– Danielle LeFort, RVT
The first ingredient on a pet food label list is the heaviest, so if it says meat that means the food is mostly meat. While it is true that ingredients are listed by weight, we need to know if the meat was weighed before being dehydrated (which does not state on the bag). Compare a chicken breast with a dehydrated chicken jerky strip, and you’ll see that once the water is removed, there isn’t much chicken (by weight) left over ;) Dry ingredients will not change much in weight after being processed.
Corn is bad. Corn is a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are simple and complex sugars. Sugar is a form of short term energy. Fat is another form of short term energy. Protein is a form of long term energy. In the end, they are all forms of energy that the body can use to perform certain functions. Sometimes we need energy quickly (comes from sugars and fats) and sometimes we need longer acting energy (protein). Animals and people need them all in moderation.
Corn is not digestible. We have all know that if you eat corn on the cob, you’re going to see corn kernels in your feces the next day. We have been told that corn is not digestible because this is what we see in ourselves. However, what you’re not told is that the corn kernels you see in the feces are the ones that weren’t CHEWED. The shell of the corn is not very digestible, but once you break, chew or grind the corn, it’s just as digestible as any other carbohydrate.
Corn causes cancer. Cancer thrives on carbohydrates, corn is a carbohydrate. Corn will not CAUSE cancer. However, if your animal HAS cancer, the cancer will feed on any carb the body takes in, including corn. There are cancer diets that are specifically designed to be carbohydrate deficient while being prolific in fat and protein.
Dogs and cats are carnivores, they are designed to eat meat. Cats and dogs belong to the order “Carnivora”, but so does the Giant Panda who eats strictly bamboo. Humans belong to the order “Primate”, but that doesn’t make us monkeys, or does it ? Dogs are omnivores, cats are obligate carnivores. Dogs have a longer intestinal system than cats which is used to digest plant fibres. To compare, a rabbit has a longer intestinal system than a dog, and a cow has four stomachs. A more developed GI system is to be able to handle the increased length of time it takes to break down plant fibres. Dogs also have more molars than cats, and molars are the grinding teeth that are used to grind up plant material.
A pet that eats raw food has smaller and harder stool because more of the food is digested rather than excreted in the feces. A pet that eats raw food is eating meat that is up to 80% water (animal muscle and tissue are composed of up to 80% water, the same as our own muscle and tissue). The stool is small and hard because all the water went into the urine rather than staying in the feces.
My dog has allergies, it must be the food. Only 10-30% of allergies are food related. 70-90% of allergies are environmental. Changing the food will only be effective if you change to a food that addresses skin health and integrity AND uses a novel protein source. Even then, the allergies may persist or evolve over time and require regular medical intervention.