Most dogs don’t get to choose what they eat, but rely on their caring owner’s ability to provide them with the necessary nutrition to live a healthy life. Dog foods and treats come in a variety of brands with some being imported from other countries such as China.
The dangers of substandard dog food
Five years ago on March 16th, a contaminant known as melamine was found in many different dog foods and assorted treats. Melamine, which is a similar complex to cyanide, was found in rice and wheat gluten being exported from China. A large number of pet food products utilize wheat gluten to aid in digestion, but unfortunately the melamine was causing kidney disease and Renal Failure in a vast number of dogs. Menu Foods, one of the suppliers responsible for the distribution of contaminated products, announced a recall on all their pet food products, but it was too late for many beloved pets.
But the trouble didn’t stop there. While many pets were in danger, farm animals such as cattle were also in danger of consuming melamine contaminated products, leading to questions concerning human consumption of such animals. While the FDA has stated that the melamine consumed by other animals won’t affect the consumer of those animals, we may have begun to see issues again, as numerous products, including Jerky Treats, have been refused importation on the basis that the product contained the dangerous melamine contaminants.
Since 2007, many pet owners have begun raising awareness and demanding better control on dog food manufacturing and importing. Up until then, quality control had been left up to manufacturers, but since then, the importance of health for both pets and humans has increased attention given to pet foods, based on what is in them, on their origins, and on manufacturers of the ingredients.
What are you feeding your dog?
In both mammals and some plants, melamine can be metabolized from certain pesticides and fertilizers that are used on crops. Because of this, melamine can be found in various products, such as pork, jerky, chicken, and assorted plant products. To make things worse, melamine is often illegally added to food products to increase the protein level content ratings. However melamine is not actually a protein at all, but rather a nitrogen based compound which will trick tests that are searching for protein content by rating the nitrogen levels in the food. This has become a problem that dog owners need to be aware of to ensure that their dog is getting the nutrients they need, and to keep the toxins that can harm them out of their diet.
While imported items can be utilized in dog foods across the world, many ingredients containing melamine are being sourced and rejected from China. These can include soy based proteins, wheat gluten, jerky and even some food products for humans. Some dog foods have even begun plans to mask their low quality dog foods with perfumes and aromas that make the food attractive despite lack of nutrition and quality content.
One of the best possible solutions for this escalating problem is to find quality dog food sources that provide natural ingredients, as opposed to wheat glutens utilized as fillers. One such dog food manufacturer is Life’s Abundance Premium Health, which was formulated by a veterinarian with dog-care at the top of their list. The food is manufactured in small batches to ensure quality and freshness, something that many dog-food manufactures have overlooked in previous years.
When searching for quality dog foods or treats, consider avoiding any content that utilizes wheat, wheat gluten, or corn meal. Instead, seek out natural ingredients, such as vegetable and whole grain content that add nutritional value, such as vitamins and fiber, rather than just filler.
Another thing to look for in a product is the AFFCO approved endorsement. This is the Association of American Feed Control Officials which is empowered to regulate quality, sale, and distribution of animal feeds and drug remedies within the United States. While it does not have regulatory authority, it does provide approval guidelines regarding the quality and content of pet foods to ensure both human and animal health and safety. (Many dog foods must meet standards for human consumption as well.)
Dog lovers throughout the world know how hard it is to lose their precious friends. With some manufactures creating dangerous food products, we have to be ready with awareness and knowledge so we can provide our four-legged friends with the nutrition they need to live a long and happy life with us.