Food & Nutrition
How Often Should I Feed My Dog?
Just like humans, eating smaller meals twice a day is better for your dog. Eating only once a day can cause irritation of the esophagus from stomach acid. Puppies under five months of age should be fed three to four times a day or as directed by your vet. You should adjust your dog’s portion size so that he or she only eats as much as needed. Do not leave leftovers in the bowl. You should also avoid moistening your dog’s food with water or milk. Leaving wet food at room temperature is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Which Dog Food Is Best for My Dog?
You are what you eat – an adage that also applies to your dog. With so many different pet food choices available, how do you know which one is the best? Start by researching dog food brands and make sure that the pet food you choose is free of by-products, fillers, additives, artificial colors and preservatives.
Not all pet food products contain poor quality ingredients, but you have to read and understand the labels in order to make an informed decision. Some harmful ingredients to watch out for include BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, menadione, corn or corn syrup, rendered meat, bone meal or by-products.
Check out The Dog Food Advisor, an online site of independent ratings and reviews of more than 950 dog food products, and consider these “9 Tips That Can Help You Find a Superior Dog Food Brand.”
Can My Dog Eat People Food?
We generally do not recommend feeding your dog “people food” because it can make your dog overweight or cause illness; however, there are some foods that can provide a nutritional boost. Read “10 “People” Foods for Dogs“ to learn more. You should also be aware of harmful foods for dogs.
How Is Dog Food Regulated?
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) establishes nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet food products, but it is up to the pet food companies to formulate their products properly and the state feed control officials to regulate the industry. There is no requirement that pet food products have pre-market approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); however, the agency does regulate the safety of ingredients and accuracy of pet food labeling.
In 2011, nearly four years after one of the largest pet food recalls that killed an estimated 8,000 dogs and cats , the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law, giving the FDA greater power to implement mandatory recalls. FSMA also instructed the FDA to establish rules governing pet food manufacturing supply chains, including basic standards for sanitation. The final rules were released in September 2015.
Please view our Recommended Reading list for additional resources.
 Carter, Zach. The Huffington Post. “Looking for the Safest, Healthiest Pet Food? Good Luck with That.” Aug. 12, 2015. www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pet-food-safety_55b67875e4b0a13f9d1976e7.