Myth: Corn is a poorly digested “filler” that causes allergies.
Corn is an excellent source of many nutrients.
• “Fillers” may be defined as feed ingredients with little or no nutritional value. Based on this description, corn is certainly not a filler.
• Corn provides a good source of carbohydrates, protein and essential fatty acids in the diets of dogs and cats.
• Corn is a good source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid required by both dogs and cats and also contains abundant amounts of antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene.
Myth: Wheat commonly cause allergies in dogs and cats
Wheat is a valuable pet food ingredient.
• Wheat is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates for energy, as well as a source of protein.
• Food allergies constitute only a small percentage of allergy problems in pets. While the exact incidence is unknown, it is estimated that only 10% of allergic skin conditions are caused by food.
• Flea bites and environmental allergens, such as pollens, mold and dust mites, are more common triggers of allergic symptoms than food.
Myth: Pet foods should be grain-free
Grains supply energy.
• Most cells in the body use carbohydrates as a primary source of energy.
• The nervous system (i.e., brain and nerves) requires the carbohydrate glucose to support normal functions.
• If carbohydrates, such as those from grains, aren’t available, dietary protein is diverted away from its most important function — protein synthesis —to make glucose. If carbohydrates are available, dietary protein is used to build and maintain muscle and tissue.
Myth: A raw food diet is the most natural and, therefore, the best diet for cats and dogs.
Raw diets may contain bacteria.
• Raw meat and poultry may be contaminated with harmful microorganisms, such as salmonella.
• Feeding raw meat to pets can expose them to bacteria, parasites and protozoa.
Preparing and feeding a raw diet can also expose your family to harmful organisms.
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