What to Feed Your Dog in Today’s Crazy Recall World!
31 August, 2015
When you first adopt a dog (we hope) or are in the process of trying to transition your dog to a healthier dog food, it can be tough. There are so many different kinds of dog food on the market that it can be confusing to even know where to start. And with so many recalls in the last year, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with what is good for your dog and what isn’t! The good news is that our dogs, unlike cats, are usually less particular about their dog food and will usually eat all kinds of food.
Below are some tips on how to find the best food for your dog:
Your veterinarian is always a good place to start
Your dog’s genetics, age, life style and tastes all play a role in how much and what your dog should eat. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations for your dog contingent on your dog’s body size, breed, age and health. There might be a medical issue to take into consideration or if your dog is overweight, it will narrow down the choices. Once you get a recommendation from your vet, you can then do some research on your own.
Learn how to read the label on your dog’s food
The first ingredient in your dog’s food should be a specified meat, not a meat by-product, but the real thing. If the first ingredient in your dog food is a corn, wheat, meat by-product, bone meal or anything but a real specified type of meat, move on to another food. By-products are the leftovers, such as the eyes, hooves, skin, feathers and feet that are not good for your dog. Watch out for ingredients that do not list exactly what it is, such as words like “animal” and “meat” as opposed to “chicken,” “beef,” “duck,” etc.
Chicken meal, found in many dog food brands is a combination of the most unfavorable chickens that are left over and then rendered just like byproducts.
Therefore be aware that if the ingredients read “chicken” first and “corn meal” second, the food may contain more corn than chicken. Corn is a filler that a dog’s body does not utilize well, if at all. The corn gets pooped out and the dog must eat more food in order to get enough protein and nutrients that their bodies can use from the other ingredients in the food.
Do your due diligence to see if the dog food you choose has been recalled
If you find a dog food that you think will be a good fit for your dog, you can easily go on-line to see if the food has been recalled. With so much information at our fingertips, it shouldn’t be difficult to see if the brand or the particular food has been recalled or has unfavorable reviews.
Once you find the dog food that is the right choice, buy it in bulk
When you are feeding your dog a healthier brand, it tends to be a little more expensive. However, the healthier food that you feed the dog, the more likely your veterinarian bills will go down. Feed your dog the same type and brand of food every day. Unlike humans, a dog’s digestive system cannot handle changes in food. It can cause upset stomach and diarrhea. If your dog both likes the food that you find, buy a couple cases or in bulk to help bring the costs down. There are numerous on-line sites that have great deals on different brands of dog food and even coupons.
Each dog is different in their taste and needs
While one dog may thrive eating all wet food, not gain weight and maintain good health, it doesn’t always equate cross the board. Each dog is different in what works for him or her, so look for a high quality food, with a lot of protein, fewer carbohydrates and your dog should thrive.
Tips to transitioning your dog to a new food
When switching your dog to a new food, gradually transition him to the new food by mixing portions of both foods until you slowly phase out the old food. Your dog may experience diarrhea if his food is suddenly changed. Once your dog is fully eating the new food, you can follow the guidelines on the dog food package for recommended feeding amounts.
Keep fresh drinking water available at all times. Change the water at least once a day, more for dogs who drool and as always, keep food and water bowls clean.
Make sure to monitor your dog’s weight and activity level and make feeding adjustments as necessary.
Human food that is dangerous for your dogs
Keep your dogs, away from avocados, chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and raw bread dough made with yeast. Also avoid onions, garlic, and chives; milk and large amounts of dairy products such as cheese; alcohol; coffee and caffeine; salty food, such as potato chips; and food sweetened with xylitol, such as gum, baked goods, and candy. Xylitol, also used in products such as toothpaste, can cause liver failure in dogs.
Just as in humans, a dog’s diet can help maintain your dogs’ good health, longevity and help combat allergies or illness. That’s what the goal is, anyway, to have our dogs’ live long, happy and healthy lives.