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Your Dogs Deserve the Best: What Goes Into Dog Food?

Shawn Buckley and Dr. Oscar Chavez, authors of Big Kibble: The Hidden Dangers of the Pet Food Industry and How to Do Better by Our Dogs discuss why it's important to know exactly what goes into our dog's food. 

By
Shawn Buckley and Dr. Oscar Chavez
2-minute read

Kibble was invented around 70 years ago as a low-cost, convenient way to sustain life for pets. It is a highly processed product that is made up largely of waste products from the human food chain.

The same companies making the junk food humans eat also make most of the pet food.

A lot has changed since the 1930’s—we now consider pets members of our family. They sleep inside (or on our beds), go to doggy day care and even have specialists like oncologists and dermatologists, but one area that has seen little improvement is how we feed them. That’s because the industry is self-regulated, and the biggest players are also the largest human packaged goods producers. Yes, the same companies making the junk food humans eat also make most of the pet food.

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Which means that feed-grade ingredients, the things not suitable for humans to eat, is what is processed into kibble. Sawdust, poultry feces, empty peanut shells—all of these “ingredients” are legally allowed to be in your dog’s food. And worse, your dog's food can also include things like deadstock (hooves and beaks), and 4-D meat, a term that refers to dead, diseased, dying or disabled.

Even many vets don’t know that kibble isn’t good for dogs, because the kibble industry funds most of the research and veterinary education programs. 

More and more research is being done in the area of pet nutrition. We are learning, not surprisingly, that just like humans, what pets consume has a direct effect on their health and wellbeing. Fresh whole foods can boost their immune system and vitality.

Big Kibble: The Hidden Dangers of the Pet Food Industry and How to Do Better By Our Dogs is an inside look at the shocking lack of regulation within the pet food industry, and how readers can dramatically improve the quality of their dogs’ lives through diet. 

This may sound ominous, but it isn’t all bad news. This book gives you the tools to make an educated choice about what you feed your pets, and even includes recipes if you want to cook for them at home.

What pets consume has a direct effect on their health and wellbeing.

Some things to look for when choosing a pet food:

  • Do they conduct feeding trials on their food?
  • Do they have a team of veterinarians on staff?
  • Does the food include fresh whole-food ingredients?
  • Do you recognize all of the ingredients on the label?

Our pets give us so much and ask so little in return.

Here are some changes that will make the future better for our dogs:

  • Separate pet food from feed
  • Require honest labels on pet food
  • Create a food rating system
  • End the legal definition of pets as property
  • Extend tax benefits to pet parents
  • Include pet education in school

This Change.org petition asks the FDA to enforce the law to keep rendered 4D meat out of all pet food.