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Dog Food FAQs

What are they putting in your companion's food?
Read the label - check your bag, check your can. The ingredients are found in many brands that boast natural, important, essential ingredients that dogs need. The ingredients are misleading. Several brands make claims of having "no filler", yet many of the first ingredients listed are in fact filler (corn).

Diet is of Vital Importance!
Cancer is the leading cause of death in American dogs. It is thought by many experts that diet is the main reason for this. We feed our dogs a diet based mostly on grain, even though none of the dog family feeds on grain in the wild. Not the wolves, or coyotes, or dingoes, or hyenas, none of them. Dogs have not evolved the necessary enzymes to digest or utilize grain in their diet. They are primarily carnivores. When you feed a carnivore a diet based on grain, they develop various immune dysfunctions, including cancer. If it is diet that causes cancer in the first place, it seems pretty obvious that diet is an important part in treating a dog with cancer. In fact, diet is one of the most important factors in a successful treatment of mast cell tumors! To give the dog the best possible chance of overcoming this challenge, the proper nutrients must be fed. Don't make the mistake of thinking just because a dog food is expensive. or because it is recommended by the vet or has a fancy name, that it is necessarily the best option for your cancer patient. There are some good recommendations for dog cancer diets found on the Dog Cancer Diet link.
Source: http://www.dogcancer.net/landing/mast.html?gclid=CNKH__H8hqICFWE45wodHhJIVA

Q: What is corn and what are the benefits to corn being in dog food?
A: Corn is a vegetable/grain that dogs have a difficult time digesting; there are little if any benefits to dogs. Corn is a filler that allows any dog food to be manufactured inexpensively.

Q: What is corn meal and what are the benefits of being in dog food?

A: Corn meal is the by product of processed corn; there are little if any benefits to dogs. They have a difficult time digesting corn.

Q: If the label lists a meat as the first ingredient, does this mean it is the main ingredient?
A: Ingredient lists can be manipulated in various ways to make a product look more attractive than it really is. Even though a product lists a meat as first ingredient, the meat still includes about 75% water. Once the moisture is removed to reach the final percentage of about 10%, the meat will have shrunk to 1/4 of the original amount, while relatively dry ingredients like the different grain and filler components will not change much and become a greater part of the whole food post-production.

Q: What does 4D mean?
A: 4D meat is meat and by-products that have been derived from animals that were rejected by food inspectors who classified the meat as not fit for human consumption because they were "Dead, Dying, Disabled or Diseased" at the time of inspection. This meat comes from rendering plants where it is processed and deemed "safe."

4D meat may also contain:
• Euthanized companion animals Cats and Dogs
• Spoiled meat from the supermarket, Styrofoam wrapping and all
• Road kill that can't be buried on the roadside
• Rancid restaurant grease

Q: What are "by-products"?
By-products is a catch-all term used by the pet food industry to mean anything stripped off the carcass other than meat, i.e. beaks, feet, head, lungs, blood, and other unmentionables.

Q: What is brewers rice? 
A: Brewers rice is the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice - (AAFCO definition). Brewers rice is a processed rice product that is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice thus reducing the quality. This is another filler that's reduced (processed) with little or none known benefit, nutritional value, etc.

Q: What is cellulose?
A: It is wood that is dried, then ground up and added to dog food.

Is this what is meant by 'natural'?

Q; What is DL-Methionine?
A: Methionine is one of the 10-plus essential amino acids that are required by both the cat and dog. DL-Methionine is not a natural source; it is chemically made.

"Common petfood ingredients rich in methionine include animal proteins such as meat and poultry and their associated protein meals, egg products, marine proteins such as fish and fish meals, corn co-products such as corn gluten meal and brewers dried yeast. Many diets that contain these ingredients are adequate in methionine and do not require any supplementation. For diets that contain minimal amounts of meat proteins, are heavily weighted to vegetable proteins like soy or are low calorie foods diluted with inert ingredients such as cereals and cellulose, there may be a need for supplemental methionine..."

It may address the need for it, but it doesn't solve it. Why is synthetic protein there? A lot of dog food may have this, but how much of this is actually in there to compensate for the lack of natural methionine? Should not companines who proclaim "Healthy and Natural" ingredients make food that actually has healthy and natural ingredients?

Additional Resources

What’s Really in Pet Food

Label Information 101 - Interpreting Pet Food Labels



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