This post rides on the back of podcast number 9 and a couple of other articles I have written. So yes, it’s a bit of a repeat but I kindly assure you its worth repeating. To be honest, I have real trouble keeping a lid on this, keeping it diplomatic, civilised and not resorting to shouting, swearing or angry youtube videos. Or all of the above. So if we all want to sleep easy, READ ON!
Whilst this is opinion, each of the ingredients we are going to cover in this post have either been proven to be harmful to health or are linked to overwhelming evidence that they are so. This is why I am so passionate about getting this message out there.
I believe the majority of illnesses within dogs are simply avoidable.
I believe there are two main reasons that despite the huge advances in veterinary medicine, disease and cancer rates in dogs continue to rise. These are : the food they eat & the chemicals they are exposed to.
The following are my top 5 food culprits, they are in no particular order as none of them should be present in your dogs diet if you want it to lead a healthier life.
Number One : Grains
Grains are getting a really bad rap of late. It’s not a fad. Its all totally justified. Scientifically. Much like the cigarette industry fighting back 20 years ago, the grain producers are putting on a brave “head in the sand” advertising effort. Only the other day I spotted a van shouting “Grains for Brains” on its side. I was tempted to scrawl “disease” at the end of it. But then that would make me as big a criminal as they are.
Marketed in the early 20th century as the sustainable healthy answer to feeding a growing population. Basically it’s all BS. It was BS then and its even more BS now. Whole wheat, heritage, organic, ancient, all different brands of BS.
Neither humans nor dogs were designed to digest grains. (with the exception of rice in some cases). And grains don’t want to be digested. They want to left alone by people, dogs or anything else that would eat them . To protect themselves they produce proteins which create inflammation.
The clever evolutionary tactic behind this is to prevent an animal returning to eat more of it, so the grain can survive and thrive unmolested.
Like a jellyfish. Come near me and I sting you. Grains, eat me and I create digestive issues, stop eating me.
Yet here we are, repeatedly running against the wall, expecting a different outcome. Soaring cancer rates. Soaring auto immune disease. Arthritis, alzheimer’s, IBS, you name it. All now linked to leaky gut. Grains one of the major causes of leaky gut.
Its time to stop.
Whenever I speak with human patients I focus on the top couple of items they can feel better on, or rather off, immediately. Grains are always top of my list
Number Two : Corn in all of its forms.
Yes I know those childhood adverts were so beguiling. Catchy, healthy, friendly, so misleading. When you think about it for a moment the idea of a dog eating corn is ridiculous. Give a dog the option of a bone, a slipper or a corn cob and what is it going to choose in which order?
But bake, spin, wash and grind this down into a filler to bulk up manufactured dog food and how does the poor dog even have a choice?
None of those processes by the way add value to health elements of corn. Of which there are more bad than good anyway.
So whats the issue with corn? Threefold.
Because it’s so prevalent as a filler and ironically in those “Vet approved, clinically proven to help your dog with a hypoallergenic diet” (whilst being the most expensive food on the shelf), corn is a cheap filler that is present in so many foods, because of exactly that, it is so cheap.
As such, it is regularly associated with food intolerances, both being one itself and causing more through leaky gut. Dogs get exposed to it accidentally and continually in processed foods.
Next, corn is high in sugars so creates inflammation which is, you guessed it, associated with leaky gut, food intolerances and the rest.
Thirdly, corn is one of the most genetically modified crops on the planet. And those clever geneticists are not modifying crops to improve the health benefit for dogs. The modifications are designed to improve yield, growth rates and profits.
We have no idea yet what the outcome of this is. Environmentally it doesn’t look good. Health wise either though at this point this is speculation.
All this for a product which is not designed for dog consumption whatsoever.
A raw diet is so much simpler, natural and healthy.
Number Three : Soy
For many of those Corn reasons above, Soy is far from a default dog food. Yet again, it is often included in Hypoallergenic meals.
It cheap, prevalent and hugely genetically modified.
It also is a huge hormone disruptor. Yes Soy is a food which alters your hormone balance. Its a phyto oestrogen and acts similarly to normal oestrogen, on receptors as if it were the dog’s own hormones.
Number Four : MRM (Mechanically Processed Meat)
This is truly the most gruesome and Frankenstein of processes. Carcasses that would otherwise inedible, are machine scraped for “parts” which are further ground down and then another machine puts these together into lumps or chunks. Which then go into dog food.
Standing back from this you have to ask why anyone would go to such lengths? The answer is simple, its turning food rubbish into dog food gold.
I am going to swerve further detail in the interest of keeping this article decent but google it and see if it sounds appealing.
Number Five : Processed Food itself
The processing of food itself creates huge damage to that food, making it very toxic. Overheating & excessively long “baking” of kibbles creates mutation in the food cells, damaging fats and changing the shape of proteins. These are very harmful to dogs AND humans.
One of these by-products is ROS. Ignoring my tongue twisting mistake on the podcast these are “Reactive Oxygen Species”. It’s very much like burning meat on your summer barbecue. Loaded with ROS.
In fact let me police myself first of all. I made two mistakes on the podcast. ROS is Reactive Oxygen Species (one of the causes of this is heat in the manufacturing process of kibble).
I also then leapt onto AGES (Advanced Glycated End products) . These are different. (albeit similar)
AGES are caused by exposing Proteins to sugar. The protein is effectively “burnt by the sugar”. So slightly different.
Both are scientifically linked to accelerated ageing, diseases and cancer.
Both are present in traditional Kibble. Especially the ones which have higher carbohydrate or sugar content
That is my summary of the top toxic foods. Its far from exhaustive but avoid these are you have covered most of them. Be exacting, check the ingredients and be surprised, or better still keep it simple, keep it natural and keep it healthy, go RAW.
Remember the choices you make have a commercial impact on these producers. Together we can literally change the future of dog health and the planet we share with them. Or at the very least what’s grown on it.
Please contact me for further details on any of the above points or any other topics you want me to address! Always happy to answer questions and grow.
Wishing you well!
Tags: corn, grains, MRM, processed food, soy, toxic food