What does your dog’s vet really know about nutrition? Chances are, very little. Over at Dogs Naturally, one vet, Dr. Andrew Jones, reveals how he learned virtually nothing about nutrition during his training to become a veterinarian. To make matters worse, he confesses that his education on pet food actually came from the food manufacturers themselves.
According to Dr. Jones, the mantra was to discourage pet owners from feeding their pets, especially dogs, raw or home prepared diets. The food manufacturers labeled these diets as unhealthy and unbalanced. But is that really the case? Dr. Jones says he’s met plenty of dog parents who feed their pooches raw or home prepared diets, and they look much healthier and have shiner coats than dogs on commercial diets.
And feeding raw doesn’t necessarily mean you are constantly preparing meals. There are many packaged options like freeze dried raw dog food and commercially available raw dog food brands that are sold frozen.
The Food Recall Scare
The food recall of 2007 was a big eye opener for many pet owners, including Dr. Jones. More than 5,600 pet food products were recalled that year, and 4,633 pets died. Why? Because of the chemicals cyanuric acid and melamine. These chemicals are known to cause kidney failure and disease in both cats and dogs.
Dr. Jones is a veterinarian that has practiced small animal medicine and surgery for nearly 20 years. See what he has to say about the newsletter he published on the recall.
In 2007, I chose to write about the pet food recall in my daily newsletter. There were some remarks that the British Columbia Veterinary Medical College (BCVMA) took exception to. These include:
- Veterinarians claim not to be influenced by the reps, but clearly they are…there are many less expensive generic versions of some pretty big name pharmaceuticals that are not being prescribed.
- Most veterinarians have ZERO training in nutrition.
- I’ve been influenced by pet food companies representatives in the past.
- I spent little time learning about pet food quality or nutrition.
- It wasn’t until my own dog died of cancer that I really started to question the quality of my ‘veterinary only’ food.
- In the midst of the pet food recall the conventional dietary mantra is: Don’t give clients home recipes!
- The best diets are the balanced commercial diets found in a bag or can…Right.
- Over 4000 dead dogs and cats, and over 15,000 sick pets as a result of “balanced” commercial pet food.
Over the last nearly 20 years of veterinary practice, I have seen thousands of dogs and spent much time thinking about disease and what is causing it. There are many reasons for the increasingly common serious dog diseases, but I believe the biggest single factor is food.
Source: Dogs Naturally Magazine
Focus on Healthy Ingredients
Dr. Jones stresses the importance of feeding your dog a healthy diet. He goes on to explain how most commercial dog foods are made with waste byproducts from human food industries. Animal fats, grains and other waste products deemed unfit for human consumption are often fed to the dogs – literally. And some of those products include intestines, udders, and possibly even animal parts that are cancerous.
Just take a look at the ingredients in most commercial dog food products. They contain things like grains, artificial preservatives, by-products, fat, fillers and a host of other questionable ingredients.
While your veterinarian is incredibly knowledgeable and can diagnose and treat a wide range of health issues in your dog, there is a good chance he or she knows very little about dog nutrition. Definitely something to think about the next time your vet “recommends” a dog food.
What Should a Concerned Owner Do?
Think about your pet’s food in the same way you do your own. Dr. Jones gives us some solid advice & recommends we think about shopping for our dog’s food in the same way we do our own.
If you are to eat a varied, balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables – those from the outside aisles – you are far more likely to be healthy and avoid disease. If you primarily eat from the inside aisles, the pop, chips, cans and bags, you are far more likely to be sick.
Our dogs are no different, yet most dogs are exclusively fed from the inside aisles; dry, unvaried, non-nutritious kibble. Feeding a natural, varied, healthy diet is one of, if not the single most important, changes that you as a pet owner can make for the long term health of your pet.
My suggestions are for you to do your own research, become knowledgeable about the basics of animal nutrition, and feed a variety of fresh, healthy foods to your dog.