|Info-graphic courtesy of Planet Paws|
Today, ninety-six percent of pet owners around the globe are feeding dry commercial pet foods. Of those 96%, there is a large majority that believes dried commercial pet food is really all their pet needs and would never stop to consider the benefits of adding fresh “human food”.
(“Human food” definition in this article: clean sources of meat-based proteins and some organic plant matter, not beer and nachos 😉)
There are many reasons why some of these pet parents feel this way, however the most popular reason today seems to be the 50-year-old rumor that is in existence and still spreading.
You know the one: “Giving your animal table scraps is bad!”
How or when did this terrible rumor start?
Well, if we go back in time, research shows that shortly after the invention of processed pet foods, manufacturers were having a hard time convincing pet parents to make the switch from foods in their refrigerators to their commercial pet foods.
So in 1964, the pet food industry, along with the PFI, joined together with a whole bunch of marketing dollars and launched one of the most influential campaigns the pet world had ever seen: the “Ban All Table Scraps from your Pets’ Bowls” campaign!
Through thousands of newspapers, magazines, and news stations, the public was warned about the dangers of table food scraps or “human food” and the importance of feeding “processed” commercial pet food. From there, the giant smear campaign took off!
Not only did this clever campaign work, but it was so impactful that now, 50 years later, folks are still in fear of offering anything that is not labeled pet food.
SO IS IT A GOOD THING TO ONLY OFFER YOUR PET DRIED KIBBLE?
Not according to ongoing research it isn’t, especially with today’s cancer rates being 1 in 2 dogs!
In a 2005 study conducted at Purdue University on Scottish Terriers, the results showed that adding fresh vegetables to dry commercial kibble actually prevented and/or slowed down the development of transitional cell carcinoma (aka bladder cancer)!
In the study, dogs ate a diet of dry commercial pet food, while some got an assortment of vegetables added to the mix at least 3 times per week.
When the study was concluded, according to the researchers, they weren’t really shocked by the results.
Here’s what they found:
Dogs that ate any green leafy vegetables, like broccoli, had reduced the risk of developing bladder cancer by 90% and the dogs that consumed any yellow – orange vegetables like carrots reduced the risk by 70%!
Seriously! A lousy carrot helped smash the potential of cancer.
( http://ilarjournal.oxfordjournals.org/content/55/1/100.full ) (Raghavan, Knapp, Bonney, 2005) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16013542/
Yes, of course cats are obligate carnivores (must have meat to survive) and our dogs are facultative carnivores (carnivores with omnivorous potential if circumstances demand) so offering clean meat-based protein sources should always be top priority and essential.
However, because today’s world is ever-so changing due to factory farmed livestock being fed genetically modified grains and our planet being contaminated with every type of pesticide, fungicide and larvicide, the importance of fresh, organic plant matter to help detox the body couldn’t be more crucial.
So if the “cancer reducing benefit” doesn’t tickle your fancy enough to convince you to add any “human fresh foods” to your pet’s bowl, then maybe think of it this way:
How bad would it suck if someone forced you to eat dry processed foods your whole lIfe?!
Rodney Habib - Pet Nutrition Blogger
"An educated, informed and well-researched community of pet owners can only put more pressure on the pet food industry to be better! When pet owners know better, they will only do better!"