Look at the back label of your can or bag of dog food. You will likely see a statement referencing AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials. I used to think this was a government agency charged with looking out for the health of the food I fed my dog.
Then, when the melamine disaster hit a few years ago I thought… How did this happen? That’s when I looked into and learned what AAFCO really is… an organization largely created by and for the pet food industry. AAFCO is NOT independent, does not do its own nutrition research and has a vested interest in the pet food industry. A friend of mine, a veterinarian, gave me the best definition I have heard, he said “Shawn, AAFCO has about as much ‘Federal’ in it as Federal Express.”
If we want to understand how and why such poor quality ingredients are allowed in dog food we must first accept that AAFCO’s priority is not your dogs health but the profitability of the pet food industry.
I submit that an organization such as the National Research Council (NRC) is a far better (although not perfect) nutritional guide than AAFCO. NRC does its own research on nutrition and has been developing guidelines for decades and updated its recommendations four years ago. I believe the “current” AAFCO nutrient profiles are 23 years old. Most importantly, NRC has NO conflict of interest with the pet food industry, they are truly independent.
So what do you do? Make your dogs food. Make it from ingredients certified by the USDA/FDA (simply buy it at the grocery store). Follow our recipe’s. It’s not that difficult and in the end it may be less expensive than the vet bills. Our recipes are available on this web site at NO CHARGE, download them and make them.
If you are in the Orange County area we have FREE classes where we teach you how to make our recipes. If you are out of the area call us if you have questions and we will help any way we can over the phone. If you can’t or don’t want to make our food then buy it from us, we will deliver or ship it anywhere in the country.
But no matter what you do, do not feed your dog “commercial dog food.”
Last point on this subject. Don’t blame the vet. In most cases you bring your dog in after there is already an issue and in most cases vets work miracles for us and our dogs. Most vets are not nutritionists and like the rest of us they want to believe the pet food companies. At True Food For Dogs, we have a nutritionist ready to answer all of your questions, and is happy to do so.
At True we start with the highest quality, USDA certified, restaurant grade meats, fresh vegetables and whole grains, all of which are approved for human consumption.
We cook our homemade food for dogs, puppy foods and dog treats in small batches in our own dog kitchen and dog bakery. This is a critical point as it relates to quality control and commitment. All of our healthy food for dogs recipes are prepared by cooking our all natural ingredients to the minimum allowed temperature in order to preserve the maximum nutritional value. Whole grains and fresh vegetables must be cooked to a very specific point so that nutrients are preserved and a dog’s system can still benefit from the nourishment these healthy dog food ingredients offer.
Our dog kitchen and dog bakery in Newport
Beach, California was designed from an
empty shell with only one purpose in mind- Making the world’s best food for dogs. We didn’t convert some ‘out of business’ restaurant or alter some old catering kitchen, we built our space from scratch, dominated by our dog kitchen, for this sole purpose. Every piece of equipment and its location is strategic to our homemade food for dogs. “Gentle cooking” is not just marketing jargon. Cooking fresh food for dogs to the minimum allowable temperatures is much more difficult than overcooking everything and putting it in a can or a bag, but your dog will benefit greatly from this process. All of the ingredients in our recipes– meats, vegetables, etc. deliver far greater nutritional value when cooked properly. Under cooked and a dog’s system cannot digest the ingredients (which makes them useless). Over cook and there is little or no nutritional value remaining.