know.

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Ideally, meat will be the first ingredient. We also recommend a raw diet if at all possible. We offer frozen, dehydrated and freeze dried raw options. There is a lot of information out there! Here is an article from our Holistic Healthcare Library that gives a good overview of what you need to know: http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/knowledgebase/knowledgebasedetail.aspx?articleid=4

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

If a pet food taster thinks a particular food tastes awful, it`s likely the pets would as well. The good news? A professional pet food tester-taster generally earns at least $34,000 per year, and can even rake in more than $100,000 annually. Makes the job a bit more, um, savory [source: Inside Jobs].
The answer is yes. Rice is an ingredient sometimes found in commercial dog foods. Many pet owners feed white rice to their sick dog. One of the reasons white rice is the chosen grain for a dog with an upset stomach is that it`s easy to digest, quick to prepare, and low in fiber.
Milk is a safe treat in small quantities. A few tablespoons of cow`s milk or goat`s milk on an occasional basis can be a nice reward for your dog. But, you should probably hold off on offering your dog an entire bowl in one sitting, as it can cause unpleasant reactions, including diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.
Tests have shown that most dogs prefer beef and pork over chicken and lamb. They also prefer warm, moist foods over cold, dry foods. Of course, just like people, each dog has individual preferences.
For the most part, many doctors of veterinary medicine will suggest these four main brands of dog food: Royal Canin. Hills Science Diet. Purina ProPlan.
The top five ingredients in dog food should consist of a balance of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and fatty acids, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Not ones to let pets suffer from unhealthy, tasteless food, Pet Food Testers evaluate the nutritional value of pet food and, yes, taste-test it. Pet Food Testers don`t spend every day sampling a cuisine fit for a pampered pooch, though (don`t worry, most Pet Food Testers spit it out instead of swallowing it).
“Dogs find that meals are more fun with others,” Semel tells The Dodo. “By nature, dogs are social creatures and the company can motivate them to eat.” If you don`t mind hanging out while he eats, there`s no harm in being in the room during mealtime.
In a nutshell, while humans may have taste buds capable of detecting various flavors, cat food is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs and taste preferences of our feline friends. Therefore, the flavors and textures found in cat food may not align with human palates.
Cheese can be given as an occasional treat in moderation, alongside a healthy diet. If your dog manages to eat a whole block or other large amount of cheese, they may vomit. Keep an eye on them, and call your vet for advice if they become unwell.
Ripe tomatoes are considered nontoxic to dogs and can be fed in moderation as an occasional snack. While it`s considered safe for dogs to eat red, ripe tomatoes, the plants themselves are part of the nightshade family of vegetables (which also include potatoes, bell peppers, and blueberries).
Can most dogs eat yogurt? Yes, but that doesn`t necessarily mean that they should. While yogurt is not toxic to dogs, many canines might have trouble digesting it because it contains lactose. And plenty of pups have trouble with foods that contain lactose, such as milk.
Dogs should never drink beer brewed for humans. Beer contains alcohol, and alcohol is toxic for dogs. Even a little beer can cause alcohol poisoning, especially if the dog is small.
Real meat and fish

Chicken, beef, lamb, duck, and fish provide proteins to a dog`s diet which are made up of building blocks called amino acids. These amino acids aid a dog`s overall growth and development by providing them with the positive energy that dogs thrive off.

