Fido shedding? Check his food

Most responsible dog owners have long been convinced of the merits of high-quality food for their pets. Feeding your dog table scraps is not the best thing for Fido’s long-term health. The research indicates leftovers, no matter how healthy, don’t provide a balanced dog diet.

Even if you’re not convinced of the merits of expensive, designer dog food, a new study from the Iams Company reports that feeding pets a high-quality diet can decrease non-seasonal shedding by as much as 50 to 90 percent.

Iams researcher Dr. Gary Davenport noted that within eight-weeks of a year-long study, dogs fed high-quality food had a more desirable skin and coat condition, with significantly less shedding and dander. As a bonus, their coats were also softer and showed “greater uniformity”.

“The skin and coat is a window to what is happening on the inside of the animal,” says Davenport. “If the pet has healthy skin and hair coat; there is a good chance it is a healthy animal.”

Cats also studied
Davenport’s study was presented at a nutrition symposium which gathered more than 400 “companion animal” experts from 42 countries.

Cats weren’t ignored. Anothertudy showed cats had a decreased skin inflammatory response when fed high-quality animal food. Other researchers found that increased vitamin E intake boosts the immune system of older cats.

To ensure that the pet food you buy is of a certain minimum standard, look for a seal of approval from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association on the package. Pet food manufacturers voluntarily submit their products to the association for evaluation and approval as nutritionally sound food. Manufacturing facilities are also inspected and approved, and advertising claims are evaluated.