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Feeding Fido: Raw Diet? Quality Ingredients? Portion Control?

My dogs are good sharers, but only with their water bowl! Credit: Leslie Yager
My dogs are good sharers, but only with their water bowl! Credit: Leslie Yager

Here are some suggestions from our friends at Blue Pearl Veterinarians. 

With an abundance of recent news stories focusing on pet food recalls and the growing pet obesity problem in the U.S., many pet owners may be left wondering what to feed their pets.

When it comes to choosing the right pet food, doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners provide these recommendations:

  • Always consult with your veterinarian about what you should be feeding your pet.

  • Review the list of ingredients and ensure you understand what it means in relation to the nutritional content your pet will be receiving. (Visit BluePearl’s article Pet Food Labels – How to Read Them)

  • Make sure you choose a brand that uses quality ingredients. It will be worth it in the long run to provide your furry friend with a quality diet.

  • Whatever you and your veterinarian decide, make sure you stick to proper portions and avoid giving table scraps that can throw off their diet. Like humans, many health problems in pets can be avoided with a proper diet.

  • If your pet appears on the heavier side or is gaining weight, talk with your veterinarian about adjusting the portions or obtaining a prescription food. Also like humans, diet and exercise will lead to a healthier pet and a longer life.

  • Some people may choose to prepare home-made meals for their pets. Make sure you have consulted with your veterinarian to ensure you’re using certain ingredients that will provide the right amount of nutrition for your pet to promote a healthy lifestyle.

  • An uncooked, raw diet can result in gastrointestinal problems for your pet due to the potential presence of bacteria like salmonella.   


Even with all of these considerations, your pet may reject the selected food or be allergic to the food you choose. Signs of dietary upset include abdominal pain, dehydration, diarrhea, increased thirst, lethargy, vomiting, or blood in vomit or stool.   

“Most importantly, we want pet owners to develop a good relationship with their family veterinarians,” said Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. “Anytime they have a question or concern regarding the health of their pet, that is what their veterinarian is there for.”

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners employs more than 1,350 people including more than 350 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals offer referral-only, specialty care services and most offer 24-hour emergency care. BluePearl does not provide primary care. The company is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship programs. BluePearl also participates in clinical trials that investigate the effectiveness of new veterinary drugs and treatments, providing pet families access to cutting-edge medicine that is not yet commercially available. BluePearl is headquartered in Tampa, Fla.


Connie Packard Kamedulski September 15, 2013 at 08:47 AM
Shopping at your local independent pet store, such as Animal Fair, will help you choose the right food for your pet. Ongoing training programs keep the associates up to date on the latest developments in pet food. Special orders are available for many brands not stocked. Animal Fair has frequent buyer programs on many brands and their own Carousel Club rewards program to help you with the costs of pet care.
Colleen K. Peltomaa September 15, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Thank you for this article; I have researched every commercial dog food. I also, when I had a dog, was a frequent visitor to the well kept dog parks in Toronto, Canada where I met many dog owners. My observation was that the owners with elderly dogs who fed them home cooked foods which included cooked vegetables had the healthiest liveliest elderly dogs. One striking example was an elderly French woman -- I thought her dog was a youngster because he was so frisky and was surprised when she told me he was already 12 years old. She told me she cooked vegetables with some meat for her dog.
ann companik September 19, 2013 at 12:54 PM
I have been feeding my dogs a raw diet for years and years and they have not contacted salmonella. It is the healthiest food for dogs and cats. Every commercial dog food is very toxic for them.
Colleen K. Peltomaa September 19, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Hello, Ann, I highly recommend that too. My dog used to LOVE raw liver (from a good butcher shop). As with humans, the more toxic they are already, the more they will have reactions to being switched over to a healthier diet, their immune system already being compromised. Your dog will, I am certain, live a long and happy life :-)

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