Very excited to have Alli back this month to spread more of what she knows about dog food because nutrition is a very important part of your dog’s health! Even I will bring it up to owners if their dog is under/over-weight. Most of the time the dog is over-weight and they don’t understand how that can really impact your dog’s health and well being! Not to forget, quality of food! I like to think of lower end brands like Pedigree or Beneful to be the McDonald’s of dog food and we all know how healthy McD’s is. Hint – not very.
So big thank you to Alli for taking the time to write a column for this week’s newsletter.
Modern pet parents may get confused and overwhelmed by the number of options out there. The most important thing to understand when choosing a food for your dog, is that by nature they are carnivores. While starches and plant matter may make up a portion of their diet, high quality meat based protein should make up the majority of what they eat.
MEAT! Meat should absolutely always be the first ingredient in your dog’s food, and ideally the second as well. And not “mystery” meat. You want to see an actual name like chicken, beef or lamb etc. If it’s not, your dog’s body is working extra hard to break down hard to digest starches, and they will not thrive.
Starch! After you get past the meat on your ingredient panel, you will see some type of starch. although dogs don’t biologically need carbohydrates, kibble requires it to keep its formation. On a high quality grain-in food it may be rice, barley or oatmeal. On a grain free option it may be sweet potatoes, peas or chickpeas. Ideally, look for low glycemic starches. Be careful with the term grain-free, as some food may just overload with potato instead.
Fruits & Veggies! Certain fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals for dogs, so the addition of these is actually beneficial! Vitamins & Minerals! You will see a long list of vitamins on your ingredient panel. This is a vitamin pack. It is added in to ensure your dog is getting everything they need after their food has been processed.
If you stick to a less processed diet such as canned, dehydrated or raw, you will notice a much shorter list and fewer added artificial vitamins. This is a GREAT thing. It means that your dog is getting more vitamins from the meat & veggies, and they don’t need as many artificial vitamins, yay!
I HIGHLY, HIGHLY urge ALL pet parents to watch the documentary “Pet Fooled” on Netflix.
See you next month!