What food should I feed my pet? 

The most recent findings regarding pet foods in the news have been alarming. Here at Eastern Animal Hospital we are here to help you select the most appropriate diet for your family member. We recommend a diet that has been feed-trial tested, does not contain peas, lentils, or other legumes, and is not grain free. 

What is feed-trial testing? 

Feed-trial testing means that the diet was formulated to meet the nutritional requirements for a specific life stage and then was fed to a large number of cats and dogs. During these feeding trials the food was shown to be safe and work. Foods formulated to meet the nutritional requirements for a specific life stage have not been demonstrated to work in scientific studies. 

Why not peas, lentils, or other legumes?

These ingredients, known as “pulses,” also referred to as “legumes,” have been linked to the emerging trend of heart disease in dogs. The mechanism as to how legumes lead to heart disease is still being investigated by many veterinary schools and research groups around the country. Given the overwhelming number of pets becoming ill on diets containing legumes we are recommending owners stop feeding diets containing legumes until the disease is better understood.

Why not grain free? 

When grains are taken out of a diet, often other ingredients are added in their place. With grain-free diets legumes are often added in their place. Given the large number of pets developing heart disease on grain-free diets we are recommending against grain-free diets. Most pets do not require or need grain free diets. 

What diets are safe? 

We recommend feeding Royal Canin, Purnia, or Hill’s/Science Diet pet foods. These companies have a long history of providing excellent nutrition. All of their diets are feed-trial tested to ensure that they provide appropriate nutrition for pets. These companies also have several certified veterinary nutritionists on staff to help make the most appropriate recommendations for pet food recipes. 

Want to learn more? Please see the trusted references below for more information about how to select a pet food, how to navigate the internet to read about pet foods, and how to ask the right questions of your pet’s food manufacturer. 

Resources: 

Savvy Cat Owner’s Guide to Nutrition on the Internet

Savvy Dog Owner’s Guide to Nutrition on the Internet

FAQs and Pet Food Myths

Recommendations on selecting a pet food

American College of Veterinary Nutrition: acvn.org

Petfoodology: www.petfoodology.org

World Small Animal Veterinary Association Global Nutrition Committee: http://www.wsava.org/Guidelines/Global-Nutrition-Guidelines