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How to Choose Healthy Dog Food

At All Pets Animal Hospital, with locations in Rogers and Bentonville, we love dogs. They are excellent playmates, cuddlers, and they always seem to know how to show love when you are feeling down. Dogs are companions that are easy to relate to and they are always there to comfort their humans.

As a result, you probably want to do all that you can to look out for your dog’s health. For that reason, today’s blog post will focus on how to choose healthy dog food. Keep reading to learn some tips about picking dog food, and be sure to contact All Pets Animal Hospital when you need a veterinarian in Rogers or Bentonville.

Different Dogs Require Different Diets

One of the most crucial things to realize as a dog owner is that different dogs have different dietary requirements. Perhaps you have another dog or you had a previous dog that was happy and healthy with the food you provided. While you can utilize the same process to pick food for your current dog, remember that the same dog food may not be the best choice for a new dog.

A healthy diet for your dog depends on several factors, including the breed of your dog, the dog’s size, their age, and their lifestyle. Larger dogs have different needs than smaller dogs, and certain breeds are predisposed to nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed. Moreover, if you have a high-performance dog, they may require more protein than a dog that stays home and snoozes more often.

If you have two or more dogs, then you may need to choose different foods for them. This is especially true if they are different breeds, different ages, or different sizes. It’s wise to consult your vet to ensure your pet is receiving the optimal diet for their health.

Pay Attention to Wording on the Package

Another crucial thing to consider when choosing a healthy dog food is the wording on the packaging. Dog food is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that there are regulations about the labeling dog food companies can put on packing. By understanding this wording, you can choose dog foods that use better ingredients.

For example, if the dog food has a simple name, such as “Chicken for Dogs”, then at least 95% of the dog food must be chicken, which is the named ingredient (this does not include the water added to make the food; not counting water, at least 70% of the food must be the primary ingredient). In contrast, if a dog food contains less than 95% of an ingredient but more than 25%, then the label will say something like dinner or platter on it. Similar rules apply to other types of wording used, all of which can be found on the FDA site.

Another good thing to look for on dog food is a statement regarding the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The AAFCO has established strict requirements for dog food. If a product meets those requirements, then the label will have a statement on it indicating that the product meets these nutritional requirements. Check the packaging for this statement, and remember the guidelines surrounding how ingredients can be listed when you shop for food.

Know What Ingredients to Look For

Even label-savvy pet owners may still be confused when confronted with the controversy over grain-free and exotic ingredient pet foods. Here are two common things many people get concerned about.

First, you may have heard about gluten allergies and wondered about feeding your dog a grain-free pet food. It’s important to remember that your dog’s optimal diet will be quite different from your own diet. In fact, a study led by veterinarians at the University of California, Davis, discovered a possible link between grain-free, legume-rich dog foods and taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy, a canine heart disease. Additionally, the FDA has received hundreds of reported cases of dilated cardiomyopathy linked to grain-free and exotic ingredient pet foods. The precise cause is not yet known, but it seems prudent to avoid these types of diets until more research is completed. Fortunately, dilated cardiomyopathy can sometimes be reversed when diagnosed early by a veterinarian. It is important to remember that pet foods manufactured by companies who employ veterinary nutritionists and subject their formulations to feeding trials are a more reliable source than boutique brands.

People also often worry about byproducts in pet food. Since the FDA regulates what can be used for pet food, byproducts are not typically harmful for pets. In fact, they often contain high amounts of organ meat, which plays an essential role in the diet of many dogs. Ultimately, you will want to talk with your veterinarian about the dog foods you choose to use and get their opinion on the nutritional needs of your pet.

Stop By All Pets Animal Hospital in Rogers and Bentonville

When you need to talk with a dog veterinarian, stop by All Pets Animal Hospital in Rogers or Bentonville. We’re here because we love taking care of pets and are happy to advise you on pet nutrition or other topics.

Overnight Boarding and Daycare

Ease your concerns about leaving your pet behind while you’re away. At the All Pets Animal Hospital locations in Rogers and Bentonville, we will provide your dog, cat, bird, or exotic pet with a safe, comfortable, “home away from home” atmosphere.

