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You know the feeling, walking down the pet food aisle, choices everywhere. Thoughts creeping in the back of your mind, does cost REALLY equate to the quality, do the ingredients really matter, to many or not enough. Does your dog REALLY care?

I am not a ‘pet nutritionist’ but I do know from personal experience, what I eat directly correlates to how I think and feel. I am going to go out on a limb and say this translates over to how our pets thrive.

So let’s break this down for you. Think about a few basic food facts when selecting food for your dog.

1. Know who made the food.

By knowing who actually made the food you will be able to ascertain how, where, and under what conditions the food was prepared. This provides you the ability to check Quality Control/Quality Assurance standards. Think google it!

2. Don’t Believe Everything You Read.

Testing by DVM360 showed that over a third of the dog food tested (20 out of 52) showed a discrepancy between the label and the product.

Labels that include human grade, grain free, or veterinarian approved are not defined so what are they really saying?

3. Diets-Is it a Fad or For Real.

Diets come and go but who is determining good or better? “Grain-free” is the ‘newbie’, but it is worth noting that there is no AAFCO definition of “grain-free”, so what does that tell you? While we think of dogs as carnivores, their eating habits are omnivores so complex carbs are necessary for normal digestion.

Om·ni·vore-an animal or person that eats food of both plant and animal origin

Some pet owners believe that a raw diet is more natural, like what animals eat in the “wild’’. Several studies showed that raw diets are not properly balanced, with either too much of one thing or not enough of another and should not be the sole source of long term nutrition.

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Keeping it fresh, (freezing does not destroy all pathogens in frozen or freeze dried food) also presents a challenge and a concern

So what to feed your dog? Keeping it simple is a good start and do your homework, it does matter! Do you have any ‘dog food for thought?’


Important Links

Which pet food nutrient values should you follow?

When AAFCO, FEDIAF and NRC guidelines differ, it’s not always easy for petfood manufacturers to determine which recommendations to implement. (read more)

“Complete and Balanced” Pet Food

Like most pet owners, you likely know it’s better to feed your dog or cat pet food rather than table scraps. While an occasional treat of “people food,” like a piece of bacon or a bite of cooked hamburger may be fine, eating too many table scraps may cause your pet to have an unbalanced diet. (read more)