Myth No. 2: ‘Grain is a cheap filler in food and triggers allergies.’
Grain often gets bad press when it comes to nutrition. Some people claim grain has properties that trigger allergies, while others think it has a negative effect on conditions such as diabetes or arthritis. But in fact there is no scientific evidence for these claims. Furthermore, only 5 per cent of allergies are attributed to food ingredients. Grains are an important source of nutrients – in addition to carbohydrates as an energy source, they also contain protein, fibre and important trace elements and vitamins. Fibre forms the basis for optimal functioning of the intestines and healthy intestinal flora.
Myth No. 3: ‘High meat content in the food means high quality.’
High meat content is as yet not a quality criterion for good dog food. For one thing, there are special formulations, such as renal diets or food for senior pets, which do not have high protein levels with good reason. Secondly, the terms ‘meat’ and ‘meat content’ are not clearly defined. Each manufacturer can interpret these differently. While we may understand meat to mean flesh, or muscle meat, a butcher deems ‘meat’ to be every part of the slaughtered animal which is suitable for human consumption, i.e. rind, bacon fat, soup bones, oxtail, and organs such as the tongue, heart or liver. In dog nutritional terms, it makes sense to use not just the muscle meat, but also other elements – after all, wolves eat almost every part of their prey, so pure muscle meat is only a small part of their diet. There is also an important difference as to whether the stated meat content refers to fresh or dried ingredients (listed as ‘lamb’ or ‘lamb, dried’, for example). Fresh ingredients contain high levels of water, and the meat content can therefore seem higher at first glance. Specifying the ‘proportion of animal protein in total protein’ would be the ideal way to achieve a direct comparison of different products. This is often used and stated by manufacturers as a quality standard. The stated crude protein content includes plant protein as well as animal protein.