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What We Like: Dog Food Logic

April 9, 2014

We all love our pets and want to do what is best for them, and one of the biggest ways we can impact their health on a day to day basis is being thoughtful about how and what we feed. However, making informed and thoughtful choices about feeding our pets is getting harder and harder. In recent years there has been an explosion not only of food brands, but of (sometimes conflicting) information and opinions circulating in magazines and on the internet about what the “best” food and/or ingredients to feed our pets are. It can be difficult and confusing to differentiate useful information and evidence from marketing, opinions, and hype.

One excellent resource for helping you choose a diet for your pet is a book titled Dog Food Logic: Making  Smart Decisions for Your Dog in an Age of  Too Many Choices, by Linda P. Case. Rather than making blanket  recommendations about specific brands or ingredients as the “best” for all dogs, the author’s general approach is to help pet owners learn to think critically and provide reliable tools and skills for researching food and claims about food. The goal is for each owner to be able to critically evaluate their individual dog’s needs and combine that with their own needs and budget to find the food that works best for them.

Before even discussing the science behind what we know about nutrition in dogs and any specific ingredients, the book begins with a discussion of how our brains are wired to make decisions, including what common and normal pitfalls we face when making major decisions and how to avoid them. In addition, the author discusses how to research effectively and evaluate claims made by others in the age of the internet, and provides a host of reliable sources to consult.

This book is an excellent resource, not to tell you exactly what to feed but to help you make your own informed decisions about food. Although it is written about dogs, the general information about developing critical thinking skills and researching choices is useful for any pet owner. Although the topic seems weighty, the book is an easy read and I highly recommend this for your spring or summer reading list.

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