Reading every comment under my YouTube videos, I found common irrational theses, cyclical mistakes, and beliefs common to many dog lovers. In this article, I will highlight the main ones and reasonably explain “why” these stereotypes are not just groundless, but definitely do not make the life of your dogs better.
Stereotype 1. Dry food is balanced.
I love this thesis very much because the next question I have is what is “balance”. And the answers are very different. Someone claims that this is supposedly a magic recipe that only manufacturers of dry food know; someone says that this is a change in meat types, ironically, according to the results of expert examinations, 42 dry food, meat in the feed or not at all, or it is far from the first place; someone swears that this is a combination of BZHU, providing the unique needs of your dog…
Everyone understands balance as completely different!
In fact, there is no such thing as “balance”. You know what the problem is, we all forget the most important thing – who is a dog and how does a dog eat in nature? A dog is a predator that feeds on flesh(meat), and nowhere in nature does a dog calculate the number of calories it eats!
The legs of the balance myth grow out of any dog owner’s fear of doing something wrong. The term “balanced” perfectly helps to sell food waste, under the name of the balanced feed. This word conjures not only to make a purchase that is not just useless for your dog in terms of the composition of the briquette and, even worse, but it is also harmful to health. After all, all dry food on our market contains dangerous carbohydrates in the form of cheap fillers: rice, corn, wheat, oats, legumes, potatoes.
The mere existence of the term balance “multiplies by zero” all the logic and common sense of the person arguing on this topic. After all, a priori, it is impossible to calculate how much your dog needs specifically because all the needs are unique, since the mode, rhythm of life, age, stress level, climatic conditions, biological needs, genetic predispositions, and so on are unique.
What, in fact, could still be called a balance?
Of course, compliance with all the necessary minimum standards for nutritional value. But do you understand what the problem is?! If you feed your four-legged pet 2/3 of meat, organs, and the remaining 1/3 is vegetables and bones, then he will get 100% of everything he needs. This is how the dog’s body works! The dog eats for future use, as much as it can snatch (they do not chew, but tear off the flesh of the prey). And assimilate – how much her body needs, depending on the needs of a particular dog. And nothing else!
Stereotype 2: Dogs need carbohydrates.
Why do dogs need carbohydrates and what carbohydrates are good for them? These are the two questions that need to be answered.
Dogs don’t need carbohydrates at all! After all, unlike a human, a dog draws the least energy from them. Here are the numbers:
As we can see, the most energy (nutritional value) is given to dogs by fats of 9.4 kcal, protein is in second place – 5.7 kcal, and carbohydrates are only 4.1 kcal. This is due to the dog’s extremely poor absorption of carbohydrates! After all, nowhere in nature will a dog eat them on its own. Like any predator, such as a wolf, coyote, a dog should eat primarily protein food of animal origin.
If the main part of the dog’s diet consists of carbohydrates (which we see in the composition of any dry food) – dogs do not live long and efficiently. Hence such a huge number of sick dogs, whose owners lived in deception and believed the producers, and not their common sense and nature.
From dry food, dogs receive an extremely high amount of carbohydrates, which greatly affects the acidity of the stomach and the work of their internal organs. And the arguments about the fact that living with a human dog learned to digest them-complete nonsense! Dogs never ate from the table, if you look a little further than during the Soviet era. They were fed scraps from the slaughterhouse, part of the loot from the hunt. And if you look even further – 3000 years ago, the remains of human sites of that era indicate that a person fed a dog with deer, which he surprisingly did not eat. the dog did not develop any differences in the digestive and enzyme systems with the wolf.
What carbohydrates are still useful?
Only functional ones. For example, carbohydrates that are contained in carrots. But in this case, they will be 50-60% in the composition, and 1-2%. This is the critical difference. Learn to think critically and ask the right question:” who benefits from this?” Definitely not your dog…
What does “functional” mean – those that are added for a specific function, for example, to push a food lump down the esophagus and form feces.
Why then add cereals, corn, potatoes, and legumes to dry food?
Carbohydrates in the form of these cheap and not useful fillers are added to dry food solely to save money. Accept the fact that no one thinks about your dog’s health: not the manufacturer who earns money from the sale, not the veterinarian who earns money from the visit, not the consultant at the pet store.
Stereotype 3: Dogs are omnivores.
Ostensibly, dogs do not look like wolves at all, veterinarians tell us without exception. If you open Wikipedia, it will have completely different information about dogs for different languages. In Russian – omnivores, in English – predators. Why is this so?
It’s all about $$$, or exactly $ 2 billion. This is exactly how much the cat and dog food industry in the Russian Federation bring to feed producers. And be sure that no one will lose them. Wikipedia and a million other websites will continue to correspond, and new generations of veterinarians will continue to be bought and raised, whose only task will be to strengthen irrational theses about healthy nutrition.
A dog cannot be an omnivore due to a number of physiological limitations, namely:
The shape of teeth. In predators, the molars (back teeth) are sharp and therefore are not intended for chewing vegetable (carbohydrate) food. The shape of the predator’s teeth directly indicates the type of prey being eaten, which by definition will be the natural food for dogs.
