Sitting down with Kyle Baker a pet nutrition expert, we walk through the top 5 dog food myths to debunk some old wives tales and learn some new tricks.
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Here’s the transcript of our conversation:
Welcome to your Dogcast, where we feature news just for dog lovers. Here’s your Rover reporter. Mary Lou Davidson
This podcast is brought to you by DogPerfect.com with three locations in Sarasota, Florida.
Mary Lou. Hello, and welcome to the podcast. Today, we’re talking about one of the things your dog loves the most dog food! There’s so much confusion and crosstalk about dog food. There are myths. There are old wives tales, and there are things that we just believe because we hear them. But today I wanted to take a minute and see if we can dispel some of those myths. So I’ve brought in an expert. It’s Kyle Baker, he’s the Senior Pet Food Nutritionist for DogPerfect. And he’s joining us to set the record straight. Hey Kyle, thanks for joining us,
Kyle Baker (00:49): Hello Everyone.
Mary Lou (00:51):Number one on our list of dog food myths is:
Dogs need kibble for good dental health. What do you think Kyle?
Kyle Baker (00:59):
That was a myth started by a dog food company so they can sell more kibble, unlike human beings, , dogs have no amylase in their saliva. Amylase is the, is the enzyme that breaks down carbs and starches in, in our, in our mouth. Um, and dogs don’t have that, , dogs, their whole, what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to get, , food down to their stomach. That’s where all the digestion starts. So dogs have an elastic stomach, so they fill their stomach up and all the acid comes into the stomach. And that’s where digestion begins. Sometimes if we eat kibble, when they crush a little kid, all those little, those little small pieces of kibble shards get in between the gods and teeth and that’s actually what causes bad dental health. Um, so it’s kind of the opposite. Kibble will cause more dental issues than actually helps.
Mary Lou (01:47):Wow. So it’s not true. Dogs don’t need kibble for dental health.
Kyle Baker (01:52):
No, all those extra sugars feed in the, in the bacteria that causes plaque and tartar in a mouth. So it’s kind of counterintuitive, especially because dogs don’t chew foods, they chew on bones and ES and sticks and things like that. That’s what, that’s what knocks the, , the plaque and tartar off the upper teeth, but just chewing on kibble itself. No, it, it, it more puts more plaque and tartar on than actually breaks it down itself.
Mary Lou (02:14):
Okay. Number two, Changing dogs’ diets can be bad for digestion and can upset their stomachs.
Kyle Baker (02:22):
This is another one of the favorite myths by started by the dog food company. Because of course, once you get on a dog food, they want you to stay on that dog food forever. So they don’t want you to think about changing back and forth. But if your dog doesn’t have any major food intolerances or major digestive issues, it’s better to give them more of an option. Just like us dogs will get bored if they eat the same thing every day. And there’s all different types of micronutrients and amino acids that you get from different proteins, different fruits and vegetables out there. So having a variety and the dog’s diet, we’ll have them more rounded off the immune system, in the long run.
Mary Lou (02:56):
Gotcha. Okay. Number 3 And that’s M E A L meal is bad. And I think that’s something that confuses a lot of us. We see meal and we’think, Oh, no! But what do you think?
Kyle Baker (03:10):
Yeah, everybody thinks meal is bad. Some meal is bad, but not all meal is the same. so if, if, if the food says like chicken meal or beef meal or duck meal, and it’s specific of the protein source, they’re talking about, that’s just a hundred percent of that meat content with the moisture taken out. So it’s just a concentrate of the protein of the protein in it. ‘Cause all kibble was going to be cooked anyway. So we need to draw the moisture out of it.
The meal that we need to be cautious about is if it says by-product meal, it means there’s barely any the meat of it. It’s more or less the beaks, the bones, the scraps of the animals, or if they’re not naming a specific animal in front of that meal, if they’re just saying meat meal or poultry meal, then we’re not being a definite on exactly what our dog is getting. And that’s when you can start hiding a lot of these scary things in the foods like fi like 4d meats, which we kind of talked about last time, so that’s kind of the importance of meal. As long as it is specific of the protein sources. It itself is like chicken meal, beef meal, pork meal, duck meal, great byproduct meal. No. And if it just says poultry or meat meal, no, that’s the bad meals.
Mary Lou (04:23): Awesome. That is so helpful. Okay. So number four, high protein diets are bad for dogs.
