How Safe and Healthy Is Your Dog's Food? An Eye-Opening Video.

how safe and healthy is your dog food

Do you think dogs are living longer today than a decade ago? 

In this 7 minute eye-opening video on dog food you will:

  • Learn startling industry truths - what consumer advocates know that you should too.
  • Understand what Human Grade pet food means and why it is so important for dogs.
  • Discover an excellent consumer guide to good pet food choices that will help your dog enjoy a healthier, longer life.
  • See that simple, affordable choices can have a meaningful impact on your dog's healthy lifespan.
  • Gain insights from Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, Rodney Habib and Susan Thixton.
So cuddle up with that one of a kind pup of yours and enjoy this remarkable video for the love of dogs.  May they live forever.
Would you rather read the transcript than watch the video?  Scroll down for the full transcript...
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Dogs are amazing. Dogs have super powers. They can make everything amazing. Even yucky stuff. Take goose poop. Yuck. But put a dog with goose poop and that poop becomes --  AMAZING!

All dog lovers agree on this. Know what else dog lovers agree on?
The two biggest influences on dog health: diet and exercise.

Veterinary medicine has come a long way in the last generation. Integrative approaches, stem-cell and immunotherapies, advanced diagnostics and telemedicine. You can now do an ultrasound on a dog in his living-room! That's amazing!

Do you think dogs live longer today then they did a decade ago?

I want to show you something...

UK Kennel club conducts a study every 10 years of thousands of dogs. 

These were the lifespans by breed in 2004. [Graph shown in video]

Now look at the lifespans by breed in 2014. [Graph shown in video]

Overlay the two graphs and you see something staggering.

Despite medical advances. Despite what we believe we know about healthy living. Despite the monumental trend of "humanizing" our pets, dogs are living shorter lives.

In this study the overall median lifespan of dogs in 2004 was 11.3 years. In 2014 it was 10.3 years. Dogs lost an entire year of their lives in the last decade.

So if diet and exercise are the two biggest ways health is impacted, what do you think may be contributing to a dog's shorter lifespan?

Do you know who regulates pet food?

    -- Who decides what "complete and balanced" nutritional profiles for our pets and livestock animals look like?

   -- Who decides what can and can't be said on a label? 

   --Who decides what the permissible levels of heavy metal contaminants are in certain mineral supplements. 

   --Who, for example, decides that corn gluten meal, the active ingredient in pesticides and weed killers can be sold as an ingredient in dog food?

AAFCO is a private, volunteer organization that establishes all those things. They do so with the understanding of the FDA. The laws are then interpreted and enforced (or not) at the discretion of FDA and -- each state. Some things are enforced, and some things aren't. This makes things pretty muddy for consumers.

Know what else makes things muddy? Those regulations are protected by copyright. Parents have no legal right to read the laws that govern what they feed their dog.

Now do you know how big the US pet food industry is? 

In 2020 it was $42Billion (and growing).

Envision yourself walking down the dog food aisle of a pet supply store or a grocery store with the myriad of choices in food and treats. You probably think there are a lot of companies making this stuff.

No doubt, there is an daunting variety of brands in the pet food space that can be overwhelming to the pet parent, but many of those brands are made by just two companies.

Mars Petcare's and Nestle Purina Petcare's combined revenues are $33.5 Billion which is equivalent to 80% of the entire US pet food industry.

Now consider for a hot second, that these two companies don't just make money on what our pets eat.

These two multi-billion dollar, vertically integrated corporations make money treating and managing our pets' diseases.

Take Mars. They feed their multi-billion dollar network of hospitals with patients with GI upset, allergies, ear infections, yeast infections, obesity, diabetes, liver disease, a broad spectrum of inflammatory conditions including cancer -- all potentially food-related or exacerbated woes -- to the tune of 25 million veterinary office visits annually.

Pet parents also may have a bone to pick with the connection between trade associations and the regulators.

Trade associations like Pet Food Institute and American Feed Industry Association (AFIA for short) have members who are employees of big pet food corporations.

AAFCO allows these people with their special interests to participate in the regulatory process as AAFCO advisory members. Moreover, AAFCO has banned consumers and consumer advocates from attendance at AAFCO meetings.

Additionally, consumer advocates discovered that one law firm has represented both AAFCO and AFIA - both the regulator and the regulated.

With a machine like that, parents may begin to speculate how much sway Big Industry has over the regulatory process at AAFCO, the narrative around healthy pet food choices, and what is allowed into their dogs' diet that may be having this negative effect on lifespan.

It's time we took a good hard look at what's in our dog's bowl.

Nutritionists agree that dogs have no biologic need for starch. Yet, the average bag of grain-based dog food is over 50% carbs, largely from insulin-raising corn and potatoes. Corn also receives 30% of all agricultural chemicals used in the US.

Grain-free dog food is not much better. It averages 40% sugars and starches.

Think for a moment what your body would look like if 50% of your daily diet came from pasta. The relationship between carbs, blood sugar and insulin is why excessive starch intake is a risk factor for obesity and diabetes. Ultra-processed carbs are also a risk factor for canine allergies.

Let's talk about aflatoxins. Kibble is the hotbed of most aflatoxins.

Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops like corn. Aflatoxins cause cancer.

In 2021, kibble comprised 59% of all US pet food sales and 99% of all recalls from pathogenic bacteria to aflatoxins, contaminants and more. But the biggest reason for all those recalls was aflatoxins.

But here's the good news: replacing as little as 10% of your dog's daily processed diet with fresh food creates positive change in a dog's body. Just 10%.

So let's get to it. It's time to feel absolutely amazing about your dog's food.

[Video shows image of  Truth About Pet Food's 2022 List by Susan Thixton and then an image of The Forever Dog book by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker and Rodney Habib.]