Updated: Feb 25
First and foremost I would like to say thanks so much for stopping by! Secondly, I am not a veterinarian and if you have serious questions regarding your dog's health please consult with your integrative/holistic veterinarian. Thirdly, these are my opinions and view, if you don't jive with my vibe that's cool! But be always open to new ideas so we can grow our beautiful minds together. If you don't agree with me feel free to tell me why so I can learn from you too!
This blog isn't about what diet is better or right. This is about feeding beneficial nutrients into your dog's body in a biologically appropriate matter.
If someone handed you a bowl full of corn, wheat, & by-products and topped with heaps of synthetic vitamins/minerals and said "Here's your complete and balanced meal!" you probably would want to eat somewhere else ASAP and maybe write a very aggressive Yelp review (at least I know I would). Or what if you point out how unhealthy the meal is because it is loaded with carbs and artificial vitamins and minerals and they simply reply, "But it meets all the minimum nutrient 'requirements'".
This is the epidemic we face in so many dog food brands today. Yes, I'm talking about synthetic vitamins and minerals.
What are synthetic vitamins and minerals?
Synthetic vitamins and minerals are high concentrations of vitamins/minerals derived by sources that aren't listed. These nutrients are extracted and/or isolated vitamins/minerals that have been synthetically produced in a lab and tested for potency before hitting the shelves. Basically, they're artificially made nutrients that are tested numerous times to make sure that they are delivering somewhat of the same benefit as it's whole food equal.
Why are there added synthetic vitamins & minerals
Synthetics are added for various reasons but the main highlights are
(1) When dry food is heated to high temperatures many vital nutrients are lost and they need to be added back in.
(2) To balance any formula (raw and/or kibble).
(3) Synthetics can even be used to neutralize free radicals when low-quality meat is used (ew, gross).
Synthetic vs. Natural
The debate has been going on for years: "Are synthetic better or worse than naturally derived nutrients?". Some sources even say that synthetics are dangerous. Although synthetics may contain one main vitamin or mineral they tend to lack somethings that natural sources don't, such as trace minerals. Trace minerals cannot be found in synthetic due to them being crafted in laboratories. Fabricating synthetics can be awesome for those who lack certain vitamins/minerals but even too much of a good thing is bad.
Not too long ago, a huge recall on Hill's Pet Food was made due to toxic amounts of Vitamin D in dog food. Too much of these vital nutrients caused hundreds of dogs to die due to toxicity. Some food had over 70 times over the recommended amount of Vitamin D.
It was unknown why there were such lethal dosages of Vitamin D in the food. It might have been the mathematician's fault for miscalculating or maybe the mixing machine had caked a little pile of the synthetics and it finally fell into the unlucky kibble batch - there's really no way to know. But what we do know is that these killed hundreds of beloved pets leaving hundreds of families devastated.
The Deadly Truth
This freaks. Me. Out.
A supposedly "trusted" well-known dog food brand kills.
How are we supposed to trust any companies if they're only in it for the money?
Now don't get me wrong, I DO believe there are some great dog food companies that use biologically appropriate ingredients and know what they're doing, but these are as rare as a rocking horse's droppings.
If you look at dry and even RAW or "raw"(depending on if it been treated with HPP) ingredient lists, you'll see that over 50% of the list are words you can't pronounce, better known as synthetics. How are we supposed to trust when we read "balanced & complete" when the nutrients are coming from synthetics?
Below are ingredient lists of multiple raw and kibble brands. Highlighted in yellow are the synthetics used.
Some ingredient lists have even more synthetics in their recipe than whole foods. I just don't believe that's how it should work. We can achieve balanced nutrition with whole foods. And I am so happy there are so many wonderful brands out there that believe in the same! So I would like to take this time to show you some synthetic-free dry food, raw, and supplements. Let's say #effsynthetics and more BIOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE & AVAILABLE ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS!
Now, I have hopefully shown you the dark side of synthetics, let me show you the good. Brands that are fiercely passionate about providing biologically available nutrients, raw, supplements, and even some kibble. Whatever you are feeding your dog, mad respect. You are doing the best for YOU!
The #effsynthetic movement list:
Wildly Blended: Kinnlee works so hard and creates such amazing thought out products. The custom blends of veggies and/or fruits are tailored to your dog's exact needs. She even has flea/tick and hip/joint powder that is one of my favorites to feed.
2. Kin+Kind: This brand has awesome fruit & veggie supplements mixed with coconuts. They also have a berry (it tastes super good FYI) & turmeric recipe which has amazing anti-inflammatory properties.
*while I will always recommend a low carb, fresh, and whole foods diet, I know realistically that is just not feasible for everyone. So I listed some kibble brands I would feed if I had to.
1. Carna4: This brand is 100% synthetic free. YAY!
2. Nature's Logic: This is another brand with absolutely no synthetics!
1. DIY: In my opinion, this is the best way to know EXACTLY what you're feeding your dog and know they are getting the vital nutrients they need to thrive.
2. Raw Feeding Miami: They make there own in house grinds of various proteins that are high quality and of course, synthetics free.
3. Answers Pet Food: They have ONE synthetic, vitamin E... which sucks but is way better than having 25+. And this is the only fermented raw which they use instead of HPP.
4. Bones & Co: Once again, the ONE synthetic in their recipe in vitamin E. But again better than half the ingredient list. I love their mission and I may or may not have binge-watched all of Rachel Fusaro's #dogvlogs
*** If you know of any brands that are part of the #effsynthetics movement comment them below so I can add them to this list!
I am so proud of how people are continuing to take charge of their dog's health and soak up all the new information on balanced raw dog food.
But I think it's time to push the raw feeding revolution one step further to take and say #effsynthetics and find ways to get these vital nutrients to our animals in a biologically appropriate matter. The time to feed fresh nutrients is now.
Thanks so much for stopping by and...Always Keep Exploring!