Today there is a growing pushback against all the junk food that humans are eating. The negative impact of trans fats, excess sugar, and too much salt on our health can be seen in the increased levels of diabetes, cancer, and heart problems that plague modern society. But the junk food overload affects pets too. Processed, cooked, canned, and dry pet food is harmful for dogs and cats! And of our pets can’t fight back against this scourge – they need us to do that for them.
The Hidden Truths of Commercial Pet Food
Food for thought
How did we get to the point where we think that all it takes to feed our dogs and cats is the same scoop of dry kibble day every single day? This raises the question; do pet food companies have alternate motives? Does a red flag appear when we ask these questions?
- Commercial pet food has existed for only 100 years. What did pets eat in the thousands of years they were human companions and in millions of years before that?
- Does it make sense that a business that sells pet food is responsible for teaching vets about animal nutrition?
- What do they put in those crunchy kibbles? What is in those cans? Do you really understand the impacts of their ingredients?
- If processed pet food is so healthy, why are pets so sick?
- Obesity epidemic – 56% dogs and 54% cats
- Diabetes– Dogs are up 32% and cats are up 16% since 2006.
- Cancer is the #1 cause of death in dogs over the age of two years.
- ½ dogs will acquire cancer, ¼ will die from cancer.
The commercial pet food industry is still a relatively new concept in dog’s and cat’s lives
It is only in the last 100 years that mankind has replaced the majority of the Ancestral Diet with grains, sugars, highly processed foods, and low-quality ingredients; GMO corn, soy, wheat, meat-by products, animal fat and digest, preservatives, emulsifiers, and artificial flavors and colors.
1860 – The first commercial dog food came in the form of a biscuit made up of wheat meat, vegetables, and blood. An American, James Spratt was the first to patent his recipe for dog biscuits and effectively marketed the idea to America and England. Other forms of biscuits were prior to this with the intention of giving American sailors a non -perishable source of calories on long voyages.
1922 – The first canned dog food, called Ken-L-Ration was manufactured after World War I when there was an oversupply of horse meat that was considered worthless. Ken-L Ration became such a success that by the mid-1930s the owners were breeding horses just for dog food and slaughtering 50,000 of them a year. By 1941 canned dog food had a 90% share of the market, until the US entered World War II and the government started rationing tin and meat. Then dry dog food became popular again and they switched to producing dry dog food.
The majority of kibble, canned and processed foods – suffer from similar shortcomings.
In the last 60 – 70 years, it may be considered “normal” to feed dry kibble and processed pet foods to our beloved pets. Most vets would also recommend the same food with preference to one brand or another. As concerned pet owners, we take advice from pet food companies and perceive them as the main authority on nutritional advice.
Steve Brown, a renowned dog nutrition expert, raw dog food formulator, and top-selling author, concludes in his research that the three weaknesses in modern dog foods, come up short in comparison with the Canine Ancestral Diet in three major ways:
Conventional Pet Food Concerns You Need to Know About:
The majority of pet food comes from recycled human food industry by-products. These include:
- Grains that fail inspection
- Leftover restaurant grease
- Uninspected leftovers from the seafood industry
- “Rendering“ – questionable meat sources that convert animal protein into raw materials used in many popular pet food brand products. This meat is not fit for human consumption and is from these 4-D meat sources as in dead, diseased, dying, and disabled. And if that isn’t bad enough, there are also reports of “meat” being sourced from roadkill and other unthinkable sources. Even worse, some of the dead animals used in pet food are contaminated with toxic substances which aren’t all destroyed by processing; bacteria and bacterial toxins, drugs used to treat or euthanize them, mycotoxins (mold and fungi), chemical residues (pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers), GMO, and carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds from cooking food at very high temperatures.
- Carbohydrates, Corn, and Soy – Dogs and cats are meat-eaters and their natural diet is high protein and moisture, not carbs, corn, and soy. Most dry foods are loaded with carbs and starchy vegetables or grains which are very cheap but lead to health problems like obesity, high blood sugar, pancreatic stress, urinary crystals, plaque, and tartar… and the list goes on!
Many conventional pet ‘food’ brands contain 40-60% of carbohydrates including wheat as well as genetically modified corn and soy which a dog or cat is not built to digest.
Learn more about the ‘Carbohydrate Problem‘ in our Furchild Booklet.
Carbohydrates – Dogs and cats are meat-eaters and their natural diet is high protein and moisture, not carbs. Most dry foods are loaded with carbs and starchy vegetables or grains which are very cheap but lead to health problems like obesity, high blood sugar, pancreatic stress, urinary crystals, plaque, and tartar… and the list goes on!
Learn more about the ‘Carbohydrate Problem‘ in our Furchild Booklet.
- Extrusion is a process that has been used by the pet food industry for over 50 years. About 95 percent of dry pet diets are manufactured using the extrusion process. Batches of pet food ingredients are mixed and heated under high pressure, forced through a desired shape of the extruder machine.
- In the process of extrusion, the food is subjected to very high temperatures (nearly 400 C) for a short time (approximately 5 minutes. The result is a change in the physical and chemical components of the food; These include
- Loss in enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
- Produces toxic reactions including advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines
- Starch gelatinization
- Inactivation of nutritionally active factors
- Protein denaturation
As a result, your pet’s body doesn’t recognize the abnormal shape or chemical components of their proteins and their antibodies try to fight back. The result can be inflammation, vomiting, and diarrhea, allergies, and asthma in your pet.
