It’s normal to want to provide the best for our beloved pets, and in this current day and age of constantly changing ideas about our own nutrition, it’s easy to become confused or concerned about what we should be feeding them.
Don’t get mislead by marketing tactics that are not based on facts. As we wrote earlier this month, you should be paying attention to nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals), not the ingredients (chicken, corn, wheat, beef, etc.) The exception would be if your pet has a documented allergy to some ingredient, in which case you would want to avoid it of courses.
One marketing tactic common right now is gluten-free. There are people who are definitely sensitive to gluten, but gluten sensitivities in dogs are very rare, so it is probably something you don’t need to worry about. The same applies to grain-free diets. In fact, the FDA warned that grain-free diets have been associated with heart disease in dogs, so we prefer to avoid them.
Besides ingredients, the other thing that needs to be balanced is the calories that you are feeding. Obesity is the number one nutritional problem that we see in pets. Feed your pet enough food to maintain an optimal body condition. Not every food has the same number of calories per cup or can, so you can feed more of a low calorie food but you will need to feed less of a high calorie food.
Your number one resource for your pet’s dietary and nutritional needs should be your trusted family veterinarian. Please reach out to the staff at Animal Medical Clinic with your questions regarding pet nutrition trends. We are happy to help you sift through the conflicting information and figure out a plan that works for your pet.