Seems generic right?
Well what they mean is that dogs differ from one to the other on a cellular level, this means they react differently too and I don’t just mean their reflexes. Let me introduce you to the basics of Epigenetics! (Definition:the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself) see the below image for a basic visual idea of the concept of Epigenetics, but believe me this is much larger in reality.
Now as you can see above there are daily things that effect your dogs life, now each of these influences can alter your dogs genome expression, like and off/on switch, these genomes are responsible for hireditry predispositions, so outside influences of your dogs life, can flick those switches on or off. Understanding this concept can enable you to help control your dogs genome expression. (Relax your not a scientist and no one would expect you to be an expert in Epigenetics, even those experts have difference of opinions)
But why does this have anything to do with Dogs and Nutrition? Well as you can see it’s one of the main influencers in your dogs life, one of the main reasons in my humble yet biased opinion as to why the longevity of the beloved canine is dropping!
So how does this play a part of nutrition in general? Well I’m sure you’ve heard of the terms “Balanced” or “Complete” either in respect of Dry Foods or Fresh Foods? Well all I can say is that there is no such thing! On paper/spreadsheet there is but in respect of nutrient absorption, definitely not! Now in respect of fresh foods you create this perfect balanced meal on paper, then created the meal in the bowl, once your dogs eats this meal, you have no control over how the dog utilises the nutrients being consumed, therefore it could be completely unbalanced on an absorption level, the same goes for dry foods as it’s the same principle.
Now four dogs could eat this meal and each and everyone will utilise the nutrients entirely differently, one could utilise everything as intended which would be deemed a complete meal, but if they haven’t then it’s unbalanced as far as I’m concerned.
Now I’ll go back to Epigenetics, this shapes how your dog utilises nutrients example if your dogs stressed, cortisol levels are high etc, digestive upset usually follows and certain nutrients can bypass areas they’d usually be absorbed? Make sense?
Understanding this also allows you to consider dietary factors/malabsorption should any symptoms occur, Zinc Deficiency has often been confused with allergies, so it’s important to be able to find the proximate cause!
Now concentrating on balancing meals is also distracting from the diet over all, most over look snacks/treats and throw their balance off? So pointless right?
Anyway, I hope this explains what they mean when they say every dog is different.
Is there anything that can help improve your dogs genome expression? Of course for example I’d heavily recommend a Species Appropriate Diet, Minimal to Zero Chemical Treatments , Zero/Minimal Vaccines, Zero exposure to Chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, toxic household cleaners/fragrances like Zaflora, efficient training, healthy socialising etc! This will put your dog in good stead with solid foundations to support their immunity
Feel free to ask me for a more tailored approach of what you can do for your dog(s)
Michael K A Bennett- BCCSDip.HthNut