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Why you should Ditch the Dry!

Have you ever stopped and really thought about what's in your pet food? How do they make meat and veg into a brown biscuit that looks nothing like the original ingredients?

When I found out I was shocked! We feed this product every single day to our pets and we're starting to see the harm it's doing to them.

Did you know the average life span for a dog in the UK is now only 10 years old! The main cause of death in cats and dogs is cancer. Cancer is more common in our pets than it is in humans. When we take a look at what we feed our pets this starts making sense.

Most people in the UK feed their cats and dogs on dry kibble. It's convenient, cheap and marketed as healthy.

Did you know the big premium brand Royal Canin is actually owned by Mars! Yes that's right. The chocolate bar company! And can you believe Nestle, the other big chocolate brand, own Purina!

The other big premium brand Hills, is owned by Colgate. The toothpaste company!

These companies know nothing about pet nutrition but a hell of a lot about marketing! Their best interests aren't your pets health! They just want to sell you their product and make their money and wow are they good at it!

So how do they make this so called food?

The ingredients come from human food industry waste. This could be animal heads, food that's going off and all the bits you really wouldn't want to eat, but yet we give it to our pets!

Firstly everything goes into a huge vat, quite often including any plastic tags the livestock had and even the plastic bag the food came in. It saves time just to throw it all in rather than paying someone to pick out all the plastic. This vat is heated at high temperatures until it all boils down into a sludge. By cooking it like this a lot of nutrition is lost already.

The sludge is then dried out and put into a hammer mill to make a dry powder.

The powder then goes to the kibble company where they cook it again with water and steam to make it into a goo.

The goo is then passed through a high temperature tube which cooks the matter again, breaking down all the starch into sugars and changes the structure of the proteins. As the goo comes out of the tube it's cut into pieces to form the kibble. Different shape tubes make the different shapes that you see on the shelves.

These gooey pieces are then cooked again under high heat to dry it out.

Next the additives sometimes including rancid fats, are added and cooked into the kibble (another round of cooking!). Fat is added to bring up the calories of the food, so they can have a high calorie or a low calorie kibble.

Looking at this process do you notice the food has been cooked at least 5 times! I'll be surprised if there's any nutrients left!

Cooking at high temperatures releases Acrylamides and other carcinogenics. The level of Acrylamides in kibble is 4x higher than in any human food. Studies are currently being carried out but are not yet concluded, but this could be the reason for such high levels of cancer in our pets.

Labelling and what it means

Animal by product - meat from the human food industry that's not intended for human consumption (hooves, testicles, tails, ears and other unappetising body parts 🤢) the meat could be too old and rotten for human consumption but can still legally

go into pet food! Rancid fat is often sprayed onto dog food just to make it more appetising for your dog.

While we're talking about labelling of pet foods, have you ever noticed how vague it is? They don't buy law have to accurately list ingredients like in humans food. They can use categories like meat and animal derivatives, cereals and vegetable protein extracts. They don't have to state what's in the food. I remember a Hills rep telling me they just use whatever meat is cheapest that week, meaning your pets diet is different every bag you buy! That's right. You think you're only feeding them chicken as the bag says "with chicken" legally there only needs to be 4% chicken for them to use this on the label!

Dry pet food is obviously cooked as explained above. Cooking alters the structure of the food making it harder for pets to digest. It makes the pancreas work harder and draw enzymes from the bloodstream. Forcing the pancreas to work harder long-term will have a degenerative effect.

By changing the structure of the food means your pets body will not recognise the nutrients it's digesting and will not absorb them properly. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Humans have evolved to be able to digest food that's been cooked. Our pets have not! It's believed it takes 100,000 years to evolve to digest cooked food. Dogs at most have been around for 20,000 years and kibble was only invented in 1860!

The most obvious problem as it's in the name "dry" food is that there's not enough moisture. Only 10% compared to 70% in a raw diet. This lack of moisture will have long term effects on your pets heart and kidneys!

There's often a lot of fillers in Dry food to bulk it out. These include grains such as rice and wheat or things like potato if the food is grain free. These fillers are not part of a dogs natural diet. They cannot convert these carbohydrates into sugars like humans. Instead they turn it into lactic acid. There's a reason your dog doesn't chomp away in a wheat field. And don't get me started on cats! They're purely carnivores so any grain or veg in cat food is just a no no.

Dry food has a ridiculously long life span. It last forever on the shelves. To do this it's full of preservatives. We all know these are bad and carcinogenic.

Dry food contains artificial colours. Feeding these to your dog can cause behavioural problems just like a human child. Remember the blue smarties back before they changed them. Made all the kids go crazy. Imagine eating them everyday.

I remember a case as a vet nurse. A springer spaniel would literally bounce off the walls every time it came into the practice, even after it had a long walk. OK I know this breed is usually crazy but wow. I suggested to the owner to change its food and thankfully they listened. The next time I saw it the owner was very grateful as the dog was much more manageable and it sat still to be examined. The difference was huge!

Bad breath, flatulence, stomach upsets, itchiness, allergies, dry skin, heart disease, kidney failure and cancer are all linked to feeding dry food. I noticed when Pancakes was on dry food she suffered with dry skin as we reached the end of the bag. This is because a lot of nutrients such as vitamin C react with oxygen in the air and diminish over time.

She's got an amazing coat now she's on raw, having fresh food everyday. I certainly don't miss the flatulence she had on dry food either!

There's been no changes in the laws in the pet food industry despite all this information we now have as dogs can't speak for themselves. There's been a lot of changes in human food over recent years. I made the example of the blue smarties earlier but there are a lot more. Just think what's happening to tobacco now we know the harm it's doing. No one seems to care what we're doing to our beloved pets.

After reading this I have one question for you...

Do you still want to feed your pet kibble?

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