At The Green Spot, we are firm believers that nutrition is the foundation to health in our companion pets. Poor quality foods can certainly sustain your pet's life, but in order to truly nourish your dog or cat's body and allow them to thrive, a proper diet is a must. There is a lot of information and advertising that has an influence on the choices we make for our pets, but sometimes sorting through this information to find the facts can be difficult.
100% Complete and Balanced! Made with real Chicken! No Wheat! No Corn! No Soy! No By-Products!
That’s where we come in, to help you understand the basics of pet foods and how to choose the right food for your best friend!
Here are some signs that you might be feeding a poor quality pet food:
- Allergies, biting and chewing at paws, itchy or flaky dry skin, hot spots. Chronic dirty ears or infections
- Early signs of diabetes, cancer, obesity, pancreatitis and urinary tract infections
- Poor digestive health, frequent loose stool or vomiting, excessive waste and gas.
At The Green Spot, we carry a wide array of foods suitable for any budget. Feeding a “premium” pet food does not always mean spending a lot of money. Don’t get a sticker shock when the 30lb bag is nearly two times as much as the grocery brand. When feeding natural foods it is important to factor in lower portion sizes amounts (pets on a more “species appropriate diet” typically consume 30-50% less than many grocery brands) and fewer vet visits! Believe it or not (we would suggest believing it) a healthy food for your pet will end up costing you less in the long run!
- Clearly named meat or fish - chicken, lamb, beef, salmon
- Concentrate named meat proteins - chicken meal, turkey meal
- Whole grains and starches - brown rice, barley, sweet potatoes
- fresh fruits and vegetables - whole potatoes, carrots, apples
- Named fats from quality sources - chicken fat, herring oil, sunflower oil
- Natural preservatives - mixed tocopherols, vitamin C or E
- Non-specific ingredients - poultry by-products, meat and bone meal
- Protein fillers - corn gluten, wheat gluten, egg product meal
- Carbohydrate overload - refined flours, wheat, mill runs
- Processed fruits and vegetables - tomato pomace, dehydrated potatoes
- Fats from non-specific sources - poultry fat, animal fat, vegetable oil
- Artificial preservatives - BHA & BHT
Let us dish up some answers to FAQ about feeding a quality food to your Best Friend!
Will I end up spending more on my dogs food than my own?
Unless you live on ramen noodles, the answer is no! We actually have some foods that are lower cost per bag than brands we’ve found at big box stores. Additionally, if you feed a food that has more nutrients, you can decrease portion sizes up to 45% less, making that bag of food last you a lot longer!
Why would I change to a soft food? Dry Kibble Cleans my dogs teeth!
While this makes us giggle a little bit, we get it! The common misconception that dry kibble cleans your dog or cat's teeth, is completely false. We like to compare it to you replacing your oral care routine with eating a handful of granola. Sure it’s yummy, and while it might technically scrape some plaque off, it’s not a suitable substitute for your daily teeth brushings.
If you are looking for an effective way to keep their teeth sparkly white is to provide raw meaty bones for your dog or cat to chew on. The bones work to scrape away plaque while the remaining muscle tissue provides a flossing action. Check out our freezers for a selection of bones to suit pets of all sizes!
Other great options are regular brushings one of our pet safe toothpastes, dental sprays, or supplemental natural food additives.
Is raw food really safe?
Totally! We believe that a raw food diet is one of the best things you can feed your dog or cat. Raw is the most biologically appropriate diet, and most pets thrive on it. Dogs and cats have short and highly acidic digestive systems, allowing them to digest raw foods safely and quickly. Additionally, the raw foods we carry all have very high standards and strict safety procedures in place to ensure your pet is getting a food that that’s completely pathogen-free.
Should I ever change my pet’s food?
Absolutely - I love a good spinach pizza, but I would get sick of it day after day! Our pets aren’t really designed to eat the same thing every single day, so we recommend rotating their food on a routine basis - that can be daily, monthly, or every few months – whatever works best for you! By switching up what you feed them, you actually help to strengthen their digestive system, broaden their nutritional intake, and help prevent the development of food allergies. For more on this, check out this great video by holistic vet Dr. Karen Becker.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7weEkUuhhk
My pet has special dietary restrictions – Can they have anything from your store?
