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Questions - Pet food

Q1. Aren't all dog foods really the same?
A1. No. What we refer to as "grocery brands" are grain-based feeds. Typically the first ingredients are corn, corn gluten meal, and soybean meal, for example. They're 60% to 80% digestible. What we refer to as "super premiums" are meat-based, with the first ingredients being, typically, animal flesh, rice, and corn. They're 85% to 95% digestible. While grain-based feeds are complete and balanced, meat-based feeds are fed in much lower quantities, contain higher levels of linoleic acid, and cost less to feed.

Q2. Do I need to feed pet vitamin supplements?
A2. Usually not. Commercial pet foods are complete and balanced, which is the key to optimum nutrition. Supplementing can over-nutritionalize an animal, and there are consequences to that. Supplementing should be done upon the recommendation of a veterinarian.

Q3. My dog has bad breath. Is there anything I can do to correct that?
A3. Dogs don't normally have bad breath, and when it occurs, it often is a symptom of a medical condition. Quite commonly, periodontal disease. There are pet " breath fresheners" on the market, but they don't correct the problem and, in fact, probably delay medical treatment. If your dog or cat has bad breath, make an appointment with your vet.

Q4. Is rawhide bad for dogs?
A4. Not inherently, but it can be a choking hazard or can cause an intestinal obstruction. Generally, if your dog rips large chunks off a rawhide chew, it may be safer to provide a different treat. Like any other pet supply store, we sell large quantities of rawhide products. That tells us that rawhide is an acceptable treat. You should never leave a dog unattended with toys or treats that could be a choking hazard.

Q5. Is "tug-of-war" an appropriate play activity for my puppy and me?
A5. It's probably not a good idea. You could damage your puppy's teeth or jaws. Also, you're probably trying to teach the puppy not to be aggressive with his mouth. Playing tug of war could send confusing messages to him.

Q6. Why is chocolate bad for pets?
A6. There is a substance in chocolate called theobromine that acts as a cardiac stimulant in dogs and cats. The more pure the chocolate, the higher the level of theobromine. Two ounces of baking chocolate is enough to kill a small dog.

Q7. Should I occasionally pour pan drippings over my dog's food to improve his coat?
A7. Pan drippings and other high doses of fat can trigger attacks of acute pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition. Feed a super premium pet food and you won't need to supplement for a shiny coat.