Pet food and nutrition is a huge industry in America, and marketers strive to push the latest formula or so-called prescription diet on dog owners every day. Whether you have trained protection dogs or a fluffy lapdog, finding the right food contributes greatly to its overall health and well-being. Weed through the many myths surrounding what role or dry food you feed your pets if you want them to perform their best, feel their best, and live a long, happy life.
Myth #1 – Veterinarians Alone Sell the Healthiest Foods
Although turning to your veterinarian for health advice about your personal protection dogs should provide a clear picture of care, the premium formulas of dog food they often sell in the office do not vary much or at all from grocery store brands. Chicken by-products, which are usually on eaten parts like intestines, feet, and unlaid eggs, provide protein, but not the healthiest usable type from muscle meat. If the dog food does not have chicken, lamb, or another meat-type as the first few ingredients, the food will not help your pets be healthy.
Myth #2 – Dog Dental Health is Tied to Crunchy, Dry Food
Strong and healthy teeth contribute to overall health but may be especially important for personal protection dogs. Many people believe that dry kibble scrapes unwanted debris and plaque off of a dog’s teeth, but research has shown that pieces of it are more likely to lodge between teeth and cause problems rather than solve them. Any remaining food particles trapped in the mouth attract bacteria. A natural diet the dog’s sharp teeth are designed for can help instead.
Myth #3 – Puppies, Adult Dogs, and Seniors Need Different Food Types
If left to their own devices everything from a tiny chihuahua to tough trained protection dogs drinks milk from their mothers when they are very young and transition to a mostly meat diet as they get older. In the wild, there is no puppy food or meat specially formulated for seniors. Optimum pet food and nutrition should be given at every life stage from dry, canned, and raw food.
Myth #4 – Dogs Should Never Be Fed Table Scraps
This outdated idea seems to indicate that dogs do not eat things like chicken, cooked vegetables, or sweet potatoes. Unless you are choosing an all meat raw diet for your dog, the majority of prepared dog foods have things like this in them. Table scraps and human food are fine as long as they are healthy choices fed in moderation so the dog does not put on unwanted weight.
Myth #5 – “Complete and Balanced” Means the Perfect Diet
Although the terms complete and balanced on a bag of dry dog food may help you pick one that is healthier than others, it does not necessarily mean food alone should make up your pet’s or personal protection dog’s whole diet. Variety not only adds interest to mealtime but also improves health. Half prepared food, an option, extra meat, and vegetables and nutritional supplementation is needed to work together to provide a complete and balanced eating plan.
Myth #6 – Raw Food Puts Dogs at Risk of Salmonella and E-coli Infection
Although raw meat always contains a risk of bacterial taint, proper handling and cleaning of utensils and pet food bowls can go a long way to not spread the organisms. Dogs have extra internal protection against Salmonella and E. coli built into their digestive tract. First of all, your intestines are much shorter than humans – approximately 12 feet instead of 25 feet – and the acidity of their digestive juices is much lower – less than one instead of an average of two. This means the bacteria will not have a chance to enter the bloodstream and make your protection dog ill.
Myth #7 – Too Much Protein Will Damage the Dog’s Kidneys
This myth has a grain of truth, with grain being one of the main causes. Meat-based protein and plant-based protein have two different chemical makeups, and dogs are designed to digest only one of them properly. Ordinary pet foods that do not have a chicken meal, lamb meal, or other meat at the top of their ingredient list are probably providing your protection dog with corn or soy protein sources instead. These may indeed cause your older dog’s organs to work excessively hard and attempt to extract the nutrients it needs.
Myth #8 – Cat Food Must be Judged on Ash Content
A correlation found between ash content and feline urinary tract disorders in the 1970s turned into a recommendation that commercial cat food should have very little. Experts and veterinarians believed that the ash was causing urinary crystals to form. In fact, the high pH of the urine causes these and is a direct result of foods with more grain and vegetable matter than natural meat. This combined with sufficient amounts of fluids, which canned wet food can help with, will help pet cats avoid FLUTD.
Myth #9 – Digestion Problems Occur If Pet Food Brands or Formulas Change
It is the quality of your pet’s diet and not the consistency of what his bed that contributes to overall health and longevity. In fact, feeding a varied diet, such as is suggested by holistic veterinarians, does more to encourage positive results and help avoid problems like inflammatory bowel disease and food allergies. In nature, canines eat many different things to get their total nutrition needs covered. To keep pets or trained protection dogs functioning at their highest level, considered switching prepared food or raw options regularly. Supplementation for a healthy digestive system and essential fatty acids like omega-3 can contribute to a healthy dog inside and out.
Myth #10 – Pet Food is Pet Food – Dogs and Cats Can Eat the Same Thing
Households that have both cats and dogs may see some crossover eating going on, although they should try to prevent it so no one gets cheated out of a meal. However, there are other reasons to keep the dog and cat food separate. Cats require more taurine, protein, and fat than dogs do in their diets. Whether a cat eats the dog food or your dog eats the cat food, weight gain, poor health, and digestive issues may result.