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The Blue Dog Blog: The First Ingredient

By Dr. John Schoettle, DVM

As a Veterinarian and an avid student of human nutrition, I believe there is a strong correlation between the food we eat and the health of our bodies, both human and canine. Two decades ago when I first started practicing Veterinary Medicine, most of the dog foods listed corn as their first ingredient. As you might know, ingredients are listed in order by weight. The first ingredient is the predominate ingredient in the food. So, we were feeding our dogs mainly corn-based food. This never made sense to me, and I am surprised by how many dog foods today still adhere to this formula.

Dogs are carnivores. Lift up the front lip of your dog’s mouth. Look at those four large “killer” canine teeth. They are designed for a meat-eater. Now, look in the back of your dog’s mouth and appreciate the sharp cutting molars which overlap each other like scissors. These powerful teeth are designed for chewing through bones and ligaments.  By comparison, look at your own teeth in a mirror. Small blunted canine teeth which can barely pierce a plastic wrapper and flat opposable molars designed for grinding grains, fruits and vegetables.

Another interesting fact: dogs do not get arteriosclerosis. This deadly cholesterol plaque damages and constricts our human blood vessels causing most of our “Western” diseases. Dogs are immune to all the diseases we associate with eating meat and fat. High blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes are rare in our canine companions and never associated with high cholesterol. This is further proof that dogs were designed to eat meat.

Paula Deen’s new line of dog food is daring to feed dogs for what they are—Carnivores.  All the Paula Deen Premium Select dog foods are made for meat-based diets, and the meats are of the highest quality. Let us flip the bags over and read the ingredients:

–        Premium Select Chicken and Rice… First ingredient is Chicken. This is real chicken and not the ominous “chicken by product”, which is basically everything no one else would eat.

–        Premium Select Beef and Rice… First ingredient is Beef. I do not know of many dog foods which use beef as their number one ingredient.

–        Premium Select Lamb Meal and Rice… First ingredient is Lamb Meal. Lamb is a nice alternative for dogs which have food allergies or sensitive digestive tracts.

I am sure that you love your furry friends as much as I love mine. Do them a favor, and feed them a high quality, meat-based dog food. At the same time, put more fruits, vegetables and grains on your own plate. I want both of you to live longer with less disease, eating as you were designed to eat.

Paula Deen Premium Select is available online at Paula Deen’s General Store and at Food City.

Dr. John Schoettle, DVM - Dr. John Schoettle was born in Pennsylvania and raised on Saint Simon's Island in Coastal Georgia. A graduate from Auburn University, John has lived in Savannah since 1992. He founded Innovative Veterinary Medicine in 2006 and has been caring for Paula's pups ever since. An animal lover like Paula, John is active in Savannah’s animal community and plays dad to a black lab named Blue and a Hurricane Katrina rescue dog named Bayou.

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