You are what you eat

I remember years ago watching a National Geographic documentary on digestion.  The video was about people but it left a lasting impression with me, the need for fuel.  Our digestive system is different than our canines but we both need fuel and the better the quality of fuel that we put into our dogs the more nutrients their body can extract.  I remember watching on the video as the food went through our system in the documentary and at each stop our body pulled the needed nutrients out of the food and dispersed it to where it was needed, very cool. 

There is a great deal that we put into our dogs bodies that they cannot use and much of that is poor quality dog food or treats.  A while back I was at a big box store when I decided to read through some of the treat ingredients.  Even knowing that these big name companies made very poor quality goods I was still shocked to read the ingredients.  I literally stood there with my mouth hanging open thinking, really?  Do people know what they are giving their dogs?  Often the answer is no.  Do you read the ingredient list?

After reading many of the garbage treat ingredient lists I went onto read the dog food lists.  I was even more shocked as I went through the bags and bags of sheer garbage.  Dogs need meat, most of their diet needs to consist of animal protein but much of the dog food out there has very little meat in it.  Even then it has been processed, processed and processed again before it reaches your dog.  Reading the list of ingredients on a bag of low quality food I was left conguering up an image in my head.  The kibble going through a dogs digestive system and at each stop where it was to extract nutrients, it just kept going until it reached the final stop, your backyard. 

I see people going through the cash in these big stores with a giant bag of food under their arm or in their cart and wonder if they knew would they still buy it?  So many people just watch the big ads on tv and don't think, they don't look into the nutritional value of the food themselves.  Heck, this big dog food company says that it is a great food, it's even shaped like veggies so it must be good.  If you take a bowl and fill it with some of your dinner, chicken, beef or lamb with a bit of veggies you would be fueling your dog with such better quality food than you could ever get in a bag. 

There are good foods out there, they will never be as good as the real fresh stuff but they are far better than what you will find on the shelves of the big box stores or grocery store.  Go with food made by the small companies and look up the ingredients, you want meat to be the bulk of the ingredients but good quality meat, not by products.  If you buy your dog's food now at a big box store or grocery store, stop.  Unless of course it is a health food grocers like Whole foods.  They just don't carry good food, they carry the big producers goods and they are not what you should be feeding your dog. 

There is a wonderful site called Dog food analysis that reviews and rates foods.  You should only be feeding a 5 or 6 star food found on this site.  Click on reviews and type in the name of the food you want to look up. 

So as you sit down to have your whole grain cereal, protein packed greek yogurt, orange juice and organic banana this morning thinking about what you are pouring into your dogs bowl.  How much of it will be used to fuel their body keeping them healthy and how much will end up in your backyard?