Our study shows that dogs interacted more frequently with the scents of blueberries, blackberries, mint, rose, lavender, and linalol.
In addition to these superfoods, there are many natural, fresh, wholesome foods that dogs and humans can thrive on, including apples, green beans, papaya, leafy greens, liver and hearts, eggs, oats, bananas, wheat grass, cranberries, nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, parsley, wheat germ, apple cider vinegar, and many …
All dog breeds can tolerate pasta, so long as their owners feed it to them plain and in a moderate amount. Since all types of pasta are high in carbohydrates, a small sampling can sometimes serve as an energy booster for your pet.
Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They`re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog`s main diet.
Quick Tip: Look at the basic four: protein, fat, fiber, and water. Many states have regulations requiring the minimum amount of nutrients a pet food must contain, as well as the maximum amount of moisture and crude fiber. Dog food labels must display the percentage of crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, and water.
The best dog foods will always have meat as the top ingredient, and you should look for recipes that emphasize real animal proteins, rather than just meat meals. Because your dog`s food should have more meat than any other ingredient, it`s vital to choose a meat source that will benefit your dog`s health.
ORIJEN® pet food, however, always includes animal protein in the first 5 ingredients, leaving out low-cost ingredients like corn, tapioca or potatoes. Learn more about how the first 5 ingredients in ORIJEN® are helping your pet thrive.
To recap, potatoes are safe for most dogs in moderation. In order to be safe, potatoes need to be fully cooked. Raw potatoes and excessive amounts of potato skins are not safe for dogs because of the substances they contain.
Are apple skins healthy for dogs? Apple skins are also safe for dog consumption and can even be good for some pups who are looking to get more fiber, according to the American Kennel Club. For dogs with sensitive digestive systems, peel the apple to avoid upset stomachs.
It`s extremely unlikely that your dog will get the right balance of nutrients by eating human food, so feeding a 100% human food diet is not recommended. Take it slowly. If your dog is used to a diet of kibble, tipping a plate full of leftovers into his dinner bowl could quickly cause an upset stomach.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Hi Petcoach, I am curious what is a good all natural food? What should be the first ingredient? So much information on the web I just don’t know.
ANSWER : A. Ideally, meat will be the first ingredient. We also recommend a raw diet if at all possible. We offer frozen, dehydrated and freeze dried raw options. There is a lot of information out there! Here is an article from our Holistic Healthcare Library that gives a good overview of what you need to know: http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/knowledgebase/knowledgebasedetail.aspx?articleid=4

Q. I want to feed a homemade meal for my dog. What are the basics I need to follow?
ANSWER : A. Feeding your pet a homemade meal can be tricky, however there are several steps to take. The first is to begin by examining the ingredients of meals similar to the one you’d like to feed them. Many commercial raw and fresh food diets will feature complete ingredient lists to give you an idea of the portions and types of foods used. Looking up recipes that others have made can also help you find what ingredients are common.

Foods require a balanced level of nutrition that is made up of proteins (your meat source and “slow” energy), carbohydrates (short-term energy and needed for brain health), and fats (for stored energy as well as flavor). Carbohydrates can be in grain form which is most common in commercial diets, or in non-grain sources such as potatoes, peas or sweet potatoes (more common now in “natural” or “holistic” diets). Proteins can come from plant sources, but are most commonly found in animals, and fats can be from many things.

When starting a homemade diet, it is always a good idea to add in an extra vitamin supplement to fill in any gaps or holes in the diet while you find the right balance for your dog. Working with your local veterinarian is also good as they can monitor your dog’s weight and overall health, and may also recommend bloodwork to check for any nutrient deficiencies.

While homemade diets are a nice alternative to commercial ones, they are not under the same standards as commercial diets. For a diet to be fed as a commercial product, it must have an AAFCO certification on it. This is usually listed as a statement on the packaging which mentions whom the food can be fed to (adults, seniors, all life stages, puppies, etc) and ensures that the food is nutritionally balanced. This means that your dog would be able to survive fully on eating only this food. While it may seem the food is balanced, it does not mean the food is healthier than others, and may still contain ingredients that dogs with sensitivities or allergies can have a reaction to.

Q. I switched my 3 mo. old Yorkie to Nutro Natural Choice for puppies. Web reviews say dogs have died from it, is it true? Do I switch? If so, to what?
ANSWER : A. I do not personally know of any dogs having a reaction to Nutro Natural Choice products as these products are all holistic and usually made of high-quality ingredients. However, dogs can have an allergic reaction to almost any ingredient (just like people) so it is possible that some dogs may have been allergic to or reacted poorly to an ingredient within the food due to an underlying condition. If you are currently feeding Nutro and your dog is doing well, she may be just fine on it. However if you are concerned, a puppy wellness check up to look for any allergies or underlying issues can always help.

If you do decide to switch foods to another product, there are many products similar to Nutro on the market. Blue Buffalo is the closest choice as far as ingredient content, however many foods are available on the market. Higher end foods often tend to avoid grains that can cause allergies such as wheat, corn and soy products, and may be grain free or mostly meat-based. Some companies, such as Royal Canin will also offer breed specific foods and may have one just for Yorkshire Terriers. If you do switch, be sure to do so gradually over a period of a week to 9 days, slowly adding in more new food and less of the old. This will help prevent any stomach upset from a new food.

