Pet Food Myths and Tips; Heartworm Can Be Prevented on WGN Radio


Dr. RuthAnn Lobos

There are SO many pet food myths and we at least try to clear some some of these HERE on Steve Dale’s Pet World, WGN Radio. Listen as I speak with Merrick Pet Care lead veterinarian Dr. RuthAnn Lobos. The thing is that online, it seems everyone is an expert and real facts are tossed aside just because a group online says so. This is one reason why choosing a pet food product with at least one staff boarded veterinary nutritionist or nutritionist with PhD is an easy place to start.

We begin with a biggie when it comes to pet food myths, talking about byproducts. The name ‘byproducts’ was chosen years ago by a government agency, and Dr. Lobos concedes the name sounds like it’s ingredients that really don’t belong in the food or somehow added “filler.” First off well-formulated diets don’t have “fillers.” 

Dr. Lobos explains the difference between nutrients and ingredients – and this is helpful to understand. In truth, byproducts are anything other than your basic known muscle named meats we eat in the U.S., like legs and thighs for chickens, as one example. Byproducts definition: “secondary products produced from principle products” according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Official Publication, which oversees pet foods in the U.S. Typically byproducts might be organ meats, which may be most nutritious and preferred by most pets (and also sometimes humans in other cultures around the world prefer byproducts as well).

We also discuss how decidedly dogs are not wolves, and their nutritional needs are different than wolves. Dogs are like us, true omnivores. Dogs even can crave carbohydrates, and are able to digest them in a way which wolves cannot. Would your dog prefer a Chicago pizza or freshly killed prey?

Heartworm 101

It may not be an exciting topic, but preventing heartworm -spread by mosquitoes – in your dog or cat is easy enough to do. Sadly, so many simply do not. And that lack of prevention, says Dr. Donna Solomon HERE on WGN Radio, can be fatal. She explains what heartworm is and how it is transmitted.

Dr. Solomon offers the signs of heartworm in dogs – what to watch out for.

What’s really scary, she says, is that despite effective heartworm products to prevent the disease, only 25 percent of dog owners are consistently offering heartworm consistently. Treatment isn’t easy on dogs, and it’s expensive. Treatment is a better value, and should be essential. And even if treated, there will be permanent damage. In cats, there is no treatment, and cats with heartworm can get heartworm associated respiratory disease, or suddenly die.

Learn more from the American Heartworm Society.

I also tell a story about a kangaroo on the lamb.