Alternative dog food q&a

Definition: Dog food is plant or animal material intended for consumption by dogs or other canines.

The debate: There are many different recommendations on what diet is best for dogs. Some people argue that dogs have thrived off of leftovers and scraps from their human owners for thousands of years and that commercial dog foods (which have only been available for the past century) contain poor-quality meats, additives, and other ingredients dogs should not ingest, or that commercial dog food is not nutritionally sufficient enough for their dogs.

Q. How is commercially manufactured dog food made? A. Most dry dog food is made through baking and extrusion. During the extrusion process a mixture of raw ingredients is run through an expander, while pressurized steam is added. When removed from the high pressure, the pellets puff up like popcorn. The kibble is allowed to dry, then sprayed with vitamins, fats, and oils, and other ingredients that are not heat tolerant. If the kibble is exposed to air for too long, or not correctly stored, the fats and oils added can become rancid, and vitamins and minerals may be destroyed by heat during storage or shipping.

Q. What are the ingredients in most dog food? A. Meat- by -products which include euthanized family pets.) In 1990, a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle, John Eckhouse, wrote a two part expose, on the rendering of companion animals in California. While the pet food companies vehemently denied this was happening, a rendering plant employee told Eckhouse that “it was common practice for his company to process dead pets into products sold to pet food manufacturers.”

Grain-by-products Meat and bone meals Horse meat

Q. What are the alternatives to processed dog food? A. Popular alternative dog food labels: Frozen or Freeze Dried, comes in a raw or cooked (not processed) form. The idea is to skip the processing stage, traditional dry/wet dog food goes through. This cause less destruction of the nutritional integrity. To compensate for the short shelf life, products are frozen or freeze dried. Dehydrated, comes in raw or cooked form. Appearance similar to dry kibble, usually includes adding warm water just before serving. Fresh or Refrigerated, produced through pasteurization of fresh ingredients. Products are lightly cooked, then quickly sealed in a vacuum package. Then it is refrigerated until it is served. Homemade Diet often comes in a bucket or Tupperware-like container, usually sold in specialty stores or over the internet. Many pet owners feed their dogs homemade diets. These diets generally consist of raw meat, ground bone, pureed vegetables, taurine additives, and other multi-vitamin supplements.