A new year has dawned. Many people make resolutions at the start of the New Year; studies show that most will not continue after a few weeks or months. However, if we humans resolve to eat better and exercise more, perhaps if we engage our four-footed buddies as well, we could be more successful.
Obesity in pets, like humans, is on the rise. Activity, or lack thereof, plays a role; so does food. Additionally, pet food and treat recalls are, sadly, very common. The ingredients in pet food has become more and more questionable, especially for products made outside of the United States; however, even pet food and treats made in the USA have problems. Purina, a well-known company based in St. Louis, Missouri, had a large class-action lawsuit brought against it in 2015, and Diamond, which has incorporated many small brands, experienced many recalls, including a large one in 2012. How can we as pet owners ensure our beloved animals are receiving quality nutrition? By reading research.
In mid-November 2016, Reviews.com published a large report after studying many brands, interviewing pet owners and food researchers. In that report, they listed the top 10 dog food brands that they believe provide the best nutrition and have the safest ingredients. Although lengthy, the report is filled with important information for dog owners. I discovered that a brand recommended by my veterinarian for my allergy-afflicted dog is NOT on the list; in fact, that brand, Royal Canin, was cut from the “good quality” list because of the ingredients. Other often vet-recommended foods, such as Hills Science Diet, was also on the “naughty list” alongside Royal Canin. Two foods which are sold at one of my local pet supply stores, one at which I worked part-time several years ago, is on the “nice list;” those foods are Fromm and Nature’s Logic. I will likely explore these brands as options for my dog. Read the entire report, and learn which foods Reviews.com recommends and why at this website: http://www.reviews.com/dog-food/.
Reviews.com also produced a report last November regarding top-quality cat food. The researchers analyzed the ingredients of 1,700 cat food formulas and examined more than 100 brands. They came up with a list of top 10 cat foods, all from different companies. They eliminated foods with artificial ingredients, preservatives, and dyes. Once again, Royal Canin made the “naughty list” due to ingredients; so did Friskies and Fancy Feast. Nature’s Recipe, Meow Mix, Diamond, and others also made the “naughty list” due to numerous recalls and low-quality ingredients. Read this important report and learn what brands were given top ratings and why at this website: http://www.reviews.com/cat-food/.
Although many of the top brands of dog and cat food are higher priced than Purina or other grocery store-type foods, if your pet experiences health issues, such as kidney failure, due to ingredients in its food, what savings are you gaining should you incur high veterinary bills? Or worse, your pet dies?
Taking care of ourselves with proper nutrition in this new year is a good goal, especially if we also resolve to take better care of our beloved furry friends with better nutrition.
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.