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Dog Owners Urged To Give Formulated Foods


A VETENARIAN has underscored the need to feed pets on formulated foods, just like it is done in poultry, to ensure a balanced nutrition, better health and performance. Explaining this in Lagos last week, Dr. Mark Obinwa, in a chat with The Guardian, indicated that pet nutrition needs to follow scientific rules.

While explaining the rationale for formulated foods he disclosed that “many pet food companies add low-quality protein products such as bone meal, by-products and corn gluten meal, knowing that they can increase the percentage of crude protein on the label, without making a better food.” He informed that “low quality proteins are not easily digestible, and therefore not easily assimilated by the dog,” warning that “you may have been paying for food that your dog can not utilise.”

In terms of energy, Obinwa pointed out that “quality dog foods usually contain more calories per pound and are more digestible, so it takes less quantity of a quality food, to meet your dog’s needs. Also, smaller amounts of highly digestible, quality food mean fewer stools – another major advantage of quality digestible food.”

Obinwa brought the veterinarian in him to bear when he delved into the scientific details of desirable food ingredients. According to him, normal wear and tear on joints occurs daily throughout your dog’s lifetime. Cartilage protects your dog’s bones and joints from the friction caused by everyday movement. He therefore expressed the need for adult dog formulas that contain guaranteed levels of natural glucosamine, so you can help your dog stay active and healthy for a long time to come. To him, such feed formulations have not been found in the Nigerian pet food market until recently.

Stressing the importance of appropriate protein sources in foods, Obinwa stressed that all animals require a daily supply of suitable quality protein, and hard working or growing dogs have a much greater need for good quality protein than those resting. Therefore, with 35 per cent protein, 17.5 per cent oil – Omega 3, 6 and 9 (skin and coat), 18 MJ/Kg of digestible energy (slow release) and is extremely palatable. He noted that full fat soya is a good source.

Salmon oil, he added, is great for working dogs, puppies and gundogs, with vitamin B and natural nutrients. Salmon Oil helps lower blood Cholesterol and also contains omega 3 fatty acids – an excellent source to boost up HDL (the good cholesterol) in blood. Omega 3 fatty acid in salmon oil, is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids which can only be supplied by food sources. He identified salmon oil as one of such rich sources. This, he emphasized, will give your dog a healthy skin and a shiny coat. Salmon oil strengthens immune systems, increases fertility and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Obinwa referred to a study chaired by Gary J. Nelson (Ph.D) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Western Human Nutrition Research Center in San Francisco, that showed that HDL increased by 10 per cent by just eating 20 days of a high salmon diet. He pointed out as well that the beet pulp provides nutrition for the probiotics, and probiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon and thus improves host health.

He mentioned the benefits of turmeric as a potent, yet safe anti-inflammatory agent. It can be used for effective treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, relief for rheumatoid arthritis, help for cystic fibrosis sufferers, cancer prevention, cancer cell growth inhibition and metastases, colon cancer prevention, improved liver function, and cardiovascular protection.

He referred to the anti-oxidant activities of vitamin C, the medicinal values of seaweeds, the benefits of iodine and potassium, the health incentives offered by comfrey leaf herb, and dandelion flowers, roots and leaves, the nettle, celery, and a number of others, which, one way or another, improves the integrity of the body of the animal fed on them.

His reason for canvassing a well-formulated food for pets can be summed up as follows: Your dog will eat anything that is placed before him. So you must give him only the best dog food. With so much competition, research is not high on a dog food manufacturer’s list. So that is why you must be so vigilant. Research takes time and money so you will pay for the better and more nutritious foods. Take the time and do your own research to ensure that you have touched all of your nutritional bases.

Obinwa expressed the confidence that a brand of pet food he is introducing to the market will help answer some of the nutrition questions and will be beneficial to users. Developed and produced by veterinarians, this brand, he said, is an organic dog food, manufactured in England from special and carefully picked recipes.

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