Is enzyme robbing in dogs scientifically documented? If so, are supplements beneficial for a dog fed dry food?

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Question by drbolddrbold: Is enzyme robbing in dogs scientifically documented? If so, are supplements beneficial for a dog fed dry food?
I feed my 6.5 year old ACD mix a high quality dry food (“Canidae” and/or “Chicken soup for the dog lovers soul”). She is allergic to many different grasses, and suffers from atopic dermatitis– and subsequent skin infections– frequently and sporadically. She was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism (just barely within normal range). She is spayed.

Im just curious whether enzyme robbing is something to worry about, or whether its hooplah. By supplements, I mean digestive enzyme supplements.

Id really appreciate the opinion of a DVM, or anyone else who isn’t just regurgitating what they read on the internet from some self proclaimed pet health guru.

Thank you

Best answer:

Answer by Save the Wild
i am not an expert. so i dont know. but i would consult a good vet. sorry, i am not very helpful.

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4 comments on “Is enzyme robbing in dogs scientifically documented? If so, are supplements beneficial for a dog fed dry food?

  1. Enzyme robbing is not a disorder. But to answer your question:
    – dog food is already robbed of enzymes. Its denatured. Anything that is cooked at high temperatures to kill pathogens, then pushed through an extruder to look like “food” , is not really dog food. Its just dead stuff that people buy in nice packages.

    AAFCO certification is almost meaningless. This is a powerful association that lobbies government (read pays money) to ensure the labels on dog foods are sufficiently oblique to ensure people think they are buying good food. Example: rice hulls are classified as food. (there is no nutritional value in the husk of a rice)

    Bottom line: AAFCO trials their foods for 6 weeks in a lab, where dogs are fed the diet and assessed. Its hardly the good housekeeping seal of approval, and AAFCO diets can and do include all kinds of fillers and undigestable matter.

    Enzyme supplementation is beneficial for humans (and dogs) in certain cases – example: colitis, or chronic illness, or even old age. But not all enzymes are the same – and there is a huge variance in quality.

    There are very powerful supplements such as VSL#10 which are sold for people to take to aid digestion and these supplements actually contain live bacteria , virtually billions, which some people require. The packages have to be refrigerated at all times in order to keep the culture “alive”. They contain multiple strains of bacteria – and they assist in recolonizing the gut.

    Fast forward to a dog food that claims to have “pre-bioticis” or “pro-biotics” …these are added to the food and then COOKED. Its hardly effacacious. Dog food manufacturers advertise these supplements to sell people more stuff. Beyond appearing on the label, I have no confidence the enzyme does anything.

    There are many “middle of the road” enzymes sold in Health food stores. GEnestra makes a not bad product – but if you compare it to VSL#10 – you will see its a fraction of the cost because its a fraction of the quality.

    The best diet for a dog is a natural, organic diet of foods that have not been denatured. Example: raw meat, raw bones, and (in my opinion) some steamed veggies (small quantity) and optionally, cooked yams, or potatoes for those dogs that need to pack on some pounds.

    If you find this hard to accept: take a banana. Put it on the table and leave it there. What happens? It ripens, then rots, then if you leave it indefinitely, it breaks down to compost.

    That is a food that has natural enzymes. That is NOT dog food.

    If your dog is suffering from allergies, the best advice is to feed her a natural diet – or if you are not comfortable doing that, switch her off that food onto something that is ideally grain free, and a different protein . Chicken is often a problem for dogs in dog food, some people find the same dog can tolerate it raw. Cooking changes the protein. Often dogs can eat Venison, lamb, or duck.

    I would also begin to introduce raw foods to your dog. Ideally, diet changes are gradual, and dogs that have allergies should have new foods introduced one at a time to ensure there is no reaction.
    A very good source of bacteria is cultured yogurt (ie not pasteurized) which a dog can eat – if its an ACD, I would say about 1 tablespoon with her food – maybe 2 or 3 times a week to start.

    Bananas are also good, as are apples (avoid pits) . Veggies that my dogs love are root veggies – baked squash, turnip and yams. I add these to their food as tablescraps.

    Long way of saying: adding some cheap off-the-shelf enzymes to already cheap, over-processed dog food is not going to do much except drain your pocket book. Adding enzymes to a food and then cooking it defeats the purpose. Your dog is sickly because it is starved for nutrition.

    Dog food is cheap and convenient. Even the best quality kibble is still no substitute for real, organic, food.

    Summary: I would not add enzyme supplements to my dogs diet unless my veternarian advised me – they can make a dog sick . I would choose to feed better quality whole food that provides what enzymes dog’s need naturally. And forget all the other stuff – its just marketing gobbly-gook.

  2. Supplements are generally not neccessary for a dog fed AAFCO-certified dry dog food, unless the dog itself has some kind of deficiency.

    The standard solution for dogs with food allergies is to food-trial them until the offending allergens have been removed from the diet – not to continue feeding the same food and supplements too.

  3. If you excuse my brashness, but I think that this new trend might be a little over the top.

    I have a poodle mix and am beginning them on a regular omega 3 intake via capsules to assist with their skin issues, He is a face scrubber and gets hot-spots and fungal infections and bacteria on his feet as well as lots of ear infections.

    I have also begun providing more raw meat from the market rather than any manufactured dog foods that are full of water and wheat and rice. Dogs are carnivores and removing veggies from their diet reduces the workload on their digestion.

    sometimes its as simple as using medicated shampoo as necessary, omega 3 and a good meat diet.

  4. marci knows best

    I will tell you a little secret. DMVs do not hang out on YA dispensing free advise. You need to find a very experienced Vet who has studied animal nutrition (most have not) and discuss this issue with them. If you are near a teaching Vet hospital, it would be well worth your time to take the dog there.

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