What better way to introduce today’s topic of dry pet food fiction than show you the first of two videos. This is because I believe in setting the stage so that pet parents can decide for themselves. It’s not an attempt to persuade. There is no marketing agenda.
All pet caregivers are faced with the same decisions when it comes to choosing what to give their dogs and cats to eat. Being informed helps you decide what is best and what is affordable. Each family has its own unique circumstances. Nevertheless, I’m sure you all want your pets to be happy and healthy, and lead the kind of life they deserve.
THE REALITY BEHIND PET KIBBLE
What Are The Ingredients?
Let’s take a look at what actually goes into making pet kibble. The following list shows the main ingredients.
- meat by-products (parts not generally for human consumption, by-product meal either named or unidentified)
- grains (corn, wheat, rice)
- pulses (chickpeas, beans, lentils, soybeans)
- synthetic vitamins
- synthetic minerals
Please take note that this type of dry food is high in calories. As a result, it’s very easy for a pet to become overweight. This usually occurs if it free feeds (grazes) and doesn’t get measured quantities at specific meal times.
Exactly How Is Kibble Made?
After studying the manufacturing process in considerable detail, I have been calling the marketing and sale of these products dry pet food fiction. That’s because they have really low nutritional value and frequently contain ingredients that cause harmful health effects, both long term and short term.
As you may have already realized, dry food for both dogs and cats is highly processed. That translates into a diet that does little to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
With the exception of a very small number of businesses that make commercial oven-baked dry food, around 95 percent of all kibble is manufactured by extrusion. Prepare yourself for what comes next! This is the reality behind pet kibble!
The Extrusion Delusion
In the extrusion process, the dry and wet ingredients are mixed together and pulverized to form a dough-like consistency. It is then fed into an expander for cooking and subjected to extreme pressure and high temperature.
In the next step, the dough is extruded (forced) through a specially shaped die, cut into pellets, and passed through a dryer. The pellets are then sprayed with fats, oils and synthetic additives such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. This step is aimed at replacing these natural substances which the food will have lost during the manufacturing process.
Finally, the finished product is packaged ready for shipping to stores.
Why Is Dry Pet Food So Popular?
Despite the fact that kibble is not the best option out there, these are the main reasons why people choose to give it to their pets.
- convenience…open the bag, scoop and serve
- time-saving…no preparation required
- relatively long shelf life before spoiling
- can be used in automatic feeders
- can usually be left out in the food bowl all day before it starts to go rancid
- generally more economical than other food alternatives
To Sum Up
This article is just one of many more I intend to write on the topic of mealtime foods, snacks and treats. In a couple of weeks you’ll be able to read about a presentation I attended in Florida given by a nationally-respected advocate for pet food transparency. Her name…Susan Thixton. What she told us is life-changing!
Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!