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Is Flaxseed Good for Dogs?

Want to know if Flaxseed is good for dogs?

I’ll explain but it would be good to get some helpful background information on this crop.

According to this Amherst PDF presentation on Flaxseed, the crop called flax has been cultivated for at least 5,000 years with commercial operations starting from around 1750. Several sources claim that the Pharaos or ancient Egypt were big fans of the flax crop. Guess why? They used it to wrap mummies.

The crop saw a decline when the cotton gin became popular. It thrives in temperate and subtropical regions in both hemispheres and here in the US, it is mostly grown in Minnesota and in the Dakotas.

Its scientific name is Linum usitatissimum and it is part of the Linaceae family. The plant produces blue flowers and its seeds are used to make linen fabric, oil, and animal feed. You can also find flaxseed in some human foods like cereals, crackers, and granola bars.

Is flaxseed the same as linseed?

No, they are not the same. Linseed is a shorter plant with numerous branches and seeds. Flaxseed (3 feet) has fewer branches than linseed (5 feet). Linseed is therefore effective for generating oil, whereas flax has been utilized to manufacture linen, rope, and nets for centuries.

Nutritionally, they are the same but the difference comes with the length of the trees.

Is flaxseed soluble or insoluble fiber?

Flaxseed is a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The 35% to 45% fiber is 1/3 soluble and 2/4 insoluble. This means that it can help with both constipation and diarrhea. The soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance when mixed with water, which can help to add bulk to the stool and slow down digestion. The insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps to add bulk to the stool and move food through the digestive system.

Insoluble fiber includes cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Soluble fiber includes mucilage, pectins, gums and some forms of cellulose.

Processing of flaxseed:

Step 1: Receiving of seed

Step 2: cleaning (shakers, screws and aspirations)- to get rid of straw, chaff and other light materials

Step 3: flaking – the process of breaking the seed coat to allow for better oil extraction

Step 4: cooking – 65 degrees celcius for 20 mins- gelatinizes the seed coat

Step 5: pressing – expelling of oil

Step 6: solvent extraction-haxane- to get the remaining oil

Step 7: winterization- to remove waxes, free fatty acids and other impurities

Step 8: interesterification- rearranging of molecules of triglycerides to get desired properties

Step 9: meal – 7 to 9% oil remaining

The processing process is shown below.

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What does the dog use flaxseed for? Benefits of Flaxseed

Source of Omega-3 fatty acid:

The oil made from flaxseed is a source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are the so-called “good fats” that offer a range of health benefits like reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol levels. The fatty acids found in flaxseed oil can also improve cognitive function and help prevent cancer.

The same nutrients that make flaxseed oil good for humans also make it good for dogs. In particular, the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil can help to:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Improve cognitive function
  • Prevent cancer

The downside of flaxseed oil for dogs is that it can cause digestive upset. If you give your dog flaxseed oil, start with a small dose and increase gradually to avoid any gastrointestinal issues.

Source of fiber:

Flaxseed is also a good source of dietary fiber. It can also be great as a source of textile fiber and Egyptians made rope, paper, and clothes from the crop. We’re now in fiber as source of dietary fiber for dogs, though. Dietary fiber is the indigestible portion of plant foods that helps to add bulk to the stool and keep the digestive system regular.

Flaxseed is a soluble fiber, which means it dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. This gel can help to slow down digestion and make sure the nutrients in food are properly absorbed. Soluble fiber can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol levels.This means that it can help to keep your dog’s digestive system regular and can also help to prevent constipation.

An antioxidant:

Flaxseed is also a good source of lignans. These are plant compounds that have both estrogenic and antioxidant properties. Lignans can help to protect against cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

The fiber in flaxseed can also help to reduce the risk of colon cancer. This is because fiber helps to bind cancer-causing toxins in the colon so that they can be eliminated from the body before they cause any damage.

The downside of flaxseed as a source of fiber is that it can cause gas and bloating. If you give your dog flaxseed, start with a small dose and increase gradually to avoid any gastrointestinal issues.

Boosts the immune system:

The lignans in flaxseed can also help to boost the immune system. Lignans are a type of phytonutrient that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In particular, the lignans in flaxseed can help to reduce the risk of cancer by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. They can also help to reduce the severity of allergies and autoimmune diseases.

The downside of flaxseed as a source of lignans is that they can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. If you give your dog flaxseed, make sure to give them a complete and balanced diet to avoid any nutritional deficiencies.

Is Flaxseed safe for dogs?

Flaxseed contains some compounds such as goitrogens, cyanogenic glycosides and phytoestrogens that are known to be harmful to animals including dogs. These compounds can interfere with the thyroid gland, cause breathing problems, or even disrupt the endocrine system.

Flaxseed is, however, safe as most flaxseed included in commercial pet food has gone through some form of enzymatic degradation and epimerization, and as such, these harmful compounds are mostly eliminated. This is why I explained above that they are good for dogs when fed as part of commercial balanced kibble – not as ground unprocessed seeds.

Although flaxseed is safe for most dogs, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, flaxseed contains goitrogens, which are compounds that can interfere with the production of thyroid hormones. It has high concentrations of cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when they’re metabolized. Cyanide is a poisonous compound that can cause respiratory failure and death.

As shown in the snapshot below, linseed or flaxseed has HCN concentration of over 500 mg/kg – tens of times more than other food types.

Flaxseed also contains phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that mimic the hormone estrogen. These compounds can disrupt the endocrine system and may be linked to cancer.

For these reasons, it’s important to only give your dog flaxseed in small amounts. You should also talk to your vet before giving your dog flaxseed, especially if they have any medical conditions.

Nutrients in Flaxseed

According to the USDA Profile of Flaxseed, 4 teaspoons of flaxseed which is about 30 grams has the following nutrients

  • -150 kcal of energy
  • -6 grams of protein
  • -10 grams of lipid fat
  • -8.01 grams of fiber
  • -60 mg of Calcium
  • -1.8 mg of Iron
  • -9.9 mg of Sodium
  • -0.999 grams of saturated fatty acid

Below is a snapshot from the USDA website;

Analysis of Nutrients:

Energy:

150 kcal is about 15% of the daily caloric requirement for a 30 kg (66 lb) adult dog. So, it is a fairly significant amount of calories.

Protein:

The 6 grams of protein represented by flaxseed is not a lot especially when we compare it to other sources of protein. For example, chicken has about 26 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Lipid or Fat:

The 10 grams of lipid fat is not a lot. In fact, it is about the same as chicken which has 11 grams of lipid fat.

Fiber:

The 8.01 grams of fiber is a significant amount especially when we compare it to other sources of fiber. For example, carrots have about 2.8 grams of fiber.

Forms of Flaxseed in Dog Food:

Flaxseed oil:

Flaxseed oil is made by pressing the seeds of the flax plant to extract the oil. The oil is then refined and bottled for use in dog food.

Flaxseed oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which offer a range of health benefits like reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol levels. Flaxseed oil can also improve cognitive function and help prevent cancer. However, like flaxseed meal, flaxseed oil can cause digestive upset so it’s important to start with a small dose and increase gradually if you’re considering adding it to your dog’s diet.

Flaxseed meal:

Flaxseed meal is made by grinding the whole seeds of the flax plant. The meal can be used as a dry ingredient in dog food or it can be added to wet food.

It is a good source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids which offer a range of health benefits like reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol levels. However, flaxseed can cause digestive upset so it’s important to start with a small dose and increase gradually if you’re considering adding it to your dog’s diet..

Flaxseed flour:

Flaxseed flour is made by grinding the whole seeds of the flax plant into a fine powder. The flour can be used as a dry ingredient in dog food or it can be added to wet food.

It is a good source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids which offer a range of health benefits like reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol levels. However, flaxseed can cause digestive upset so it’s important to start with a small dose and increase gradually if you’re considering adding it to your dog’s diet.

Which is the best form of flaxseed for dogs?

The best form of flaxseed for dogs is flaxseed oil. This is because the oil contains the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed meal and flour are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but they are not as concentrated as the oil.

Is flaxseed good for dogs?

Overall, flaxseed is a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed can help to reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function. The lignans in flaxseed can also help to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of cancer. However, it’s important to start with a small dose and increase gradually to avoid any gastrointestinal issues.

The long answer is that while flaxseed is good for dogs, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of before adding it to your dog’s diet. For example, flaxseed contains phytoestrogens which can mimic the hormone estrogen in the body. This can lead to health problems like endometriosis, uterine cancer, and breast cancer. Additionally, flaxseed can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients so it’s important to give your dog a complete and balanced diet if you’re considering adding flaxseed to their diet. Finally, as mentioned above, flaxseed can cause digestive upset so it’s important to start with a small dose and increase gradually to avoid any gastrointestinal issues.

Which dogs benefit from flaxseed the most?

