“Urban myths” about pet food—the REAL facts

Descriptors of “natural pet foods” include using the words “natural”, “organic”, “holistic”, “human grade”, “premium”, and “super premium”—“natural” and “organic” are the only 2 that fall under regulatory guidelines by the government. All the other words have no enforcement or meaning, except what the consumer deems them, in the regulation by the government of the pet food industry. In other words, these descriptors are used by some pet food companies to get you to believe their food is better! “Organic” may only contain partially organic ingredients.

Flaxseed is NOT a good source of omega-3 fatty acids in dogs and cats because they cannot efficiently convert this plant-based substance into EPA and DHA. Fish is a much better source in the dog and cat of omega-3 fatty acids!

“Grain-free” diets in some studies show that obesity is actually associated with high-fat foods and not high-carbohydrate foods. Most dogs need carbohydrates for a normal stool. Dogs are carnivores by species but omnivores  in their eating habits.

Raw food diets are a concern for humans as there is documentation that  dogs ingesting raw food diets  shed Salmonella into the environment thereby exposing humans. Most hospitals that employ therapy dogs will not allow those dogs in their facility if being fed a raw food diet.

If you want to “test” your pet for food allergy—there is no valid skin or blood test to do this! The only way to rule out food allergy is by feeding a prescription hypoallergenic diet or a cooked diet specifically prescribed by your veterinarian for 8-l0 wks (dogs) and 4-6 wks (cats). THERE ARE NO OVER THE COUNTER HYPOALLERGENIC DIETS despite what the labeled ingredients may say!

— Dr. Alice Jeromin

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