Friday, February 20, 2009

Why Dogs are in Better Shape Than Their Owners

A U.K. study concludes that pet food is healthier, under the Food Standards Agency’s "traffic light" program than most of the food people are eating.

Noted John Searle, the scientist who carried out the pet food analysis at the British Government accredited Global food testing laboratory in Burton-upon-Trent:

It would not do a human any harm to eat this cat and dog food. The taste would be a bit different from what you’d expect, but nutritionally it is fine.

Makers of pet foods include the same multinationals — such as NestlĂ© and Mars — that make human foods but, ironically, the pets foods are generally healthier what is being served to humans.

Notes The London Times:

The laboratory analysis found some positive signs for human food — fibre, for example, which is an important aid to digestion, was lower in the pet food.

However, on key measures the pet food came out well. The unhealthiest fast food item was KFC chicken pieces, which contain 23.2g of fat per 100g and 1.9g of salt. If a KFC meal is eaten with fries, the figures are lower. While a McDonald’s Big Mac contains 10.7g of fat per 100g, a combined meal with fries has an average 12g.

In addition to the products tested in the laboratory, 30 human foods and 15 pet foods were compared using their labels. The pet food consistently outperformed the human in terms of health.

So there it is: Your dog is probably eating better than you are.

And that is probably true even if you are feeding your dog "Old Roy" and you are paying extra money for grass-fed beef and organic vegetables.

Remember: the most important part of any human or canine diet is not quality, it's quantity.

Veterinarians see dogs all day long, and they almost never see a dog that is malnourished, but everyday, several times a day, they see dogs dying and in pain from obesity.

Human doctors tell much the same story.

Bottom line: How much is in the bowl is far for important than what's in the bag.

And YES, your dog probably is eating healthier than you are!



Pit bull NM said...

For a while there, I was pretty concerned about feeding "the right" kibble...despite many of the old timers telling me much of the hype around corn, grain, etc. amounted to a big, bad paper tiger.

FWIW to yah, I've switched feeds a few times over the years, and save for one brand in particular, the dogs have been consistent in their well-being.

I do appreciate your time on the matter.


Viatecio said...

I've actually tried a bunch of different dog foods. They're not bad at all really. When we have pups who need a softened food (kibble soaked in water), I find that even better. The favorite so far is probably a brand of puppy food, although I find some of the grain-free kibbles highly palatable as well. Canned is also somewhat delicious, but horribly expensive to subsist on, unless the dog's eating it too. (Go ahead, look at me weird...I'll wait.)

Although I do have to admit that I wanted to never again feed processed kibble after watching that video on How Dog Food Is Made you posted a while back, Pat. That was actually kind of gross...but then again, I'm sure the process to make that delicious ground beef isn't too pretty either! I guess ignorance is bliss in more cases than originally thought.

PBurns said...

How was it gross? The same types of machines and processes are used to make cookies.

I think everyone should be required to cook for 200 people some time and to kill a dozen chickens. You can learn a lot in an afternoon, and one of those things is that something produced in army-lot qualities is as fine as something produced as a meal-for-one.


Viatecio said...

Oh I'm fine with butchering and mixing things together and whatnot. The machines are fine, it's just the process and the stuff that goes into it that's squicky. I make legitimate attempts to minimize my intake of highly-refined, processed foods just because not only do they taste like cardboard most of the time, they're usually unhealthy and I'd rather not imagine the process used to make them.

In all honesty, I'd still feed kibble to the dog. Way more convenient really and I'm slowly learning that maybe those by-products aren't as bad as I was taught...not only that, but I think it was here where I read that "human-grade" isn't much better!

PBurns said...

The term "human grade" means nothing in food, as does "natural" or "holisitic" or most of the rest. Pure marketing. And not only are byproducts not bad, they are GOOD, as it is bones feet and beaks smd organs that contain so much of the vital nutritional bits. Muscle meat is missing a lot! There is a reason than wild animals gut prey and eat the organs while often leaving the fibrous muscle meat. More on this later.