Dog Food 101: Your Dog & His Food


Sweet dog eyes may tempt us to share table food with our canines, but it may not be a good idea. Sure, dogs enjoy the yummy taste of left-overs. But human food is not necessarily suitable for pets. Ordinary ingredients, such as garlic and chocolate, are considered toxic for dogs to consume. Additionally, scraps from the table may be too high in fat and sugar and may produce obesity and digestive issues in dogs. Instead, opt for nutritionally balanced dog food and treats. If you wish to prepare human food for your pet, discuss it with your vet to ensure that your dog will consume a well-balanced and safe diet.


Choosing the right food is difficult. With so many brands, varieties, and types of dog food available from dry to wet; what to buy is confusing. This is why pet dietary decisions should not be made alone. It’s vital to talk to a veterinarian who understands the overall requirements of your dog’s breed and addresses the specific nutritional, vitamin, fat, and calorie requirements of your pet. A veterinarian can narrow down food selections to help you arrive at an ideal choice for your pooch.


Veterinarians can also provide advice for overweight dogs who require low-cal diets, perhaps suggesting the introduction of fresh diced veggies such as carrots or green beans to their diets. Or, a vet may suggest adding a tablespoons or two of pure canned pumpkin (unsweetened) to a dog’s meal. Why? Because canned pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene and fiber and can help with issues such as diarrhea and constipation in pets. However, be cautious. Too much vitamin A may be toxic to dogs.


Recent stories in the news are encouraging pet food buyers to pay attention to where pet food is made. A significant number of pet owners have come forward with claims that ailments, illnesses, and in extreme cases deaths of their pets purportedly occurred after their pet’s ingestion of tainted foods, namely pet food made in China. While it is difficult to comment on the sources of those cases, it is best ask your vet which brands are deemed the safest. Note that some pet food made in other countries may still contain imported ingredients. Do your homework to understand exactly what you are buying and where the ingredients are from, to give your pet a healthy boost in life.

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