Beware Of Nutritional Myths

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We hear more hokus pokus about nutrition than just about anything else involving dogs. Some ideas, such as bones and raw food – BARF for your dog – have logical origins but get co-opted by single-issue fanatics. Others are downright loopy. Be wary of experts who write or tell you that:

  • “Dogs that eat commercial pet food live shorter lives.” There’s not an iota of truth in that.
  • “Dogs that eat commercial pet food are not as healthy as dogs fed table food.” There’s no evidence for that either.
  • “Vitamin and mineral supplements are good for dogs.” Amazingly, there isn’t any evidence that healthy dogs benefit from added vitamins and minerals.
  • “Canine malnutrition is common.” It’s common in the world’s feral dogs but not in owned dogs in London. In owned dogs it’s over-nutrition that’s common.
  • “Dog food makers conspire to withhold information about food dangers to dogs.” That’s impossible. There are too many conscientious people in the industry who know how dog food is made. If there’s a danger there would be a whistle-blower. It is more accurate to say that dog food makers can be unaware of unexpected contaminations to ingredients used in their products. This happened most dramatically in North America in 2006.

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