Canine nutrition hasn’t quite become as laden with diet fads as for humans but there are a number of myths which we felt needed to busted!
When you get a dog, your more experienced friends will shower you with advice, just as they would if you’d had a child, and some titbits may still include some of the following affirmations.
“A clove of garlic keeps worms away”
Garlic has enjoyed 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 visit a vet and get a specific worming medicine.
“Raw meat makes a dog vicious”
Raw or cooked meat is essential to a dog’s nutrition. 50% is the standard ration, and it may make up as much as 75% of his diet. If he is fed only meat, he may become more highly strung as opposed to vicious but not because the meat is raw, but more simply because he is being given an unbalanced diet.
“A sugar cube dipped in coffee is good for a dog’s heart”
It is particularly good for his morale, because it probably means that he is sharing your after dinner coffee. Give it occasionally as a harmless treat, but not as a regular “medicine”, and not as a heart remedy.
“Dogs cannot digest starch”
They cannot digest uncooked starch, but they can cope with most cooked ones such as rice, whole wheat bread, and macaroni. However, dogs do not receive much nourishment from these foods.
“Sugar causes worms”
Sugar is quick source of energy for dogs, as it is for us but not a cause of worms, which are caused by worm larvae. A puppy may get worms from his mother, and an adult dog may get them from infected food or drink, from the saliva or faeces of an infected dog, or from swallowing fleas and lice which act as hosts to tapeworm eggs- but never from sugar.
“Raw eggs improve dog’s coat”
A raw egg yolk from time to time does enrich a dog’s diet, while cooked eggs are an acceptable substitute for meat in an emergency. The eggs reputation as a coat conditioner is probably due to the fact that yolk is mostly fat. A good groom is the best way to get a glossy, healthy coat and if you need a bit of help there’s our Gloss Finish Finishing Spray.
“Milk causes diarrhoea in an adult dog”
Milk is healthy for all dogs. A bowl of milk with a beaten egg yolk and a couple of pieces of whole wheat toast or dog biscuits is a standard supper dish in many kennels. There are various causes for diarrhoea, including internal parasites, indigestion, a change of diet, food poisoning, certain contagious diseases- and sometimes, but not always, milk.
If you have any good hints and tips, share them below.