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"The Thinking Person's Pet Food"™ – Since 1979

22 Pet Food Fallacies

By Dr. Wysong

1) As long as a pet is fed a "100% complete and balanced" pet food, it will not suffer from nutritionally related diseases.

False. Science does not have 100% knowledge of anything, much less nutrition. A 100% complete and balanced diet implies 100% complete knowledge – and since that is not true, the 100% complete and balanced manufactured diet is a myth.

2) If the ingredient listings on two different pet foods are the same, it means that both pet foods contain the same things.

False. Names of ingredients may vary, the same ingredients may vary in quality, and relative levels of ingredients may differ widely even though the ingredient listings may be identical. A food with 30% chicken meat, bone and giblets and 15% whole brown rice can have the same ingredient listing as a food with 20% chicken heads, feet and intestines and 20% refined white rice. Same label, but vastly different nutrition.

3) If the label on a pet food bag reads chicken, beef, lamb, cheese, rice, and so forth, the package contains basically the same foods humans eat.

False. The ingredients used in pet foods are usually by-products of the human food industry. Manufacturers mislead consumers by picturing human-type foods in advertisements but then use materials entirely different than in the pictures. For example, dressed grocery store chicken is not the same as pet food ingredient "chicken" which usually is comprised of heads, feet and intestinal tracts. Grocery store steaks and roasts are not the same as the pet food ingredient "beef" which may consist of almost any part of a cow carcass.

4) Feeding pets raw bones is more dangerous than feeding commercial pet foods along with biscuits to clean the pet's teeth.

False. Raw bones were eaten by dogs and cats for eons before manufactured super-bow-wow biscuits. Furthermore, animals in the wild do not experience the dental disease that modern companion animals do. Processed biscuits add interesting variety to the diet but do little more for teeth cleaning than do dry pet foods.

5) The present dental and gum disease epidemic in pets is not related to the complete and balanced pet foods they are eating.

False. Biscuits and nuggets may be crunchy, but do not adequately clean an animal's teeth. They can leave a gummy plaque which serves as a matrix leading to gum disease and dental caries. Additionally, additives, sweeteners and other refined or artificial ingredients in processed foods can damage teeth in animals just as they do in humans.

6) Table scraps should not be fed because they will upset the "balance" of formulated pet foods, and because they are of inferior quality to packaged pet foods.

False. Good table scraps (not human junk food leftovers) are excellent for animals when fed in variety. Most pet foods contain ingredients from the same food families as those found on the human dinner table. Fresh foods from the dinner table have increased freshness and nutrient value over their processed pet food counterparts.

7) A pet food that has passed the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) feeding trial tests will be just fine as a pet's only food.

False. Such feeding trials are only 26 weeks long. Additionally they are performed on caged laboratory animals. Such testing does not assure animal owners that optimal health will be maintained if these products are fed exclusively over a lifetime. In fact, foods passing such tests have caused serious, even fatal, nutritional diseases.

8) If a pet has an allergy, this can be cured by eliminating pet foods that contain the offending ingredient and buying a new special allergy formula pet diet.

False. The cause of modern pet food allergy is not a pet food ingredient. The cause is a compromised immune system as a result of a compromised modern lifestyle and singularly fed, manufactured diets. Seldom does a pet have an allergy to the singular ingredients for which they test positive for if these ingredients are fed fresh, raw and whole. When pet foods are manufactured, the ingredients are altered and complexed into new forms of chemical combinations for which it is impossible to predict sensitivity. The only way to know if an animal is sensitive or allergic to a food is to feed it.

9) The more digestible a food is, the better that food is.

False. If percentage digestibility is the key to good nutrition then that would mean that a 100% digestible diet - zero fecal output - would be the best diet of all. This is of course absurd. Animals need some bulk and indigestible material for a properly functioning digestive tract. A small, firm, hard stool that is easy for owners to discard does not necessarily equate with good nutrition or health.

10) Pet foods in paper bags can retain their full nutritional value for many months.

False. Who would like to eat meat, dairy products, cereals and grain products after they had been stored on a shelf for months, or perhaps longer than a year? Yet this is what is suggested by pet food manufacturers who guarantee shelf lives for many months and even a year. Rocks and cardboard last indefinitely on a shelf — wholesome foods do not. Time is the enemy of good nutritional value. Nutrition is not mortuary science. Freshness should be of utmost importance to animal owners regardless of shelf life claims.

11) More expensive premium-brand pet foods are better than cheaper brands.

False. An expensive brand can actually cost less to produce than a more inexpensive brand. Often the price of a food is set based upon marketing costs rather than actual ingredient value. The high cost of modern day marketing and advertising can result in more marketing in the bag than nutrition.

12) The majority of the cost of a pet food is related to the quality of ingredients.

False. The majority of the cost of most commercial products is due to markups, packaging and advertising, not nutritional value.

