One of my favourite sayings is “Lies go halfway round the world before the truth can even get its boots on”. This works for even the simplest ways in which we regard animals – specially in the field of “research”.
There are so many misconceptions about dogs and cats that dictate the way we look after them. I am going to address myself to a few food myths:
(Cooked grains and vegetables (cut up into tiny pieces) should constitute about 20- 30% of a cat's diet. These can include sweet potatoes, yams, squash, carrots, peas, green beans, spinach, corn, rice, barley, and oatmeal. Raw vegetables and fruit should constitute about 10% of your cat's diet. These can include sprouts, papaya, and wheat grass.)
Myth_Dogs are carnivores and should be fed raw meat like their ancestors: This causes a severe nutritional imbalance. Many people feeding raw food diets are feeding a higher protein concentration than is found in other diets and this may cause increases in the blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels that cause kidney failure. White blood cell counts tend to be lower in dogs fed raw food diets. A raw meat diet can increase the risk to intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, flukes or tapeworms. It causes toxoplasmosis, salmonellosis and E. coli infections. These are probably the most common food borne diseases that affect dogs when they are fed raw meat, although other problems are reported. The argument that "we all know canids have eaten raw meat for millions of years" should be seen in perspective. The average lifespan of a wild canid is very short compared to that of a pet dog and the same is true of feral felines. Wild animals do suffer from salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, campylobacter and food poisoning. People seem to believe that wild animals live a long and carefree existence and nothing could be further from the truth. They are heavily parasitised in many instances, suffer from nutritional deficiencies on a regular basis and often die very young.
Myth_Dogs should be fed bones to help clean their teeth: False. Dogs should never be fed bones for any reason. Poultry bones can be deadly if they splinter and perforate the mouth lining, esophagus, stomach, or intestine. Even large beef or pork bones can chip off. Internal bleeding can cause death. Large dogs can easily swallow whole pieces of bones that are too large to pass through their digestive tracts, with extremely dangerous results. And fish bones are as dangerous for dogs as they are for humans. Give your dog hard biscuit treats. Bones have no nutrition value for a dog and often cause death. The bone theory came from:
a) Dogs being fed leftovers and these were the only ones.
b) Dogs were used to get rid of garbage so other animals would not be attracted to homes.Myth_Cats and dogs should be fed milk: It is not good for them. For many cats, it causes digestive upset and sometimes diarrhoea. This is because most cats can't digest milk properly because it contains lactose (milk sugar), which may cause loose bowels. Dogs and cats do not have the proper enzymes to properly break down the sugar in milk which is called lactose. You may have heard of people who are lactose-intolerant. They are also missing these digestive enzymes. If the proper enzymes are not present, the lactose remains undigested and tends to ferment in the intestine and cause diarrhoea. Some pets can tolerate a little milk, others, and none at all. If your pet enjoys and appears to tolerate milk, you can give your pet small amounts. Milk and milk products are not essential in a dog's diet, but can be used occasionally to provide some variety. Undomesticated dogs do not get milk once weaned and they would never milk a cow.
Myth_Dogs should never eat salt: Dogs do not eliminate salt as efficiently as people; we sweat all over our bodies and dogs only sweat through the pads of their feet and through their tongues. Too much salt in a dog’s diet will cause kidney problems later on. However a dog that gets no salt will start eating dirt to get sodium. You can put a tiny amount in the food.
Myth_One raw egg gives cats and dogs extra nutrition: Raw eggs can cause a deficiency of the vitamin biotin, which can lead to dermatitis, hair loss and poor growth