Dry Dog Food Labeling

When was the last time you really looked at the ingredients list on the bag of your dry dog food? Look at it now and after you read this, look at it again with a new understanding of what your dog is living on.

We all took the required reading and grammar classes in school; we learned to spell and use punctuation to express ourselves on paper and read the written word.

Now, look at the punctuation on the label, even if it has been many years since middle school grammar you can figure out how labelling is deceiving you yet again. Begin with the first ingredient, which is said to be the heaviest, there is a comma after the ingredient. As you read on you will find a comma after each ingredient, correct?

Until you come to a fat listed on the label, such as chicken fat or animal fat, or an oil, such as sunflower oil. Following this ingredient are parentheses, no comma, just parentheses and within the parentheses, a preservative is listed. It looks like this…

Chicken, Ground Yellow Corn, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols).

Even a basic understanding of the English language will tell you the only product listed on the label that requires preservation is the fat or oil. What about the chicken and other ingredients? Why don’t these ingredients need to be preserved?

The answer is in the processing of dry dog food, the ingredients are baked, dried and extruded into a rock. Once dried these little pebbles don’t need to be preserved, it’s as simple as the writing on the bag. Dry dog food is made with a machine called an expander. First, the raw materials are blended in accordance with a recipe developed by food scientists. This mixture is fed into the expander and steam and hot water is added until reaching 305 degrees. The mix is subject to extreme heat, steam, and pressure and forced through an extruder, which is a die, which makes the distinct shapes of the final product.

The mixture is then cooked at high temperatures (500 degrees plus) and high pressure. Once the product is dry and sterile the final process takes place. Most dry dog foods a then sprayed with fat or oil to make it more palatable, the final step is what fools your dog into eating the dry “rocks” in the bag. This fat is the only part of the kibble that needs preservation, it is so stated on the label!

Now ask yourself what possible nutrient value your beloved dog is getting from products produced in this manner. It doesn’t need preservation of some sort what could possibly be left? No matter how wonderful the list of ingredients may sound, never forget those COMMAS, between each one, lies empty nutrition.