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Dog Food And Feeding Myths You Should Stop Believing

Dog Food And Feeding Myths You Should Stop Believing

There are a lot of myths circulating about dog food and dog eating habits, but before you get too ahead of yourself, here are a few truths you should know about to find the best dog food around.

Myth 1: Certain Diets Can Cause ‘Red Coat’

This ‘red coat’ issue is a term referring to an unexpected change in coat color from any average base color to a red or reddish brown color. In the past, there have been reports of this ‘red coat’ occurrence, but the cases have been rather infrequent and inconsistent which makes the condition rather difficult to study. However, here is what we do know about this ‘red coat’ syndrome:

  • Nutrient deficiency – There is some truth that dietary deficiency of certain essential nutrients could have some adverse effect on the quality and color of their coat. For example, a deficiency of the minerals zinc or copper and of the essential amino acid phenylalanine can cause the color to dull and worsen the quality of their coat. However, there is no type of nutrient deficiency that can cause any type of ‘red coat’.
  • Beet pulp – It is rather common for beet pulp to be the targeted cause of this ‘red coat’ syndrome due to its own red color. However, the beet pulp that is used in dog food is actually not red in color to begin with, but rather it is derived from sugar beets which are grey in color. Still, there has been no evidence that the consumption of beet pulp has anything to do with a change in coat color.

Fact 1: The Actual Cause Of ‘Red Coat’

So what could change a dog’s coat to change into a red or reddish brown hue? There are actually a few environmental factors that can cause ‘red coat’ including:

  • Exposure to sunlight – Spending extra time out in the sunlight can have a bleaching effect on your dog’s coat. If your dog happens to be black in coat, it is likely that this bleaching effect will have the coat looking reddish or red in color.
  • Age – Dogs with black hair can sometimes fade naturally as they age which can turn their coat into a reddish or reddish brown color.
  • Porphyrin staining – Porphyrin can be found in tears and saliva and is responsible for a reddish staining that can be found around the eyes of certain dog breeds that are light in color. If your dog has been licking itself excessively, this can end up causing their coats to be stained by the reddish porphyrin.
  • Grooming procedures – Self-grooming aside, certain kinds of coat products that contain insecticides can cause a reddish color to appear on their coat. Additionally, frequent use of the blow dryer on your dog’s fur can occasionally cause a dilution or fading of their black coat into a reddish color.

Myth 2: Stool-Eating Is A Result Of A Nutrient Deficiency

Stool eating, also known as Coprophagy, is a pretty common condition in dogs. Contrary to popular belief, most dogs who consume stool are not suffering from a nutrient deficient diet nor do they have gastrointestinal disease. However, here is what we do know:

  • Stool eating is not unusual – As much as it may be hard to believe, eating stool is nothing new or strange for dogs. This can be due to the fact that dogs are scavengers by nature and tend to consume a lot of random items they find including their own and other animal’s stools. Additionally, female dogs will consume their puppies’ stools in order to keep their butts clean which could mean it is a learned behavior.

Fact 2: Prevention And Training Will Stop Stool-Eating

If you are determined to stop or limit the amount of stool your dog consumes, the best way to do so is to practice prevention. For example, try to be limit access to stool as much as possible with quick cleanup of the yard. Additionally, training your dog to ‘leave it’ and to reliably come when they are called can really make a difference.

Myth 3: One Dog Food Is Best For All Dogs

When it comes to dog food, it is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of deal and here is why:

  • Unique needs – Each dog will have different nutritional needs based on their breed, size, age, and health condition. While one type of dog food may be great for some dogs, but could cause others to become unwell.
  • Quality ingredients – Aside from their varying needs, not all dog foods are made with the high quality ingredients your dog needs to maintain their health. Some dog foods will use quality protein sources that will keep your dog going strong. However, others use poor sources and may have other ingredients that could end up making your dog sick instead.

Fact 3: Do The Research To Find The Best Dog Food For Your Dog

If you want to find the best dog food or diet for your loyal companion, you are going to need to do the research. First, you should consider the needs of your dog. Is your dog still just a young puppy or are they a senior now? Does your dog have any health conditions that you should worried about? Once you have thought about what nutritional needs your dog has, you should be able to find a dog food or diet that is right for them.

Secondly, you will want to check the dog labels to ensure your dog is getting best dog food available. You could even made your dog a raw dog food diet or healthy homemade dog food in order to make sure that your dog’s nutritional needs are being met.

However, if you are still unsure about whether a dog food or diet is really the best for your dog, you should check with your vet.

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