As pet owners, we all want the best for our furry friends. One way to ensure our dogs live a long, healthy life is by feeding them a natural diet. While commercial dog food may seem like an easy option, it can often contain harmful chemicals, preservatives, and artificial ingredients that can negatively impact our dog’s health. In this article, we will explore in more detail the impact of processed dog food on your dog’s health, the importance of a natural diet, and how to prepare a natural diet for your dog.
The Impact of Processed Dog Food on Your Dog’s Health
The Rise of Processed Dog Food
Processed dog food has been around for over a century. The first commercial dog food, called “Spratt’s Patent Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes,” was created in 1860. This product was made from a mixture of wheat, beetroot, vegetables, and meat, and it was marketed as a convenient and healthy way to feed dogs. Over time, processed dog food became increasingly popular, and by the 1950s, it had become the primary way that most people fed their dogs.
The Negative Impact of Processed Dog Food on Your Dog’s Health
Despite its convenience, processed dog food can have a negative impact on your dog’s health. Commercial dog food often contains high levels of carbohydrates, which are not suitable for dogs. These high-carbohydrate diets can cause insulin resistance, leading to obesity and other related health problems. Additionally, processed dog food may contain preservatives, artificial colours, and flavours, which can cause allergic reactions in some dogs.
Some commercial dog food brands have even been linked to pet illnesses and deaths. In 2007, a massive recall of pet food occurred due to contaminated ingredients that caused kidney failure in dogs and cats. This recall affected over 100 different pet food brands and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of pets.
A drastic drop in the life expectancy of dogs over the year
According to the book “The Forever Dog,” the life expectancy of dogs has drastically decreased over the years due to various factors, including the introduction of processed dog food. Processed dog food is often filled with low-quality ingredients and preservatives that can negatively impact a dog’s health and shorten their lifespan. Additionally, environmental factors, such as pollution and chemicals, can also contribute to a decrease in life expectancy. By feeding your dog a natural diet and minimizing their exposure to harmful environmental factors, you can help increase their life expectancy and ensure they live a healthy and happy life.
Early degeneration of your dog’s health
The low-quality ingredients used in processed dog food, such as grains, fillers, and artificial preservatives, can lead to inflammation, digestive issues, and an increased risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Additionally, processed dog food can lack essential nutrients that are necessary for maintaining good health, leading to deficiencies and weakening of the immune system. Early signs of chronic degeneration in dogs may include skin and coat issues, digestive problems, decreased energy levels, and an increased susceptibility to infections. By switching to a natural, whole food diet for your dog, you can provide them with the necessary nutrients to support their overall health and reduce the risk of chronic degenerative diseases.
Processed Dog Food Can Cause Obesity in Dogs
Obesity is a growing problem among dogs. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, over 50% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. This is due in part to the high carbohydrate content of commercial dog food. Dogs require a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, but many commercial dog foods are the opposite.
High-carbohydrate diets can cause insulin resistance, which can lead to obesity. When your dog eats a high-carbohydrate meal, their body produces insulin to help regulate their blood sugar levels. Over time, their body can become resistant to insulin, causing their blood sugar levels to remain high. This can lead to weight gain and other related health problems.
Processed Dog Food Can Cause Digestive Problems in Dogs
Many dogs experience digestive problems when eating commercial dog food. This can manifest as diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation. These digestive problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including the high carbohydrate content of commercial dog food, the artificial ingredients and preservatives, and the lack of fiber.
Dogs require a diet that is high in fiber to help regulate their digestive system. However, many commercial dog foods are low in fiber, which can lead to digestive problems. Additionally, the artificial ingredients and preservatives in commercial dog food can irritate your dog’s digestive system, causing diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Processed Dog Food Can Cause Allergic Reactions in Dogs
Some dogs may be allergic to the artificial ingredients and preservatives in commercial dog food. These allergies can manifest as skin rashes, itching, or hives. In severe cases, your dog may experience anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Many commercial dog food brands use artificial colours and flavours to make their food more appealing to dogs. These ingredients can be harmful to your dog’s health, causing allergic reactions and other related health problems. Additionally, some commercial dog food brands use low-quality ingredients that can also cause allergic reactions.
The Importance of a Natural Diet for Your Dog
What is a Natural Diet for Dogs?
A natural diet for dogs consists of whole foods, including raw meat, fruits, and vegetables, that are minimally processed or cooked. This type of diet is based on the idea that dogs have evolved to eat a diet of raw meat and plants, similar to their wild ancestors. A natural diet for dogs is also known as a raw food diet, a BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) diet, or a homemade diet.
The Benefits of a Natural Diet for Dogs
A natural diet for dogs can help improve their digestion. A diet that consists of whole foods, including raw meat, fruits, and vegetables, is easier for your dog’s digestive system to process. Additionally, a natural diet can help improve your dog’s gut health, which can lead to a stronger immune system and improved overall health.
Healthier Skin and Coat
A natural diet for dogs can also lead to healthier skin and coat. Commercial dog food often contains additives and preservatives that can cause allergic reactions and skin problems in some dogs. A natural diet, on the other hand, can provide your dog with the essential nutrients they need for healthy skin and a shiny coat.
A natural diet for dogs can help with weight management. Commercial dog food often contains high levels of carbohydrates, which can lead to obesity and related health problems. A natural diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates can help your dog maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity.
Improved Dental Health
A natural diet for dogs can also improve their dental health. Commercial dog food often contains high levels of carbohydrates, which can lead to dental problems such as tartar buildup and tooth decay. A natural diet that includes raw bones and other chew toys can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.
Better Overall Health
A natural diet for dogs can also improve their overall health. A diet that consists of whole foods, including raw meat, fruits, and vegetables, provides your dog with the essential nutrients they need for optimal health. Additionally, a natural diet can help prevent chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Preparing a Natural Diet for Your Dog
Your dog isn’t going to guide you on what’s good for it’s health, you as a pet parent need to be smart and be willing to take action for giving your dog a healthy, happy & long life. If you are interested in preparing a natural diet for your dog, it is essential to do your research and consult with your veterinarian. Some important considerations include:
A natural diet for dogs needs to be balanced to ensure your dog is getting all the essential nutrients they need for optimal health. This can be achieved by feeding a variety of whole foods, including raw meat, fruits, and vegetables.
Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli, so it is important to handle and prepare raw food safely. This includes storing raw food in the refrigerator or freezer, using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked food, and washing your hands thoroughly after handling raw food.
Some natural diets may require supplements to ensure your dog is getting all the essential nutrients they need. Talk to your veterinarian about whether your dog needs supplements and which ones are right for them.
In conclusion, processed dog food can harm your dog’s health, leading to various health problems. Preparing a natural diet consisting of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables is the best option for keeping your dog healthy and happy. Consult with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to ensure your dog’s diet meets their specific nutritional needs.