BARFWorld.com: The Truth About Your Dog’s Food

the dog man’s most trusted furry companion an animal we fully welcomed into our homes and hearts every year we spend a fortune indulging the nation’s eight million dogs it’s fast become the most mollycoddled animal known to man but the one area in which we spend the most money is dog food in the morning for breakfast he has natural yogurt a teaspoon of seaweed and a teaspoon of natural honey he supplements his diet whenever we go into the fields he likes cow pats and sheep dropping kebabs one of the treats we give the dogs is fried chicken and fries we have our treats and then they have their treat so it balances it out I feed her things like chicken wings can here on the corners as a nation of pet lovers we spend over two billion pounds a year on commercial pet foods however there’s an increasing number of dog owners who believe we’ve been sold a pup when it comes to what we feed our dogs I think the public have no idea what’s going into the dog food that they’re buying when you look at the advertising budget of the big pet food companies it must have an effect on the quality of the food inside a very cheap dog food is cheap for a reason it’s not because the company’s decided out of the goodness of their hearts to make a cheap pet food it’s because the ingredients in it extremely cheap medians if there’s too much or too little of one thing it can really lead to problems quite quickly dogs diets and nutrition are coming increasingly under the microscope skin allergies arrive digestive problems I mean who ever would have heard of dogs with colitis arguing that one particular processed food produced by one manufacturers better than other is it’s rubbish it’s like suggesting that one brand of fast food is better than another brand of fast food the truth is it’s all the same but with many experts believing commercial dog food is a perfectly appropriate diet war is breaking out over what we feed our dogs the claims that some libraries are making it’s not really founded on any evidence it’s I think they have a lot of catchphrases the idea that manufacturers are making a product that is not absolutely safe is clearly nonsense caught in the middle are our furry four-legged friends nowadays feeding our dogs couldn’t be easier the shelves of our shops are heaving with countless brands and types of dog food over the years dog food has become a convenience we increasingly take for granted dog food was invented in 1860 by a chap called James Spratt for 1860 what most dogs ate was scraps and diamonds from the butcher and whatever was left over mr. Spratt was arriving in UK by boat happened to notice at the key side that there were lots of dogs who were running around trying to grab the biscuits that were on the key side we go back to the sort of 1930s when the first canning production happened the Chappell brothers in the UK started to make the first product and chappies still a brand that’s around today then after the Second World War as consumers began in general to want more convenient food the dog food manufacturers really increased their production and so that’s when we see commercial dog food really taking off but dogs haven’t always had their food served up to them in a dog bowl the first dog to roam the earth over 30 million years ago was the wild wolf the forefather of the domestic dog wolves were the very first dog and they are the ancestors to all our domestic dogs that genetic makeup is identical to that of the domestic dog I think it’s about a naught point naught 3% genetic difference with a bite power twice that of a pit bull terrier and three times that of a German Shepherd these wild beasts are genetically designed to eat meat this is one of the magic that we have brought in to us it’s roadkill for the Wolves we’ve got ten wolves on site and they all get raw food the walls that we have here they’ll eat anything from roadkill deer deer from the butchers rabbits hares and beef chicken carcasses the domestication of wolves into pet dogs started approximately 20,000 years ago then like now the one man and his dog relationship revolved almost entirely around food at its simplest wolves would eat scraps of human food in return for hunting and guarding concei wide laws did come from a while to to stay with the humans it was beneficial for them as well because they were guaranteed a meal the walls get fed six out of seven days and we give them one starved a week through bread cakes or what would happen in the wild and we do hand feed nine of our wolves in the world they would obviously carcass feed and they’d gorge themselves on food because they obviously don’t know when their next gonna have to kill they can eat the equivalent of about 80 hamburg’s in one sitting a lot of people also you don’t want to be doing this sort of thing when they’re preparing their dog’s dinner but I think with humans in a busy sore world and we don’t have time to do all this sort of thing either but has the chase for convenience in the dog food industry gone a step too far an increasing number of dog owners are deeply concerned that the welfare of our dogs is playing second fiddle to big business the dog food industry in Britain is basically a license to print money the market is dominated by five companies they have eighty percent of their market independent pet supplier scampers used to stock all types of food on their shelves slowly they realized that whilst there were a lot of different brand names they were all owned by just a handful of multinationals what happens is gradually taken over my business without me knowing because all of these were previously independent brands