Today, everything around us is becoming more convenient.
Drive-through espressos, smartphone boarding passes, streaming movies, and even your entire online grocery store order delivered right to your door. All of it is meant to save you time yet many of us act as though we have less time on our hands than ever before.
In our on-demand society, many of these goods and services play a legit purpose in improving the quality of life for consumers, but some of these so-called conveniences come with a steep cost that isn’t always counted in dollars and cents.
At this point, there is only one weakened argument left for feeding your dog kibble style dog food – because it seems convenient. Pelletized dry dog food, sold in bulk right in your local supermarket, seems to be the cleanest, easiest, and cheapest option for far too many dog owners, but what if we told you that whatever cost you may be saving at the checkout line could potentially cost your dog their best possible quality of life?
Let us warn you, what we are about to tell you about the kibble-based dog food industry might not be something you want to read about right after you have eaten, but we hope you will read it and consider it before the next time your dog eats.
Did you know that the U.S. grows more corn for biofuel like ethanol than it does for actual consumption as a food source? It has been this way for a decade now, and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it has created a massive industry that generates a massive amount of waste.
One form of that waste is the corn itself. Not every kernel is deemed fit for being processed into biofuel. At that point, it’s well past any usefulness for human consumption, but the kibble industry gobbles up tons of this reject corn every year as a filler for their products.
This mutually beneficial partnership between two multibillion-dollar industries has little regard for how such an ingredient may benefit a dog or not, it’s strictly business. The fact is, this mutant corn is a very cheap ingredient and while properly digested corn carries nutritional value, dogs do not naturally digest corn kernels – even we humans can have trouble with it, right?
In order to make it more digestible, the corn is pulverized in industrial-sized vats along with the other ingredients and turned into a long, ribbon-like mush that is then cut down to pellet-sized portions by some greasy machine.
Unfortunately, mutant corn may be the least of your concerns when it comes to kibble. At least we all can picture corn in our minds when we see it on the ingredients lists of kibble-based dog foods.
Here’s where it really gets gross.
In 2016, the federal Food and Drug Administration was cornered on the question of whether or not they would enforce existing laws that prohibit the use of roadkill as a commercial food ingredient and the agency cryptically answered, “So three billion-plus animals should go to landfills?”
What they meant by that is, by law, dead livestock and other animals killed by way of something other than intentional slaughter must be disposed of in very specific, and often costly ways if they are not processed into food themselves. Burying or incinerating millions or billions of animals each year apparently isn’t feasible and so the FDA is allowing our pets to be the landfill instead.
That “beefy flavor” being advertised on the 50# bag of kibble at the grocery store doesn’t seem so appetizing now, does it?
Added to that grotesque mix goes countless shipments of expired meat from overstocked stores across the country, often processed with the styrofoam packaging still stuck to the aged-out meat.
Roadkill and expired groceries. Is that the best that you can do for your dog? Oh… it gets worse.
Each and every year, an average of 1.5 million shelter pets – dogs and cats – are euthanized when they cannot be placed in a home. This is a tragic judgment on our society, but what comes next paints us all with the broad brush of guilt for not marching in the streets against it.
Much like roadkill and unslaughtered livestock cannot simply be “thrown away”, neither can euthanize pet carcasses and guess who is there ready to write the check for more cheap meat? That’s right, kibble manufacturers.
This has become such an epidemic that several mainstream Big Dog Food kibble brands have been independently lab tested and have shown detectable levels of the same euthanasia drugs used to end the lives of other dogs, now being fed to them day and night by you!
Just two years ago, ultra-popular brands Kibbles n’ Bits and Gravy Train were forced to recall several SKUs after those products were found to contain sodium pentobarbital, a drug used to euthanize animals.
JM Smucker, the corporation behind the brands, said that the drug was a “single, minor ingredient”.
Combatting this sort of callousness is exactly why we started Cali Raw.
To be fair, there are some craft “kibble style” dog food brands on the market that only source high grade, nutritionist-approved, ingredients and have the best intentions for your dog.
The problem is, even under the most ideal manufacturing conditions, the process to extrude those ingredients into a pelletized dry kibble form strips it of a vast amount of its natural flavors and nutritional value.
To counter this, these brands add dyes and artificial or “natural” flavoring into the mix to come up with their catchy, marketable, “menu” of options. We know, though, that artificial colorings and flavors are not a part of our own healthy diet, so why would we force it upon our furry friends? These chemical compounds have been shown to increase the risk of GI (gastrointestinal) problems and even cancer in dogs. Please stop!
Furthermore, most of the brands touting “natural flavoring” are knowingly skirting the FDA’s loose interpretation of such terms. From the agency itself, “FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”
High-quality raw dog food based on your pet’s ancestral dietary needs doesn’t need any flavor added, artificial or otherwise, it just comes naturally.
Finally, if you aren’t gagging yet, you should know that as soon as kibble is blast-dried at extremely high temperatures, it almost immediately begins to go rancid from the processed fats found within each pellet. That means before you even take it off the shelf, the timebomb is ticking and the nutritional value is dropping.
Odds are, you won’t be able to notice any difference in the appearance or odor of the food once it is contaminated, and your dog will likely continue to scarf it down. However, their belly will be full of a useless mass devoid of nearly all nutritional value. Continued exposure to rancid kibble loaded with mycotoxins will wear on your dog’s health over time, compounding the known detriments to a kibble-based diet, such as:
Dogs are resilient creatures and they will consume foods that may not immediately show detrimental signs but can compound over time to develop major health issues.
This is the most dangerous part of a kibble-based diet is how slow-acting it is with its harmfulness.
Perhaps the scariest part about the kibble diet, though, is how little we know about exactly what suspect ingredients the federal government is allowing these big brands to utilize. We do know enough about it to confidently say that you should kick the kibble to the curb and try a natural raw dog food as we offer here at Cali Raw Dog Food. Even in today’s convenience-driven world, our fresh dog food delivery service and affordable shipping options will drive a new solution right to your door!