Marketing professionals really know how to confuse us as pet parents. They have commercials with wolves that suddenly turn into a small breed dog, they use tactics that pull at your heart strings with lines such as: "Show them how much you love them by feeding them [insert fancy name here]". Well let’s get one thing straight, some dogs will literally eat another animal's excrement, all they care about is their bowl being filled. So, if your pet doesn't care about what they eat (with the exception of the princes/princesses out there), what should you feed them?
This question has both a short and a longer answer. If you only care about the short answer, go ahead and skip to the bottom of the blog! Let's get nerdy for a minute here pet family!
The Long Answer: What you should feed your pet, you guessed it, depends on your specific pet. Just like for humans, there is no one size fits all for pet foods. Some pets need specialty prescription diets to help with health conditions. Other pets have allergies and therefore must be on a specific diet such as a selected protein diet from Royal Canin or Hills Science Diet. One of the biggest considerations is if the food contains grains. There have been many reports, credible and not, about the use of grains in pet foods. A recent study by the FDA1 has linked grain free dog foods to Dilated Cardiomyopathy, or a form of heart failure. A similar study has yet to be published for cats, but we are taking the same stance for dogs and cats: Unless there is a medical reason, such as an allergy, you should feed your pet a food that includes grains.
The Short Answer: We recommend feeding your pet a high quality food that you can afford that does include grains, such as Royal Canin or Hill's Science Diet.
But what foods do you avoid? Which are the best? As your veterinarian, we have a few key recommendations for you when picking a food for your pet. First, take into consideration their age, breed/size, activity level, and any health concerns they may have. Pet food manufacturers have different varieties of food for each life stage and activity level. For example, did you know puppy foods are typically higher in calorie and fat content to help nourish their little bodies as they grow into big kids? Pretty cool, huh. Second, we recommend shopping our online store for brand recommendations - we will only sell products we stand behind the science of.
Still don’t feel like you have all the answers? Check out our nutrition section or give us a call, we're always happy to lead you in the right direction!