Image credit: BuzzFarmers

Is pet food all it's cracked up to be?

As a kid growing up within a family of pet lovers, I remember the days when mum and dad used to feed our dogs any type of table scraps that we had from our meals. Occasionally, we’d make meals for the dogs ahead of time. The dogs would eat whatever we ate and they didn’t eat a bite of commercial food. Pet care these days are a lot different....

Interestingly enough though, three out of the four dogs we owned lived to the age of 18 and 19 years of age, with one dog reaching 21 years of age. And the reason why the fourth did not hit these high numbers wasn’t because of our lack of pet care, but because sadly he got bone cancer. Now this is not to say that commercial dog food doesn’t provide any nutritional value for dogs, it simply paints an interesting story considering that standard human food did so well only just a few years back.

Pet lovers beware: Pet Food Advertising Has Brainwashed Us
A lot has changed over the past 20 or 30 years.  Most pet lovers feel that feeding their pets commercial dog food makes the most sense.  They believe that high quality dog food sold in stores is not only the most convenient way to feed their animals, but it also is thought to give their dogs and puppies the best nutritional value offered, even better than human food.  They believe that this decision is the right thing to do.
You hear this sort of thing over and over again whenever a discussion takes place about pet care and nutrition.  Just the other day I was discussing some dog tricks with my neighbor and the subject switched to what we fed our dogs.  One comment that he made which is quite redundant is that “I feed my dog 'dog food' because it's for dogs. Why would I feed him human food?”  My neighbor goes on to display his sense of knowledge about nutrition for dogs by insisting that my way of feeding Lucky (my dog) table scraps was cheating him of the proper pet care. He genuinely believed dog food was the only source of food to promote energy and growth.
Processed Food is still Processed Food
I realized that there was little chance of me convincing my neighbor of his falsely believed notions about proper nutrition and his dogs.  Try convincing one of these people that a dog and a human both need similar nutritional foods.  It's not that easy. However, I did get across one point in which he understood and that was about processed food.
No matter how you look at it, or what you believe a dog should eat as opposed to humans, processed food is still processed food! This stuff is manufactured, which means it goes through various steps of processing, preservatives, and other additives before it hits the can and is packaged.  Every step that is taken to get this food to the store shelves reduces its quality and nullifies most of its nutritional value.
What do you guys think? What is your opinion on providing your dog a healthy and balanced diet?