Flaxseed in form of meal concentrate, oil, or powder supplements is good for dogs as it contains fatty acid that is essential for your dog. Flaxseed benefits the most those canines requiring a little help in the coat and skin department, as well as those furry friends needing a little extra fiber in their diet. As with anything new you introduce to your dog’s diet, start with small amounts of flaxseed until you’re sure they can tolerate it without any gastrointestinal issues. If you have any concerns, speak with your veterinarian. They will be able to best advise you on whether flaxseed is a good option for your dog.

If your dog has a health condition that would benefit from the nutrients in flaxseed, then it may be a good idea to add it to their diet. However, if your dog is healthy and does not have any specific health needs, then they may not need the extra nutrients that flaxseed provides. As with anything, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

How much flaxseed should I give my dog?

Flaxseed is usually served in teaspoons or tablespoons with one teaspoon of ground flaxseed weighing about 2 grams and one teaspoon weighing about 7 grams.

In the larger breeds weighing 60 kg or more, 2 tablespoons are recommended for puppies up to 2 months of age, thus the daily serving dose is 0.23 grams/kg body mass per day. According to this other site, you can give your dog ¼ to 1 teaspoon per day depending on their size.

How safe are these dosages?

According to Michael I Lindinger(2019) these dosages above are 5 to 10 times lower than what could be considered a safe maximum limit. He goes on to say that it is likely that all known commercial dog and cat foods or supplements containing ground flaxseed should not worry anyone.

How will a dog eat flaxseed?

Whole flaxseed is too hard for dogs to digest, so it needs to be ground up before adding it to their food. You can either buy pre-ground flaxseed or grind it yourself using a coffee grinder. It’s important to store ground flaxseed in the fridge as it can go rancid quickly.

FAQs

Q: Will flaxseed help my dog’s coat?

A: Yes, flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which can help to improve the quality of your dog’s coat.

Q: Can I give my dog flaxseed if they are pregnant or nursing?

A: It’s best to avoid giving flaxseed to pregnant or nursing dogs as it contains phytoestrogens which can mimic the hormone estrogen in the body. This can lead to health problems for both the mother and the puppies.

Q: My dog has a sensitive stomach, will flaxseed upset their stomach?

A: Yes, flaxseed can cause digestive upset so it’s important to start with a small dose and increase gradually to avoid any gastrointestinal issues. If your dog does experience any digestive upset, stop giving them flaxseed and consult with your veterinarian.

Q: Is flaxseed good for all dogs?

A: No, flaxseed is not necessarily good for all dogs. Some dogs may not need the extra nutrients that flaxseed provides and it can cause digestive upset in some dogs. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

Q: Is flaxseed good for dogs with kidney or liver disease?

A: Yes, dogs with kidney disease can benefit from omega 3 fatty acid which can help reduce the inflammation. By elevating their triglycerides, it can also help to protect their liver.

Q: What are the side effects of flaxseed in dogs?

A: Diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation are possible side effects of flaxseed in dogs. If your dog experiences any of these side effects, stop giving them flaxseed and consult with your veterinarian.

Q: Is flaxseed good for dogs with allergies?

A: Yes, flaxseed can help to reduce the symptoms of allergies in some dogs. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed can help to reduce inflammation and itching.

Q: How long does it take for flaxseed to help my dog?

A: It can take several weeks for the full effects of flaxseed to be seen. You may see a difference in your dog’s coat quality within a few weeks, but it can take longer for other benefits to be seen. Consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Q: Can I give my dog flaxseed if they are on medication?

A: It’s best to avoid giving flaxseed to dogs on medication as it can interfere with the absorption of some medications. If you’re unsure, speak with your veterinarian. They will be able to advise you on whether flaxseed is safe for your dog.

Q: Is flaxseed oil good for dogs?

A: Yes, flaxseed oil is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which is essential for a healthy coat and skin. It can also help to reduce inflammation.

Q: Is flaxseed meal good for dogs?

A: Yes, flaxseed meal is a good source of fiber and protein. It can also help to reduce inflammation.

Antioxidants in Pet Food – Guide on Benefits, Sources and Types

Guide to Antioxidants for Pets

If it weren’t for free radicals, we won’t need antioxidants for dogs or in dog food. But what are antioxidants? What are free radicals? What are the benefits of antioxidants for healthy dogs as well as for dogs with health issues such as cancer, liver problems, and even aging dogs?

In this blog, we’ll explore all these questions in detail so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to add antioxidant-rich foods or supplements to your dog’s diet.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as enzymes (proteins in the body that catalyze biochemical reactions). They are believed to play a role in preventing oxidative damage to nutrients and other compounds in the dog’s body inhibiting the formation of free radicals.

When the body metabolizes food, it uses oxygen in a process that creates free radicals. Free radicals are also formed when a dog is exposed to environmental toxins such as pollution, cigarette smoke, herbicides, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

The problem with free radicals is that they are unstable molecules that damage cells, proteins and DNA. This damage has been linked to the development of cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases.

Antioxidants work by donating one of their electrons to stabilize the free radical, thus preventing it from damaging cells (a process known as oxidation).

According to the 2006 NRC’s Report on Nutrient Requirements of Cats and Dogs, many conditions such as cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and other degenerative conditions, and even the aging process itself have been linked to oxidation.

The NRC report went further to argue that oxidative damage and free-radical formation cannot be prevented entirely and that antioxidants can curtail the process to some extent.

What are some examples of good natural antioxidants?

  1. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C),
  2. Alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E),
  3. Beta-carotene, and
  4. Enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase

Are antioxidants safe?

Natual and mineral-dependent antioxidants are safe but synthetics antioxidants have been linked to other health complications in pets.

If you see any type of antioxidants on a pet food label, check to see which type they are. Natural antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene, are safe and actually essential nutrients for dogs.

However, there is some concern over the safety of man-made or synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and ethoxyquin.

These synthetic antioxidants are added to pet foods to extend their shelf life, but they have been linked to health problems such as cancer in some studies. In fact, ethoxyquin is so controversial that it has been banned for use in human food in Europe and Australia. BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin made it to our list of 6 toxic pet food preservatives to avoid.

Do all dogs need antioxidants?

The short answer is NO. Not all dogs need antioxidants in their diet. A healthy dog that isn’t exposed to toxins and eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet will likely get all the antioxidants he needs from his food.

However, certain health conditions, as well as exposure to environmental toxins, may increase a dog’s need for antioxidants. For example, dogs with liver disease or cancer may benefit from an antioxidant-rich diet or supplements since they are more susceptible to oxidative damage.

Older dogs may also benefit from an antioxidant-rich diet as they are more likely to have age-related degenerative diseases that are linked to oxidative damage.

What are the benefits of antioxidants for dogs?

Antioxidants counteract the damaging effects of chronic inflammation, which is present in a range of health conditions mentioned above. Antioxidants might be beneficial to any persistent inflammatory disease.

Protect cells and body tissues from damage:

Antioxidants scavenge free radicals and prevent or repair damage to cells and body tissues.

Boost the immune system: Antioxidants can help boost the immune system by reducing oxidative stress.

Reduce inflammation: Oxidative stress has been linked to inflammation, so antioxidants may help reduce inflammation.

Prevent or delay degenerative diseases: Antioxidants may help prevent or delay the onset of degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.

What are the best sources of antioxidants for dogs?

There are three sources of antioxidants for dogs: natural synthetic and mineral-dependent sources.

Synthetic antioxidants:

Synthetic antioxidants are man-made and can be found in some processed foods as well as in certain supplements. The most common synthetic antioxidants are BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), and ethoxyquin.

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole):

BHA is a preservative that is used to preserve fats and fat-containing products because it inhibits the rancidification of food, which results in noxious odors. According to this Wiki Page, BHA is able to stabilize free radicals, sequestering them and by acting as free radical scavengers, BHA prevents further free radical reactions. It is also found in some cosmetics, rubber products, and oils.

BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene):

BHT is used for the same purpose as BHA. It is a white, crystalline solid that is insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. It is used as an antioxidant food additive and can be found in cereals, nut butters, dehydrated potatoes, and even some cosmetics.

Ethoxyquin:

Ethoxyquin is a synthetic antioxidant that is used as a preservative in animal feed, specifically fish meal. It is also used as a rubber stabilizer and as a pesticide. Ethoxyquin has been shown to be hepatotoxic (toxic to the liver) in rats.

Natural antioxidants:

Natural antioxidants can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables as well as in certain oils. The most common natural antioxidant vitamins are vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Vitamin C is the most abundant antioxidant in the canine body and is found in high concentrations in the liver. Vitamin E is found in highest concentrations in the heart, muscles, and brain.

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in animal products such as liver, kidney, eggs, and dairy. Vitamin A is important for vision, immune function, and reproduction.

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits. Vitamin C is important for wound healing, immune function, and the health of connective tissue.

Vitamin E:

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. Vitamin E is important for the health of red blood cells and the nervous system.

