I just received this link via Twitter…

This is something I hadn’t heard of before, very worrying for anyone who feeds kibble.

Thank you for this piece of information. I hadn’t heard of it and it does sound worrying. I will pass it on to my dog owner friends. It has made me glad that I stopped kibble a good while ago. I hope that David picks this up because I really don’t know what to make of it. ???

I hope so too, Dottie. It could just be a scare story, perhaps with a grain of truth at the core, or it could be seriously frightening. How can one tell? Like you though, I’m glad I don’t feed kibble, or indeed any starchy food.

I’ve had a better look at it and it does seem to be well researched with plenty of references. It seems that humans are ingesting it too and there are some tips explaining how to minimise the risk. My friend knew about this and it is one reason why she is reluctant to eat chips from restaurants etc because they use the oil repeatedly. It’s easy for us to control this but as it says in the article, the dog doesn’t have a choice and some are being fed on the same food for years on end. It’s difficult to know what the risk is but like you, I would prefer not to feed kibble.

Earlier this year I changed my lot onto a cold pressed food because I did not like what I read about the process of making kibble. It is said to reduce nutrients in the food too. At that point I didn’t know about acrylamide though. Gentle is a super dog food and they all did well on it. It was only the weight control issue that worried me. I would definitely recommend cold pressed food as an alternative to kibble. However, it only has a short shelf life (6 months) and it is a bit pricey although you don’t feed as much. Now I am a (new) raw feeder it seems a good choice after reading this article but even that is not without its critics. Sometimes you don’t know what to do for the best.

I agree about cold pressed foods. Now I’ve been feeding raw for a little while I can’t imagine ever going back from that, the improvements I’ve seen have astounded me in so many respects, but I do think cold pressed is a good second best - probably better than cooked wet food, since the temperatures used in preparing it are so low.

I had my boy on Markus Mühle for a while before moving to raw, and while weight control wasn’t an issue (he’s one of those dogs who get the runs if only slightly overfed, rather than putting on weight), he still had sticky eyes and gunky ears. Only raw has sorted that for him.

Sorry about the delay. I’m putting together an article as we speak. Bear with me…

Perfect, that way more people will see it. Thank you, David.

Thank you. I am looking forward to reading it.

Advanced glycation end (AGE) products increase human risk of dementia and diabetes. This is in addition and are caused by high heat cooked meat and fat such as when seared, grilled etc as in the hamburger and steak. This research was also in response to the US health and obesity problem with tests finding higher traces in people with diabetes and dementia. Oriental and Mediterranean style cooking involves water, as in stews etc and produces less AGE. I now do much more slow cooking with water and without sealing. Dogs and cats are developing the same health problems as humans and my vet confirmed this was his experience so quite logical to think there are the same causes.

Once again, apologies for the delay. Wanted to double check all of my sources. The article is now online here:

I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Thank you so much for your hard work in compiling this document. It is worrying and makes me so glad that I ditched the kibble earlier this year and am now feeding raw. I just wish I had known about it earlier.

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Thank you indeed, David; an excellent article, balanced and very informative.

I agree completely. I had already made the decision to feed the little cav an entirely raw, low carbohydrate diet, simply because it has been the only thing that has suited him, but knowing this I am now resolved that nothing else will ever pass the lips of any dog I own.

An overreaction? Quite possibly, but I feel it to be my responsibility to do the best I can to ensure that an animal so utterly dependant on me is given every opportunity to be as healthy as possible, and dogs live short enough lives as it is. Too short.

It is clearly not a decision for me to make, but I do wonder if it isn’t time for the type of food - extruded, cold-pressed, cooked, raw - to be taken into account when allocating a rating to a food. I can’t see, for example, how an 80:20 extruded kibble can be considered equivalent to an 80:20 raw food even if the ingredients are identical, the processing affects the nutritional value of the resulting food in many respects, imo, and this article casts light on just one, potentially a very dangerous one.

I do understand though, that a decision to do this could be contentious, and possibly annoy some users to the extent that they ignore the rest of the valuable information to be found on the site; emotions can run high on the subject of raw vs kibble.

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You’re absolutely right George and it is something I have been wrestling with for a while. As you point out though, there are all sorts of complications when adding manufacturing practices to the rating process. For example, different extruders operate at different temperatures and pressures and for varying lengths of time and a lot of companies just won’t share that sort of information with me. Even if I did have all of the necessary figures, there isn’t a whole lot of data on how it actually affects the food and what sort of effects that might have on the dog so a lot would come down to guesswork. Nevertheless, you’re right that something needs to be done and I will keep wracking my brains for a solution.

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I’ve been pondering the problem since my last post, and wonder if one answer could be to allocate two ratings to each food: one rating for ingredients exactly as now, and a second rating for processing. Then if some companies are less than clear about their processing you could ‘assume the worst’ exactly as I believe you now do when companies are less than clear about ingredients, and dog owners would not be unclear in their minds about how the ratings had been affected by the two different factors.

It would be easier too for an owner who is already fixed on one type of food to make a direct comparison between different examples and ignore your opinions on processing while still taking into account your opinions on the ingredients, if that is what they wish.

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That’s a very interesting idea. I have also been mulling over a rating for company ethics - ingredients sourcing (especially meats), carbon footprint, animal testing and so on, and I think the 3 ratings together would provide a far more rounded account of the food but along with the user rating, things might start to get a bit complicated. It would also mean a lot of extra work for me and I’m not sure how I will ever find time to fit it in but it’s nice to dream

Understood. The site is a fantastic resource as it is, and many people - and more dogs - have reason to be very grateful for it, and for the work you put in.

Thanks George, that means a lot

Good stuff on Acrylamides but with a ‘but’. Had a look at the 2012 report and the foods they used in the tests are, in mine and the scores on this website opinion, pants. It would be good to see the tests run using a good quality premium dog food and draw conclusions - indeed as stated in other posts - see the difference in good quality extruded dog food against cold pressed and baked etc. Can’t see it happening as I would say for every £ an independent researcher spends, the big four spend ten thousand

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Great article, well balanced and I am now interested in how commercial feed is prepared. I am pasting a link to article on Many Tears forum and cutting down chips so I can still have my coffee. I came to my mix and match approach to dog feeding after my research. Just wish I had started earlier and had Wally earlier as I have a strong feeling his lymphoma was due to the cheap kibble he had probably been fed before rescue.

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Acrylamide is back in the news - link. This time it is relation to human food - the Food Standards agency are issuing a warning about over cooking food, particularly starchy ones such as potatoes and toast.

David’s article about acrylamide in pet food is here. He mentions that dogs are more at risk of this than we are and that there are ways to minimize this. There is a thread about acrylamide on the AADF Facebook page here.