It is a mad jungle out there when it comes to selling dog food. Seeing the number of brands, the different types of sales pitches adopted by marketers and the fancy names with tongue twisting ingredients printed on labels, it appears the focus is on attracting buyers and grabbing a share of the whopping $ 11 billion pie.
In addition, each manufacturer launches numerous types of pet food under one brand. There are moist, semi moist and dry dog foods. Their use of terminology, like ‘premium’, ‘super-premium’, and ‘gourmet’ are merely names since they hardly mean anything. Even though the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) regulates what must be printed on the labels. The warnings are all mentioned in small print and therefore do not serve to warn the consumers adequately.
Apart from checking the nutritional adequacy and information about the manufacturer, you should focus on the ingredient list. Ethoxyquin is one of the most common preservatives used in dog food. This is used to prevent fats from turning rancid. There is verifiable evidence that there is a connection between Ethoxyquin and the accumulation of protoporphyrin IX and the elevation in liver related enzymes that can ultimately cause liver disease in dogs.
Sometimes dog owners indulge in over-feeding their dogs under the mistaken belief that the dog is hungry. Even a so called ‘light diet’ can lead to obesity in dogs if the calorie intake is more than recommended. Obesity can directly cause liver and heart conditions, diabetes, arthritis, skin disorders and cancer, exposing the dog to a higher risk.
Diet plays an important role in liver health. It is one of the major reasons behind many diseases in cats as well, including the feline liver disease. Instead of waiting for symptoms of liver disease in dogs or cats to surface, it is highly recommended that you be proactive and feed your dog with a healthy and nutritional diet to maintain health. A huge majority of commercial foods contain toxins that destroy the immune system and gradually kill your dog as you feed him. Dogs are basically meat eaters. Meat-based dog food may appear to be the best to provide the required proportions of proteins and other substances needed by the animal. Manufacturers, however, use synthetic additives and preservatives to increase shelf life, which can be detrimental to the health of your dog.
It is not only the type of food but also the quantity that makes a difference. The age, weight and breed of your pet are key aspects that determine the amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that the dog requires every day. The level of activity is another factor for arriving at the calorie intake. Your veterinarian is the best person to suggest where and how to source this information. As much as possible, feed your dog home cooked food, raw meat and a natural diet that is free from toxins. The purpose of a natural diet is to boost the immune system and help the liver to regenerate its cells so that it can function to its fullest capacity. A toxin free diet is the key to longevity and a healthy liver.