Common fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, prunes, plums, oranges, lemons, tomatoes, kale, spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

Colostrum:

Colostrum is the first milk produced by mammals after giving birth and is rich in antibodies and immune factors. It has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties.

According to Hiroyuki et al.,(1999) colostrum has lactoferrin, an antioxidant component that scavenges free radicals and protects cells from damage.

Another study also found that it has hemopexin, another excellent antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and protects cells from oxidative damage(Smith, 1988).

β-Carotene:

This is a precursor to vitamin A and can be found in sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, and other dark leafy greens. Upon oral ingestion by a dog, β-Carotene gets taken up by plasma leukocytes and studies(Chew et al., 2000b,c,d) have shown that it stimulates an immune response in dogs.

Polyphenols:

Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in plants. There are over 8,000 different types of polyphenols and they can be found in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Polyphenols have many health benefits including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Flavonoids:

Flavonoids are a type of polyphenol and can be found in the same foods as polyphenols. There are over 6,000 different types of flavonoids and they can be divided into six main groups: flavanones, flavones, flavonols, anthocyanidins, isoflavones, and proanthocyanidins. Flavonoids have many health benefits including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Lycopene:

Lycopene is a type of flavonoid that is found in red fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, watermelons, pink grapefruits, and papayas. Lycopene has many health benefits including reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Lutein:

Lutein is a type of flavonoid that is found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens. Lutein has many health benefits including reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Mineral-Dependent Antioxidants

The body’s antioxidant enzymes, which are present in all tissues, contain many trace minerals. Selenium (glutathione peroxidase); copper, zinc, manganese (superoxide dismutase); and iron (catalase) are examples of these.

Unlike dietary antioxidants, mineral-dependent antioxidants are produced within the body and function to protect cells by scavenging free radicals and repairing the damage.

Some of the best oils for dogs that are high in antioxidants include olive oil, coconut oil, and salmon oil.

Why are antioxidants prescribed to pets?

Vets often prescribe antioxidants to pets with certain chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Antioxidants can help reduce the symptoms of these conditions and might even help prevent or delay their onset.

While the canine body has the ability to try to neutralize reactive compounds, the canine body can get depleted of these natural antioxidants when inflammation persists. The accumulation of reactive oxygen can damage healthy organs and can lead to the formation of cancer cells.

Antioxidants can help to prevent this damage by scavenging these reactive oxygen compounds and by repairing the damage that has already been done.

Antioxidants are essential in reducing the oxidative damage caused by chronic inflammation caused by longstanding allergic dermatitis or chronic arthritis

What are some symptoms of an antioxidant deficiency in dogs?

While a lack of antioxidants can lead to a number of health problems, the most common symptom is inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to oxidative stress and can damage healthy cells and tissues.

Other symptoms of an antioxidant deficiency include:

  • Dry, dull coat
  • Hair loss
  • Slow wound healing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy

Other clinical symptoms that may need diagnosis include;

  • Cellular damage
  • Immune system problems
  • Increased risk of degenerative diseases

FAQs

What is the difference between natural and synthetic antioxidants?

Natural antioxidants are found in foods such as fruits and vegetables, while synthetic antioxidants are man-made.

While both types of antioxidants can offer health benefits, natural antioxidants are generally considered to be more effective and safer.

What is the best way to give my dog antioxidants?

The best way to give your dog antioxidants is through a healthy diet.

You can also give your dog supplements, but it is important to talk to your vet first. Some supplements can interact with medications your dog is taking or cause other health problems.

How do I know if my dog’s food has enough antioxidants?

The best way to make sure your dog’s food has enough antioxidants is to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you choose a food that is right for your dog’s needs.

You can also look for foods that are labeled “complete and balanced” by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These foods must meet certain standards for nutrient content, including antioxidants.

What are some foods that are high in antioxidants?

Some foods that are high in antioxidants include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, prunes, plums, oranges, lemons, tomatoes, kale, spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

What are some of the best oils for dogs that are high in antioxidants?

Some of the best oils for dogs that are high in antioxidants include olive oil, coconut oil, and salmon oil.

These oils can help to improve your dog’s coat and skin health, and they can also offer other health benefits.

Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil is a versatile product that can be used for cooking, as a skin moisturizer, and even as a treatment for some medical conditions.

Recent studies have shown that coconut oil can also offer some health benefits for dogs. Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and can help to improve your dog’s coat and skin health. It can also help to reduce inflammation and improve joint health.

If you are looking for a healthy oil to add to your dog’s diet, coconut oil is a great option. Just be sure to talk to your veterinarian first, as too much coconut oil can lead to weight gain.

Salmon Oil:

Salmon oil is another healthy choice for dogs. Salmon oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have a number of health benefits.

Omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation, improve joint health, and boost the immune system. They can also help to improve your dog’s coat and skin health. Salmon oil is also a good source of antioxidants.

If you are looking for a healthy oil to add to your dog’s diet, salmon oil is a great option. Just be sure to talk to your veterinarian first, as too much salmon oil can lead to weight gain.

Olive Oil:

Olive oil is a healthy choice for dogs. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and can help to improve your dog’s coat and skin health. It can also help to reduce inflammation and improve joint health.

The Bottom Line

There are a number of healthy oils that you can add to your dog’s diet. Coconut oil, salmon oil, and olive oil are all great choices. Just be sure to talk to your veterinarian first, as too much of any one oil can lead to weight gain.

Phosphorus for Pets – Full Guide

Phosphorus is one of the essential nutrients for both dogs and cats. It is a mineral that is found in all body tissues and is necessary for many important biochemical processes, including energy production and the formation of bones and teeth. Phosphorus also plays a role in cell signaling, nerve function, and protein synthesis.

In this article, I have provided a helpful guide to pet owners looking to understand the benefits of phosphorus for their furry friends.

What is Phosphorus?

Phosphorus is an essential mineral found in all body tissues. It makes up 1% of the average person’s body weight and is the second most abundant mineral in the body after calcium. It is found in every cell, with the highest concentrations occurring in the bones and teeth.

Inorganic phosphorus salts are used as dietary supplements and are added to many processed foods. Phosphorus is also present in many food sources, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, nuts, and legumes.

What are the benefits of Phosphorus for dogs and cats?

Phosphorus plays a crucial role in many important biochemical processes in the body, including energy production, cell signaling, and protein synthesis. It is also necessary for the proper function of bones and teeth.

Dogs and cats need phosphorus for different reasons. For example, phosphorus is essential for dogs because it helps to maintain strong bones and teeth. It is also necessary for proper kidney function in dogs.

Cats, on the other hand, need phosphorus for proper muscle function. It is also important for pregnant and nursing cats as it helps with the development of the fetal skeleton.

Summary – Uses of Phosphorus

Phosphorus is necessary for many important biochemical processes in the body, including:

-Energy production

-Formation of bones and teeth

-Cell signaling

-Nerve function

-Protein synthesis

Sources of Phosphorus

Phosphorus is found in many food sources, including:

-Meat

-Poultry

-Fish

-Dairy products

-Nuts

-Legumes

How to Add Phosphorus to Your Dog or Cat’s Diet

The best way to ensure that your dog or cat is getting enough phosphorus is to feed them a balanced diet that includes phosphorus-rich foods. You can also talk to your veterinarian about phosphorus supplements if you are concerned that your pet is not getting enough of this essential nutrient.

How much phosphorus does my dog need per day?

Following NRC’s 2006 Research on Essential Nutrients for dogs, AAFCO set the minimum for phosphorus to include in commercial dog diets. AAFCO recommends that you feed up to 1% of puppies’ diet and 0.4% for adult dogs’ diet on dry matter basis.

See the AAFCo table below.

I found other expert recommendations of the amount of phosphorus to feed your dog which suggested higher amounts than those set by AAFCO. Nutritionstrength.com explained that dogs ‘can eat up to 22.25 milligrams of phosphorus per kilogram of body weight every day. Small dogs and pups consume 0.6 to 1.3 percent phosphorus in their diet, whereas big breed dogs require no more than 1 percent of this mineral in their diet.’

How much phosphorus does my cat need per day?

As per AAFCO’s recommendation, you can feed your kitten a diet with a minimum of 0.8% phosphorus and for adult cats, the diet should have at least 0.5% phosphorus on a dry matter basis.

Signs of Phosphorus Deficiency in Dogs and Cats

A phosphorus deficiency is rare in dogs and cats since this mineral is found in many common food sources. However, some health conditions can lead to a phosphorus deficiency, such as kidney disease or malabsorption disorders.

Symptoms of a phosphorus deficiency may include:

-Weakness

-Lethargy

-Muscle wasting

-Weight loss

-Anemia

-Bone abnormalities

If you suspect that your dog or cat is not getting enough phosphorus, talk to your veterinarian. They can perform blood tests to check for a deficiency and recommend treatment options.

