What’s Really in Your Dog’s Food

Transcription for Episode 3


Hi, I'm Courtney Green! I'm a dog mom of 5 rescues, a full-time foster mama and I rescue tons of other animals like bunnies, chickens, and guinea pigs as well. It's safe to say this mama million has her hands full and it doesn't stop there. I own an award-winning dog Walking Company, Dog Squad LA and I also run an online business all cater to dog parents like you. That's a lot of things, right? But I know how important my energy is when it comes to being around animals. So, I don't waste a ton of time stressing about all of the little things and I'd be lying if I told you that it came naturally to me. In fact, I've made it my mission to continuously work on bettering myself because, “Better human, better dogs”. You see, dogs are a direct reflection of their human and once were you really uncracked that, everything becomes a whole lot easier. So, that's what we're going to do together. Each week I'm going to explore a revolutionary approach to dog parenting, positivity, mindset and everything in between. All designed to help you take immediate action on the most important work when it comes to raising a dog. So, thank you for being here and tuning in and Thank Dog It's Friday!



Hey guys, it's Courtney here! Today we're going to be talking all about how to match your dog with the right food. This is one of my favorite topics to talk about and I am pretty sick right now. So, you hear me snuffling are coughing I do apologize but I didn't want to wait to get this episode out there because there's just so much to say and I know a lot of dog parents are struggling with this or, so many people don't even think it's important. So, that's really what I want to get into today. A lot of dog parents overlooked the power of food especially in times when your dog isn't at their healthiest, right? 


So, if I'm being real there's too many of us who make decisions on what to feed our dogs based on what we think we can afford not even realizing how much money is spent fixing problems that arise from bad food so I'm here to give a little tough love today and a whole lot of great tips so you can make sure your dog is eating the best food for their needs so let's dive in I really want to paint the picture of how important it is to match your dog with the right food you know a lot of people get a dog they get the brand see that the clerk says oh this is a good one or a brand AC that's on commercials that they've heard many times so they say out this is good and they don't necessarily do anything additional to try and see if it's the right food for your dog so this may be the first time many of you are even hearing this that you do have to match your dog with the right food and if this is the case I do want you to play KOST attention today because I have so much information that is really going to be mind-blowing to you at the end of this I'm very confident that you were going to be confident to make the right choice for your dog so let's buckle up and get in there to paint the picture I just want to begin with one fact that I've learned this year that has been life changing for me partly because I to struggle with gut health and my nutrition I've been struggling for years and I really put a lot of energy and effort into it but I found out this year not too long ago that serotonin is primarily made in the digestive tract serotonin is the happy hormone so if your gut health is bad that has a direct in back on the amount of happy hormones your body is producing so I think it's easier for us to see now how important nutrition is to our overall well-being not just for us but for our dogs as well and you know a lot of people say you are what you eat and that's kind of something that as a kid you here and you're like your bacon or you're an apple and it's just like a fun joke and then you kind of hear that growing up and it's just something that you here but you don't stop and truly think we'll oh s*** yeah we are what we sow for our dog of huge majority of dogs are eating kibble and a lot of the cable that is being fed are from places that are convenient to grab the food so Target Petco PetSmart the grocery store anywhere that's convenient where you could also grab your dog's food when you're out and about or any convenient pet store that just has basic brands at the end of the day unfortunately those Brands they are not good for your dog and a lot of the big brand names Blue Buffalo purina Hills all of those are terrible food for your dog and we're going to get into a lot of these in a bit so I'm not going to jump ahead but if you are what you eat then if you truly think that through if your dog is eating kibble they're just these burnt dark brown grainy pieces of s*** right I mean we wouldn't want to eat that we are people when we were kids all I dare you need dog food we wouldn't touch that with anything right but why do we not stop and think if we wouldn't even put this near Emmaus and it's for our dogs why we feeding it to and the right now this is really becoming more common because looks like cooked food raw food bees are becoming very very trendy right now and I don't want to say trendy because they aren't just a trend is actually better for your dog but right now they are trendy you are seeing the more you know you see the banners when you're driving of cooked food and you know have food that you'd actually want to eat and I'm not going to lie when I used to cook food for my dogs Tony I'm vegan so I don't eat it but Tony would be like Walt can I have some of the dog's food hey guys I'm here to interrupt corny real quick just to let you guys know this is Tony and I do not eat dog food okay she was cooking meat and veggies for the dogs and that look good and I wanted some but I am not over here asking for dog food with that being said let's get back to the podcast turned off by the things that we're putting in our dogs bodies because we're both beings and we both deserve great quality food and I'm not knocking kibble I feed my dogs couple so I'm we're going to get a lot more into this but I just want you guys to stop and think because as you know I always say life is all about asking better questions so if we really are what