Nutrition is one of the biggest influences we can have as a dog pawrent. It can sometimes seem like a minefield of information is available to us, from pet stores, adverts, vets and friendly ‘it worked for my dog’ recommendations.
Here at Proflax, we like to keep things simple. We hope this article that pet nutrition consultant Caroline Griffith has put together goes a little way to simplifying the field of dog nutrition and serving a holistic meal to your dog that will nourish them, even beyond the bowl.
The bottom line is that despite much different marketing presence, packaging design and what appears to be varied ingredients almost all processed dogs food are missing vital nutrients that a living creature would need for optimal health and a long life alongside us.
These are what I call the ‘Nutritional Elements of life’. They include elements such as Water, Enzymes, certain Fatty Acids, Natural Minerals, Beneficial Microbiome and more all of which although vital to health are not in processed pet foods.
For the label of ‘Complete and Balance pet food’ companies must follow basic rules of certain protein content and the addition of a pre-made vitamin and mineral supplement that has been balanced to the standards of the current pet food regulation organisations such as FEDIAF or AAFCO.
Because the actual creation of the food into either a can, tin or dry kibble requires heat and processing most of the nutrients are altered in the production of the food, so by adding the pre-mixed supplement the food is able to ‘tick the boxes’ without needing to be tested or checked for nutrition levels.
No processed dog food is monitored unless an extreme situation occurs such as a strange item is discovered in a pet food bag or container. Any monitoring would take a huge amount of resources that are currently spent on our human foods, with pet food monitoring kept to a very low minimum.
Whilst it can appear tempting to stick with a ready-made food packaged food for your pet, in reality, this way of feeding is as far from natural as you get, no matter how often the term natural is included on the labels!
Whilst I share this candidly, and perhaps a little bluntly, I must also point out that it is actually incredibly easy to provide a diet that does contain all the nutrients and nutritional elements your pet needs! Simply by a feeding variety of species-appropriate fresh, real food. Whether that’s raw fresh food or lightly cooked fresh food.
You see your dog’s body is a true marvel. Everything about its body is set up to balance itself. For instance, their skin is an elimination organ, their liver a hormone balancer, their kidneys a water and mineral balancer and their gut lining an immune system balancer. All these functions and many more occur when the dog is nourished with the nutritional elements.
The functions start to deplete in efficiency when the elements are missing, almost all the processed pet foods have none of the elements which go in part to explain why so many dogs are showing signs of compromised wellness in various ailments. Some foods such as Cold-Pressed foods have a higher level of fatty acids, but often the meat used was heated and chemically treated so the other elements lost.
Over the years pet food marketing has led us to believe every bowl or even daily ration of food needs to be balanced, when in fact it is the body itself that needs nourishing, then it can do its own balancing, this way is nature’s way, this ways is the truly holistic way. It is the way all creatures function and survive in nature and the way we have been feeding ourselves as people all our lives.
It is possible to add some of the Nutritional Elements back into food, and this is where Proflax would come in. Adding in both a level of Essential Fatty Acids and also a variety of herbs that encourage the dog’s organs to function optimally in their job of balancing and eliminating toxins.
If your dog is eating processed foods or has recently switched it can be highly useful to provide these kinds of additions to their diets to suppawt their body in re-balancing and getting back to its natural holistic functioning much quicker.
I have been helping pet pawrents to switch effortlessly over to a fresh food diet for over 10 years now, there are not many ailments or behaviours I haven’t seen improve. I share this article as just a drop in the ocean of information available to you on what could be missing from your dog's processed foods and why that is. I look forward to connecting with you and sharing more.’’
Author Caroline Griffith
Founder of Canine Flow / Pet Industry Nutrition Consultant
Caroline’s Books are:
The Best Dog Diet Ever with a foreword by Dr Nick Thompson
Imperfectly Natural Canine, foreword by BBC natural advocate Janey Lee Grace. Both are available on Amazon.