Toxic Pet Foods Harmful to Your Pet's Immune System
Have you ever eaten a chicken head? How about moldy cereal? Not even a cancerous slab of beef? If you feed your pet cheap pet food, chances are they've eaten some of those ingredients. The pet food industry is one slick business; many pet food companies throw pictures of choice meat and grains on their packaging while throwing diseased meats and moldy grains into their food. Before you decide to save a little extra cash by buying a cheaper pet food, you might want to consider the consequences for your pet.
You Wouldn't Believe What You are Feeding Your Pet
Many pet foods are full of cheap grains, diseased meats, fillers, by-products, pesticides, and other toxins. The hormones, antibiotics, and bacteria of poor quality meat can stay with pet food during processing and be presented to your pet in nice, fun-shaped bits in their feeding dish. Some people have even identified shredded Styrofoam, metal I.D. tags, and minced flea collars in their pet food. Besides the obvious dangers these ingredients present to your pet (like poisoning), the lesser known danger comes on slowly simply from poor nutrition.
Nutrition and the Immune System
The health of an animal's immune system is directly related to its nutrition. The vast array of cells, proteins, and tissues which make up the immune system require a lot of energy to function energy which is derived from food. When your pet is given mediocre nutrition it will have a mediocre immune system, not only leaving the animal susceptible to infections which it could normally fight off but also to diseases of the liver, kidneys, heart, and other organs.
Specific Pet Food Ingredients That Can Tie Up the Immune System
- Moldy Grains: Mold is a type of fungus, some species of which are capable of producing mycotoxins. One in particular, called vomitoxin, has been found in dog foods made with moldy grains, causing vomiting.
- Diseased Meat: Meat used in pet foods can contain all sorts of goodies, like E. coli and Salmonella. The violent food poisoning caused by these bacteria can severely dehydrate your pet, resulting in death in some cases.
- Sodium Nitrite: this common pet food preservative and coloring agent (used in both dry and wet foods) has been identified as a carcinogen.
- Other Dangerous Preservatives: butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and ethoxyquin can also cause cancer, organ failure, and ultimately death when fed repeatedly to pets.
Avoiding the Dangers of Commercial Pet Food
Many people prefer to make their own pet food to avoid the harmful additives found in many commercial pet foods. You can find many homemade pet food recipes on the internet. A reminder, however: commercial pet foods, while containing some nasty ingredients, also generally contain all the vitamins and minerals required for a healthy pet. It can be difficult to incorporate all these necessary nutrients into your pet's diet solely with homemade pet food ingredients. To make sure you pet is getting everything it needs and nothing that it doesn't, consider using a pet nutritional supplement in addition to homemade pet food.