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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.

Welcome

Welcome to our site! We are in the process of building our blog page and will have many interesting articles to share in the coming months. Please stay tuned to this page for information to come. And if you have any questions about our business or want to reach out to us, we would love for you to stop by our contact page.

Thank you!

Drop-Off Appointments

Sometimes it’s difficult to break away from the responsibilities of work and home when your pet needs veterinary care. We are happy to provide scheduled drop-off appointments. Just call and tell us what day you’d like to bring your pet in. You can drop off your pet on the way to your destination, let us provide the veterinary services they need, then come pick up your pet on your way home. We will communicate our findings by phone or text and give you a complete report when they go home. Our hours make it convenient for you to find a day and time that works for you: Monday-Friday 7:30 am – 6:00 pm and Saturday 8:00 am to noon.

Caesarian Section

Most animals give birth without any complications. However, mothers occasionally need help with delivery. We usually attempt to resolve the problem using medical therapy first, but when that doesn’t solve the issue, we will perform a caesarian section.

During a c-section, the mother is given an anesthetic. An incision is then made along her abdomen and through the uterus to retrieve unborn puppies or kittens. In some situations, we may recommend that the mother be spayed during this procedure, usually to prevent future problems of this nature.

Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia (abnormal development of the hip joint) begins when the hip joint in a young dog becomes loose or unstable. If left undiagnosed and untreated, this instability causes abnormal wear of the hip cartilage and ultimately progresses to osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. Signs of this condition are pain, reluctance to get up or exercise, difficulty climbing stairs, a “bunny-hopping” gait, limping, and lameness, especially after periods of inactivity or exercise.

Hip dysplasia most commonly affects large and giant-breed dogs; however, smaller dogs can also be affected. Although genetics often play a role in this disorder, young dogs that grow or gain weight too quickly or get too much high-impact exercise are also at risk. Being overweight can aggravate hip dysplasia.

We can help prevent or slow this condition by monitoring food intake and ensuring that your dog gets proper exercise as he or she ages. We can also screen your dog for hip dysplasia, using one of two methods. The earlier we can diagnose hip dysplasia, the better the possible outcome for your dog.

OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Certification:

We can x-ray your dog’s hips for hip dysplasia at 2 years of age. We will forward these radiographs to the OFA, where board-certified radiologists will evaluate and grade your dog’s hips for OFA certification. Correct positioning of your dog is essential for proper radiographic evaluation, so a general anesthetic is required to make the procedure less stressful for him or her.

Please call us to discuss your dog’s risk of developing hip dysplasia, to schedule a screening, or to discuss treatment options.

Beak Trims

Beaks continue growing throughout birds’ lives. Although birds’ beaks usually wear evenly, some birds develop beak problems and require veterinary assistance. Trimming its beak incorrectly can cause your bird pain and may prevent it from eating, which is why we recommend having your bird’s beak professionally trimmed. Do not attempt to trim your bird’s beak at home. Call us to schedule an appointment.

Flea Prevention and Control

Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. And fleas don’t just stay on pets; they can bite people, too. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site.

You don’t want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help keep them away or help you get rid of them if they’ve already found their way inside. We carry a variety of oral and topical medications to meet your needs. Call us to find out how to eliminate and control fleas or to start your pet on a preventive today.

Ferrets

Common problems associated with ferrets include gastrointestinal disease, parasites, and cancer. In addition, ferrets are inquisitive creatures by nature and frequently ingest objects they shouldn’t. Regular blood tests can help determine whether your ferret has any problems with the kidneys, liver, or pancreas.

Please contact us right away if your ferret develops any unusual symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, lack of appetite, trouble breathing, black ear wax, discharge from the eyes or nose, lumps, swelling, or an increase in aggression or sexual behavior (especially in neutered males).

Emergency Services

If your pet becomes injured or critically ill (seizures, collapse, difficulty breathing, etc.) during our normal business hours, call us immediately, if possible, to let us know you’re on your way – or just show up at the door!  Patients in life-threatening situations are always seen immediately, appointment or not.

We confidently refer after-hours emergencies to the Animal Emergency Clinic of Northwest Arkansas located in Springdale at the Hwy. 412 exit.  They may be contacted at:  479-927-0007

 

 

Cardiology (Heart)

Although heart problems are found more often in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease is sometimes a life-threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life. If caught soon enough, some forms of heart disease can be cured.

Heart disease can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF), which occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. If an animal is suffering from CHF, fluid usually accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen. Congenital heart disease (animals born with a heart problem), valvular heart disease (abnormalities of the heart valves), arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances), and heartworm disease can all lead to CHF.

Call us if your pet starts breathing rapidly or coughing, loses his or her appetite, tires easily, seems weak, or has trouble exercising. We can discover many heart problems during a physical exam. Additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (x-rays), and ultrasounds, are usually needed to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease or failure.

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