All-Star Animal Hospital

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Choosing a Dog Food

With all of the different dog foods on the market, how does an owner choose the best food for their dog? The good news is that there are a lot of great dog foods available. But, there is no one answer to the questions as there is no single food that is best for every dog. Dogs, just like people, are individuals. What works well for one dog might not work for another.

In general, dogs need high quality protein, fat, and a complete complement of vitamins and minerals in their diet to remain healthy. When looking for a healthy food, begin by reviewing the ingredient list. By noting the order that ingredients appear you can roughly determine a food’s digestibility. By law, pet food labels must list their ingredients in order by weight. Look for meat, fish, egg, or some type of meat meal or fish meal as the first or second ingredient. If the first ingredient is chicken or lamb you can assume it is a good quality protein source. Chicken by-products or other meat by-products are not as good but acceptable; meat and bone meal are poorer yet. Some companies will list a meat source and then three different forms of corn, hiding the fact that the main ingredient is corn but just divided into three different products.

High-quality ingredients are essential for a healthy food. Some economy brands of dog food are made from inexpensive ingredients that are not easily digested, and therefore, do not provide the best nutrition. In our experience, some of the highest priced foods are not necessarily the best foods, yet very rarely, are the lowest priced foods of good quality. In relation to cost, we generally recommend foods in the upper middle range.

We know that the foods our canine companions eat should come from clean, wholesome sources. A good diet combined with ample exercise and a healthy living environment can lend years to your dog’s life.

People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets:

Chocolate, Coffee & Caffeine – These products can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, tremors, seizures and even death.

Grapes & Raisins – Although the toxic substance in grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Yeast Dough – Yeast dough can rise and cause gas. This is painful and can even cause the stomach or intestines to rupture.

Onions, Garlic, Chives – These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and can lead to red blood cell damage.

Xylitol – Is used as a sweetener in many products including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release leading to liver failure.

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Our All-Star Animal Hospital’s news blog is updated monthly for animal lovers and their friends. We try keeping you up-to-date on various health care topics for your pets, including information on food, nutrition, diseases and treatments along with news about new products and services. For previous blogs click on a link below to select the issue you want.
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The information on this site is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. This information is supplemental and not intended as a substitute for regular, routine veterinary care for your cats, dogs or other pets.
Always check with your vet before using any information learned here or trying any treatments on your own.
We cannot provide advice or consultation online regarding animals requiring immediate emergency attention - contact us or your local animal hospital for emergency care.