Quality Food for Dogs

Dog looking at his food bowl ready to eat

In the crowded pet food market, manufacturers try to stand out and grab pet owners’ attention by bringing newer, healthier and more innovative foods to market.  In doing so, they often incorporate trends and attitudes current in the human nutrition sector - but our furry family members are physiologically and metabolically very different from us.  Additionally, the use of words like “holistic,” “natural,” and “premium” for these foods can result in confusion as to what is actually good for our dogs.

New pet owners will often look to the breeder for advice on what will make an ideal food for their newly adopted puppy.  Prepare them with this information and help them get off on the right foot.

1. Choose a food designed for the size and life-stage of your dog.

All-stages dog foods are “good enough” for everyone, and not ideal for anyone.  Large-breed dogs especially, benefit from calcium: phosphorus ratios that are balanced for their tremendous growth.

2. Get comfortable with calculating calories early on.

Being aware of perfect portions is a great habit to get into.  This will protect against obesity, and all the related health risks that come with it.  Visit the Pet Nutrition Alliance website for a handy calorie and portion calculator here: https://petnutritionalliance.org/dog.php

3. Avoid trendy ingredients and nutrition fads. 

Adding untested ingredients (even if natural) and removing traditional components can inadvertently lead to nutritional deficiencies, toxicities, and metabolic injury. Grain-free and exotic pet foods have come under scrutiny in recent years due to their link to cardiomyopathy.  To learn more, visit the USFDA website at: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/questions-answers-fdas-work-potential-causes-non-hereditary-dcm-dogs

4. Be cautious about treats. 

Treats should not make up more than 10% of a dog’s daily intake of calories.  This helps control weight and prevent nutritional imbalances.

5. If you wish to cook for your dog, invest in having your recipes created by a qualified veterinary nutritionist. 

In this way, you can choose the natural ingredients that you love, without compromising on nutritional completeness. For more resources about evaluating dog food, check out the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Guide to Nutrition at: https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/The-Savvy-Dog-Owner-s-Guide-to-Nutrition-on-the-Internet.pdf

Written by:
Written by: Dr. Sperry, DVM, Veterinary Advisor, Pets Plus Us
The information provided and contained herein are the opinions of PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. which are based on external publication. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice. PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss, claims or damages arising out of the within content.