THE BLOG
30/09/2015 10:46 BST | Updated 30/09/2016 06:12 BST

Dog Nutrition Quiz

How much do you know about dog nutrition? Take the quiz and find out. Answers are below. No peeking!

1. Dogs should not be fed table scraps?

A. Nonsense, it's perfectly safe to dump all your leftover food from your plate and feed it to your dog

B. As long as you stick to a few rules there is no harm in sharing

C. Table scraps should be avoided, as they are toxic to dogs

2. Dry food cleans your dog's teeth?

A. The idea that dry food keeps your dog's teeth clean is just silly

B. Dry food helps keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy

C. If the food contains chlorhexidine it will prevent tartar build-up

3. How can you tell if you are feeding the right food to your dog?

A. Your dog's energy levels are right for his or her age and breed

B. Skin and coat are healthy

C. Stools are firm and brown

4. The ingredient list is the most important factor when choosing a high quality dog food?

A. Yes, the ingredient list tells you all you need to know

B. Once you find a food that is labeled 'complete' the ingredient list can be used to determine the quality of a dog food

C. If the food is expensive and you like the packaging it's a high quality food

5. Grains are bad?

A. Grains in moderations are OK but look for a whole grain source like brown rice

B. Grain can get stuck and cause intestinal obstruction

C. Dogs do not produce Amylase (the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates) and therefore cannot digest grains

6. How long should you leave your dog's food out for?

A. 20 minutes

B. One hour

C. Whole day

7. How can you tell if your dog is an ideal weight?

A. Ribs can be seen and there is no overlying fat layer. Obvious waistline.

B. Ribs can be felt with a small layer of overlying fat. There is a clear waistline.

C. Ribs can't be felt or seen. Your dog has no waistline or the waistline is barely visible

8. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight adds an average of how much to his or her lifespan?

A. 8 months

B. 1.2 years

C. 1.8 years

9. Feeding a diet tailored for a specific medical condition, such as kidney disease, will prevent health problems?

A. Yes, it is better to be proactive and feed a diet specific for the health concerns

B. Mixing different diets for specific health conditions is the best way to prevent all health problems

C. You should not feed a health specific diet until a condition has been diagnosed

10. Which of the following should you avoid in commercial dog foods?

A. Tocopherols

B. Animal fat

C. Chicken meal

11. Dogs get bored eating the same food?

A. Probably not

B. Yuck, who wants to eat the same old boring stuff day after day

C. Mixing different brands will improve your dog's health

12. You should never feed your dog cheese and other dairy products?

A. Dairy products have no health benefits and can cause gas, diarrhea or vomiting

B. Like humans, some dogs can suffer from lactose intolerance, others have no problems digesting dairy

C. Dogs are perfectly capable of digesting dairy

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Answers

1. Dogs should not be fed table scraps?

Correct answer is B. As long as you stick to a few rules there is no harm in sharing.

  • Do not dump all the leftover food from your plate into your dog's bowl.
  • Only feed healthy low fat foods such as a plain potato, vegetables or rice, meat that has had the fat trimmed off and without sauce etc.
  • Bread does not contain any harmful ingredients but is very high in calories. Too much can cause weight gain and bread has little nutritional value.
  • Moderation is the key. Dogs today eat a properly balanced diet. Adding large amounts of table scraps will upset that balance which can lead to health problems and your dog will end up piling on the kilos. Adding no more than 10% of daily calorie requirement is a good guideline.
  • Keep it simple. Unless your dog has an iron gut, a variety of foods might set off GI trouble or allergies. Start with foods that are similar to what is in his dog food (i.e. chicken or potato) and branch out from there.

2. Dry food cleans your dog's teeth?

Correct answer is A. The idea that dry food keeps your dog's teeth clean is just silly.

Dry pet food is often promoted as helping to keep teeth clean, but it's a myth. Kibble is no better for your dog's teeth than a crunchy biscuit is for your teeth. Daily tooth brushing is the best way to keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy.

3. How can you tell if you are feeding the right food to your dog?

Correct answer is all, A, B and C. Your dog is getting what he or she needs if energy levels are right for age and breed, skin and coat are healthy and stools are firm and brown.

It can be hard to know which food is best for your dog, especially with all the choices and different feeding methods available. Many dog owners have accepted their dog's foul breath, runny eyes and copious amounts of stools as the norm. We tend not to question things we have already accepted, but what if we did?

4. The ingredient list is the most important factor when choosing a high quality dog food?

Correct answer is B. Once you find a food that is labeled 'complete' the ingredient list can be used to determine the quality of a dog food.

Your dog needs nutrients, not ingredients. Healthy-sounding ingredients tell us very little about the nutritional value of the food. The most important thing is to look for a food that is labeled 'complete'. Only manufacturers that include all the required nutrients your dog needs are permitted to label their food 'complete'.

5. Grains are bad?

Correct answer is A. Grains in moderations are OK but look for a whole grain source like brown rice.

Despite the anti-grain sentiment going on these days, most healthy dogs can digest grains well and grains do provide some good nutrients, but the source and amount of grain and its lesser quality of protein should be a consideration.

6. How long should you leave your dog's food out for?

Correct answer is A. 20 minutes.

Offer the food, give your dog 15 to 20 minutes to eat it and then remove the bowl until the next feeding time. Don't leave a bowl of food out all day. Dogs that are free-fed can become fussy or have weight problems.

7. How can you tell if your dog is an ideal weight?

Correct answer is B. Ribs can be felt with a small layer of overlying fat. There is a clear waistline.

Stand above your dog and look down on him or her. From this viewpoint you should be able to quite easily feel the ribs but not see them. Your dog should also have a definite waist behind the ribs. Now look at your dog from the side. He or she should have an obvious abdominal tuck. If unsure, check with your vet.

8. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight adds an average of how much to his or her lifespan?

Correct answer is C. 1.8 years.

Lean dogs have happier cells. A study showed that leaner dogs lived 1.8 years longer than their chubby friends.

9. Feeding a diet tailored for a specific medical condition, such as kidney disease, will prevent health problems?

Correct answer is C. You should not feed a health specific diet until a condition has been diagnosed.

No diet can guarantee to keep disease away but preventative diets focus on the general health of your dog rather than a specific condition.

10. Which of the following should you avoid in commercial dog foods?

Correct answer is B. Animal fat.

Avoid ingredients that are not specific enough. For example, animal fat begs the question, which animal? Look for named sources such as beef fat, chicken fat or lamb fat.

11. Dogs get bored eating the same food?

Correct answer is A. Probably not.

Your dog doesn't have the range of tastes that you do. Compared to our 9,000 taste buds, your dog only has 1,700 and, as a result, they just don't crave variety. The more choice you give your dog the fussier he or she can become. Once you find a food that works well for your dog, stick with it.

12. Dogs should not eat dairy products?

Correct answer is B. Like humans, some dogs can suffer from lactose intolerance, others have no problems digesting dairy.

It all comes down to how well you dog handles lactose. Some dogs do not produce enough lactase, which is necessary for them to be able to digest lactose. Luckily for those dogs, there is still hope. Often a dog's reaction to lactose is related to the amount of lactose in a food; the higher the lactose content, the more likely a response. Some dairy products such as cottage cheese and goat yogurt are both low in lactose.

Kristina Johansen advises on general canine nutrition and home prepared diets. You can visit her site at: www.elmoskitchen.com