Avoid fillers and non-essential ingredients. Dogs are omnivores and can utilize a variety of nutrients. However, foods containing high amounts of corn, wheat or soy are usually short on overall nutrition.
Avoid chemicals. Not all chemicals are bad, but in general avoid foods with things you can’t begin to pronounce. This includes ethoxyquin and nitrites, preservatives that are known carcinogens.
Raw diets. Not all raw diets are good and not all raw diets are bad. This is an area of wide controversy in pet nutrition. Some pets do fantastic with a well balance raw diet, others do not. Our staff can help you understand the pros and cons of feeding a raw diet. If you do make the choice to feed raw, please practice excellent food safety and balance the nutrients you are feeding for your pet’s age, activity and breed. Remember, feeding just raw meat is not a balanced diet.
Measure the amount you feed. Obesity is becoming an epidemic in our pets. To avoid overfeeding, measure the amount of food you put in the dish so you know exactly what your dog is eating. We can help you determine if the amount needs to be adjusted up or down based on your dog’s weight. Overweight dogs live an average of 2 years less than normal weight dogs.
Treats. Treats are critical in our relationship with our dogs. Just remember every treat adds calories, and consider this when determining how much food to feed. A “little bite” here or there can really add up, especially in a 10 pound dog.
Supplements. Just because a product says it is natural doesn’t mean it is safe. Arsenic is natural and in the right dose it will either kill or heal the patient. The FDA enforces strict legislation governing the safety, production,
and labeling of food products for the safety of the consumer. Unfortunately, this is not the case with supplements, where regulations and enforcement are minimal, particularly in supplements being sold for use in animals. To avoid harmful mistakes, consulting a licensed veterinarian who is knowledgeable about supplements and alternative medicine is still the best way to protect your pet. We are here to help you determine what will be safe and beneficial for your pet. Please don’t hesitate to ask our staff. For some basic guidelines please read our article on selecting supplements for your pet.