Several years ago, I had a dog die at age 10 of liver cancer. I thought this was odd and began a half hearted research on the food I had been feeding her. When I actually looked at the ingredients I was shocked to see multiple chemicals and dyes in it. No wonder her 10th birthday was her last.
Well, many years later I was forced to revisit this subject when I recieved a call from my vet. She reported that my dog, who had recently had normal yearly bloods drawn and a health check-up was now sick. Her liver enzymes were elevated. The vet was convinced my dog Lexy (a 10lb Shitzu) had allergies. This helped to finally explain what had been going on for months with occasional vomiting, chewing of the paws, dry fur, itching ears and constant licking. Many days she just acted like she did not feel well.
It was decided Lexy had to go on a hypoallergenic dog food. The difference with this food and other food besides major cost is they process this food separately so there is no cross contamination with other foods. There are only a few companies who actually do this. We started both of my Shitzus on Royal Canin. I had to try several different varieties of their canned food because they would not even taste it. That should have been my first clue! I finally found a can of venison and potato they would sort of taste. So I bought a case of it along with a bag of the same food but in dry. It cost me around 150.00! This is what I would be spending every 5 weeks.
What happened next is what lead me to begin months of searching and investigating. When I would open a can of this food, the majority of the time my 2 little dogs would walk over, sit down and just look at the food. Every few days they would eat approxamately half and walk away almost sad. They were losing weight and visibly getting depressed. What was so horrible about this food? It smelled okay , as dog food goes. I began looking at the ingredients. I no longer have a can to read you the ingredients but the first 3 ingredients were potatoes, soybean and oil I believe. The first ingredient was potato. I was paying 150.00 to feed my dogs the majority of their diet in potatoes! No wonder they would not eat it. My dogs are not vegan.
I quickly did research and found there was no company with hypoallergenic food who did any better so I began cooking for my dogs! I later put them on a raw diet but that is many blogs down the road.
Just as I tell people about their own food, you must read labels. The pet food companies are regulated much more loosely than our own food industry and look what they are doing to us! I am going to address the chemicals they put in the dog and cat foods, the ingredients they use such as by-products and what that actually means. We will look at many of the popular brands out there and review their labels and be prepared to become disturbed.
We are the stewards for these animals. Just like being parents of children, these animals rely on us to feed them, bath them and care for them. I take the responcibility seriously not just because I love them but because they love me.
till tomorrow, read labels