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Choosing Dog Food Brands Without Long-term Health Risks

Aug 17, 2007
I do not advocate for commercially prepared dried pet food diet even if it is premium quality. From the pet food recall incident, we know that dogs today get sick from cancer, diheabetes, liver and kidney diseases at a young age and most died suffering from the onset of the illness. The pet food recall event has confirmed my thoughts that a pet diet does contribute and play a major role in their health condition today.

Today, we cannot ignore the fact that commercially prepared food is a cause of these recent pet health issues. Cooking for your pet seems like the best choice today with the pet food recall incident. If you are unable to provide for homemade dog food, here are my suggestions on selecting a commercially prepared dog food and doing the best you can with choices you can make in minimizing long term health risks.

1) Select from specialty shop like your local pet shop rather then buy from supermarket. This option is most convenient for busy a busy pet owner. However, much consideration must be placed into selecting premium dog foods to ensure quality food source goes into preparing the food.

2) Read the labels of any food you buy. Avoid products containing unnamed animal and vegetable byproducts, wheat gluten and rice protein.

3) Check the FDA website regularly to see if the pet food brand choice you select is in the recall list.

4) Select brands that have meat sources listed as first two ingredients in the list. Look out for words like human-grade food source or organic. Avoid brands that list grains as their main source of protein, meat meals and by-products, dyes, artificial preservatives like BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin and propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is known to cause bloat and anemia in dogs.

5) Do your research on dog food brands that you are feeding. Talk to dog owners who purchase the same brand as you and observe if their dogs are healthy and coat is looking good.

6) Choose premium brands from specialty store and perform some basic research on the source of meats and food source of the brand you choose.

7) Consider cooking and making a little extra fresh foods for in their daily meal and let this little extra be about 30% of your pet diet. Very simply, just include in your dog food some cooked meats with pulp vegetables and eggs instead of just dried food or canned foods. This will not throw the diet out of balance and your dog will have a more palatable and healthier meals.

8) Add enzymes to their meals. Most commercially prepared foods do not contain sufficient enzymes which is responsible for breaking down the food properly. Purchase enzymes supplement or you can give your pet fresh raw foods daily as there are enzymes and essential nutrients in fresh fruits and berries (just a little portion a day (AVOID all citrus fruits, avocados, grapes and raisins). Feed your dog raw fruits (at least 4 hours apart) separately from their main meal for better absorption of the nutrients.

Canned Dog Food Vs Home Cooked Meats

I found that most canned dog food usually contain some preservatives and/or salt. Though some preservatives are natural, but we have to ask ourselves. If eating canned food daily is not a good for us humans, logically, it is unhealthy for your dog as well. Canned food is a very convenient option and can be used occasionally when you are in a rush or your dog is in boarding. But on a regular basis, avoid giving your dog canned food everyday.

If you would like to make their meals more palatable, cook a pot of minced/chopped meats with olive oil, add some minced vegetables and eggs. Freeze up to a week worth of cooked food and defreeze as and when you need for mixing with your pet commercially produced food. It will save you daily preparation time if you do in bulk but most importantly, you have prepared a healthier option for your dog. It is also a cheaper option compared to some premium canned food.

Above All, Seek medical advice if your pet exhibits symptoms such as loss of appetite, bloating, lethargy, and/or vomiting as this could be signs of organ failures which could be fatal.
About the Author
Veronica Eng researched on dog care from various sources for many years and summarized many effective yet simple guides to dog lovers. Her techniques have made her dogs healthy, vibrant and gorgeous coat that many envy. Natural pet health is her passion! More tips at http://www.dogcarezone.com
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