What is the best food to feed your pet? While the opinions for pet owners range from raw to cooked meat, commercial dry to canned food, the answer is a personal choice.
While dogs are classified as carnivores, nutritionally they are omnivores. So when feeding your four-footed friend it is important to consider a complete and balanced diet. Diets made at home are not likely to be nutritionally complete or balanced for your dog unless they are properly formulated in consultation with a pet nutritionist.
While it is true that dogs and cats are less susceptible to illness from bacteria in raw meats than humans, they are not entirely immune. And raw-fed dogs shed pathogenic bacteria at significantly higher rates in saliva and feces, thus posing a risk to humans. Dogs often lick their owner’s hands and faces and can potentially cause infection for salmonella and E. Coli to name a few. Dogs live significantly longer lives today in no small part due to excellent nutrition provided through commercial diets.
If you wish to feed your pet an unprocessed diet, work with your vet to ensure that it is balanced. Long-term feeding of a raw food diet may cause a strain on the kidneys due to excess protein. The easiest way to provide a balanced diet is to feed your dog commercial canned or dry food. The key is to choose responsibly. But there are still many very good dry brands from which to choose.
There is so much information out there it can be hard to know what to choose. Your veterinarian has your pet’s best interest at heart.