its takeover by stealth that’s what they’re doing when you look at the advertising budget and the packaging budget of the big pet food companies it must have an effect on the quality of the food inside it I think there’s huge ignorance I think the public have no idea what’s going into the dog food that they’re buying but in fact what’s going in is very low quality product if you’ve got a billion-dollar business and you removed 2% of the most expensive ingredient you’ve just saved an awful lot of money and the manufacturers are aided enormous ly by the legislation the legislators aren’t really concerned about what goes into it as long as it doesn’t kill the dog that’s actually what the vegetation says as long as it doesn’t damage the dog over a period of 3 to 6 months it’s absolutely fine to put it in coming up as concerns around commercial food increases today more than ever owners are opting for alternative diets when it comes to feeding our four-legged friends she has scrambled egg for breakfast we’ve cheese sometimes as a trait I’m quite happy to give them a home but only if they’re vegan like me there’s darkness beef there’s chicken I tell you what with a bit of pasta you’ll be all right Tully look Stanley is now on an allergy free diet which is high protein chicken and fresh vegetables sometimes for a variety he has been a scrambled egg or a bit of fish this is shun Lee and melody they are eating a vegan diet I usually cook brown rice mixed vegetables and tofu they enjoy the vegan diet very much as a nation we’re creatures of habit so if we’re to give up canned dog food what dietary choices do we have when it comes to feeding our four-legged friends one option is gaining ground on the south coast Brighton is the unofficial HQ of British vegetarian dog owners flying in the face of canine biology meat has been totally removed from their dog’s diets if you have a dog living in a home you become responsible for feeding that animal and you make decisions on these behalf when you go down to the shops a lot of our customers are thinking about the nutrition they’re thinking about the wider impact on other animals and also thinking about perhaps the environment as well but everyone makes decisions on behalf of their their dog otherwise you’d take your dog to the supermarket and he’d come out with a little trolley full of sausages and crisps we found a lot of our customers the problem they have is they’d like to do something ethical I rescue a dog but then this there sat at home in the kitchen about to feed their dog and about to spoon out a can full of other animals that were less fortunate and if vegetarian dogs seem strange what about vegan meat free hot dogs I’ve been a vegan for 26 years and I have two dogs I did feed them tiny bits of meat up until about two and a half years ago and I just couldn’t do it any longer I just couldn’t open any more tins of meat there’s no such thing as humane meat oh this work most of my friends are veggie vegan animal rights people answer within our community it’s quite natural to feed our dogs a plant-based diet they enjoy the food they scoff it but if left to their own devices what Denise’s dogs really go for vegan sausages over and above pork ones unfortunately the dogs don’t share my philosophy so even the chance they would eat meat being a vesture non vegans really as a sort of philosophical choice so unless you’re having a philosophical discussion of your dog he’s unlikely to become a vegan but you can feed him vegan food and he likes it he’s eating it he’s happy and staying healthy you can cook lentils and rice and I think most ghosts could live quite happily on a vegan diet a human vegan diet I wouldn’t go back to feeding other animals people are always saying the human beings are meant to be meat eaters well maybe they think they are but I know I don’t have to be and the reason I take in dogs is because their unwanted they’re homeless I’m quite happy to give them a home but only if they’re vegan like me all the veggie diets that we’ve seen provide all the complete nutrition a dog needs since diets we’ve had people reporting benefit some people found their dog’s arthritis was alleviated we’ve also had one customer who had a dog that repeatedly fitted but when they changed the diet and it hasn’t fitted since there’s an assumption some people make that our customer base are going to be some sort of vegan extremists and they’re going to force their views and this diet on the animal and there’s some poor dog who’s whimpering away wishing you could have a sausage the way I see it didn’t seem right rescuing them just so the other animals don’t have to be killed I think they’re happy with their lot let’s face it we all have to put up with our lot in life life isn’t fair but it’s certainly fairer for the cows and the pigs and the Sheep alongside the vegetarian option a whole new canine generation is enjoying a cordon bleu diet with a home cooked menu it’s felt that the main advantage of this diet is to know precisely what ingredients go into your dog’s bowl Julia in East Sussex feeds her performing dog flora a home cooked diet including bespoke seafood lasagnas this is flora she’s a cavity which is the Cavalier cross toy poodle she’s actually allergic to meet guys she can tolerate fish as her protein but I also feed her a lot of vegetables with proteins such as lentils and beans I’m using whitefish here which is haddock but we can use choline a previous dog I had died from stomach cancer and in my ignorance she was fed a processed diet for most of her life you immediately think what have I been feeding her I always said any future dogs that I had would have a home-cooked