Pet Nutrition: Common Misconceptions

August 24, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition), technician learning and development manager at Ethos Veterinary Health, explains common misconceptions regarding pet nutrition.

Ed Carlson, CVT, VTS (Nutrition), technician learning and development manager at Ethos Veterinary Health, explains common misconceptions regarding pet nutrition.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“[Pet nutrition is] one of those things that seems like it changes almost from week to week sometimes. Lately there’s really been a lot of talk about grain-free diets and how they’re so superior to diets that do contain grains, and really, there’s no evidence to back that up.

Some of the other ingredients that are used instead of grains, such as tapioca or potatoes, may not have as much nutritional value for the pet as some of the grains do. Many of [of these ingredients] don’t have as much protein [or] really have more sugar than some of the grains would.

People often relate things like celiac disease, that really is a problem in people, with pets and pet food and so it gets extrapolated to their pets as they humanize them. So far as celiac disease goes, there’s one line of Irish setters, bred in the United Kingdom, that actually is known to have celiac disease, but other pets don’t. They may have some allergies towards some types of wheat or grains of other types; however, it’s usually not as widespread as people think, and there are a lot of really good reasons to use many grains in pet food.”