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Alright, I found this on the DOG FOOD PROJECT site. Whats the truth, guys? Some here walk a very fine line on these issues....


MYTH's
All commercial dog foods are bad
A very general statement with little credibility and even less proven facts to back it up. Anyone who puts even just a little time into research will see that the quality of products varies just as much as the ethics and philosophies of the manufacturers who make them. It is true that there are foods of good, average and downright bad quality, but there are companies who take great care in choosing the ingredients for their food.

A dog's digestive system is not able to fully digest and utilize grains
This one at least has some truth to it. Compared to herbivores a dog's digestive tract is much less specialized for digesting grains, or carbohydrates in general for that matter - especially in their raw, unprocessed form. However, dogs are not true carnivores but opportunistic feeders and can digest and utilize the starch from grains in dog food that has been converted by the cooking process. Digestibility depends on quality and type of grain used: rice (72%) is for example more digestible than wheat (60%) or corn (54%). Dogs can absorb the digestible carbohydrates from rice almost entirely, of the other grains about 20% are not absorbed. Indigestible fiber from grains contribute to intestinal health.

A dog can only truly be healthy if you feed a raw diet
This is another claim never backed up by scientific proof. Any animal can only be healthy if its diet supplies all essential nutrients in sufficient quantities. If even just one of them is missing or not present in at least the minimum required quantity, the animal will start showing signs of malnutrition, eventually become sick and die. Some deficiencies don't take very long to become apparent, others develop over a long time before the critical state of health becomes obvious and some diseases are even caused by excessive intake instead of deficiency. The key to a healthy dog is not either raw or processed food, but an overall diet that meets the individual requirements of the dog in question.

Dogs are carnivores
All scientific evidence points towards the fact that dogs, while not true carnivores, are opportunistic, carnivorous scavengers. Cats on the other hand are true, obligate carnivores, requiring animal protein to survive. There is a difference between a carnivorous scavenger and an omnivore though - dogs lack the dental characteristics, longer digestive tract and specific enzymes of true omnivores like humans. That is the reason why they can not digest grains and vegetables unless they are "predigested" by processing, mincing/grinding, breakdown by enzymes, or fermentation through bacteria. Once converted, they are fully available to the dog.

This does, however, not mean that your dog will thrive on a diet mainly made up of poor quality grains or grain fragments, which is what most cheap foods are. Whole grains, including their entire complement of nutrients are much more valuable - and this does not only apply for a dog's diet, but for humans as well!
 

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MYTH's
All commercial dog foods are bad
I completely agree with this statement. You will never find a nutritionist human or animal (other than ones that work for dog food companies) that will tell you processd food is healthy for man or beast. Every single one of them will recommend fresh whole foods as opposed to processed foods which are all full of harmful ingredients.

but there are companies who take great care in choosing the ingredients for their food.
But there are no dog foods that don't contain dietary inappropriate ingredients.

A dog's digestive system is not able to fully digest and utilize grains
This one at least has some truth to it. Compared to herbivores a dog's digestive tract is much less specialized for digesting grains, or carbohydrates in general for that matter - especially in their raw, unprocessed form.
Exactly true and if they needed them for health, canines would have gone extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago.

However, dogs are not true carnivores but opportunistic feeders and can digest and utilize the starch from grains in dog food that has been converted by the cooking process.
Dogs eat what they have to eat to survive. You can't create an omnivore by feeding a carnivore omnivore food. If it has to be cooked or otherwise processed to be useful to them, they have no need for it. It is unnatural.

Digestibility depends on quality and type of grain used: rice (72%) is for example more digestible than wheat (60%) or corn (54%). Dogs can absorb the digestible carbohydrates from rice almost entirely, of the other grains about 20% are not absorbed. Indigestible fiber from grains contribute to intestinal health.
Don't know where they got those numbers. Probably just pulled them out of the air. This sounds like a lot of bs from the dog food industry.

A dog can only truly be healthy if you feed a raw diet
An absolutey unquestionably beyond a showdow of a doubt unarguable true statement.

This is another claim never backed up by scientific proof.
A million years of evolution is pretty strong proof. I don't know of any scientific studies that have spanned quite that amount of time. :smile:

Any animal can only be healthy if its diet supplies all essential nutrients in sufficient quantities. If even just one of them is missing or not present in at least the minimum required quantity, the animal will start showing signs of malnutrition, eventually become sick and die. Some deficiencies don't take very long to become apparent, others develop over a long time before the critical state of health becomes obvious and some diseases are even caused by excessive intake instead of deficiency.
This is a true statement that has nothing to do with the discussion.

The key to a healthy dog is not either raw or processed food, but an overall diet that meets the individual requirements of the dog in question.
Without adding cancer causing or otherwise dangerious ingredients. I don't think there are any processed foods that meat these requirements.

