An extremely important point for a healthy, long dog life is a species-appropriate dog nutrition. If you take a closer look at this topic, it sometimes appears questionable from a species-appropriate perspective what can be bought in the field of dog food. This article highlights some of the backgrounds of dog food, which can also affect mechanical conditions.
Appropriate dog nutrition:
Dog osteopathy: The appropriate dog nutrition
What does ordinary dog food contain?
Added vitamins in dog food
Appropriate dog food
Effects of food on the musculoskeletal system
Basically, the dog belongs to the carnivores and carnivores and comes from the wolf. There are hardly any differences of opinion even among experts. If you then go to the trouble and take a closer look at the composition of dog food, you will find that in 95% of the cases corn, cereals or wheat come first.
According to the Feed Act, the manufacturer of dog food is also obliged to list the components that are most represented in the product in the first place. If it is really bad from a species-appropriate point of view, there are also cereals in the first two places, with luck a meat meal follows and then often comes a grain or something like hydrolysed vegetable protein, vegetable protein isolate or lignocellulose (which is nothing more than wood cellulose) . The question here is what makes such a large amount of grain and vegetable protein in a feed for a carnivore. After all, this is not about feeding a cow or horse.
Another big problem is the quality of the little meat that is still processed in the feed (for some dog feeds this is a full 4% of the total feed). Often only flour and animal by-products that are not specified are processed. According to the German Feed Act, these are: euthanized dogs and cats and other deceased animals that only have to be processed for a certain time at certain temperatures and a certain number of bars (pressure) in order to be able to process them further. Claws, feathers, carcasses, intestines, greaves and other residues that cannot be used for any other purpose are also ground and processed here.
The list of ingredients of the listed additives is often peppered with many vitamins and minerals - but here too the critical question is appropriate: What is really important for a dog? The raw ash content should not exceed 4% - since the raw ash content indicates the minerals in the feed. The minerals that are too much in an organism accumulate in the body and teeth because they are difficult to excrete via the liver and kidneys. That makes dental plaque, among other things.
The added vitamins are often vitamin A, vitamin C and E and vitamin D3. At first you think: basically vitamins are good. That is also true, but from a holistic point of view, only natural vitamins. Vitamin A, Vitamin C and E are so-called antioxidations and catch "free radicals" - but they also prevent the rancidity of fats and thus act as a preservative for feed.
In human medicine, studies have been made on this subject with remarkable results: in one study, commonly known as the Finland study, 30,000 smokers were exposed to either 20 mg synthetic beta-carotene or 50 mg a-tocopherol, a placebo or 50 mg daily for five to eight years both agents administered because smokers were noticed by low beta-carotene levels. Result: Vitamin E should not have influenced the risk. The lung cancer rate among the study participants in the beta-carotene group is said to have increased progressively after just 18 months. In the end, 18 percent more lung cancer cases are said to have occurred in the beta-carotene group, and overall mortality was increased by almost 8%.
In another study (CARET study) with over 18,000 smokers that was stopped prematurely, smokers were said to have increased their risk of developing lung cancer even when taking synthetic beta-carotene.
Vitamin D3 is not contained in any natural food, at most its precursors D1 and D2. In addition, it is not seen as a vitamin but as a stearate, i.e. as a hormone and is therefore unsuitable as an additive in a feed from a naturopathic point of view, like cortisone or estrogen. If necessary, vitamin D3 is produced by the body through sun exposure of the skin and plays an important role in calcium metabolism. As our dogs (like we humans) are usually exposed to sufficient sunlight these days, a lack of vitamin D is not to be expected.
The list of the feed composition could be expanded endlessly, because flavor enhancers, preservatives and colorants were not even mentioned. You too can influence the organism and, from a naturopathic point of view, have as little to look for in dog food as in human food. Often, as a dog owner, you are always advised to eat dry food - from an osteopathic point of view, this does not seem expedient. Dry food is only an advantage for the dog owner - it has only disadvantages for the dog. It can be contaminated with mites, it takes up to twice as long in the body to digest it and thus puts a strain on all digestive organs and the dog suffers from water deprivation permanently. Soaking does not help either, because you would have to fill up 90% of the feeding amount with water again. The water requirement of a dog fed with dry food is 40-50ml / kg body weight - that would be an additional water requirement of 1l for a 20 kg dog.
As early as 1996, Marc Torel (veterinarian) and Klaus Dieter Kammerer (pharmaceutical manager) published a presentation on the development of hip dysplasia in dogs. Because the breeding selection that has been carried out for decades has brought little success in the field of hip dysplasia. These two experts believe that there is a clear connection between malnutrition and skeletal disorders, as improper nutrition can result in increased production of growth and thyroid hormones, and these hormones in turn can have a negative impact on a dog's skeleton. So it is understandable why when visiting a dog osteopath the latter asks questions about the dog's diet, because from an osteopathic point of view this can have an impact on the musculoskeletal system.
Here every dog owner should feel addressed to think independently about a species-appropriate nutrition of his dog. The bottom line is that the factors for the problems our dogs have are very complex, but they can be minimized and there are now some alternative treatment options for everything related to musculoskeletal disorders - dog osteopathy is a very successful one. (Friederike Franze, human physiotherapist, dog physiotherapist and dog osteopath)