Have you ever gone through the trouble of finding the right food for your dog? If you haven’t, then you’re probably either really good at this, or you’re doing disservice to your pet. Most of the food that you can buy in the grocery store is the human equivalent of a bag of cheese curls. Sure, it tastes great, but it has nil nutritional value. It’s junk food. Once in awhile, giving them some kibble and bits, is a better alternative to tables scraps, which often contain foods that are poisonous to pets, like onion, walnuts, too much sugar or salt. Remember their bodies are much smaller than our own in most cases. They cannot digest the same foods, because they don’t have a human digestive system. Though they’re omnivores, they should never be given strictly vegetarian meals. Vegetables are really hard for them to digest. REALLY HARD.
Lately a lot of deliberation has hovered around raw or traditional diets. Those who buy into the dog as wild wolf pack animal way of thinking tend to err on the side of raw. The science isn’t completely in on this, but their pets appear to be doing just fine. So, too, with traditional diets, unless the pet has a grain or other allergy. Where do you begin as a concerned pet parent?
Vet Street is a good starting ground for researching some of the frequently asked questions of pet parenting. I’ll let you know in the future if I feel they’re doing a disservice to animals, but for now, and because I use common sense and consult my veterinarian in person before making any rash decisions, they’re a good resource for the average owner to reach out to.
Vet Street published an article last year (November 14, 2014) about understanding the labels on dog food. When making a decision about what to feed your pet, that’s really the first place you need to start. A lot of brands brag about the ingredients in their food. I’ve found that when you actually read the label, what’s there is confusing and sounds nothing like food. Truth be told, dog food is like human cereal. It’s highly processed nutritional supplement. Don’t get me wrong. It IS mostly food product–as much as chicken nuggets by Tyson are food products. Sadly, this is what we have to give our pets, which is affordable and doable. Doing all natural–going to the store and buying the rice, vegetables and meats and making it yourself is very expensive and time consuming. The little biters love it though! I’d recommend switching things up and giving your dog (unless they have an allergy) fresh food a few times a month to a few times a week, depending on what you can afford and what you have time to do. They will love you for it. But, be mindful that you must do your research on what is proper portioning for a pet and proper foods. Do not feed dogs these foods: link. Look for more lists, because not every list is comprehensive and more items are added from year to year. A good meal: diced chicken fingers roasted with carrots. Boil up some green beans or broccoli and add some brown rice. Make sure everything is cut up into small bits, because dogs gulp, and it could make them sick. Go easy on the rice too, that swells in their abdomen and can also make them sick if you give them too much.