6 Popular Dog Diets in the US
~ Popular Dog Diets ~
Which are the most popular dog food diets in the US, and which is right for you? When it comes to great dog food, nutrition is usually number one on our minds. Which US dog diet would offer the best for your pup?
Vegan or Vegetarian Diets
In recent years, the idea of vegetarian diets has become ever more popular in the dog food industry! They are so popular, in fact, many large producers will include a vegetarian diet. Whether the owner is a vegetarian themselves or health is the idea, this is a bigger option than ever before!
The key when avoiding meat altogether is remembering this is an animal that evolved to consume meat. While a dog can certainly thrive on a vegetarian diet, it is very important you research dog food brands or set up your own diet with the help of a veterinary nutritionist.
Limited Ingredient or Elimination Diets
Imagine your dog breaking out in itchy hives after every meal. You think the food is probably the cause, and she has an allergy/intolerance to it. It isn’t just the food in general though, because most manufactured dog foods have many ingredients. Your pet is reacting to one of those particular ingredients.
Veterinarians in the United States will usually prescribe a ‘limited ingredient’ food that contains fewer ingredients your pup can react to. If your dog still reacts, they can assume one of the 10 or so ingredients are the culprit and prescribe a completely different limited
The most common food allergens are, in order: beef, lamb, chicken, chicken eggs, soy…
Fresh Cooked Food
Not only is it human-grade, but fresh food diets are also made to order meals your pet won’t be able to get enough of! More energy, healthier coats, and shinier skin are just some of the benefits this diet has to offer.
When dry kibble is rendered, ingredients are sort of mashed together then cooked in large industrial vats. While any bacteria, parasites, or other harmful things are killed 99% of the time (with the occasional recall), the resulting meals wouldn’t be fit for human consumption.
For savvy dog parents who only want the best nutrition without sacrificing any taste, fresh food is usually an obvious alternative. Unlike fresh raw meat, it is cooked so there isn’t any medical risk.
Wolves and wild cats will feed on the raw meat of prey, so why not dogs? Wouldn’t they get a much higher nutritional value from natural sources?
This is the rationale that led to these booming ideas behind raw food diets! This is true in a way, and dogs usually can attain a higher nutritional content from a raw source. On the other hand, sole raw meat could eliminate several other important nutritional sources. There are also several safety concerns associated with uncooked meat, so it’s best to weigh the pros and cons.
Freeze-dried meals preserve raw ingredients (ex. fresh meat). Raw ingredients are frozen, moisture is removed then converted to vapor. The end result is a more concentrated nutrient source.
The main purpose here is to end with something more nutritious that will last longer than raw meats, but there are potential faults. Since freeze-dried meats aren’t cooked, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s safety guidelines when processing.
Around half of all domesticated dogs in the United States are nutritionally unhealthy, overweight, or obese. This problem mostly results from a lack of physical activity combined with poor nutrition and over-eating.
Many larger manufacturers will fill their meals with cheaply grown grain products, resulting in inexpensive foods for their consumers.
Savvy pet owners decided to go ‘grain-free’, avoiding all of those unnecessary carbs! Though limiting carbohydrates would be good, eliminating certain nutrient sources altogether might bear side effects.
Written by Chris Quinn