Dog Feeding Myths and Facts

Although they've been proven false, there are various popular superstitions regarding feeding dogs that carry on to be handed down in families or given out by self-appointed authorities.

When you are raising your puppy, somebody might say to you not to give him milk since "milk makes worms." This couldn't possibly be true unless the milk bore worm eggs, which isn't likely. Puppies that are fed solely with milk after weaning could become debilitated from the compounding of short diet and worms they already have, but milk by itself doesn't produce worms. Unreasonable amounts of lactose, the sugar contained in milk, all the same, might produce diarrhea. Numerous dogs, particularly puppies, are not able to metabolize lactose properly.
 Nature's Variety Dry Dog Food, Prairie Canine Chicken Meal & Brown Rice, 30-Pound Bag
A different old wives' tale is that raw meat would make a dog savage. The basis for this notion is hard to imagine. It's true that a dog fed nothing but raw meat will be getting an insufficient diet and, intrinsically, may not be in the best of spirits. But the raw meat wouldn't make him brutal or blood-thirsty. Meat that can be consumed rare by humans can be ingested raw by dogs.
 Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Variety Pack (Turkey, Chicken, Chicken & Beef) Food for Dogs, 5.3-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 48)
Raw meat is oftentimes blamed as a cause of worms. A dog could get tapeworm from eating a rabbit he has caught, or perhaps from uncooked pork, but there's no other connection.

Another common notion is that feeding garlic or raw onions would "cure" worms in a dog. Worms are eradicated only by medicines that are made of stronger stuff than any amount of garlic or raw onions. Since worm medicines are potentially dangerous, you must turn a deaf ear to those who tell you your pup "just needs worming" every time he seems to be ailing. Your puppy may require worming, but on the other hand, he could be suffering from any of a dozen grave illnesses. Don't undermine him further by dosing with worm medicine. See your vet.
When anybody advises you to feed your dog raw eggs to make his coat shiny, assure them that the uncooked white of an egg ruins the absorption in his intestines of an important vitamin, biotin. The yolks of eggs can be given raw, but whole eggs must be cooked.

A lot of people worry when their dogs "wolf" down food. A dog's digestion does not start in his mouth as it does in humans. Eating fast and swallowing food whole is natural, and in all likelihood a regression to the time when dogs ran in packs and had to contend with others to get their share.
Natural Balance Dog Food, Lamb Formula, 4 Pound Roll 
A block of sulfur set in a dog's water bowl is credited with everything from keeping off worms to curing skin diseases. Alas, sulfur has no medicinal or nutritional value, and is just an ornament in the water dish.

A popular belief is that dogs must not be given the smallest speck of leftover potatoes because "starch can't be digested by dogs." This fact was confuted years ago by scientific tests. Dogs can digest cooked starch much as people can. Carbohydrates, so all-important in the dog's properly balanced diet, come partially from starches. This doesn't mean, however, that a diet of potatoes, macaroni, or bread is commended.
 Wellness Super5Mix Adult Small Breed Dog Food, 4-Pound Bag

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