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13 myths about your dog's nutrition

13 mitos sobre la nutrición de tu perro

Lobo Azul |

It is surprising how many myths exist around dog nutrition . In this post we review some of the most false beliefs, because knowing more precisely the true implications that different types of products have on your pet will also allow you to avoid possible risks, in addition to helping you maintain a healthier diet for your dog. healthy, according to its particular characteristics.

Chocolate is toxic to dogs (Yes, but with nuances)

One of the most replicated myths about chocolate is that it is a toxic substance that you should never give to your dogs even by mistake, as it will be necessary to call the vet. This has an important nuance that we will analyze below. Although there is some truth in this statement, in reality it corresponds only to certain harmful components that some chocolates have; particularly methylxanthine - better known as theobromine - which is a substance found mainly in dark chocolates . Chocolate is toxic to dogs
In reality, to poison your pet with white chocolate it would have to eat about 21 kilograms if it is a medium-sized dog, or 13 kg if it is a small dog. That is, only if you ingest quantities that multiply your own weight could they become lethal quantities, according to data from researcher Debora Lichtenberg . The veterinary doctor also details that the darker the chocolate, the more the possibility of poisoning increases. For example, if it is milk chocolate, a medium-sized dog would need 1.3 kg, so if your dog inadvertently ingests a small portion, it will not represent a major threat. Although, if it is dark chocolate, 85 grams may be enough to cause significant discomfort in a medium-sized dog, so it could be a problem if he were to eat a whole box. Actually, we have the greatest risk of toxicity in chocolates that have been baked . 14 grams could be enough to generate a reaction in small dogs, although this figure increases to about 40 grams in the case of large dogs (+13 kg). That is, only in these types of cases can these statements be considered more than simple myths.

Some foods make them more aggressive

Among the myths that have been widely debunked is the belief that some foods such as chili or raw meat can cause a higher level of aggression in dogs, even being used intentionally for this purpose. Myth some foods make you aggressive
However, in reality these types of components have a minimal and almost zero impact on aggressiveness, and on the other hand, education and the type of treatment they receive have much more influence on its proliferation.

They should never eat bones (Yes, but with nuances)

This is one of the most widespread myths about nutrition in dogs. During the thousands of years of evolution of this carnivorous animal, bones are something that have always been present, as they also fulfill important nutritional and motor functions. Although, like all myths, this belief arises from certain shades of truth; And there are indeed bones that could cause harm to your pet , although if you choose the most appropriate ones, and take the necessary precautions, you will be doing them a good by providing them with this type of food frequently. They should not eat bones
The first thing you should rule out from the start is to give them bones that have been boiled , about which organizations such as the British Veterinary Association (BVA) have warned, as this prevents spraying and increases the possibility of causing damage throughout the entire process. digestive system; Likewise, the bones of the spinal cord can be lethal due to their shape and hardness, and it is also recommended to avoid ribs or those from pork , as they have a greater tendency to produce splinters. In any case, it is advisable to maintain vigilance during intake or when using them to play, to better ensure that some type of incident does not occur; although they generally have the ability to crush them and eat them safely, which will be providing them with essential elements such as calcium and phosphorus, in addition to helping them clean and strengthen their teeth, as well as stimulating the digestive system and facilitating expulsion of toxins.

You should never give him leftovers (Yes, but with nuances)

This is another myth that actually has more falsehood than truth, because, although it is true that if you ate pizza , hot dogs or other examples of processed food, the damage you can cause will be more than the nutrition you can provide. ; In fact, recent research such as that carried out by scientists at the Walsworth Institute has shown that if it is leftover food from fresh foods , it can provide multiple nutritional supplements of great value for your dog. So, it all depends on what you have eaten. Leftovers
That is, if you ate pasta, rice, potatoes, as well as some raw vegetables and fresh fruits, the nutritional contribution will be important and useful for your pet. Just remember that acidic fruits - orange, tomato, etc. -, garlic, onions, grapes and avocado or other fruits with very large stones - unless you make sure to remove them - are contraindicated. You should also be careful with spices and seasonings.

They need a lot of carbohydrates

In carbohydrates we have another example of nutrition myths for dogs, since they are frequently associated with energy; and although it is true that they can fulfill a function in this sense, there is also evidence that there are other substances that perform this same task. So, in reality, there is no known exclusive function of carbohydrates in dogs.
Running dog
Researchers such as Wendy Volhard and Kerry Brown agree that “carbohydrate deficiency” does not exist in dogs, or at least no serious and widespread implications have been found.

