The Pet food industry is a multi-million business enterprise. This is not surprising considering the large number of pet owners worldwide spending some money for their pets’ food. Recent surveys in the US have shown that around 72 million American households own pets, in which more than 50% of them are dogs. In 2011 alone, sales for pet food in the US are estimated to be around $20 billion.
While a lot of dog owners depend on different kinds of commercial dog food products for the nutritional well-being of their dogs, this practice may not at all be healthy to dogs. In fact, independent research groups have claimed that many commercial dog foods manufacturers misrepresent the quality of their products just to earn more profits from unsuspecting consumers.
Myterious meat ingredients
All the media hype and clever marketing ploys that tell people about the healthy proteins that are included in dog foods are all but complete lies. Meat by-products, which are the main ingredients of these dog foods, are actually all left-over parts of animal livestock that contain very little meat, if any.
These animal parts include the head, feet, intestines, and other internal organs like lungs, spleen and kidneys- all of which are not fit for human and pet consumption. Normally, these “meat by-products” should have gone into the dumps. Instead, they are being processed into something that becomes really profitable. These substandard “meat ingredients” then become dog food that the media would call as “a healthy source of protein for pets.” Imagine that.
And if that is not all, dog food manufacturers try to look for the cheapest source of meat they could find. They don’t really care where they get the meat that they use for their products. This means that even livestock that are classified as 4Ds (diseased, dying, disabled, and dead) and shoud have been disposed right away are also being included in the manufacturing processes. Aside from that, zoo animals, roadkills, and euthanized pets are also not spared. Any dog owner, in his right mind, should know that this isn’t just right. Would you feed your dog a dog food that contains, among many other things, dog meat?
The Truth About the Pet Food Industry
While manufacturers may argue that pet meat is healthy for pet consumption, again this is not entirely true. Aside from being inhumane, this practice is actually unhealthy to any pet that would end up consuming the pet food. Why? Pets, when euthanized, are injected with special kind of chemicals to give them quick and “humane” deaths. However, the chemical called sodium pentobarbital could survive no matter how long the meat is processed.
In other words, the same chemical that is used to kill pets could end up in dog food products and could be eaten by other pet dogs. The chemical content might be too miniscule to kill the pet right away, but when the dog food is taken in huge amounts regularly, it could have really significant impact in the overall health and lifespan of the pet.
Dog food recalls
In 2007, a massive recall of pet food products that include many brands of dog food was implemented. Initially, the recall only covered Chinese brands of wet pet food due to complaints of renal failure. The supplier, Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Company of China, exported their product that contains wheat gluten contaminated with melamine to the US. Melamine is a toxic chemical industrial agent, which could be fatal to both humans and animals.
Apparently, melamine was added to the formulation of the pet food in order to “increase” its protein content. Soon after that, news broke out and media outlets have uncovered many cases of deaths and sickness apparently caused by other brands of pet foods as well. This has resulted to a voluntary recall of products from several dog food manufacturers.
The investigation that followed this entire ruckus has shown some very disturbing results: 100 out of 500 pets that developed renal failure actually ended up dying. Furthermore, one online database has claimed 3,500 dog food related deaths as of April of that year. The US FDA also estimated more than 8000 deaths associated with contaminated pet food products.
However, due to a lack of a centralized database to monitor incidents like this, only 14 deaths could be confirmed. Because of this, the extent of the pet deaths can only be speculated. The absence of proactive measures from the government to uncover the whole truth only helps fuel the stand of many pet organizations that there seems to be a wide cover-up from all levels of government.
Natural food is best for dogs
If these so-called protein rich dog food products are not actually healthy for dogs, what food can dog owners feed their pets then? The answer to that question is simple- just go for something natural. It might not be as easy and convenient as opening a can of dog food, but it will prove to be beneficial to dogs in the long run.
Unlike commercial dog food products, natural dog food whether homemade or bought, are free from harmful chemicals and preservatives. Also, it helps to keep your mind off any worries, knowing that you are feeding your dogs something not gross, like a meat from other pets.
When it comes to feeding our pets we need to be educated about what our animals ingest. Unfortunately many industries such as the pharmaceutical and pet food industries are more concerned with greed then the actual safety of the sentient creatures that can get sick or die from the products they sell. Fortunately information is available to help you protect your loved ones including your 4 footed canine friends. Now you don’t have to be fooled by the commercial dog food industry.
Commercial Dog Food Industry