Food and health - one vet's views

Need help or advice on feeding your Schnauzer, whether it be kibble or treats, you'll find the information here. There is food reviews, recipes, remedies for poorly tummies and a wealth of feeding knowledge from your fellow Schnauzer owner. We cover BARF in a separate section.
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zeta1454
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Food and health - one vet's views

Post by zeta1454 » 19 Mar 2020, 14:09

The link between good health and good nutrition is well established now but, although many people know to avoid over processed food in their own diets to achieve better health, the same approach seems to be missing when vets advise on food for our dogs and cats. Many vet surgeries, financially linked with a particular pet food manufacturer, will stock only a single brand and in most cases this will offer varieties of highly processed kibble with little or no named quality meat.

I recently read an interesting blog post by a vet discussing nutrition and health in dogs and the link to the full article is below. The telling paragraph re the lack of nutritional knowledge or expertise in our vets can be seen here:

"...why did we only have 2 lectures on small animal nutrition in our clinical years at university? One from Hills, the pet food giants, and the other from a clinician detailing how different commercial diets were altered for different health conditions, e.g. Hills k/d for kidney disease. We were taught farm animal nutrition relatively well comparatively as, for these ‘working’ animals, optimum performance, growth and health are crucial to herd management and farm profits. But again, why only one lecture on equine nutrition from Dodson & Horrell? How are young vets supposed to advise on species appropriate feeding with little to no knowledge? "

If vets are not educated in any meaningful way in how to select biologically appropriate food for pet animals, in particular dogs and cats, the advice given to pet owners is going to be variable between that from vets who have gone out of their way to research the subject independently and those who are content to promote a big name brand for the financial support from the manufacturer.

Do read the full blog article though as it is an interesting read throughout:

https://holisticvetvicky.blogspot.com/2 ... icine.html
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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Oscar 12345
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Re: Food and health - one vet's views

Post by Oscar 12345 » 19 Mar 2020, 19:49

I have heard this before from vet students re the small amount of time they actually study nutrition whilst getting qualified. It is such a key determinant for good health you would think it was better balanced. I would like to feed a natural veg diet 1 or max 2 days/week. I think I will look in to it. Thanks for sharing and if you have any ideas on a good veg diet I would love to hear it.
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Dawnspell
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Re: Food and health - one vet's views

Post by Dawnspell » 20 Mar 2020, 12:03

Oscar 12345 wrote:
19 Mar 2020, 19:49
I have heard this before from vet students re the small amount of time they actually study nutrition whilst getting qualified. It is such a key determinant for good health you would think it was better balanced. I would like to feed a natural veg diet 1 or max 2 days/week. I think I will look in to it. Thanks for sharing and if you have any ideas on a good veg diet I would love to hear it.
Intrigued .... why do you want to feed natural veg once or twice a week ?
Our first family dog
Barney - Pocketpark Biali Eyebright 6/2/13 - 8/3/19 Gone too soon
Motto for owners who groom their own Schnauzers -"Never mind it'll soon grow back"

Oscar 12345
Member
Posts: 1260
Joined: 02 May 2017, 11:28
First Name: Julie
Dog #1: Oscar RIP Sweety
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 21 Dec 2002
Dog #2: Otto
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 04 Jul 2017

Re: Food and health - one vet's views

Post by Oscar 12345 » 20 Mar 2020, 14:45

In my mind, 3 reasons, variety, health but also environment.
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

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Dawnspell
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is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 25 Apr 2019
Location: Guernsey

Re: Food and health - one vet's views

Post by Dawnspell » 20 Mar 2020, 14:59

Dont disagree with any of that. It was the only feeding it one or two days a week rather than incorporating an odd meal in the general diet. Have you come across anything you want to give yet or found any useful research ?
Our first family dog
Barney - Pocketpark Biali Eyebright 6/2/13 - 8/3/19 Gone too soon
Motto for owners who groom their own Schnauzers -"Never mind it'll soon grow back"

Oscar 12345
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Posts: 1260
Joined: 02 May 2017, 11:28
First Name: Julie
Dog #1: Oscar RIP Sweety
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 21 Dec 2002
Dog #2: Otto
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 04 Jul 2017

Re: Food and health - one vet's views

Post by Oscar 12345 » 20 Mar 2020, 16:21

Not yet. Most articles state 5% veg which Otto gets in his completes anyway.
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

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zeta1454
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Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Food and health - one vet's views

Post by zeta1454 » 21 Mar 2020, 15:18

Oscar 12345 wrote:
19 Mar 2020, 19:49
I have heard this before from vet students re the small amount of time they actually study nutrition whilst getting qualified. It is such a key determinant for good health you would think it was better balanced. I would like to feed a natural veg diet 1 or max 2 days/week. I think I will look in to it. Thanks for sharing and if you have any ideas on a good veg diet I would love to hear it.
If you would like to try a veg. only day for whatever reason, I believe the best vegetables for dogs are the green leafy ones - cabbage, cavolo nero, broccoli and similar with a small amount of carrots which add to the vitamin content but are higher in sugar so you wouldn't want too much. There is a more comprehensive list of vegetables with further details on this link:

https://www.care.com/c/stories/6414/top ... e-perfect/

If you are feeding a diet with vegetables included in the meat each day, it probably isn't worth complicating the meals by trying to give a purely vegetable dish unless you are really serious about trying to reduce the meat content for ethical or health reasons. I can understand the ethical argument from a theoretical viewpoint but personally I would always choose to feed the most appropriate diet for our animals rather than fret over whether our dogs are contributing to climate change through their meaty dinners. I think the greatest harm is done to the planet through industrial scale farming of animals and plants which destroy ecological diversity in areas of the world and are the cause of terrible suffering and over-medication of living creatures raised for food. Small scale farming with care for the environment should be the norm in every country to reduce this although whether there would be a shortfall in available quality meat for carnivore pets might be an argument still.

Feeding dogs wholly on vegetarian or vegan diets is definitely something I find hard to accept unless there really is a serious health issue with meat or fish for an individual dog. In the vet's blog linked above, she does highlight the dilemma for anyone who wants to feed their dog the best quality and most appropriate diet but also has concerns about the ecological effect of raising animals for meat on a large scale. From my personal perspective, I try to feed our dogs what has been proven in our family to be the most appropriate diet for good health and fitness which is raw meat with bone and a small percentage (5-10%) of vegetables. I can understand people giving up their own meat (and dairy) consumption for ethical reasons as this is unlikely to have a detrimental effect on their wellbeing but, for dogs it is different and whether or not they can survive on a meatless diet, I think it is unlikely they will thrive on this. If dairy sources of protein are also removed, the replacement is often soya bean based and I do struggle to believe this is an ideal substitute for meat or fish for a carnivore.

There are now some companies who are producing vegetarian dog food (Lily's kitchen do a vegetarian variety) and vegan if anyone is interested in these:

https://www.ethicalpets.co.uk/vegan/vegan-dog-food
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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