Phosphorus Supplements for Dogs and Cats

If your dog or cat is not getting enough phosphorus in their diet, your veterinarian may recommend supplements. Phosphorus supplements are available in many forms, including tablets, capsules, and liquids.

Decreased phosphorus in dogs:

Cause #1: Increase urinary excretion:

-Diuretics (furosemide/lasix, spironolactone/aldactone)

-Contrast dye given for radiographs

-Certain toxins (ethylene glycol)

-Excessive dietary protein intake

-Increased water intake (polydipsia)

Cause #2: Poor absorption:

-Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)

-Chronic renal disease (CRD)

-Liver disease

-Malabsorption syndromes such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or short gut syndrome

Cause #3: Increased phosphorus losses in stool:

-Hyperparathyroidism

-Certain tumors (e.g. lymphoma, adenocarcinoma)

-Excessive dietary phosphate intake (e.g. antacids, certain snacks)

Cause #4: Increased phosphorus losses in vomit:

-Gastrointestinal disease causing vomiting (e.g. pancreatitis, gastritis)

-Certain medications (e.g. phenobarbital, certain chemotherapeutic agents)

Cause #5: Increased requirement:

-Growing puppies and kittens

-Pregnancy and lactation

-Certain diseases such as sepsis or anaphylaxis

Signs of Decreased Phosphorus:

-Lethargy

-Inappetance

-Weight loss

-Muscle wasting

-Difficulty walking (replete phosphorus is needed for normal muscle contraction)

-Seizures (severe deficiency)

-arrhythmias (severe deficiency)

-Respiratory distress (severe deficiency)

Diagnosis of Decreased Phosphorus:

-A thorough history and physical examination should be performed on every patient presenting with signs compatible with decreased phosphorus.

-Laboratory testing is required to confirm a diagnosis of hypophosphatemia and to help determine the cause. A basic chemistry panel will usually reveal decreased phosphorus levels.

-Additional testing may be needed to help determine the cause of hypophosphatemia and may include a complete blood count, urinalysis, X-rays, and/or ultrasound.

Treatment of Decreased Phosphorus:

-Treatment of hypophosphatemia depends on the cause and severity of the condition.

-Mild hypophosphatemia may be treated by increasing phosphorus in the diet. This can be done by feeding a diet higher in phosphorus or by adding a phosphorus supplement to the diet.

-Moderate to severe cases of hypophosphatemia require hospitalization and treatment with intravenous phosphorus.

-In some cases, additional treatment may be needed to correct the underlying cause of hypophosphatemia. This may include diuretics for heart failure, surgery to remove a tumor, or antibiotics for an infection.

Increased Phosphorus:

Causes of Increase in Phosphorus in Pets:

Cause #1: Decreased urinary excretion:

-Kidney disease

-Certain medications (e.g. steroids, estrogens, calcium channel blockers)

-Dehydration

Cause #2: Excessive dietary intake:

-Dietary phosphorus supplements

-Excessive consumption of certain foods high in phosphorus (e.g. organ meats, certain snacks)

Signs of Increased Phosphorus:

-Excessive thirst and urination (polydipsia and polyuria)

-Weight loss

-Weakness

-Lethargy

-Muscle cramping

-Anorexia

-Vomiting

-Diarrhea

-Seizures (severe toxicity)

-Coma (severe toxicity)

Diagnosis of Increased Phosphorus:

-A thorough history and physical examination should be performed on every patient presenting with signs compatible with increased phosphorus.

-Laboratory testing is required to confirm a diagnosis of hyperphosphatemia and to help determine the cause. A basic chemistry panel will usually reveal increased phosphorus levels.

-Additional testing may be needed to help determine the cause of hyperphosphatemia and may include a complete blood count, urinalysis, X-rays, and/or ultrasound.

Treatment of Increased Phosphorus:

-Treatment of hyperphosphatemia depends on the cause and severity of the condition.

-Mild cases of hyperphosphatemia may be treated by decreasing phosphorus in the diet. This can be done by feeding a diet lower in phosphorus or by avoiding phosphorus supplements.

-Moderate to severe cases of hyperphosphatemia require hospitalization and treatment with intravenous fluids and oral or IV phosphate binders.

-In some cases, additional treatment may be needed to correct the underlying cause of hyperphosphatemia. This may include dialysis for kidney failure or surgery to remove a tumor.

Prevention of Increased or Decreased Phosphorus:

-The best way to prevent hypo- or hyperphosphatemia is to have your pet’s phosphorus levels checked regularly by a veterinarian and to feed a balanced diet appropriate for your pet’s age, weight, and activity level.

-Phosphorus supplements should only be given under the guidance of a veterinarian.

-If your pet has kidney disease, it is important to work closely with a veterinarian to ensure that phosphorus levels are properly regulated. A special diet may be required and phosphorus binders may need to be given to prevent hyperphosphatemia.

-Dehydration should be avoided as it can lead to decreased urinary excretion of phosphorus and may cause or worsen hypophosphatemia.

-If your pet is being treated with a medication that can cause changes in phosphorus levels, it is important to have phosphorus levels checked regularly by a veterinarian.

Why Phosphorus and Calcium Amounts in Dogs’ and Cats’ Diet is Important:

Phosphorus and calcium are two minerals that are essential for the health of dogs and cats. They are both needed for strong bones and teeth, and they also play a role in muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood clotting. While phosphorus is found in many different foods, calcium is mostly found in dairy products.

Dogs and cats need different amounts of phosphorus and calcium based on their age, weight, and activity level. Puppies and kittens need more of these minerals than adult dogs and cats because they are growing quickly and their bones are still developing. Adult dogs and cats need less phosphorus and calcium than puppies and kittens because they are not growing as quickly and their bones have already developed.

The amount of phosphorus and calcium in a dog or cat’s diet is important because too much or too little of these minerals can cause health problems. For example, too much phosphorus can lead to kidney disease, while too little calcium can lead to bone problems such as osteoporosis. It is important to work with a veterinarian to determine the right amount of phosphorus and calcium for your dog or cat based on their age, weight, and activity level.

There are many different ways to get the right amount of phosphorus and calcium in your dog or cat’s diet. Commercial pet foods typically have the right balance of these minerals, but you may need to supplement your pet’s diet with additional phosphorus and calcium if they are not getting enough from their food. You can also give your pet phosphorus and calcium supplements, but it is important to talk to a veterinarian before giving your pet any supplements to make sure you are giving the right amount.

Phosphorus and calcium ratio recommended for dogs:

The optimal dietary calcium to phosphorus ratio in dogs should be 1.2:1 to 1.3:1. This means,For each 1 gram of phosphorus in the diet, there should be at least 1.2 grams and no more than 1.3 grams of calcium.

For example, a food with a guaranteed analysis of 0.9% phosphorus and 1.3% calcium would have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1.3:1.

The recommended ratio of phosphorus to calcium can vary depending on your pet’s age, weight, and activity level, so it is important to talk to a veterinarian about the right ratio for your pet.

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Excess Phosphorus in Dogs and Cats:

Hyperphosphatemia is a condition that occurs when there is too much phosphorus in the blood. This can be caused by kidney disease, certain medications, or eating a diet that is high in phosphorus. Hyperphosphatemia can lead to calcium being pulled from the bones, which can make them weak and brittle. Hyperphosphatemia can also cause problems with the heart, muscles, and nerves.

Symptoms of hyperphosphatemia include weakness, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. If you think your dog or cat has hyperphosphatemia, it is important to take them to a veterinarian right away. Hyperphosphatemia is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if not treated.

Treatment for hyperphosphatemia typically involves reducing the amount of phosphorus in the diet and giving supplements to bind phosphorus in the gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary to provide IV fluids and support.

Hypophosphatemia is a condition that occurs when there is too little phosphorus in the blood. This can be caused by kidney disease, certain medications, or eating a diet that is low in phosphorus. Hypophosphatemia can lead to problems with the heart, muscles, and nerves.

Symptoms of hypophosphatemia include weakness, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. If you think your dog or cat has hypophosphatemia, it is important to take them to a veterinarian right away. Hypophosphatemia is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if not treated.

Treatment for hypophosphatemia typically involves increasing the amount of phosphorus in the diet and giving supplements to bind phosphorus in the gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary to provide IV fluids and support.

Role of Vitamins in mineral absorption:

Vitamin D3, the active form of Vitamin D2 is necessary for calcium and phosphorus absorption. A lack of Vitamin D can lead to a decrease in calcium and phosphorus absorption, resulting in a mineral imbalance.

Vitamin D3 can be found in commercial pet foods, but it is also produced when pets are exposed to sunlight. If your pet does not get enough exposure to sunlight, Vitamin D3 supplements may be necessary.

It is important to talk to a veterinarian before giving your pet any supplements, as too much Vitamin D3 can be toxic.

