Among today’s pawrents, the question of what type of food to feed a dog is a heated discussion topic. Some of us swear by premium commercial foods, others insist that a home-cooked diet is the only way to go. Still other Tripawds living with cancer have outlived their prognosis while eating the equivalent of Ol’ Roy.
We’re told to talk to our vets about nutrition, but if you mention “raw meat diet” to one, he’ll probably shake his head, tell you about patients’ expensive intestinal punctures from raw bones and advise you to stick with conventional kibble.
After all, that’s safe advice to serve up, since most vets have less than one year of nutritional training while attending vet school. They’re the experts and we’re not but if conventional kibble is the way to go, why do so many dogs thrive on foods other than kibble? And why do so many dogs die from cancer?
Do you feel like you’re on your own when it comes to choosing the best diet for your dog? How do you decide what to feed your Tripawd? Share your story below, we want to hear it.
Dog Diet and Nutrition Resources for the Layperson
The Internet has a bounty of reliable information about canine nutrition, but you need to strike a balance between your vet’s advice based on your dog’s current health, a manufacturer’s product claims (e.g., “holistic” or “human-grade” claims are not regulated by the government) and your gut instinct that tells you what your dog needs for good health. To help you do this, here are some canine nutrition resources to begin your journey:
The ACVN is where you’ll find Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN). They are veterinarians who are board certified specialists in veterinary nutrition and trained in the nutritional management of both healthy animals and those with one or more diseases. Most ACVN vets are found at research institutions but the ACVN Resource Page lists other organizations where board-certified ACVN vets can be found, or you can contact them to find a ACVN vet in your area. In addition, the ACVN FAQs page has succinct information for the lay person about canine nutrition basics.
The Dog Food Advisor, aka Mike Sagman, a previous Tripawd Talk Radio guest and dog food ingredient expert, has numerous articles about canine nutrition here. Read about everything from how to choose a good dog food to a rundown on the quality of your current commercial dog food.
Dr. Nancy Kay wrote a terrific series about how to make good canine nutrition choices in conjunction with your veteriarian. Read these articles for her veterinarian’s perspective about choosing the best dog diets:
Tripawds Amazon Blog: Canine Nutrition Books for Beginners.
A wealth of information about a healthy diet for dogs can be found here and in the Tripawds’ Eating Healthy discussion forums. But for an in-depth look at canine nutrition, consider taking a look at these books.
Modern Dog Magazine: The Cancer Diet for Dogs, Fighting Back with Food, by Elizabeth Pask and Laura Scott.
This short article outlines the basics of how to pick a food for dogs with cancer.