Q. What information can I take away from the ingredient list on a cat food label?
ANSWER : A. The order of the ingredient list on a cat food label provides owners with useful information. As determined by its weight, the most prevalent ingredient in the food has to be listed first, the next most prevalent is listed second, and so on. While it’s important to focus on the ingredients that appear high on the list, those lower down are equally important and usually refer to the vitamins and minerals that are added in small amounts to the diet.

It is important to remember that an ingredient’s weight includes any water that it may contain prior to a food’s processing. Therefore, a heavy ingredient (e.g., chicken) that contains a lot of water may appear high on the list but contribute relatively less to a food’s nutrient profile than does a lighter ingredient (e.g., chicken meal) that appears a few positions lower.

Q. How much dry kitten food should my 16 week old kitten be eating?
ANSWER : A. It would actually be better to feed your kitten canned food, as dry food has a lot of carbohydrates. Cats are obligatory carnivores, and not carb-eaters. In order to give you an amount to feed for dry food I would need to know which food you are feeding as they are all different. I suggest you check on the cat food bag. If the bag does not give you an amount, I would not trust it to be a complete food. You should then get a food from a reputable company such as Hill’s Science diet, or similar. As for wet food feed three times daily around 2oz each time, best to feed the pate style food.

Q. I currently feed my 2 year 31 lb Beagle 1 1/2 cups of Eukanuba a day. I was thinking of changing his food, can you recommend something?
ANSWER : A. If you are looking for a higher end food to feed your Beagle, there are many available now in commercial pet stores. Many brands such as Blue Buffalo, Nutro Natural Choice and others offer holistic foods that tend to be more meat based than carbohydrate based. Some brands such as Royal Canin also offer foods that are specific to certain breeds. This means the products tend to have more digestible ingredients in them rather than fillers. They may also avoid some allergenic ingredients such as corn, wheat and soy products which can cause digestive issues in some dogs. However, Eukanuba, Science Diet and others are a good mid-grade brand and many dogs do very well on it.

If you do decide to switch your dog’s food, it should be done so gradually to avoid digestive upset. A routine of 9 days is best for switching over. This involves 3 days of 25% new/75% old, 3 days of 50/50 and 3 days of 25%old/75% new before finally feeding only the new food. Also be advised that depending on the ingredient changes, foods that have different grains or fewer grains in them may slightly change the consistency and size of your dog’s stool.

Q. My pet eats too much. I need to know when and how much to feed him. Any advice?
ANSWER : A. If you feed your pet a commercial food, most food bags have a feeding guideline on the side to help you know how much to give. This is a good baseline and is usually based on your pet’s weight or age. Once you start with this amount, you can adjust the amount of food given as needed – if your pet seems to gobble his food and is losing weight or is more active, then increasing the amount is good. If your pet picks at his food or appears to be putting on the pounds, reducing the amount can help. The amount to give is usually best fed broken up into several smaller meals throughout the day rather than one big meal. For most adult animals, feeding once in the morning and once at night is enough. Smaller dogs or young animals may need a third meal mid-day as well. Switching out treats for healthier options may also help prevent overeating or weight gain. If you feel your pet cannot safely lose or gain weight on his own, then making an appointment with your vet can help!

Q. Hello, I found a bag of food at Walmart named “Pure Balance”, it claims to be corn, wheat and soy free. I just wanted to check if it is good
ANSWER : A. Checking the full ingredients list can help to determine if the food you mentioned is appropriate for your dog. If it is free of common allergens such as corn, wheat and soy, look for alternative grains such as rice or oats. These grains are often much easier to digest. Looking at the protein source is also important- a good diet will usually have its protein source listed as the first ingredient. Ingredients are listed by the volume included from highest to lowest, but sometimes grains or other “undesirable” ingredients will be broken down into smaller ingredients to make it look like there are fewer of them. However if you see several grain products added together on the list, it may be more than the protein source! If you are looking to feed a completely grain free diet, alternative carbohydrate sources such as potato, sweet potato and pea are good choices.

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