Bingo's Bounty Vegetables for Dogs

Farm Fresh Goodness for Your Furry Friends


Oil and Water

In our last blog we talked about the wonderful health benefits of coconut oil. But it is important to remember that all oils are not created equal, and in this month’s blog we will discuss the oils you should avoid or at least be prudent about. We also list oils that are good for your dog.

Some of these oils are found only in commercial dog food, while others can be found sold in pet food stores specifically for dogs and/or cats. If there is one thing we have learned in all the years of research it is that if it there is a human product that has been manufactured for pets, it will always be of an inferior quality to the human product. Never, ever, ever purchase any oil made specifically for pets… you are most likely getting the poorest quality available.

No Joy In Soy

Soybean oil (along with soybean meal) is found quite frequently in processed dog food. Because it is a food eaten by vegetarians, the soybean is mistakenly believed to be a health food. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is also a misconception that Oriental cultures consume large quantities of soy. In truth, they only use soy as a condiment and eat very little of it. Here is a short listing of some of the dangers of soy:

Soy contains high levels of phytic acid that soaking and/or cooking does not neutralize. Phytic acid inhibits the assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. It is also linked to growth problems.

Soy contains trypsin inhibitors which interfere with protein digestion and cause growth problems. They may also cause pancreatic disorders.

Soy is a goitrogenic food which can decrease thyroid function. Dogs with hyperthyroidism should NEVER be fed any soy product.

Soy has been found to increase the body’s need for vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

MSG (monosodium glutamate, also called free glutamic acid) is a potent neurotoxin that is formed during soy food processing.

Soy protein isolate contains elevated levels of toxic aluminum, which affects the nervous system and the kidneys. This is frightening to know especially since most of the prescription diets for kidney disease contain soy protein isolate!

Lastly, a large percentage of dogs are allergic to soy. If you must feed a commercial dog food, find one that does not contain either soybean oil or soybean meal.

Canola Can’t

This pretty, genetically engineered plant produces seeds that make up one of Canada’s top export, canola oil. However, these seeds are not known as a “canola seeds” but by their true name “rapeseed”. And while advertisers have done a wonderful job of promoting canola as a “healthy oil” - its true nature is as dark as its name - and it is unfortunately becoming a favorite ingredient in high end pet foods.

Rapeseed oil has long been used for industrial purposes such as a lubricating oil, insect repellent, fuel, soap base and synthetic rubber base. The plant is derived from the mustard family and it is considered both a toxic and poisonous weed which, when processed becomes rancid very quickly. It is very inexpensive to grow and harvest; even insects won’t eat it!

Between 1986 and 1991, rape oil was widely used in Europe in animal feed. It has since been banned after several types of farm animals (cows, pigs, sheep) went blind and began attacking people.

It is believed that rapeseed oil has a cumulative effect, taking several years before the symptoms present themselves. These symptoms include respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness. It has also been linked to heart disease and cancer due to the fact that it contains trans fatty acids.

Canola oil is showing up more and more in dog foods, including high end products, due to its inexpensive nature and its unwarranted reputation as a “healthy oil”. You would do well to avoid any product containing canola oil.

Something Fishy

There are many types of fish oil on the market and while we recommend that you buy only human grade, purified fish oil for your dog, there is one fish oil that you should definitely avoid - cod liver oil.

Many people believe that feeding cod liver oil to their dogs gives them “added benefits”; not only does it contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but vitamin D and A as well. However, recent studies show that the ratio between theses two vitamins is extremely important in order to extract the optimal health benefits. For example, without vitamin D, vitamin A can be ineffective or even toxic. If you are deficient in vitamin A, vitamin D cannot function properly either. Unfortunately, modern cod liver oil does not supply these two vitamins in healthy ratios to each other.

Dr. John Cannell, head of the Vitamin D Council, recently released an article entitled “Cod Liver Oil, Vitamin A Toxicity, Frequent Respiratory Infections and the Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic”. In this article, Dr. Cannell raised questions about the effectiveness of cod liver oil due to its highly variable and often excessive amount of vitamin A. Modern cod liver oil contains far less vitamin D than it used to, due to deodorization processes which destroy this fragile nutrient. This excessive amount of vitamin A can build up to toxic levels quite rapidly without the appropriate amount of vitamin D to balance it.

While there are many issues with modern cod liver oil, the primary one is the fact that it is a highly processed food that was never really meant to be consumed. Avoid giving it to your dog.

Healthy Variety

So, you may ask, what is the best oil to feed my dog? The answer is simple; just as we strongly recommend that you utilize a variety of foods when preparing your dog’s home cooked diet, we recommend that you do the same when it comes to oil. Below is a list of several types of oil, including their benefits, that are safe to feed your dog. Rotate them often, even from day to day, and you will reap the benefits of all of them.

PLEASE NOTE: If your dogs suffers from arthritis, limit the amount of omega-6 fatty acid oils as these can cause inflammation. You should still feed omega-6 fatty acid oils for their other benefits, but keep them to a minimum.

Purified fish oil (with a named source of fish)

Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, helps reduce inflammation, lowers cholesterol, lowers triglyceride levels, promotes weight loss, improves skin and coat, improves brain function and vision.

Coconut oil

Anti-fungal, anti-bacerial, anti-viral. Easily digested, boosts immunity, promotes weight loss, protects against heart disease, improves skin and coat, improves thyroid function. See previous blog for more benefits.

Flaxseed oil**

Excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, lowers cholesterol, protects against heart disease, controls high blood pressure, eases constipation, excellent for skin and coat.

**There have been rumors going around that flaxseed oil can cause prostate cancer in dogs. Further research on our part has determined that this statement has not been proven. Certain individuals are trying to make a correlation between the ALA found in flaxseed oil and the ALA found in fatty red meats - these are NOT the same. While the ALA in red meat has been linked to prostate cancer, studies have shown that ALA from plant sources are not linked to prostate cancer.

Olive oil

High in oleic acid (an unsaturated fatty acid), lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, rich in antioxidants, improves brain function and memory, improves heart function, helps in fighting cancer, relieves asthma symptoms, reduces insulin resistance, promotes weight loss and improves skin and coat.

Safflower oil and Sunflower oil

There are two versions of each of these oils. One is high in linoleic acid, the other in oleic acid. They both are an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, great for skin and coat, rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, many of the same benefits as olive oil.

Hemp oil (hexane free)

One of the richest and most balanced source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, improves heart function, helps in fighting cancer, surprising anti-inflammatory, outstanding for skin and coat.

Borage oil

One of the most abundant sources of GLA (gamma linolenic acid), especially beneficial in improving inflammation, lowers blood pressure by promoting healthy circulation, improves skin and coat.
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