To expedite the drop-off process, we encourage you to complete our Boarding Policies and Consent (one per client-one time only) as well as our Boarding Check-In forms (one per pet-one time only). We will also need a Boarding Services form prior to each boarding reservation (one per pet, per visit). Submitting these required forms ahead of time online will save you time at drop-off!

We are happy to accommodate any special care or needs that your pet might have. Just let us know when you make the reservation.

 

Boarding Policies and Consent

The All Pets Animal Hospital boarding policies and consent apply to our locations in both Bentonville and Rogers.

Please request your boarding reservation then complete this Boarding Policies and Consent form. You need only complete this form ONE TIME.

Please note that completion of these forms does not guarantee a boarding reservation. Reservations must be requested and confirmed separately. Submission of your signature signifies your agreement with APAH Boarding policies.
  • PETS ARE PROTECTED WITH VACCINATIONS

    So that every pet boarding at APAH is protected, we require that pets be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian and current on baseline vaccinations. Proof of vaccination must be presented prior to admittance. If proof cannot be provided, your pet will be vaccinated for the following at your expense:
    ➢ Adult cats: Rabies, FVRCP
    ➢ Adult dogs: Rabies, DHPP, Bordetella (annually)
    ➢ Puppies/Kittens: must be current for their age on the vaccines above
  • FLEA/TICK FREE FACILITY

    All Pets Animal Hospital is a flea and tick-free facility. Upon arrival, your pet will be checked for external parasites. If any are found, a Capstar tablet will be administered for fleas and/or a topical tick treatment will be given to your pet. The cost of the medication will be at your expense.
  • FRESH FOOD AND WATER

    Every boarding pet is provided with fresh water throughout the day and fresh food twice daily unless you request otherwise. Upon admittance we will ask you to tell us the quantity of food your pet eats and any other special instructions. All boarding pets are fed Hill’s Sensitive Stomach dry kibble as the house diet. If you prefer your pet eat a special diet you bring from home, we are happy to substitute your food from home at no additional expense. If insufficient quantities of food are provided for the duration of your pet’s stay, we will revert to the house diet or the cost of the additional special diet provided by APAH will be at your expense.
  • MEDICATIONS ADMINISTERED AT NO EXTRA CHARGE

    There is no additional charge to administer medication to boarding pets. Ample quantities of the medication, along with clear and concise, written instructions must be provided. If medications need to be refilled while a pet is boarding, they will be filled at your expense.
  • PERSONAL BELONGINGS

    Every boarding pet is provided with clean, soft bedding daily, or more often as needed. If you choose to provide personal items for your pet, every effort will be made to return them to you in the same condition, but we can make no guarantee against loss or damage. We prefer that you not send bedding with your boarding pet.
  • BATHS AND OTHER REQUESTED SERVICES

    Pets boarding 3 nights or more will receive a complimentary “freshen up” bath. You may request a paid bath in lieu of the complimentary bath or with visits of less than 3 nights. A paid bath differs from a freshen-up bath in that paid baths are with a specially formulated shampoo, your pet spends more time in the tub being washed, and it includes a 15-minute brush-out. Additional professional services may be requested while your pet is boarding with us. Frequently requested services include nail trims, expressing anal glands, professional teeth cleaning, or an exam/treatment by a veterinarian for a medical issue. At every boarding visit, you will have the opportunity to request services, and let us know how/when you prefer to get your results.
  • AVIANS, REPTILES, AND OTHER EXOTIC PETS

    APAH is equipped to provide adequate housing and food for dogs and cats. Pets of any other species who board with us should be accompanied by their own habitats, food, substrate, and specific feeding and handling instructions. Space for exotics is limited.
  • AFTER-HOURS PICK UP AND DROP OFF

