
-Potatoes: also commonly genetically modified (see above), high glycemic index, contain lectins, can contain the toxin solanine.

3) Most of the low-grade foods that contain corn, soy and the like also contain animal by-products. Are animal by-products inherently bad? No – my dogs love fresh organ meat, chicken feet, beef tracheas, etc. (from animals slaughtered for human consumption) and I love allowing them to eat fresh, quality by-products. However fresh quality by-products are not what is in pet food. Many grocery store quality brands of dog food have tested positive for pentobarbital – this means that the by-products contain euthanized animals (potentially even dogs and cats). Pento is recognized as a serious danger to wildlife. Wildlife that feed on disposed euthanized animals often die of pento poisoning – so is this a safe ingredient to be feeding to our beloved pets? I think not. Also – most by-product meals, while undoubtedly high in protein, contain very low quality protein derived from feathers, beaks and the like. This protein is poorly digested and puts a strain on the animals kidneys over time (unlike high quality, digestible protein derived from fresh meat).

Your view of pet food ingredients is simplistic, to say the least. It’s necessary to look at the bigger picture, food isn’t as simple as “fat, protein and carbohydrates.”