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Puppies fed raw food are less likely to develop allergies or skin conditions as adults

21/02/2022
The Science of feeding real meat to dogsStudy roundups, Caroline Griffith. Puppies fed raw food suffer less allergies or skin conditions as adults Published article:Puppyhood diet as a factor in the development of owner-reported allergy/atopy skin signs in adult dogs in Finland.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jvim.16211 Where and When:Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, FinlandAuthors/Researchers: Manal B. M/ […]

The Science of feeding real meat to dogs
Study roundups, Caroline Griffith.

Puppies fed raw food suffer less allergies or skin conditions as adults

Published article:
Puppyhood diet as a factor in the development of owner-reported allergy/atopy skin signs in adult dogs in Finland.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jvim.16211

Where and When:
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland
Authors/Researchers: Manal B. M/ Hemida, Siru Salin, Kristina A. Vuori, Anna Hielm-Bjorkman, Johanna Arturaniemi, Robin Moore, Stella Barrouin-Melo, Sarah Rosendahl,

Question in research: Is the diet in puppyhood a factor in the development of allergy and skin problems (Atopic Dermatitis) in adult dogs?
Secondly: What foods affect the development of Atopic Dermatitis?

Study Participants: 4022 adult dogs, questionnaire’s answered by their Guardians.

What they did:
The questionnaire was ethically approved.
Measures were taken to ensure there was no reverse causality in the results.
They made sure that recall bias was substantially reduced.
Another strength of the study was the wide range of food items covered in the puppyhood food frequency questionnaire.

What was measured:
Participants questionnaire data was statistically analysed and defined into 4 main diet types.
They were asked to estimate what % of their 2-8 months old dog's food was:
1 raw food
2 dry food
3 other commercial dog foods (wet processed such as wine tray foods or tins)
4 home-cooked food

The study also screened 46 food items or outdoor edibles items that were eaten by dogs during the age of 2 to 6 months to see if they were also associated with the development of skin issues in the future.

Findings:
Diets:
Puppies that ate at least 20% of their diet as raw food or below 80% of the diet as dry food were significantly associated with a decreased prevalence of allergy and skin issues.

Puppies that ate no (zero) raw food or 80% or more of dry food significantly associated with an increased prevalence of allergy and skin issues.

Similarly to dry food, if puppies ate other processed commercial dog food (tins/white trays) they were associated with an increased prevalence of AASS in dogs when consumed at 20% or more.
(This shows us that having the moisture content wet dog food has doesn’t make much difference when it comes to allergies or skin issues.)

Food types or specific things eaten:
Eight variables were significantly associated with the incidence of skin issues later in life:  Raw tripe, raw organ meats, human meal leftovers and being given a fish oil supplement during puppyhood all showed to significantly lower the incidence of skin issues in adulthood.
Whereas canned fruits, mixed oil supplements (such as corn, soybean, and/or sunflower oils.), dried animal parts (meat products processed under heat treatment for prolonged duration, until dry) or dogs that drank from outside puddles (puddles formed by rainwater on public roads and on footpaths) during puppyhood, all showed to significantly raise the incidence of skin issues in adulthood.

Results:
This study indicates that adding some raw food to a processed diet could even make the difference your dog needs not to develop skin conditions or allergies later in life.
We would recommend feeding raw meat at a separate time, rather than doing it on top of dry food. You could however add the fish oils, or human cooked meat leftover to the processed food.

From the published study:

We conclude that eating raw tripe, raw organ meats, fish oil supplements and human meal leftovers during puppyhood were identified as significant potential protective factors of AASS incidence. In contrast, eating fruits, mixed oil supplements, dried animal parts, and drinking from puddles outside during puppyhood were detected as significant potential risk factors of AASS incidence. These findings are further backed up by the diet ratio analysis where consumption of different feeding patterns during puppy age showed that even if the dog eats 80% of its food as dry, adding a minimum of 20% of the food as raw, significantly decreased the risk of AASS later in life. A concept of early exposure to beneficial bacteria by serving “real foods” and avoiding sugary fruits might be usable as an AASS prevention action. However, the study only suggests a causal relationship but does not prove it. Diet intervention studies are required to further elucidate the in-depth association between dietary factors such as raw and dry foods, human meal leftovers and beneficial dosing of oils and the development of AASS (Allergy/atopy producing skin signs).”

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