As humans, it’s easy to feel tempted to give your pet human food. But, generally speaking, many human foods are not recommended for pets. Home-cooked diets can be beneficial to some pets with particular nutritional needs or those that have certain chronic conditions. However, it is always best to consult a veterinary nutritionist or your Parker & Ace team before feeding your pet solely human food.
What is recommended is buying dog food from brands that have been certified by an independent organization as complete and balanced. In Canada and the United States, look for food that has been certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), an independent organization that oversees the entire pet food industry and certifies that a formulated diet has met the minimum requirements for nutrition (ideally with feeding trials), or food brands that employ Veterinary Nutrition Specialists (DACVN) to design their diets and continually upgrade the diets based on new research. The ideal diet for your pet depends on their age and life stage. Diets that are AAFCO approved and are labeled for their life stage is ideal, as growing puppies and sedentary adults have very different nutritional needs. Depending on the breed, the switch to adult food can vary between 10 months and 2 years. You can find if the food has been AAFCO approved on the label after the list of ingredients.
Tip: Most of the "gourmet" foods are marketed to pet parents who want the best for their dogs. However, typically they do not offer the dog any nutritional advantage over good quality dry food, they tend to be far more expensive, and they may even lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Make sure to never feed your dog any of these harmful items:
- Grapes and raisins
- Milk and other dairy products
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Macadamia Nuts
- Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
- Foods high in fats and oils
If your dog happens to get into any of the aforementioned items or is showing signs of dehydration or illness, contact your Parker & Ace vet team immediately.