The Big Problem With Commercial Dog Foods

The Big Problem With Commercial Dog Foods

Nutrition from by-products, loaded with fillers, and skyrocketing prices, the shocking truth about commercial dog foods is…well, many aren’t providing your dog with the well-balanced diet they need to support their health, despite you paying more than enough for them to be! 

The fact that many commercial dog foods are failing to provide our furbuddy’s the diet they need is bad enough. But they don’t stop there! 

From frequent recalls to allergy-triggering ingredients, not only are they not supporting our dogs’ health, many are actively working against it. 

Skyrocketing Prices

It’s bad enough that dog parents are paying more and more for their dogs’ food every year despite the quality of the food never increasing. But for many of us, we are paying more than ever before while watching the quality of food in real time become worse and worse. 

We’re honestly not sure if commercial food can get even lower, but we are sure that commercial brands are going to try so they can make an even bigger profit.  

Nutrient Retention 

Despite finally finding a commercial dog food with an optimal nutritional profile on the label that is free of nasty additives while using high-quality ingredients, there is the chance the food itself isn’t matching. Then, in the rare cases, it does, there is a great chance you're paying way more for those exceptional ingredients than what they are actually delivering.

Unfortunately, it’s become common for dog food manufacturers to prey upon pet parents' desire to feed their dogs' high-quality human-grade ingredients. These brands know that we are willing to pay more if it means giving our dogs a higher quality of life. Unfortunately, despite paying for it, these foods more often than not fail to live up to their promise.  

It’s very rare for the ingredients used in commercial dog food to retain their full nutritional value due to aggressively high cooking temperatures that speed up the process, so food makers can turn out more food faster for a greater profit. 

Now, they do something to combat these issues. They add gums and gels to preserve it. Yummy right?! 

A Poor Nutritional Profile That Makes Our Dogs Fat

We just saw that even when a commercial food is accurately matching the nutritional value on the label, there is a very good chance it’s not optimal for your dog’s needs. And due to the way most commercial foods are created using aggressively high temperatures while being poorly stored, many aren’t currently matching their label’s nutritional value. 

While dry kibble is notorious for being loaded with too many carbohydrates while lacking protein, even wet commercial foods suffer from ingredients that fill out the bulk of the food without improving its nutritional content. And again, you are paying for these filler ingredients that do little except make our dogs fat. 

Worse yet, even when commercial dog food is high in protein, the animal sources used can be downright nasty, poor quality, rancid, you name it! Animal by-products, meat by-products, and animal fat are all common poor-quality ingredients used in commercial foods that come from rendering plants that ‘recycled’ animal parts unfit for human consumption. Yum!

Here is a short list of just some of the ingredients deemed unfit for us, but for some reason ‘appropriate’ for our dogs to consume: 

  • Slaughterhouse waste (organs, heads, hooves, beaks, feet)
  • Bread and cereal rejects (cobs, stalks, mill sweepings)
  • Dying, diseased, and disabled farm animals
  • Roadkill (deer, skunks, and raccoons)
  • Contaminated grain middlings
  • Distiller fermentation waste
  • Spoiled supermarket food
  • Euthanized cats and dogs
  • Restaurant grease
  • Dead zoo animals

Chaotic Quality Control

Due to frequent recalls as a result of contaminated ingredients and product quality control, we recommend that every pet parent keep a constant eye on the food they buy for their dogs. But even then, it’s very easy for a recall not to happen until you’ve potentially fed your dog the entire bag of food. 

This has to change, and it can, but commercial foods aren’t leading the charge needed. But thanks to ChefPaw, the homemade food maker, pet parents can easily take control of their dog’s diet right in their kitchen.

Unhealthy Additives

We discussed the problem with fillers that add bulk to a meal while doing little to add to the quality. And that’s bad enough, but it does stop there! 

Remember how we mentioned that dog food makers use aggressive temperatures when cooking their food to speed up the process? This is devastating, not only due to nutrient loss but because preservatives like gums and gels are added to stabilize the food under these harsh temperatures. 

And it’s not just kibble that sees this issue, Guar gum, the invisible intruder, is present in essentially every wet pet food on the market. Consuming large amounts of guar gum can have some ugly side effects on health. One can just look at weight loss drugs from the 90s that used guar gum because it would swell up in the stomach 10-20 times its original size, promoting a feeling of fullness. 

Resulting in obstruction of the esophagus and small bowel and, in some cases, even death, the FDA quickly moved to ban the use of guar gum in weight loss aids. Now, in small doses, guar gum is deemed safe for foods we eat. The problem is the same advisory groups that ensure safe levels of this gum in our food don’t exist for our dogs’ food. 

A defining study found that selected gelling agents in canned dog food affect nutrient digestibilities and fecal characteristics. So if — and that’s a big if — a commercial dog food uses safe levels of gums and gels, these agents can still cause nutritional issues for our dogs.

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