Healthy choices for a dog’s long life

ORLANDO, Florida. – Nearly 40% of all Americans have a dog. That’s a lot of furry friends to care for and feed. In fact, we spend about $99 billion a year on pet food and products. So you want to make sure that what you buy to feed Fido is healthy.

Does your pup prefer canned or dry? Store bought or homemade? There seem to be as many types of dog food as there are dogs. How to choose the right food for your dog?

“It can be very complex. First, ask yourself what life stage is my dog ​​in? Brooke Delaney, a veterinarian at Winter Park Veterinary Hospital, said.

Most importantly, make sure it bears the AAFCO label.

“Make sure diet officials have approved that this is a balanced, complete diet that is not lacking in any important ingredient or nutrient. If it doesn’t have that AAFCO label, I would put it back this food and go in another bag,” Delaney said.

It’s equally important to make sure the AAFCO label matches what the bag says. The tag will say puppy if it’s for puppies or seniors if it’s for seniors.

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“Maintenance can actually mean covering all life stages, which you don’t want,” Delaney said.

Also look for evidence of clinical trials.

“If you don’t see that. And it just says it’s a formulated diet, which should alert you,” Delaney said.

And what about natural foods?

“Natural can be written on any bag. There are no standards,” Delaney said.

Expensive doesn’t mean better either. It may be expensive, but not AAFCO-approved and untested in clinical trials. It can be expensive and may not contain all the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs.

So, bottom line, make sure it carries the AAFCO label. You can also go online and check if your dog food company has a certified nutritionist on staff.

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