Natural Dog Food Ingredients Owners Consult Veterinarians, Websites & Toll-Free Consumer Hotlines Sep 5, 2008 Daniel Workman
Deciding the best dog food requires asking the right questions to reliable sources and reading pet food labels to verify an appropriate balance of natural food sources.
What is the best dog food for ensuring a pet pooch’s health? That’s one of the most common questions posed by pet owners. Consumers should first check with a trusted veterinarian regarding the optimal dog food diet. Asking neighbours or friends who are also pet pooch owners can result in some useful background information. However, people often feed their pets scraps from the dinner table in addition to a specific brand of dog food. Despite the dog food manufacturer’s marketing claims, some dog foods do not provide complete and balanced nutrition. So, a better question to ask neighbours or friends is whether they know a trusted veterinarian with proven expertise analysing pet dietary requirements and recommending the most nutritious dog food. Online Veterinarian Dog Food Writer
T.J. Dunn, Jr. is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and is an experienced veterinarian licensed to practice in Wisconsin and Florida. Also a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, Dr. Dunn writes educational articles on dog food nutrition
Meat-Based Dog Food Diets
Drawing on his 37 years of clinical experience, Dr. Dunn concludes that: Nutritious and well-balanced dog food diets are meat-based with chicken, turkey, lamb, beef or fish appearing first on their list of ingredients. Under-nourishing dog foods with excessive calories have grains like corn, barley, oats or wheat listed as their first ingredient. According to Dr. Dunn, dogs or puppies fed grain-based meals often have itchy skin, ear infections and are overweight. In contrast, canines fed dog food with meat as the primary ingredient are mostly in excellent health. However, Dr. Dunn doesn’t recommend all-meat dog food diets. Meat is high in phosphorous but lower in calcium, a combination that can lead to health problems if a dog eats only meat over long periods of time. Reading Dog Food Labels
Consumers should also study the Guaranteed Analysis on the back label of commercial dog food. Ideally, Dr. Dunn recommends dog food products with at least: 30% protein content 18% fat content Vitamin E or C instead of artificial preservatives Omega fatty acid present. Healthy dog food has no artificial coloring or flavoring. Dr. Dunn also advises that a complete, balanced and nutritious dog food mustn’t require any dietary supplements. As is the case for humans, consumers shouldn’t feed dog food to their pets if the best-before date on the label has expired. Canine Food For Dogs With Special Needs
The above analysis examines healthy diets for normal dogs. But even the highest-quality dog food made with all natural ingredients may not be appropriate for canines with abnormal conditions such as heart, thyroid or kidney problems. This also includes adult dogs or puppies that are obese, have sensitive stomachs or skin conditions. Similarly, adverse reactions to foods or food allergies should be considered as disease conditions. In these cases, pet owners should take any dog with such a suspected illness to a veterinarian as soon as possible. After examining the pet, the veterinarian will formulate a proper diagnosis and treatment plan including pet food recommendations. Which Is The Best Dog Food?
Even after 37 years of clinical experience, veterinarian Dr. Dunn admits that the answer can vary by individual dog or puppy. Owners need to gather as much credible information as possible, starting with their veterinarians. Most pet food manufacturers put a toll-free (1-800) number on their packages that consumers can call with specific questions, like whether the dog food ingredients are sourced from U.S. farms and are processed in North America. Pet owners should create a checklist of questions based on this article, and if the answers are unsatisfactory, ask to speak with a more experienced product representative. At promotional events, dog owners should ask to speak with the product specialist or manager on duty if promotional staff don’t know specific answers to questions about proper canine nutrition. Websites like ThePetCenter.com allow visitors to ask dog care questions to experts online, including queries about natural dog food ingredients.