The old saying “you are what you eat” holds true for our dogs and cats. Proper nutrition is an essential part of overall good health.

Our health care team can help guide you when choosing a food for your pet. Many good quality pet foods offer a range of life stage foods for growth, maintenance, and maturity.

Many health conditions can be managed more successfully with a specialty or prescription diet. Conditions such as allergy, obesity, arthritis, thyroid, kidney, liver, heart and urinary tract disease can be managed in whole or in part with a prescription diet. We carry a variety of quality pet food brands in both healthy life-stage and prescription diets.

 To learn more, please visit Hills, Royal Canin and Purina Veterinary Diets.

Pet Food Myths

The truth about grains in pet foods

Grains Are Good!

 Many well-meaning pet nutrition advisors are buying into the most recent trends in pet food that promote grain-free diets for cats and dogs.  Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims and eliminating grains from pet food may lead to some serious nutrition-related health problems.

 It is true that feeding diets too high in refined carbohydrates (grains) can play a role in promoting obesity, diabetes, chronic inflammation or other metabolic diseases.  Fortunately, quality pet food producers such as Hill’s, Royal Canin and Iams invest extensively in research-based food trials for dogs and cats that allow them to formulate the most nutritionally balanced foods for all life stages of your pet.  These foods do include grains, such as corn, that provide:

  •  a highly digestible source of protein for muscle and tissue growth
  • carbohydrate for energy
  • fiber for intestinal health
  • antioxidants (Beta carotene, Vitamin E, Lutein)
  • linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that promotes skin health

 These grains are not “fillers” as some suggest.  They are an essential component of a complete diet for your pet.

It is true that pets can develop allergies to protein sources in their diet but allergies to grain sources such as wheat gluten are fortunately rare and have only been identified as a genetic disease in some Irish Setters and Wheaten Terriers. Wheat gluten is often a component of pet food because it is a very highly digestible protein source that provides some of the essential amino acids your pet needs.

Chicken By-Product Meal

We all love our pets and want the best for them.  Part of our attention to their needs includes feeding a balanced, nutritional diet.  Pet food advertisers have spent a lot of time and money in the last few years trying to convince us that our pets should be eating the same foods that we consider important in our own diets such as whole chicken breasts, a variety of fruits and vegetables, a variety of grains.  Unfortunately, what is best for us, as humans, is not always best for dogs and cats. They have evolved to eat a variety of meat products that we would consider, in many cases, inedible such as organ meats.  These ‘by-products’ of the meat processing industry are highly palatable and are an excellent source of nutrition.

 In the age of efficiency, manufacturers want to use as much of their materials as possible to avoid waste, making processes more economical and also more environmentally friendly. By-product does not mean nutritionally sub-standard, and usually means the creation of beneficial products or ingredients from other products or ingredients.  However, public perception is that chicken by-product meal contains only feet, beaks, feathers and carcass, and is a filler with no nutritional value. This is not true. Chicken by-product meal is an excellent source of protein since it naturally contains each of the amino acids essential to carnivorous animals, such as dogs and cats.  It is highly desirable due to its low ash (phosphorus) content. It is also very palatable. This ingredient consists of ground, rendered, wholesome parts of the chicken: white meat, dark meat, liver, and viscera. The chickens are sourced from human-grade processing plants.

So the bottom line is don’t believe everything you see on TV or scavenge off the internet!  When in doubt, always consult your pet nutrition expert – your veterinarian!