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Three healthy, BARF fed dogs

Green Dog Digest
The wolf at the door
Your dinner's in the dog


  • Cheap, Bulky Ingredients Cheap, Bulky Ingredients
  • Highly Processed Highly Processed
  • Unnatural & Artificial Unnatural & Artificial

Panax trifolium herb

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Most feeding decisions today are a choice. They are a balancing act where we attempt to determine which compromises we are prepared to accept.

In making our choices we ask ourselves several questions. What is this foodstuff made of? Where did the ingredients come from? What storage methods or manufacturing processes have they undergone to arrive with me in their current form? What is the resulting nutritional quality of this food? Can I afford the time or the money to choose the best option? Can I afford not to make that choice?

Some time ago, the making of commercial pet foods coincided with a novel situation: the availability of waste products following the industrialisation of our own food production. At this time, pet owners were less likely to be visiting their local butchers, or even raising their own animals for food, so they no longer had the same trimmings and leftovers freshly available in their own homes.

A marketing opportunity was born. Profits reigned and pets lost out.

Cheap, bulky, highly processed ingredients found their way, like never before, into our diets and also our pets, with little knowledge of their nutritional quality, or their suitability for the maintenance of long-term good health. Factory farming and the emerging pet food market saw terms like “animal derivatives” and “meat meal” appear on the labels of foodstuffs fed to animals that had previously enjoyed the real thing – fresh, whole and unadulterated.

A typical pet food manufacturing process would take these waste products, unfit for human consumption, and subject them to high temperatures and pressurised steam, dry them and spray them with artificial additives and coat them with sweeteners and oils to improve lost palatability.

What is lost by these processes is not the only concern. Undesirable substances (such as acrylamides, recognised by The World Health Organisation as nerve toxins, known to cause cancer in animals) are found at elevated levels in foods cooked at high temperatures, especially in those containing starchy cereal products.

Today, an increasing number of pet food manufacturers work hard to produce quality pet foods made from real ingredients, but they are still highly processed and presented, for convenience, in forms that are very unnatural and lose many of the benefits of the original ingredients. Heat and the loss of fluids during cooking deplete and destroy vitamins and minerals, while some antioxidants are denatured by storage below freezing. Synthetic replacements added during manufacture are more stable and have a longer shelf life but they often have little or no beneficial effect once inside the body.

Some opponents of the natural, raw food diet cite bacterial contamination as a high risk factor, which, for them, outweighs the nutritional benefits of fresh, raw food. But, what we now consider to be conventionally manufactured pet foods are not immune from such food safety issues. Even in the last decade there have been internationally reported recalls due to contamination of foodstuffs by fungi, alfatoxins and melamine, and these have resulted in widespread serious illness and even in the deaths of pets.

Green Dog Deli has addressed the risk of bacterial contamination and minimised it at every stage of the raw feeding process.

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Green Dog Digest The wolf at the door Your dinner's in the dog
Healthy, BARF fed puppies sleeping, close up Street dog looking back Dry kibble dog food Wild rabbit in a field

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