Should My Dog Eat A Raw Diet
A raw diet for dogs can consist of organ meats, muscle meat, whole or ground bone, raw eggs, fruits and vegetables, and yogurt. This type of raw diet can be of the homemade variety, while the other way to feed your dog a raw diet is through commercially available dog food that includes raw ingredients.
Proponents of a raw diet claim that eating raw food promotes cleaner teeth, a shinier coat, healthier skin, higher energy levels and smaller stool. The raw diet is sometimes referred to by the acronym BARF, which stands for Bones and Raw Food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Sled dogs and racing greyhounds were some of the earliest adopters of the hilariously titled BARF diet, and these days the diet has become much more popular with food manufacturers.
Some will say that the only reason for your dog to eat a raw diet is to eliminate ingredients in commercial foods that cause allergies. If your dog seems to have a food allergy and youve tried grain free, but the irritation has continued, a raw diet could an option. If you do decide to try a raw diet, do as much research as possible beforehand and consult with your vet or a nutritionist.
If youd like to safely feed your dog a bone, there are many quality commercial options to consider. One option is whole, naturally shed deer and elk antlers. Pick an appropriate sized antler for your dog in order to avoid choking. Your dog will love to chew it, they do not splinter, and they promote healthy gums and teeth.
Bravo Packing Performance Dog
We normally like raw pet food because most of these are free from fillers and the meat included are in their purest forms, free from processing of any kind. However, in the case of Bravo Packings raw diet, wed have to rethink this.
Bravo Packings Performance Dog and all of Bravo Packings other raw diets have undergone a recall this year.
Although no deaths or illnesses have been associated with the food, it is troubling that the brand has once again been involved with a recall.
From 2011 to 2015, Bravo had 7 recalls, which included expanded recalls.
There was another in 2018 and another in 2019 before the one for 2021. All of the past recalls were due to the possible presence of Salmonella or Listeria.
Recall Info: On March 3, 2021, Bravo Packing, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of two of their raw pet food products for possible cross contamination after samples collected during a US Food and Drug Administration inspection tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.
The brand expanded the recall on March 16 to include ALL of its pet food and bone products of all sizes. No lot code or date code has been provided for the recent recall so assume, for the safety of your pets, that all are possibly contaminated.
Best Dog Food For Small And Large Breeds
Small breed dogs and large breed dogs have different nutritional needs. Large breed dogs are more prone to musculoskeletal problems than smaller breeds, and so they often require large-breed dog food with different balances of certain nutrients to promote musculoskeletal health, especially as puppies. Small breed dogs, on the other hand, can choke on large-sized kibble and have their own nutritional requirements that can be accommodated with a small-breed dog food. Research your dogs breed to find out if there are any additional nutritional requirements you should be aware of.
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How To Tell If A Brand Is Reputable
There are, however, vet-approved guidelines, created by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association , to help consumers gauge whether dog food manufacturers are credible. Though the AAFCO sets standards for what goes into dog food in the US, its the WSAVA that sets international guidelines for key areas in veterinary care and pet nutrition.
If you want to make sure a brand of food for your pup is up to snuffor whether that chic-looking new brand spamming your Instagram feed is worth ita good place to start is to ask the companys customer service about the WSAVAs guidelines .
Any reputable pet food company should be able to provide insight about several things: whether or not it employs a vet nutritionist2 who formulates its diets its quality-control process and whether it conducts any peer-reviewed product or nutritional research.
Complete And Balanced Dog Foods
One of the first things you should look for on a dog food label is the statement is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. This isnt just an advertising slogan. The Association of American Feed Control Officials has strict requirements to make sure that a product is in fact complete and balanced for dogs . Complete and balanced diets must contain the minimum amount of all of the nutrients necessary for dogs, which is also indicated in the guaranteed analysis. This analysis gives the minimum amount of crude protein and fat, along with the maximum amounts of water and crude fiber. The analysis does not, however, give the exact amount of these components, which means there is room for considerable variation. The manufacturers average nutrient profile is often a better tool for evaluating a product.
You can always contact the dog food company directly to get more information about its product. A reputable company that has your dogs interests at heart should be happy to answer your questions and in many cases will give you more information than what is available on the website or product label. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has a helpful sheet with questions you can ask a company representative.
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How To Read A Dog Food Label
Standing in the dog food aisle comparing everything from caloric content to serving sizes is enough to make your head spin. Dont panic! Know that at the bare minimum, the FDA has labeling standards, which include giving the name and address of the producer and listing ingredients in descending order by weightjust like labeling on packaged foods for humans. Most states have also adopted the AAFCOs more specific model of labeling language. Heres what you need to know about decoding the lingo on the label, based on our expert advice and FDA and AAFCO rules.
