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Food For Thought

Pet Food Myths: Busted!

I can’t get nutrition off my mind since attending the conference early February. It opened my eyes, and hopefully yours too!

  1. “Had a recall” is NOT a bad thing. This means they were testing, and that they were being honest with the public (voluntary recalls don’t always require public notification) Yay!
  2. Grain allergies are very uncommon. Grain is NOT a filler - it is nutritious and substitutes are actually worse for your pet. Obesity is made worse by increasing fats.
  3. Don’t get distracted by presentation labels and fancy ingredient lists. These can be doctored to look and sound better than they really are! Remember: By-products aren’t always bad!
  4. Still read the bag! Just pay attention to things like the nutritional adequacy statement, manufacturers name and contact information. Do they say it is a complete and balanced diet? If it doesn’t say “feeding trial” it was not fed to pets. Beware “all life stages” diets – this is FALSE!
  5. Ask if the company has a true veterinary PhD nutritionist, who contributes to their own research and development. Do they manufacture it themselves or is it largely outsourced? How is the quality control?
  6. Raw diets are usually NOT balanced and contaminated with nasty bacteria. Unlike coyotes, our pets live close with us and some even share our beds!
  7. Do not worry about gluten allergies. If your dog has food sensitivities it is most likely caused by the protein.
  8. Terms like “holistic”, “does not contain by-products”, “all life stages” have no meaning. They are marketing terms.
  9. Pet supplements and vitamins are NOT needed if you feed a balanced diet In fact, beware. Toxicity can occur and there is usually very little evidence of efficacy.
  10. Trustworthy pet nutrition sites, reiterated from the last blog:

           http://www.wsava.org/nutrition

           http://www.tufts.edu/vet/nutrition

           http://www.petnutritionalliance.org

 Please don't get blinded by flashy marketing!