Commercial dog foods can be convenient, fairly inexpensive – and a major cause of or contributor to all kinds of health issues with your bulldog. Even if your bully eats the boring, less-than-healthy kibble you dribble in his bowl, he’s not going to enjoy it and it isn’t going to provide your dog with the ideal nutrition the breed needs to stay healthy and happy for the long run. Here’s why…
1. Ingredients come from freaky sources.
And we mean freaky. Only about half of animal that is raised for food can be used for human consumption. The unused half consists of things like feathers, organs, blood, heads, unborn fetuses and diseased meat, and that unused half can end up commercial pet foods.
2.“Meal” is often a main component.
Chicken meal, beef meal, bone meal or other types of meal may be high on the dog food ingredient list. Remember the half of the animal not fit for human consumption? Boil it down for hours and you’ve got your meal. Two things to note about meal:
- In addition to the half of the animal not fit for human consumption, the law says the meal rendering process can include expired grocery store meat (still in its packaging), roadkill and even euthanized pets. In fact, the FDA has documented finding the euthanasia drug pentobarbital in rendered meal used for pet food. Nice.
- As if the components of meal aren’t bad enough, the boiling process makes the stuff even fouler. Boiling wipes out nearly all the enzymes in the meat and damages its proteins, which can actually cause allergies and digestion issues in pets that eat it. Although boiling the meat removes a lot of the unhealthy aspects that make it unfit for consumption, it also removes the nutrition a healthy bulldog needs.
3. Carbs, carbs and more carbs.
Yes, bulldogs have to worry about them, too. Potatoes, rice, corn and barley are often major components in dog food since they’re super-cheap filler. They’re also a surefire way to make your bulldog super-fat. Dogs can’t digest a lot of carbohydrates at once, so they’re unable to gain nutrients from them. Calories from carbs are also quickly converted into fat.
A dog’s natural diet is very low in carbs, holistic vet Jean Hofve points out, with the average natural prey of birds, rodents and rats containing no more than about 10 percent carbohydrates. Commercial dog foods can contain up to 74 percent carbohydrates. Excessive carbs not only prevent your dog from receiving proper nutrition, but they are a top cause of obesity and other illnesses in pets.
4. You’ll find a host of other weird and unhealthy stuff.
This stuff can include:
- Added hormones
- Artificial preservatives
- Antibiotic-fed meat
- Dangerous preservatives such as Propylene Glycol, Ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT, TBHQ, and propyl gallate, all of which have been linked to cancer, organ damage, blindness and other health conditions in dogs
- Corn products, which double as high-calorie fillers that can add to your dog’s obesity risk
- Animal fat, or tallow, which is the byproduct of grinding up whole animals in commercial blenders to produce industrial lubricants, cosmetics and, yes, pet food
- Other “byproducts,” with byproduct being a catchall term for a collection of internal remains that can include tumors, diseased tissues and organs
5. Your dog will eat it anyway.
Even the smartest bully that can detect junk food a mile away is no match for the savvy scientists in the dog food business. They’ve created a flavored fat seasoning blend that gets sprinkled on the food to make it irresistible to pets. Kind of like having melted butter or oozing chocolate on everything you eat.
6. Recalls are all too common.
Recalls can hit the respected, so-called healthy and even vet-recommended dog food brands. A case in point in 2007 involved the massive recall of brands that included Science Diet, Iams, Eukanuba and others. Nearly 20,000 pets became sick, and nearly 4,000 died.
One more strike against some commercial dog foods may be their place of origin. Dog food made in China has become notoriously risky, with regulations that are far less strict than those in the US. And you saw how the “strict” US pet food regulations can still leave your pup with a bowl full of junk.
Do your bulldog a favor and opt for all-natural, high-quality foods that are packed with human-grade meat and protein, contain fruits and veggies for additional vitamins and minerals, and are made with pride and quality controls in the USA. For more bulldog diet info, see our post on Special Issues and High-Quality Foods. (Link here)
What’s your bulldog’s favorite food? What food does he refuse to touch? Let us know in the comments section.