    If you prefer to drop off or pick up your pet outside normal clinic hours, you may do so by making those arrangements when you schedule boarding. The weekend after-hours time is between 4:30-5:00 on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. There is an additional fee of $18.50+tax to use the after-hours option which, along with all other fees, must be paid in advance. No after-hours option is available on national holidays when we are closed. Please note that our Ward Nurses are present during normal operating hours plus additional weekend hours. They are not, however, on site 24/7.
  • BOARDING AND DAYCARE FEES

    Boarding is charged per pet per night and includes the kennel space, bedding, house diet of dry kibble and water (or special food you bring from home), administering medications, a freshen-up bath after 3 nights, and the care of each pet undertaken by our staff of Ward Nurses. Fees are based on your pet’s weight at check-in. Pets are provided with individual boarding spaces and do not interact with other pets unless you specifically request your own pets be boarded together. Even then, house-mates who become aggressive under boarding conditions may be separated at our discretion. No discounts are given for pets housed in the same kennel space.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT DURING AND AFTER BOARDING

    Every pet boarding at All Pets Animal Hospital is provided with attentive care, clean bedding, fresh food and water every day. Dogs are let outside at least 3x daily and all kennels are kept clean throughout the workday. As time allows, our Ward Nurses give special attention, hugs, and cuddles. Despite all this care, any boarding facility, ours included, is not home. Strange noises, smells, and the presence of other pets may produce anxiety in your pet which may result in an interruption to their normal eating, drinking, sleeping and bathroom habits. Sometimes diarrhea occurs; sometimes their appetite is off when they’re with us. When your pet returns home he/she may have a temporary increase in eating or drinking, may immediately want to use the bathroom, and may sleep more their first day home. These behaviors are all normal and should not cause alarm. If any symptoms persist that worry you, please give us a call.
  • ILLNESSES, INJURIES, ABANDONMENT

    At each boarding visit, you will be given the opportunity to leave directions for the care of your pet should he/she become ill while boarding with us. All treatments/diagnostics performed on boarding pets are at your expense. Every effort is made to safeguard boarding pets, but the hospital will not be held liable for injuries, escape, or death that result from situations in which we took every reasonable precaution, including fire or weather-related emergencies. In the event a pet is unclaimed 10 days after the scheduled time of departure, despite reasonable attempts to contact the owner and/or agent of record, the pet will be considered abandoned and APAH will have full discretion over the subsequent disposition of the surrendered pet. Abandonment does not relieve the pet’s owner of all charges incurred while at APAH.
  • CONSENT TO BOARD

    I do hereby consent to board my pet at All Pets Animal Hospital. Submission of this form confirms that I understand and agree to the policies set forth in this brochure. I understand that with each boarding visit I will be asked to complete a Boarding check-in document which gives direction for my pet(s) care while boarding. I will not hold All Pets Animal Hospital liable for consequences resulting from my directives. I further understand that APAH will take the utmost care to follow my directives but that the safety of APAH personnel, other boarding guests, and my own pet’s safety will supersede my directives. I understand that I am financially responsible for all fees for boarding, products, and services for which I have given consent either in writing or verbally. I understand that in the event that I or my agent is unable to be reached, that All Pets Animal Hospital has permission to do whatever is reasonable to safeguard the life of my pet and that I am financially responsible for those decisions.
  • Submission of this form signifies your understanding of, and agreement with APAH boarding policies.

Please request your boarding reservation then complete this form. This form will be kept on file and only needs to be updated when your information changes.

Please note that completion of these forms does not guarantee a boarding reservation. Reservations must be requested and confirmed separately. Submission of your Boarding Check-In form signifies your authorization of your directives.
  • (remains in effect until updated at Owner’s request)
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Emergency Contact Phone

  • This contact will become the authorized agent to make decisions for your pet if you cannot be reached. You are responsible for all financial decisions made by your agent on behalf of your pet.
  • Feeding

  • Our house diet for dogs and cats is Hill’s Sensitive Stomach dry kibble, morning and evening, with fresh water throughout the day. If you prefer a different diet, you may bring it from home and we will substitute at no additional charge.
  • Permanent or Long-Term Medications or Supplements