The shape of the jaw. In any omnivore or herbivore, the jaw moves in a different way than in a dog – rotational movements. This is necessary for omnivores to crush and chew complex carbohydrates and plant foods. In dogs, the jaw, like in wolves, moves only up and down, and the absorption of food occurs by tearing off pieces of meat from the victim and swallowing them.
The enzyme system. Dogs don’t have amylase, an enzyme for digesting carbohydrates that omnivores eat. This is a double argument, both for the carb stereotype and the omnivore stereotype.
Origin and type of extraction. No one will deny the fact that dogs helped people in the hunt. Due to this assistance, the person increased the amount of food produced by 75%. And no omnivorous creature takes part in the hunt for living creatures!
Stomach acidity. In omnivores and carnivores, the pH of the stomach is very different due to the difference in food consumed. Omnivores cannot digest, for example, bones that require a more acidic environment to digest. But dogs can!
Skeleton. The physiology of the structure of the paws, mobility, the ability to drive and reach prey-all this is still another argument not in favor of the imaginary “omnivore” of the dog.
The omnivorous nature of dogs is believed only by those people who do not understand either the physiology or the history of the dog’s origin.
Stereotype 4. There may be an overabundance of protein from meat.
Here it is immediately worth noting the fact of substitution of concepts. Under an overabundance of protein, veterinarians understand any manifestation of an allergic reaction, redness of the muzzle, and so on.
Not in favor of this stereotype says the term available to every nutritionist-the threshold of protein assimilation. How can there be an overabundance of what is not assimilated in excess? That is, even if a dog eats 10 kg at a time, it does not mean that all the protein contained in this 10 kg will be absorbed.
There is a substitution of another concept – the ability to assimilate and actual assimilation. Yes, meat, its contents, can be absorbed by 95%, but not more than the threshold of assimilation, which is determined by the physiological needs of the animal. Going back to our example with 10 kg of meat-the dog will learn 95% of what it needs. And all that is not necessary-will pass through transit and remain in the feces. It is not difficult to check this – it is enough to make an analysis of feces, which will contain proteins that the dog did not assimilate in view of reaching the assimilation threshold.
Meat is the most natural source of protein for a dog
All negative manifestations of food allergies in dogs are the result of improper feeding either by the dog itself or by its parents. And the redness of the muzzle may well be on what is in the meat, but not on the meat itself. That’s how it was with my older dog. And Yes, meat with veterinary control will not contain any parasites, antibiotics, or growth hormones. It’s just stupid to be afraid of it!
And if your dog gives out a negative reaction to the proposed meat, you need to find a better one, suggest a different type, for example, Turkey instead of beef. And there is no overabundance of protein in nature, I hope we are synchronized in this concept :).
How does a dog’s digestion work?
Stereotype 5: Feeding doesn’t affect your health.
In 2015, when the human genome was studied, 23,000 genes out of 26,000 were found to be shared with humans, which gave rise to the writing of the wonderful book Nutrigenomic, which is a collection of research on nutrition and how it affects the health of a dog.
Nutrition not only affects the quality and duration of the dog itself, but there are also two other facts that 99% of dog owners do not know about.
The nutrition of the dog’s parents directly affects the health of the offspring. This tells us that puppies from dogs on dry food and on proper natural nutrition will have different health. And then there is the conclusion that all breeders who want to contribute to the health of future generations should feed their dogs with natural food. On the other hand, with this information, the buyer should become more demanding and aware.
If your dog is naturally fed, it may not develop hereditary diseases. How does it work? There is a main gene-mutagen, which is responsible for activating bad genes. This mutagen is influenced by a lot of external factors, one of the biggest is nutrition. Let’s say it again: if you feed them the right natural food, your dog will live longer!
These facts are confirmed by the statistics of diseases. Since 2000, the number of cancers has increased more than several times. And the most common complaints of dog owners who are fed dry food are allergies, liver problems, digestive problems.
Stereotype 6. Kashi is a straight girl.
Those who believe in this stereotype tend to use the following incorrect logical chain: the dog eats the stomach of the victim, there are grains in the stomach of the prey, this, in their opinion, means that the dog should eat grains. And any porridge is a grain.
Well, first of all, this thesis itself excludes the stereotype of omnivore ), and secondly, it applies more to cats than to dogs, and finally, it is completely illogical and omits important details.
the stomach contents are fermented, which is not the same as eating an unfermented product separately
the percentage of stomach content, from the weight of the prey eaten, will be 1-2%, in contrast to the content of cereals in dry food (from 50%)
the victim’s stomach may be empty
in the stomach, most often there will be grass (since animals hunt herbivores).
not all dogs that take part in the hunt will eat the stomach equally, there are still other organs, and in addition, there is a hierarchy, and only the strongest and most adult dogs will be the first to eat the stomach.
The use of such cereals, such as rice, in the diet of dogs, leads to metabolic disorders, spikes in blood sugar, as well as impaired absorption of minerals and macronutrients from the intestines. This in turn leads to allergies, diabetes, and cancer diseases.
The stereotype about porridge arose from banal savings because many people consider it expensive to feed meat. Smoking, drinking alcohol, refueling the car is not expensive, and feeding the dog properly will kill you. Everything is so simple and pragmatic, alas!