Dog Food Myths
The pet food industry is worth big bucks these days. Everyone is reaching for their angle to sell dog and cat food. Let’s look at a couple of dog food myths that are currently taken as “gospel”.
Grain Free Diets are Healthier
That’s really not right. Contrary to what is going around on the internet, grain is not evil in pet foods. Properly cooked grains in pet foods are highly digestible and are an excellent carbohydrate source, as well as containing fiber, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients.
People often think of grain as being the reason a few dogs have food allergies. In fact, grain based food allergies in dogs only make up a small percentage of those few dogs that really do have food allergies. Most food allergies are related to animal protein like beef or chicken.
Recently, the FDA has issued warnings about a link between grain free diets and some dogs developing a severe heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy. Around 250 dogs that have died from this heart disease were being fed a grain free diet. Of course, more investigation is underway. But here at the Rannals Small Animal Hospital, we do not currently recommend grain free pet foods.
Raw Food Diets are the best diets for Dogs and Cats?
Naw… where do we get ideas like that? Because wild dogs eat fresh meat? It’s true… but remember wild dogs don’t live very long either. Really. Would you eat raw meat??
Raw meat can be contaminated with harmful microorganisms including salmonella. Feeding raw meat to your pet may expose them to bacteria, parasites, and protozoa. And this could even potentially have an impact on family members. One study showed a much greater number of dogs tested positive for salmonella that were fed raw meat diets.
Additionally, raw meat diets can be nutritionally imbalanced. Calcium deficiency or Vitamin A toxicity can occur if fed only raw meat diets.
And while we’re talking about raw meats, please be careful about feeding bones to your dog. I know it’s popular, but we’ve seen problems with bones causing fecal impactions, pancreatitis, and bones getting lodged in the mouth.
So what do we recommend?
At our clinic, we tell our clients to stick with the name brand companies that have provided decades of research concerning animal nutrition. Don’t buy the cheapest food, but you don’t have to buy the most expensive either.
For questions, call us at the Rannals Small Animal Hospital at 903-839-7235.