Kyle Baker (04:31):
So everybody thinks high protein diets are bad for dogs because they don’t think they can break down proteins the way they should. It really should be more classified as too much protein from vegetable and plant matter is hard for dogs that meet a protein from meat. Content is easy to digest. It’s easy for the dogs to recognize. It’s one of my things I’ve been trying to get people to understand. , everybody thinks like, like beef is a hundred percent protein. It’s not the case with beef, with all the moisture and fat in it. It’s really only like 12 to 17% protein. So more of your meat bases are actually lower in protein than your, your corn wheat and soy based proteins out there. Um, so it’s all about what quality proteins you’re getting. but having too much protein is a myth it’s too much vegetable protein is the issue. Meat protein will deter atrophy and will feed the energy, , for the dog’s body, body and brain itself.
Mary Lou (05:27):
Awesome. So there’s some vegetables that are higher in protein than meat?
Kyle Baker (05:31):
Yeah. So they’re higher in proteins because, they have more protein bound into, into their cellular structure. And it’s harder for us to derive that protein out of those special matters. Like all of your vegetarian-based animals out there. They have four stomach chambers and teeth that also grind and grind and mush up the food itself. Then it goes into a four stomach chamber and starts moving there to, to draw all the protein out out of it. So vegetable protein is harder to break down. It’s more of a concentrated of protein with no moisture bound towards it. so it’s harder on the kidneys, the kidneys and the liver to break down that protein=. It’s 70 to 75% moisture inside of it. So it’s easier, easier for the body to break down and dissipate through the body itself.
Kyle Baker (06:21):
It’s one of those things I wish I could figure out how to, way to let people know that just because you’re eating a hundred percent deep or a hundred percent chicken, it’s actually lower protein than a lot of your, your kibbles that are on the market today. These are just ways if we could do like comparisons of dry kibble to raw foods and the shows, the guaranteed analysis on there, and that shows people, but it’s still hard to explain, but the whole thing is there’s so much moisture in meat content that breaks down the protein levels in the body itself. So the liver and the kidneys don’t have to do all of that work or on a vegetable protein, there is no moisture in it. So it makes the liver and kidneys overwork to try to break and extract those proteins out. If that kind of makes it a little bit more simpler, therefore you
Mary Lou (07:05):Got it now, Number 5: Raw food and eggs are dangerous for dogs.
Kyle Baker (07:12):
Yeah. It’s,you know, it’s one of those things that has been talked about, and there is a lot of controversy in this industry. but dogs and cats, digestive tracks are vastly different than most of humans. Our digestive track is 25 to 28 feet long, and we have an acidic level around two and a half where as dogs and cats have a digestive system. That’s only about 10 to 13 feet long. And what that makes that important as food moves through that system so fast that those bacteria that bother us – doesn’t bother animals. tAnd that’s why dogs and cats can eat decaying meats on the side of the road and things like that without, without any issues because everything moves to their systems so quickly.
Kyle Baker (08:04):
So it’s, it’s, it’s just a big difference between what our system is and what a dog systems is. And that’s what allows them to eat raw foods and absorb raw foods a lot easier than our bodies can itself. The reason why I like to talk about that, cause a lot of people like to add like eggs and things to theirthe dog’s diet and everybody thinks eggs carry some bacteria, but it’s nothing you’ve really have to worry about. As long as you use a good quality egg out there, it’s actually one of the easiest digestible proteins out there. And you don’t have to worry about seminar e-coli listeria or any of that other jazz out there
Mary Lou (08:34):
That visualization of dogs being able to eat decaying meat by the side of the road was a place I wasn’t ready to go yet, Kyle, but now I totally get it. Because I know my dog’s gotten something out of the trash and I’ve been panic-stricken and guess what it goes through just fine. So thank you for helping us, knock down some of these myths that confuse dog owners and, we can all work towards healthier, happier dogs.
Kyle Baker (09:10):
That’s the goal Ms. Mary Lou will thank you for the opportunity to get my piece out there. And I can’t wait to have the next discussion with you, very soon.
Mary Lou: Thanks, Kyle!
This podcast has been brought to you by DogPerfect.com with three locations in Sarasota, Florida. If you’d like a free nutritional consultation with Kyle Baker for your pup visit dog perfect.com and just click on services.