Key Differences Between The Worst And Best Dog Foods
- The best dog food will exceed the minimum nutritional requirements Whilst all commercially available foods will reach the minimum required nutritional levels, the minimum is not enough to make your dog fully thrive.
- Protein According to Kate Barrington at Petsumer.com, the best dog food will have over 25% protein. This should be ideally from all animal sources, without using vegetable protein.
- Fat The best foods will have at least 10% fat content.
- Enriched with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
- The first five ingredients on the label should not contain any fillers, by-products, or additives.
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What Are The Benefits Of Feeding My Dog The Best Food
There are many benefits to feeding your dog the best food possible. Some of these benefits include improved health, increased energy levels, and a shiny coat.
Feeding your dog the best food will also help to extend their life span. This is because high-quality foods provide the nutrients that your dog needs to stay healthy and strong.
Pro Pac Performance Puppy
This recipe is designed for puppies from weaning until the 12th month. Its also billed as an excellent feed for pregnant or nursing canines.
We dont find anything wrong with the ingredients because it starts with chicken meal, an animal protein. Ground yellow corn as the second ingredient may be a little bit off, but still not bad. Whats more concerning is the recent recall of this product.
The maker of this recipe is Midwestern Pet Foods, the same manufacturer of Sportsmix, Nunn Better, and Splash Fat Cat.
The company is currently embroiled in one of the worst pet food recalls to date concerning aflatoxin, a possibly fatal type of toxin that was found in Midwestern Pet Foods Sportsmix products.
Included in the recall are two Pro Pac recipes. This particular formulation and the Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk.
Recall Info: On January 11, 2021, and FDA alert was issued on the Pro Pac Adult Mini Chunk, 40 lb. bags and Pro Pac Performance Puppy, 40 lb. bags manufactured in Midwestern Pet Foodss Oklahoma plant with expiration dates of July 9, 2022 or earlier.
This is an expanded recall that was issued out of caution since the Pro Pac recipes were produced in the same plant as the Sportsmix foods that have caused the deaths of more than 70 dogs and the illness of around 80 at least.
Problem Ingredients: none
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Kal Klan Complete Adult
The biggest issue with Kal Klan is that there are no wholesome meat-based protein sources. The very first ingredient on the list is usually corn.
Meat should always be the first on the list regardless of the brand or price. Having corn as the top-listed ingredient is always a red flag.
As if that werent enough, Kal Klan uses soybean meal and bone meal. Soybean meal is a byproduct of making soy oil. Meanwhile, bone meal is nothing more than ground-up bone and cartilage.
Of course, theres no way to tell what animal is being used. So its best to avoid it.
Dr Marty Freeze Dried Dog Food
Image courtesy Dr. Marty
Dr. Marty’s Nature’s Blend is a nutritional supplement that aims to aid your dog’s youthful vitality, simple digestion, healthy teeth and skin, mobility, and long life. Each batch is made from high-quality meats, veggies, fruit and seeds with zero artificial preservatives, fillers, or synthetic additives.
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Iams Dry Dog Food Chunks
At first glance, IAMS products dont seem so bad. The first ingredient is usually chicken, which is a great protein source.
However, when you start to look at some of the other ingredients used, it starts to become evident that this dog food isnt a good option for your dog.
First, it has corn meal. This is nothing more than a filler. Secondly, it uses chicken byproduct meal. Theres that controversial byproduct again.
While this byproduct is identified, IAMS doesnt provide any information about what the byproduct is. Is it beneficial organs or is it slaughterhouse waste?
Finally, theres sorghum and beet pulp. Sorghum is similar in nutrient content to corn meal. Meanwhile, beet pulp is a high-fiber byproduct that can lead to weight gain.
What Is The Best Dog Food Brand
None of the independent experts we spoke with were direct on which of the more than 500 pet food facilities in the United States make the best dog food. And, as anticipated, representatives for dog food companies tended to recommend their products over all others. The truth is that there is no true gold standard for pet food, admitted Dr. Darcia Kostiuk, senior veterinarian with Champion Petfoods, the company behind Acana and Orijen.
Whats good for a professional dock-diving dog might not be what the pooch on the sofa beside you needs. Like people, dogs are individuals with different activity levels, preferences, temperaments, and metabolisms. As long as you consult your vet and select a product your dog enjoys eating, youre well on your way to providing your pup with a great meal.
