Fact: Every ingredient used in our diets has nutritional value. Corn is packed full of valuable nutrients that help the skin and coat, such as antioxidants (part of the vibrant yellow colour), vitamins A & B, selenium, zinc, amino acids cysteine, methionine and fatty acids.
MYTH: It’s not digestible.
Fact: Whole corn is covered by a protective fibrous layer called the hull. When this layer is broken (our diets contain corn that has been finely ground), it allows digestive enzymes to break down the fat, carbohydrates and protein. Studies have shown that grinding corn allows greater digestibility.
MYTH: Too high in carbohydrates.
Fact: A grain-free formula does not mean it is a starch free formula or that it is more nutritionally aligned to your pet’s precise needs. Many new “grain-free” alternative ingredients such as sweet potatoes and tapioca still contain starch, often in higher levels. Starch is required to create a kibble and gives it its pillow-like appearance (think of popcorn).
MYTH: Cause allergies.
Fact: An allergy can be caused by any ingredient with a protein. Food allergies do occur but less than commonly perceived, amounting to 1% of all dermatological cases. Grains have shown to be no more allergenic than any other ingredient (fruit, vegetables or animal protein).
MYTH: Easy to balance.
Fact: Making a diet is never easy. Unless you have a scientific lab to measure every ingredient’s digestibility and nutrient levels. Many studies have shown homemade diets are not nutritionally balanced. In a 2013 study, 200 home prepared recipes were analyzed and 95% were found to be deficient in at least one essential nutrient. Some recipes actually exceeded the safe upper limit in certain nutrients.
Fact: When dealing with raw and home prepared diets the chances for bacterial contamination are significant. While your pet may be able to deal with these different pathogens, humans usually cannot. You may take every precaution in your kitchen for safety, but your pet can carry these pathogens and potentially contaminate anyone who comes in contact with your pet or pet’s feces. Raw diets are considered a community health issue, not supported by our hospital, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association or the Public Health Agency of Canada.
MYTH: Low Quality.
Fact: By-products are a secondary product in addition to the principal product. Numerous ingredients can actually be considered a by-product by this standard such as wheat bran, tripe, salami, beef liver, etc. The term by-product is not an indication of the nutritional quality.
MYTH: Not Safe.
Fact: By-products are as safe as any other meat ingredient. Any meat by-product, when sourced from a high-quality facility, is selected from clean, fresh parts of a healthy animal. Sometimes by-products are incorrectly associated with diseased animals but this is absolutely not the case with reputable pet food manufacturers. That is why we partner with reliable pet food companies who take precautions with all their raw materials.
- Morris J. Et al. Carbohydrate disgetion by the domestic cat (Felis catus). Br J Nutr. 1977; 37: 365-373.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Accessed on August 2013: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/search/list
- Nagata M, et al. Clinical survey of canine dermatosis in Japan. Japan Vet Med Assoc. 1999; 52(12): 775-779.
- Roudebush P, et al. Adverse Reactions to Food. Hand M, Thatcher C, Remillard R, Roudebush P (Eds). Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 4th ed. Mark Morris Institute. Topeka KA. 2000: pp. 431-453.
- Lauren S, et al. Computer analysis of nutrient sufficiency of published home-cooked diets for dogs and cats. In: Proc ACVIM Forum 2005
- Stockman J, et al. Evaluation of recipes of home-prepared maintenance diets for dogs. JAVMA 2013, 242(11): 1500-1505.
- Finley R, Reid-Smith R, Boerlin P, Weese JA. The occurrence and antimicrobial susceptibility of salmonellae isolated from commercially available canine raw food diets in three Canadian cities. Zoonoses Public Health. 2008; 55(8-10): 462-469.
- Weese SJ. Survival of Salmonellae Copenhagen in food bowls following contamination with experimentally inoculated raw meat: Effects of time, cleaning, and disinfection. Can Vet J. 2006; 47(9): 887-889.
- Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Accessed on August 2013.
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