Avoid The Fads And Focus On Nutritional Dog Foods

You’ve all read the hype about the latest dietary trend for dogs. You’ve likely had friends or family — or even veterinarians — hail the “one and only” way to feed your friend with four legs. Maybe it’s only raw foods. Just grains. Perhaps some combination of both?

Nutritional food choices for your pet can be complicated and challenging because the industry is competitive and the marketing is aggressive. There are hundreds of available brands and formulas are forever changing. Myths and cost concerns don’t make these choices any easier.

In recent decades, nutritionists have determined the difference in breeds — think cold climates or water breeds — impact the type of nutrients those individual dog breeds require. But that’s not written in stone as lifestyle and activity levels also play important roles.

There is also a misconception that as carnivores, dogs require meat-based diets. In truth, most dogs will remain in optimal health by eating a combination of plant-based and animal-based foods. Teeth and digestive tracts have adapted for such an omnivore blend.

Veterinary researchers now note the key to canine nutrition is a well-balanced diet. That means a mix of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids from proteins. Yet the source of the proteins and fats is not nearly as important as digestibility of the food, often determined by the quality.

Commercial pet foods have generally accepted nutritional guidelines but the components may vary depending on a dog’s individual needs or health condition. To be safe, avoid the fads and flashy food ads and stick with a common-sense balanced diet for your dog.

If you are still confused, be sure to let your veterinarian weigh in. As experts, vets can helps select a diet firmly backed by scientific principles and solid research.