Dog Diet Tips and Warnings
Pet Diet Tips and Warnings
- Some grain is often better than no-grain (i.e. grain free).
- Protein is the most important ingredient in your dog’s diet and protein form animal sources (rather than grain sources) are the most complete, easily digested, and deliver the best biological value.
- Whole food meals are better than processed. Your own physician does not advocate that you regularly eat highly processed foods, the same should apply to your dog.
- Whole, fresh, organic, unprocessed ground grains such as rice, oats, barley, millet and alternatives such us potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, etc. retain more of their nutrients and are thus better than processed and engineered.
- Human Grade pet diets are better than animal grade pet diets
- Reading pet food labels and brochures is not easy even to a professional, thus it’s difficult to assess the quality of the ingredients.
- We typically recommend using one of the more known, trusted dog food manufactures like those who publish scientific studies in veterinary journals and make presentations in veterinary medical meetings. Remember our cardinal rule: “do no harm.”
- Not all dogs are the same. Some might do better with more grain, while others might benefit from a grain free diet.
- If you have a food allergy concern and you believe your dog’s allergies are due to grains, then your grain free dietary trial should last at least ten weeks.
- Offering fresh, organic, unprocessed fruits and vegetables is great; remember to avoid onions and grapes (raisins).
- We don’t recommend you choose your dog’s diet based on the advertised and often hyped add-on supplements. These are more of a marketing ploy than of any real value. The most popular and “sexy” ones are the like of fish oil (omega 3 and 6), glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and probiotics. As a rule, there are not enough in pure bioavailable dosage to therapeutically impact a medical condition in those diets daily feeding recommendations. When medically indicated I recommend supplements to be given separately as a standalone treatment.
- The “No Grain”, “Grain Free” diet is the Holy Grail for many. It is not our intention to discourage you from using those diets. If your dog likes it and does as well or better than previous diets, then your dog might be better off staying on that no grain diet. Nevertheless, some of you might be spending large sums on false assumptions propagated by diet manufactures, biased marketing campaigns, and internet buzz. If you suspect food allergy, then the gold standard is an 8 week trial on a prescription hypoallergenic diet, not grain free diets.
- Grain should count for less than 1/3 of the whole-diet, the other 2/3 should be in the form of meat-animal-protein, fruit and vegetables.
- Most commercial diets offer lower quality grade feed then the human well regulated (USDA) grade pet diets.
- Lower grade diets have a higher risk for unwanted adverse effects such as allergies and immune medicated disease (like IBD), due to higher possibility of unwholesome elements, and contaminants.
- Some dogs should avoid high gluten grains (rye, oat, barley, wheat), in favor of low gluten ones (quinoa, milo, rice, millet)
- Remember that food allergies related to grain and protein might not be a direct allergy to that source but rather to an undetected contaminant or a tainted portion within that grain and protein.
- Dogs don’t care what color their food is. Usually the dye in various diets is designed to lure the buyer (you) and as a marketing gimmick. Worse, it might hide evidence that could clue you in to the poor quality of the food.
- We don’t recommend diets with a large portion of its protein derived from a grain source. Its bioavailability ( i.e. ability to utilize that protein is marginal)
- Too much grain will increase the chance of your dog becoming overweight. Obesity, as you can imagine, is a major contributor to poor health and quality of life.
- The poor quality protein is a bigger problem than “too much protein”, even for dogs with kidney disease the emphasis should not be on excessive quantity but rather on good, high quality, proteins.
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