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Why You Shouldn’t Apply Your Fad Diet To Your Dog

Why You Shouldn’t Apply Your Fad Diet To Your Dog

By Mary-Jane Gallagher

Fad diets are often quick “fixes”. In fact, 69% of them fail to show any significant results. Although trendy, they often promise an unattainable goal. Oftentimes, what becomes a fad diet amongst humans become a fad diet for their pets as well. Thus, it is important to remember that fad diets are not created equally; whether you are looking for a weight loss diet for your dog, or wanting to ensure that they are getting all the nutrition they need, human fad diets are risky. Animals require a different diet than humans, and it is important that your rescue dog is getting the nutrition needed to live a long happy, healthy life.

The Good in Gluten

You can tell a lot by a dog’s diet; from their coat, to their energy, and health, what they eat is an important discussion to have. If you are bringing home a new dog, you will spend time worrying about which diet will work for your new pet. Human diets simply will not work. While humans are able to build certain proteins from different amino acids, dogs can not. This is important to note if you are trying to give your dog a gluten free diet. Such a diet is often grain-free, substituting it for peas, potatoes, beans and other starches. For humans, grain-free diets such as Paleo or Keto diets are low carb diets designed to help people shed the pounds and keep them off. However, for dogs, these are less nutritious lacking important vitamins and minerals for their health. Some studies done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have announced that there might be a link between grain-free dog food and a type of canine heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). This disease occurs when the heart enlarges and doesn’t pump blood properly.

Long Term Dietary Effects

The problem with fad diets is that they do not have enough research to show the effects long term. Thus, it is hard to tell if such a diet is safe for humans, let alone dogs. It is also important to remember that if you are giving your dog human food that is keto friendly, know the ingredients. Xylitol, a popular low-carb replacement for sugar is extremely dangerous to dogs as it can drop their blood sugar to seizure-inducing levels in an amount as small as 0.1 grams. Other foods to watch out for as Macadamia nuts and uncooked salmon.

Canines are Carnivorous

When you live a vegetarian lifestyle, it may be tempting to have your dog follow the same diet. While there are a variety of reasons why humans decide to go vegetarian, when it comes to canines, this might not be the best diet for them. Dogs, like humans, are omnivores, meaning that they consume all kinds of foods originating from both animals and plants. Thus, to have a balanced diet they need more nutrients than a vegetarian diet can provide. The removal of meat from your dog’s diet can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea and vomiting. Long term, a vegetarian canine diets can lead to severe nutritional deficiency, which can snowball into a number of health problems such as vision disorders, musculoskeletal issues, and cardiovascular disease.

While it is normal to want the best for your rescue or foster dog, it is important to not impose human diets, especially fad diets, upon a dog. While it might be beneficial to humans, you can effectively be denying your pooch the nutrients needed for them to thrive. If you have any questions in regards to your pet’s diet, always contact your veterinarian.

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