General

Worms in dog food

Worms in dog food

Worms in dog food

Many dog food manufacturers list Worms in their dog food products. Some also list Dandelion or burdock as an alternative. Many people have claimed that these ingredients are beneficial to the health of their dogs.

A number of scientists have been conducting a variety of tests to identify whether Worms are safe or harmful. While worm-based diets have been used successfully for decades, controversy exists over the ingredients of some dog foods. Several recent scientific studies have demonstrated an adverse effect on the canine colon from a diet high in processed, kibbled horsemeat. Worms may be an inexpensive option for owners trying to give their dog a balanced, nutritious diet, but they are not generally recommended by veterinarians.

Nutrition

Worms are edible in their natural state. Some commercially available foods are mixed with raw ground worms. The worms may be kibbled and cooked like any other meat. The high levels of fat found in worms may be harmful to dogs, however, so raw worms may be unsuitable for a dog's diet. They are not generally recommended by veterinarians. A small amount of worms has been used as a diet supplement in pet food products, at about 30 ,mg of worms per 10 ,lb of diet. Worms can be beneficial to puppies, because they can consume the small worms before they reach their target size, reducing the risk of worms passing through the digestive system and affecting the puppy's health. Some dog owners add a small amount of worms to their puppy's diet as a treat or as a source of micronutrients. Pet food manufactures will claim that some worms are beneficial, but this is not always the case. Worms may increase the dog's weight, and some dogs will even grow "wasp" tails.

A number of studies have found that raw worm powder is much more effective than raw whole worms in controlling worms and diarrhea in dogs. This is presumably due to the fact that the powder is more readily absorbed by the digestive system.

The effectiveness of raw ground worms in controlling worms is limited by the fact that the small pieces in the powder are difficult to digest for dogs, and they may also encourage the proliferation of bacteria that can infect the dog. There is some evidence that worms may be effective in dogs that are already afflicted with coccidia, roundworms, whipworms or tapeworms.

One study tested the amount of dietary omega-3 fatty acids needed for the health of dogs, and found that 1.0% (w/w) of a diet enriched with fish oil powder may be optimal for dogs. However, this diet was not shown to be beneficial for controlling coccidia, which makes it less useful for preventing and treating coccidia-related diseases.

Chemical analysis

A chemical analysis of the fat in worms has shown that they contain a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids than cod liver oil, fish oil, or flaxseed oil. Worms also contain high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, as well as palmitoleic acid, which is also found in fish. The chemical analysis shows that the worms have a greater amount of both of these fatty acids than flaxseed oil, but lower amounts than cod liver oil. The fatty acid profile of worms is similar to that of fish oil, as the worm oil contains high levels of both of these fatty acids.

See also

Raw food diet

References

Category:Animals used as food

Category:Diets

Category:Parasitic nematodes of humans

Category:Parasitic nematodes of animals

Category:Parasitic arthropods of mammals

Category:Animals described in 1842


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