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Too lean for the show ring; water consumption; kidney disease

Published: Saturday, July 23, 2011

oo lean for the show ring
From time to time we receive complaints that show dogs fed on Burns lose out because they do not have enough “body” (that means they are not fat enough.) In these days of grossly over weight pets and owners you would be forgiven for thinking that it would be a good thing to keep pets lean. That thought hasn’t filtered through to the Kennel Club or their show judges.  Now Fiona (our Head Nutritionist) has drawn my attention to a new dog food on the market called Fat Boy which, as the name suggests, is designed to fatten up dogs for showing.  Could it be a spoof?  No it doesn’t seem to be.

Water consumption
Back in the seventies and eighties I was a student of Macrobiotics which tried to adapt traditional Oriental philosophy to fit our modern society and way of life.  Having a scientific background I didn’t go much for the spiritual side but I learned a lot about the link between nutrition and health.  Burns Pet Nutrition is founded on that way of thinking.  Every few months something appears in the media; a “discovery” or “new” thinking about health and nutrition.  As often as not this is something which was accepted thinking in Macrobiotics thirty years ago.  Last month I wrote about the “discovery” that a low calorie diet could help treat Type 2 diabetes.  This month it’s water consumption.

We are told that we ought to consume 2 litres of water a day, the idea being that this flushes out the kidneys.  A study by kidney specialists in the USA has concluded that this recommendation is not justified.  It never made sense. We have a mechanism for telling us whether we need more liquid.  It’s called thirst.  Much of the liquid we need is contained in the food we eat.  When we eat carbohydrate, that breaks down to form carbon dioxide and water.

Kidney disease
The kidney is not a large bore pipe which can be flushed by pouring a large volume of water through it.  The kidney is actually a series of very fine filters (glomeruli) and we know what happens when you try to put a large volume of liquid through a filter.  It will not cope and the liquid will bubble back.  When we consume too much liquid the excess is held in the body.  Do it once and the kidneys will catch up after a few hours; do it daily and the excess will accumulate in the system.  The results? We carry excess weight in the form of liquid, blood pressure goes up and the kidney glomeruli are damaged.

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