What does that dog food analysis label mean? Are the numbers accurate? Doesn't the source count? Do you want protein from corn, chicken feathers or meat? Crude protein might really be crude after all.
Are we pulling the wool over our eyes?
I know I used to and this is just a few of the reasons I ended up switching to a raw dog food meal plan.
I've discussed ingredients on several pages but never mentioned the little box on the dog food bag containing the analysis.
You know, crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, and moisture. What the heck is that and what does it mean?
Let's dig a little deeper into the
guaranteed protein, fat and fiber content percentages in the dog
Dogs need a lot of protein (actually a minimum of 40%). You would assume the higher the protein, the more meat in the mix right? Nope and here's the rub.
What do I mean? The source of protein is a large factor. Here's just a sentence to describe it from Dr. Marty Goldstein's book The Nature of Animal Healing:
"Boot leather cooked into oblivion can qualify as a protein source."
Does that make it food? (I shudder)
To top it off, a dog food label that informs you of crude protein (which they all do) rather than true protein content would not accurately reflect the nutritive value of the protein-containing food.
The way I understand it, crude protein only works for
herbivores like cows. Why? Because of those 4 stomachs, they have the ability to
increase the protein from the grains they eat. We cannot. Dogs cannot. And
aren’t most dog foods made mostly of grains? By the way, rice is also a grain and potatoes are pretty dumb for a dog as well.
This is part of the path that led me to feeding raw. After all, dogs don’t NEED grains, or starches but somehow, someone talked us into it. Wonder who? Let's look at it this way with a question.
Would you feed fish to a
Of course you wouldn't because a cow is an herbivore. Your dog is not and neither is mine.
Keeping in mind dogs need a minimum of 40% protein, ( I serve closer to 60% ) let's look at the percentages and then I have one more question for you.
Here's two examples. The first from a cheap dog food and the second from a high quality dog food:
Total analysis percentage 45%
Total analysis percentage = 79%
Even if this were actual protein which was usable, instead of crude protein, do you notice that it doesn't add up to 100%?
Why is that? What didn't they list? Carbohydrates. Something dogs do not need in any way shape or form.
dog food manufacturers
listened to complaints about too many grains, so they switched it
to potatoes, pea starch etc. But guess what? They are all carbohydrates.
What does this mean to your dog? Not
much difference because both raise insulin levels (think canine
diabetes) since both are starch and must be converted to sugar.
Starches as it turns out also harm the microbiome balance by killing off the good bacteria needed to digest foods and feeding the bad bacteria that grow in abundance.
If you've ever had a dog with yeast problems,
now you know. Yup those carbs feed the yeast beast which becomes
systemic. Usually we notice the ears first. Itchy, stinky infections
from yeast. Then it moves on to skin ailments and more.
Please be informed and choose the best food for your dog. You'll be glad you did.
Let's do our own dog food analysis. The best quality dog food is a variety of human grade protein from muscle and organ meat, bones for calcium and healthy fats. Variety doesn't just mean taste. It means an array of vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals.
Whenever I hear the saying that "Variety is the spice of life", I think of food that keeps the immune system in tip top shape because nutrition makes us all feel so good.
Making dog food for your companion should be enjoyable and not be terribly time consuming. Once you get the hang of it, you feel a sense of pride as your dog's appearance and stamina increase. Check out my free raw dog food recipes.