There are many choices of diets for pet owners to consider when trying to decide what to feed their pets. These include homemade – raw and cooked, and of course processed wet food and kibble.
As a practicing veterinarian, I try to be flexible with my clients. I want them to choose the best food they can afford to feed that is healthy for their pets and which the pet enjoys eating that results in maximum health.
Homemade diets take a lot of time (and often money) to prepare and require careful evaluation by a holistic veterinarian, plus judicious supplementation to properly balance the diet. In most cases, pet owners will opt for a prepared or processed food out of convenience. The advantage of course, is that all of the work has been done – from recipe development and nutritional evaluation to meal preparation.
Here are some guidelines I recommend for selecting the best food possible for your dogs.
- Focus on foods that are human-grade, gluten-free, and grain-free. High quality, plant-based diets like Benjii’s Complete Nutrition: Chickpeas & Squash are preferred for most dogs.
- Organic, non-GMO ingredients are preferred. The long-term effects of eating genetically modified foods are unknown, and I prefer to avoid them as many are heavily sprayed with poisons to control weeds or pests and I’m concerned that people and plants who consume these toxic plants may do harm to their organs.
- It’s essential to select a food that has been formulated to meet or exceed the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance.
- Because certain processing methods can destroy vital nutrients in the ingredients, freeze-drying food keeps it fresher than kibble or canned food, without the use of artificial preservatives.
- While it may not directly affecting the quality of the ingredients in the food, I believe in supporting companies that have a positive message and world view. Therefore, I like products made by companies that use minimally processed ingredients which require fewer resources, including the water and energy used during the manufacturing process. Sustainable companies like Benjii’s also create less environmental pollution by using compostable and recycled packaging. Giving back to the community is also important.
While a homemade diet may be ideal, it’s not always simple or time-efficient. Benjii’s provides a convenient way to feed your dog with all the benefits of fresh, whole foods.