Canine Food Groups – The Top Four
Ferndale, WA: Here they are: Fats, Carbs, Proteins & Fiber. Say are we feeding our family at the dinner table by chance? Seems like the only thing missing is the pizza. So in a nutshell you have it. The four basic food groups that are correct for your dog, and each one of them should in theory show up in meals that you are giving your pet in order to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle – and of course give your pet the fun, bounce that we enjoy so much.
So lets get into this a tad more an find our exactly what each term means and of course we realize that its a bit of a no brainer but for sure there may be some subtle differences that are of value to know, between pets and humans since pets (especially dogs) have different nutritional requirements than humans.
Big commercial pet foods. Forget ‘em. Boom gone! We don’t endorse any of them because we don’t like their ethics since they don’t label properly. However, we are seeing some new companies launching into the market with pet foods that include the same groups as for human foods – so Omega-3s, carbs, fats and vegetables and fruits for fiber.
The salient point to remember is that cats are obligate carnivores – they must have meat but dogs are more along the lines of human foods. They are actually omnivores. They do well with a balanced diet with carbohydrates, fiber sources and protein all mixed together.
1. Proteins. High-quality protein sources can include chicken, beef, lamb and other meats, poultry or fish. In addition, by-products or meal from protein sources — such as chicken by-products or chicken meal — are also good sources of protein.
And here’s something to note, at least one protein source always should be in a top spot on the ingredient label of a dog food in order for it to meet regulatory standards from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for a “complete and balanced” food for your pup.
2. Carbohydrates. For active dogs, carbohydrates can provide long and short bursts of energy. Good sources of carbohydrates include whole-grain sorghum, whole-grain barley, cornmeal and rice. The whole grains such as barley, provide extended energy to keep your pup satiated all day.
3. Fats. Chicken fat, fish oil fat all help dogs get important fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s. Fats can help a pup maintain skin and coat health, but fatty acids are key elements in the function of the brain and spinal cord.
4. Fiber. Fruits and veg and other fiber sources (e.g. flax) help dogs maintain proper digestion. Ingredients such as apple and beet pulp combined with some grains and probiotics like fructooligossaccharides (FOS) in premium foods can help your dog remain regular.
In addition, scientific studies are starting to support the benefits of adding some vegetables to your dog’s food. Researchers at Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine found in a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association that when Scottish terriers were fed vegetables at least three times per week, they had a lower incidence of developing transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder, which is a deadly type of cancer.
Before making any dietary changes for your dog, always talk to your veterinarian. Ask ‘I’m thinking of doing this. Is it a good food? Is it OK for my particular pet?’
Every wondered what’s inside those fun Pup-Peroni sticks we love to give to our pets? I thought about it the other day whilst I was out shopping at my local supermarket. My partner and I were gathering up salads and burgers for a great summer bbq we were planning, so as Angela went about finding the best deals and ingredients, I began larking about the pet food aisle and Pup-Peroni’s caught my attention. I read the label and decided to bring to everyone’s attention a fuller explanation of the ingredients, slightly more scientific mind you.
Pup-Peroni Original Beef Recipe Ingredients
From the label: Beef, Meat By-Products, Soy Grits, Sugar, Liver, Salt, Propylene Glycol, Garlic Powder, Caramel Color, Natural Smoke Flavor, Potassium Sorbate (used as a preservative),Sodium Nitrite (for color retention), Red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), Onion Extract.
And now … lets explain the ingredients … the truth about pet food!
Beef – okay everybody understands beef, however since the FDA does not regulate with precision what this term actually means, for pet food manufacturers beef can contain any part of the animal. For sure its not the choice cuts from cows so that leaves things like hooves, entrails, etc.
Meat By-Products – This means generic meat ingredients that do not indicate a particular species (e.g. bone meal, blood meal, fish, fish meal, poultry, poultry by-products). Yummy!
By-Product Meals – even if a species is identified (chicken/beef/turkey/lamb by-product meal etc.), since highly questionable ingredients may be used in these rendered products.
