There is so much information out there about pet food these days that it’s difficult what to believe and what not to believe. Similar to human food, terms like “all natural,” “made from real ingredients,” “no artificial preservatives” and others are constantly being thrown around.
But, what does it all really mean?
In February, I had the amazing opportunity to attend a dog food nutritional summit at Pedigree to learn about how they make their dog food and some of their initiatives. (In the interest of full disclosure, it was a sponsored trip of about 10 bloggers, that including myself, were invited to)
Not only did I learn a lot about pet nutrition, I also got even more confused about the whole subject (in a good way), which is probably why I didn’t write about it immediately afterward.
A month later at the Global Pet Expo and then at the Backer Show, there was clear evidence the pet food debate is not going away, and there are even more choices out there than ever before — freeze dried raw food, fresh foods made in a human-grade kitchen, kibble specifically designed to clean your dog’s teeth. I could go on and on. And, everyone you ask (regular people, not PR reps) has an opinion, and it’s usually a very staunch one.
So, who do you believe even after reading and doing your own research? As a journalist, that’s a hard question for me to answer. I understand many of the arguments for and against a lot of the issues.
You may wonder why I picked this weekend — one when many people will not be around to join the conversation — to finally pose the question. Toby ran out of his regular food the other day while I was at a conference. I knew it was getting low, but thought there was enough left. My Dad, who was watching Toby called me up, and because it was pretty late and he wasn’t going to the store to get him his regular food, I told him to use one of the dog food samples I was given during a recent pet event.
Toby devoured it. I decided to keep him on it until the sample was finished to see if I noticed any immediate changes, and the most noticeable was that he pooped more often and it seemed like it was easier for him to go. Is it because the food is richer and more wholesome? Or, is it just passing through him, because it doesn’t have the same nutrients as his old food? He does, however seem a little more lethargic on the new food, but it’s also been very hot here, too.
So, I’m at a little bit of a crossroads in determining what to feed Toby. Someone suggested I should buy a variety of different foods and rotate them so he is getting a variety of nutrients. I’d love to hear what other people feed their dogs and why. I know this is a sensitive subject, so please be respectful to other people’s comments.
(For the record, Toby’s vet, who I absolutely trust, says Toby’s regular food is fine for him)
Thanks, and have a great weekend 🙂
This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop.