The Myth of 100% Complete Processed Pet FoodsWritten by Randy Wysong DVM
Every day, people by millions pour food from a package into their pet’s bowl. Day in and day out, meal after meal, pets get same fare. This strange phenomenon is not only widely practiced, but done by loving owners who believe they are doing right thing. Why? Certainly because it is convenient, but also because labels state that food is “complete and balanced,” “100% complete,” or that food has passed various analytical and feeding test criteria. Furthermore, manufacturers and even veterinarians counsel pet owners about not feeding other foods such as table scraps because of danger of unbalancing these modern processed nutritional marvels. The power of message is so great that pet owners en masse do every day to their pets what they would never do to themselves or their children -offer same processed packaged food at every meal. Think about it: Our world is complex beyond comprehension. It is not only largely unknown; it is unknowable in “complete” sense. In order for nutritionists and manufacturers to produce a “100% complete and balanced” pet food, they must first know 100% about nutrition. However, nutrition is not a completed science. It is, in fact, an aggregate science, which is based upon other basic sciences, such as chemistry, physics, and biology. But since no scientist would argue that everything is known in chemistry or physics or biology, how can nutritionists claim to know everything there is to know about nutrition, which is based upon these sciences? This is logical absurdity of “100% complete and balanced” diet claim. It is reason a similar venture to feed babies a “100% complete” formula has turned out to be a health disaster. Claiming that anything is 100% is like claiming perfection, total knowledge, and absolute truth. Has pet nutrition really advanced that far? Does a chemist make such a claim? A physicist? Doctor? Professor? Did Einstein, Bohr, Pasteur, Aristotle, Plato, or any of greatest minds in human history make such claims? No. Has science of pet nutrition advanced to point where everything is known about physiology, digestion and biochemistry of animals, or that everything is known about their food? Certainly not. The fact of matter is that “100% complete” claim is actually “100% complete” guesswork. At best, one could say that such a claim is firm possibility of a definite maybe. Each time regulatory agencies convene to decide how much of which nutrients comprise “100% completeness,” debate always ensues and standards usually change. This not only proves that what they claimed before was not “100% complete,” but this should also make us highly suspicious about what they now claim to be “100% complete.” Additionally, consider that in order to determine minimum requirement for a certain nutrient - say protein - all other nutrients used in feeding trials must be adequate and standardized. Otherwise, if vitamin E, for example, is in excess or is deficient, how would you know if results of study were because of effects of protein or due to something amiss with level of vitamin E? If minimum requirements for all 26+ essential nutrients were all set and absolutely etched in stone, then there would be no problem. But they aren’t. They are constantly changing. This means each time any nutrient requirement is changed, all test results for all other nutrients using wrong minimum for this nutrient would then be invalid. Most nutritionists simply ignore this conundrum, feeling like cowboys trying to lasso an octopus - there are just too many loose ends. But they continue to perpetuate “100% complete” myth, and excuse themselves by saying they make adjustments when necessary. The point is, don’t believe claim on any commercially prepared pet (or human) food that it is “100% complete and balanced.” It is a spurious unsupported boast, intended to build consumer trust and dependence on commercial products - not create optimal health. Unfortunately most people think animal feeding is a mystery. It is not. Animal nutrition is not a special nutritional science to which common sense human nutrition principles cannot be applied. Use same common sense in feeding your pets that you use for feeding your family. Nutrition is not about some special ingredient or absence of some boogeyman ingredient. Fresh foods fed in variety are always superior to processed food artifacts.
The Dangers of Canine ParasitesWritten by Rose Smith
When you get a puppy, one of first things that you need to do is make an appointment with vet to get your new family member his or her vaccinations. Along with any recommended shots, your cuddly canine will probably get a dose of a de-worming formula to rid them of any internal parasites.
Some parasites can be very dangerous to your dog, especially to puppies. For instance, a hookworm (about 1/8" in length) will adhere itself to small intestine and begin to suck blood from your pet. It can cause severe anemia, followed by circulatory collapse, severe diarrhea, hemorrhaging, shock and finally death.
Puppies may receive hookworms through mother's placenta during gestation period or through mother's milk when nursing. This is why it is very important that new puppies receive a de-worming formula.
These parasites can also enter an adult dog quite easily when your pet walks over soil that contains any contaminated feces from other animals. In turn, your dog then licks his or her paws and ingests hookworm larvae. Even without paw licking larvae can burrow through skin and into dog. Once inside, larvae migrate to small intestine where they grow into adult hookworms, usually within 14 days.
A female hookworm will begin to lay eggs... 20,000 of them per day! As you can see, it is vitally important to have your favorite canine de-wormed should they become infested with hookworms. If you see symptoms such as diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, or weight loss, take your canine to veterinarian immediately for diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is usually made through a small stool sample. Treatment consists of an oral or injected medication which kills adult hookworms, but not larvae. This treatment needs to be repeated again in 2 to 4 weeks to kill larvae that have emerged as adults. In cases of severe anemia, your dog may require a blood transfusion.