Would you feed horse meat to your dog?

Did you know that horsemeat was the primary, indeed the only, meat ingredient used in canned dog food until the 1940’s?! Horse was so popular in fact that dog food companies owned their own horse meat supplies. Then WWII, with the ensuing shortage of horses and metal, coupled with the advent of dry food, spelt the end for the canned food industry.

Since then, our relationship with horses has altered slightly. It has gone from a “lowly” work and food animal to somewhere in the middle, a beautiful animal to admire, where the most amount of work it has to do is run around a track. This new status means not only less horse about the place but peoples attitudes towards it change. No longer is it totally acceptable that it is farm intensely and slaughtered for food (like pigs, cows and sheep). Strange how we change, how we think one type of killing is OK and another is not!

With practically every other animal on the menu, and now with horse meat now creeping back on to the shelves in the form of tins in Maxizoo or on some raw feeding sites in the UK (most of it coming from mainland Europe), it got me thinking – would you feed horse meat to your dog?

Take the poll, let’s see where we all are!

[poll id=”8″]

Results From Last Months Poll…

Last month we tried to work out the difference in steroid / anti-inflammatory use in dogs and humans. Our prediction was that A LOT more of these drugs were being used in pets than in humans. This was based on two assumptions, 1) cereal-based dry food is inflammatory and 2) if a doctor tried to put steroids in your kids, certainly more than once, we’d be more inclined to ask why.

To do this we asked two questions, one about dogs and one about you. These were:

1. Have YOU ever taken steroids / anti-inflammatories for a recurring skin, gut or ear condition or in conjunction with a course of antibiotics?

Never 313 (58%)

At least once 106 (19%)

More than three times 125 (23%)

2. Has YOUR DOG ever taken steroids / anti-inflammatories for a recurring skin, gut or ear condition or in conjunction with a course of antibiotics?

Never 296 (46%)

At least once 169 (26%)

More than three times 183 (28%)

The poll received great engagement. 544 people answered the first question and 688 the second. The results tell us that dogs are 29% more likely to be given steroids or anti-inflammatories than humans (54 versus 42%, respectively). They were 37% more likely than humans to have taken them more than once (26 versus 19%)  and 22% more likely to have taken them more than three times (28 versus 23%).

Overall, dogs are 29% more likely to have taken steroids or anti-inflammatories than humans. While this is already inexplicably high, I actually expected it to be even higher. If I could do it again I would remove mention of anti-inflammatories as too many people asked me was the likes of Neurofen included, which may be fudging the results.

Dr. Conor Brady

After a doctorate studying the effects of nutrition on the behaviour and gut morphology of animals, five years with Guide Dogs as a trainer and supervisor, some success on Dragons Den with the finest raw dog food company and the last few years both writing and speaking on canine nutrition and health, I can say with some confidence that the pet food and drug industry cares not a jot for the health of your pet.