Pet Food Myths -Busted

There are many myths about pet food -some are marketing hype, others are opinions based on hearsay. The most common myths at the moment are

  • Meat by-products are bad – NOT True. Meat by-products include organs from non-straited muscle ( eg lung, spleen , kidney, brain, liver , blood , bone ,fatty tissue ,intestines without content) but does NOT include hair, horns, teeth or hoofs . Many of these non- meat organs are very nutritious ( eg liver, kidney, brain ) even if we don’t think of them as being particularly appetizing!
  • Grain free (wheat, corn /maize) diets are better – NOT True. Grain is a protein source that also contains essential fatty acids, beta carotene , vitamin E , lutin and highly digested carbohydrates . Grain- free foods still have a carbohydrate source (eg sweat potatoe which has even more carbohydrates than corn).
    Many pets skin conditions that clear up on a grain free diet actually do as most grain free diets are based on lamb or fish (rather than chicken or beef which the grain diets contain )and it’s the chicken / beef many more pets are sensitive to compared to grain.
  • Home made diets are better as they are natural – NOT true. Most home made diets are often deficient in calcium, micro-minerals, fatty acids, taurine and often contain excesses of other nutrients (eg phosphorus). They also carry the risk for food borne illness in pets as
    -the meat and eggs produced for human consumption used to prepare them are often contaminated with microbes and are not heated properly to destroy the microbes
    -large batches are made up and then not stored properly .
    -Some “pet meats” have high levels of sulphur-dioxide in them which can cause a thiamine deficiency (see our article on the dangers of pet meat)
    If you do want a balanced homemade diet then use a certified veterinary nutritionist to help develop a balanced diet for your pet. e.g. www.petdiets.com

The best advice is to feed a good quality pet food made by a reputable company that agrees/suits your pet and stick to it..leave the marketing hype to others.