‘Kibble is “dead” food.’ - Dogs Naturally Magazine.
Food Should Keep a Dog Healthy
The purpose of food (in dogs, humans, or any other creature) is to keep the body's systems working well. If a body's systems are not working as they should, or if a body exhibits signs or symptoms of illness or disease, then we know that one or more systems are not working properly, because the body is lacking in something it needs, or it's being exposed to something harmful.
I like this quote from Jeanette Thomason, in her book "Natural Rearing: Breeding and Raising Dogs the Way Nature Intended" because it really sums up the importance of good food:
"What we put into our dogs' bodies directly affects their health. Without proper nutrition, even the most genetically sound dogs will never reach their full potential."
In order for food to keep a body healthy, it must contain the correct nutrients, in sufficient amounts, and in the correct form, in order for the body to be able to use those nutrients. Dogs are designed to eat raw, meaty bones that they can rip apart with their teeth. Their bodies are not designed to handle carbohydrates (like grains). In the wild, wolves and other wild dog breeds do not eat cooked foods, grain, or vegetables. They eat the whole carcasses of a variety of animals, and pick out what they need and leave what they don't.
In addition to nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fats, etc.), a body needs enzymes in order to digest the food. When fresh produce or meat sits out on the counter and spoils, the enzymes in the food are essentially digesting it while it sits there. So when we preserve food, we are seeking to slow down or stop the work of the enzymes and microbes on the food. The enzymes and microbes are a key ingredient to being able to digest and use all of the nutrients in the food, so we want to be careful not to destroy all of them. Without those, the food becomes less nutritious and not adequate for supporting a healthy body and healthy immune system. As I mention on my page "What is Natural Rearing?", if you feed a dog the wrong kind of food for their species, or you give him food that is devoid of enzymes, then the enzymes he needs to try to digest the food are pulled from other parts of his body, robbing his organs of the enzymes they need to function properly and leading to organ disease and dysfunction.
Healthy food, on the flipside, contains all the nutrition and enzymes that the dog needs, and as a result, his body stays healthy and you have less need of antibiotics, chemical dewormers, heartworm medication, etc. (which are all harmful to the body). In addition, healthy food supports a healthy mind. Healthy dogs fed a species-appropriate diet do not have as many psychological or behavioral problems because they are getting the nutrition that their brain needs to function properly.
We have seen firsthand what malnutrition does. Kibble doesn’t cut it! What we have is generations of dogs in America that have been malnourished thanks to commercial kibble, and it’s showing up everywhere! And they want us to believe that it’s all due to genetics. But if you dig deep enough, you’ll find that a lot of issues are caused by poor nutrition, not genetics. Read about epigenetics to see how nutrition affects genetics. I touch on this on my Natural Rearing page.
The Problem with Commercial Dog Food
I should say "problems", as there are several when it comes to commercially-made dog food. Unfortunately, we are raised to believe that "experts" in any given field actually know what they're talking about, but the truth is that they only know what they were taught by their teachers, and those teachers know what they were taught by their teachers, and on it goes. The problem with this is not that we use teachers to learn things. The problem is that not all teachers know everything, and some of them are mistaken about some facts. That's why it's a good idea to research for yourself and get several opinions about a topic before coming to any conclusions. Different teachers/experts may have studied different aspects of a topic and may have different perspectives and points to consider.
The reason why I'm bringing up the point about "experts" is that they are the ones that led America to the point where it's at now - feeding highly processed "food" (if you can call it that) to our dogs, which has resulted in pretty much every dog in America having health problems at some point - seizures, bad breath, gas, bloating, abscesses, tumors and cancer, parasites, etc.
So let's look at what is actually wrong with commercial dog (and cat) food and why it's not an appropriate choice for our pets.
1. Slaughterhouse Waste is rejected material from meat processing... this sounds good, because then we're not wasting food that is inedible for humans, right? It sounds better than it is.
At a butcher, when an animal is processed for human consumption, there is an inspector there to make sure that nothing bad gets through the process and fed to humans. So the inspector stands there, looking for any signs of damage, disease, or contamination in the meat, such as abscesses, tumors, abnormal organs, parasites, etc. Anything like this is cut off and put into a garbage can. So now you have a garbage can full of damaged body parts, diseased organs, tumors, etc.
...The contents of this garbage can are then sent to pet food factories to be processed into pet or livestock food.
In addition to this, they add whole animals that arrive at the butcher too sick or weak or unhealthy, and already dying, diseased, disabled, or dead. They don't want that in their human food! So they send it off to be made into food for pets and livestock.
