Top 7 Myths about Dog Nutrition

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Top 7 Myths about Dog Nutrition

Nowadays, there is lots of information about dog food. You should learn to separate the reality from the fiction.

That will help you to provide the best canine nutrition.

Here are the top 7 dog nutrition myths and the truth behind them.

1. There is no problem to feed my dog table scraps

Offering to your dog table scraps or other foods for people is not needed and may cause health problems.

People food contains an excess of sugar, salt, fat or other ingredients that are dangerous for dogs.

Some foods, like chocolate or garlic, can, in fact, make a dog very sick.

Moreover, feeding dogs table scraps encourage begging and other unwanted behaviors.

2. Homemade dog food is better for my dog than a commercial food

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) does not advise homemade meals for dogs.

Dogs have different nutritional requirements from people.

So, it is not easy for dog owners to meet the proper nutritional requirements by feeding food made at home to their dogs.

“Many recipes found on the web or elsewhere, even from well-meaning sources, may not be complete and balanced, creating the possibility of significant long-term harm to animals fed diets based on these recipes.” (Cited by American College of Veterinary Nutritionists)

dog nutrition / dog diet

3. There is no need to attend to the feeding directions on the dog food label

The feeding instructions on dog food labels have been developed taking into account dog’s life stage, breed, weight, age and exercise level.

Feeding instructions are calculated to prevent a dog from eating in excess avoiding overweight and other related health problems (e.g. diabetes).

In general, the recommended feeding quantity is based on the weight of the dog.

It is imperative to know the normal weight range for your dog breed.

If you perceive your dog is gaining weight, then you should reduce the amount of food.

On the other hand, if your dog is becoming thin, then feeding a large amount of food is indicated.

4. Corn is on of the main source of dog food allergies

According to scientific studies less than 3% of dogs having food allergies confirm allergies to corn in contrast to 58% of the dogs that show allergies to beef.

Beef, wheat, dairy, chicken, chicken egg and lamb constitute 93% of all allergies in dogs.

5. Grains are not digestible by dogs

Dogs are not true carnivores.

They are opportunistic feeders and can digest and utilize the starch from grains that had been transformed by the cooking process.

Thus, dogs are able of gaining of energy from grains.

Digestibility depends on quality and type of grain employed

6. Mixing different dog food brands will improve dog’s nutrition

Brands of dog food are formulated to offer a balanced quantity of nutrients in a certain quantity of kibbles based on the weight of the dog.

When blending kibbles from different brands your dog will not going to eat enough of either one to get the full profit of a particular nutritional system calculated and researched by a dog food company.

Moreover, if a digestive problem develops, it’s going to be much harder to discover what exactly caused it.

My advice is:

7. Pork causes pancreatitis in dogs

The most common causes for dog pancreatitis are:

  • High fat, low protein diet
  • Obesity
  • Trauma (car accidents, falling)
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Tumors
  • Drugs and toxins (e.g. antibiotics, insecticides)
  • Genetic predisposition (e.g. mini schnauzer, cocker spaniel)

Since used in a balanced amount, pork isn’t riskier than beef, lamb or chicken.

Many dogs suffer from pancreatitis when fed fatty, greasy table scraps on thanksgiving or other holidays.

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Dora Mancha, DVM. I am graduated for the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Lisbon (2009). My degree is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). I completed my degree in Veterinary Medicine in July, 2009. Over the first years as a veterinarian my work was closely related to the animal health field. I have gained some average experience having worked in Barcelona University (UAB) Equine Hospital and by working with veterinarians in Portugal. In addition, in 2009 - 2010 I was in Madrid at the University Alfonso X el Sábio doing an internship in the equine service. I am also very interested in small animal medicine and surgery. In fact I worked in several small animals clinics in Portugal improving my knowledge about small animal behavior and health. Dogs always have been present in my life, since I was a child. At the present moment I have four dogs a Labrador, a Epagnheul Breton, a Whippet and a mixed breed dog.

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