Nutrition and Your Dog

There are many misconceptions when it comes to optimal nutrition for a dog. The most common misconception is that our dogs should be eating a diet compromised mainly of protein with minimal carbohydrates. Although protein is an important part of a canine’s diet, it isn’t the sole important ingredient. Furthermore, our dogs require calories from energy most commonly found in a carbohydrate source.

Man domesticated dogs over three to four events nearly 15, 000 years ago, and while wild dogs are used to hunting and killing their prey, our domesticated companions are used to having food put in a bowl for them at meal time. Likewise, our companions are living longer and healthier lives compared to the wild populations due to administration of preventive veterinary care, emergency medicine, and proper nutrition. Proper nutrition for our dogs require a more tailored and broad spectrum diet that is balanced in both carbohydrates and proteins, as well as fats, vitamins and minerals.

Reading the Pet Food Label

Although all pet food labels are required to indicate the ingredients found in its associated food, the pet food companies are not required to follow any strict guidelines as to how to list those ingredients present. This being said, it is possible that manipulation can occur in order to have a pet food seem “more appealing” in the eyes of a consumer. For example, a pet food labeled as being a ‘high protein’ diet can separate the carbohydrate portions of the diet therefore their cumulative portions don’t have to be listed and therefore don’t appear first in the ingredient list. This therefore allows a protein source to appear as the first on the ingredient list thereby continuing the illusion of being high protein diet.

Digestibility, in other words the body’s capacity to use the ingredients for metabolism, plays an enormous role in the quality of pet food. Many ingredients can be used in pet foods that appear to be sources of energy or protein however are 100% un-usable by your pet’s body. An example of such a case is the use of chicken feathers, beaks and legs found in poultry meal that is a high source of crude protein but completely unable to be absorbed by the body. Similarly, carbohydrate sources such as corn can be over 80% digestible and a fantastic source of energy if the proper part of the corn is used as an ingredient (ie. Using the corn germ instead of the hull).

Cost Of Veterinary Grade Diets

Most clients are deterred from buying veterinary grade diets for their pets due to the perceived cost associated with feeding the diet. Interestingly, all veterinary grade diets use high quality ingredients that are readily absorbed by your cat’s and dog’s bodies. With more nutrients available for absorption in veterinary grade diets, less food has to be fed at meal time. Not only will you notice that your pet will produce less fecal matter per until of food fed, but you will notice a change in coat condition as well. Coat condition is always a fantastic indicator of the efficacy of the diet your pet is eating- less dandruff more shine!

Get more for less! Why not provide your pet with a healthy balanced diet that is guaranteed to be palatable for the equivalent cost of a coffee or a bottle of water a day? If you wish to provide your pet with optimal nutrition, come in and speak to our staff. We can also provide you with a detailed cost per day analysis on the food your pet is eating.