Yes! Yes and Yes! We offer foods and supplements for pets with even the most extreme food allergies, urinary health issues, diabetes, kidney health, and more. If your pet is on a special diet, we’re happy to talk with you about their specific requirements and do our best to provide you with some healthy, natural alternatives to meet their needs.
Won’t my pet have an upset tummy if I switch his or her food?
Slowly transitioning to a new food is always the safest bet to avoid digestive upset, especially if your pet is new to rotational feeding. Try to make the transition over the course of a week or two. Start off by feeding 25% of the new food and 75% of the current food for 2-3 days. Then gradually increase the new food to 50% of your pet’s daily intake, and decreasing the current food to 50% for another 2-3 days. If that’s going well, bump up the new food to 75% and the old food to 25% for another 2-3 days, until you can feed your pet 100% of the new food.
You can always add a little “helper” when food switching by grabbing some 100% organic pumpkin, digestive enzymes or Goat’s Milk which are both great for easing tummy troubles and helping with food transitions.
Here are some outside resources to help you learn more about your pet's food!
http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/ - Subscribe and love!
Dr. Karen Becker is one of our favorite Holistic Vets: Check out her Youtube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5ZeNLUEHKY Best to Worst Foods for Your Pet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTWHxvjI_as Quality of Ingredients Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdDPi-1Yjy0 Quality of Ingredients Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3wLTlqnMMg Raw Meat Diets for Dogs and Cats
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7weEkUuhhk Controlling Allergies
Have another question about nutrition or other ways to optimize your pet’s health? Set up a time to stop in and talk with our nutrition experts about your pets specific dietary needs.
Cat nutrition is closely connected to overall wellness, and a cat's diet can even help improve a variety of issues including common allergies, hyperparathyroidism, and food intolerances. Obesity is also a growing issue and overweight cats are at risk for a whole multitude of problems such as arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, breathing problems, renal disease, heart disease, and a life expectancy lessened by as much as 20%. Kitties are obligate carnivores which means that the best diet for cats is one high in protein and low in carbohydrates. No matter if your cat is dealing with a weight problem or requires a unique diet in conjunction with healthcare maintenance and treatment, our staff will counsel you on the various nutritional options that are available to cat parents. Don't be reluctant to get in touch with us if you have any questions about finding the purrrrrrfect cat diet.
Giant Breed Animal Nutrition
Large breeds such as Mastiffs and Great Danes have unique nutritional requirements. Large dog breeds necessitate well-defined amounts of essential nutrients to fulfill their growth requirements. Large breed puppies need a food produced to ensure proper bone and muscle development and the right amount of energy so they can develop to their optimal growth potential without developmental concerns.
Nutrition for Pregnant/ Nursing Dogs
First-rate nutrition sets the stage for a thriving breeding and pregnancy. Maintaining nutrition and bodyweight before, during the course of, and after pregnancy is essential to the wellness of the momma dog and her young pups. Malnourishment caused by inadequate nutrient consumption can lead to miscarriages or health problems. While lactating, energy needs increase and are directly proportional to milk generation, which subsequently is directly corresponding to the number of nursing pups.
Nutrition for Working Dogs
Stage show and working dogs have special dietary needs. Generally, working dogs are larger breeds such as an Akita, a Mastiff, or a Newfoundland that are specifically bred to perform tasks like sledding or herding. To perform their best, these dogs need a high-performance pet food that helps keep them working at top productivity. Depending on the amount of work, working dogs may require 1.5 to 2.5 times the volume of food as a sedentary pet, and if the dogs are doing work in high conditions, the volume of food needed increases even more.
Puppy and Kitten Animal Nutrition
Puppies and kittens necessitate suitable nutrients and calories in order to help them grow. That being said, the very same strategy that works for a smaller breed puppy, such as a Maltese, would not be ideal for a large breed, such as a Rottweiler.
Senior Pet Nutrition
When a cherished animal gets older, their eating habits and dietary requirements can adjust too. As a general guideline, animals are regarded as elderly when they've arrived at one-half of their expectation of life. If a senior animals' exercise and metabolic levels decline, it may be time to decrease their caloric consumption to help prevent obesity as the extra weight is just as unhealthy for animals as it is for people.
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