Recent study on different types of dog food

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zeta1454
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Recent study on different types of dog food

Post by zeta1454 » 09 Sep 2018, 12:12

The number of people turning to raw or homemade diets for their dogs is increasing in the UK and elsewhere, and a recent study in the USA was carried out with a small number of beagles (8) over a limited time (one month) to have a look at different types of dog food. Given the very limited nature of the study, in terms of numbers of dogs and time span, it would not have been possible to come to many significant conclusions over whether or not one diet was superior to the others in terms of long term health, longevity etc. However, it did show up some unexpected results and the very fact that the study was carried out and published in the Veterinary Times is a step towards a meaningful look at the benefits of a less processed diet for our dogs.

The focus of the study was to look at the digestive system of the participant dogs, how much they liked the food, how active or not they were on each food, and analyses of blood and poo were also taken. The diets given included as well as kibble, a lightly cooked roasted diet, a grain free roasted diet, raw diet all based on the same protein source (chicken), some additional meats and added nutrients from plants, herbs etc.

According to the study, the dogs enjoyed all the meals (although as beagles are notoriously greedy this is probably no surprise at all :)) ) and there was no difference noted in activity levels. What did apparently surprise was that despite the raw food and the grain free lightly cooked food being higher in fat, they actually resulted in lower blood triglyceride levels than the kibble. This is particularly interesting for anyone who may be discouraged from choosing a raw (or home cooked ) diet for a dog who suffers from conditions where "low fat" food is needed. The lightly cooked and the raw food were also more easily digested than the kibble. They also found the internal microbes in the digestive system of the dogs were noticeably different in the kibble fed dogs from those on the other types of diet which did show that the "gut flora" can adapt to a changed environment from one kind of food to another without detriment to the dog's well being. Although the scientists conducting the study were unwilling to commit to any overall benefit of one diet over the others (understandably considering the small scale of participant dogs and timescale), there were no negative connotations to the raw or home cooked diets and a longer term study with a much greater number and range of participant dogs would certainly be interesting to see.

The attached picture is an image of the article in the Veterinary Times concerning the study:


Image
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Re: Recent study on different types of dog food

Post by Oscar 12345 » 09 Sep 2018, 16:01

Leigh interesting thanks. I would be interested in the long term effects of these diets. It would be really good if there was a survey over several years and by breed comparing feed with types of illness that owners have experienced. That would be really useful for us schnauzer lovers. However, I am sure the pet food manufacturers would find a way to discredit the survey if it didn't conclude in their favour.
Otto's motto - Everything's a toy unless it's edible...

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zeta1454
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Re: Recent study on different types of dog food

Post by zeta1454 » 13 Sep 2018, 10:43

Oscar 12345 wrote:
09 Sep 2018, 16:01
Leigh interesting thanks. I would be interested in the long term effects of these diets. It would be really good if there was a survey over several years and by breed comparing feed with types of illness that owners have experienced. That would be really useful for us schnauzer lovers. However, I am sure the pet food manufacturers would find a way to discredit the survey if it didn't conclude in their favour.
I think part of the problem with any long term study (on humans as well as dogs) only comparing the effect of food on health could be affected by so many other factors. "Official" studies tend to be based on laboratory testing with dogs which are raised for the purpose and in real life of course breed, welfare of parent dogs, environment, stress factors, neutering, vaccinations, other chemical treatments, exposure to natural or manmade toxins in the environment can all impact on health over a period of time. I suppose a wide ranging survey of older dogs only might help to show up those which could put down their longevity and fitness to their diet but, as you say, there will always be those with a vested interest in a particular result that may dispute anything that does not come out in their favour.

From personal experience with our dogs over twenty years: our first three miniature schnauzers from a good breeder were fed a premium kibble (1996-2007). We changed to raw on getting our first affenpinscher in 2007 as he would only eat raw meat and we decided to put all four on to a raw diet. The minis had intermittent digestive upsets although nothing major and the two eldest lived to 14 years and 13 years six months. The third mini passed away at 11 but his condition was not diet related. Our current eleven raw fed dogs range in age from 11 years to 7 months and digestive upsets are virtually non existent. We have not needed veterinary treatment for a disease or illness for any of them over the past years.....but having said that, we do now not revaccinate our dogs after the initial jab and apart from the eldest dog who had one Lepto2 jab as a puppy we have not given any of the Lepto vaccines to the others or used chemical flea treatments or wormers on the dogs.

Although I do think a raw meat diet is the most appropriate for a dog and least likely to trigger or aggravate allergies, digestive issues, skin conditions, overweight problems, I am sure that dogs can live a healthy life on other types of diet as long as the ingredients are made up of high quality meat / fish protein and minimal or no processed grains / legumes. This is my personal view of course although people I know whose dogs are raw fed are all very enthusiastic about the good health of their dogs (many of course do also minimally vaccinate and avoid chemical flea treatments so maybe it does reflect an overall view of how to keep dogs well rather than diet alone :) )
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

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zeta1454
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Re: Recent study on different types of dog food

Post by zeta1454 » 14 Sep 2018, 15:58

Julie re your question about processed legumes:

Legumes are foods such as lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, peas etc. which are a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans but are also processed to add to commercial dog food especially those marketed as grain free. The main problem for anyone buying dog food containing these products is that the protein percentage on the label may not reflect the protein from the quality meat / fish sources only which are the best ones for dogs but may include the legume sources which are less helpful. There is not a problem in processed legumes in minimal quantity in dog food but they can be used as a cheap filler and to boost protein content in some foods. Although it is not yet proven, there is also some concern that high levels of legumes in commercial dog food may be a contributing factor in a rise in certain heart conditions in dogs.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

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Re: Recent study on different types of dog food

Post by Oscar 12345 » 14 Sep 2018, 16:18

The word processed threw me, it sounded like it was beyond just cooked as in processed meat, ham, bacon, sausgage etc. I am assuming that your comment regarding legumes in commercial dog food is back to the taurine deficiency study from a veg only diet so the lack of meat rather than the high level of legume??
Otto's motto - Everything's a toy unless it's edible...

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zeta1454
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Posts: 3596
Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 20 Apr 2010
Dog #2: Trilby
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Recent study on different types of dog food

Post by zeta1454 » 14 Sep 2018, 20:35

Yes re the taurine deficiency studies although I think the jury is out so far as to whether there is anything in legumes that may be a problem. Dogs generally make their own taurine (as do humans) unlike cats who need to get this from their food.

“Processed” can just mean ‘cooked’ but with dog food this varies from the light processing of home cooking or the equivalent to the industrial extrusion process that much kibble undergoes. This method cooks the ingredients at exceptionally high temperatures and pressure, destroying nutrients in the process, some of which will be added back in while the ‘food’ is coated in oils /fats to make it palatable but which may be far less good for health than gentle cooking or raw whether meat, vegetables or legumes.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud

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