diet because I didn’t believe that the pet food industry was actually being very true and what they actually put into the food if God forbid anything did happen to her I’d know it wasn’t her food but for some dog owners indulging their pooches with home-cooked food isn’t about health it’s about luxury and in the case of Hayley and her Maltese dog Betty just a little bit of bling she has scrambled egg for breakfast weave she sometimes as a trait she does have macro as well sometimes and then she does have her roast dinners he might so happy she loves her phone is that right Eddie she doesn’t ever bother tell but she’s bit of a diva one worried dog owner was so convinced of the benefits of a home-cooked diet she went a step further creating a high-end pet food brand Lily’s kitchen I started Lily’s kitchen cuz my dog Lily was really ill she had lots of her scabs on her stomach and on the on the top part of her body as well and I thought maybe there’s a connection between her food and also her skin condition so I decided that I was going to start cooking for hers I made a few basic meals and within a couple of weeks she got better and I thought what have I been feeding her up till now you know it must have been something related to the food because the change in her was so dramatic when I started Lily’s kitchen I worked with four different vets as well as a nutritionist and a herbalist all food is completely different from what you can buy in a supermarket so it’s not like this highly processed gloop are me just absolutely fresh we have whole blueberries in there some of the recipes have strawberries in when you’re positionable you’ll recognize everything in that for Henriette the fresh ingredients of a home-cooked diet had some rather refreshing benefits I just thought Lily smart the way she smelt but when I changed her diet she never smells now in fact I forget to Bath it for months because she just smelled like a you know a lovely sort of wet carpet yeah but the ultimate somewhat controversial where you can feed your dog but is fast gaining ground amongst British owners is this at its simplest the raw diet is about feeding your dog a daily diet of fresh raw uncooked meat alongside a small portion of vegetables the belief is that raw meat best mimics the diet a dog would eat in the wild there are a list of items that you should happily feed your dog look at that rich muscle meat rib bones in his excellent free-range Devonshire dark pork sardines mackerel some people pick up roadkill I know people that have trapped squirrels you learn to see the goodness with something like this because the meat is uncooked advocates of a raw diet believe it offers the best nutritional value as soon as you feel your dog on a raw natural diet you see the difference everybody hates having to pick up the poop they’re trying to scrape this awful stinking Joel up off the floor and putting it into a bag however you feed your dog a raw diet and that poo becomes the tiniest hard little pellet a couple of years ago it was a situation where I had to go abroad I got in the car and took forever to get to the heath Road I went through security and you know the usual checks computer out the bag the next day I thought oh god I’m really cold and I put my hands in my pocket and there was a poo bag I thought I come all the way from England and as a poo bag in my pocket now if that had been conventional dog food or let’s say tin dog food I would have thought the odour itself in the car on the way there would have put me off straightaway but because it was a raw food that I’ve been feeding her there was no smell at all supporters of the raw diet include a handful of qualified vets the UK’s leading holistic fact Richard Allport believes that the right diet for your dog is the most vital thing you can do to keep it healthy and happy the holistic idea is to look at everything the emotions of the background what triggered problems off then you can stand back and look at diet you can look at treatments that will help on all those different levels and one of the first things I do now then a new patient is to look at their diet and almost always suggest changing to raw and that often even without treatment makes a big difference oh it’s so that’s okay okay yeah I think any vet will tell you one of the cons things any vet sees is chronic itchy dogs they scratch on edge and the fur comes out and a huge number of owners will be improved over the state almost overnight just by going to a natural raw diet I started feeding my dogs raw about 15 years ago since I’ve been feeding them or I must have met there being less digestive problems less skin problems better teeth first week I had him I changed him on to raw and he certainly seems quite healthy and well don’t you pop it his only trip to the vet with me has been to say hello to them you put a natural food into the dog you get far more natural behaviors and you know a dog that thrives you hear horror stories from other owners about all my dogs always whining my dogs always barking all the dogs always chewing so Liam got one know that he doesn’t do that and it just seems a great pleasure to have a key part of the raw diet is also uncooked bones again it’s felt that if dogs naturally chew on them in the wild why stop them from doing so in our homes far more dogs will have much healthier teeth will not need dental treatment will not need dense extractions if they’re if they’re feeding on raw bones that otherwise there’s a couple of rules you must abide by the bones you feed must be raw not cooked and you need to get a good mix of meat and bone and some vegetation handling raw meat isn’t for the squeamish