Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2013

Why Buying Into A “One Diet” Fits All Dogs Is A Really Bad Idea

doginspectorWhy Buying Into A “One Diet” Fits All Dogs

Is A Really Bad Idea

by J. Daryll Chester

The AAFCO has calculated the statistical average weight of all dogs in the country(46.7 pounds) or the statistical average height of all the dogs in thecountry (16.5 inches). Would the averaged sized dog also be thenutritionally average dog? Which single breed of dog represents theaverage size of all breeds?Dogs’ body weights range from 1 pound to 235 pounds, with a heightrange of 5 inches to 35 inches. Their coats range from long to short,smooth to coarse, single to double – in every imaginable color. Theirdispositions range from the hyperactive and nervous to the laid back andlistless. Not all breeds suffer from all the same ailments. The list ofailments the different breeds can suffer from includes: Hot Spots, Bloat,Dysplasia, respiratory problems, Hyper-Thyroid, Hypo-Thyroid,Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Heart Failure, Worms, Cataracts, SnowNose, Eczema, Dwarfism, Hemophilia, Kidney Failure, Liver Failure,Torsion, Eclampsia, Cysts, Black Tongue, Slipped Stifle, TemperatureSensitivities, Monorchidism, Dermoid Sinus, tumors, Collie Eye, VonWillebrand’s Disease, etc. all requiring different nutritional needs

Since there are so many differences among the many breeds, which onebreed accurately represents the average of all the other breeds?

Couldwe claim that the nutritionally average breed is:

(1)A LabradorRetriever, which is only one of the few breeds known to produce skinoils and not skin dander like most other breeds?

(2) A Collie that needsten times the amount of vitamin D than other breeds?

(3) A Beagle thathas a different requirement for vitamin A than other breeds?

When commercial manufacturers of all-breed dog foods test their products,which breed should they use? Obviously, whatever breed they use, thatbreed is not going to be the nutritionally average breed of dog. It willnot be a good representative for all the other breeds.

Formulating a diet for theaverage dog and suggesting all dogs should eat is a shot gun approach to nutrition.

In order to assess your pet’s nutritional needs and then design a diet plan to meet those needs, you must first learn:

  1. What are your pets nutritional needs
  2. How much of each nutrient is required and why
  3. How do the nutrients work together, with cells and genes
  4. What are the best ways to supply the needed amount of each nutrient so to satisfy all the genetic systems, help eliminate toxins and supply needed energy to the body



When inspecting each essential nutrient in a dog’s diet, it is veryimportant to look at the other nutrients they affect or that affect them.The nutrients that work together are the NUTRITIONAL TEAMS. Weall recognize the teamwork between water and solid foods in the dog’sdiet. If either one is not present, we know the result will be death dueto a lack of an essential part of the dog’s diet. On the other hand, if wepresent any one part of the team in quantities that are too far out ofproportion to the other parts, we can have the same disastrous results.

Balancing all the parts of a nutritional team is the most importantfactor for formulating a proper diet for any dog. The completenutritional team for canine nutrition consists of solids and liquids.These can be broken down to include: protein, vitamins, minerals, traceminerals, enzymes, fiber, fatty acids, carbohydrates, bacteria, andwater. Then each part of the complete nutritional team can be brokendown into a team of its own.

Protein team:

Protein consists of building blocks called amino acids. It is thebalance of ten specific amino acids that give dietary protein its bio-nutritive value. The ten essential amino acids are; Valine, Leucine,Isoeucine, Threonine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Tryptophan, Histidine,Arginine, and Lysine. All ten of these must be present within the proteinfor a dog to receive any use of the protein at all. Other amino acids thatare considered non essential amino acids are; Alanine, Asparagine,Aspartic Acid, Cystine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glysine, Proline,Serine, and Tyrosine. The non-essential amino acids can be producedby the dog (in vivo), and therefore are not required in the dog’s bulk foodintake. The essential amino acids are the ones that must be in their food.

Vitamin team:

There are three types of vitamins required for proper caninenutrition: The water soluble vitamins of B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, niacin orniacinamide, biotin, folic acid, d-calcium pantothenate, and para aminobenzoic acid; The fat soluble vitamins of A, D, and E; and those vitaminslike C and K that can be produced by the dog (in vivo), and therefore arenot required in the dog’s bulk food intake. I also include the nutrientsof choline and inositol within the B complex vitamin team. These twonutrients are not considered vitamins. However, they work directly withthe water soluble B vitamins and are so closely related that I place themin the same team.

Mineral team:

The minerals essential for canine nutrition consist of Calcium,Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, Magnesium, Manganese,Iron, Copper, Iodine, Selenium, and Zinc. The common practice ofadding one team member (Calcium), to a dog’s diet by pet owners oftenproduces the best example of the danger of imbalancing a nutritionalteam. This practice provides quantities of calcium that are too far outof proportion to the other team members. There have been many studiesdone that show that adding calcium without the proper balance of the rest ofits team mates can deform the skeletal structure in puppies. Thesestudies are those most often used by nutritionists working for dog foodcompanies to show the dangers of supplementing their “balanced” all-breed dog food. This team is also directly linked to the vitamins that arefat soluble, and the balance between these two teams is extremelyimportant.

