Earlier this week in our Tripawds News Blog, we posted about a fantastic website called “The Dog Food Advisor,” a resource by Mike Sagman which provides unbiased nutritional analysis of commercial dog foods.
Mike rates Hill’s Science Diet n/d, a prescription food formula for dogs fighting cancer with a mid-tier rating of three stars. His review summary says:
“Even though this is a prescription product, we continue to limit our judgment to the estimated meat content of the recipe as well as the apparent quality of its ingredients. And nothing else. Our ratings have nothing to do with the accuracy of claims made by the manufacturer as to this product’s ability to effectively treat or cure a specific health condition.
So, to find out whether or not this dog food is appropriate for your particular pet, you must consult your veterinarian.
With that understanding…
Judging by its ingredients alone, Hill’s Prescription Diet N/D Canine appears to be an average canned dog food.
We asked Mike about the three ingredients that make Hill’s n/d a beneficial food for dogs fighting cancer: taurine, arginine and fish oil. We wondered why pawrents can’t simply include these ingredients as supplements in their dog’s regular diet, instead of purchasing this prescription-only food. Here’s what Dr. Sagman said:
“In theory, there’s probably no reason your readers can’t add taurine and arginine. I say “in theory” because in actuality, these are amino acids (the basic building blocks of all proteins) and they could possibly be dose-specific. I would imagine that some ready-made commercial canine amino acid supplements are probably a lot safer than just guessing at the dose. And fish oil can be an anti-coagulant. In excessive doses it is theoretically possible to affect a dog’s clotting times… and encourage bleeding. And this could be detrimental to a pet with a recent history of surgery.
My best advice to your readers would be to run the supplement idea by a licensed veterinarian.”
Check out the articles Mike cites in his review of taurine, arginine and fish oil. He adds “A word of caution; these three ingredients are basically nutritional supplements thought to support (sometimes only human) patients undergoing chemotherapy. Unfortunately, they must not be promoted as cures for cancer.”
- Taurine deficiency after intensive chemotherapy and/or radiation
- Arginine and Fish Oil May Help Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy
- Early postoperative enteral nutrition with arginine-omega-3 fatty acids and ribonucleic acid-supplemented diet
Meanwhile, if you’d like to try Five Star healthy canned foods that Dog Food Advisor rates highly, check these out:
Dog Food Advisor Gives Five Stars: Wysong Dog Food Archetype (dehydrated)
Dog Food Advisor Gives Five Stars: Wysong Dog Food Au Jus Diets (Canned)
Dog Food Advisor Gives Five Stars: Wellness Dog Food Core (Canned)