They eat grass if they feel bad

Also mainly myths are the beliefs that dogs eat grass when something bad is happening to them and they seek to somehow regenerate their digestive system. Although this may have a bit of truth, in reality scientific studies have shown that it is a very common behavior that is present in almost 4 out of every 5 canids, without their health being the main reason.
dog eating grass
In reality, it is mainly a normal behavior inherited from genetic ancestors such as wolves, which maintain these habits as a way to reduce anxiety - and a little hunger - while in the wild, in addition to the fact that this generates gastric acids and stimulates intestinal contractions, promoting digestion. This, combined with the physical qualities of the herb, also allows it to drag in worms and bacteria, thus purging your stomach. Although this is generally done routinely and without being motivated by any discomfort in your dog, only in some unusual cases in which intense episodes occur where your pet eagerly and quickly seeks to eat the grass or other herbs, you could have something stuck in your digestive system. Which could be an instinct to try to cause vomiting. Only in this type of case can it be a warning sign that justifies a priority consultation with your veterinarian.

You may be interested in reading: Why do dogs eat grass?

Cow's milk is good for puppies

Persistent advertising is often capable of creating myths and making us forget the obvious, such as that cow's milk is from cows, and that it can actually be harmful to most mammals. This is one of the myths particularly linked to newborn puppies. This type of milk contains a high proportion of sugar and lactose, which makes it difficult to digest , even more so at this stage. Can puppies drink cow's milk
And although it may represent a certain contribution of some minerals, this is not the most recommended way for your puppies, as it is more likely to cause gas, diarrhea and even vomiting. So, even if you want to use it only as a way to moisten and soften their kibbles, it will be more useful if you do it with water and allow natural breastfeeding as widely as possible.

You want shiny hair on your dog, give him an egg

This phrase is another of the myths that abound about dog care. But instead of taking advice without a reliable source into consideration, we suggest you take into account the warnings from organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who have warned about the negative effects on metabolism generated by avidin. , a substance that is present in raw egg yolks. Eggs are not good for dogs
If what you want is to improve the appearance of its coat, you must start with its nutrition, which must be balanced and with sufficient proteins, in addition to sporadic bathing and regular brushing will also be major factors in taking care of its shine and vitality.

If I give him feed from a stronger breed I will make him grow more

There are also myths lacking scientific support to believe that by feeding your small, calm breed of dog with food for dogs with higher nutritional needs you will increase its fierceness and growth capacity.
Food for dogs with higher nutritional needs
Your pet's physiognomic abilities are dictated by genetic information and other factors of real importance; And although it is true that a better diet will allow you to give life to a stronger, healthier and even larger pet, this is determined by the efficiency of the nutrients that your pet specifically needs, according to its breed and age.

You can take harmless medicines

If you think your dog has some type of discomfort, the myths that suggest that children's pain relievers can be used safely in dogs is another serious mistake that can put your pet at serious risk . Medicines
Medicines for humans are not suitable, nor have they been verified in dogs, and even many of the most common ones, such as paracetamol, have been shown to cause stomach ulcers, in addition to causing serious damage to your pet's liver or kidneys.

Dogs should always have their food available

Beware of myths, even today there are those who believe that they pamper their pet better if they leave them a bowl full of food all the time. However, multiple scientific investigations have documented that it is actually convenient for dogs to also have their regular meal times. Food always available
In this way, not only will their digestive system function at a better rhythm, thus facilitating times for exercise and rest, but it will also help you if what you are looking for is to create times for them to carry out their evacuation needs, also avoiding problems such as obesity.

You can eat as many sweets as you deserve

Likewise, it is also important to take care of the amount of treats you give your pet. If you are in a training session, where you want to reward their “good deeds”, it is important that you apply limits , since these types of foods are designed to be snacks that are harmless on an occasional basis. In addition, they may contain multiple elements with excess toxic capacities. Dog treats
The excessive provision of sweets will also delimit the “special” meaning of the reward, thus reducing its psychological impact.

Organic food is the best for my dog

Sometimes myths and a false conception are also created around products labeled as “organic”, and although it is true that in theory it is an advantage to opt for products free of fertilizers, hormones or pesticides, it is also important to consider the reality. We are not saying that organic is bad , but what should be kept in mind is that it is not a “perfect food” label, which will necessarily represent the best alternative for your pet. From the outset, consider that many companies of dubious origin use this emblem only for commercial purposes and without actually guaranteeing its origin - be careful with those products whose company does not have a page or telephone number where you can make inquiries - in addition to the fact that there are also commercial traps, where feeds are provided very “organic”, but when you review the nutrient table in detail, you detect that in reality the largest proportion is of compounds with little nutritional contribution for your pet, which is of major importance. Choosing the correct food for your dog depends on its characteristics, so it is advisable to make sure you choose the most appropriate food for your dog.


Many myths about dog nutrition actually have very little truth and a lot of lies, and others are based on reality and distorted. Conclusion canine nutrition myths
In conclusion, it should be noted that the best diet you can offer your pet is the highest quality feed, thus ensuring balanced and safe nutrition.
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