Q: What should I consider when selecting a food for my dog?
A: As a first time pet owner, I learned that dogs are subject to the same health concerns that we humans face. Through trial and error, and countless trips to my vet, I learned that food allergies were to blame for my dogs’ hives, vomiting, diarrhea, itchiness, and physical discomfort. Believe it or not, there are a number of ingredients found in leading pet foods that may produce an allergic reaction in your dog. A few common ingredients are; corn, pork, eggs, wheat, additives, animal by product, and animal bone meal. As well, some dogs are unable to digest certain meats, such as chicken. Luckily there are a variety of alternatives, like bison, salmon, venison, and duck.
Many of the foods that claim to be “natural” actually contain a number of the aforementioned fillers. Not only do these fillers make your dog uncomfortable, but they can also lead to other health concerns. For this reason, it is very important to carefully read the labels of the food that you purchase for your pet. In addition, you want to make sure that your dog food has vitamins and minerals to sustain a healthy immune system.
These days it seems that pet owners must carry a medical dictionary when shopping for pet food and treats. I think that it is ridiculous to have to go to such great lengths. Like you, I want to know that I’m purchasing a quality food with wholesome ingredients. A great tool is available on http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com. On this site, you can view detailed information about most commercially-available brands of dog food (rated by a five star system), such as controversial ingredients and estimated nutrient contents. A general rule that I follow is the fewer ingredients that a food has the better it is for your dog. If you cannot decode a thirteen syllable ingredient contained in your pet food, chances are, it doesn’t belong there.
Authored By: Rashayla Moise
Photo: Courtesy of Stefan Baudy via flickr (CC by 2.o)