Thinking about today's blog, I had decided to write about dry dog food expanding in water and the effects of it. I'm going to cover that and the fact that I just got back from a big box store where I shuddered as I read the ingredients of the dog food that they carry.
So first I want to talk about swelling food and a dogs stomach. I remember watching a canine rescue episode on Animal Planet several years ago. The team went to a home where a dog was tied outside with no food or water. They went to their truck, got out a bag of food and tossed the whole thing down on the ground and ripped it open (I gasped). They filled up a huge bucket of water and put it within reach of the dog, gave the dog a pat on the head and left as they were coming back tomorrow to pick up the dog if they did not receive a call from the owner. I was freaking out watching the show; did they not realize what was going to happen?
Upon return the next day they found a very, very sick dog. They were shocked that they'd left a fairly healthy dog the day before, what had happened? Ummmm hello?????? I'm assuming the following scenario played out during the evening and night. The dog was very hungry, he gorged on the poor quality food that was left and then gulped copious amounts of water to quench his thirst. Dry food went into the stomach, water went into the stomach, food expanded to explosion level and then possible bloat, perhaps gastric torsion? All they said as a follow up was that the dog was taken to the vet to be attended to.
More is not better with regards to dry dog food. I put a 1/4 of dog food in a glass last night and filled the glass about 1/2 full with water and I watched. When my dog eat dog food which is about once a week they get Orijen or Nature's Logic. The food I used was Orijen and even left over night to swell it barely did, not even double the size. But Orijen is grain free and about as good as you can get for dry dog food. If you tried that with a corn or grain based food the results may be drastically different. I do suggest that if you feed your dogs a diet of dry dog food that you do this so that you can fully understand just how much could possibly end up in your dogs stomach.
I know many people who feed very large amounts of dry dog food at one sitting. Just imagine if the food tripled or quadrupled in your dogs stomach with the addition of water. Less is more when it comes to dry dog food; feeding at least two meals a day helps to eliminate the need for massive quantities at one sitting. Carefully monitor water intake before or after a meal and make sure that you also restrict exercise before and after meal time. Do your dog a favor and buy the absolute best food that you can afford; and believe me it will not come from a big box store.
So today I was at a big box store, I needed some diapers for Miss Tilley (yes she wears diapers to bed.) I wandered over to the pet isle; I had planned on buying some crappy food to do the swell test and then decided after looking it all over that I was not giving even 5.00 to any of these companies so left empty handed. While I stood there looking over all the foods; you know the ones in the big ads on television, I took in all the visual marketing lies first. Then I proceeded to read.
I have to say that I was shocked; I knew they were bad but it was like a huge reality check. All of these foods are garbage; none would be worthy of feeding any dog. Almost all of the ingredients started with Corn; the soy, soy products, high fructose corn syrup (this one floored me) and the list went on and on. Some sort of meat product was second on the list of one and way down on all the others. I even saw Purina's Meaty morsels which I thought was long gone. It had one of the worst ingredient labels. Imagine ingredients formed into the shape of ground beef to dupe the innocent pet owner into thinking that it is good for their dog.
After reading the labels on all of these horrible foods I realize that there was nothing worth buying and certainly nothing fit to feed my dogs. The cost of the food was only a couple dollars less than the really great food that I buy at the small stores. So please; go to a pet store, preferably a private small pet store and buy the good stuff. The better nutritional level in your dogs food, the less that they have to eat of it. There are quite a few really great foods out there now but you won't find them at the same store with the diapers. I can guarantee you will not find any of the good stuff at the big box stores. Your dog is worth it.