so some raw food companies have taken the blood and guts element out by processing it all into neat little packages as far as frozen sausage and literally you just defrost them overnight their own food would be much easier because just pour over packing takes a little bit of time but hey it’s nothing really he’s very content what’s nice is that you can get really savvy and you can get some pleasure actually in sourcing some great stuff there’s darkness beef there’s chicken I tell you what with a bit of pasta would be all right whilst Rohr feeders are adamant that a natural diet is the best way to feed a dog they’re even more passionate with their criticisms of commercially processed dog food one concern is that it contains ingredients dogs don’t need a process diet has grain in it for example a dog does not need grain it cannot process grain effectively that is why when you feed your dog a process that which has grain in there is an awful lot of poo coming out the other end because all it’s doing is filling the dog up and the dog can’t actually utilize that poor nutrition can also lead to other problems skin allergies arrive and digestive problems I mean who ever would have heard of dogs with IBD IBS colitis there’s a huge problem in dogs with obesity and diabetes and diseases to do with nutrition and it’s interesting if you have a dog saying their diabetes your vet will often sell you a special prescription diet which is essentially high protein low carbohydrate which is what they should be eating anyway the food is designed to look meaty to look chunky it has gravy I would love to know what’s actually in that gravy probably a mix of sugars and that’s why the dogs will lap it up first because it’s really sweet I get a sugar rush they’re getting carbohydrates that they don’t know what to do with and they start to bounce off the walls what is most heartbreaking and what we see time and time again is when we’re talking to rescue centers these people will take their dog because they cannot cope with the dog any any longer it’s untrainable it’s bouncing off the walls and what absolutely breaks my heart is that if that dog have been fed a natural diet it wouldn’t really definitely rescue her no sorry it’s really pretty but you know it loses its home dolls deserve to eat what’s going to make them healthy and extend their lives in my belief about nine out of ten visits to the vet are caused by the diet that dogs are on we know with human health that if we eat healthy food and in particular if we eat fresh fruit and vegetables which we need a longer life and a healthier life whereas if we process food food that’s heavy and salt or sugar or fat we’re less healthy and we need a shorter life and it the same is true for dogs coming up with commercial food now in the spotlight some difficult questions are also being asked of the relationship between vets and the nutritional advice they pass on to dog owners sadly I think our profession is slightly being calmed by the big pet food companies who say we know how to feed we know about nutrition they don’t vet should be the ones talking about nutrition all we seem to do is go along we’ve got a big pet food companies say what the pet food companies that are called in to is to really help out in terms of nutritional training for that for the vets but there’s no particular acts that they’re grinding when they do that I think that vets get an element of nutritional training but unfortunates product I put product training I think big reputable food manufacturers on the whole have done a lot of research into the specific needs our pets money all her life has eaten a raw food diet I really believe that you are what you eat and raw green tripe is really considered an alexia for dogs we feed them on a dry food we just get stopped everywhere by people you know how wonderful their coats are and softer that food gives them everything that they need if there’s one place where a dog’s health is paramount it’s an animal rescue center for vets here at the Blue Cross dogs home deciding the right food for their needy dogs is vital I could girl my give you the once-over Allison Thomas assesses every dog that comes into the center and tailors their diet accordingly Kai is an adult husky he had a bacterial infection which we treated he was said a commercial complete and balanced sensitivity diet I think refutable pet food manufacturers on the whole have done a lot of research into the specific needs of our pets and what is going to be the optimal diet but could commercial dog food be a major cause of obesity there’s multiple reasons for obesity in our pets today over feeding is one of the problems many owners are feeding their pets to the point of obesity without meaning to and without realizing it in some cases I think exercise is a big issue as well particularly in cities and with people working longer hours a lot of animals don’t receive the the exercise that that they need to maintain good health not only is commercial food seen as an appropriate diet for rescue dogs but at the most prestigious veterinary establishment in the country the Royal Veterinary College experts insist there is nutritional value to be had in commercial pet foods the requirements of an animal changes as they grow so the formulations change to their needs there’s some commercial foods that are excellent there there’s a lot of evidence to show that they are promoting optimal health when diets are formulated for different life stages is now is not a gimmick we now frequently encounter dogs that are in their 20s and there’s some studies that looked at life span of animals and they actually can change by a few years