There are a lot of rules out there about what you should and shouldn’t feed your dog. What’s true and what isn’t? PetMio is here to dish out a healthy serving of the facts. Read on to discover the top 8 dog nutrition myths we’ve heard.
Dog Nutrition Myth #1: You Don’t Ever Have to Change a Dog’s Food
Variety is the spice of life, even the life of a dog. According to Dr. Arlianne Velez, Chief Veterinarian at PetMio, each stage in a dog’s development comes with different nutritional needs. As your dog changes, so should its diet. For example, to support their growth, puppies need more protein and calories than adult dogs. Keeping a pooch’s food the same throughout its life makes as much sense as feeding a forty-year-old human milk from a bottle.
Dog Nutrition Myth #2: Feeding Dogs Raw Eggs Makes Their Coats Shiny
Not necessarily. According to the American Kennel Association, eggs contain proteins, fats and vitamins like biotin, which can all contribute to hair growth and health. Raw eggs have more effective biotin in them than cooked eggs. However, studies have found that diets high in fat are what can actually lead to shiny and soft fur. Eggs can be a good source of protein for dogs, but for that extra shine, a balanced diet will probably suffice.
Dog Nutrition Myth #3: Dry Foods Prevent Dental Problems
Dry food every day keeps the dentist away. Or not. Although dry food does leave a dog’s mouth cleaner overall than wet food, Dr. Velez says that it’s no substitute for proper dental hygiene. To actually prevent dental problems, make sure you’re brushing your dog’s teeth and that they are being cleaned regularly. When deciding whether to go with wet or dry food, other considerations like your pet’s age, breed and health are more important.
Dog Nutrition Myth #4: It’s Okay to Feed a Dog Table Scraps
False. People food is often too greasy, seasoned or highly salted for a dog’s stomach to handle. According to Dr. Velez, pets metabolize food differently than humans, and feeding them table scraps can make your dog prone to obesity, sickness, and cause health issues like pancreatitis.
Dog Nutrition Myth #5: Corn Has Little to No Nutritional Value
These innocent kernels have often been framed as a low-quality filler food and the cause of many food allergies. However, according to the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, “Corn provides a nutritious, affordable source of carbohydrate for energy, essential amino and fatty acids for healthy skin, coat and immune system function, and a variety of other nutrients.” As for allergies, although some pets may be allergic to corn, it’s not considered by many experts to be a highly allergenic food.
Dog Nutrition Myth #6: Raw Food and Bones are Better than Commercial Food
It’s become popular to feed dogs raw food and bones in an effort to mimic the food they would have eaten in the wild. The problem? When raw food isn’t handled correctly, it can become contaminated by bacteria. This can cause food-borne illnesses in our pets, according to Dr. Velez. Bones are just as bad. They can become lodged in your dog’s stomach or intestines or even perforate them, and surgery is the only way to get them out. Definitely one of the more severe dog nutrition myths.
Dog Nutrition Myth #7: Homemade Food is Better than Pet Food from the Store
A home-cooked meal isn’t always best. Your dog’s diet, whether home-cooked or store-bought, still has to have the right nutritional balance. Dr. Velez says that diets made at home are not likely to be nutritionally sound, unless the cook is seeking the help of a nutritionist. Diets created by nutrition professionals are more likely to meet your dog’s health needs.
Dog Nutrition Myth #8: Choose Whole Meat over Meat Meal
While quality of meat may vary, meat meal isn’t necessarily worse for your dog than whole meat, according to the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. Meat meal can be a good source of protein for dogs, as long as the meat quality is good. High-quality meat will always pack more nutrients, whether it comes in whole or meal form.
With the right facts, you can bust these dog nutrition myths and create a well-balanced and safe diet for your furry friend.