Dog Nutrition Education and Clarification - Our View
This blog has been in the back of my brain to write and vlog about for over a year now. I hold back because I do not want to offend, but as noted by a friend, we have to speak up, when it comes to misinformation. Getting bullied by big companies with HUGE money, is a struggle always. Someone has to be a voice. I also despise people that give advice and do not know anything, and I for one, do not want to be 'that' person. My parents always use to say 'Joyce, mind your own business'. I try to always. However in this case, I need to be the voice of so many dogs, who's parents love them so much, but are misguided.
Disclaimer - you all know I am no vet, no vet tech or dog nutritionist. This is coming from my observations, my research and my experience. Also, it legit merely takes COMMON SENSE, to understand this, THAT is how simple it is. I know, I know, common sense is not too common nowadays.
Also when I say 'vets' - I am not implying all vets. We in Calgary have some of the best vets in the industry. We also have some misguided ones that have sadly been brainwashed by big conglomerate companies, into Dog Nutrition. They too keep quiet, or remain private, to avoid controversy. They are hard to find, but so worth it, to support. Be their voice.
'We know your pet concerns, now how can we profit hugely on it?' Fear creates money making opportunities.
This does not just apply to the dog industry, this also relates to the human industry.
It is all in one, well because folks, we are all consumers.
Fact #1: Whatever is not good enough for human consumption, funnels to pets. This is one fact that NOT everyone knows. Some companies might use more quality 'ingredients' - but most use spoiled goods, deceased and diseased etc. I read even somewhere, some countries use deceased pets gathered by some clinics. Whatever they can find, to combine, color and process as 'food'.
What can a company do, to spend less, but be the most profitable. I fail this business concept because I like to maximize quality to give everyone the best. What can I spend the most to give everyone the best, without going under. LOL (sigh).
What is the most profitable?
Corn and Sugar are one of the biggest industries in the world. Cheap to produce, and super versatile. Turnaround time is quick, maintenance is little, safe to say, the least effort and care in this product, shows it's true identity. It is NOT good for you - but is one of the most used agricultural product.
Today I got triggered (yes I too get triggered) by a post made from a vet student on a Calgary Dog Forum. She, nothing against her, advised a group of dog lovers, that Corn was nutritional. Her words: "Corn and grains are your friend! They are not just fillers and are actually a good source of carbohydrates and energy."
Also the topper was: "boutique brands very little research goes into their food and there are no veterinary nutritionists involved in its development."
A new dog owner might read this, and go 'oh wow.. ' but as a common sense human, you should all know, that any veterinary nutritionist, who thinks Corn is good for your dog, or you as a human, is someone you do not listen to. Their innocence was only stemmed from a high marketing individual, who thought 'how can we focus on the good of our cheapest, most controversial product, to mask it as something so amazing?'
As noted in my video, if there was NO good dog food out there, I wouldn't sell it. I am NOT in the business to sell, I am a dog service professional. Buying, stocking and having space for dog food is more of minus to me. So her note that 'boutique stores do not know' does not apply to all stores. Find that SMART store.
My favorite ones in Calgary: Doodle Dogs, almost every Tailblazers (Ranchlands and Copperfield), Global Pets Cochrane AND Calgary Pet Bakery.
I have a boutique, because I am a dog lover and love everything dog. I only stock items I buy for my own dogs. Not who gives me the best deal. Not who gives me the most profit.
Yes we are all in business to make money, that is life. However spreading lies and brainwashing others, is not moral and not fair. It infuriates me. <insert trigger>
2 years ago, a select few companies, banded together to push forth a false claim against some great brands - who's sole focus is, dog nutrition. These BIG companies saw a decline in their dog food sale - why?
They are NOT funded by big companies BUT thriving in the dog industry. WHY?
Simple. Their dog food, when it comes to kibble, is the best there is. That DCM lists, marks some of the best private, dog food companies out there.
They took away from companies like Purina, Science Diet and Royal Canin. So how did they go about it? They targeted the person, you should trust the most, when it comes to dog health.
FACT #2 - just to throw it out there - a list of parent companies:
Science Diet is owned by Palmolive.
Purina is owned by Nestle (who recently put out claims that Blue Buffalo was bad, to promote their Purina brand, when they ALL use to be under the same company. Think about Pepsi and Coco Cola).
Royal Canin is owned by Mars, and Mars, also, owns VCA as of 2017. It itself, was a huge worry for the Pet Industry.
Since, General Mills purchased Blue Buffalo.
