What is the secret to dog longevity?
Science advances rapidly. It seems as if every day we read of a new advancement, a new wonder-drug, a new technique for improving both the quality and the longevity of our pets and ourselves. These advancements are wonderful. It was only a generation or two ago where simple infections could mean certain death for our pets, where a difficult labor would be the downfall of both mother dog and puppies, where diseases were common due to lack of vaccinations and proper treatments. I applaud science and hope they continue in their march toward a higher quality of life.
With all these dog health improvements and human life spans increasing, why the heck aren't our dogs living up to their true potential life spans? I believe that the factors are many. The main factor, in my opinion, is the nutrition that we give our dogs.
Did you know that the pet food industry is largely unregulated? The pet foods that you pick up at the grocery store are made by companies owned by some of the largest companies in the world. These mega-companies make largely human consumer products and their dog foods and pet foods are manufactured from the by-products that weren't fit for human consumption.
I know, I know. This sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it's true. What kind of things are they able to get away with? Dog foods are made with leftovers. It is well documented that these dog foods are manufactured with dead and rotting carcasses. These are often carcasses from animals that were diseased, sickly, or otherwise not fit for human consumption so they were used in dog food. These carcasses are gathered and sit around a lot rotting and putrefying often for days before it is their turn to make it into the dog food bag.
Other non-nutritional products like hooves and horns are also ground up and thrown into the mix. Have you ever wondered what happens to all that grease and oil that fries up those potatoes in fast food joints? Yup, it's true. Dog food companies buy leftover grease by the ton and use it as a coating on dog food that you may be giving your dog. Why would they do that? Well, that grease is pretty tasty (albeit nutritionally abominable) to your dog. The dog food companies know that the unpalatable product they make will be eaten if they cover it with this leftover fat.
That's not all, though. Most commercial dog and cat foods are full of fillers, preservatives, baked in a manner that strips the food of nutrients, and so chemically treated that they resemble Twinkies more than they resemble nutrition for your pet.
What is the solution? Well, there are many but the first step is to switch to a premium food. Feed your dog a food that uses human grade ingredients, doesn't cram the food with fillers, and leaves out the chemical enhancers that give commercial dog food the shelf life of uranium.