Some commercial foods can make your pet sick as a dog, study finds

Some types of dog food dramatically increase the risk of your pet developing chronic enteropathy (CE), a gastro-intestinal disorder characterised by diarrhoea, vomiting and weight loss, a new study has found.

Dog owners should not feed them a highly processed carbohydrate-based kibble diet as it is “associated with increased risk of gastro-intestinal problems” later in life, research published in Scientific Reports suggests.

Popular rawhide bones and chews are also a no-go.

An RSPCA spokesperson told The New Daily there are significant risks associated with diets that don’t meet nutritional or safety standards.

“The most important thing is that the food is safe and meets the animal’s nutritional requirements, which is why we recommend a high-quality, balanced premium commercial diet that meets these standards,” the spokesperson said.

Researchers said a diet of non-processed meat, leftovers from the dinner table, and raw bones during puppyhood and adolescence may protect dogs against gastro-intestinal disorders later in life.

Feeding puppies raw bones or cartilage a couple of times a week was also associated with a 33.2 per cent reduced risk of CE, while feeding berries a couple of times a year saw a reduced risk of 28.7 per cent.

However, giving puppies processed and chemically treated rawhides daily was associated with a 117.2 per cent increased risk of CE.

The authors stressed that further studies are needed to confirm these results, including those that assess the diet of dogs over their lifetime.

dog food

Further studies are needed to confirm the results of the study. Photo: Getty

Choosing the right food for your pet

Like humans, dogs have specific nutritional needs.

They require a balanced diet with the appropriate amount of energy and a combination of essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids.

The amounts required depends on factors such as size, breed and lifestyle.

Massey University (NZ) associate professor in small animal medicine and nutrition, Nick Cave, told The New Daily it’s important to give dogs food that is healthy, safe and easy to digest.

He said feeding your dog an “incomplete, unbalanced, toxic or contaminated” diet is a major concern.

Dr Cave said he had seen numerous cases of animals being harmed due to poor nutrition, leading to various health issues such as skin infections, joint problems and digestive problems.

Topics: Pets
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