About 25 years ago I began formulating pet foods at a time when the entire pet food industry seemed quagmire and focused on such things as protein and fat percentages without any real regard for ingredients. Since boot leather and soap could make a pet food with the “ideal” percentages, it was clear that analytical percentages do not end the story about pet food value. I was convinced then, as I am now, that a food can be no better than the ingredients of which it is composed. Since this ingredient idea has caught on in the pet food industry, it has taken on a commercial life that distorts and perverts the meaning of the underlying philosophy of food quality and proper feeding practices. Is health reducible to which ingredients a commercial product does or does not have? As contradictory as it may seem to what I have just said, no it is not. Here’s why.
Simultaneously, this same regulatory agency prohibits the use of many proven beneficial natural ingredients that one can find readily available for human consumption such as bee pollen, glucosamine, L-carnitine, spirulina and many other nutraceuticals. It would be easy to conclude that reason does not rule when it comes to what officially can or cannot be used in pet foods.
From the regulators’ standpoint, they operate from the simplistic nutritional idea that the value of food has to do with percentages and that there is no special merit to any particular ingredient. They deny the tens of thousands of scientific research articles proving that the kind of ingredient and its quality can make all the difference in terms of health. They also are silent about the damaging effect of food processing and the impact of time, light, heat, oxygen and packaging on nutritional and health value.
The 100% Complete Myth
Genetics Is The Key
The Disease Price
The Perfect Food
Enter The Profiteers
One can only feel sympathy for a concerned pet owner as they stroll along the huge array of pet food options in pet food aisles. Unfortunately, armed with only sound bites and lore they may have heard from a friend, breeder, veterinarian or on a commercial, they make choices that not only do not serve the health of their pet but may directly contribute to weakened immunity and disease.
The first thing consumers should keep in mind is the ideal diet for pets as described above. No packaged product regardless of its wild claims is ever going to equal that. The next best thing is to home prepare fresh meals. (Contact Wysong for recipes and instruction.) If that is not always possible, then products should be selected that are as close to the ideal as possible. (More suggestions below.)
Raw Frozen Pet Food Dangers
Pet Nutrition Is Serious Health Science
Pet foods are about pet nutrition, and nutrition is a serious health matter. There is an implied ethic in going to market with products that can so seriously impact health. But the ethic is by and large absent in the pet food industry. Starting with the 100% claim and on to all the fad driven brands that glut the shelves, health is not being served. Nobody other than our organization is teaching people the principles I am discussing here. Instead, companies headed by people with no real technical, nutritional, food processing or health skills put themselves out to the public as serious about health … because that is what the public wants to hear and what sells. Never mind whether producers really understand or can implement healthy principles. The façade sells and selling is the game. Ingredients are important, true, but not less important than the expertise and principles of the producer who is choosing them, preparing, storing, processing and packaging them. Consumers place a lot of trust that nondescript processed nuggets are what consumers are being led to believe they are. Many a slip can occur between the cup and the lip. There are many slips that can occur between the cup of commercial claims and what ends up in the lips of the pet food bowl.
Are By-Products Evil?
Road Kill and Euthanized Pets
What To Do
1. Learn how to feed fresh food. Alternate these with honest processed foods fed in variety, and complement these foods with well- designed supplements.
[How To Apologize To Your Pet] http://www.wysong.net/PDFs/apology_pamphlet.pdf
Don’t get all particular and paranoid about balancing nutrients and ingredient do’s and don’ts. Rotate, vary, mix it up and fast once in a while. Trust in nature, not some marketing hype. (Use the same principles for yourself and your family if you want optimal health as well.)
2. If you must have human grade or organic foods for your pet, go buy the real thing at the grocery meat counter. Take it home, cut it up and feed it raw. Freeze the remainder into small meal portions and use them for subsequent meals. Don’t turn your brain off and go buy “organic” or “human grade” pet foods that for their cost could only contain hints of the real thing. Pet food manufacturers may be clever at marketing, but they are not magicians. One thing is certain; they do not buy ingredients and then sell them to you for less than what they buy them for.
3. Use appropriately designed supplements such as Call Of The Wild™ and Wild Things™ to balance raw meals and help make them safe if you are not skilled at such meal preparation.
4. The best raw, processed food alternative to fresh foods from the grocer is non-thermally processed dry foods – not raw frozen ones. (See Wysong Archetype™.) Use this food for alternate meals and as top dressing to heat processed foods.
