A few days ago I found out my family dog, Boobis, has cancer. It's at an advanced stage. The news had me thinking about what goes into our dogs' diets and how it affects their long term health.
As it turns out, our furry friends often get the short end of the stick when it comes to nutrition. All of the scrap meat from warehouses - which is often rotten, contaminated, or otherwise unfit for human consumption- is processed into dog food. To hide the ick, dog food manufacturers rely on sugar and preservatives that can cause dozens of pet health problems like diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, liver disease ... and eventually cancer.
The Department of Agriculture does not require inspection of pet food ingredients. BHA, for example, is a preservative that "has been found to consistently produce certain types of tumors in laboratory animals." But companies like Purina think it's OK to feed to our pets, and no one's stopping them.
I'm going home for Christmas this year to visit Boobis, maybe for the last time. I'll give him hugs, kisses, and stuff some healthy treats in his stocking. As a tribute to him, check out this video of Boobis doing one of his favorite tricks.
As you may know, Erik and I are fostering dogs from the CHICAGO CANINE RESCUE FOUNDATION. The dog we have now is named Peanut. A few days ago I bought some cheap dog treats for him. I found DHA in one. In the other, high fructose corn syrup was listed as the fourth ingredient! I was disgusted. Poor Peanut...to think I gave him some of those!
So, I've been on the hunt for a good alternative for dog food. Something that won't break the bank, but I know won't be harmful to the little guy. It's been a difficult journey. $10/lb. is a lot for dog food. I'm open to suggestions out there, so please comment!
I found this local site called PUP LIFE that offers everything eco for dogs.
Here is a link to the ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION'S list of pet food supplies and services for Illinois.
Go HERE for a chart detailing some questionable dog food ingredients.