Some exotic pets such as bearded dragons which are cold-blooded get their Vitamin D3 from UVB light. UVB3 helps with the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus and is necessary for strong bones and teeth. A lack of Vitamin D3 can lead to a decrease in calcium absorption, resulting in a mineral imbalance.

Phosphorus supplements for dogs:

If your dog is not getting enough phosphorus in their diet, phosphorus supplements may be necessary. Phosphorus supplements are available in tablets, capsules, and liquids.

Phosphorus supplements should only be given under the guidance of a veterinarian, as too much phosphorus can be toxic.

Some common brands of phosphorus supplements for dogs include:

-Phos-Bind

-NaturVet also sold on Chewy here

-Hepato Support

-Ultra Phos

-Nutrition strength

Phosphorus supplements for cats:

If your cat is not getting enough phosphorus in their diet, phosphorus supplements may be necessary. Phosphorus supplements are available in tablets, capsules, and liquids.

Phosphorus supplements should only be given under the guidance of a veterinarian, as too much phosphorus can be toxic.

Some common brands of phosphorus supplements for cats include:

Vetoquinol Epakitin Chitosin-Based Phosphate Binder for Cats & Dogs

Looking to keep your pet’s phosphorus levels in check? Vetoquinol’s Phosphorus supplement is a chitosan-based nutritional supplement that’s effective as a phosphate binder, decreasing serum phosphorus levels. Plus, it was shown to reduce urea and creatinine levels in clinical studies!

Phos-Bind:

Phos-Bind is a phosphorus supplement that binds to phosphorus in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing it from being absorbed. Phos-Bind is available in tablets and capsules.

Hepato Support:

Hepato Support is a phosphorus supplement that helps support liver function. Hepato Support is available in tablets and capsules.

Ultra Phos:

Ultra Phos is a phosphorus supplement that is easily absorbed and helps support bone health. Ultra Phos is available in tablets and capsules.

Nutrition strength:

Nutrition strength is a phosphorus supplement that is easily absorbed and helps support healthy bones and teeth. Nutrition strength is available in tablets, capsules, and liquids.

Phosphorus Toxicity:

Phosphorus toxicity can occur if too much phosphorus is ingested. Symptoms of phosphorus toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, seizures, and coma. If you think your pet has ingested too much phosphorus, contact a veterinarian or emergency animal hospital immediately.

Sources of Phosphorus:

-Dietary sources: milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, legumes

– supplements

Why do dogs and cats need Phosphorus?

Phosphorus is a mineral that is necessary for proper bone and teeth development for both dogs and cats. Phosphorus also helps with the metabolism of calcium, vitamin D, and proteins. A lack of phosphorus can lead to a variety of health problems for any cat such as weakness, anorexia, weight loss, and muscle wasting.

Is Phosphorus safe in pet food?

Yes, phosphorus is considered safe when used in pet food. The average pet diet contains enough phosphorus to meet the needs of most dogs and cats. However, some pets may need a phosphorus supplement if they are not getting enough from their diet.

Is Phosphorus toxic to pets?

No, phosphorus is not toxic to pets when used as directed. However, too much phosphorus can be toxic. Symptoms of phosphorus toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, seizures, and coma. If you think your pet has ingested too much phosphorus, contact a veterinarian or emergency animal hospital immediately.

What are the side effects of Phosphorus dosage?

The most common side effect of phosphorus is diarrhea. Other side effects may include vomiting, anorexia, weight loss, and muscle wasting. If you think your pet is having an adverse reaction to phosphorus, contact a veterinarian immediately.

When should I give my pet Phosphorus?

Phosphorus supplements should only be given under the guidance of a veterinarian. The amount of phosphorus given will depend on the pet’s age, weight, and overall health.

How do I store Phosphorus supplements for pets – dogs and cats?

Phosphorus supplements should be stored in a cool, dry place out of reach of children and pets.

Probiotics vs Prebiotics – Differences, Benefits, Sources

Probiotics vs prebiotics for dogs.jpg

Did you know that about 400 strains of bacteria made up of approximately 200 different species of bacteria colonize your dog’s GI tract?

Yes, about 400 strains of bacteria!

And that’s not all of them. There are some ‘good’ gut bacteria still being discovered.

Just this past week (July 18th, 2022) Mick Kulikowski of North Carolina State University released a new research on the discovery of a new type of ‘good’ gut bacteria in humans called Bifidobacterium.

There are a lot more studies on human gut health but this blog dwells entirely on what I was able to find on probiotics and prebiotics in dog food.

Let’s get this party started already!

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. The term “probiotic” is currently used to name dietary supplements containing live microorganisms thought to be beneficial to human health.

In the 2006’s NRC Report on the Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cat’s, probiotics are defined as “direct-fed microbials……that may be found in the gastrointestinal tracts of healthy animals like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Aspergillus.

Probiotics’ role in dogs’ diets was highlighted by Biourge et al., in a 1998 study titled, “The Use of Probiotics in Diet of Dogs” shown in the screenshot below.

The study found supplementation of diets with probiotics as beneficial to dogs as it populates the gut with nonpathogenic organisms to the exclusion of Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and other potential pathogens. They also found that probiotics may help with diarrhea caused by antibiotic therapy, infections, food allergies, and stress.

Are probiotics safe for dogs?

Yes, probiotics are considered safe for dogs. Probiotics are live microorganisms that exist naturally in the digestive systems of both humans and animals. These “friendly” bacteria help keep the intestines healthy by crowding out harmful bacteria. Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as yogurt and some cheeses, as well as in supplements.

When you see ‘probiotics’ listed as one of the pet food ingredients, it is referring to the live microorganisms in the product. Once probiotics are added to the food, they begin to multiply. In order for probiotics to be effective, there must be enough of them present to compete with the bad bacteria already in your pet’s gut.

What are the benefits of giving my dog probiotics?

There are many potential benefits of giving probiotics to your dog, including:

– Improved digestion

– absorption of nutrients

– strengthened immune system

– reduced allergies

– decreased risk of infection

– reduced inflammation

More studies and details on the benefits of the different strains of probiotics are in the image below;

How do probiotics work?

Probiotics work by maintaining the balance of microorganisms in the intestines. This balance is important for several reasons:

  • – The intestines are responsible for absorbing nutrients from food.
  • – The intestines are part of the body’s immune system and help protect against infection.
  • – The intestines are home to most of the body’s ‘good’ bacteria, which are important for overall health.

When the balance of microorganisms in the intestines is disrupted, it can lead to problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and gas. Probiotics work by restoring the balance of microorganisms in the gut.

There are many different types of probiotics, and each type has its own unique benefits. For example, some probiotics are good for improving digestion, while others are better for boosting immunity.

Synbiotics are a combination of probiotics and prebiotics. Synbiotics work together to support digestive and immune health.

What are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are non-digestible dietary food fibers that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gut. Prebiotics are made up of soluble and insoluble fibers.

  • Soluble fiber – Soluble fiber can be broken down, fermented, and converted into food for probiotics. Prebiotics are a type of soluble fiber.
  • Insoluble fiber – Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, can’t be digested or fermented and is instead excreted as roughage. This isn’t a prebiotic.

Probiotics and prebiotics work together to support digestive and immune health.

Without prebiotics, the probiotics will wither and die off.

Prebiotics vs probiotics for dogs

Prebiotics and probiotics offer different but complementary benefits for dogs. Probiotics are live microorganisms that support digestive and immune health, while prebiotics are non-digestible dietary fibers that promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gut.Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics – A Review | Biomedical and  Pharmacology Journal

Examples of probiotics are bifidobacteria and lactobacilli while examples of prebiotics are fructo-oligosaccharides.

PDF] Beneficial effects of probiotics and prebiotics in livestock and  poultry: the current perspectives. | Semantic Scholar

Here is the credit for the above image.

Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics | Differbetween
Fig. 1. Beneficial effects of prebiotics and probiotics in livestock and poultry

Here is the credit for the above image.

Both probiotics and prebiotics are found in fermented foods such as yogurt and some cheeses, as well as in supplements.

When choosing a probiotic or prebiotic supplement for your dog, it’s important to choose one that is specifically designed for dogs. Human probiotics and prebiotics are not the same as those for dogs and may not be safe for your pet.

Sources of prebiotics:

Prebiotics are found in a variety of foods, including bananas, onions, garlic, whole grains, and legumes. They can also be found in supplements.

  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions – this food type is toxic to dogs
  • Garlic – this food type is toxic to dogs
  • Cocoa – this food type is toxic to dogs

Below are healthy food sources that go in tandem with prebiotic supplements;

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Steamed asparagus (avoid raw asparagus as they sometimes gives dogs gas and diarrhea)
  • Apple slices in moderation
  • Canned pumpkin (good to mitigate any stomach upset)
  • Barley (very healthy grain)
  • Flaxseed meal or the seeds

Below is an image showing the details of the products that serve as carriers for probiotics(source)

Details of the products that serve as carriers for probiotics

Most probiotic supplements also contain prebiotics. This combination of probiotics and prebiotics is sometimes referred to as a synbiotic.

