Pet Nutrition: Myths & Facts

Myth: The meat should be listed first as this means it makes up most of the diet.

Fact: Meats listed first are weighted with the water content and often the bones – meaning the actual amount of meat placed in the diet is less.  (Dehydrated chicken or chicken meal weighs less than whole chicken which contains water and bones).  If the meat is listed as it goes in the diet (dehydrated) then it will appear a little later in the ingredient list.

Myth: Corn is not processed by the pet so is only a filler in the diet.

Fact: It is true that whole corn kernels are not processed by the digestive system, and really it is only the husk that isn’t processed, however, that is not how the corn goes into your pets’ food.  It is ground down and is highly digestible, provides a great source of carbohydrates, quality proteins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants (beta-carotene, vitamin E, lutein)

Myth: All processed dog foods use chemicals for preservatives.

Fact: Many high quality pet diets use natural preservatives to prevent spoilage and rancidity.  Tocopherols for example is vitamin E.  Spice extracts and citric acid are also natural preservatives.

Myth: By-products are inferior ingredients

Fact: A by-product is “something produced in the making of something else”.  For example chicken fat is a by-product of the chicken industry.  Beet pulp is dried residue from sugar beets, Vitamin E is a by-product of the soybean industry.   (Do you feed your dog rawhides?  those are a by-product of the beef industry).

Myth: Everyone at the pet store has knowledge on what is best to feed my pet.

Fact: The majority of people in the pet stores are only trained to say what the Sales Rep for any given food tells them.  Veterinarians and their staff are trained specifically in NUTRITION, so we have the best interest of your pet in mind when discussing diet, and the knowledge to back it up.  This isn’t to say that there aren’t knowledgable people out there.  Just be wary if a sales person is trying to steer you to a specific food or doesn’t seem to have good knowledge about all the diets they carry.