13) Pet food processing does not change the nutritional value of the ingredients listed on the label.

False. The high heat and pressure used in modern food processing greatly alters, diminishes and can completely destroy or even convert to toxins some important food elements. Pet owners are mistaken if they look at an ingredient listing and picture in their minds fresh foods as they see them in a grocery store.

14) Overweight pets need to be put on "Lite" formulas and fiber to lose weight.

False. Most "Lite" formulas increase the fiber content of the food and decrease fats and meats. The cause of obesity in modern pets is not a lack of fiber. The cause is high carbohydrate processed foods, sedentary living, pampering with snacks, and feeding more food than is necessary to sustain the animal's activity.

15) A high protein food is a better quality food.

False. A high protein percentage does not speak to the value of protein. If large quantities of low-value protein are consumed, organ stress can occur and damage to the animal's metabolic systems can result. Quality of protein, particularly as available in fresh products, is far more important than quantity.

16) Pets require special life stage diets.

False. In the wild, animals eat essentially one diet consisting of a variety of raw, natural foods for their entire life. A 10-year-old wolf eats the same foods as a 3-month-old one. Life stage formulation is a marketing scheme, not a nutritional necessity.

17) Cats on foods with low ash and magnesium, and high acid, will not develop urinary problems.

False. Cats don't develop FUS because of magnesium and ash. They develop FUS because of the sedentary home-bound lifestyle imposed upon them and because they are being fed commercial diets that have deviated too far from the natural, fresh, raw foods the animal was adapted to.

18) Feeding an animal raw meats, organs and bones is dangerous.

False. There is no evidence to demonstrate that feeding fresh raw foods from the grocery store can cause more harm than feeding processed, embalmed, fractionated, additive-laden, synthetically fortified products from pet food manufacturers. In fact, animals survived for eons in good health, and still do in the wild, eating raw unprocessed foods.

19) Veterinarians are highly schooled in cat and dog nutrition.

False. Most veterinarians have at most one or two nutrition classes in school. Most of the nutritional propaganda education they get is that presented to them by commercial pet food interests, both during their school years and while in practice. Veterinarians who are truly skilled in nutrition and preventive health develop such skills on their own.

20) Pets today are living longer, healthier lives than before packaged pet foods came along.

False. In fact, animals in the wild with sufficient natural food sources do not have the chronic degenerative diseases that are ravaging modern pet populations being exclusively fed supposedly "complete and balanced" modern processed pet foods.

21) Animals will not get nutritional diseases if they eat foods from a reputable manufacturer who has performed AAFCO feeding trial studies.

False. Exclusive feeding of processed food, regardless of "100% complete" claims, is highly risky. Thousands of animals have become nutritionally diseased in the past due to such reliance. Examples include mycotoxemia, as well as, imbalances in zinc, potassium, and taurine. Additionally, there is evidence of degenerative diseases that arise later in life – obesity, periodontitis, cancer, arthritis, autoimmunities, hormone imbalance, organ disease, digestive problems, cataracts, skin disorders, and susceptibility to infection – directly related to feeding processed foods exclusively. Health may be fine during a short term feeding study or while animals have the vigor of youth, but this apparent nutritional adequacy is deceptive, obscuring the relationship of later life diseases to processed foods.

22) If I feed raw meats, I will cause food poisoning.

False. In the wild, the only diet for carnivores is raw meat. They will also eat scavenged decaying food that is teeming with bacteria. Steam cleaned, sterile processed foods are not a natural diet. Although pets today may not have healthy populations of protective intestinal flora (a result in itself of eating processed sterilized foods) and may have a bout of digestive upset from food-borne pathogens in raw foods, the alternative of getting serious degenerative disease later in life from sterile processed foods is a far greater risk. Raw foods should be a part of the daily diet of pets to help insure optimal nutrition. Probiotic organisms incorporated into Wysong Diets and supplements help prevent food-borne illness when raw foods are fed.

Scientific documentation for the above answers is contained in the following:

::FURTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE::
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  • The Synorgon Diet: How To Achieve Healthy Weight In A World Of Excess - Provides a fundamental, unique understanding for why excess weight in people and animals is a modern epidemic. A solution is described which requires no dieting. 270 pp. illustrated, scientifically referenced, and indexed. Soft-cover $12.95
  • Optimal Health Program - An overview health guideline for humans and animals, that over 35 years of research and a thorough review of the medical literature has revealed. Free
  • The Truth About Pet Foods - A 256 page, 32 chapter book describing the crisis in the modern approach to animal feeding. A definite eye-opening wake-up call for anyone wanting to avoid modern pet feeding traps and learn how to take intelligent control of health. Soft-cover $12.95.
  • Rationale for Animal Nutrition - Exposes dangerous myths in today's pet food industry and provides the key to unlocking the good health possible with proper nutrition. 104 pp. illustrated, scientifically referenced, and indexed. Soft-cover $9.95
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