Good nutrition is the cornerstone for a happy healthy pet. Boxers are no exception. As with every living creature, Boxers have certain considerations to be addressed when selecting a diet. With so many foods available on the market today, we understand how difficult it can be to choose the right one for your pet. We hope that the following will help make your decision easier. Remember; the better the diet and nutrition, the less trips to see the vet.
Scraps and by-products:
When cattle, swine, chickens, lambs, or other animals meet their ends at a slaughterhouse, the choice cuts -- lean muscle tissue and organs prized by humans -- are trimmed away from the carcass for human consumption. Whatever remains of the carcass (bones, blood, pus, intestines, ligaments, subcutaneous fat, hooves, horns, beaks, and any other parts not normally consumed by humans) is, according to the pet food industry, perfectly fit as a protein source for cat and dog food.
The Pet Food Institute, the trade association of pet food manufacturers, acknowledges in its 1994 Fact Sheet the importance of using byproducts in pet foods as additional income for processors and farmers. The purchase and use of these ingredients by the pet food industry not only provides nutritional foods for pets at reasonable costs, but provides an important source of income to American farmers and processors of meat, poultry, and seafood products for human consumption.
Many of these remnants are indigestible and provide a questionable source of nutrition. The amount of nutrition provided by meat byproducts, meals, and digests varies from vat to vat of this animal protein soup. A vat filled with chicken feet, beaks, and viscera is going to make available a lower amount of protein than a vat of breast meat.
Meat byproducts, the catch-all term of the pet food industry, is a misnomer because these byproducts contain little if any meat. Byproducts contain little if any meat. Byproduct are animal parts leftover after the meat has been stripped from the bone. Chicken byproducts include heads, feet, entrails, lungs, spleens, kidneys, brains, livers, stomachs, noses, blood, and intestines free of their contents. What the pet food manufactures fail to mention is that most byproducts, digests and meals are also filled with other substances, such as cancerous tissue cut from the carcass, plastic foam packaging containing spoiled meat from supermarkets, ear tags, spoiled slaughterhouse meat, road kill, and pieces of downer animals.
With Boxers being in the top two breeds for developing cancer, preservatives are a huge concern. Dog food will contain preservatives to extend shelf life, the kind of preservatives is what should be considered and can make all the difference in the world.
The most common chemicals used to prevent rancidity, which should be AVOIDED completely are:
- BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
- BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) both known to cause liver and kidney dysfunction
- Ethoxyquin, another fat stabilizer often used which is suspected of being a cancer-causing agent
- Propylene glycol, a cousin to antifreeze, is found in many semi-moist dog foods
If you have seen the above mentioned on your dog food label stop using it as soon as possible.
There are natural preservatives on the market. Just like you would look at a label for a child, your Boxer depends on you to see that he or she is getting the best diet possible.
Do keep in mind that when changing to a higher grade dog food, your dog may go through what is called detox. He may get loose stools or appear to have an allergy. This is the body�s way of cleansing itself from the chemicals built up over time. This will rectify itself and you will see improvement in a short period of time, usually within 3-4 weeks. DO NOT go back to the old food at this time. Allow your dog�s body to rid itself of harmful chemicals during the detox cycle and you will be amazed at the difference after a few weeks!
We can never take away from the wonderful work of the veterinarians in our life but remember they are medical doctors for your pet. Just like if you had a nutrition problem a human doctor would refer you to a nutritionist. It is only humanly possible for them to know so much. Today there is a huge amount of information available to you on canine nutrition. The library, bookstore & Internet have an almost infinite source. It is important for us to learn this information. The better foods tend to be more expensive but if you consider that you will be feeding less and they will cut down on your vet visits, as well as the amount of waste your Boxer produces, they become cost-effective. Most importantly your pet will live a longer healthier life.
We cannot change genetics, but we can certainly try and do as much as we can for our loving companions by providing them with a healthy diet, medical care, and most importantly, love.