10 Lessons from Pet Fooled Documentary

First Thoughts

Prior to watching Pet Fooled I knew that feeding raw was the healthiest option for my dogs. However, I only started feeding raw a couple years ago so I’m definitely not the perfect example. I was fooled by the dog food companies just as much as anyone else. I went with the “natural”, gluten-free, grain-free, soy free, corn-free foods too. No matter what I bought, Bolt was still throwing up stomach bile on a daily basis. He did this for almost 4 years before I learned about raw feeding. Since then I’ve noticed a change in his overall health and behavior.Pet Fooled documentary about what's really in our pets food.
I ordered Pet Fooled because I wanted to learn. I’m not an expert and won’t ever claim to be.  This documentary features some of the best holistic veterinarians in the industry. Dr. Karen Becker is one to follow if you don’t already. She’s the expert. My background is kinesiology and in college I studied anatomy, physiology and nutrition, for humans that is (although it isn’t much different than canines). I know how food is broken down and used within the body. We all know that fresh, natural, preservative-free foods are ideal. What I didn’t know was just how rigged (for lack of a better word) the pet food industry is. It disguised me to learn about what is really in the food that we all think is “healthy” and “natural” for our pets. It also leaves me heartbroken to hear about animals who have lost their lives from contaminated food. So, here are 10 things that I learned while watching this documentary.

#1 – Physiological Fact: Dog DNA is 99.9% Identical to Wolves

Canis Lupus is the genotype for wolves and dogs. This is basically saying that they are all of the canine family. The phenotype is then responsible for the color, length, and type of coat. Phenotype determines eye color, size and the other identifying factors.  Genotype means canine, Phenotype would be the breed. When I look at Bolt, I am reminded of this.
A pomeranian pup being disguised as a domesticated wolf.

#2 – Physiological Fact: Stomach Acid will Kill Bacteria in Raw Meat

Dogs have a stomach acid with a PH level of 1. So the idea that raw food can carry bacteria that may be detrimental to a dogs health is debunked with that one fact. Bacteria cannot survive in that environment.

#3 – Dog Food Industry is Run by Candy Bar Companies.

Wait, what? The same companies that are filling their products with addictive sugar/sweeteners, toxic preservatives and radioactive colors are making our dogs’ food!?!?! Yep! Mars Brands include: Cesar, Eukanuba, IAMS, Pedigree, Royal Canin, Temptations, Whiskas, and Banfield. They know how to make addictive and cheap food but lack the knowledge of what is actually healthy and biologically appropriate for dogs.

#4 – The Dog Food Industry has Only Been Around for 100 Years

Prior to that people fed their dogs raw food, canned meat or table scraps. During WWII the US government needed tin to make ammunition and therefor couldn’t use cans for dog food anymore. Dry kibble was then introduced.

#5 – Dry Food is Convenient

Once dry kibble was introduced it was easily the most convenient and affordable means of food. It still is. However, domestic dogs/wolves eat moist, rich foods. As do cats. Recently, dry cat food has been linked to kidney disease because of its high carbohydrate base. The kidneys in both dogs and cats aren’t meant to break down dry kibble. Raw protein is easier to break down than dry kibble.

#6 – 2007 Recall Killed Thousands of Dogs

In 2007 thousands of dogs died from “tainted” wheat gluten. Wheat gluten is a source of protein and was being imported from China. As dogs were getting ill and dying from eating certain dry foods, the company began testing the contents of the food. A chemical called Melamine was found in dog food. That same chemical is used to fertilize our lawns. Knowing that this chemical was present the dog food industry continued to sell the food for three weeks before reporting its contamination.

#7 – Protein Content Doesn’t Need to be Meat

The protein in dog food can come from many different sources. Wheat, gluten, meat by-products are all considered protein sources.

#8 – By-Product is Leftover Crud

When a dog food bag says chicken, beef, lamb, goat, pork by-product they are using the leftovers of the animal. All the edible parts of the animals are removed and what is left is considered the by-product.

#9 – Rules for Words on Packaging

When a dog food says “WITH” it only needs to contain 3% of that product. When it says “dinner” or “formula” it only needs to contain 25% of that product. When a package says chicken, beef, lamb, salmon flavor it doesn’t even have to include that meat source. The word “natural” can be put on the package even if it has been rendered through chemical processes that are not natural. Organic can be placed on the label with only 3% of the product being organic. Although many of the bags have appealing labels and keywords, the ingredients are far from what any consumer would assume are actually in the food. Not to mention that all the radioactive colors that are infuse in the food aren’t even for the dogs. Dogs see black and white. We, the humans, get tricked into thinking that it looks so delicious.
Prepping some raw dog food for a camping adventure.

#10 – Vets Aren’t Taught to Research Raw

It is saddening to know that the people who love dogs just as much as us are being fooled too. Students in veterinary school are taught about nutrition from “kibble” companies. Guest speakers come in to talk to students and give out free product. Some companies even give products to vet students for the entire duration of their schooling. Who wouldn’t want to take free dog food as a college student? Rarely, if ever, are they taught about a biologically appropriate raw food diet.

Pet Fooled Take-Away

Companies should be eager to be transparent. The documentary showed footage from a conference that was geared towards holistic dog health. When they approached booths the people were so excited and willing to share information about their food, what was in it, where it was sourced from and how they package it. Other companies, avoided the conversation. If a company isn’t transparent, they are probably hiding something. Take a minute to scratch you head and think about why they aren’t eager to share everything with you.
Adorable Pomeranian dog enjoying the sunlight in a tall bed of grass.
It is our job as consumers to make the change. The more we buy and feed raw, the more affordable and convenient it will become. It might seem like a lot of work but once you get used to it, it isn’t all that bad. If you’ve thought about feeding raw but don’t know where to start check out  Our Raw Feeding Journey and 5 Steps to Feeding Raw. And please, don’t just take my word for it. Watch Pet Fooled, do your own research, education yourself, question what is being said. Make an informed decision based on what you know. As always, send an email or comment below if you have any questions.

10 thoughts on “10 Lessons from Pet Fooled Documentary

  1. I watched this moive and recommend it to anyone who has a pet! My 3 dogs are on raw now but my problem now is trying to figure out the best homemade meal plan with some veggies and supplements. I am glad I found your website and hopefully this makes it easier for me to feed a home made raw meal to my dogs!

    1. I cannot believe I missed this comment. I’m so sorry I didn’t reply sooner. Yes, the meal prep is hard to figure out. I keep it pretty simple. I buy in bulk, thaw it all, and repackage in smaller bags that last about 3 days. I buy frozen veggies (kale, spinach and collard greens) to throw in the bags as well. I’m one of the laziest raw feeders you will even know. Having small dogs also helps. If I had bigger dogs I would probably experiment more with whole birds, pork necks and larger raw options. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing from you again. Cheers & Wags!

  2. I watched the documentary about a year ago, but could not change my pets’ diet to a raw diet at the time due to my limited income. Thank you for sharing this information. Dr. Karen Becker has a book that you can purchase on Amazon. I recommend it because she provides advice on what to feed your pets and many other useful information.

    1. I will definitely check out her book. There is so much to learn. I just posted a new blog on how to feed raw on a budget if you want to check it out. What breed of dogs do you have? If they are larger breeds you can feed animal parts which saves a ton! Mine are so small, and one is a rescue who only has 4 teeth, so we have to feed a lot of premixed ground which is more expensive.

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