Sugar – Can include sucrose, cane sugar, caramel, corn syrup and others. Sugar or sweetener is an absolutely unnecessary ingredient in pet foods, added to make the product more attractive. Continuous intake can promote hypoglycemia, obesity, nervousness, cataracts, tooth decay, arthritis and allergies. Pets also get addicted to foods that contain sugars, so it can be a tough piece of work to make them eat something healthier.
Liver – Whenever the word ‘meat’ or the name of an organ appears by itself (without a species) on a pet food label, there is no way to know which kind of animal it came from. It could be horse liver, goat, duck, pig, or even skunk or other animals of questionable origin.
Salt – Also listed as Sodium Chloride. A colorless or white crystalline solid, chiefly sodium chloride, used extensively in ground or granulated form as a food seasoning and preservative. May also appear in ingredient list as “Iodized Salt” (iodine supplement added), “Sea Salt” (as opposed to salt mined from underground deposits) or “Sodium Chloride” (chemical expression).
While salt is a necessary mineral, it is also generally present in sufficient quantities in just about everything WE eat and also in the foods we give to our pets. That’s the huge societal problem isn’t it? Anyway too much sodium intake is unhealthy for animals. In poor quality foods, it is often used in large amounts to add flavor and make the food more interesting.
Propylene Glycol – A colorless viscous hygroscopic liquid, CH3CHOHCH2OH, used in antifreeze solutions, in hydraulic fluids, and as a solvent.
This chemical is used in semi-moist kibble to keep it from drying out. May be toxic if consumed in large amounts, and should definitely not be an ingredient in a food an animal will eat daily for weeks, months or even years of its life. In countries of the European Union, propylene glycol is not cleared as a general-purpose food grade product or direct food additive.
Garlic Powder – Used solely as a flavor enhancement.
Carmel Color – made by the controlled heat treatment of carbohydrates (nutritive sweeteners which are the monomers glucose and fructose or their polymers, e.g. glucose syrups, sucrose, invert syrups, and dextrose), generally in the presence of food-grade acids, alkalies, and salts, in a process called caramelization. (More sugars and salts)
Natural Smoke Flavor – produced by burning hickory chips and condensing the smoke into a liquid form.
Potassium Sorbate (used as a preservative) – used to inhibit molds and yeasts. Its primary use is as a food preservative (E number 202). Potassium sorbate is effective in a variety of applications including food, wine, and personal care.
Sodium Nitrite (for color retention) – with chemical formula NaNO2, is used as a color fixative and preservative in meats and fish. When pure, it is a white to slight yellowish crystalline powder. It is very soluble in water and is hygroscopic. It is also slowly oxidized by oxygen in the air to sodium nitrate, NaNO3. The compound is a strong oxidizing agent.
It is also used in manufacturing dyes, nitrous compounds, and other organic compounds; in dyeing and printing textile fabrics and bleaching fibers; in photography; as a laboratory reagent and a corrosion inhibitor; in metal coatings for phosphatizing and detinning; and in the manufacture of rubber chemicals. It may also be used as an electrolyte in electrochemical grinding manufacturing processes, typically diluted to about 10% concentration in water. Sodium nitrite also has been used in human and veterinary medicine as a vasodilator, a bronchodilator, and an antidote for cyanide poisoning.
Red 40 – The color additive FD&C Red No. 40 is principally the disodium salt of 6-hydroxy-5-[(2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo]-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid.
The most widely used food dye. While this is one of the most-tested food dyes, the key mouse tests were flawed and inconclusive. An FDA review committee acknowledged problems, but said evidence of harm was not “consistent” or “substantial.” Like other dyes, Red 40 is used mainly in junk foods.
BHA (used as a preservative) – Butylated Hydroxysanisole – a white, waxy phenolic antioxidant, C11H16O2, used to preserve fats and oils, especially in foods.
Banned from human use in many countries but still permitted in the U.S. Possible human carcinogen, apparently carcinogenic in animal experiments. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity.
Onion Extract – Onion of any form is toxic to dogs and has no place in dog food!