Prebiotics and Probiotics for Dogs and Cats | Today's Veterinary Nurse

Image source

Why are prebiotics and probiotics important?

80% of your dog’s immune system is influenced by the health of their digestive tract. Dan Richardson, a Veterinarian was quick to point out that it’s not just the immune system that benefits from a healthy digestive tract. He explains that “studies have linked mood, joint stability, and energy levels to the healthiness of the gut flora. “

How State of equilibrium in your dog’s gut is maintained:

A number of activities take place here to maintain a state of balance as part of the body’s natural defensive mechanism:

  1. The mucus layer captures germs and microorganisms.
  2. Cilia on the surface of epithelial cells sweep bacteria and other particles away from the body.
  3. Cells and beneficial microorganisms in mucous membranes contribute to the killing of pathogenic bacteria on mucosal surfaces by producing antimicrobial compounds.
  4. Beneficial bacteria reduce stomach acidity by producing organic acids that compete with pathogenic bacteria.
  5. Some bacteria are unable to develop in the stomach because of physiological barriers such as the low pH of the digestive tract.

Bacillus subtilis

Bacillus subtilis is a type of probiotic that has shown to be particularly effective in dogs. This probiotic has a long history of safe use in humans and animals. It is commonly used as a natural food preservative and fermentation agent.

Bacillus subtilis has many potential benefits, including:

– Improved digestibility: Benjamin et al. (2013) noted that the release of amylases during the germination of Bacillus subtilis may explain the improve in digestibility.

– Strengthened immune system

– Reduced inflammation

– Decreased risk of infection

Probiotic Supplements:

There are many different types of probiotic supplements available on the market. It’s important to choose a high-quality supplement that contains a variety of different strains of bacteria.

Some of the best probiotic supplements for dogs contain:

– Lactobacillus acidophilus

– Bifidobacterium animalis

– Enterococcus faecium

– Bacillus subtilis

A study by Sofia et al., found great results with Calsporin, a Bacillus subtilis probiotic. In the study, they gave the test dogs a dose of 1 × 10 9 CFU/kg diet and saw the study revealed that the supplement improved the consistency of feces, promoted the synthesis of SCFA, and decreased fecal ammonia content!

The improved fecal score was also noted in another 2010 study by Felix et al. as shown in the table below illustrating the higher scores of fecal score for probiotics’ diets in the test.

How Much Probiotic Should I Give My Dog?

The amount of probiotic you give your dog will depend on the brand of supplement you choose. It’s important to follow the dosage instructions on the label. In general, it’s safe to give your dog 1 billion to 10 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) of probiotic per day.

Dogs that Need Probiotics the Most:

Probiotics are generally considered safe for most dogs. However, there are some groups of dogs that may benefit from probiotic supplementation, including:

– Puppies: Probiotics can help puppies build a strong immune system and protect them from disease.

– Senior dogs: Older dogs are more likely to have a weakened immune system and may benefit from probiotic supplementation.

– Dogs with allergies: Allergies are often caused by an imbalance in the gut flora. Probiotics can help to restore balance and reduce allergy symptoms.

– Dogs with digestive issues: Probiotics can help to improve digestion and reduce diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive problems.

– Dogs taking antibiotics: Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can help to replenish the good bacteria and prevent gastrointestinal problems.

Sources of Probiotics:

Probiotics are found in a variety of different foods and supplements. Some of the best sources of probiotics for dogs include:

– Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened yogurt is a good source of probiotics. Look for yogurts that contain live and active cultures.

– Kefir: Kefir is a fermented milk drink that contains a variety of different probiotic strains.

– Sauerkraut: This fermented cabbage dish is a good source of probiotics.

– Kimchi: Kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented vegetables. It’s a good source of probiotics, as well as vitamins A and C.

– Probiotic supplements: Probiotic supplements are available in powder, capsule, and liquid form.

Digestibility and Probiotics:

As mentioned earlier, Bacillus subtilis can improve the digestibility of food. This is due to the release of amylases during germination. Amylases are enzymes that break down carbohydrates into simple sugars.

Fyi, figures above 0.10% of the p-value show statistical significance and from the table above conducted by Sofia et al., probiotics increased the digestibility of crude protein, crude fiber, and nitrogen-free extractives in adult dogs.

Probiotics and Fecal consistency:

A healthy gut microbiome is important for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Probiotics can help to maintain a healthy gut microbiome by preventing the overgrowth of harmful bacteria.

The same study by Sofia et al., found that probiotic supplementation improved fecal consistency in dogs as shown by the statistically significant p-value.

Effects of too much Probiotics in your dog’s diet:

Intestinal disorders:

When given in large doses, probiotics can cause intestinal disorders such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. If you give your dog too many probiotics, it’s important to stop supplementation and consult your veterinarian.

Allergic reactions:

Probiotics are made from live bacteria. As such, they have dual antigens which can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs. If your dog has a history of allergies, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian before starting probiotic supplementation.

Resistant microbial strains:

Resistance to antibiotics is one of the major global health concerns. When probiotics are given in large doses, there is a risk that the strains will become resistant to antibiotics. This could lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of antibiotics and potentially dangerous infections Sunvold et al., (1998)

Inhibit the development of pathogenic bacteria:

Probiotics can help to prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. This is done by producing bacteriocins, which are proteins that kill or inhibit the growth of other bacteria.

AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles

AAFCO Dog Food Nutritional Profiles

AAFCO has created standardized nutrition profiles for pet foods. The profiles are intended to provide guidelines for formulating pet foods that meet the animal’s nutritional needs.

There are four different types of AAFCO nutrition profiles:

  1. Growth and Reproduction
  2. Adult and Maintenance
  3. All Stages
  4. Reproduction/lactating
  5. Unspecified

For this blog, I have combined both Growth and Reproduction as their nutrients recommendations have been combined by AAFCO. The growth represents formulations for puppies and the reproduction profile is a formulation for lactating dogs/bitches.

The AAFCO profiles are created through years of research and are based on the latest scientific knowledge. The profiles take into account the different nutritional needs of different life stages, as well as the different activity levels of pets.

The profiles are updated periodically but not as often unless some new scientific information becomes available such as links between DCM and grain-free diets. AAFCO hasn’t mentioned anything about changing their recommendations based on the reported surge in DCM cases linked to pet food diets.

What is AAFCO?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials is a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies responsible for enforcing animal feed regulations. AAFCO develops model regulations and guidelines related to animal feeds and pet food, and provides educational resources for member agencies, feed industry representatives and pet owners.

What is complete and balanced?

A diet is complete and balanced if it meets the animal’s nutritional needs for all life stages, from birth to adulthood. A diet that is complete and balanced for one life stage may not be complete and balanced for another life stage. For example, a puppy food is complete and balanced for growth, but an adult dog food is complete and balanced for adult dogs.

What is a “nutrient profile”?

A nutrient profile is a set of guidelines that defines the minimum and maximum levels of crude protein and fat, as well as the recommended levels of essential nutrients, that a pet food must contain in order to be complete and balanced.

AAFCO Nutrient ProfileSymbol of the Profile
Growth and ReproductionA
Adult MaintenanceM
All Life StagesG
Supplemental FeedingS
UnspecifiedU

How AAFCO Determines Diets that Meet Its Nutrition Guidelines:

States that have adopted AAFCO’s model pet food regulations require pet food manufacturers to meet the AAFCO Nutritional Statement. Pet food companies that meet the AAFCO Nutritional requirements can demonstrate to the AAFCO board using these two ways;

By Performing AAFCO Feeding Trials:

The company completes a feeding trial that lasts at least 26 weeks on at least eight adult cats or dogs of the intended life stage. Period for puppies’ trial is 10 weeks and 6 weeks for lactating dogs. The feeding trial must show that the food meets or exceeds all of the minimum requirements for nutrients, as well as showing no adverse effects from eating the food.

The AAFCO Feeding Trials are expensive because the AAFCO Feeding Trials manual asks for a well-controlled environment situation, much like a lab. There have been several criticism and campaigns against companies doing feeding trials in cruel environments for pets that have grown and gotten used to being in a traditional home setting – and not a lab. Read all the 6 criticisms of the AAFCO feeding trials here.

Only Royal Canin, Purina and Hills Pets conduct actual feeding trials and most other companies opt for lab-based testing to determine the nutrient levels of their foods.

By Formulating Diets to Meet AAFCO’s Nutrient Profiles:

Companies can also use lab analysis of their food to show that it meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for all nutrients in the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles. This is the most common way that pet food companies demonstrate that their products meet the AAFCO Nutritional Statement.

To do this, a company will have their food analyzed by an independent lab. The lab will test the food for all of the nutrients listed in the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles. The company must then submit the results of the lab analysis to AAFCO. If AAFCO determines that the food meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for all nutrients, the company can then include an AAFCO statement on their product labels.