- Preservatives, stabilisers, and additives are sprayed over kibble to replace the natural good stuff that was lost during cooking and to increase shelf life (12-18 months). The supplements are synthetic vitamins and minerals from unnatural sources that are not easy for pets to digest. “Natural” preservatives like; BHA and BHT, propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used in car antifreeze!), and ethoxyquin (commonly found in “prescription” diets). These are potentially cancer-causing agents and there is little information documenting their toxicity, safety, or long-term use in pet diets.
- Chemical additives in some pet kibbles include unhealthy preservatives like BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin to guarantee 12-month shelf life. They are all chemicals that are known for causing cancer, liver and kidney dysfunction in all test animals, and they cause destruction of red blood cells and more side-effects. They are all forbidden to use in human food.
- Artificial palatability -There are emulsifiers to bind fat and water and artificial flavourings and colourants to improve appearance and palatability.
- Degradation of all micronutrients – Long-term storage in warehouses and retail stores further depletes micronutrient content.
- Oxidation of Fats – Pet food companies add antioxidants to slow down the process of oxidation. When a food bag is opened and exposed to oxygen, overtime the antioxidants are used up (oxidized) and the fats, start turning rancid. Studies show that frequent consumption of oxidized fats may cause cancer and contribute to many chronic health problems.
- Infestation – Bugs, storage mites, mice, and other unpleasant pests thrive on dry pet food. Studies suggest that there is a relationship between allergic dogs frequently have reactions to the carcasses of storage mites. These mites may infest grains, especially used in lower quality kibble.
- Molds and Mycotoxins – Storing open bags of kibble for up to a month or more in warm, humid environments promote the growth of molds. This applies to most kitchens areas. The long-term consumption of molds’ waste products (mycotoxins) is suggested to cause cancer and other health problems in humans and animals. Dogs are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of these toxins.
- Metal Oxides – Canned food when stored over long periods of time absorbs metal and metal oxides from the can in proportions that are not healthy to eat in large amounts. Most wet pet foods stored in cans contain meat from rendering facilities. They contain no raw meat but may contain significant amounts of chemical preservatives.
- Poor Oral Health – Dry crunchy kibble promotes tartar, plaque, build-up, and tooth decay.
- Marketing gimmicks fabricated by conventional pet ‘food’ companies and false statements encouraging pet owners to only feed one type of food for an animal’s entire life damage pet health. Common sense and the principles of an ancestral diet suggest dogs and cats need a variety of species-appropriate ingredients to achieve optimal health.
- Ingredient splitting is the deceptive practice of subdividing a more abundant — yet inferior quality — ingredient into smaller portions. This dubious tactic can be used to artificially raise a meat item to a higher position on an ingredients list — and lower an inferior one. Being able to divide a dominant ingredient into smaller portions permits any pet food company to trick you into believing there’s more meat in a product than there actually is.
- Bias information – Veterinary objectivity is sorely lacking. Large pet food companies run their own studies and fund their own veterinary schools. This leads to a bias that favors conventional pet food brands and products.
- Dubious Marketing Tactics – Conventional pet ‘food’ companies sell their products at a high profit and convince owners that we are giving our animals the very best.
Dehydration – Dry food is dry and is not part of your pet’s natural diet. It forces your pet’s bodies to extract moisture from vital organs in order to digest their food. Dogs and especially cats that eat dry diets are dehydrated which can contribute to many serious health issues; urinary crystals and stones, bladder infections, FLUTD, constipation, and kidney disease. A dry food diet is even more problematic in hot and humid countries like the UAE.
Proper nutrition is vital to good health. In nature, living foods truly nourish both people and animals. If your animals are to thrive, they need the live enzymes, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and unadulterated amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that only raw food can provide.
Furchild has none of the points of concern outlined above. Our products are raw, fresh, unprocessed, additive-free, and nutrient-rich. They provide your pet with a holistic balanced diet that is as close to nature as possible. While your dog or cat may live a long life on dry kibble, why not choose an optimally healthy life for your pet?
Commercial pet foods vs. Furchild natural raw
|Component||Kibble||Canned Food||Furchild Diet|
|Fiber||Limited assortment, as added||Unlimited variety|
|Vitamins||Probably synthetic-and only those we know about||All-natural|
|Minerals||Probably non-organic sources, at least partially||Organically bound|
|Calcium & Phosphorous||Through synthetic additives that are impossible to balance||Naturally balanced|
|Chemical preservatives||Typically chemicals that are forbidden to use for humans because of too high toxicity||None|
|MSG's and other artificial flavours||"Palatability enhancers"||None|
|Other poisons||Most probably - from rendering plants: "crude protein" & "crude fat"||None|
|Natural bacteria||None-they are all killed||Yes - in great abundance|
|Digestive enzymes||Non-they are all destroyed by heating||Yes|
The true cost of feeding raw
This is true with humans and with our dogs and cats. Raw diets are a daily investment in the ongoing health of your pet. We believe that optimal nutrition is paid back to you through the savings from avoiding chronic health conditions that many pets suffer from poor diets. Most medical problems need the diagnosis and treatment of a veterinarian, but it’s surprising how many common ailments are linked to diet. Healthy, fresher, colorful whole food really can transform their lives for the better.
And it is difficult to put a price on the value of a healthy happy cat or dog. Making the choice to feed Furchild’s raw meals, bones and treats is an investment in their future and your peace of mind.