When I was younger we got a West Highland White Terrier. She was 6 and her home before us was not the best. Soon after we got her she became quite ill and had to be put on a special vegetarian diet because her body could not longer process protein. The vet chalked this up to the diet of cheap, horrible dog ‘food’ that she had been fed for years on end. This was just the start of several health problems and a battle with her weight that would last the rest of her life.

Years later after she passed, our family decided to get another dog, a puppy this time. Determined to keep our new puppy in better health, I began researching dog foods. What I found disgusted me.

The marketing behind most pet foods is misleading to say the least. Did you know that if a pet food states that it is made ‘with real meat’ legally the meat content of that food need only be 3%?  For more in depth information on what you are feeding your pet check out this web site.

Sound familiar? We are sold processed junk under the idea that it is healthy and nutritious – giving a product a ‘health check’ because it has fiber in it, but ignoring the high levels of sodium or chemicals used in preserving it. Marketing has us embracing the idea that because a sugar loaded cereal now has 1/3 less sugar that it is somehow better for us, when we really should be questioning if the remaining 2/3 is still way too much. It really makes me angry – anything edible can come up with some claim that it is healthy for some reason! That doesn’t make it good for you overall. Even paper could be sold as a ‘useful source of roughage’, but most people know better than to eat it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: learn about your food. Where does it come from? What’s in it? How was it produced? Over the years we have become disconnected from our food and have allowed companies to make our decisions for us. It’s time to take back control over our food. Take the time to make food from scratch or at the very least be able to name every ingredient in it.

 

Today my dog eats a raw food diet of quality meat and veggie patties that I purchase locally from Tolden Farms in Kemptville.  I supplement that with sushi rice for his sensitive tummy and the occasional treat (OK, occasional may not be a strong enough word). Healthy and happy, he hasn’t had the health or weight issues of my first dog. And I would like to think that by eating as healthy as he does, I might be in just as good a shape.

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