When it comes to pets, food is one of the major needs owners are constantly pondering over. There are a lot of different foods and diets now for dogs. There’s the reliable and ever-popular dry dog food and the slightly more expensive wet dog food. Then there is the new diet in trend right now: the raw food diet–which might just be here to stay. Choosing which diet is good for your pet may be a bit confusing and overwhelming at times. So, listed below are some dog diet do’s and don’ts to help you decide.
Dog Diet Do’s
Carefully read the food package’s name and/or description in front. BarkPost suggests paying attention to the wording on the front of dog food packages since the FDA does have a set of food labeling regulations in place. For example, brands that mention a primary ingredient in the name must contain at least 95 percent of that main ingredient. So a package that is labeled, “Bacon for Dogs,” must contain at least 95 percent bacon.
According to the BarkPost, certain buzz words could also help a pet owner learn more about the brand of dog food they are about to purchase. For instance, dog food packages using the word “dinner,” like “Steak Dinner for Dogs,” contain 25 percent of that protein. So in the example above, the package would only contain 25 percent steak.
Another big dog diet do is to check the labels on dry and wet foods. Choosing to feed your dog pre-packaged widely distributed dry and wet food is not wrong. Ultimately, it is up to the pet owner what food is best for their dog. However, when purchasing dry or wet canned foods for your pet, always read the label.
The American Kennel Club advises looking for the statement “complete and balanced” on the label. According to the AKC, dog food products carrying that statement have passed the strict standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which is a very good sign for your brand of choice. Brands that are labeled “complete and balanced” by the AAFCO are said to contain all the necessary nutrients a dog requires after going through a seemingly thorough analysis.
For those who choose to go the raw diet route, one big doggie diet do is to make sure your pet always gets enough calcium and phosphorous. A common issue with raw meat diets is that the pets get a lot of protein but too little of the other nutrients they need like calcium. Dogs Naturally warns that our furry companions wouldn’t survive without phosphorous or calcium. To maintain calcium and phosphorous levels, the blog states that raw meals should always contain at least 12 percent to 15 percent bone. Other foods that can replace bone in raw diets include whole rabbits or poultry and farm fresh raw eggs with the shell.
Doggie Diet Don’ts
Don’t make the switch to a raw meat diet before talking to a veterinarian. While there are plenty of benefits to a raw meat diet for dogs, it is not a lifestyle for all pets. Doug Knueven, who is a consultant of Nature’s variety which manufactures frozen raw food, states that dogs with late-stage kidney or liver failure should stay away from the raw diet because of its high levels of protein, reported WebMD. Knueven also advises against puppies on a raw meat diet because it can lead to bone deformity or growth issues.
Don’t include grains in your dog’s diet. According to Whole Dog Journal, feeding your dog grains could lead to inflammatory bowel disease, seizures, and other complications. Grains could lead to diabetes because they can lead to insulin resistance. Don’t worry, however, as dogs are strong creatures. As long as you are careful and observant, you will be able to determine which diet or which foods are right for your furry friend.