    Provide complete instructions. There is no charge for administering medications.
  • Occasionally, pets will experience an illness, or a condition will be aggravated during a boarding stay. If your pet becomes ill while staying at our facilities, please choose ONE of the following options. Note: APAH will attempt life-saving resuscitation on any pet in our care unless you have expressly signed a Do Not Resuscitate order.
  • Consent to Board

    I do give my consent to board my pet at All Pets Animal Hospital. I have read and understand the guidelines in the APAH Boarding brochure and agree to the policies set forth. I understand that APAH will make every effort to follow the directives given here but may, for the safety of my pet, other boarding pets, or APAH employees, deviate from my instructions at their discretion.
Please request your boarding reservation then complete this form for EACH PET on EACH VISIT.

Please note that completion of these forms does not guarantee a boarding reservation. Reservations must be requested and confirmed separately. Submission of your Boarding Services form signifies your authorization of your directives.
  • (renewable with each boarding visit)
  • Number where I can be reached during these boarding dates

  • Personal Belongings

  • Every effort will be made to return your belongings in the condition you left them, but no guarantee can be made against loss or damage. We request that you not leave bedding with your pet. Clean, soft bedding is provided daily.
  • A complimentary “freshen up” bath is given to boarding pets after 3 nights. Alternately, you may request a paid bath done with a specially formulated shampoo, more tub-time washing, 15 minutes of brushing.
    By selecting a Medical Service, you are authorizing a veterinary examination at your expense. Subsequent treatment and/or diagnostics will only be done at your direction. Please make sure you have given us a good contact number. Payment for boarding/medical services is due at boarding pickup. If you have scheduled an after-hours pickup, payment for all boarding and medical service charges must be made in advance.
    By selecting a grooming service you are authorizing the service at your expense. Please ask us for prices.
  • Temporary or Short-Term Medications or Supplements

    Provide complete instructions. There is no charge for administering medications.

We provide clean bedding, food, and water daily, and as needed. We will administer any needed medication at no additional charge. We allow personal items brought from home (washable toys, etc.) but we cannot guarantee against loss or damage. Our staff discourages bringing bedding brought from home.

All Pets Animal Hospital provides a high-quality diet (Hill’s Sensitive Stomach dry kibble) and treats. Alternatively, you may bring your pet’s food from home, which we will use at your direction.

When boarding birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, turtles, frogs, fish, snakes, iguanas, etc., we ask that you bring your pet’s species-specific food, cage, and bedding materials with you.

All of our kennel spaces are indoors. Additionally, we have a limited number of 4′ x 6′ runs for larger dogs. All boarding dogs are let outside at least three times per day onto a covered, divided patio where they can see other dogs, but may not interact with them.

Boarding cats are more than welcome and are provided with clean, soft bedding, food and water, a litter pan, and a privacy box — just in case they feel like “getting away from it all” in their own private hiding spot.

Pets who are scheduled for three or more consecutive nights of boarding will receive a complimentary bath before they go home. Alternatively, a paid bath may be requested that adds a few more perks and a 15-minute brush-out. We are also happy to provide baths at our normal bathing fees to boarders staying fewer than three nights. For your convenience, just let us know about any veterinary services your pet needs and we will provide them while your pet is our boarding guest.

Our boarding area is staffed with a dedicated Ward Nurse throughout the day during regular office hours Monday-Friday 7:30am to 6:00 pm as well as weekend hours. You have the added benefit of knowing that one of our clinicians will promptly begin treatment if your pet gets sick during his or her stay.

A Visitor’s Check-Sheet is kept on every pet, every day. This sheet logs your pet’s eating, drinking, elimination, attitude and behavior, as well as when/if any medications were given.

To keep all our patients as healthy as possible, we require pets that are boarding with us to have current rabies and distemper vaccinations, along with other species-specific vaccinations (parvo and bordetella for dogs). If your pet is past due for vaccinations we are happy to provide them on the first day of his/her stay with us.

After-hours drop-offs and pick-ups are available Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm and must be scheduled and paid for in advance.

Schedule your boarding reservation today! For a tour of our boarding facilities, feel free to drop by anytime.

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