we eat and same for our dogs and all of our pets we should really stop and think okay what are we feeding our dogs then what are they eating and another thing I want you guys to really dive deeper into is dogs eat this every single day so other than like little treats you give and bones and this and that and hopefully you're not giving table food but majority of people 99% of the thing that your dog eats is the same kibble over and over again some people switch protein so they'll go from chicken to Turkey or fill switch things up or get different canned food so it's actually more of a variety of what the dog is eating but some people don't they get the same kibble every single day every time they buy a new kibble they just get the same brand and their dogs eating that for years and if you think about that for us we have to eat different things throughout the day to get different nutrients we have to eat you no veggies salads we have some people eating some people need to get things from dairy you have different food sources that provide different nutrients for you but when you knock all of those other food sources out of it and you're only getting one food source you best believe that food source better knock off When you didn't do the research or you're not doing the extra work to make sure that's the best of the best Kibble then you really have to think deeper into if your dog eats this every single day is this actually something that they should be eating and if you can't change it because of money if you need to have some kind of variety for them so that they not only enjoy their food and stay interested but also they're getting the different sources of nutrients the different foods that they can have that tick off that list of okay now I'm getting omega-3 is now I'm getting this like everything that they need as you can see I don't know much about the biology but I have prepared amazing information for you and just as an FYI I have prepared a nice little cheat sheet for you guys because I'm about to throw some words that none of us can pronounce those damn food labels right so don't worry about remembering any of these you can just download she and you're good to go you can look over your dog's food make some changes with that cheat sheet but we're going to be getting into a lot of the details coming up the last thing that I really really really want to dive into just to paint the picture of how an Morton this actually is to match your dog with the right food is I hear this too often my dog is just picky oh my dog just nibbles throughout the day I'm calling b******* I'm sorry if you say that you are making excuses for your effort being very little because you damn well know if that was your kid or if that was someone that you were taking care of that was a human and they weren't eating like yourself what happens when you don't eat if you're picky and you don't like say something with tomatoes and every single meal someone prepares for you has Tomatoes if you're not going to eat it or onions you're not going to eat it right oh my dog just picky maybe he has an intolerance maybe he has allergies maybe that makes his stomach feel a little yucky maybe he just doesn't like the food and he's saying mom dad can you actually do the work to find a better food for me so I want you to just change it in your mind if this was a different being not just your dog who you just see as picky if this was someone completely out your kid your niece or nephew your mom your dad someone you're taking care of that's an elderly someone you're taken care of for work if they weren't eating and they were just grazing because they didn't really like the food and they're doing this for their entire life that you're around them wouldn't you stop and think why is he not eating and if I didn't want to touch that if I had food in front of me and I just kind of starved myself everyday really might not be the food for me maybe I should do things to continuously find something I like and I'm sure there are many parents out there that have gone through this with their kids their human kids right to do that with me I was allergic to pretty much everything I was one of the pickiest eaters but they just didn't say oh my kid is picky she'll eat when she eats she'll nibble when she gets to it I'll just leave food out know they figure out what works for me they took me to the doctors they saw what I was allergic to they did test their options for you to do the same thing for your dog because you have to take care of them just as much I'm going to get a lot of s*** for this but every bee needs to be treated with the same respect and if you bring an animal into your house that does not have a voice you have to be their voice that thinks everything through and doesn't use some cop out that just says my dog is just picky my dog just likes to graze my dog likes to eat when they want no no no I'm not going to tolerate that and you shouldn't either okay so I want to go over some options that we all can do for feeding our dogs and as we all know kibble is one of the main options now that cooked food and raw food is actually a lot more popular those two other options are not going to be a surprise to you guys but I just wanted to let you guys know that they are an option so we have kibble we have cooked food and we have raw food so cooked food and raw food that could be either pre-packaged like you buy from a company that already prepared it for you or you could buy it from a store like you grocery shop for yourself you get some meat for your dog you either cook it or you give it raw and if you want to do cooked food or raw food I have some links in the show notes that give you information but for the perp list of this episode I'm going to be talking a lot about kibble because I know that that's the main source of food that dog parents feed so let's start there so for Kibble I'm going to give a lot of information that may seem like I'm really against kibble and like I'm going to judge everyone who feeds kibble so I just want to give a disclaimer I to feed my dog's kibble I fed raw food for a couple of years but unfortunately when I started fostering full-time at the beginning of this year I just didn't think that