Vet Recommended Dog Food, Now What?
There may come a time in your dog’s life where food becomes a health issue. Whether it be for weight, skin and coat issues, digestive issues, or anything else; vet recommended dog food can be extremely beneficial for helping your dog on the road to a healthier life. The downside? You may start to feel like your furry friend is eating five star meals with how expensive it is. Figuring out what you should pay up for and what you can should get a generic brand of is hard, but with a few notions in mind the choice should become easier to make.
Why Vets Recommend Certain Dog Food
A vet might recommend special food for your dog for a variety of reasons. What goes into those energetic little bodies is what keeps them healthy! Except for the occasional trash they get into of course. You can always ask your vet for recommendations on dog food to use if you are questioning what you currently feed your pooch, but the topic generally won’t come up unless there is a health issue that could be solved by different food. Some of these health issues include: digestion issues, weight loss or gain, dry skin and coat, lack of energy, joint problems, and age. If a vet does bring up one of these issues with your pooch, listen to their recommendations. While not all of your dog’s problems can be solved with a specialty dog food, it can be a great way of managing them!
Sold in the Office vs. Sold in a Store
We all hope that our vet is the most trustworthy vet out there, after all they’re taking care of our best friend. However, some argue that dog foods recommended by vets and sold in their office can be sold more because of their profit and less because of their merits. This goes for general maintenance and specialty diet formulas alike. On the other side of this argument is that dog foods sold in vet’s offices are most likely sold because of the vet’s research and results from clients and the vet themselves. But what is right and real and actually the best for your dog? If your vet is recommending a food not sold in their office, odds are high that they truly believe this product will help your pooch. And if it is sold in their office, ask questions about the food. What ingredient is helping my dog with X problem? What are the best alternatives to this food? Is there any supplement I could give my dog instead? How have other client’s dog reacted well or poorly? Do this research on your own as well, as you should do with any food you purchase for your pup.
Recommended Foods and their Alternatives
Almost every dog food that comes recommended has an alternative. They might differ in terms of price, general wellness offerings, or ingredients, but there are alternatives. It might take a few hours of research to decide what the best alternative is and what a true respected brand is, but this is what goes into your dog’s body, you can afford to spend some time looking into it. Consider in the vet recommended foods their dietary reasons for being recommended, the quality of the brand, and pros and cons of each brand. Same goes for the friendly alternative, or the owner recommended brand. Keep in mind with this list that each dog is different, and what might be the top recommended might not fit the needs of your pup. Each vet might have a different #1 for each category as well, so make sure to keep your own pooch’s needs in mind! Here is just one example of the difference between vet recommended dog foods versus a general consensus of the owner community.
General Maintenance Dog Foods
Recommended: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food– Hill’s comes highly suggested by a lot of offices, and is a big name that consumers trust. It exceeds AAFCO nutrition standards and has vitamins for coat health, digestion and joints. Although this brand has been a frontrunner for years, they had a melamine scare in 2007 that prompted the company to get even tighter about its ingredients. Hill’s costs about $40 per 38.5lb bag.
Alternative: Natural Balance Original Ultra Dry Dog Formula– Natural Balance is just that, natural. While it might not be as well known, it’s still popular enough to have a decent space on the shelves of pet stores, and so it should! The healthier proteins and carbs in this formula along with vitamins for heart, eyes, skin, and digestion make it a great overall choice. Plus it doesn’t have any gluten in the formula which can give dogs tummy troubles. Downsides to this product is that it only comes in 15lb and 30lb bags which could be annoying for larger breed parents and is a little more expensive at $47 per 30lb bag.