Canine nutrition has been accumulating a number of myths that survive the ridicule of the veterinary profession.
Canine nutrition has not undergone as profound a transformation as human nutrition has, but it has accumulated a number of myths that survive the ridicule of the veterinary profession. Let’s debunk them:
Myths in dog nutrition:
1.- “A clove of garlic keeps worms away”.
Garlic has had a reputation for centuries in the folk medicine of many cultures as an antiseptic, a treatment for high blood pressure, etc. But if your dog really does have worms (and most of them do at one time or another), the quickest way to get rid of them is to have your veterinarian administer a specific worming medication under his supervision.
2.- “Raw meat makes a dog vicious”.
Raw or cooked meat is essential to a dog’s nutrition. Fifty percent is the standard ration, and can compare up to 75 percent of his diet. If he is only fed meat, he may feel very nervous, not because the meat is raw, but because he is being fed an unbalanced diet.
3.- “A sugar cube dipped in coffee is good for a dog’s heart.”
It is particularly good for his morale, because it means he shares his coffee after eating with you. Give it occasionally as a harmless treat, but not as a regular “medicine”, and certainly not as a heart remedy.
4.- “Dogs can’t digest starch”.
They cannot digest raw starch, but can cope with most cooked ones, such as rice, whole wheat bread and macaroni. However, dogs do not get much nutrition from these foods.
5.- “Sugar causes worms”.
Sugar is a quick source of energy for dogs, since it is far away from us. Worms are caused by worm larvae. A puppy can get worms from its mother and an adult dog can get worms from infected food or drink, from the saliva or feces of an infected dog, or from swallowing fleas and lice that act as hosts for tapeworm eggs, but never from sugar.
6.- “Raw eggs improve the dog’s coat”.
An occasional raw egg yolk enriches a dog’s diet. Boiled eggs are an acceptable substitute for meat in an emergency. But the best coat conditioner is far and away, especially unsaturated fat, rich in vitamin E, such as flaxseed and wheat germ oil. The reputation of eggs as a coat conditioner is probably due to the fact that the yolk is primarily fat.
7. “Milk causes diarrhea in an adult dog”.
Milk is healthy for all dogs. A dish of milk with a beaten egg yolk and a couple of pieces of whole wheat toast or dog cookies is a standard dinner dish in many kennels. There are several causes for diarrhea, including internal parasites, indigestion, a change in diet, food poisoning, certain contagious diseases and sometime, but not always, milk.
Knowledge and concern are important in feeding a growing puppy whose nutrition is the foundation of its future health. But common sense is all you need to feed an adult dog correctly, as your own experience will guide you most of the way.