it was going to be cost-effective and also I know that so many parents feed kibble and I didn't want to Foster dogs on a raw diet and then send them off with more of an advanced feeding systems especially for new parents headed to switch to cable and unfortunately I have seen the downsides of it almost immediately you with my dog just how they all five of them move around how they look there bloating a little bit more they have more sluggish activities and there's no matter what it's just more of the health issues that come along with it so I've done my research on doing all of the checking for recalls checking for reviews checking all of the ingredients checking if they were past court cases against the brand names I've done a lot of information on choosing the best Kibble for my dog because at this point in my life that is the most cost-effective for how many dogs we do have so I am doing kibble and so that's my first thing I like for you guys to do is if you are feeding kibble immediately right now if you're driving or if you're doing something if you're in the middle of something make a note of this to do afterwards but if you're in the middle of just relaxing in your washing the dishes you're doing the laundry or you're at home put a pause on this and check your brand name for the cable that you use for your dog check if they've had any recalls check if they've had any bad reviews and any court cases against them those three things or easy you can do it within 2 seconds on Google so if you feed Blue Buffalo which if you're wondering I am not a fan of check a Blue Buffalo reviews Blue Buffalo recalls Blue Buffalo court cases and I guarantee you within 2 minutes you will know if you want to feed that dog food to your dog ever again chances are you're going to say no it's a no right so if you need to do that pause this and do that right now because that's the easiest way to find out if that food is good for any dog there are brands of foods that are very bad for all dogs so just avoid all of those and that's Hill's prescription diet which is unfortunately recommended by all veterinarians across the world because they're paid to do they sell Purina Hills was from the Science Diet so we have Purina we have hearts which is h a r t z everything from that company his s*** there's a lot of these so I'm going to leave a list of things in the show notes for you guys to avoid but this is the easiest thing that you guys can do so for me I feed Stella and Chewy's I would go in there stay Stella and Chewy's recalls Stella and Chewy's 2019 review has Stella and Chewy's had any court cases in the past three years as long as you're doing your research on the brand you're actually using right now you're on a good first step okay so since kibble is the most convenient and most affordable option for feeding your dog I have put four things that you should be avoiding for Kibble easy peasy for major things that you want to avoid and I'm going to be going through all of these what you look for in the label what exactly they mean the health problems that come with them and what you can do moving forward to make sure that your dog is either avoiding these and if you for some reason can't avoid them what you can add to your dog's food to somehow help the nutrient absorption so let's dive in here's what to avoid when choosing the best food for your dog the first thing I'm just going to give you a quick list and then we're going to dive into all four so first is preservatives the second one is fillers the third one meat by-products and the fourth one is by audit meals so to start with let's talk about preservatives preservatives the reason why they're really bad for your dog and for us a lot of this information can go for everyone but for the purpose of this episode or talking about your dog and kibble so preservatives hurt digestion by killing off friendly bacteria in the digestive tract which makes it very hard for your dog to digest food so poor so poor digestion means your dog isn't getting all the nutrients they need and that's literally the point of you spending money on giving your dog food right so if yours here in the boat where you like oh I don't want to spend that extra few dollars on the higher-quality food unfortunately you have the intention that you think you're giving your dog the nutrients they need you just don't want to give them the higher-quality because you think that that's already being checked off and maybe just maybe you think that the higher quality is just a higher price but unfortunately you are correct higher-quality food does not surly mean that these things aren't in there it is your job as a dog parent to check every single brand of food no matter if it's $20 or if it's $80 a bag you check the food because I guarantee you the things I'm about to tell you are in that higher-quality food and I'm going to tell you why in a few minutes so the health problems that arise from preservatives includes skin and coat issues excessive shedding weight gain are regular pooping and depression depression again goes back to the serotonin which is the happy hormone that's not getting produce enough in your gut some preserve it is that you want to avoid you want to check the labels for these three specifically so we have BHT which is butylated hydroxytoluene which unfortunately that one is used in hydraulic flow rubber petroleum I mean the list goes on it is crazy another one is BHA which is butylated he's in the show notes for you guys so that you can just read it on your labels we have BHT BHA petroleum hydraulic fluids all kinds of nasty things that we shouldn't be putting in our dog systems and then the third one is propylene glycol so those three again are going to be in the show notes I want you guys to stay away from those foods from foods with any of those ingredients the healthier options for preservatives you're going to look for foods that have mix to soft rolls in them that's actually a natural preservative derived from vitamin E and it's approved for dog food so if you see that as a preservative and usually it says mix to soft rolls and then in parentheses it says a natural preservative derived from something you know it will give you the exact where they drive