Dogs are carnivores
All scientific evidence points towards the fact that dogs, while not true carnivores, are opportunistic, carnivorous scavengers.
There is no scientific evidence that a dog is not a true carnivore. Dogs will, in times of necessity, eat whatever it has to in order to survive. If you force it to eat inappropriate foods to survive, it will. Thats called smart. It's not called being an opportunisticc carnivouious scavenger. canines will eat only animal products as long as it is available.

Cats on the other hand are true, obligate carnivores, requiring animal protein to survive.
I've said this before but anytime I see the words "obligate carnivores" to describe cats, I know this person is trying to convince me a dog is not really a carnivore. Cats don't require animal protein to survive ... what they need is taurine, which is found in meat, to survive. Most animals manufacture taurine internally but not cats. Cats must injest it in their diet. Just because a dog doesn't require tauring to be injested doesn't make him any less of a carnivore. A carnivore is a carnivore and they eat meat, bones, and organs.

There is a difference between a carnivorous scavenger and an omnivore though - dogs lack the dental characteristics, longer digestive tract and specific enzymes of true omnivores like humans.
These are all characteristics that make a carnivore a carnivore.

That is the reason why they can not digest grains and vegetables unless they are "predigested" by processing, mincing/grinding, breakdown by enzymes, or fermentation through bacteria. Once converted, they are fully available to the dog.
Exactly and that is the reason they don't need them in their diet. If some kind of processed food was necessary, like I said before, canines would have gone extince hundreds of thousands of years ago.

This does, however, not mean that your dog will thrive on a diet mainly made up of poor quality grains or grain fragments, which is what most cheap foods are.
It guarantees they won't be healthy.

Whole grains, including their entire complement of nutrients are much more valuable - and this does not only apply for a dog's diet, but for humans as well!
I don't think there is any scientific evidence to support this outlandish claim. More dog food industry marketing.

There ... that should stimulate some more posts. :smile:
 

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All commercial dog foods are bad
No, I do not agree. Not all commercial foods are bad, you just have to do a bit of research into what you'd like to feed. Most commercial diets arnt the greatest because they contain a lot of one ingredient ( eg: corn, 80% of a food, but in 5 forms). Just like humans, dogs need variety, and need the essential amino acids found in various foods rather than from one source. Its suggested if you feed commercial diets that you rotate foods every month or every few months.. this allows different vitamins, proteins etc to be included in the diet. Adding fresh foods also certainly helps. If this is the only way that really works for you, your pet will do fine, as long as you find a good quality food. There are lots of good brands out there. Not every diet is right for every pet.

A dog's digestive system is not able to fully digest and utilize grains
This one at least has some truth to it. - I agree partially with this one. According to a booard certified vet nutritionalist from the university of tennessee, dogs can digest up to 60% carbohydrates in their diet. Canines, though not their ideal diet will eat grains,grasses etc if its available. This does not mean that because they can digest them that it is their ideal diet, but they are able to digest them to a certain extent and get some nutrition from them. Humans can obviously digest grains too, but if we ate a diet of 90% grains only ( eg, what most low end dog foods are) we wouldnt be too healthy either.

A dog can only truly be healthy if you feed a raw diet
This is another claim never backed up by scientific proof. Any animal can only be healthy if its diet supplies all essential nutrients in sufficient quantities. If even just one of them is missing or not present in at least the minimum required quantity, the animal will start showing signs of malnutrition, eventually become sick and die. Some deficiencies don't take very long to become apparent, others develop over a long time before the critical state of health becomes obvious and some diseases are even caused by excessive intake instead of deficiency. The key to a healthy dog is not either raw or processed food, but an overall diet that meets the individual requirements of the dog in question.
( whats posted above was already included in the previous post, but I agree with whats posted) There is no scientific study done that shows the benefits of a raw diet over a commercial diet. Theres lots of owner 'proof' that their pet seemd to have done better on it, but no actual study behind these claims. I'm not discounting peoples claims, but there is no proof that one diet is better than the other. Again I state, no one diet is best for every dog. Some dogs do wonderful on raw, others not as great. Dont feel bad if you cant do a raw diet for your dog. If done right it has its benefits, but its not for everyone in my opinion.


Dogs are carnivores
All scientific evidence points towards the fact that dogs, while not true carnivores, are opportunistic, carnivorous scavengers. Cats on the other hand are true, obligate carnivores, requiring animal protein to survive. There is a difference between a carnivorous scavenger and an omnivore though - dogs lack the dental characteristics, longer digestive tract and specific enzymes of true omnivores like humans. That is the reason why they can not digest grains and vegetables unless they are "predigested" by processing, mincing/grinding, breakdown by enzymes, or fermentation through bacteria. Once converted, they are fully available to the dog.

