A leading urban dog trainer and behaviourist, whose clients include high-profile celebrities such as Nick Grimshaw and Pixie Geldof, has spoken out about the hidden dangers of commercial dog food.
Louise Glazebrook, founder of acclaimed east London dog training school Darling Dog Company, says pets are being fed tinned food and kibble from leading dog food companies that has little or no nutritional value, and that animals are suffering ill effects as a result.
Problems with digestion such as diarrhoea and pancreatitis, serious skin and fur complaints, tooth decay, diabetes and behavioral problems can all arise as a result of dogs being fed commercial brands that are comprised of 'meat derivatives', a wooly term that can include such animal parts as cancerous tissue, pus-filled sores, beak and eyeball.
Louise's crusade to encourage pet owners to take responsibility for what goes into their dogs' mouths comes as Channel 5 commission a new documentary about the hidden horrors of pet food, The Truth About Your Dog's Food, to be aired later this month.
Speaking to MailOnline, Louise said: 'When popular commercial brands have labels that read "meat derivatives", you have no idea what this is.
'The companies are trying to make as much food as possible for as little as possible, so they use the cheapest bits: cancerous tissue, pus-filled sores, beak, eyeball. Would you feed that to your dog?'
Louise, who has worked with the four-legged friends of London-based stars such as David Walliams' model wife Lara Stone, says the only way to ensure your dog is recieving the nutrients it needs is to feed it unprocessed natural foods, predominantly things you have cooked yourself, and raw food.
Her own bulldog, Cookie, came out in a debilitating rash that left her itching until her skin was raw, and the complaint didn't subside until Louise tried eliminating foods from Cookie's diet, finally understanding that her pup was allergic to both wheat and chicken, both highly present in most commercial dog foods.
As soon as Louise stopped feeding Cookie chicken and wheat, the rash vanished.
Speaking about what dogs actually should eat, Louise says feeding your dog basic, mass-produced commercial dog food is 'the equivalent of feeding a child a diet of McDonalds and Haribo'.
She continues: 'There are but a few people out there doing great things with dog food, Lily's Kitchen and Nutriment are two of them.
'Many of them which are sold in your vet's waiting room, are expensively packaged and full of sweepings off of the factory floor which are about as useful to your dog as a packet of jelly babies.
'When you feed your dog look at what it needs. Honestly, it is very simple. What you put in has a big impact on what you get out. Both from a health and behaviour point of view.
'I am amazed at how few people I see and work with realise the impact that food can have on the work we are doing with their dog. How can I expect a dog to concentrate if he is just looking for his next sugar hit?'
'If you feed a dog a food made from sugar, salt, meat derivitives and ash, it's similar to you eating a highly processed ready meal. Not great.
'We seem to have been taught that our dogs need special foods, special diets and special treats. They really don't.
'They need real food, that is all. Instead of feeding a Dentastix which is full of who knows what, use some of nature's toothbrushes they are cheaper and better for your dog.
'When you think of dog food, the easiest thing to think of is this; the simpler the better.
'If you don't know what the ingredients are or where they came from throw the food in the bin. It shouldn't stink, it shouldn't make your dog stink, and it certainly shouldn't be heavily processed.
'I am amazed at how few people I see and work with realise the impact that food can have on the work we are doing with their dog. How can I expect a dog to concentrate if he is just looking for his next sugar hit?
'We are turning our dogs into junkies through laziness and being told that dog food should be convienent. Actually it shouldn't be, dog food should be real, decent and tasty.'
She continued: 'Humans are the only animals that cook their foods - and we know cooking breaks down many of the proteins and amino acids in raw meat, destroying much of the nutritional goodness.
'So why would you feed your animal a processed, cooked food? Most people do not realize what they may actually be feeding to their beloved family pet.
'Some commercial foods contain a high percentage of fillers, such as cereals, grains, and soya which your pet simply isn't designed to eat - and which actually can lead to long term health problems such as yeast infections, itchy skin, ear and anal gland issues.
'Furthermore, some foods contain meat meal and derivatives, which can include feet, feathers and other undesirable parts of an animal.
'At Nutriment we pride ourselves on the quality of our ingredients and will never include any fillers in our food. We will also always use British meat from human grade sources so you can be sure your pet is getting only the best, freshest, most natural food on the market.'
Meanwhile, new Channel 5 exposé of big dog food manufactures is airing next week, causing dog owners to think carefully about what they feed their pets.
The programme questions whether commercial dog food is a major cause of the obesity crisis in dogs, and examines pet food labeling and the ingredients within some dog food brands, including colourants and preservatives.
With a rise in reported chronic health issues amongst dogs, together with the uncontrollable rise of obesity, an increasing number of dog owners in the UK are beginning to question and challenge the major dog food manufacturers.
An increasing number of dog owners in the UK are beginning to question and challenge the major dog food manufacturers
At the forefront of this topical campaign and heavily contributing to the documentary The Truth About Your Dog's Food is Lily's Kitchen, an all-natural boutique British pet food company founded by Henrietta Morrison.
After consulting with her brother, a vet, Henrietta began cooking food for Lily, her Border Terrier and the transformation in her health was remarkable.
She spent two years working together with a range of vets and nutritionists to create the best food for pets, containing wholesome, natural ingredients together with the best quality vitamins and minerals.
Speaking about the documentary, Henrietta, who as well as a dog food range has also written a cookbook, Dinner For Dogs, says: 'A very cheap dog food is cheap for a reason. It's not because the company has decided out of the goodness of their heart to make a cheap pet food; it's because the ingredients in it are extremely cheap ingredients.
'"Chicken meal" might sound pleasant enough but is, in fact, made from rendered down carcasses and feather shafts to make the protein content in dog food higher.
'Companies are misleading consumers and disguising the fact they use chicken meal by calling it "dried chicken" on the label.
'What looks like chunks of meat in a tin is not meat at all but a reformed chopped up mix of pastes and derivatives made to look like real meat pieces. Most pet food has no real meat in it at all
'There are also 400 artificial additives allowed in dog food, including flavour enhancers, colourings and preservatives, along with sugar and salt - all of which should be avoided.