How do I choose the best food for my dog?
With so many high-quality pet food products available, choosing the best food for your dog can seem daunting. The nutritional needs of your pet have evolved from those of their pre-domesticated ancestors. The skin, bones, muscle, and intestinal contents of their prey were once considered a tasty and nutritious meal. To ensure your pet’s diet meets all of their needs, you should consider this evolution.
Modern research into canine nutrition has produced a large number of premium-quality dietary options for your pet to thrive on. Super premium diets have been shown to increase your pet’s lifespan and quality of life. Foods by Hill’s Science Diet, Royal Canine, and Eukanuba are recommended by our Greencross veterinarians.
Available diet options
Home prepared diets
Your pet will surely enjoy your home cooking. However, these meals are often not nutritionally complete. Dietary imbalances can result in health problems including bone disease in growing pups, skin and coat conditions, dental disease, and intestinal disorders. To ensure your pet receives the necessary calcium and phosphorus balance and vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, make sure you include scientifically formulated, nutritionally balanced products in their daily diet.
Food found in major supermarkets usually provide your pet’s basic nutritional needs, but they’re often filled with cheaper ingredients like cereals, offal, and soybean. These additives can reduce palatability and digestibility, and increase flatulence and odorous stools. Artificial colours and flavour enhancers upset the balance of fatty acids vital for a healthy skin and coat. Always read the label carefully.
Premium veterinary diets
Hill’s Science Diet, Royal Canine, and Eukanuba are quality pet foods available from veterinary clinics and some pet food stores. They are available in various formulations to suit pets of all ages and activity levels and come in both tinned and dry varieties.
Advantages of a premium veterinary diet
- all protein is of a high biological value and completely balanced
- no soybean products are used (they don’t contain the full range of amino acids and can interfere with digestion of other nutrients)
- no added artificial colours or flavour enhancers
- optimal fibre levels (too much dietary fibre results in reduced digestibility and interferes with the absorption of other nutrients)
- fibre from beet-pulp (provides a blend of soluble and insoluble fibre, which promotes good bacteria in the bowel)
- correct balance of fatty acids (for a healthy skin and coat and to help control inflammation and allergy-related itching)
- highly palatable (which means less waste through uneaten food)
Diet is as important for our pets as it is for us. To minimise the health risks associated with poor diet, like pet obesity, make sure your pet is eating the most suitable food for their breed and life stage.