Modern Agriculture and Its Negative Effect on Your Dogs Nutrition
Dogs are more than just pets, they are important members of our families and just like your family, dogs need a proper, balanced diet to live their lives to the fullest.
You wouldn’t feed your kids only half of their daily value of fruits and vegetables, so why would you skip on your dogs nutrition?
According to researchers, modern agricultural practices are stripping produce of their natural vitamins and minerals.
This means simply adding fresh peas and carrots into a dog’s food won’t give them all the nutrients they need to live healthy lives. Instead, you need to be picky about everything that is going into your pets food to ensure your lovable dog’s food is meeting The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards and is in fact complete and balanced.
Fertiliser and Pesticide Use
Animals across the planet have relied on mother earth to provide nutritious food for centuries. Between wild fruit in the jungle, to the produce you see in the stores today, the earth has been growing essential nutrients far longer than humans have been commercially farming.
Why, after all this time, are fruits and vegetables starting to lose their natural nutrient and vitamin value? In short, the answer is industrialisation. As our population continues to rise, farmers and commercial agricultural companies are working the land harder than ever before.
To help crops grow larger and faster, companies are using farming techniques such as fertilisers and pesticides which is directly affecting food production.
Fertilisation is the process of adding either natural or synthetic fertiliser to the field. The fertiliser often contains minerals that are required for plant growth and might positively affect crop yields, but when overused can cause a mineral imbalance within the plants.
Farming practices have changed and pesticides are used to kill certain bugs and plants seen as “pests.” Although pesticides are often successful in killing the pest, it can also kill non-invasive insects, like bees.
When pesticides are repeatedly used their toxic chemicals will build up in the soil and block crops from absorbing the nutrients they need (soil fertility). Furthermore, pesticides will attach to the outside of fruits and vegetables until properly washed off.
What about GMOs in Dog Food?
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) have been introduced into crops to reduce the amount and usage of pesticides, eliminating crop destroying insects, and also building crop resistance to herbicides that are used to kill weeds.
This all sounds great but it clearly remains a controversial topic around the world with a number of independent scientists not believing that GMOs are safe despite their increased efficiency and reduced overheads advantage.
If it’s potentially not safe for you why would it be safe for your dog?
Different countries have very different regulations regarding what crops can be grown using these artificially manipulated organisms. Luckily, in Australia, we have a regulatory body which controls the use of GMOs (though there are a number of experimental field studies underway including wheat).
The only crops currently grown using GMOs in Australia are cotton, canola and safflower which are easy to avoid when preparing our range of naturally raw pet dinners.
Some countries, such as Canada and the US are not so lucky, whereby GMOs are used to grow corn, canola and soy which are commonly found in commercial pet food and also used in animal feed which means the meat they feed their pets, unless certified organic, could contain GMOs.
Negative Effects on Your Dog
Because famers do not have the time nor capacity to give their fields a break after each season, the nutritional value of produce continues to decline.
A study conducted by the Kushi Institute found iron levels in vegetables dropped 37% across a 22-year period. Similar bleak results were found in essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium.
As mentioned previously, dogs need a healthy balanced diet to stay fit and healthy.
There are six essential classes of nutrients every dog needs:
Unfortunately, dogs cannot synthesise vitamins or minerals within their bodies, which means they must eat these essential nutrients to stay fit.
This is where the agricultural issues really hit home.
Since vegetables are being stripped of their vitamins and minerals, your pet is likely eating less vitamins and minerals, even though they are eating the same amount of vegetables.
If your pet does not have a well balanced diet they may develop weak teeth and bones. They will also have less energy, which means less ability to play.
Meeting Nutritional Standards
Just like humans, there are vitamin and mineral supplements for dogs. However, veterinarians warn this is not a perfect solution.
Dogs only need a tiny level of vitamins to lead a healthy life, however, since dogs cannot synthesise their own vitamins, it is vital they obtain them through food.
When dog food is made with proper vitamin standards, your dog should be happy and healthy.
However, if you are using cheap or improperly made food, your dog will likely need vitamin supplements.
When feeding your dog vitamins, you will have to talk with your veterinarian first. If dogs ingest too many supplements, they can be poisoned. This is known as hypervitaminosis.
According to veterinarians, because many dog foods are low-quality, hypervitaminosis has become increasingly common.
Excessive amounts of vitamin A can cause bone and joint pain, brittle bones and dry skin.
Similarly, excessive amounts of vitamin D may cause very dense bones, soft tissue calcification and kidney failure.
The Dog Food Solution
Instead of playing vitamin roulette, you should instead opt for natural, raw dog food that gets it right the first time.
Rawmate understands vitamin depletion in modern agriculture.
We have adjusted our recipe to ensure your pet is getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals they need.
Rawmate’s quality dog food is a complete and balanced diet that follows AAFCO standards.
We understand the subtle complexities required to help dogs of all ages stay fit and healthy.
Your pet will love the taste, and you can smile knowing their food is held to the same high standards you hold in your own kitchen.