We are constantly being told of the benefits of eating a preservative free, unprocessed food to have the best chance of being healthy. Eating food that hasn’t been cooked at extreme temperatures and is high in nutritional value, mainly quality fresh animal proteins, vegetables and fruit. We are being told to eat less salt, refined sugar and food without chemicals added.
But what about our beloved dog companions. For the many of us that think of our dogs as part of our family, we would do anything to keep them with us longer, living a happy and healthy life. We give them a loving home, lots of affection and exercise, but have we been missing one of the most important parts, being their diet? If it makes sense for humans to be eating natural fresh food high in nutritional value, why would our dogs be better off only eating dried kibble or canned food that has been cooked at high temperatures and is full of chemicals and preservatives?
There is two pieces of independent research that suggests we should be looking very closely at what is in our dog’s food and what we consider feeding them.
Research was conducted in Belgium between 1998-2002 that looked at the life expectancy of over 500 dogs. They researched dogs fed a homemade diet, consisting of high quality foods used from the owner’s meals versus dogs fed an industrial, commercial pet food diet. The authors, Lippert and Sapy, were able to statistically show that dogs fed the homemade diet had a life expectancy of 32 months longer. That’s nearly three years difference.
In 2005 a study was conducted at Purdue University on Scottish Terriers, the results showed that adding fresh vegetables to dry commercial kibble prevented and/or slowed down the development of transitional cell carcinoma (aka bladder cancer)!
In the study, dogs ate a diet of dry commercial pet food, while some got an assortment of vegetables added to the mix at least 3 times per week. Dogs that ate any green leafy vegetables, like broccoli, had reduced the risk of developing bladder cancer by 90% and the dogs that consumed any yellow – orange vegetables like carrots reduced the risk by 70%!
There are plenty of things that go into the health of dogs such as keeping their weight at a healthy range, regular walks, good dental hygiene, lots of affection and just like us, good genes. However, many of us have been missing the obvious and that is a healthy diet, free of poor quality proteins, preservatives, corn, soy and other fillers with little or no nutritional value, can make a big difference to the health and longevity of our dogs. We can give our dogs a much better chance of good health, reduce our vet bills and give them food that makes them excited. Why wouldn’t that be worth doing?
So whether you want to start adding natural food to their diets, adding quality vegetables, preparing all their meals yourself or using a business like ours to do it for you, it’s worth all of us understanding what we are feeding our dogs to give them the best chance of good health.