the vitamin D from so again if it tells you what that means because it's a word you probably can't pronounce that's a good sign so stay away from BHT BHA and properly call and a good preservative that you do want to see is mixed to soft rolls okay next we're going to get into fillers and fillers are the easier ones to find because that's things like wheat corn corn gluten soy all of those heavy grains but let's dive in a little bit into fillers so fillers are usually cheaper ingredients that have no nutritional value for your dog so food companies use fillers for obvious reasons which they want to cut cost on meat so they use cheaper ingredients to fill the food with all the fillers to look out for our corn corn gluten soy soy bean oil heavy grain such as wheat barley flour and white rice and the number one question I get with this is with rice so a lot of people get recommendations from there veterinarians if their dog get an upset stomach or has diarrhea or is throwing up to give a bland diet like white rice and chicken and since I always say avoid heavy grains white rice is the worst option what if you have to give grain to say firm up some poop if your dog is sick or is recommended by the vet and you know for sure your dog is not allergic to it I would choose the option of a small amount of brown rice and quinoa instead but never give Barley's oatmeal and white rice and never ever saw a wheat or corn those are just very bad weed is a leading cause of dog allergies and we will get into the dog allergies and you know stuff like that and future episodes and it is something that I teach in my online program dog parent experienced but just try and avoid we as much as possible because it is a leading cause of allergies okay veggies and stuff like that but at the end of the day's small amounts of fruits and veggies are great for a natural diet because wolves as you know are a dog's closest ancestors and wolves did get a small amount of fruits and berries and all of that from the animals that they were eating they weren't going out and foraging for some berries and some nuts but they were getting those nutrients from the animals that they hunted so it is good to mimic that natural diet and have small amounts of fruits and veggies in your food okay look for all of the information in the show notes I am not expecting you guys to remember all of this it is crazy right okay another filler just to add I forgot no artificial coloring so if there's natural coloring that's fine with like berries and stuff like that but absolutely no artificial coloring and you're going to find this mostly in Treats but for some dog foods that you pour it and there's a yellow and a red and a green would you want that for your main meal maybe for some candy to pop some Skittles but not as your so we're halfway through with the ingredients to avoid so the first one again with preservatives in the second one is fillers and as you guys can see a lot of these are in your dog's Foods all of them are for the most part and this is why we see an alarming increase in canine cancer it's because of the abundance of low quality foods and it's just really sad because we trust the brands we trust the companies that are selling us these products time going to let you guys know in a little bit but there's no regulation over these companies and we know people choose money so the reason why are dogs are getting sick is because these companies are choosing profit over health and for you guys I want you guys to just understand that and just always see it as a red flag and everything you buy look at the ingredients do the research just do a quick scan and then just have your top brands that you trust so that you don't feel like you always have to do this every time you go out to shop for your dog because it's a pain in the ass because they do their job for us okay so let's keep going the next one that we have are meat by-products no meat by-products are nothing but slaughterhouse waist and I should have gave you a little warning the next two are going to be f****** disgusting they're not going to be fun for you guys to hear I was appalled to hear that even has this food I spend so much money I'm sure many of us do so much money every single week on dog kibble dry food which if anyone is wondering kibble is dry food I'm sorry I didn't clarify that sooner meat by-products and the next one we're going to go over which is by-product meals there in a lot of cables almost all of them and it's crazy because of what it actually is so again meat by-products are actually just slaughterhouse waste it's what's left over it by products can contain organs feet beaks brains pieces of tumors bones undeveloped eggs and intestines with leftover feces pretty much anything that they don't want to give to humans is inside of meat by-products and how meat by-products is labeled on food it's going to stay chicken by-product beef by-products lamb by product fish by-product it's not going to say meat by-product so if you're feeding a cable that's chicken-based if it says chicken is the first ingredient most likely chicken by-product or chicken meal which is the next one we're going to go over is that second ingredient and if it's at the first row of the label that means it's very high proportions so if you're getting a very high proportion of slaughterhouse waist and your dog isn't going to be healthy right and we're not going to be happy and the last one we're going to go over meat products so these are the byproduct meals generic meat products are things like meat and bone meal so they're called MBM meat and Bone meals those contain roadkill dead livestock and mostly dead zoo animals so nbm's are widely used in the US as low cost animal protein in dog food this is the one that you're going to see a lot in your food labels for your dogs if you can believe this I'm sure you can because the u.s. is were f****** animals over here but in Europe the majority is now used as fossil fuel replacement for energy generation they're not even allowed in dog food this is because the US has literally no regulation on Pet Food quality guys no regulation and that's why so many preservatives by products and meat meals are found in our dog foods because the USDA