This does, however, not mean that your dog will thrive on a diet mainly made up of poor quality grains or grain fragments, which is what most cheap foods are. Whole grains, including their entire complement of nutrients are much more valuable - and this does not only apply for a dog's diet, but for humans as well

I agree with this. Dogs are able to digest more grains and carbohydrates than cats. Cats do require taurine, which is only found in animal tissues as where dogs do not. There have been studies proven that cats have a much harder time on 'vegetarian diets' than dogs, unless very well supplimented and balanced. Dogs tended to do better, though not ideal..they still showed some difficencies on a vegetarian diet. Dogs do well certainly on a meat based ( but balanced with other ingredients) diet, I would classify them as mostly carnivores, but animals that do indeed have omnivore tendancies. They can eat just about anything, but of course would perfer meat over grains etc.
 

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No, I do not agree. Not all commercial foods are bad, you just have to do a bit of research into what you'd like to feed.
ALL commercial food contains species inappropriate foods and additives.

Just like humans, dogs need variety, and need the essential amino acids found in various foods rather than from one source.
Correct, but dogs need nothing that comes from plant matter. They get all the nutrients they need from meat, bones, and organs.

According to a booard certified vet nutritionalist from the university of tennessee, dogs can digest up to 60% carbohydrates in their diet.
I don't know where she gets that. Dog's can't digest carbs at all unless its so processed it can't be recognized as carbs by the body. Dogs have absolutely ZERO need for carbs in their diets. Why would this "nutritionalist" suggest 60% carbs. I think her research if it exists was paid for by Hill's.

Canines, though not their ideal diet will eat grains,grasses etc if its available.
Not unless they are starving to death. Have you ever seen a dog grazing in a corn field? a wheat field? A rice patty? You might occasionally see a dog eat maybe a handful of grass which he immediately throws back up or it comes out the back end looking exactly like it did when it went in which tells you no digestion occured.

This does not mean that because they can digest them that it is their ideal diet, but they are able to digest them to a certain extent and get some nutrition from them.
In their whole raw form, dogs can't digest any kind of plant matter. IT MUST be processeed before they can unilize any nutrients from plants. This reason alone tells you its not needed or even desirable in their diet.

Humans can obviously digest grains too, but if we ate a diet of 90% grains only ( eg, what most low end dog foods are) we wouldnt be too healthy either.
Humans would be more healthy if they ate no grains.

A dog can only truly be healthy if you feed a raw diet
This is another claim never backed up by scientific proof.
Nor has it been proven that a commercial diet is anywhere close to a raw diet in nutrition and its ability to keep dogs in top condition. Why do people ask that raw prove itself and never ask kibble companies to prove their product is nutritious? Raw has been around for millions of years and wolves/dogs have always thrived on it from the beginning until today. Kibble has been around for somewhere close to 50 years and dogs health today really sucks and no one looks to kibble as the cause of this.

No one says, "prove that kibble is as healthy as raw." Why is that? I'll tell you ... marketing by the dog food companies has convinced people that dogs are omnivores and that the ingredients are the same as the pictures on the bag.

( whats posted above was already included in the previous post, but I agree with whats posted) There is no scientific study done that shows the benefits of a raw diet over a commercial diet.
And vice versa so we can leave studies out of the discussion. :smile:

Again I state, no one diet is best for every dog.
Actually, yes there is. There is no dog that won't thrive on a properly fed prey model raw diet. Sometimes the raw diet has to be tweaked for a health problem for a particular dog but tweaking the diet is all thats necessary.

Some dogs do wonderful on raw, others not as great.
The very very few who don't do great on it usually were not properly introduced to it and weren't allowed to let their bodies adapt to digesting real food. Sometimes this takes time particularly if the dog has been eating cheap dog food for many years.

Dont feel bad if you cant do a raw diet for your dog. If done right it has its benefits, but its not for everyone in my opinion.
It may be more difficult for a particular human to feed his dog raw but it IS best for every dog.

I agree with this. Dogs are able to digest more grains and carbohydrates than cats.
Where do you get that information? Neither dogs nor cats can digest unprocessed grains or carbs in the least. Jaw structure, dentation, GI tract length, design of the intestines, enzymes produced in the body prevent it.

Cats do require taurine, which is only found in animal tissues as where dogs do not. There have been studies proven that cats have a much harder time on 'vegetarian diets' than dogs, unless very well supplimented and balanced.
A prey model raw diet for cats or dogs needs no supplimentation and is automatically balanced. Feeding a dog or cat a vegetarian diet should be a criminal act.

I would classify them(dogs) as mostly carnivores, but animals that do indeed have omnivore tendancies.
Well, you aren't the one with the responsibility of making that classificatoin. The people with the authority to make that decision classify dogs as carnivores. Not MOSTLY carnivores ... carnivores period. Where do you come up with "omnivore tendancies" stuff? There are no omnivore tendancies in a dog. From tip of their nose to the end of their anus, they are completely designed to eat and digest meat, bones, and organs and nothing else.

They can eat just about anything, but of course would perfer meat over grains etc.
They won't eat grains unless forced to. They can do absolutely nothing with unprocessed grains which means nature never intended them to eat them.
 
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