Just like our diets play a significant role in our overall health and well being, food choices can also impact the health of our dogs. Here are a few signs it may be time to reconsider your dog’s food:
If your pooch is itchy and doesn’t have fleas or mites, he or she may be suffering from allergies. Most itchy dogs have some form of food or environmental allergy, and a good first step to evaluate this further is to try a different protein source. For example, if you’re feeding a chicken based diet, consider switching to a beef or fish formula (make sure to check the ingredient label because often the front of the package features only the primary proteins in the formula).
These infections are almost always a result of a food sensitivity. If your dog is experiencing the frustrating cycle of repeat ear infections, try a new formula as soon as possible. Eliminating corn, wheat and soy is a great start. If that doesn’t do the trick, consider switching your dog’s protein source (see above). Switching to a commercially formulated raw diet may also help clear up infections and prevent new ones from occurring.
If your dog vomits regularly, consider switching foods. Upset tummies may come from a sensitivity to an ingredient or the formulation of the food. Adding a probiotic may help as well. You can learn to make your own probiotic here. If switching your dog’s food doesn’t stop the vomiting, see your veterinarian for diagnostics and treatment.
Your dog’s poop is a great indicator of digestion. If your pup is pooping more than twice a day, the food you are feeding isn’t very digestible. This can happen with very high fiber diets or poor quality kibble. The patients in my practice with the smallest, least smelly poop eat raw diets. I prefer commercially prepared raw diets over homemade raw diets because it ensures your pup gets all the necessary vitamins and minerals – a favorite Colorado brand “I and love and you” makes one I recommend.
You don’t trust the brand
You’re trusting the company making your dog’s food with the health and life of your dog. This is serious business. Here are a few important questions to ask potential pet food companies.
- Who formulates your diets? The answer you’ll want to hear is a veterinary nutritionist or an animal nutritionist.
- What quality control measures are in place? Regular testing and monitoring are important to prevent bacterial contamination and ensure each batch has a balanced formulation.
You are your dog’s health and nutrition advocate. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do research. Your pup is depending on you to feed a nutritious diet in order to live a happy and healthy life!