There are a lot of diet trends for our pets, but how do you know which ones are actually healthy for your dog? Even though we are all trying to do what we believe is healthy for our beloved pets, there is a lot of misinformation and misleading advertising out there.
Here are a few diet trends that pet owners are trying–and why it’s best to avoid them.
Grain-free and low-carb diets are very popular with people right now. People perceive them to be a healthier diet alternative for themselves and are trying to translate that to their pets. Unfortunately, these diets are not healthy for our dogs and can have deadly consequences.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently studied the link between grain-free diets and canine heart disease after a rise in cases of the condition occurring in breeds not typically prone to it. The condition is called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and often results in congestive heart failure.
Vegetarian or Vegan
Vegetarian and vegan diets are also on the rise, which is causing more owners to consider putting their pets on a vegetarian or vegan diet as well. Removing meat from a dog’s diet means that you are removing important nutrients that they need to live happy, healthy lives.
When you put your dog on a vegetarian or vegan diet, you run the risk of an inadequate protein intake, an imbalance of certain amino acids, and a deficiency in essential vitamins and minerals.
Raw or Homemade
This diet might be the fastest growing trend among pet owners in many countries, with claims that a raw diet will give your dog a shinier coat, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, and even higher energy levels.
The food for this diet consists of grains and vegetables mixed with raw meat. Owners can purchase commercially processed raw food that is frozen or freeze-dried, or they make it themselves from recipes and meal ideas found online or in books.
A lot of these recipes might not contain the nutrients your pet needs and can cause severe health issues. There is also a risk of infectious disease. Studies of raw pet food have shown bacterial contamination, which can make both dogs and their owners sick.
If You Have Concerns About Your Dog’s Diet
While we all want to do what’s best for our canine family members, it’s always important to consult with a veterinarian before jumping to conclusions or making decisions that can affect a pet’s health and well-being.
Checking with your vet is the best way to ensure that your dog is eating a healthy, balanced diet.