depending on on the food that they’re eating or how they’re fed so I think that there’s some – to the point that food is having an effect in a lifespan regardless as to which side of the argument you’re on one fact is certain most dog owners in Britain want the absolute best for their dogs but most of us first confront dog food on our supermarket shelves and with so many different types deciding which one to give your dog can be tricky for many labeling is a major hurdle meat and animal drug derivatives derivatives of vegetable origin fish and fish derivatives mill around 37% including minimum 4% chicken oh we’ve got some chicken that’s quite good derivatives of vegetable origin have no idea 43% meat and animal derivatives of which minimum 26% meat coloring cereals and sugars what does the dog need sugars for very confusing don’t name the word derivative well it tells you that they don’t want to tell you what it is I’m assuming people don’t even read it and just give it to their dogs the biggest issue I’ve got with anything which is processes that you really don’t know what’s in it and actually unless you try very hard to read the label you don’t know where it’s come from I don’t personally understand a lot of the ingredients that are listed I don’t know why they’re in there the pet food Manufacturers Association is the principal trade body representing the UK pet food industry they’re well-placed to help explain why the labeling on dog food is so impenetrable the thing you have to remember about pet food is we don’t have legislation written just for us what we have is legislation that covers feed industry so it’s – it’s really aimed at farmers and people who in the feed industry they don’t want to make different regulations for pet food so they’ve lumped pet food in with feed animals but they’re very different so we don’t really have the ability to use the terms often that we would like – there’s not really that many ingredients that you would recognize in the food itself they’re things like animal derivatives are minerals of a vegetable origin you know I thought well what what is this mean animal derivatives is what we are required to call the parts of the animal that we use once the human food chain chain has taken what it needed it’s now going to be the prime cuts of meat but they’re not to say that they’re not nutritious with virtually all tins of wet food and bags of dry kibble claiming to be nutritional the term embraces all manner of weird and wonderful ingredients it could be hair wigs hooves tails testicles the bits and pieces that nobody else wants a very cheap dog food is cheap for a reason it’s not because the company’s decided out of the goodness of their hearts to make a cheap pet food it’s because the ingredients in it extremely cheap ingredients most commercial foods also contain a wide range of additives and flavorings it’s there to make sure that when you you take that product and you’ve opened it in a week’s time it’s still going to give you the same quality the flavorings are so strong on those processed foods that’s why other dogs would sometimes come along and eat the poo of processed said dogs because it still tastes like the kibble because the flavorings the flavor enhancers and things that that are so strong attitudes are there for many different purposes but manufactures would use them as less as possible because they’re expensive so they don’t want to use additives if they can avoid it one of the key ingredients in most commercial dog foods is the use of colorants the way they make the dog food is they heat it to a very high temperature and it turns into a sort of grey goop that’s the only way to describe it I was smuggled into the factory and I’ve seen it being made so it’s in huge vats and they’re basically they’re rendering it all down it’s a fairly insipid color you haven’t it doesn’t look like what goes into it no one’s going to buy dog food that looks like a grey goop so the first thing they do is they add some coloring to it they add artificial colors to it colors that look like this just the foods we made in sellafield colorants are sometimes used because during the manufacturing process the color of the product degrades so consumed we’ll want to make sure that that product looks the same every time those dogs don’t care it looks like they like but it smells like and they’ll be tastes like sometimes they used not really for the dog because the dog is pretty colorblind the bigger pet food companies are selling to the people and not sounds are dogs when it comes to the welfare of our beloved dogs it’s hard to find an entirely impartial opinion one watchdog however is seeking to demystify the jargon so it says healthy digestion strong muscles healthy teeth healthy heart now the problem is there’s no that you need to pass in order to say that your food helps to promote a healthy heart it says natural quality ingredients for a healthy digestion but all you have there is very very broad terms that really could mean anything I mean the main ingredients cereals meat and animal derivatives are vegetable protein extracts a legal but controversial ingredient propylene glycol is another worry for many dog owners propylene glycol primarily is a preservative in this one but actually that’s one of the main constituents of antifreeze when you’re looking at buying a dog the first thing to do because there really is no way of telling what’s in there if they don’t tell you if they do use these umbrella terms then just put it back on the shelf there are certain rules about food labeling so when you’re looking at a bag if it says chicken and rice it has to have a minimum of 26% chicken if it’s rich in chicken a minimum of 40% chicken and then if it says with only has to have a minimum of 4% and then if it’s flavor none till decoding the packaging isn’t easy so what else should we be looking out for meats should be the first ingredient on the packet really so that would be sort of a half to two-thirds meat you do want to steer clear of anything that’s too high in fat and sugar wheat maize perhaps not so good but things like brown rice I’ve always found to be a really useful ingredient for a lot of dogs because it contains a massive range of nutrients a lot of manufacturers sort of go out of their way to make it difficult for us but if you know what to look for then you can really make the the right choices for your dogs one of the most alarming accusations being thrown at the commercial brands revolves around them having infiltrated the pet health care system it’s felt that the very people we turn to for advice on our dog’s dietary needs namely vets aren’t quite as impartial as they would like us to believe when vets do their training they get about half a day usually on canine nutrition and their fourth day is sponsored by the major dog food companies and what the dog food companies aren’t saying is well the choices would you give the dog a raw food diet a natural diet or will you give them processed food they just start on the premise that the processed food is the only sort of food that the dog should receive so the information they’re given is not necessarily the information that’s in the best interests of the dog I think that vets get an element of nutritional trailer but unfortunates product I call it product training I went along with what was the norm and that was what vets did you suggested to commercial diets and it was a people into do I think there is a problem why can’t we source independent education that is not branded the pet food industry should be a partner and not sole charge of providing education the consumer will benefit from from having multiple views indeed with commercial pet food products often taking pride of place in veterinary receptions it’s felt that there is a commercial connection between the nutritional advice given by vets and the food on sale in their practices every day you’ll see their food on sale on the vets shelves and actually the vet will earn a nice percentage of sales commission for selling that food unfortunately a lot of vets are in a position where they need to support what they’re doing with the sale of foods so it did they have a vested interest in promoting certain products and it’s not necessarily the case that they are the best or the most appropriate you trust what people tell you and they want the best for your dog as you do but unfortunately I don’t think in all cases it is correct you could point the finger and say do you know what is it you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours I have a huge amount of respect for the commercial food that we feed the fact that it’s donated to us is absolutely wonderful as a charity we have to make judgments based on what is available to us and what is affordable I don’t believe that Blue Cross would make an economical decision when it comes down to nutrition but for those advocating alternative diets suspicion towards the commercial brands and their far-reaching influence on the health of our dogs still persists arguing that one particular processed food produced by one manufacturer is better than other is it’s rubbish it’s like suggesting one brand of fast food is better than another brand of fast food the truth is it’s all the same there’s a lot of evidence to show that a lot of diseases are managed by a properly diet whether a lot of is caused by commercial diets that’s the part of that we don’t know this suspicion about the integrity of the pet food industry is being stirred up by people who also have a vested interest they’ve got a book to sell you they’ve got a product to sell you coming up commercial dog food isn’t the only diet to come under scrutiny I’ve certainly seen cases of dogs that eat a raw me t-bone diet with dental disease and some concerns with the raw diet are slightly more worrying than others Dahl zero prone to Salmonella and and the Salmonella is on the shedded coat I think it’s important to feed a raw food diet because I think dogs really benefit from having healthy natural food we’re told by doctors not to eat junk food all the time why should they lucky gets Weetabix in the mornings with minster Sawyer he loves that but things aren’t as straightforward as we’d like to think as well as worries with the quality of the food in commercial brands there are emerging concerns about the safety of the raw food diet the virtue of the raw diet uncooked meat is also its major drawback particularly with the threat of salmonella dogs are very prone to salmonella and if if I was going to feed you know raw meat to to to Lily um you know the Salmonella comes through on her coats that she obviously sheds like any dog does and and the Salmonella is on the shedded coat in the states there have been warnings by the Centers of Disease Control about pet food having contaminants like someone Ella and that being a health concern for children so the types of Salmonella that are being seen in children can be traced to the food that dogs are eating one area of canine health that offers important clues as to the value of certain diets is where the food enters their bodies the mouth gum disease is the commonest disease that we see in vet me practice with Peter Sotherton isn’t convinced that a raw diet is the best option where dental hygiene is concerned I’ve certainly seen cases