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Dog food and nutrition

Back in early 2007, there were several dog and cat food recalls which were prompted by the renal failure and death of hundreds of pets.  This was a huge wakeup call, and just the beginning of a rise in awareness about the quality and the nature of the foods we are feeding our pets.
This article is by no means a conclusive prescription or definition of what to feed your dog, but more of a strong suggestion to do your homework - to examine your options about the best choices for this being who loves you and relies on you to make his dietary decisions.  (case in point, our lab would eat a package of Oreos and wash it down with a quart of Guinness if we'd LET him!)  But he loves a piece of broccoli, a chunk of raw zucchini or a turkey dog as a snack. (yes, really!!)

By nature, dogs are carnivores.  The word on the street is that when their ancestors lived in the wild, they survived primarily on meats and vegetables. There was no artificial coloring; no graphic packaging with a cute little face and the implication of "the best" gourmet cuisine to make it look appealing to humans. There was absolutely no added sugar and there were no multi-syllabic chemicals, just whole, untainted foods. 
Here's an interesting article about diet, yeast and itchy feet.

Here are some places in the Temecula Valley which offer healthy options in dog foods and treats:

Natural Pet Food and Supplies
39650 Winchester Rd,  Temecula

30570 Rancho California Rd.
Temecula, CA 92591

Big Horse Feed
33320 Temecula Pkwy, Temecula

Doggie Distro
(Raw Diet Home Delivery)

Kahoots Pet Store
31845 Temecula Parkway, Temecula
41711 Ivy St, Murrieta

Dog Park Cafe'
31795 Rancho California Rd,
in Meadows Village'
near Baron's

Baron's Market
in Meadows Village
31939 Rancho California Rd, Temecula
32310 Clinton Keith Rd, Wildomar/Murrieta

40474 Winchester Rd,  Temecula

32413 Temecula Pkwy,  Temecula


No brand names of dog food will be mentioned or endorsed here - it's up to you to make good choices, read labels, and/or consider a specialized raw diet.

Dog food companies are not regulated by the FDA, and relatively speaking, our dogs today are innocents. So it's up to us to be sure they are fed properly.

Many of the major dog food companies spend millions of dollars each year on appealing packages, catchy names and pictures of adorable doggies to capture your heart and sell you what is nutritionally substandard; full of grains and other cheap fillers, animal by-products and harmful chemical preservatives. Many try to appeal to your emotions - they suggest that you spoil your pet by presenting their food as a "gourmet delicacy."  Others portray "healthy and natural." Read the package, my friends.

Money that is being paid to big advertising agencies and commercial networks could be well spent on improving the quality of the dog food. While some of the mainstream companies have come out with new offerings of "healthier" food by comparison to their original products, one has to wonder if this is because they have felt the loss of market share since an increasing number of higher quality, more wholesome foods have become available.

A few basic "suggestions" of thumb - If the ingredients label on a pet food or bag of treats lists several chemicals or other words with too many syllables, if meat, poultry or fish is not the first ingredient,  or if it's imported from an Asian country, LEAVE IT ON THE SHELF.

Some dog foods contain what are referred to as "HUMAN QUALITY" ingredients. This is a good thing. It suggests that the contents have not been exposed to contamination or various toxins prior to or during production - that it would be approved for human consumption.

Many people choose to give their dogs raw ground poultry or meat, sometimes combined with a high quality, grain free kibble which is fortified with vitamins and amino acids. Grain free kibbles and treats are becoming more and more available these days.

Whatever you do, read labels carefully. Don't just grab that bag or can with the pretty face.

Here's an article from USA TODAY's "Paw Print Post" about canine nutrition.
... Read the article ...

Here's an active group on Facebook which discusses canine raw diets and nutrition.

Canine cookbooks for healthy dog food and dog treats!

Scroll through using the arrows at the right, and click on any book for full details.

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