The number one question I get asked? “What should I feed my dog?” I don’t mean by my own clients, but via email or social media. Here’s my advice on how to decide what to feed your dog, or what to use to control fleas and other parasites.
Q: There are so many options regarding what to feed my dog or use for parasite control. How can I make an educated choice?
A: The choice of pet food you put in your cart (in store or online) has largely been driven by marketing, packaging and store employee recommendations. A pet store or farm and garden store employee’s recommendation is often based on what pet food line representative was just there presenting information about their company’s products, or sometimes they’re incentivized to sell a certain brand of food.
It can be the same routine regarding parasite control products for preventing or treating fleas, ticks, mosquitos and internal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms. The recommendation winds shift based on manufacturer sales materials or the uninformed employee simply recommending the product they use or that sells best.
My father used to tell me that when you want to buy a new washer or dryer, ask appliance repair people what brand they use in their own home. Similarly, ask car mechanics what brand of oil they used in their vehicles. Experts know how well a product is made, how reliably it works and whether it’s a value. Nobody knows pet foods and parasite control products as well as veterinarians.
We have extensive training in animal nutrition and parasitology. We attend conferences or online webinars to learn more about these issues. Plus, we’ve seen real-world evidence of how these products work with pets.
The way to make an educated choice of what product is best for your pet is to simply ask the veterinarian or veterinary nurse, “What do you feed your pets?” or “What parasite control products do you use with your pets?” Once they tell you, ask, “Do you think that is the best food/parasite control product for my cat(s)/dog(s)?”
There’s more – including the healing power of pets in times of grief and loss – in Pet Connection, the weekly nationally syndicated pet feature I co-write with Kim Campbell Thornton and my daughter, trainer Mikkel Becker.