Dogs are living shorter lives
It’s a sad fact that dogs are living shorter lives than they were some years ago. The Kennel Club carried out a survey in 2014. It was the largest of its kind to date. It concluded that the lifespan of the average pedigree dog in the UK had reduced by 11% since it carried out a similar survey ten years earlier. That’s 11% in a decade. And as we’re about to learn, a lot of it is down to cancer and processed dog food!
Reduced lifespan of pedigree and non-pedigree dogs
Okay, The Kennel Club’s survey only included pedigree dogs. But there’s no reason to assume that the result is any different for non-pedigree dogs. A study by the University of California came up with some interesting findings. It concluded that non-pedigree dogs suffer exactly the same genetic disorders as pedigree dogs where there is a common ancestor. By inference, both are equally susceptible to the same problems. Since most modern cross breeds are created from pedigree dogs, it would seem logical that both pedigree and non-pedigree suffer similarly. And it doesn’t matter whether the findings are genetically or environmentally influenced.
85% of dogs no longer reach old age
So at a time when human life expectancy is on the increase, our best friends lives are on the wane. It’s currently estimated that in excess of 85% of dogs no longer reach old age.
Surely we all owe it to our dogs to give them the best and longest life possible. By watching our dog’s weight and by feeding them the best food we can possibly afford!
Processed dog food and cancer
The upshot is that in those 10 short years, the average dog had seen its lifespan reduced by 1 year and 3 months. The longevity of some breeds had declined by up to 3 years. Even more shocking perhaps is the suggestion from those same results that fewer and fewer dogs are reaching old age. In other words, more are dying earlier. Many of diseases attributed by experts to highly processed dog food produced by manufacturers more obsessed with their bottom line than the welfare of our dogs. Diseases which include cancer in particular.
Various studies into the causes of cancer in humans have concluded that about one third are diet related. While no one single study has been carried out into the causes of cancer in dogs, many of the carcinogens in low quality human food are also present in dog food. In dry dog biscuit (kibble) in particular. Of particular concern are the aflatoxins. These are poisonous carcinogens produced by certain molds typically associated with low quality corn, wheat and rice. The typical cheap, low quality ingredients used to bulk up dry commercial dog food. And they’re not just in budget brands of kibble either. They’ve been found right across the dry dog biscuit spectrum from the cheapest to the most expensive so-called premium brands!
Cancer has also been attributed to high carbohydrate diets. Cancer feeds on carbs. Most commercial dog food is rammed to the rafters with carbs because carbs are cheaper than protein.
Beat canine cancer with an improved diet
So a large percentage of cancers in dogs can be attributed to diet. On that basis, just as human studies have concluded, these cancers could be preventable. The link between processed dog food and cancer shows that the risks could be mitigated with an improved diet.
Commercial dog food is cheap for a reason. It’s not simply economy of scale that allows manufacturers to produce dog food so cheaply. It’s because they use cheap ingredients. Cheap unhealthy ingredients at that. And when you take into account the potential for harm from commercial dog food, and the cost to you and your dog, it suddenly doesn’t look so cheap after all!