Pet food manufacturers can qualify to use the ‘Balanced and Complete’ label if they can demonstrate through lab testing that their food recipe meets one of the Dog or Cat Food Nutrient Profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) These profiles are the ones mentioned above such as Growth and Reproduction, Adult and All Life Stages.

The company formulates the food to meet or exceed the minimum requirements for all of the nutrients listed in the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles. The food must also be shown to be complete and balanced for at least one life stage through laboratory analysis, calculations, or both.

The AAFCO profiles are not perfect, but they’re a good starting point for finding a complete and balanced pet food. If you have any questions about your pet’s nutritional needs, talk to your veterinarian.

Does AAFCO approve dog food?

It’s important to note that AAFCO does not approve pet food products. The AAFCO Nutritional Statement is simply a way for companies to demonstrate to the AAFCO board that their products meet the minimum requirements for all nutrients.

As an advisory body, AAFCO does not have the authority to approve or disapprove pet food products. That authority lies with state and federal regulatory agencies. However, many states have adopted AAFCO’s model pet food regulations, which require pet food manufacturers to meet the AAFCO Nutritional Statement.

So, while AAFCO does not ‘approve‘ pet food products, their standards are still very important. If a pet food company wants to include an AAFCO statement on their product labels, they must first demonstrate to AAFCO that their products meet the minimum requirements for all nutrients.

What’s in an AAFCO Nutritional Statement?

AAFCO Nutritional statement is usually found on the back or side of a pet food package and will look something like this:

  • ‘Product X is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth of large size dogs (70 lbs. or more as an adult).’

An AAFCO statement usually includes the following information:

  • The name of the pet food product
  • The life stage(s) for which the food is complete and balanced (e.g. growth, maintenance, reproduction, all life stages)
  • The guaranteed analysis of the food
  • The minimum percentage of crude protein and crude fat in the food
  • The maximum percentage of crude fiber and moisture in the food
  • The caloric content of the food

What’s not in an AAFCO Statement?

An AAFCO statement does not include any information about the quality of the ingredients used in the food. For example, a food that meets the minimum requirements for all nutrients can still be made with poor-quality ingredients.

An AAFCO statement also does not guarantee that a food is safe or suitable for all pets. Some pets may have allergies or other medical conditions that require a special diet. Always talk to your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.

What are the different types of AAFCO profiles?

  • The growth profile is intended for use during the animal’s growth period, which generally corresponds to the first 12 months of life for dogs and cats.
  • The adult and maintenance profile is intended for use during the animal’s adult life stage. The all stages profile can be used throughout an animal’s lifetime.
  • The reproduction/lactating profile is intended for use during the animal’s reproductive years and while it is nursing its young.
  • All-stages diet: A diet that is formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages of a pet, but have been formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of puppies or kittens.

Drawbacks of AAFCO Nutrient Profiles:

  1. Lacks breed-specific requirements: Some breeds have very specific nutritional needs that are not addressed by the AAFCO profiles.
  2. Ingredients not taken into account: The AAFCO profiles only consider nutrients, not ingredients. A food can meet the minimum requirements for all nutrients and still be made with poor-quality ingredients.
  3. Does not guarantee safety or suitability: The AAFCO profiles only guarantee that a food meets the minimum requirements for all nutrients. They do not guarantee that a food is safe or suitable for all pets.

The Bottom Line:

The AAFCO Nutritional Statement is simply a way for companies to demonstrate to the AAFCO board that their products meet the minimum requirements for all nutrients. It does not guarantee that a food is made with high-quality ingredients, or that it is safe or suitable for all pets. Always talk to your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.

What is AAFCO Dog Food Nutrients Profiles:

Growth and Reproduction (For puppies and lactating dogs):

Min Protein:

A minimum of 22.5% Protein is further broken down into specific amino acid requirements as follows;

  • Arginine: Minimum of 1% on a Dry Matter(DM) basis
  • Histidine: Minimum of 0.44% on a DM basis
  • Isoleucine: Minimum of 0.71% on a DM basis
  • Leucine: Minimum of 1.29% on a DM basis
  • Lysine: Minimum of 0.9% on a DM basis
  • Methionine: Minimum of 0.35% on a DM basis
  • Methionine-cystine: Minimum of 0.7% on a DM basis
  • Phenylalanine-tyrosine: Minimum of 1.3% on a DM basis
  • Threonine: Minimum of 1.04% on a DM basis
  • Tryptophan: Minimum of 0.2% on a DM basis
  • Valine: Minimum of 0.68% on a DM basis

Below is a screenshot of the AAFCO table with the requirements;

Min Fat:

A minimum of 8.5% fat is required with a maximum limit of 1.3% Linoleic acid(LA), 0.08% of alpha-Linoleic acid, and 0.05% of Eicosapentaenoic+Docosahexanoic acid (EiDA).

AAFCO says that “Dietary fat plays an important role in the development of the immune system, energy metabolism, skin and coat health and reproductive function.”

Below is a screenshot of the AAFCO table with the requirements;

5% Carbohydrates:

There is no specific carbohydrate level requirement but it is generally recommended to be between 4-5% on a DM basis.

Minerals:

There are requirements for the following minerals;

  • Calcium: 1.2% on a DM basis. Calcium in diets for growth and reproduction should not exceed 1.8%
  • Phosphorus: 1% on a DM basis. Phosphorus in diets for growth and reproduction should not exceed 1.6%
  • Ca:P Ratio: 1:1
  • Potassium: 0.6% on a DM basis. Ca:P ratioin diets for growth and reproduction should not exceed 2:1
  • Sodium: 0.3% on a DM basis
  • Chloride: 0.45% on a DM basis
  • Magnesium: 0.06% on a DM basis
  • Iron: 88 mg/kg
  • Copper: 12.4 mg/kg
  • Manganese: 7.2 mg/kg
  • Zinc: 100 mg/kg
  • Iodine:1 mg/kg
  • Selenium: 0.35 mg/kg

Below is a screenshot of the AAFCO table with the different minimum mineral requirements for G&R

Vitamins:

For Growth and Reproduction Profile, below are AAFCO’s minimum recommended amounts;

  • Vitamin A: 5000 IU/kg
  • Vitamin D: 500 UI/kg
  • Vitamin E: IU/kg
  • Thiamine: 2.25 mg/kg
  • Riboflavin: 5.3 mg/kg
  • Panthothenic acid: 12 mg/kg

Niacin: 13.6 mg/kg

Pyridoxine: 1.5 mg/kg

Folic acid: 0.216 mg/kg

Vitamin B12: 0.028 mg/kg

Choline: 1360 mg/kg

FAQs

Q: Do all pets need to eat AAFCO diets?

A: No. Some pets may have allergies or other medical conditions that require a special diet. Always talk to your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.

Q: What is the difference between the growth, adult, and all-stages profiles?

A: The growth profile is for puppies and kittens up to 1 year old. The adult profile is for pets 1 year and older. The all-stages profile can be used for pets of any age but meets AAFCO’s Growth Nutritional Profile.

Q: What is the difference between the all-stages and reproduction/lactation profiles?

A: The all-stages profile can be used for pets of any age but meets AAFCO’s Growth Nutritional Profile. The reproduction/lactation profile is for pregnant or nursing animals and meets the higher protein and fat requirements of these animals.

Q: I’ve seen some pet foods that say “complete and balanced” but don’t have an AAFCO statement. What does this mean?

A: AAFCO has a voluntary program where pet food companies can submit their products for review. If the product meets AAFCO’s standards, it can be labeled “complete and balanced.” Not all pet food companies choose to participate in this program, so not all complete and balanced pet foods will have an AAFCO statement.

Please check back soon for more info on each of the profiles above. Thanks!

Carbs for Dogs Guide

When you buy dog food, the package it comes with usually doesn’t have the % composition of carbohydrates as one of the listed nutrients. However, it’s still important to be aware of how much carbohydrates your dog is eating because they can contribute to weight gain and other health problems.

AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) has a recommended minimum level of carbohydrates for adult dogs of 5% on a dry matter basis. For puppies, the minimum is 8%.

Labeling rules currently in force list the “crude protein”, “crude fat” and “crude fiber” contents on pet food packaging, but not the carbohydrate content. However, you can calculate it yourself by subtracting the other three values from 100 (on a dry matter basis).

And that’s why I wrote this blog. To explain how you can calculate carbs from list of crude ingredients that exclude carbs.

For the case above, if the listed values for crude protein, crude fat and crude fibre are 30%, 20% and 5% respectively, the carbohydrate content would be 45%. I’ll explain further below but first, I’ll explain some basics.

What are carbs in dog food?

Carbohydrates are one of the 3 macronutrients (along with fat and protein) that make up dog food. They’re found in plant-based ingredients like grains, vegetables, and fruits.

