Dog on scale.

The diet industry is constantly trying to sell us new kinds of foods that will supposedly help us lose weight fast or increase energy levels, and it is no different for our pets. Every day, we are bombarded with ads for a new grain-free dog food diet or a raw food diet that is better for cats. How can you tell which diets can actually make your pets healthier and which ones might be more harmful than good? Animal Medical Hospital & Urgent Care is here to help you see through the fads and find the best way to feed your pets the nutritious foods they need:

Fad Diet 1: The Grain-Free Dog Diet

Gluten-free diets are gaining notoriety among humans with many experts touting the benefits they have for the gut and against inflammation. Unfortunately, grain-free diets are also becoming popular in the canine world with new food brands advocating against feeding dogs grains. In actuality, it is very rare for a dog to have any kind of issue with grains, as it is for a dog to have a food allergy of any kind (and if they do have one, it will most likely be to some kind of meat or dairy). The FDA has even started to make a connection between grain-free dog diets and an increase in canine heart disease. If you really want to know how grain-free diets might affect your dog, talk to your Charlotte veterinarian.

Fad Diet 2: The Raw Food Diet

The raw food diet, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet, has many experts split. There is a school of people who believe that feeding your dog or cat raw food like they would find in the wild is better for their unique digestive systems. Others, however, think that raw foods leave your pets too susceptible to bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, which can lead to illness in dogs and humans. Wild wolf ancestors did not eat fruit or other plants, but domesticated dogs and cats have adapted to successfully digest produce. So is the raw food diet right for your pet? Only you and your veterinarian can decide.

Fad Diet 3: The Homemade Food Diet

Many pet owners have taken it upon themselves to make food for their pets at home. While there are certain instances in which this kind of diet can be helpful, like if your dog has an upset tummy or you are trying to help him lose weight, in most cases, veterinarians advise against these kinds of diets. A study from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine found that almost none of the 200 homemade food recipes they studied had the proper amount of nutrients for a truly healthy pet. In fact, about 95 percent of them were lacking at least one essential nutrient. Instead of trying to tackle the issue of your pet’s nutrition on your own, talk to your Charlotte veterinarian about some of their favorite food brands.

At Animal Medical Hospital & Urgent Care, we want you to have all the information you need to give your pets the best life. From nutrition advice to veterinary services, we are always here to help you keep your pets healthy and happy. Call (704) 334-4684 to learn more.