Pet Food Myths

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Pets should/should not be fed grains.

It depends on your perspective and your pet:

  • For some pets, whole grains can serve as a source of essential nutrients. (Just as with human food products, refined grains do not provide the same benefits as whole grains.)
  • Some pets may have food allergies or sensitivities to certain grains. For these animals, a food without the offending grain, or a grain-free diet, may be a better choice.
  • Some pets may experience weight gain or gastrointestinal side effects if they consume a certain type or amount of grain. Others consume them without any problem.
  • In general, experts do not recommend foods that contain grains as "filler" or as the primary ingredient. Though this guideline may not apply to every pet.

Switching foods causes stomach upset.

Depending on the animal and the type of food they have been eating, this may or may not happen when you make a switch. To play it safe, many pet food companies recommend that you make the switch gradually, by mixing in slightly larger proportions of the new food with the old each day. However, some veterinarians actually recommend varying foods from day to day. It is a choice that must be made with your individual pet's and family's needs in mind.

Pets should never eat "people food."

It's true that some of our favorite foods are not particularly healthy for pets—often for the same reasons they aren't healthy for us (think: french fries, ice cream)—and some are even dangerous in certain quantities (think: chocolate, grapes, onions). But most experts agree that a wide range of whole foods are fine for our furry friends, including some fruits and veggies. These foods are a part of many natural pet food formulas available commercially, and they can be used to supplement the diet, to make homemade pet food, or to give as treats on a regular basis and during training. For guidance, consult a veterinarian first.

A pet's bad breath is inevitable.

With proper dental care, a healthy pet should have fresh breath. Bad breath can be a sign of periodontal disease or other problems. Visit a veterinarian to have your pet evaluated.