For many years there were only a couple of brands of dog foods that were a lamb-based protein source. The lamb protein foods were very good hypoallergenic foods for dogs suffering from food allergies. However, several different companies jumped on the band wagon producing dog food with lamb proteins, yet the foods also contained other sources of protein. The additional sources of protein rendered the food unacceptable for dogs with food allergies.
Most recently, the pet food industry has attempted to market pet foods that are gluten free. They are marketing pet foods based solely on human foods and the need for gluten free diets for people that are sensitive to gluten. Approximately 10 percent of the total human population is sensitive to gluten.
Presently, there are no scientific studies showing any pets having sensitivity to gluten. So, since there are no concerns regarding gluten sensitivity in pets, the only basis for gluten free pet food lies with marketing based on human nutrition and has nothing to do with pet nutrition. It is truly an absurd concept! Pets do not need any kind of gluten free food.
Recently, our oldest daughter fell for the sales pitch for gluten free food from a pet store employee and a sales representative for the “specialized” pet food. She didn’t just take the bait; she took the hook, line and sinker. In just a few short minutes she was convinced to completely change her new growing puppy’s food from an extremely reputable brand of food to one that neither she nor I had ever even heard of. When I asked her why she switched her puppy’s food; her response was “Because it is gluten free!”
However, she stumbled to repeat the rest of the sales pitch and could not answer what was the protein source, percentage of protein, and percentage of fat in the fashionable gluten free food. I was nearly knocked over when I found out that the morsels of food are heart shaped. Gluten free and heart shaped pet food; who wouldn’t fall for that?
It never ceases to amaze me when pet owners take advice about their pets from non-professional individuals who are more than happy to part with their knowledge as if they are pet experts. The most common sources of “pet experts” are breeders, pet store employees, family members, neighbors, and basically anyone willing to post their opinions on the internet.
However, I guess that’s how our brains are wired in today’s society. Most of us are guilty of watching and listening to infomercials wanting to believe that weight loss can be as easy as the newest gimmick on television being displayed by young, skinny, flawless bodies. It would certainly be a lot easier than diet and exercise that our doctors declare necessary for weight loss.
Nevertheless, most parents aren’t likely to take advice about what to feed their newborn baby from anyone other than their pediatrician. The point is that your veterinarian is the only one with a doctor’s degree in veterinary medicine, which includes nutrition. Why would anyone ask someone other than their veterinarian about their pet’s nutrition?
Therefore, if you have any concerns about what to feed your pet, contact your veterinarian to ensure your pet lives a long, healthy and happy life.