The Diets We Generally
for your Pet
At The FoxNest Veterinary Hospital
People tend to have very strong opinions about this subject, often based on advertising or books or articles with no real basis in fact.
So, I'm a little afraid to say this.... but
Almost all commercial pet diets sold in the United States are adequate to sustain life and normal good health to the average pet. (However, do avoid the very cheapest diets... even though these diets are often high in protein, they often contain lower quality grades of animal fats, soy, and grains. Dogs often perfer the taste of greasier and cheaper diets but are much more likely to have bowel irritation and poor hair coats)
But there are advantages to spending a little extra money and a little extra effort in providing a premium diet for your pet.
Some of the nicer advantages include less gas, less stool volume, less body odor, and because the better foods contain less filler and less poorly digestible grains and protein sources, your pet will eat less volume making the price difference not as big as it first appears.
Some of the more important advantages include healthier skin, coats, circulation, kidney and heart. The better diets contain better ingredients as well as healthy supplements such as anti-oxidants, omega fatty acids, pro-biotics, and enzymes.
Feeding a superior diet is part of providing good care. The back bone of any good preventive medicine program for pets as well as humans include:
-Regular wellness exams and medical care
-Vaccinations and parasite control
-Age appropriate laboratory work and radiographs to detect potential
-Exercise and fun
-And a good diet
This page is about providing a good diet for your pet.
Over the last 30 or so years, I have examined tens of thousands of pets. During these exams, I discuss the pet's diet with the owners.
And my conclusion: I don't know which brand of diet is best for your pet. And as far as I can tell, no one, nutritional expert or not, really knows either. Most of the super premium premium brands contain very high quality ingredients. I'm a fan of Eukanuba's Salmon and Rice diet which I pictured at the top of this page. But I'm not convinced that less expensive, regular grade pet foods are any less healthy.
So I'm going to let you fend for yourself when it comes to chosing a diet for your healthy pet.
However, if your pet has diet related allergies or has a medical problem that is likely to respond to diet, I'm your man, and I've written extensively on therapeutic diets. See the links below:
Click on and of the links below to go to the therapeutic diets we recommend the most because we have found them to work well:
There are lots of good brands of pet foods available. Most pets will be satisfied and remain healthy on any of them.
But some pet diets are superior to others and result in healthier coats, skin, heart, circulation, and so forth.
And some pet diets are especially well designed for pets in their different stages of life such as the growing stages, middle age, and old age.
I've given up on knowing which of the many premium and super premiums brands are the best for your cat and dog.
Each brand claims to be best for one reason or another.
I attend continuing education seminars about pet nutrition frequently and the speakers are university veterinary and nutritional specialists with advanced degrees and experience.... and guess what? ... none of them seem to agree on their favorite type of diet they recommend, let alone a brand.
(Although most agree that the prescription diets made by Hills Science, Purina, and Royal Canin are the best choices if being used as therapy for a specific problem)
And On the subject of which diets to recommend for the treatment of different diseases, I'm your man.
Links to our pages about these special diets used in therapy are on your right and below:
On other pages are the diets we recommend for:
Therapeutic Diets & Supplements recommended for:
The Naturally Wild Diets made by Eukanuba, one of which is pictured above, are great diets ... especially for dogs with sensitive, allergenic skin. And I think their Salmon & Rice diet, if your dog likes it, is probably the healthiest diet available. But quite expensive. And as you'll read below, there is so much conflicting information about nutrition available, it's very difficult to be sure which brands of pet food are really the best.
The picture on your left just above is of the new pet food factory in Poland owned by MARS which is the larger producer of pet foods in the World... and yes ... the same company that makes Snickers Bars, M&Ms and much more. (I borrowed a car and drove all around the Polish country side in 2008 and it's has beautiful almost everywhere as the picture indicates.)
The picture on your upper right and also below are new multi billion dollar plants built in Russia.
But the business of large scale commercial pet foods all started where the big rivers of the American Western plains and Middle Western farms converged near St Louis, Missouri. Soon after the automobile and truck replaced horses, dog food made from canned horse meat was introduced and heavily advertised on the recently invented radio... and later on television. But the bulk of most pet foods are made of soy, corn, wheat, and other grains.... pictured here being guided down the Mississippi River