All Dog Foods are Not Created Equal
Nutrition is important, and while most people are good about thinking about what they feed themselves and their families on a daily basis, many pet owners fail to investigate what’s in the food they’re feeding their pets. The truth is that all dog foods are not the same, and some are actually much better for your dog than others. When looking for a good food to feed your dogs, there are several different categories of food you might consider:
- Limited Ingredient Recipes – Limited ingredient dog food recipes try to cut out a lot of the fillers that, unfortunately, make their way into most commercial dog foods, and are especially good for dogs that might have food allergies. While not true for all brands, most limited ingredient diets try to include foods that dogs would naturally eat in the wild, hopefully eliminating the risk of adverse reactions.
- Grain-Free – In order to add calories and fill out their recipes, a lot of big name companies turn to inexpensive grains like wheat, or corn products. Unfortunately, this often thins out the amount of protein, fat, essential vitamins, and enzymes in the food, which are so very important to your dog’s overall health. Additionally, grains are a common source of food allergies / intolerance, making grain-free options safer choices for many pets.
- Raw – Raw diets have grown considerably in popularity in recent years, and are now available at most pet stores and even some popular grocery store chains. Raw diets attempt to feed dogs the same foods they would consume in the wild, mostly consisting of raw meats and vegetables.
- Organic – Just like organic diets for humans, organic dog foods include only the highest-quality organic ingredients, keeping your pet from ingesting potentially harmful pesticides and other additives.
What to look for when choosing a new dog food: Look at the ingedients! The US has basically no standards for what is allowed in pet foods. You can get anything from rendered road kill to a bag of corn puffs. Flip the bag over and check it out… You want a tasty-sounding meat for the first ingredient. Our dogs’ food says boneless salmon, salmon meal, whitefish meal… then a bunch of vegetables. yum! Stay away from chicken by-product meal, meat & bone meal, or any other vague, broad terms. If the bag says corn meal, corn gluten meal, etc. you can just throw the one out and move on. The three most commonly used fillers are corn, wheat, and soy. All three of these have no nutritional value to your pet, and can cause gunky ears, chewing at feet and tail, hot spots, and a number of other reactions over the years.
Some pet foods to stay away from: Purina, Iams, Pedigree, Eukanuba, Beneful… The list goes on, but checking the label for the things listed above is a fail safe way to tell a good pet food from garbage.
At Walk! ATX, we care about your whole pet, and as such, we are happy to provide nutritional information and suggestions to people looking to feed their dogs food that will help them flourish! Learn more about dog food nutrition and foods we recommend by contacting us today.