Good nutrition is the best way to prevent health problems in our pets. The harmful effects bad nutrition can have on our pets translated into higher costs for veterinary services and a poor lifestyle.
Manufactured dog food is not suitable for all dogs, although this is a myth that most people believe in. Dog food is supposed to be made for dogs, but what often goes into manufactured foods is not fit for human consumption. Although pet food is advertised as nutritionally complete, it is hardly whole food that can cover all the basic nutritional requirements of your pets. Another myth is that the larger the size of your pet, the more food you should give it.
Manufacturers claim that modern pet food is formulated based on science and balanced to provide complete nutrition that maintains health. It is thought that feeding your pets leftovers from your meals can upset the balance the scientifically formulated diets can offer.
Another myth that is promoted by many dog food producers is that you should feed your dog the same type of food because variety causes health problems. Animals can adapt to diets that are deficient in nutrients to some degree but health problems will develop in time. Some such conditions are not always linked to improper diets but can nevertheless be cured with proper diets and supplements. Examples are obesity, diabetes, allergies or more serious conditions related to the immune or endocrine systems. Animals enjoy variety in their diet, just like carnivores and omnivores living in the wild. Feeding your pet different animal proteins can help you identify sensitivities for certain types of food or allergies, but it is also a good way to reduce deficiencies in nutrients or imbalanced triggered by one type of pet food.
If you think that your pet does not need vitamins, minerals and other supplements because there is plenty in the pet food you buy, you are wrong. Nutrients in pet food can easily be destroyed by the processing methods involved in its production. Synthetic additives added to correct the nutrient deficiencies, come along with chemical preservatives and coloring agents. The science of pet nutrition is not as well developed as the interests to obtain higher profit margins in the industry.
Inferior quality pet food is just as present on the grocery stores shelves as junk food and sodas are for humans. Although there are brands offering organically certified ingredients, raw, canned or freeze dried foods, these get less attention than the brands highly advertised on TV.
Regular dog foods are too often manufactured using human food byproducts, sometimes imported from third world countries in order to maximize the profit margin for its producers. Testing of such food can never be done for every batch of products because the costs would be too high. The recalls are frequent with such products because of bacterial and fungal contamination occurring in poor quality ingredients.
Good nutrition can be a better way to avoid expensive treatments and offers better insurance against serious diseases.