Myths about dog food are common. You’ve probably heard many. You may even have passed on a couple or more without really knowing much about the topic. Where dog food myths cause the most damage is when they create fear and make dog owners avoid certain foods based on misunderstandings. It is our intention here to go over the ten most common dog food myths and debunk them.
Your dog should not be denied any specific food just because of a fallacy. If anything, we hope that once you review this list that you will change your mind about some of the foods you have or have not included in your dog’s diet. Remember, a well-balanced diet contains all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep your pet healthy and strong.
Dogs Should Not Eat Grains
Dog food recalls in recent years can be blamed for this myth.Tainted wheat gluten was the actual culprit however, grains are actually good for your dog.That is, if you feed him or her all-natural, human quality grains. Grains such as wheat provide great sources of protein and essential fatty acids. They are also rich in fiber. Grains are good for your dog because they support heart health and are digestive aids as well.
The only thing to be careful about in feeding grains to your dog is that it is not a hypoallergenic dog food. That is to say, if your pooch has some sensitivity to grasses and grains, you’ll want to skip feeding them any. Otherwise, your dog will be wagging his or her tail with joy once you start adding wheat to their diet.
Raw Chicken Causes Paralysis
As it turns out, chicken is one of the ingredients that often appear in dry and wet dog food. That’s because it is a lean protein that can help your pet with weight control and keep them energized. That is provided that the chicken being fed to your dog is fully cooked. Raw chicken, on the other hand, is not good for your four-legged friend.
As for paralysis from eating raw chicken is concerned, a study released by the University of Melbourne indicated that this is rare. However, should your dog experience any form of paralysis from eating raw chicken, the prognosis is good. Most dogs recover without needing any kind of treatment. Keep in mind that statement says “most dogs” so to avoid the possibility, feed fully cooked chicken instead. Although there is a possibility of paralysis, it is slim.
Garlic Is Toxic To Dogs
Garlic is mostly a flavor enhancer in the hands of a human. As for dogs, it is toxic. Some Japanese breeds have a great deal of difficulty dealing with garlic. However, in small amounts it can be beneficial as a sensitive stomach dog food.
That’s because garlic is an antioxidant and has detoxifying properties. Plus, it can be used as a natural flea repellant. Half a teaspoon of minced garlic once a week is about as much as you’ll want to feed your dog. So, although garlic is toxic to dogs, it really depends on the amount consumed.
Carbs Makes Dogs Fat
This is an interesting one. In human diets, what generally causes people to gain weight is consuming more calories than they burn. High fat foods contain more calories. In pet food, you have to read the labels. To save you time on some of the math, a dog receives 2.25 times the calories from fat than from either carbohydrates or protein. This is why you will find that most senior dog food is actually reduced in calories (the fat part) as their energy levels won’t allow them to burn off as much due to inactivity.
Puppy dog food is a different matter. The energy of a puppy will burn off more fat and as it grows, the calories required have to increase. Even high fiber dog food will vary in the amount of fat it contains. The point here is that dogs don’t gain weight from eating carbs. Well, not just carbs. Dogs gain weight from eating high fat foods.
High Protein Dog Food Causes Hyperactivity
High protein dog food is actually good for your pet. That is if the protein is fish or meat as a high protein diet is rich in the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy and fit. It will not make your dog hyperactive. Plus, there are other benefits to a high protein diet. Your pet will experience no liver or kidney stress and there will be far less waste. That’s because a high protein dog food is better absorbed as it passed through your dog’s system.
A low quality, cheap food with extra fillers will end up mostly as waste and your dog won’t be as healthy as a result. It’s the same basic principle with humans. We function better with high protein meals where low protein diets make us a bit on the sluggish side. Your dog will not burst into hyperactivity on a high protein diet.
Raw Eggs Makes Dog’s Coat Shiny
This isn’t entirely bogus. That’s because eggs are in a way, a natural dog food. It’s got everything to do with what is contained in the average egg. There’s fat, protein and vitamins. All of these elements are essential to healthy hair growth as well as for keeping skin in good condition. Well, at least eggs work well for human hair health and that’s because of the vitamin called biotin
. It’s essential for fatty acid metabolism and cell growth. However, low protein dog food – in other words – foods high in fat, tend to give dogs more in the way of a shiny coat than anything else. Raw eggs do have a lot of healthy goodness to them but not nearly as much as a well-balanced diet would.
