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This is a well written article by a fellow groomer; every dog owner should read it.
What you might not know is that despite advertising claims

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What you might not know is that despite advertising claims

What you might not know is that despite advertising claims,
the majority of commercial pet foods are not optimally healthy for your dog or cat. Just asmost processed, convenient “people food” is devoid of nutritional value, so ismuch of the dead, dry pet food sold commercially today.
The pet nutrition industry is very similar to the human food industry – full of hype and false claims, peddling inferior nutritional choices. Much of the so-called “healthy pet foods” on the market contain inferior meat meals, cheap grains like corn and soy, fillers, by-products, food coloring, pesticides,preservatives, and other contaminations.
Good nutrition is a fundamental requirement to keep your pet in top physical shape,and improve his or her chances of resisting disease and other degenerative conditions. And when it comes to protein levels and organ health, the more we learn the better..
Many Commercially Available Pet Foods Can Destroy Your Pet’s Health
Commonsymptoms associated with regular consumption of commercial pet foods include:
  •        Diarrhea
  •        Increased flatulence
  •        Dull coat
  •        Intermittent vomiting
  •       Prolonged scratching
  •       Kidney disease
  •       Heart disease
  •       Other diseases
There are the two major problems with an entirely dry food diet.
1.     Protein quality~
The biological availability of certain protein sources actually determineshow easy or difficult they are to metabolize. For example, snouts and feathers,although 100 percent protein, are not nearly as digestible as lean muscle meat.
The quality of protein your pet eats is critical to reduce organ stress over time.The scary truth is that the majority of commercial pet foods on the markettoday are using rendered meats that are not approved for human consumption.Because kibbled foods made with these poor quality meats are so difficult todigest and assimilate, they can actually cause organ disease.
2.     Moisture content ~
Moisture content  in a mainly dry fooddiet. Carnivorous (dogs)  were designedto consume non-dehydrated foods. Foods free of corn, wheat, rice and soy -Thenatural diet of dogs and cats is up to 70 percent water?
* NOTE:eating crunchy granola doesn’t brush or clean your teeth. You have to brush your teeth. Likewise, eating crunchy kibble doesn’t brush or clean your pet’s teeth. You still have to brush your pet’s teeth.
What are the most notable physiologic changes when our companion animals consume an all dehydrated, poor quality protein diet?
  •          Kidney stress
  •          Liver stress
  •          Metabolic stress
  •          Obesity
Because most pets consume anabundance of high carbohydrate, empty calorie dry foods, the pet obesity issue is quickly rivaling the human obesity epidemic.
A lifetime of minor dehydration is stressful to multiple organ systems. It’simportant to realize that this can easily be remedied by feeding canned or homemade food diets in addition to the dry food will help feed your pet a more appropriate  diet that is required for optimal health benefits .
Our pet’s bodies are resilient. They can eat a variety of sub optimal, metabolically stressful foods on occasion and be fine, but because it’s our goal to provide a diet that most closely fits our pet’s biological requirements, it is not recommend that a lifetime of dry food be consumed by your pet.
NOTE: you would not feed your children cereal three times a day so why would you feed your pet nothing but kibble all day?
Ingredients to avoid in commercial dog food:
Meat by Product (protein source) Pet grade meat by-products consist of organs and parts either not desired, or condemned, for human consumption. This can include bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, heads, feet, and feathers. – This can also include the dreaded 4 D’s – ( Dead, dying, diseasedor dying prior to slaughter). The animal parts used can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. road kill, animals euthanized at shelters and so on. It can also include pus, cancerous tissue,and decomposed (spoiled) tissue.
BEEF TALLOW (fat source): Used to make lower quality dog foods palatable, instead of using quality fat sources such as nutritionally rich chicken fat, or human grade vegetable oil.
ANIMAL FAT (fat source):Animal fat is a “generic” fat sourcethat is most often made up of rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or otheroils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans. Look for a named fat source,such as poultry or chicken fat, that is naturally preserved
CORN (filler/fiber source/vegetable):*NOTE: no redeemable nutritious value in any dog food listing this as their first ingredient. It is a useless fillerthat is a known cause of allergies and is difficult for dogs to digest.