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Dont Be Alarmed By Unappetizing Ingredients Listed On Your Dog Food By
Heres what to know about some of the ingredients you might see:
Meat by-products and mealMeat by-product can include mammal organs, bone, and fatty tissue. Meat meal is any mammal tissue, with some exclusions. This is cooked and pulverized into a meal or powder-like substance for pet food. No matter how yucky that sounds to you, meat meal may even contain more minerals than human-grade or aesthetically pleasing cuts of meat, notes the FDA. Meat and bone meal are concentrated essential amino acids, calcium, and phosphorus, which help your dog maintain lean muscles, as well as strong teeth and bones, added Beck of Banfield Pet Hospital.
Animal fat and vegetable fatThese add flavor, energy, and nutrients, like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, to pet food.
Plant ingredientsItems like barley, corn, rice, and wheat add energy, carbohydrates, and fiber to pet food. Gums from seeds and plants help the food retain its shape or texture.
Additives, preservatives, thickeners, and emulsifiersThese chemical-sounding names must meet the FDAs generally recognized as safe rule or be approved as food additives for their intended uses.
Worst Puppy Food: Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy
Pups are very much like human children in the sense that what you feed them early on can have a significant impact on their growth and development.
Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Original Formula is the worst puppy food even though it may contain the phrase Health Smart on its label.
In one disturbing case, a dog owner on the Consumer Affairs website observed that her pet displayed indications of a parasite soon after eating this food.
However, a vet confirmed the digestive health issues arose due to the food, and no parasites were present in the dog, luckily.
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Meeting Aafco Nutrition Standards
Our experts all agreed that any good dog food will meet the AAFCO nutrition standards. You can determine if a pet food meets your pets nutritional needs by looking at the nutritional adequacy statement on the label if this statement includes the phrase complete and balanced, then the product is intended to be fed as a pets sole diet and should be nutritionally balanced, Roberts said.
We have the AAFCO to make sure that everything you feed is a form of dog food thats nutritionally complete, said Wakshlag. You should be able to find the statement which the FDA considers one of the most important aspects of a dog or cat food label on the back label .
While AAFCO has feed control officials that develop standards, definitions and policies for the sale and distribution of pet food, among other animal feeds, the voluntary membership association doesnt regulate, test, approve or certify pet food, so theres no such thing as an AAFCO approved brand or product.
Worst Wet Dog Food: Cesar Filets
Cesar Filets is considered one of the worst dog foods because of its high salt content .
It has sufficient water for processing, animal liver, chicken, beef and meat by-products, wheat gluten, ground wheat flour, cornstarch, salt, pea fiber, sodium tripolyphosphate, calcium carbonate, added color, choline chloride, magnesium.
It helps if you also understand that the quality of ingredients cannot tell the whole story, but the amount of meat in the dog food is critical to consider before determining whether it falls in the best or worst category.
The amount of protein in Cesar filet is about 44%, with 22% fat and 25% carbohydrates.
This analysis shows that this dog food includes an above-average level of protein intake and just near-average fat.
At the same time, the carbs are below average compared to a portion of typical canned dog food.
Another factor making it a low-quality dog food is that it has artificial colorings added to it, which is useless and not preferred.
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Highly Rated Dog Food To Consider
In line with our experts guidance, all of the following highly rated dog foods including dry kibble and canned wet food meet or exceed the Association of Animal Feed Controls Officials nutritional standards, come from a brand that has a team of veterinary nutritionists on staff to regulate the use of high-quality ingredients and provide a feed guide on their packaging to help you determine the appropriate portions for your dogs weight and size. All of the brands also offer high-calorie options for puppies and easily digestible kibble sizes for various sized dogs.
Is Wet Food Or Dry Food Better For My Dog
There’s no one definitive answer to this question. Some dogs do better on wet food, while others prefer dry food. Ultimately, it’s up to you to experiment with different types of food and see what your dog likes best.
If you’re unsure of what brand of dog food to buy, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. They’ll be able to recommend a food that’s tailored to your dog’s individual needs.
There are a myriad of different options for the best dog food brands recommended by vets, depending on the breed of dog. Some of the best brands of food for dogs include Pupper, Nom Nom Fresh, and Only Natural Pet. These foods are made with high-quality ingredients and are tailored to the specific needs of each breed.
Pupper Fuel is a great option for dogs who need a high-quality, nutritious diet. The company uses only the best ingredients in their food, and it’s tailored to the specific needs of each breed.
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Dog Food For Allergies & Sensitivities
Food allergies? No problem! Allergies, intolerances, and skin issues in dogs can often be helped with a food crafted for sensitivities, and we have options for just that. Whether your dog has a food allergy or just a dog food intolerance, finding a food with limited ingredients to help with dog food allergy symptoms can be tricky. Learn more about all of our options for allergies and sensitivities!