nor the FDA monitors Pet Foods or the quality of nutrients that are in them and it's also not taught in veterinary schools and like I said early the veterinarians the hospital's especially if it's a corporate hospital they are bought out by big companies like Science Diet Hills Purina their bought out by all of those companies third one is blinking on and it is really bothering me so I might just blurt it out at some point of the end of this episode but these companies are all paying vets to sell their products and so they're being told this is good for you especially when your dog is sick it's a nightmare guys so it's up to us to do our research not only when our dog is sick but when our dog is perfectly healthy it is up to us to look at all of the options and to make sure that the one we're feeding on a regular basis are the best that we can provide and we always can do better we always can afford more because the money that were wasting on buying more Foods going to the vet buying skin products because the dogs are always itching doing all of these things that are helping because the food is hurting you know you're wasting money you're not saving it I can't stress this enough guys I can't okay so my recommendation is always if you're going to feed kibble add prebiotics and probiotics and Omega threes to everyone with the nightmare like I said I feed kibble as well just do the things to make sure you're feeding the best of the best Kibble and then also add these supplements to your cable so that your dog is getting the best nutrients that they can so what prebiotics and probiotics help with is they keep bad bacteria under control and the dogs got and they improve nutrient absorption which helps your dog keep the nutrients they need that maybe the kibble isn't providing maybe it's replacing that and there's some things like carrots Ginger there's things that you can buy in the grocery store that have prebiotics and probiotics in them but you can buy capsules you know 30-day capsules were you just pop one your dog food everyday or you can choose a brand like I have Stella and Chewy's that has raw coated kibble and raw food inside and raw food is packed with tons of prebiotics and probiotics and then again I mention a mega threes which are great for brain health and Joint relief suggest getting organ meat the reason why I'm comfortable with this is because I fed raw for years so my dogs already are familiar with Rob meet but organ meat is densely packed with just about every nutrient your dog needs just to paint a picture Alpha wolves in the wild they go for the organ meat first and then they let the other dogs that are the other wolves in the pack eat the other meat so the organ meat is really that meat that every dog should be getting so even if you're just add does treats you can buy that the grocery store and pop it in your dog's food every few days or just anything that you can add to your dog's kibble will really help and then again for the kibble try and avoid all four of those ingredients but chances are you're going to find at least one of them in there and if you are just do your research on what the percentage is so for me unfortunately by-product meals are in my dog's kibble I reached out to the company and it's a very small proportion it's not anywhere near 40 to 60% which is the big chunk of what my dog is eating and I also make sure I'm giving the prebiotics and probiotics I also a draw to their food and I give tons of other supplements so that they are getting the nutrients so I just want you guys to be aware what you can do to help this isn't the end-all be-all of cabal you're never going to feed it again if you are a little overwhelmed and you do want to avoid cable because you know the truth and I highly suggest you look into feeding a raw diet or a coke diet and again I'm not going to go too deep into this because there's not as much information on Raw diets and cook diets that I need to give to you guys there was a lot of information that people need to know about kibble so if you are looking to do a raw diet or cooked diet go ahead and check the show notes in there be some links on how you guys can get started with that how to take a deeper look at our dogs nutrition and you want to learn more I definitely have your back as you can see I'm very passionate about this and I truly understand that a lot of dog parents don't see how important it is so food and nutrition is one of the main topics that I dive into with my community and my 30-day online program called the dog parent experience more tips on how to choose the right food for your dog or discussed in there along with how to transition your dog to a new food how to determine if your dog has food allergies or intolerances and of course I give all of my Insider tips for safety and feeding tricky eaters and as with all of the lessons in dog parent experience I provide my top brand recommendations so you can see exactly what companies I trust for all of my littles so you can find all of the info on an experience which is my online program and everything else that I mentioned in this episode in the show notes and if you like this episode or if you found it useful in any way please take a screenshot and with your friends on social media like I said this information is so important and if we could spread the word to as many people as we can it really takes a village to raise Healthy Pet so please if you like this share this like it subscribe leave a review I would love your input and again please check out my cheat sheet download it keep it on your phone and when you're out shopping for your dog I want you to check the label and get in the habit of doing that regularly and the first thing you can do is check your dog food brand you don't even have to be home to check the label you can just Google it check for recalls check for reviews check if they've been sued before and I'm telling you I know that sounds crazy but it takes less than a minute and you'll have so much Clarity instantly out here if you have any questions reach out to me on social media you could find me at Wolfie court and I'd love to hear from you take care thank God it's Friday 


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