When it comes to feeding dogs, the half-truths and lies are seemingly endless. It seems like nearly everyone who sounds off on the topic of dog food has some sort of agenda that they are trying to advance. Others are simply misinformed. Let’s take a look at some of the top dog food myths to shed some light on the actual truth about dog chow.
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- 1. The best dog foods are sold by veterinarians
- 2. Dry food will clean a dog’s teeth, gums and tongue
- 3. Dogs should never eat table scraps
- 4. Commercial dog foods are terrible for your pet’s health
- 5. A high-protein diet will harm your dog’s kidneys
- 6. Your dog will experience stomach issues when you change between pet food brands and formulas
- 7. Dog owners should incorporate supplements when feeding their dog a commercial pet food
- 8. Dogs should not eat pork
- 9. Meat is better ingredient than meat meal
- 10. A steady diet of raw eggs will give your dog a shiny coat
1. The best dog foods are sold by veterinarians
The large brands available for purchase at your local veterinarians’ offices are typically labeled as “premium”.
Dog food sold by veterinarians tends to be made with formulas that are developed by monolithic pet food conglomerates.
These dog foods offer protein through grains or by-products of grains like wheat, brewer’s rice and corn gluten meal. Sure, protein is important yet protein of the highest quality is derived from uber-healthy meat sources, not the by-products of grains.
Another problem with dog food sold by veterinarians is that it typically has by-products of poultry that contain leftovers like animal feet, intestines, undeveloped eggs and even bird beaks.
Clean meat should be present in the food instead of these unsavory animal by-products. Such by-products are not only gross but they also have the potential to trigger digestive issues. The bottom line is that you should avoid the dog food brands sold at your veterinarian’s office. They really aren’t much different from the bargain brands sold at your local grocery store.
This way, your pet will obtain the proper types of protein derived from actual meat instead of grain. Make the transition and you will likely notice some impressive results. Your dog might lose weight and/or suffer fewer allergies.
2. Dry food will clean a dog’s teeth, gums and tongue
This myth even has some veterinarians fooled. Dogs have pointy teeth with sharp edges. Such teeth are perfect for biting, chewing and tearing meat. When dogs are forced to eat kibble, they often swallow it whole.
It does not scrape along the lower portions of the teeth or close to the gums. Such areas are hotbeds for dog dental issues.
Dry food even has the potential to contribute to a dog’s dental problems. Some dry food turns into shattered bits when munched, leaving fragments stuck in between the teeth that inevitably lead to bacteria growth and serious dental problems.
Opt for a natural diet, healthy chews, frequent brushings and your dog will likely have healthy teeth across posterity.
3. Dogs should never eat table scraps
The vast majority of dog owners try to avoid feeding table scraps to their furry friends. To the surprise of many, the majority of holistically trained veterinarians actually favor the practice of giving so-called “people food” to dogs.
Rather, give him a few table scraps here and there to supplement his usual dog food. Examples of acceptable “people food” that can be safely fed to dogs include baked sweet potato, meat, steamed and finely diced vegetables, oatmeal and rice.
4. Commercial dog foods are terrible for your pet’s health
Perform some research and you will find that the quality of commercial dog food products differs. Certain dog food manufacturers go to great lengths to select the best possible ingredients for their dog food. Most also take precautions to guard against E. coli and salmonella to boot.
5. A high-protein diet will harm your dog’s kidneys
Lazy and negligent pet food manufacturers are responsible for this myth. In reality, a diet that is high in plant protein has the potential to aggravate or harm your pet’s organs.
Pets of all ages should be fed a diet that is high in animal protein. Avoid mass produced dog food that is loaded with protein derived from corn and/or soy as dogs find it difficult to digest such sources of protein.
6. Your dog will experience stomach issues when you change between pet food brands and formulas
Switching between different pet food brands or formulas will not be a problem. Dogs can consume a unique formula/food for each meal without any issue. The only caveat is that the food must be high-quality.
This means that feeding a dog the same food for months or years can result in the development of food allergies. Some holistic veterinarians even claim that feeding the same food to a dog for years on-end can lead to inflammatory bowel disease.
Put yourself in your dog’s position. How would you feel about being forced to eat the same type of food for each meal for your entire life with an occasional treat mixed in? It would be torturous.
So don’t hesitate to change your dog’s brand of pet food from time to time. He will love you that much more for giving him something new and exciting to eat.
7. Dog owners should incorporate supplements when feeding their dog a commercial pet food
Don’t buy into the supplement hype. It is merely a way to convince dog owners that spending even more money is necessary to keep their furry friends alive and well.
In the end, feeding your dog a diverse variety of foods throughout the day and week will round out his diet, making it balanced and complete.
8. Dogs should not eat pork
This myth is centered on the allegation that a dog’s pork consumption leads to pancreatitis or spreads toxins to the liver. There is no evidence to prove such claims.
The main causes of dog pancreatitis are trauma from falls or accidents, obesity, a low-protein and/or high-fat diet, tumors, toxins/drugs, diseases and genetic predisposition.
The bottom line is that pork is as harmless as chicken, lamb and beef. It is also worth mentioning that plenty of leading dog foods contain pork meal as a source of protein.
Though pigs might eat some gross things, their meat is quite tasty, easily digestable and will not harm your dog. Some veterinarians actually view pork as an excellent source of protein and amino acids that has little chance of causing an allergic reaction.
9. Meat is better ingredient than meat meal
This is a bald-faced lie. If your aim is to provide your furry friend with the most possible meat nutrients, always opt for dog food with meat meal listed as one of the top ingredients.
The term “meal” means the meat’s water and fat have been removed. As a result, the meat meal will weigh less than the actual meat and possibly even contain more protein.
10. A steady diet of raw eggs will give your dog a shiny coat
Though egg consumption won’t harm the appearance of a dog’s coat, their consumption alone will not create an aesthetically pleasing coat.
Furthermore, never feed raw eggs to your dog. Many food experts believe raw eggs lack vitamins. Also, raw eggs pose the threat of salmonella poisoning. In the end, eggs aren’t much better than any other diet when it comes to creating a beautiful coat of hair.
I have lived in big cities my entire life. Having grown up on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, my early life was an exciting one, filled to the brim with interesting encounters and opportunities popping up at every street corner. Like many city people, my passion for dogs first started when my parents decided to bring a puppy into the household. For them, it was a way of getting me to spend less time at his computer or wandering aimlessly around the city with my friends. Little did they know that bringing a Labrador Retriever into their apartment would determine not only the course of their son’s professional career but also my love life.
Having obtained a Computer Science Bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, I went on to pursue an IT career in the Big Apple. After a few years of doing basic cybersecurity and tech support work in various offices around Manhattan, I decided to leave New York and look for my calling in Boston, Massachusetts. There, I got a Master’s degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Web Development. As a means of supporting myself through college, he found a salesman job at a local paper company, where he met Mary, the love of my life and the person I’d end up creating My Sweet Puppy with.