2. Endotoxins are basically bacteria that hang out in the meat/slaughterhouse waste while it's sitting unrefrigerated for a day or two, waiting to be processed into dog food. Even though it will all be cooked, the endotoxins remain in the final product.
3. Meat Meal, or Meat By-Products are other types of discarded material, which is added to the diseased tissue we mentioned above, and mixed all together. This other discarded material includes things like trash from supermarkets, spoiled food from restaurants, roadkill, and sick farm animals that have died for various reasons (not including slaughter), gristle and tendons, dried blood meal, fecal waste from animals, horse and cattle hair, poultry feather meal, euthanized dogs and cats from shelters/vet clinics, etc. Apparently there have been reports that other things have made it into this discarded material, including euthanasia solution and collars from the euthanized pets.
4. Additional ingredients may include:
-antibiotics (many factory-farmed animals cannot survive without antibiotics due to the unhealthy and stressful conditions that they live in)
-pesticides used to control flies on livestock
-fish that are radioactive due to nuclear reactor meltdowns contaminating the oceans
-heavy metals - pet foods have actually been tested and found to have dangerously high levels of mercury, lead, etc.
...and like we said above, euthanized pets and the euthanasia solution (which is still active after the manufacturing process) and metal pieces from the pet collars.
5. Additives include artificial coloring, and chemical preservatives (including BHA and BHT which are known carcinogens).
6. Conventionally grown food contains less nutrition than organic or chemical-free foods. This is all a result of chemical fertilizers, sterile soils devoid of life, GMOs (which disrupts the DNA sequence and causes the produce to contain less nutrients), glyphosate, growth hormones, breeding animals for fast growth, feeding grain to animals that are designed to eat grass, harvesting crops early, and shipping foods long distances or storing them for long periods of time.
Dog food is heated to high temperatures in the manufacturing process. Heating/cooking food destroys enzymes and microbes, and destroys some of the vitamins in the food.
Liquid Fat and Powders
After the kibble is formed and dried, liquid fat is sprayed onto it, and then it is dusted with powders which sometimes include: flavoring to make the food more palatable, antioxidants, mold inhibitors, synthetic vitamins, or trace minerals.
Since the "food" is so devoid of nutrition, vitamins have to be added to try to make up for the lack. But the vitamins are synthetic which means they are not in their natural form (the form found in nature), and therefore are a lot harder for the dog's body to assimilate, and in the end they're not actually that helpful after all.
High Pressure Pasteurization
Also called Hydrostatic High Pressurization, High Hydrostatic Pressure Pasteurization, or Ultra High Pressure Processing. Some "raw" commercially prepared dog foods are put under high pressure to sterilize it. This kills any bad bacteria, but it also kills all the good bacteria, destroys the enzymes, and denatures the proteins. The amount of pressure they put the food under is a higher pressure than what you find at the bottom of the Mariana Trench (the deepest part of the ocean). Despite all this, there have now developed "super bugs" that can survive this pressure, so some companies are also using high heat and radiation on their "raw" foods. Another thing to note is that this whole process doesn't prevent bacteria being introduced after it has been subjected to high pressure, heat, etc.
Everything that I have mentioned in this article is what caused me to take a hard look at what my options were for feeding my Shibas raw food. I have found a source for raw, organic chicken backs at a price that is affordable for me (I take the term "organic" with a grain of salt, since I know that a LOT of corners are cut in the field of "organic farming").
Our dog's diet consists of water, raw chicken backs, and anything else they can scavenge on our farm (like mice, moles, etc.). If I want to deworm them, I use Diatomaceous Earth and mix it into raw eggs in a bowl. They love it!
"Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones" by Tom Lonsdale
"Natural Rearing: Breeding and Raising Dogs The Way Nature Intended" by Jeannie (Jeanette) Thomason, VND
"Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats: Fourth Edition" by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PHD, and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
Special Report "Is Your Raw Food Really Raw?" by Will Falconer, DVM
Sugar Spring Puppies Shiba Inu puppies have been placed in Alabama, AL, California, CA, Florida, FL, Georgia, GA, Illinois, IL, Indiana, IN, Kentucky, KY, Louisiana, LA, Michigan, MI, Missouri, MO, New Jersey, NJ, New York, NY, North Carolina, NC, Oregon, OR, Pennsylvania, PA, Tennessee, TN, Texas, TX, Virginia, VA, and Washington, WA. Shiba Inu Puppies for sale in Kentucky. Buy Shiba Inu Puppies near Nashville Tennessee