of dogs that eat a raw me t-bone diet with dental disease so feeding a raw diet doesn’t necessarily prevent it there’s any really one thing that that really makes a difference or makes a big difference and that is brushing our pets teeth the centerpiece of the raw diet the bone or nature’s toothbrush as the raw lobby described it is in fact an enormous bone of contention there is the risk of tooth fracture so if you’re feeding larger bones but many vets feel there are more serious dangers that can arise from a diet including raw bones the biggest concern is when the bones are actually stuck we can see there’s a large amount of bone immature in the stomach which may or may not pass and there if the animal starts vomiting or has abdominal pain that might mean that we need to retrieve it surgically the most serious criticism of the raw diet is the lack of scientific evidence to support it there’s a lot of claims about raw food diet in terms of their health benefits and yet all the research has come out has raised concerns about their safety in terms of bacteriological contamination their nutrient balance but there hasn’t been any to demonstrate any clinical benefit the raw food diets they’re making claims but they can’t back them up yet the only people who do any scientific tests on the food are the dog food manufacturers and and not surprisingly their tests come out in favor of the food the thing about the raw food movement is that it’s considered an alternative movement and there’s no funding involved because it no one’s making any profit from it there’s no money there for research so what one finds is that there’s very very little scientific research into war feeding but I actually think what will happen is that the market will change in the future and that the mainstream manufacturers are going to find that the demand for raw food and a natural diet is so great that they begin to switch the food that they produce I think what we’re going to see in the future is all these big corporate pet food companies bringing out so-called natural brands there will be new the new hills natural foods they’ll be the new Pro Plan natural food the problem this is never going to be the same profit margin in producing a really made raw food for dogs as there is income for food and therefore I can’t ever see the big major pet food companies changing with vested commercial interests however large or small on all sides of the debate perhaps a trip back up the evolutionary ladder could help clarify things the thing about the canine digestive system is it’s identical to the wolf’s digestive system so it has exactly the same strength of stomach acids it has exactly the same digestive enzymes so what one finds is the digestive system of say a Chihuahua is exactly the same as the digestive system of a grey wolf and as a result they should be eating exactly the same diet you can’t necessarily draw the conclusion that because a wolf eats a certain diet that a Chihuahua necessarily would benefit from the same diet you know they’re very different they the shapes of their mouths are very different what they’re capable of chewing is very different the bite force that a small dog would have compared with a wolf will be hugely different I can’t say just simply because it’s a dog and it’s it looks like a wolf that therefore its dietary requirements would be the same there are people that would suggest that even captive wolves have better oral health if they’re fed a commercial diet than a raw diet so that completely contradicts the idea that a raw diet is better a lot of claim about dogs in a wild and you know dogs didn’t didn’t start out eating commercial food while nobody did and there’s a lot of things that have occurred because of improvement in food quality a lot of it is based on people’s perceptions and misconceptions about what is the right thing to feed a dog dogs are domesticated animals and so they have evolved since becoming domesticated and therefore their needs may have change but if the debate cannot be settled by looking at the ancestral habits of the wolf how can well-meaning dog lovers provide the best nutrition for their favorite four-legged friends in terms of is certain diets better than not does I think we’re still trying to find that out I know that not everybody in the world if they’re going to feed their dog a raw me t-bone diet if not the next best is still fresh food that’s been hopefully very lightly cooked lighten the better um and that’s fine I mean I’m not saying that that no dog can exist or be healthy without a raw food diet but as long as the food is good quality and he’s only lightly processed then it’s still going to be fine I think that people should have a conversation with their veterinary surgeon so that they can make a balanced judgment on it people need to be educated in terms of what they’re getting talking to the companies about what products they have and what science behind that is when you’re looking at buying it off it use your common sense really you know nutrition it’s not rocket science we all feed ourselves and we feed our children just based on common sense and we do a very good job of it and it’s exactly the same for our dogs we instinctively know most of us what a dog should be eating and what a dog shouldn’t be eating people do have different ideas about how to feed their dog that’s understandable but ultimately it’s the look and the health of your dog from city to swamp event Fogle’s living the rat race behind a tackle new lies in the wild that’s kicking off tomorrow at 9 vector tonight and what drives a child to commit murder we investigate kids who kill brand-new and annoy next