If you’re one of the many new dog owners amid the coronavirus pandemic, congrats are in order!
However, with new dog ownership comes huge responsibility, and that includes the health and well-being of your new pup.
This includes giving them the healthiest food we can. The dog food we choose can help them live longer, by preventing obesity-related health issues and providing all the nutrients that they need.
But, it’s important to do your research before picking up an expensive bag of seemingly healthy dog food. There are a lot of diet trends gaining popularity — but they are littered with plenty of misinformation and misleading advertising.
What might sound healthy could be detrimental to your dog’s health.
Here are some of the diet trends that are picking up speed, and why the experts warn against them.
Grain-free and low-carb diets are very popular with people right now, and that could be a big reason why we’re seeing it rise in popularity with pets. People perceive them to be a healthier diet alternative for themselves, and are trying to translate that to their pets. Unfortunately, these diets are definitely not healthy for our dogs — and can have deadly consequences.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently studied the link between grain-free diets and canine heart disease after a rise in cases of the condition occurring in breeds not typically prone to it. The condition is called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and often results in congestive heart failure.
Vegetarian and vegan diets are also on the rise, which is causing more owners to consider putting their pets on a vegetarian diet as well. And while eating these kinds of diets can be healthy for humans, it doesn’t apply to other species.
Removing meat from a dog’s diet means that you are removing important nutrients that they need to live happy, healthy lives.
When you put your dog on a vegetarian or vegan diet, you run the risk of an inadequate protein intake, an imbalance of certain amino acids, and a deficiency in essential vitamins and minerals.
This diet might be the fastest growing trend among pet owners in many countries. Supporters claim that a raw diet will give your dog a shinier coat, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, and even higher energy levels. Those are some pretty lofty claims!
Essentially, this diet consists of grains and vegetables mixed with raw meat. Owners can purchase commercially processed raw food that is frozen or freeze-dried, or they make it themselves from recipes and meal ideas found online or in books.
A lot of these recipes might not contain the nutrients your pet needs and can cause severe health issues. There is also a risk of infectious disease. Studies of raw pet food have shown bacterial contamination, which can make both dogs and their owners sick. Many raw pet foods have been recalled for salmonella, listeria, and E. coli contamination.
We all want to do what’s best for our pups. However, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before making decisions that can affect a pet’s health and well-being.
Checking with your vet is the best way to ensure that your dog is eating a healthy, balanced diet.