Raw Pork Can Cause Pancreatitis
It is important to note that most of the health issues that can occur with your dog result from fatty foods as opposed to raw foods. This is another example of such a misconception. Pork is a good source of protein which provides all kinds of good vitamins and nutrients that lead to strong, healthy dogs. So, if we rule out raw pork, how do dogs develop pancreatitis? There are seven common causes and they include:
- Genetics – the breed or specific dog family has a tendency to develop pancreatitis
- Drugs/Toxins – this can be from antibiotics and insecticides
- Other Diseases – diabetes, as an example or Cushing’s syndrome
- Obesity – overweight
- A diet that is high in fat and low in protein
What does this tell us? Clearly, raw pork, which is a high protein source, does not cause pancreatitis. The only item on the list of common causes that is preventable is the fatty diet. If you feed your dog a well-balanced diet, it will stay healthy and happy.
Corn As Dog Food Fillers
The next time you are shopping for food for your pet, take a hard look at the list of ingredients. This can be more obvious with dry food than wet dog food. The first ingredient may be corn. In fact, in foods where corn is the first or second ingredient beware. Corn is used as a filler. There’s no nice way to say it. And because it is a common filler, it essentially stretches out the amount of food that a manufacturer can produce.
The good part of this is that if you are on a budget, dog foods containing corn are going to be less expensive than quality organic dog food, as an example. The downside to feeding your pooch a high corn content food is that they are not going to get the healthy benefits they would from a higher quality product. Also, the corn content will produce high volumes of waste as you dog won’t be able to process it as well as a higher protein dog food.
Dry Food Can Make Dog’s Teeth Clean
Dry dog food does not necessarily clean your dog’s teeth. It doesn’t matter if it is a dehydrated dog food or a homemade dog food, either. There are certain kinds of chew toys and chew bones that are designed to get in between and all over the surface of your pet’s teeth and massage gums as an added bonus. But a mouthful of kibble is not going to get the job done. Mind you, kibble is never a bad thing to feed your dog but beware that the pieces can be chewed small enough to swallow and that they don’t create a choking hazard.
What really works on cleaning dog teeth, aside from actually brushing them yourself, are raw, meaty bones. The abrasive texture of the bones is great for several reasons. Your dog’s jaw gets some exercise, they get to eat some protein and the bones will help scrap away plaque and other build up on teeth as well as massage gums. So, bones, not dry food can clean your dog’s teeth.
Raw Meat Makes Them Bloodthirsty
There has been a persistent belief that if you feed your dog raw meat it will develop an unusual trait. The understanding is that once a dog tastes raw meat it will become bloodthirsty, chasing all kinds of animals and even small children. If we were going to pin the blame on that one anywhere, we’d give a nod to zombie movies. Oh, and zombie video games because, you know, zombie dogs are going to be everywhere and well, you get the general idea.
Meat is a common ingredient in both dry and wet dog foods. That’s because it is a good source of protein. Although it is better for your dog when the meat is fully cooked, raw meat served on occasion is not going to harm your pet. In fact, thanks to the proteins and nutrients found in meat, your dog will grow stronger and have healthy energy levels. So, you could view raw meat actually as a healthy dog food.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a diabetic dog food or an alternative for what you have been feeding you puppy or senior dog. Dog food myths affect all dogs and dog owners. With the ease in which these pieces of misinformation can be transferred around the globe – thanks to the internet – it makes food choices difficult for new pet owners and long-term pet owners alike. But what if the ‘rumor’ came from a reputable source? Sometimes you just have to look a little deeper into the myth to see if there is something truthful in it.
In the case of these ten dog food myths, each was debunked. Several were because the conditions attached to an apparent raw food source were incorrect. Others were related to misinformation on how such things as carbohydrates, protein and fats actually are absorbed and used in your dog’s body. When you choose a dog food, be sure to read the labels and do some homework. Ask your local veterinarian or dog breeder for advice.
The last thing you should be doing is not feeding your dog something that is good for it just because you read something online that said it was bad. When you do your own research, you will be able to determine whether or not you are dealing with a myth or fact. You owe it to your faithful four-legged friend to provide him or her with the best food possible to keep them happy,