Are Nutritional Supplements Necessary for My Dog?
The supplement industry has made available anything and everything to give to your dog, but you better get it right! As their caregiver they depend on you to get it right. So the questions are:
1. How were guidelines established for the energy and nutritional requirements for dogs?
Answer: The science behind the feeding and nutrient requirements of all dogs follows the years of research provided by the National Institute of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Pet Food Institute. An advisory research board of veterinarians was convened in 1984 and 2004 as advisors assembled under the National Research Council (NRC) Of The National Academies, who are advisors to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine, to establish and update feeding guidelines for dogs and cats. The new and updated feeding guidelines were then published in the book, Nutrient Requirements Of Dogs And Cats, 1986 and again in 2006.
In both books, the NRC establishes very precise tables of nutrient requirements for dogs and sets them to a standardized set of values known as the Recommended Allowance (RA). Combined into mathematical formulations, the energy requirement along with the RA, applied to a precise combination ratio of raw food ingredients, sets the basis of the food formulation and the amount of food required to feed a dog to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the tendency of the dog to regulate its internal conditions, such as the chemical composition of its body fluids, so as to maintain health and functioning, regardless of outside conditions. Simply put, body weight and overall health.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recognized the need for a nutritional standard for dog food and cat food in the early 1980's, so AAFCO convened a group of pet nutritionists from government, academia and industry to develop the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. AAFCO recognizes the NRC as an authority on dog nutrition.
2. Do dog food manufacturers follow NRC and AAFCO guidelines?
Answer: Yes, and most of them have established computer programing models using NRC and AAFCO nutrient profiles and requirements to formulate their dog food. Diets are formulated and balanced for dogs assuming average amounts of activity in a non-stressful and thermoneutral environment.
3. Does the NRC or AAFCO regulate the dog food industry?
Answer: No—Neither serve as regulators of the industry.
The NRC are advisors to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine, to establish and update feeding guidelines.
AAFCO is not a regulatory body and has no regulatory authority. AAFCO does not test, review, certify, approve or recommend pet foods in any way. It is the state (and federal) feed control official who enforces the regulations for feed and pet food.
AAFCO is a professional association of officials who regulate animal feed, including pet food, in state and federal governments. AAFCO members meet in open session to discuss feed issues and develop model legislation that is recommended to the states for adoption as state feed laws and regulations. States are not required to adopt AAFCO's models, but they are encouraged to do so since most products are sold across state lines.
While AAFCO has developed nutritional standards for dogs, AAFCO does not enforce them. It is the responsibility of the state feed control official to ensure that any claim made for a feed or pet food, including those for nutritional adequacy, is accurate.
4. Do I need to give supplements to my dog if I feed Commercial Dog Food?
Answer: The answer is yes! Commercial dog food is formulated and balanced for dogs assuming average amounts of activity in a non-stressful and thermoneutral environment. As it is a fixed energy and nutrient density food source, feeding increased amounts of commercial dog food satisfies increased energy demand from exercise, but it MAY NOT satisfy the non-proportional increased demand of nutrients according to the NRC.
Health and well-being for your dog begins with hands-on care and affection through touch, personal interaction, exercise and play, established routines, discipline, respect, dignified living conditions, and good nutrition. Good nutrition starts with a high energy-providing food-source, and the food source must provide enough energy and nutrition to support metabolism to thrive. Metabolism drives health and well-being, and health and well-being drives metabolism!
When feeding a commercial dog food brand and specialized food product under that brand, the daily food regime becomes a fixed process of feeding the same food and generally the same amount of food every day. As care givers to our dogs, we are not always the best influence on their overall health. We accept them into our lives, and for many they live side-by-side with us as a most important member of the household, but OUR INFLUENCE AFFECTS THEIR METABOLISM! Just as most reputable doctors recommend daily supplements for us to augment lifestyle-poor diets, changes in activity level, and general day-to-day stress, OUR DOGS ALSO BENEFIT using this same philosophy.
Dog food manufacturers do not want consumers to feel that their products require or need any boost or additions to make them better, but supplements are necessary because commercial dog food is formulated and balanced for dogs assuming average amounts of activity in a non-stressful and thermoneutral environment. Give your dog the best chance for a great life as it runs and plays and lives side-by-side as your best friend. Say YES to supplements and especially YES to Rawproconcepts®. Rawproconcepts® has been developed to target potential deficiency areas of commercial dog food. It is perfectly matched and balanced to augment and enhance the balance of commercial dog food, and should be your program of choice to get it right.
5. Do I need to give supplements to my dog if I feed a Homemade Diet?
Answer: 100% YES—YOU HAVE NO CHOICE! You HAVE TO ADD SUPPLEMENTS TO THE DIET OR YOUR DOG WILL EVENTUALLY GET SICK! It is vital to the health of your dog to purchase The Complete Nutrition Workbook for Dogs, Anderson, 2013, the only workbook available, written in accordance with NRC guidelines, to safely and correctly formulate a homemade diet for your dog. Use the workbook tables to get it right, and get familiar with the entire Rawproconcepts® supplement program. Your dog will thrive on this program, a program developed to support ALL the formulations provided in the workbook.
Alan Anderson, February 2015