If cats and dogs are carnivores, why do manufacturers make commercial pet food low in protein, high in grains and carbohydrates? To answer this question, it is important to understand the history of development of commercial pet food.
What dry dog food is made out of?
The history of commercial pet food is small compared to the time that dogs have been human companions.
- Dry pet food for cats and dogs became popular after the Second World War.
- Most commercial pet food are highly processed food waste. They are created for long-term storage and economy, and not for the health of cats and dogs.
What dogs ate before the advent of commercial pet food
Before commercial pet food appeared, dogs ate any meal available in their environment. Farm-living dogs ate meat trimmings, milk, eggs, and offal, while city dogs depended on leftover food from the owner’s table and cheap butchery meat trimmings.
Commercial pet food development
In 1860, James Spratt of Cincinnati, Ohio introduced the first processed dog food. He created dry biscuits from wheat, beets, vegetables and beef blood.
• Other companies quickly began production, and a large number of commercial pet food appeared on the market.
• In connection with the Depression of the 1930s, dog owners began to look for cheaper ways to feed their pets
• Dogs received less meat, and more cereal products appeared in the diet.
In the 1960s, feed manufacturers claimed that their commercial pet food was superior because it was made from waste products such as bran, offal and meat that could not be used as human food.
• Although fresh meat and vegetables predominate in the natural diets of dogs and cats, feed manufacturers have insisted that dogs and cats can be fed with cheaper, non-essential foods.
• Sales of dry pet food increased significantly after World War II.
• Suppliers of grain and millers have found a good source of sales of waste from their production in manufacturers of dry dog food.
• Convenience was a priority when selling ready-made and packaged dog and cat food.
• Manufacturers of dog and cat food have declared their food as “balanced, complete, not needing to be supplemented with any products or additives”
• Dry dog food companies claimed that residues from the hosts table could be hazardous to the health of the dogs.
By the 1970s, dry dog food sales had increased thanks to celebrity participation in television advertisements and the creation of pet food in various shapes and colors for presentation.
• Pet food in bright packaging and with attractive pictures began to be sold not only in specialized stores, but also in grocery stores.
• Marketing strategies evolved, and dry dog food sales exceeded baby food sales.
• The number of shelves for dry dog food in stores has increased with the advent of new brands.
Later specialized diets appeared, created for dogs with various diseases or disorders of body functions.
Manufacturers presented these diets as a comprehensive balanced diet, and buyers relied more on the advice of veterinarians than on their own opinions.
Sales of such dog diets have expanded from veterinary clinics to supermarkets.
In the early 1980s, premium and super premium feeds appeared. Manufacturers claimed that they were more nutritious, offering various diet formulas for puppies, aging dogs, daily diets and diets to increase performance.
Although they were advertised as “premium” and “super-premium” feeds, they still used the old standards for high carbohydrate and low protein foods.
In the 1990s, consumers became more educated about their own nutrition, read labels on food packaging, and doubted certain ingredients, such as chemical preservatives or artificial colors. Many pet food companies have eliminated chemical preservatives and are now using vitamin C and E to store fat in commercial pet food.
Today, manufacturers declare the natural food, including various types of meat (meat of fish, rabbit, game …) But, many of today’s feeds still use grains, flour, starch and bran in large quantities.
The history of commetcial dry pet food: drawing conclusions
Despite the fact that today’s customers are more educated and conscious in choosing food and ingredients, many of them are still not aware of the high carbohydrate content of many dry dog food and the related problems.
History shows that dry pet food has always been made from cereals, and this is the main reason why consumers find cereals an acceptable part of their pet’s diet.
When the acceptability of cereals and carbohydrates in cats or dogs ’diets is challenged, most buyers realize that these ingredients are not part of the natural diets of dogs or cats.
Despite the achievements in the marketing delivery of products to the consumer (from “premium” class feeds to “super-premium” class feeds and “holistic” feeds), in fact, dry dog food have not changed over the past 40 years. They still contain low levels of protein, high carbohydrates and a percentage of cereals.
The truth is that food for cats and dogs is created primarily for buyers in order to save their money, and not to improve the health of dogs and cats.
What you need to know when buying dry pet food and how to find a good dog food
If this is your first time purchasing dry dog food for your pet, then do not take several packs at once. It is possible that the food of this brand for some reason will not suit your doggie. To understand this and to replace the feed in time, watch your four-legged friend for at least one day. During this time, it will become clear to you whether the animal likes this food, how often its gases are released, how quickly it starts hungry again after the last feeding, how often it drinks water.
If something bothers you, then it will be right to try a different brand of food. If the composition of the dry dog food indicated on the package contains preservatives, do not rush to return it to the store shelf. Manufacturers add them to extend the shelf life of their products. The harm of antioxidants for small dogs has not been confirmed by research. However, if you still want to play it safe, then find a good dog food which is containing natural antioxidants like vitamin E.
Is it worth saving on dry dog food?
If you become the owner of the dog, then prepare in advance for the additional costs. Ready-made feeds will occupy the main place in these expenses, because their cost is quite expensive, and the dog eats every day and all his life. Expensive dry dog food brands guarantee their high quality in terms of the balance and freshness and high grade of the products of which they are made.
For case if you are limited in money pet stores offer cheaper feeds available for all owners of pups of small and large breeds. You can also prepare homemade balanced meals for your dog according to recipes approved by veterinarians.
How nutritious and healthy for a dog is cheap food
The cheapest dry dog food is made on the basis of offal with filler in the form of soy or cereal crops. Nothing is wrong with that. Such nutrition is also balanced and enriched with all vitamins and minerals necessary for the animal. What should really alert you and make you refuse to buy dry dog food is the content of meat belonging to category 4D in it. Under this code is hidden the meat of sick and even dead animals. Your pet should not eat such food, because it will bring him nothing but harm to health.