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Old 03-24-2012, 12:08 AM
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Default A general note about diet discussions

I posted the following information in a thread, but it might be helpful to repost it as a thread of its own because it's an important and recurring issue for any forum related to canine health and particularly to one on canine diabetes.

. . . . . . .

The food issue is always a difficult one and something that I prefer to avoid much discussion of at the forum because it tends to be a very emotional one. I need to clarify the forum's position on diets and discussions of various foods.

I have no problems with posts along the lines of "I chose to feed my dog grain free food because I don't want to use a food with corn as the main ingredient" or "I stopped using X food because it was causing problems with Y and Z in my dog."

That is very different from "You (forum members, the world) should never ever feed X food because it's terrible."

We have a general policy against "trashing" prescription diets - against "trashing" anything for that matter.

It's a matter of respecting the choices and beliefs of others when it comes to food (and other things).

Because if there is any "truth" related to diets, I would have to say it's that we really KNOW very little about what is best. Lots of opinions, almost no facts. That goes for human nutrition too, though perhaps to a lesser extent. Every week a new study comes out that refutes the claims made last year or the year before about what is healthiest or least healthy for people to eat.

One thing we can say with some certainty is that dogs generally process these insulins faster than people do and, as a result, they often need some carbohydrates in their diets that are digested fairly quickly so the sugar gets going in the bloodstream at the same time as the insulin.

One consequence of that tendency is that many people have found that they cannot get a good food/insulin balance with a diet that is mostly meat or mostly protein and that some dogs who get a fast jolt of action from the insulin require a fast acting grain-type carbohydrate in order to balance their blood sugar.

In the eight years I've been involved with forums for diabetic dogs, I have seen them thrive and get good regulation and balanced blood sugar on everything from inexpensive, big-box-store kibble to the prescription diets to high-quality diets with grain and high-quality diets without grain.

Those years have taught me that, love it or hate it, Science Diet WD often works very well for diabetic dogs in giving them nice even blood sugar (the other prescription diets haven't been as successful overall but work for many and seem to differ in processing, not ingredients) and also has worked very well for dogs with a history of IBD or pancreatitis. The concept of the glycemic index associated with people doesn't necessarily translate well to the canine version of diabetes and insulin absorption.

Consequently, opinions about the good and bad points of various diets and ingredients should be left to forums and other venues dedicated to that subject, and general "trashing" of prescription or other diets and ingredients is not appropriate at K9D because it does not respect valid choices made by others whose beliefs are different.

Natalie