The best way to feed your four-legged friend – this is the personal choice of each owner of the animal. Information is available everywhere about all kinds of diets for pets, as well as about what type of diet is the best and most useful for your pet. And how to understand which information source to believe?
Is it true that dry cereal without a feed is more beneficial? But how useful is a raw food diet? Is it right to feed a dog with home-cooked food? In order to understand these issues, we have prepared an overview of the most common myths.
1. The Myth of Positive Impact Without Grain Feed
Many dog owners have certainly heard of no grain feed for pets. But did you know that veterinarians find this diet not equally useful for everyone? For most dogs, eating cereals is not harmful and exceptions are extremely rare.
There is a myth that cereals in animal feed are low-quality fillers. But this is not so. Corn, wheat and barley are sources of essential nutrients that support the pet’s energy, and dietary fibre has a beneficial effect on the digestive system, stimulating the motility of the gastrointestinal tract and supporting the intestinal microflora.
Is it true that allergic dogs are better suited without grain feed? By and large, this is also a myth, since allergies in dogs are often manifested due to the protein found in meat.
Extremely rare animals are allergic to cereals. And if you have a suspicion that your dog is suffering from a similar allergy, then before you make changes to the menu of your four-legged friend, be sure to consult a veterinarian. With the help of laboratory tests, a veterinarian will be able to determine what exactly your pet’s allergy is. It is also necessary to take into account that often on the shelves of pet stores you can find completely useless goodies and food. Therefore, it is very important to carefully read the composition of the purchased products, and if necessary, consult a veterinarian.
2. The myth of a raw food diet, that raw food is good for a dog
You may have heard that food without heat is good for your dog. With this diet, the dog is fed raw meat, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables. Is such nutrition really considered more beneficial than industrial dry food? No, a study has so far proven that raw unprocessed foods are better than other types of food, but at the same time, natural foodists say that unprocessed foods are much better because they are closer to what the dog’s ancestors ate – wolves.
Experts are inclined to believe that food that suits a wild wolf does not always suit a dog. Some veterinarians recommend raw food to their patients, as they believe that it is more healthy, easier to digest, and much healthier than dry food.
Is raw food really the safest choice for your pet? The answer is no. Since many experts say that meat products without heat treatment may contain bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, E. Coli and other bacteria that are dangerous to the health of dogs and their owners. But, for example, frozen meat, which can be purchased at pet stores, are completely safe for our favourites. Under the influence of low temperature, these meat products were subject to rapid freezing, as a result of which harmful bacteria have no chance of colonizing this meat.
3. The myth that home cooked food is more healthy
Doubts about the fact that dry foods are useful to have caused another trend among dog owners – cooking for pets. There are cases when veterinarians recommend preparing food for dogs that have health problems. This diet is suitable for fastidious dogs, as well as for overweight dogs who need a low-fat diet.
University of California, Davis conducted a study during which 200 recipes were tested for preparing food for dogs at home. It was stated that in all but nine (among them 8 recipes were developed by veterinarians), at least one nutrient needed for the dog’s body is lacking. And also at least 83% of recipes lack more than one important nutrient. These recipes were taken from veterinary tests, from books about caring for animals, as well as from the Internet. The study serves as a reminder that you should not rely on recipes found on the Internet – the most common source of information among dog lovers. Therefore, if you want to feed your pet food cooked at home, seek advice from experts in this field,
4. The myth that a plant-based diet is better
These days, people often become followers of vegetarianism, veganism, and keto diets. Often these people come to the conclusion that their dogs could benefit from such a limited diet. Some pet owners do this for ethical reasons, and some believe that such a diet will be useful for their pet.
With rare exceptions, this may indeed be the case. For example, a keto diet can reduce seizures in dogs with epilepsy.
Tufts University – a private research university in the United States, conducted a study that found that dogs can adapt to a diet without meat, but it is very important that this diet is properly formulated. Developing a balanced diet for pets is a very complex process. In commercial feeds, 37 standards are currently developed. And yet, for each age, different parameters and coefficients are calculated. As a result, if you want to feed your dog vegetarian or vegan food, do this only under the supervision of a veterinarian so as not to harm your pet.
- Research does not support the claims of adherents of “fashionable” diets that any diet is much better than dry food
- This does not mean that the above diets will never be the right choice. Veterinarians can recommend limited nutrition for dogs with disabilities
- Unprocessed, home-cooked foods, as well as plant-based diets, can be safely used with sufficient knowledge of dog nutrition to prevent bacterial infections in dogs and humans.
- Check and research new diets using reliable and objective sources. After all, everyone can publish opinions and recommendations on the Internet. Make sure that your sources are based on science, not marketing trends.
- Before trying a restrictive diet, consult your veterinarian, or rather a dietitian.
We all want the best for our pets. The best way to choose what to feed them better is to enrich yourself with knowledge in order to be able to distinguish truth from myths. Your efforts will pay off for the long and happy life of your pet.
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