Food for Thought

Recently, dog food marketing  trends and fads of what’s best and healthiest have led to a feeding frenzy. The overwhelming question we all ponder as we stroll up and down multiple rows of pet food…what’s the reason for all of the options along with price variation? How does a pet owner make a smart selection before being consumed by an overwhelming frustration and confusion?

After a week’s worth of evaluation and investigation outside of the Animal ER, I experienced confusion, intrigue, and at the bottom line…discovered the dilemma that many pet owners face – how do I feed my pet without unreasonably breaking the bank?

Great Day Houston with Deborah Duncan July 2014

Great Day Houston with Deborah Duncan July 2014

Watch my interview on Great Day Houston as I discus pet food basics

Today, families care and regard their pets as family members which means that the preferred helping found in Fido’s dish is now commonly a reflection of what’s on the dinner table. The truth of feeding should primarily be a focus on your carnivorous companion’s health and should stem from a diet that is created to match what Fido would naturally find appetizing and “typical” for the species. Caution must be taken when tempted to devulge your pet in the tasty goods from your personal dinner plate as well as caution when selecting a diet sold as “human grade” or with ingredients that match a human eating style such as peas, berries, and ingredients that are not normally consumed by ancestors of your preferred four legged friend. Buying food should be uncomplicated and affordable. Feeding a companion today should start with buying a food with a common commercial brand name, ensuring that your first ingredient is a protein and that the cost of the food does not exceed the budget or… cost significantly more that the foods on a restaurant menu! To add more information to the mix, corn and byproducts are often coined as unnecessary evils in your pet’s meal plan whereas they are quite the opposite. Corn, corn gluten meal, and protein byproducts offer a nutritious benefit to your pet’s foods so spending money to cut them out of the recipe, is often unncessary unless guided specifically by your veterinarian.

Without chewing up specific brand names or pet food manufacturing companies, a piece of advice is overall to buy a product that is not sold as “gourmet” or “premium”,  as the more marketable the label reads, the more leary one should become stopping to question if the food is more propaganda versus value.

Picking out a pet food can be as expensive and complicated as you make it but my advice…shop for the best nutrients for the budget and let the creativity in ingredients of the manufacturing marketeers be something for them to chew on before it eats a hole in your wallet.

Dr Jen Hennessey



For detailed advice on feeding your pet, contact your veterinarian for recommendations on selecting quality and a balanced, smart food choice and steer clear of advice from the sources and opinions selling the foods until you have the full scoop on what to be looking for amongst their shelves.


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