I am always perplexed when people tell me their dog only eats dog food, but I hear it all the time. On the surface, most people would say that means my dog only eats food that comes from a package that was bought from a pet store or pet aisle at the local grocer. Seems straight forward, but take a moment and think about it. When someone says “my dog only eats dog food” they are also saying “my dog doesn’t eat human food”. They are drawing a conclusion that separates dog food from human food based on some set of attributes. If an intelligent life form visited planet earth and stopped by your house for an explanation of what is dog food, what would you say? What attributes would you use to separate dog food and human food?
When you are forced to think about what is dog food, and how it differs from human food, I’m sure the actual tangible attributes are difficult to articulate, i.e. ingredients, processes, ingredient sources, etc. However, the associations created by the term “dog food” are much easier to grasp and explain. Here is what I have heard before: Dog food is a “lower” form of food, not processed for human consumption, “bad” for people, “gross”, “disgusting”, made from “inferior” ingredients, etc… But these aren’t the explanations for the differences between “human food” and “dog food” these are only associates with the words: dog food. If this was the explanation to the intelligent beings, they’d leave only knowing what is thought of dog food, not what it is.
The reason many dog owners can’t always answer: what is dog food, is because many don’t know. They never really question what it is. They never ask themselves what makes it so special that dogs should only eat it and nothing else. They don’t take the time to be curious about the food they feed. Dog owners just assume, because it is presented in a nicely labeled package that it must be “ok”, “good”, “safe”, “nutritious” for their dogs to consume. That’s the irony, they don’t believe it is fit for themselves, but they feel it is the best thing for their dog.
Granted, dogs and humans have different dietary requirements, and different digestive processing abilities. However, please don’t lose sight of the following with respect to humans and dogs:
- Processed food is still processed food regardless of the end consumer
- Ingredient sourcing matters
- Food diversity is much healthier than monotony
- Fresh and wholesome trumps processed and packaged
Dog’s can eat many different wholesome foods, more than the average feed company would like for you to know. Don’t be duped into believing that dogs should only eat dry homogeneous kibble. Try these wholesome items with your dog:
- Pork Hearts
- Roman Lettuce
- Bone marrow
Next time someone says, “My Dog Only Eats Dog Food”, say: “My Dog Only Eats Wholesome and Fresh Foods”.