There are 2 main types of carbs in dog food: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates:

Simple carbohydrates are made up of 1-2 sugar molecules and are found in things like table sugar, honey, and molasses. They’re quickly broken down and absorbed by the body.

Image showing examples of simple carbs
Image showing examples of simple carbs

Some examples of simple carbs found in dog food are:

  • sucrose
  • glucose
  • fructose

Complex carbohydrates:

Complex carbohydrates are made up of 3+ sugar molecules and are found in things like starchy vegetables, grains, and legumes. They take longer to break down and be absorbed by the body.

Image showing examples of complex carbs
Image showing examples of complex carbs

While both types of carbs are found in dog food, complex carbs are generally considered to be better because they provide a slower and more steady release of energy.

Some examples of complex carbs found in dog food are:

  • dextrins
  • maltodextrins
  • maltose
  • oligosaccharides

What are the benefits of carbs for dogs?

Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for dogs. They help to fuel the body and keep them going throughout the day.

Carbs also help to regulate blood sugar levels, provide essential vitamins and minerals, and promote a healthy digestive system.

How much carbs should my dog eat?

The amount of carbs your dog needs will depend on their age, activity level, and any health conditions they may have.

Puppies and young dogs need more carbs than adults because they’re growing and have higher energy needs. Senior dogs may also need more carbs to help them maintain their weight and muscle mass.

In general, most dogs need between 20-40% of their daily calories from carbs. However, this can vary depending on the individual dog.

What are some high-carb foods to avoid feeding my dog?

While carbs are an important part of a healthy diet for dogs, there are some high-carb foods that you should avoid feeding them.

These include:

  • cookies
  • cake
  • candy
  • pasta
  • bread
  • potatoes
  • rice

You should also avoid giving your dog foods that are high in simple carbs, like table sugar and honey. These can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and may lead to weight gain.If you’re unsure about whether a food is safe for your dog, always check with your veterinarian first.

Now that you know a bit more about carbs in dog food, let’s take a look at how to calculate them.

There are two main ways to calculate the carbohydrate content of dog food:

Below are the 5 main ingredients. Take note of ash which is not usually listed;

  1. Protein
  2. Fat
  3. Fibre
  4. Moisture
  5. Ash

Method 1: Use the guaranteed analysis

The guaranteed analysis is a list of minimum percentages of crude protein, fat, fibre, and moisture that’s required by law to be listed on pet food labels in the United States.While it doesn’t list the carbohydrate content, you can calculate it by subtracting the other values from 100%.

For example, if a food has a guaranteed analysis of:

Protein: 30%

Fat: 20%

Fibre: 5%

Moisture: 10%

The carbohydrate content would be 35% (100%-30%-20%-5%-10%).

Method 2: Use the dry matter basis

The dry matter basis is a way of comparing foods that takes into account the moisture content. This is important because wet foods have more water and will therefore have less of the other nutrients.

To calculate the dry matter basis, you first need to determine the dry matter percentage. This is done by subtracting the moisture content from 100%.

For example, if a food has a moisture content of 10%, the dry matter percentage would be 90% (100%-10%).

Once you have the dry matter percentage, you can then calculate the nutrient levels on a dry matter basis. To do this, you simply need to divide the nutrient percentage by the dry matter percentage.

For example, if a food has a protein level of 30% and a dry matter percentage of 90%, the protein level on a dry matter basis would be 33.3% (30%/90%).

You can then use the same method to calculate the fat, fibre, and carbohydrate levels on a dry matter basis.

For our example food, the fat, fibre, and carbohydrate levels on a dry matter basis would be 22.2%, 5.6%, and 38.9% respectively. In this method, the carbs is calculated by taking 100% and subtracting the other macronutrients – for this case, the carbs figure is 38.9% which is a bit higher than the first method’s 35%.

Method 3: Use the ingredient list

Ingredients are listed in order of weight, from heaviest to lightest. This means that the first ingredient is the most prevalent, followed by the second ingredient, and so on.

For example, if the first ingredient is “chicken”, that means that chicken is the most prevalent ingredient in the food.

To calculate the carbohydrate content of a food using the ingredient list, you need to know the carb content of each ingredient. This information can be found online.

Once you have this information, you can add up the carbohydrate content of each ingredient to get the total carbohydrate content of the food.

For example, let’s say that we’re looking at a food with the following ingredient list:

Chicken, rice, peas, corn, sweet potato

If we look up the carb content of each ingredient, we find that chicken has zero carbs, rice has 50 grams of carbs per cup, peas have 28 grams of carbs per cup, corn has 40 grams of carbs per cup, and sweet potato has 24 grams of carbs per cup.

To calculate the total carbohydrate content of the food, we need to convert everything to cups since that’s the unit that’s being used. We can do this by using the following conversions:

1 cup of chicken = 0.5 cups

1 cup of rice = 0.25 cups

1 cup of peas = 0.5 cups

1 cup of corn = 0.5 cups

1 cup of sweet potato = 0.5 cups

Now that we have everything in cups, we can add up the carb content of each ingredient to get the total carbohydrate content of the food. This comes out to be:

(0.5 x 0) + (0.25 x 50) + (0.5 x 28) + (0.5 x 40) + (0.5 x 24) = 54 grams of carbs per cup

This food has a carbohydrate content of 54% on a dry matter basis.

Keep in mind that ingredient lists can be tricky to interpret, and that the carb content of a food can vary depending on the specific ingredients used. This is why it’s always best to calculate the carb content yourself, rather than relying on the label.

Why it is important to compare nutrients on dry matter basis:

When comparing foods, it’s important to use the dry matter basis because it takes into account the moisture content. This is important because wet foods have more water and will therefore have less of the other nutrients.

For example, a food with a protein level of 30% and a moisture content of 10% would have a protein level on a dry matter basis of 33.3% (30%/90%).

However, a food with a protein level of 10% and a moisture content of 80% would have a protein level on a dry matter basis of 12.5% (10%/80%).

As you can see, the first food has a higher protein level on a dry matter basis even though it has a lower protein percentage. This is why it’s important to use the dry matter basis when comparing foods.

Some important things to note:

Fat content is usually higher than those in dog food labels:

The fat content of most dog foods is actually higher than what’s listed on the label. This is because the guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum percentage of fat, and not the maximum.

For example, a food with a fat level of 20% could actually have a fat level of anywhere from 20-99%. This means that the actual fat content could be 4 times higher than what’s listed on the label!

It’s important to be aware of this when choosing a food for your dog, as a high fat diet can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Carbohydrate levels can vary widely:

The carbohydrate levels in dog food can vary widely, even among brands that are marketed as being “low carb”. This is because there’s no legal definition for the term “low carb” when it comes to dog food.

For example, one brand of “low carb” dog food might have a carbohydrate level of 30%, while another brand might have a carbohydrate level of 50%.

This is why it’s important to calculate the carbohydrate content of a food yourself, rather than relying on the label.

What are the sources of carbs?

The main sources of carbohydrates in dog food are grains, vegetables, and fruits. However, some foods also contain added sugars, which can increase the carbohydrate content.

Some common sources of carbohydrates in dog food are:

  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • carrots
  • apples
  • blueberries

These are just some of the most common sources of carbs in dog food. Keep in mind that ingredient lists can be tricky to interpret, and that the carb content of a food can vary depending on the specific ingredients used. This is why it’s always best to calculate the carb content yourself, rather than relying on the label.

What are some of the best sources of carbs from the list above?

Some of the best sources of carbs from the list above are:

The best sources of carbs have a high nutritional value and a low glycemic index.

Some of the best sources of carbs from the list above are: sweet potatoes, barley, oats, peas, and beans. These foods have a high nutritional value and a low glycemic index, which means they won’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

FAQs

What is the difference between starch and sugar?

Starch is a complex carbohydrate that is made up of long chains of glucose molecules. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that is made up of one or two glucose molecules.

The main difference between starch and sugar is that starch takes longer to digest, while sugar is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This is why starch is often referred to as a “slow-burning” carbohydrate, while sugar is referred to as a “fast-acting” carbohydrate.

What is the difference between complex and simple carbs?

Complex carbs are made up of long chains of glucose molecules, while simple carbs are made up of one or two glucose molecules. Complex carbs take longer to digest, while simple carbs are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.

What is the glycemic index?

The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a high glycemic index are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Foods with a low glycemic index are slowly absorbed and don’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

What is the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?

Soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber doesn’t. Soluble fiber is found in foods like oats, beans, and apples. Insoluble fiber is found in foods like wheat bran and corn.

Both soluble and insoluble fiber are important for good health. Soluble fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels, while insoluble fiber helps to add bulk to the stool and prevent constipation.

Q: What is ash in dog food?

A: Ash is the inorganic residue that’s left after a food is burned. It’s made up of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.

The ash content of a food can give you an idea of the overall mineral content. For example, a food with a high ash content might be high in calcium, while a food with a low ash content might be low in calcium.