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The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6NH

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info@pfma.org.uk

DOGS TRUST RESPONSE TO 'THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR DOG'S FOOD'

'Dogs Trust is concerned that some of the views expressed in the Channel 5 programme ‘The Truth About Your Dog’s Food’ are misleading.'

There is an interview that suggests dogs in rescue organisations are there because of behaviour issues which could be remedied with a raw food diet. As the UK’s largest dog welfare charity Dogs Trust is well placed to understand the multiple reasons why dogs end up at rehoming centres and, if behaviour modification training programmes are required, in what forms these should take.  It is far too simplistic to state that by feeding a raw food diet, a dog could have remained with its owners. The main reasons that dogs are at a Dogs Trust rehoming centre are due to irresponsible owners abandoning their pet or owners changing circumstances - not the dog’s behaviour. Owners who are hospitalised, who have health issues, who have difficulties with their housing, whose relationships have broken down, who are pregnant, or who have sadly died may need help from Dogs Trust to rehome their dogs.

It is not just the ingredients in dog food that owners need to be mindful of but also the quantities which they’re serving. The temptation to feed dog’s one too many treats can be an area of concern. A little every so often isn’t a problem it’s when it becomes too much a regular occurrence or is the wrong sort of treat is when the problems start. The collective ramifications of this can result in unnecessary pounds which can put an extra strain of Fido’s heart and joints. Just as we would check the ingredients on something we were eating the same approach needs to be taken for your dog’s food.

The health and happiness of a dog can be linked to the balanced diet that they are fed and therefore an element of being a responsible dog owner is monitoring what you are feeding your dog. Whilst there has been research investigating the links between chemical levels in food and its impact on behaviour it is more often exhibited by health implications such as itchiness and gastric discomfort. As with a human diet there are certain foods that can have more of an impact upon behaviour. Dogs Trust advises giving dogs a variety of foods but this is often focused around the dog’s general behaviour at meal times rather than any ramifications of its diet. A healthy dog is a happy dog.

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