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Dog Nutrition Myths

Posted Apr 08 2010 1:00pm

In a groundbreaking, 14-year study published by JAVMA, researchers found that dogs fed to an ideal body condition throughout their lives had a median lifespan of 1.8 years longer, and were considerably healthier than their littermates. According to this study, feeding your dog the right food and the right amount will lead to a healthier and longer life.

According to Mike Grant, PA, Nutritional Science Director for Senior Pet a senior dog's nutritional health depends on receiving the correct amounts and proportions of nutrients from water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins. Grant states, “Commercial dog foods like Wellness Super5Mix, Holistic Select and Nutro Natural Choice are usually designed to meet these needs. Seniors can also benefit from adding supplements like Chondro, Synovial-Flex products and Pure Essentials for Mature Dogs and Essential Omegas for Dogs and Cats to help with age related diseases like arthritis, cognitive and cardiovascular disease and cancer. Just knowing what to feed and how much to feed is equally important. Your veterinarian is always the best way to get the correct information. They are up-to-date on all the new science”

Here are a few of the dog nutrition myths that have been disproven
1. A raw meat diet is the best for dogs. Many people continue to believe that dogs are carnivores and require a diet of raw meat to be healthy. The fact is that today’s domestic dog is no longer a true carnivore. This means that a diet of raw meat alone is no longer able to meet nutrient requirements. Today's dog does need a meat-based diet; however, small amounts of grains, like rice, oatmeal, pasta, vegetables, and fruits are a normal and a desirable part of good dog nutrition. It is also untrue that dogs can not digest cooked or processed protein. Dogs have no problem using the protein in cooked meat.

2. Raw eggs are dangerous for dogs. This issue continues to cause debate even among experts. There are two concerns about raw eggs. The first is the risk of salmonella poisoning. The fact is, dogs have much shorter digestive tracks than humans and are far less susceptible to salmonella poisoning. Eggs are an excellent source of protein for dogs. A raw or boiled egg added to a dog's diet occasionally is not dangerous.

3. Dairy products are unsuitable for dogs. Some dogs are lactose intolerant and may not tolerate dairy products that contain high levels of lactose. Cottage cheese and yogurt are two dairy products that do not contain high levels of lactose. They are excellent sources of calcium and can be given to dogs safely.

3. Fat supplies only empty calories to dogs. The fact is fats are highly digestible and the main source of energy for dogs. One gram of fat provides 2.4 times the energy of one gram of protein or carbohydrates. Fat is also essential for the proper absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are examples of low-saturated fats essential to healthy dogs.

4. A dog is not able to digest grains. There is some truth to this myth, but here is the science. A dog's digestive tract is less specialized for digesting grains and carbohydrates, especially in raw forms. However, starch and grains that have been converted by the cooking process are digestible. Digestibility depends on quality and type of grain used. Rice (72%) is more digestible than wheat (60%) or corn (54%). Grain that isn’t absorbed becomes fiber and contributes to good intestinal health.

5. Commercial dog foods are bad. It is true that there are products that vary from good to average. The fact remains that research has shown that the quality of commercial dog foods is more than adequate to meet proper nutritional requirements in all breeds of dogs. Companies are taking great care in choosing the ingredients in their formulas. Most vets would recommend a commercial food versus trying to make your own dog food at home.

6. A diet needs to be tailored to a specific age or breed of dog. The fact is that a good diet for a dog is good for all dogs at any time in their lives. The only thing that will change is the amount of food your dog needs. Puppies need more food than seniors. But seniors will need supplements to replace vital nutrients that they have stopped making naturally due to the aging process.

Info from - SeniorPetProducts.comTM was founded on two fundamental ideas - dogs and cats require special care as they grow older and pet owners need a place to go to learn how to take better care of their aging pets. is committed to being the expert, online resource for the growing number of pet owners with older cats and dogs. exists to help senior pets live healthier lives as they age, by providing news, information and products for health and wellness.
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