Saturday, January 10, 2009


I'm working on my nutrition homework for this semester which is completing "Daily Nutrition Matters" on . It's a very good educational module that anyone interested in nutrition or has questions should check out. Anyways, I was thinking about what one of my friends said to me earlier this week. This person has become very involved in rescuing dogs (a good thing), but they have also become an "expert" in nutrition too (a bad thing). Now I think it's a good thing to be informed, but it's a bad thing when you have been wrongly informed.

Pre-Disclaimer: This is mostly my opinion combined with what I am just starting to learn. In no way am I saying I am an expert in this area. I would talk to your vet or do your own research.

This person was very pro-natural foods. My only problem with natural foods is that they are usually very expensive. I also don't know the exact benefit of these foods - Is my dog going to be healthy because he kinda already is without the "natural" food? OR Is my dog going to live drastically longer? I doubt it. This person did not like Hill's Science Diet, which is what I feed my dog, because it contains by-product. Reading about nutrition, I learned that there's a difference between ingredient (what is put in the food) and nutrient (what is absorbed by the animal). To me, something like chicken by-product that contains bones and organs is a good thing for a dog as it would provide a wider range of nutrients than just the meat. It also seems more natural as a wild dog would probably eat the entire chicken and not just the breast.

Another comment was made about some canned food that was 95% protein. That's nice and all, but a balanced diet for a dog only contains about 22% on a DM basis. Where's the fat and carbs and the vitamins they carry? I don't know, but maybe this person was adding other foods to this and making a complete diet - hopefully. People that cook for their dogs should be careful and know all the needs of their dog and be sure they are providing them - a grilled steak probably won't cut it. To me, it seems like too much work to calculate the proper proportions of human food to cook up for my dog while not destroying the amino acids when someone has already done it for me.

I think we as pet owners need to be careful that we remember that our dog is a dog, not a human, and that it probably doesn't need to be put on the Atkins Diet. Again, my nutrition course hasn't even officially began and I still have a lot to learn - Believe at your own risk.

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