If you’re here, you’re probably concerned about what’s in your dog’s food. Rightly so. The dog food corner of the internet is awash in information, marketing gimmicks and fad diets. Which leads us to the Golden Rule, be skeptical before you buy a new food!
Your dog’s health deserves a little research and evaluation and we’re here to help. In this post we will arm you with five key facts that will help you determine which food is best for your pup.
Disclaimer: We are a vet-backed dog food company that delivers premium kibble in pre-portioned pouches. So keep that in mind (remember the Golden Rule!) as you graze on the five common dog food myths and facts.
1. Myth: Quality assurance is well regulated across the dog food industry.
Fact: While there is some oversight from state level feed control officials and the FDA, most of the industry is self regulated. This means that it is largely up to food producers to operate with ongoing integrity. For dog owners, it’s important to do your research and look for third party advice before switching to a new food. There are certain standards of quality to look for, beyond the ingredient list. If a company partners with veterinarians, who vouch for the nutritional value of the food, that’s a good sign. Another positive to look for is the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Their stamp of approval is widely recognized as an industry standard for quality.
2. Myth: Every stage of doggy life requires a new kind of food.
Fact: You’ve probably walked down a pet food aisle and seen bags of kibble labeled for puppy, small breed puppy, large breed puppy, pregnant, senior small breed… and the recipe varieties go on. Based on this evaluation it would appear that there must be a particular food for each life stage. However, according to the AAFCO, certain kibble recipes are formulated to provide complete nutrition for dogs at All Life Stages. So the same dog, as a pupper or as a senior, will get all of the good stuff they need.
3. Myth: Raw food diets are healthier than kibble diets.
Fact: Both diets have their pros and cons. With regards to raw food, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has asked pet owners to proceed with caution, due to the potential for harmful levels of E. coli and salmonella. Their stance is, “The AVMA discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens, because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.”
4. Myth: Chicken meal is less nutritious than chicken meat.
Fact: Whether it’s chicken, beef, or any other protein source, “meal” is the term used to describe animal parts that aren't consumed by humans; protein that dogs would naturally eat as hunters and scavengers. Through a process called rendering the protein source becomes a powder, similar in theory to your post-workout protein supplement. This powder is densely packed with protein, in fact, it is often a more abundant source than the whole meat from which it was made. Meal is also an excellent source of amino acids, fats, certain minerals and vitamins.
5. Myth: Grains are bad for dogs.
There’s been a lot of debate online about grains and doggy health. Some pet owners are concerned that grains can trigger allergic reactions. It’s important to remember that “grains” are a category of foods (like corn, oats, rice, wheat, etc.) and each type has its own characteristics that shouldn’t be generalized across the whole category. When it comes to allergy-provoking foods, the top five in order are: beef, dairy, wheat, chicken, egg. For the majority of dogs, grains are an excellent addition to their diet. They usually contain more nutrients than substitute ingredients used in grain-free food. Also, be aware that the FDA is currently investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs.
We hope this was a good starting point for you to better understand your options. As a pallaby member, you can meet virtually with one of our veterinarians to help guide you through the process of feeding your dog properly. Ready to get started? Tell us about your dog.