I have decided to set up several pages under this heading, “Thoughts and Information on Dog Food and Feeding Your Dog” for those of my puppy buyers and visitors to my website who may be interested in learning, first, why we are told, adamantly, that we are never to feed our dogs table scraps or any human food, secondly, how to read the very confusing dog food label, and thirdly, what we could and should feed them. Bear in mind that this is just my opinions, my thoughts, and I am no where near a scientist or researcher. Just an animal lover who happens to have a bunch of dogs and cats, etc., that I would like to take good care of.
So, I am going to pull together some research that I have found, all very interesting reads, and share them with you, my blog readers. I have personal preferences, which tend more towards the “why am I feeding my dog this nasty, dry kibble!?” and “what can I feed my dogs so that I may maintain their health but am not limited to the commercial choices, and their very high prices?” But I will pull together articles of interest to kibble fanciers, raw food fanciers, and those, who like me, just want to feed their dogs well and like to think outside of the mainstream “box.”
So, I will start where it all, well, started. With the history of commercial dog food. That is actually a very interesting trip. I read on one website that the first actual dog biscuit was made up in the late 1700s, and one fellow in the 1800s was the first to take that idea, himself inspired by sailor’s hard tack,
Then I will move on to how to read a dog food label. I think this is very important, as the manufacturers are very, hmm, tricky, about how they word it and how they can make is sound like their food is hands down the best. Remember, when pet food manufacturers develop and sell and introduce kibble, canned foods, treats or anything else, they are marketing to the person buying the food, not the animal eating it. They will put pictures on their labels that make the food look good enough for you and me to eat, as they know that if they put pictures of what really goes into most of the food, no one would buy it. As more awareness grows concerning the quality of ingredients in pet food, there has been more of a shift, kinda, of better quality ingredients. But they will still try to get away with the least amount they can to save themselves money. Which brings up this question, is there really a good reason for the so-called “natural” and “organic” food that is all the rage to cost so much more than “regular” dog food that it becomes almost an upper middle class or elite choice? For those with a half way decent wage and only one dog, maybe two small ones, this food can be fit into the budget. But if you happen to have a large dog or two, or more than 3 or 4, then it becomes too expensive and the owner is forced to buy food that may not be the same quality. Question is, is the “organic” or “natural” food really, honestly better than the higher quality store brands? How many have been recalled? Most brands seem to have some kind of recall on them at some time. Some don’t, but it is hard to learn which ones and keep track of them. Keep in mind that the pet food industry is huge, a billion dollar industry, and if those manufacturers can influence your buying habits, they will do whatever they can to get the customers to buy their food.
And last, I will attempt to share with you what I have found on feeding my dogs correctly, as best I can. That is almost as difficult as feeding myself correctly, as each “camp” has their own ideas, and sometimes agendas. Some legitimately want to share quality information, that is balanced, while other companies or websites, etc., create more biased information. From the “only kibble” to the other extreme of “only raw,” I will wend my way through the hazard zones and hopefully find useful and intelligent articles.
I welcome anyone who has other opinions on dog food to place a post on this part of my blog page. As my goal is to have this an educational group of pages, I would enjoy hearing other people’s experiences, so that I may learn and my readers may also learn, especially first hand knowledge. I wonder if there is any way to find out if there is any relation between health issues such as cancers, epilepsy and diabetes and the food that we feed our dogs?