|Choosing the Best Dog Food
What is the best food to feed a dog?" Every day veterinarians are asked that question by dog owners. It's a sincere question because most dog owners want to feed the very best to their furry friends. Good health begins with proper nutrition, regardless of price or convenience of acquisition.
Please understand that the entire discussion on this page relates to healthy dogs with no kidney, thyroid, food allergy or other abnormal conditions. Also, the content of this page is my opinion regarding the "best" dry and wet dog food and how to determine what you think is "best" to feed dogs and cat food online.
A big reason why it i is strictly an opinion, there is no single answer to the question "What is the best diet to feed a dog virals?" Or if there is an answer it is, "It depends".For more info check out the dog virals website.
Over the past 37 years I have been examining dogs and cats in my practices I have made it a point to ask the owner "What diet are you feeding?" I have gotten all sorts of answers but in every case I relate the owner's response to what I am seeing in the patient. And over the years my suggestions regarding what to feed have changed.
Originally I took the pet food manufacturer's declarations as fact-- that an assortment of "Balanced and complete" foods (found at sites such as www.catvirals.com) " were perfectly nourishing because that wording was not legally permitted on pet food labels unless feeding trials demonstrated its veracity. I eventually discovered I was mistaken in the belief that any "Complete and Balanced" dog food was appropriate to feed.
It was in 1978 that I had an awakening. A number of clients were presenting dogs to me that had coarse hair coats and slightly greasy and flaky skin; and often these dogs (and cats!) had chronic itchy skin, hot spots, ear infections and seemed overweight.
So, they were over-caloried but under-nourished. Their calorie intake was up but the food they were consuming simply-- no matter that the pet food label indicated "Complete and Balanced"-- was not providing a proper nutrient spectrum to the dog. Sometimes I would simply say that some fatty acid supplements "might help". I was a believer in those "Complete and Balanced" diets. One of the reasons I couldn't see what was going on regarding these dogs with poor health signals relating to diets was that some of the "Balanced and complete" diets were resulting in well nourished dogs, partly because the owners were feeding table scraps.
I'll jump ahead a bit and tell you the defining element that separated the good "Balanced and complete" diets from the poor ones was this: The poor diets were based on corn-- meaning, corn was listed as the first ingredient in the ingredient list on the label-- and the good diets were based on chicken or some other meat source-- lamb, beef.
I was always instructed, and learned in the few nutrition courses in veterinary school (nutrition is much better covered in veterinary school these days) that an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in a dog's diet would lead to health disasters. This holds true today, too.
I was instructed that "since meat is high in phosphorus and lower in calcium, too much meat is not good for dogs over long periods of time". Grain-based diets for dogs, and even more so for cats, do not make nutritional sense and that was exactly why I was seeing those patients with the flaky and dry, sometimes greasy skin and coarse hair coats.
When I saw another litter owned by a local Bloodhound breeder, further confirmation came. This fellow seemed to me to be quiet and a healthy ten-year-old dog with a shiny coat.
When I 'd ask him what he was feeding his dogs we would get into our annual nutritional discussion and I 'd keep warning him about the home-made recipe and all that meat he had been feeding his dogs for years.
Funny thing was, his dogs were among the very best I had ever seen. All his litters, and adult dogs, were robust, had perfect skin and coats even at six weeks of age, and never had to come in for skin problems, skeletal dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems or oral health issues. This breeder was sending his pups all over the country and there I was trying to tell him to be careful about "feeding too much meat" and I 'd talk about such things as "a 'Balanced and complete' commercial dog food would be best, make sure you don't get skeletal problems". Because I honestly thought his dogs were in optimum health, I wondered why I felt rather foolish instructing him.
It's a sincere question because most dog owners want to feed the very best to their furry friends. Their calorie intake was up but the food they were consuming simply-- no matter that the pet food label indicated "Complete and Balanced"-- was not providing a proper nutrient spectrum to the dog. One of the reasons I couldn't see what was going on regarding these dogs with poor health signals relating to diets was that some of the "Complete and Balanced" diets were resulting in well nourished dogs, partly because the owners were feeding table scraps.
Grain-based diets for dogs, and even more so for cats, do not make nutritional sense and that was exactly why I was seeing those patients with the dry and flaky, sometimes greasy skin and coarse hair coats. Funny thing was, his dogs were among the very best I had ever seen.
To offer an opportunity for those of similar ideals to gather together and promote the Epagneuls Bretons in the USA.
To promote cooperation, education and understanding among breeders and owners of the Epagneul Breton concerning its unique conformational qualities and field abilities in traditional upland bird hunting and appropriate Field Trial venues.
To encourage testing of all dogs especially those who are considered to be of breeding quality in performance and conformation events.
To support the events organized by the United Kennel Club for these purposes.
To organize Field and Conformational Events in the Colorado area to further these goals and recognize outstanding dogs in the Breed in the USA and in this region.
To strongly encourage proper selection of breed traits in breeding stock using the results of such events in conjunction with the utilization of health and genetic screening procedures now available.
To provide an informational resource concerning the history, genetics, health and all pertinent information that may assist owners and breeders to maintain the desired traits of the breed as advocated by the breed founders in the Country of Origin, the 'Club de l'Epagneul Breton' in France.
|To provide an organization where persons who find their life enriched by this breed can meet and periodically assemble to exchange and learn from many varied informational resources for the health, happiness and enjoyment of the Epagneul Breton .