What Should I Feed My Pets?
By Dr. Evelyn Vega
With the recent recall on various dog and cat foods, clients are asking me what
foods I recommend that are safe to feed. We have to realize that no commercial foods
are always going to be 100% safe all of the time. Even food we buy at the grocery
store for ourselves has a possibility of being contaminated. With that said, I still
believe that the best pet food to give would be a home prepared diet. That way you
know what is going in to your pet's food.
There are many recipes you can follow; I have photocopied the fronts of a few books
that I have read that contain various recipes for dogs and cats for different life
stages and situations.
You can go online and look up recipes as well. Just remember that you want to feed
plain, low fat, low sodium food. For generations, dogs have been living off of a
diet of meat and fresh fruit or vegetables. It's only recently that they have been
introduced to packaged foods with preservatives and chemicals.
I know that home cooking is not an option for many people, including myself. There
are a lot of holistic dog foods that I recommend that have not shown up on the recalled
I like holistic pet foods because they do not use any animal byproducts, artificial
coloring or preservatives. Many of them also add in fruits, vegetables, digestive
enzymes and herbs as part of their ingredient lists.
The only down side to these holistic foods is that, because they contain natural
preservatives, they do not last as long as artificially preserved products. What
this means is that you cannot buy a 40 pound bag of dog food for your 5 lb. dog
that eats one cup of food a day.
You also want to keep these foods stored in a cool, dark place with minimal moisture.
It is a good idea to store your natural dog foods in a sealed container, like a
large Rubbermaid container.
Another disadvantage to the holistic foods is that they are not sold everywhere
like Iams of Science Diet. But this is starting to change. I have been shopping
around and found several places that carry holistic foods:
- The best location in town for holistic pet foods is Pet Supply located on the
corner of Bouquet Canyon and Seco Canyon in the Rite Aid shopping center. You can
go in there and have Chris, the store owner, help you find a food that is best for
- The Pet Stop in Canyon Country also carries some holistic brands. They are located
on the corner of Soledad Canyon Rd. and Sand Canyon
- Wal-Mart on Rye Canyon/Copperhill is now carrying Paul Newman's food that not
only is holistic, but organic, as well
- PetCo carries a few holistic foods, including some of Paul Newman's food as well
- Happy Pets Veterinary Center will be carrying Artemis dog and cat food sometime
soon. This is what I feed my own pets
Wherever you go, just look at the ingredients lists and see what is in your pet's
food. The primary source of protein will be the first ingredients. This will tell
you if the protein source is a byproduct, meal or whole source. You will be able
to read if there are any other natural ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, eggs,
brewers yeast, etc. Compare these foods with the non-holistic foods that show the
protein source and then follow with a lot of chemical ingredients.
Here is a partial list of holistic foods that I would recommend. They are in no
specific order, nor is the list complete, but just a few that readily come to mind
- Artemis Solid Gold Wellness Brand
- Paul Newman's Own Canidae Eagle Pak
- Innova Flint River Ranch (home delivered product)
If you have your pet on a holistic food that you really like, feel free to write
a testimonial and bring in the ingredient list and we will share this with other
Happy Pets clients.