We have gotten so far away from the understanding of nourishing our dogs system that it’s really a great forgetting of sorts. And I don’t believe this is by accident.
To be super clear, food and nutrition are not synonymous. You are either feeding your dog to fill their system, or you are nourishing their system with nutrient dense foods to create health.
Have you ever seen a canid in the wild or on a documentary eating a deer they just killed? It is one deer for the entire family. Muscle meat, bone, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, organs, and fermented plant matter in the stomach, this is complete and nourishing. For sure they kill other types of prey, but it is that one prey animal for the family.
And then you have food made by humans for dogs that is sold in a bag, thousands of companies in the United States alone, each company offering five to seventy two options of food choices, for every age, size, health issue, coat type, lactating, bad teeth, etc, and all are nutrient deficient on some level, and none as in zero, are nutrient dense or nourishing to the system. From the Merck Manual – Despite the wide availability of commercially complete and balanced diets for dogs and cats, malnutrition still occurs. Malnutrition is defined as an imbalance of nutrients and includes both nutrient deficiencies and nutrient excesses. Pretty big of them to acknowledge this.
There is a difference between wild and domestic canids though, this I concede. Wild canids for the most part prefer to kill their prey, and only scavenge when absolutely necessary. It would be difficult to nutritionally abuse them in their native environment. Domestic dogs on the other hand are predators and opportunistic scavengers that live amoungst humans, and will eat freshly killed prey as well as carrots, toys, nylon bones, tissue, baked foods, foil, underpants, and the list goes on. Because of this, and large industries that understand this, domestic dogs can and are nutritionally abused for profit.
While the inception of food made by humans for dogs was somewhat innocent, if you want to call it that, humans seem to love convenience more than real food, and even more so with their animals, and this industry took off like wild fire. HISTORY OF DOG FOOD.
Marketing is powerful, in fact it’s over $37 billion worth of power as of this year. I think dog owners want to do what is best, but you are up against marketing companies that know how to persuade people, and not just a little persuasion. Techniques that are most commonly used in this industry to bring you in like a moth to a flame usually play to emotions through – packaging colors and images, simple but concrete words, keeping the list of benefits short and concrete, a few words that create the illusion of uniqueness to their dog food brand, and recently the claims of sustainable or environmentally friendly.
The only fiduciary responsibility a dog food company has is to its investors, not to your dog or your dogs health. Fact
If you care to read about the STATE OF THE INDUSTRY from 2018-2021, well it’s educational and puts into very clear perspective what you as a pet owner are up against.
Have you ever sat back and asked yourself why your puppy or dog has a sensitive digestive system, irritable bowels, pancreatitis, colitis, itchy skin, and or a low appetite? Have you ever considered or really asked yourself the hard question – are all of these health issues normal to canids or are they man-made?
Learning about actual canine nutrition, the ancestral type of nutrition, requires reading, learning, and investing in your own education, outside of this industry, and I believe your dog deserves your efforts. My RESOURCE page has a great reading list.
If that is a big ask well then prepare yourself for the greenwashing coming your way – the marketing push that has just begun to convince you that lab derived meats, crickets, and grubs are good for your dog and will save the planet. Ah-hem.
The more you know the better you can do. And always keep in mind, real food is generally super simple, nutrient dense, and nourishing, as nature intended.
In health, Nancy