I am very excited to announce that my husband and I became proud parents of a wonderful, little dog named Stella. We rescued Stella from an animal shelter and she is adapting very well to her new life. Like every mother, I want the very best for our furry little baby, including healthy food!
When it comes to nutrition and health, I tend to be a knowledge-hungry person. Thus, I conducted a lot of research to find the best food for little Stella. I reviewed online forums, consumer reviews and expert opinions, spoke with our veterinarian, visited various pet food stores (mainstream and boutique) and interviewed numerous pet owners, including friends, wellness professionals and family members.
Here are my findings:
According to the ASPCA, “80% of claims processed by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance are due to unexpected accident or illness.”
The following “human” foods are considered harmful:
- Onions, Onion Powder and Garlic
- Grapes and Raisins
- Macadamia Nuts
- Tea Leaves
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Nicotine (watch out for cigarette butts on the ground)
- Medication, Pain Relievers, etc. (be careful not to drop any on the floor)
- Moldy/Spoiled Foods
- Fatty Foods
- Gum, Candies or other Foods Sweetened with Xylitol
- Raw Yeast Dough
Similar to humans, it is very important to feed animals healthy foods that are free of toxins, artificial ingredients, chemicals, etc. Unfortunately, there are numerous harmful ingredients in our foods today (e.g., processed foods), which are also present in our pets’ foods.
A general rule, always read the ingredients on pet food labels. If the ingredients are unrecognizable and/or questionable, they probably shouldn’t be given to your pet.
Whenever possible, avoid the following ingredients:
- Corn Gluten, Corn Meal, Wheat Gluten, Soy, etc. (these are just fillers with little nutritional value; they can contribute to allergies and digestive problems)
- Animal By-Products (slaughterhouse waste that is typically anything but meat)
- Artificial Colors, Flavors and Preservatives (the keyword is “artificial”)
- Cellulose (saw dust!)
- Corn Syrup and Other Sweetners (SUGAR – enough said!)
- BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin (cancer-causing toxins)
Rather than feeding your pet table scraps, doggie bags or even cooking spillage with the above human foods or dog foods with mysterious ingredients, simply skip them and add years to your pet’s life.
Do you have a pet? If so, share some of your experiences below. What are some of your favorite tips and/or advice on pet health?