Many Years ago Hills Pet Food Company introduced the leather shoe diet. They took an old shoe and ran an analysis on the shoe for protein, fat, fiber and moisture, just like you would for any regular dog food product. Would you feed your dog leather shoes? I think not. Yet, the analysis for leather shoes, amazingly enough, turned out to be quite similar to the analysis on many dry kibble diets, and people do choose to feed their dogs dry kibble diets. Because of my entrepreneurial nature, I wondered whether I could make a profit by selling old shoes as dog food. The cost would be low, I could grind them up and produce a feed for dogs and become the Bill Gates of the pet food industry.
The above paragraph may seem humorous, yet I seriously hope to portray the image that all food IS NOT equal. In fact it is an apples to oranges comparison. The leather diet had the same analysis but because of two major differences it was found to be useless. The reasons were that the protein source was poorly digested and it also contains the wrong mix of amino acids (the building blocks that make protein). This is a very important distinction between the varieties of foods currently available on the market. Obviously, some diets are more digestible than others and this is the basis for the comparison. One must compare digestible protein to determine the best value for the buck.
Let me explain:
If you purchase a dry kibble diet that has a 17% protein analysis and 70% of that product protein is digested, then 30% of the protein is excreted from the dog into the back yard. The dog has a much shorter digestive tract than a human and it therefore must absorb all the nutrients through the digestive system (small intestine) faster than a human to get its nutrients. If you were to compare this diet to a raw meat diet, such as the BARF DIET, which is a 17% protein diet, you would logically assume that the protein source would be identical. WRONG!
Over 90% of the protein in the meat diet is utilized by the body in the small intestine. Conversely, only 70% of the protein in the dry kibble is utilized. The main reason for the difference is the fact that the dry grain based diets are NOT biologically appropriate for this species.
All ingredients for dog food formulas are compared to the egg. The whole egg has the highest protein utilization and all ingredients are measured against the egg standard. The meat ingredients are second best as compared to the egg. Graded on a scale of 1 to 10 the egg would be a 10, the meat items would be an 8 and corn would be a 4 or 5 on the scale. That is why a corn-based diet can be sold inexpensively, because the ingredient source is inexpensive and the protein utilization is very low. Foods that are high in digestibility and biologic value are usually more expensive per pound than regular commercial pet food, but the cost per feeding is about the same due to the reduced volume needed to satisfy an animal’s requirements.
In the last 70 years, the dry food companies have done a fabulous job of convincing the public that a dog can receive adequate nutrition from grain-based ingredients. However, that is simply not true. A dog will be healthier by eating biologically appropriate food that he was designed to eat.
The better educated we become in regards to reading labels concerning the ingredients in food products, the better the health results will be. Utilizable protein is the name of the game. It is the basis for supporting our whole philosophy of feeding a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food to our pets.
WHICH DIET DO YOU PREFER FOR YOUR PETS NOW?