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To Eat or Not to Eat

The pet-food scoop



Walking through a pet store looking for the best option for your dog can be quite overwhelming. Dry food? Wet food? Raw food? Food for active dogs? Low calorie, grain free? There are endless options. Holistic bloggers tout the benefits of raw, organic food: shiny coats, healthier skin, higher energy levels, and cleaner teeth. The FDA says, “Because raw pet food is more likely than other types of pet food to contain Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, the single best thing you can do to prevent infection is to not feed your pet a raw diet.”

Here are a few things to consider when deciding how to feed your pet. 

Raw or Not?
Dr. Kristy of the Engelberg Kristy Animal Hospital LLC in Fairfield chatted with us about pet food diets. “When choosing the right food for your pet, it should be complete and balanced,” explains Dr. Kristy.

He does not have a preference for dry, wet, or raw. However, he cautions that if you put your pet on a raw food diet it has to be done properly. Contamination can be a danger not just for your dog, but also for you. “Dry food is already calculated for nutritional value and there is a lesser risk of food borne illness. Raw food is more involved,” he explains.

There have been limited studies on the benefits or raw food for pets, but there are many fans of the diet. Sled dogs and racing greyhounds have always been fed a raw diet. A good book to check out on the topic is Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats by Beth Taylor.

What Ingredients Are Dangerous? 
The Dog Food Project (dogfoodproject.com) is a clearinghouse for the most current information on doggy diets. It has compiled a list of ingredients to avoid in your pet’s food. Substances such as phosphoric acid, corn gluten, soy flour, certain coloring agents, vegetable oil, and chicken byproduct meal—among many others—can be toxic/and or do not contain the appropriate nutritional value needed for your dog. 

Dos and Don’ts in Healthy Snacks
We all know horses love carrots. Did you know many dogs do, too? They can also eat watermelon, cooked squash, and blueberries, among other fresh fruits and veggies. The “never feed” list includes: avocado, grapes, raisins, and tomatoes. The dogfoodadvisor.com offers a more comprehensive list. 

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