This blog, I am trying hard not to bash anyone. However I want you all to make common sense judgements. These companies, solely produce dog food, as they need to disperse all the non human consumables, somewhere, to maximize profit. I would be stoked to have a Vet Food produced solely for pets, meant for pets, from their own farm and processing plant. I HATE saying 'vet food' in a negative tone.
FACT#3: If your dog food has a commercial, that money for that commercial, is going to that commercial, not the quality of the ingredients. We all know how much it is to create and market a commercial. It is mindblowing.
I stated in my video, my eyes really opened, in my 2nd year of business, when I attended the biggest Pet Convention, Superzoo, in Las Vegas.
You walk in and BAM, you see a whole section, under the umbrella of Cargill, the biggest, agricultural firm. Under it, was those sparkly brands like Pedigree, Eukanba and Purina back then. They were there to educate ME and our then Manager Amber, on how to 'lie' to our clients, if we sold their food, how beneficial Corn was to a dogs diet. Seeing an 18 year old Amber talk down to the sales people, made me so proud of her. We aren't stupid. We know, Corn (and the sugars from it), is your biggest and cheapest to produce. Zero nutritional value is present. That is why your ingredient list is so long with all the preservatives and chemicals you need it for an animal to survive on it while eating it.
It does NOT take a rocket scientist or schooling to figure that out people. So do not give me the 'you are not a vet' speech.
So all I ask of everyone, is to step back and use that common sense module in your head to make decisions on your dogs food.
For me, I feed raw (which some vet are against.. which is for another vent), and then I recommend home cooked foods. Then I stock a few of my favorite kibbles for convenience and budget. If I don't have it, I refer clients. Yes, when a dog has an upset tummy, I do refer them to my fave vet clinics for Gastro.
Processed foods will not kill you or your dog. However if you are wanting your dog to live longer, and be healthy, make the right decision, not what you are told. Each time someone asks me for my dog food opinion, I always say 'do your research'. This is not because I am not confident on my choices, because at the end of the day, it is your decision. If you do your research, some quality foods, are actually cheaper, than dog food, such as making your own.
Even for humans, we see all the commercials about gut health, 'drink this yogurt' that is FULL of sugar. 'start your mornings right by eating this bar full of everything you need' or 'snacks for your kids that are good for them'. All that jazz in commercials, the money goes to the commercials, not your kids food. The food is sooo good, because it is packed with sugar with next to zero nutritional value.
To further educate you - please watch Pet Fooled on Netflix and for humans, The Magic Pill. I learned a lot about nutrition from just researching and of course, experiencing it myself when I went on Keto. I love to eat and I love foods I have grown up with - but going back to basics and negating sugars and processed foods, definitely helped me lose weight, cut out my arthritic pain AND stabilized my hormones. Sadly, I love carbs too much to negate them, so now I am 40lbs overweight again - however for my kids, my dogs, I can make those decisions for them.
A good vet, which there a many, will not say no to raw, or what you feed your dog is right or wrong, but educate you to make your own decisions. Leadership is not about guilting you or forcing you to make decisions, but educating in hopes you make the right decision.
My vets always commend me on how healthy my dogs are, and that is, due to raw. I am rarely at the vet which I am thankful for... but what you put into your dog, is what you get out of it. If you need toppers for your dogs food or need to beg them to eat.. they know.
Last week a client swapped their dog to a food their vet recommended, as the vet advised that Acana causes heart issues. His dog stopped eating. Why? Dogs know.
One thing my dad taught me when I was young, was never believe everything you read and watch. Do your own diligence, and that is all I am asking for you, as a dog parent.
Dog nutrition does not take a scientist - nor is eating - just use your common sense.
Here is a great read if you need to hear it from professionals: https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/calling-bullhit-prescription-diet-dog-food/
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me. If I do not know, I'll always direct you to the proper channel.
Not to toot our horns, but it is caregivers like the Sleep Rover crew and companies like Doodle Dogs that care so much about your dogs health and well being, that we have 'saved' lives. Ridding allergies, skin conditions and diseases as simple as urine infections and bladder stones, is huge. Having the inside of your dog run efficiently and strong, is huge.
We thrive, because of word of mouth BECAUSE of the results. Actions speak louder than words. Your dogs will thank you.
Trust me, I was not too happy when I found out I was eating yogurt all this time, thinking it was curing my gut and issues when in fact it was packing sugar into my diet and getting me even fatter. I also fed my dogs Pedigree when I was a teen after watching commercials on TV. We all can learn and be educated.