CORN OR WHEAT GLUTEN MEAL (Binder):This is the remainder of the cornafter the best parts of the corn have been removed.It does absolutely nothingfor the animal and actually is difficult to digest and is used as a cheapbinder
* In additionto its use in pet food it’s also used in herbicides
WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR (fibre source): Wheat if the leading cause of dog allergies. Absolutely useless with no nutritional value what so ever
FOOD FRAGMENTS (filler/fibersource/carbohydrate source): Low cost by-products and left over’s from another foodmanufacturing process. Examples include WHEATBRAN and BREWER’SRICE (a waste product of the alcohol industry). Also look for and avoid fragments which are labeled POTATO PRODUCT, MIDDLINGS/MIDSor MILL RUNof any kind. Unspecified grain sources like CEREAL FOOD FINES, CORN BRAN, OAT HULLS, RICE HULLS, PEANUT HULLS, DISTILLERS GRAIN FERMENTATION SOLUBLES, and last but not least CELLULOSE (which iswood which is dried and ground up)
SOY FLOUR (filler/carbohydrate): Another cheap allergy causing ingredient used as filler. This is the leftover “dust” after the healthy cleaned and dehulled soybeans are processed. Sometimes sweepings from the factory floor.
BREWER’S RICE (carbohydratesource): A cheap substitute for whole grain rice.
SUGAR (flavour soure) : Also listed as Cane molasses , corn syrup in any form,sugar, sorbitol, sucrose, fructose, glucose, ammoniated glycyrrhizin, propyleneglycol.) : Useless, unnecessary and adds empty calories. Bad ingredients used by companies to make food more palatable to the animals if the ingredients themselves aren’t enough to make the dog or cat actually want to eat it.Used to cover up rotten and rancid foods, and is known to cause hypoglycemia, obesity,nervousness, cataracts, tooth decay, arthritis allergies.
ANIMAL DIGEST(flavouring agent): Unspecified parts of unspecifiedanimals, cooked down into a goopy broth and used as a spray on or addeddirectly to the food.No quality control is used and this can include “4-Danimals” (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs,horses, rats, misc. road kill, animals euthanized at shelters, restaurant andsupermarket refuse and so on.
COLORING (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Titanium Dioxide):
Any coloring is completely unnecessary and should be avoided. Your dog doesn’t care about the pretty colored shapes,and artificial dyes and coloring agents are known cancer causing agent, andalso cause allergies.
PROPYLENE GLYCOL (additive):Used in antifreeze solutions, inhydraulic fluids, and as a solvent. May be toxic if consumed in large amounts,and should definitely not be an ingredient in a food an animal will eat dailyfor weeks, months or even years of its life. This is not allowed for use inEurope as the findings have shown it to be dangerous.
BHA (Butylated Hydroxysanisole), BHT(Butylated Hydroxytoluene), and ETHOXYQUIN (Preservatives): Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the US. Possible humancarcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments. Ethoxyquin has alsobeen used as a pesticide for fruit. It has never been proven to be safe for thelifespan of a companion animal. It has been linked to thyroid, kidney,reproductive and immune related illnesses as well as cancer.
HYDROCHLORIC ACID: Used in Kibbles n Bits – The reason for using this is unknownbut it is a caustic chemical agent used in the production of chlorides,fertilizers, and dyes. Hydrochloric acid can cause immediate pain and burns ofthe mouth, throat, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. Simple common sensewould indicate not to use this as a pet food ingredient!
*NOTE:MENADIONE SODIUM BISULFITE This synthetic version of vitamin K has not been specificallyapproved for long term use, such as in pet food. Dog food products that contain menadione are linked to liver toxicity allergies and the abnormal break down of red blood cells
The MSDS guide states -“PotentialChronic Health Effects:
CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: 3 (Not classifiable for humans) by IARC.
MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.
The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, and mucous membranes.
Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organsdamage.”