5. Check the credentials of the person making the decisions in the company whose products you buy. Don’t go to a plumber for brain surgery and don’t expect serious healthy products from business people.
6. Steer away from brands that are pushing any particular hot buttons such as “natural,” “no by- products,” exotic ingredients (quail eggs, watermelon, persimmons, etc.), organic, omega-3, rice and the like. Although these features may bring some merit to a food (if they are put in at other than “pinch” levels), they are not an end in themselves and if the packaged food is fed exclusively can cause more harm than good.
7. Steer away from brands that fear monger. For example, there is the no corn or wheat scam – “buy our brand; it has no corn or wheat.” (Just saying a product has “no” something is enough to scare the non-thinking public to the brand that doesn’t have the boogeyman ingredient. Profiteers know this and play it to the hilt in the pet food industry.) The truth is, grains are put in dried nugget foods because they contain the starch necessary for the extrusion process. Starch is pretty much starch regardless of whether it comes from corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, millet or whatever. Grains also help decrease the cost of pet foods. They contribute some nutrition but in a properly formulated meat-based pet food the majority of the nutritional value comes from the meat. It is true that animals may develop allergy to corn or wheat but that can happen with rice or any other grain or ingredient as well. Problems are prevented by varying the diet. That is why Wysong has developed the range of formulations it has and puts them in small portion packs so the foods can be rotated. Of all the Wysong formulations, the ones with corn are chosen on almost a 5:1 ratio over all others and are the diets we receive the thousands of raves about, even in those pets supposedly allergic to corn!
This is not to tout the merit of corn, or any grain in pet food for that matter. They are sort of a necessary evil in dried extruded foods and any of them can bring some benefit if rotated in the diet.
8. Do not feed any product exclusively. Variety is the spice of nutrition and the road to good health.
9. Features to look for in a packaged product would be those that bring the product close to the raw-whole-fresh-natural standard described above: active enzymes, probiotics cultures, natural preservation and protection against food-borne pathogens, proper packaging, intelligent formulation and balance, micronutrient dense, freshly produced, fresh ingredients – and the expertise to do all of this, not just say so on a package or brochure. (Some brands trying to get on the raw food bandwagon make outright false claims about “cold” processing.)
10. The company should be able to intelligently explain what they are doing in terms of processing, packaging, product preservation and prevention of food-borne pathogens. It is one thing to simply put a certain ingredient into a food, quite another to protect it until it is consumed. For example, Wysong owns its own manufacturing facilities in order to go beyond industry standard techniques. Special portion pack, light- and oxygen- barrier bags, modified atmosphere flush and natural ingredients to prevent oxidation and food- borne pathogens are part of all Wysong products. (See technical monographs on Packaging, Antioxidants and Wyscin™.)
11. Most important, learn. Support a company that helps you learn the truth and teaches you how to be at least somewhat independent of commercial products. Demand that producers provide proof for their claims in the form of good logic, evidence and science. Try to discern the company’s true motives, your pocketbook or your pet’s health. Learn how to go beyond The Pet Food Ingredient Game.
Wysong R. L. (1993). Rationale for Animal Nutrition. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
Wysong, R. L. (2002, June 19). Why Modern Medicine is The Greatest Threat to Health. The Wysong e-Health letter. Wysong Institute, Midland, MI.
[The Wysong e-Health letter] http://www.wysong.net/health/hl_884.shtml
Wysong, R. L. (2002). The Truth About Pet Foods. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
Wysong, R. L. (2004). Nutrition is a Serious Health Matter: The serious responsibility of manufacturing and selling. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
Wysong, R. L. (2004). The Thinking Person’s Master Key to Health (60 Minute CD Discussion) Wysong Institute, Midland, MI.
Wysong, R. L. (2005). Comparing Pet Foods Based Upon What Matters: The First Study of its Kind in the Pet Food Industry. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
Wysong, R. L. & Savant, V. (2005). The Case AGAINST Raw Frozen Pet Foods. Midland, MI: Inquiry Press.
For further reading, or for more information about, Dr Wysong and the Wysong Corporation please visit www.wysong.net or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. For resources on healthier foods for people including snacks, and breakfast cereals please visit www.cerealwysong.com.
* Please note that the opinions of the dog lessons articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions or practices of any or all employees of dog-bed-directory.com.