When choosing a food for your pet, many questions come to mind. What is it made of? Where did those ingredients come from and how were they handled? Where was the food made? It can be overwhelming to decipher what is right for you and your pet. There are many differing opinions, not to mention the commercials and fad diets that make us question what we thought we knew. Often times myths that mislead us can be deciding factors. Before breaking down some myths, it is important to know some nutrition definitions.
Myth: It is appropriate to feed any age animal an “all-stages” pet food.
Fact: Just like humans, pets of different ages have different nutritional requirements and therefore an “all-stages” food will not cater to each age group’s specific needs. For example, kitten food will target growth and development by focusing on protein, calcium, and phosphorus levels. Senior food has higher levels of glucosamine for aging joints.
Myth: Raw food is safe and dogs cannot get Salmonella poisoning.
Fact: Raw food can be a cause of E. coli and/or Salmonella poisoning for you and/or your pet. Salmonella can be passed in your dog’s feces and contaminate children playing in the grass and/or to whoever picks up the feces to discard.
Myth: Corn and grain are fillers and are harmful to pets.
Fact: A filler is defined as an ingredient that provides no nutritional value. Corn contains essential fatty acids that contribute to skin and coat health. It also contains anti-oxidants, which help protect the body from a cell membrane, enzyme, and even DNA damage caused by free radicals. Grain contains a protein called gluten. Gluten is high in protein and provides essential amino acids.
Myth: Cats can just share the dog’s food if they like it.
Fact: Cat and dog food is not interchangeable between species. Cats must eat cat-specific food as it is supplemented with a taurine, an essential amino acid. Taurine deficiencies can result in blindness, heart disease, and decreased reproductive/performance growth.
If ever you are questioning what to feed your pet, it is best to consult with your Veterinarian. Take caution when doing research at home and ensure that you are taking facts from credible sources. This blog was written with the help of facts gathered from:
Written by Liz Espejo, RAHT