Trace mineral team:

This team is directly related to both the mineral and vitaminteams. The trace mineral team consists of; Cobalt, Molybdenum,Copper, Fluorine, Iron, Arsenic, Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium, andManganese. As you can see, many trace minerals appear to be the sameas those listed as minerals. The main difference between those with thesame name but are found in a different category is their molecularconfiguration. Due to the unique molecular configuration of traceminerals they are very fragile. For example; the simple stone grindingprocess of wheat flour can cause from 70% to 90% of the natural tracemineral Iron to be destroyed. However, the same process would havelittle effect on the mineral form of Iron.

Enzyme team:

The enzyme team consists of Lipase, Amylase, and Trypsin.The dog’s Pancreas secretes these enzymes into the intestines wherethey perform their team functions. Enzymes, like the nonessentialamino acids of proteins that are produced by the dog in vivo, are notrequired in a healthy dog’s bulk food intake. However, when supplementalenzymes are required, it is very important that they are manufactured in such a manner as to be released in the proper place within the dog’sdigestive system. The pancreas secretes its digestive enzymes into thedigestive system when the food has already been exposed to severalother digestive processes. By the time the food is exposed to theenzymes, the teeth have torn the food into smaller size, the acids andbacteria of the digestive system have started their work on the food, andso forth.

Enzymes have very specific duties to perform, and as with all digestivefunctions, there is a proper time and place for each specific function.When supplemental enzymes are introduced into the digestive processin the wrong place they can interfere with the functions of individualnutrients and/or other nutritional teams.

Fiber team:

The fiber team is one of those teams that are often overlooked.However, the work it performs plays a major function in caninenutrition. Fiber is responsible for slowing the food’s movementthroughout the digestive system, thus allowing each part of that systemthe time to perform its function properly. Also fiber and bacteria joinin the dogs gut to produce vitamin K. This is a very important function.

Fatty acid team:

There are three fatty acids a dog must have to be able to producethe arachidonic acids that its body requires. The three fatty acids are:Oleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, and Linoleic Acid. All three are foundtogether in any natural source containing what is called the Alpha-Linolenate family. The classic symptom of a fatty acid deficiency is adry and brittle coat. The breeds that produce skin oils also will requirea different balance of this team than those breeds that do not produceskin oils.

Carbohydrate team:

Carbohydrate requirements change at very specific times in adog’s life cycle and in times of stress or work. Canines cannot“carbohydrate stack” (store carbohydrates for energy), as humans can,but they turn carbohydrates from the dietary intake into instant energy.Puppies and geriatric dogs should receive much of their energy fromhigh carbohydrate food rather than from high protein food. Dogsconvert high carbohydrate food into energy in a short time afteringesting it. Producing energy from dietarycarbohydrates can be much easier on the dog’s body than the process ofproducing energy from protein. Protein must be stored in muscle tissueand then withdrawn for conversion into energy.

Bacteria team:

Bacteria is a part of canine nutrition too often takenfor granted. A wild carnivore will often bury its kill, after eating the guts(high in bacteria content), to let the carcass rot prior to eating it. Thisrotting is nothing more than allowing bacteria to break down the muscletissue to make it more digestible. The bacteria team also works veryclosely with the fiber team within the digestive system to develop andgrow cultures. These cultures in turn produce vitamin K in the dog’s gut.New research is now being done with bacteria to study its role in caninenutrition, and its importance is becoming more defined.

There are dangers in breaking down nutritional teams of solid food andliquids into their component parts, and in turn, further breaking downeach of these components. One danger is that a person doing researchin the field of nutrition can become too focused on a specific nutrient anddisregard how that one nutrient interacts with other nutrients. Forexample; we all know that it takes calcium to build healthy bones.Knowing this one fact and taking it out of context can lead to problems.Adding lots of calcium to a puppy’s food, without the other nutrientscalcium interacts with for building bones, can be counter-productive.

Another danger occurs when the researcher is looking for a specificresult. When the researcher achieves his goal, he does not carry on the research tosee what other areas have been effected. The best example of this wouldbe the research on a product to change the elasticity of the musclesholding the hip joint together, thus changing the occurrence of hipdysplasia. Such a product has been researched and is available.However, that product also damages an otherwise healthy dog’s liverand kidney.

When considering the field of canine nutrition and formulating a properdiet for your dog, I feel that a holistic view must be taken.

We often hear pet owners proclaiming that they know that their pet’s nutritional needs are all being met with no empirical evidence. Their pet appears to be healthy; therefore it must be. Unfortunately, most cancer, autoimmune disease, and organ failure are not seen nor detected by the pet owner or the vet until it starts to show symptoms. The immune system doesn’t show sign of being compromised until it is in failure. A cheap bio-nutritional blood test can save you years of love, thousands of dollars in reactive vet bills and put you on the road to helping your pet’s body repair, achieve balance, and truly thrive.

Do it and do it right, or don’t do it at all.  It is not difficult to make pet food, but do your homework first, and do not get ‘creative’ and start adding/omitting ingredients to/from a balanced recipe.

If you need help in creating a diet plan, determining your pet’s nutritional needs, or would like a consultation, you can reach me at:!consultation-service/c5w7



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