Pet Food Myths

Myth # 1 – Corn Myths


FACT: Studies show that corn causes no more food allergies than any other grain.*


FACT: Most grains, including corn, are poorly digested before they are cooked. Once cooked, however, they become highly digestible.


FACT: Corn is a superb source of nutrients.

• Essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat

• Beta-carotene, vitamin E, lutein – nature’s antioxidants

• Highly digestible carbohydrates for energy

• Quality proteins for muscle and tissue growth

Myth # 2 – Chicken meal is superior to poultry by-product meal.

FACT: Both chicken meal and poultry by-product meal contain quality protein that is digestible and palatable. Chicken meal, however contains mostly rendered chicken necks and backs, which means it provides more ash per unit protein than poultry by-product meal does. This may make it less desirable for use in formulations were controlling the mineral content of the product is indicated. Poultry by-product meal is a slightly more concentrated protein source.

Myth # 3 – Soybean meal causes bloat in dogs

FACT: Bloat, or gastric dilitation/volulus, is a condition usually seen in large, deep chested dogs. Research has shown that gastric motility and emptying are not affected by food ingredients (moist meat-based vs dry cereal-based food).

Myth # 4 – Biproducts are of lesser quality than meat

FACT: Pet food ingredients including muscle meat are by nature by-products. Some of the by-products used in pet foods are ingredients that are considered human grade both domestically and internationally. Examples of these are pork and beef liver, tripe, and spleen. Many by-products like liver offer superior palatability over muscle meats when used in dog and cat foods.

Myth # 5 – There is one best fiber source

FACT: Various fiber types can be used to provide distinct functions in pet foods. Though fiber does not serve as a major energy source for dogs or cats, it can help promote normal bowel function, maintain the health of the intestinal tract and aid in the nutritional managment of certain diseases. No single fiber source or type can optimally deliver all the benefits fiber can provide in pet nutrition. Insoluble fiber is preferred in weight-loss regimes. Soluble fiber is more appropriate in the maintenance of intestinal tract health. It is important to use the fiber source or sources that achieve the nutritional goals of the product.

Myth # 6 – Cellulose fiber binds minerals and decreases the digestibility of other nutrients

FACT: As with other fibers, dry matter digestibility decreases with increasing cellulose levels. However, research has shown that fiber type does not affect protein digestibility in dogs. In addition, purified cellulose does not decrease protein digestibility in cats. Purified celluose is inert when it comes to mineral binding and has no effect on iron in dogs. More soluble fibers such as beet pulp bind iron in growing puppies.

Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th edition, page 140


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