Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ben Takes on the Dog Food Nazis

Since I've had a puppy, I've been trying to decide what kind of food I should feed her. Lefty (my last dog) was pretty happy eating Science Diet, but I never did any proper research about dog food, so I tried to enter into the field with an open mind.

As it turns out, if you do a google search for "dog food comparison", you find mostly product comparisons between "our brand and Brand X"---in other words, I would believe these comparisons as much as I would believe a comparison between Coke and Pepsi on If you really look hard for some unbiased information about dog food, you won't find any. Most websites are clearly biased towards ``natural'' or ``organic'' dog foods. There are even several websites that insinuate that feeding a dog kibble, as opposed to raw foods like whole raw chickens, eggs, and organ meat, is tantamount to a violation of human rights.

Now, this seems like a good question to ask some ``experts''. And by experts, of course, I mean dog owners on an internet forum. Let me post some actual quotes...

Poster: vets get little teaching in class on foods. And the majority they get taught is by science diet (and other "high end" dog foods) company, so its a little biased teaching.

BenTheMan: Do you have proof of this, or is it something you've just heard other people saying?

Poster: [Posts link to a 1 year program for assistant vet technicians]. in a 1 year program 15 "lessons" 2 are out of class placements and 2 are repeat type of courses. 1 is animal nutrition. in a semester with 7 different classes in it. it is obviously not a long period of time to learn all about dog food.

BenTheMan: This is NOT a vet program, this is not even a vet technician program. This is a one year program for people who assist vet technicians. You do know the difference between vets and vet technicians, right?


Poster: Also, my dog recently ate a few kernels of boiled corn off the floor while we were cooking and the next day, she pooped them out completely whole and undigested. Which makes me question food with corn in it, if my dog can't digest the corn she 'stole' off the ground, what reasons do I have to think that corn meal can be digested by her?

BenTheMan: Haven't you ever noticed the same in...ahem...your poop? It doesn't automatically mean that corn is bad for you, even if it shows up undigested in your poop.


Poster: Or once I heard somewhere that raw veggies make cancer grow slower so if I had cancer, even if it's completely unproven I would still try to eat raw veggies.

BenTheMan: And if you heard that making hats out of tin foil could prevent the government from reading your thoughts, would you try that, too?

Needless to say, the words ``logical fallacy'' are lost on these people.


Anonymous said...

Ben - love your blog. I really need to start doing this.

Matt Sherr

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fdm said...

First of all Daisy is gorgeous! Secondly - I have had this food battle on and off for 2 years for our dogs. In SA I think the vet situation is more sinister because they own the stores that sell the big expensive dog food brands like Hills, Royal Canin, Vet's choice etc. So when were looking for a vet we went to one of those stores to get a recommendation and they very strongly recommended our vet. So we go to the guy and at the time I was cooking for our dog, and he gives me a seriously hard time basically pressures us to switch to Hills. Which we do. But I feel uncomfortable about it because his whole vet's office is covered in Hills branding. I was annoyed cos I figure they are sponsored by hills. It is way worse. I find out later that he actually owns all the vetshops that sell the food. The shop that told us he was the best vet is OWNED by him! They should surely disclose this. There is little unbiased or intelligent info online. Anyway so the food thing has been a battle and just last week I decided to go back to cooking entirely for our dog because she has terrible epilepsy and frankly the only time her seizure stop is when I cook for her. Literally dog food = seizure trigger. Our vet denies this possibility saying we are grasping at straws but he makes money from 1) the meds we give her, 2) the regular panicked visits and 3 ( the toxic food that keeps the cycle going. So there is no trusting him!

fdm said...

Oh I should mention the issue we think is gluten. So I went to the vetshop to see if gluten free diets even exist and the Hills rep was there - and she tried to convince me to buy their uber expensive sensitive dog food - she says it is gluten free. So I say read me the ingredients. first ingredient Maize. SO I tell her Maize is very high in gluten. Unperturbed she tells me that actually they hydrolyze the maize first which means the dogs body doesnt recognise it so it just passes straight through. Seriously? throw a science word in and think I am going to fold? NOOO. So I ask her if their bodies dont recognise the food what is the point of giving it to them? Just to bulk up their food basically. Her jaw dropped - and so she reverted to the argument that I am foolish to be cheap about how I feed my dog. So I pointed out that actually cooking for her at home with fresh meat, veg and potatoes is not cheap by any stretch. Man.

Ok rant over.
Love your blog!

Army ration Packs said...

Nice post. I have 2 puppies. And I feed them the dog food. And they love it. It's also healthy for them. You should try it for your puppy. :-)