By Billy Rafferty and Jill Cahr, http://tinyurl.com/y9fhlfg
Diet affects every aspect of your dog’s physical and mental well-being. When your dog eats low-quality food and treats, he’s not just consuming empty calories, which packs on pounds; his body is being robbed of the building blocks necessary to maintain good health, energy and an upbeat attitude. Feeding good quality food and treats helps keep Fido’s waistline in check and increase his quality and quantity of life.
Your dog can’t read labels or ask questions; he’s relying on you to make intelligent choices for him. Once you learn to decipher labels, you may be surprised or shocked at what you see.
For instance, the length of the ingredient list doesn’t always indicate the quality of the food. A protein from a specified animal should be the first ingredient. Avoid generic proteins such as “meat” or “poultry.” Although dogs like to eat some of the animal parts we don’t, proteins from a specified animal are better than byproducts. Likewise, byproducts are better than rendered meals.
Always buy the best food you can afford. When a manufacturer uses cheap ingredients, it has to bulk up the food with fillers to meet the government’s minimum nutritional requirements. As a result, the portion size for cheap food is typically larger than for more-expensive food with higher-quality, more-digestible ingredients.
In the end, you’ll be buying more of the cheaper food, which usually works out to be more expensive than buying the higher-quality food in the first place. Just as with humans, obesity is a growing problem for dogs. Limit table scraps; they’re fattening, and some human food, such as chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, bones and Xylitol, is dangerous for dogs.
Billy Rafferty has been a dog care professional for 25 years. Billy is the owner and principal stylist at Doogy Dooz in Chicago, where he has acquired a reputation as the go-to groomer for dogs of every variety and his current wait list has over 300 names. Billy’s expertise extends beyond keeping a dog looking good and his clients rely on him for advice on all aspects of dog care. Billy’s impressive credentials and education combined with his vast real life experience caring for dogs make him a unique voice in the animal world. Billy’s clients include celebrities, politicians and even a Broadway producer. Know more about Billy Rafferty on http://www.happydogland.com/