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Pet Food Advice Takes The Biscuit

Pet Food Advice Takes The Biscuit
03/08/2007

John Burns has responded to the views expressed (which may or may not be printed by the Daily Mail)

From: "John Burns" To: <letters@dailymail.co.uk> Sent: 10 July 2007 21:13 Subject: Vets and pet food As a vet turned pet food manufacturer I would like to correct some of the misleading comments made by your correspondent, Fiona MacMillan. (July 10).

Not all vets are money grabbing charlatans: most are caring, conscientious professionals with a high regard for the welfare of pets and their owners.

It is true that certain carbohydrates may cause diabetes, but that is primarily simple sugars. There are plenty of petfoods based on complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and oats and these can actually be used to manage diabetes, as in humans. On the other hand, a diet based on raw meat as advocated by Ms MacMillan is inevitably high in fat which can precipitate acute, life-threatening pancreatitis.

Dogs have been domesticated for some 14,000 years (I make that at least 7,000 generations removed from the wild state) and they are now adapted to eating the same food as humans i.e. based on cooked grains. The proof is that the dog has a digestive system which is highly sophisticated and efficient in its ability to digest and absorb complex carbohydrates. The change would have taken place within only two or three generations. In any case, the diet of a wild dog would not be suitable for the lifestyle of a domestic pet.

We certainly have a problem with overweight pets as well as owners. The solution is (1) increase exercise; (2) reduce the quantity of food; (3) select foods which are low in protein and fat but high in unrefined carbohydrate.

Yours faithfully John Burns

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