Most vet visits could be avoided making these adjustments to your dog or cat food.  1.  Read the ingredient label and choose foods that have whole ingredients. Chicken, Lamb, Beef, not “meat”, “meat by-products”, “______ by-products”, “poultry” and any combination of those descriptions.   Avoid foods that have corn, wheat, soy, especially when they are at the top of the ingredients list and are the majority of the diet.   Ideally for most dogs multiple meats at the beginning of the ingredient list followed by fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals.  Another sign of quality is the preservative.  Avoid BHA, BHT, and look for natural preservatives.

Kibble is by for the most popular type of pet food, but there are numerous other types that are healthier, assuming the ingredients are still great.   Canned, de-hydrated, freeze-dried, and raw foods all have benefits over kibble diets.   All of these less processed diets are less processed, more easily digestible and more nutrient rich that kibble.

2.  If the convenience of kibble, and the economical price is the right combination for your pet consider trying supplements.  They are affordable ways to replace some of the nutrients lost in processing.

Salmon Oil is a great source of Omega 3, and Omega 6 fatty acids.   These are beneficial to your dogs immune system, and have great benefits to their skin and coats.

Do not free feed and pay close attention to your portions, and your dogs weight.   Many of the health issues later in life are caused by obesity.   Feed your pet two meals per day in the portions recommended by the manufacturer.

3.  If kibble is your pets primary diet consider adding other varieties of food into the kibble diet.   This is a less expensive strategy for giving your pet some variety.  At your healthy pet store like Dog Dog Cat in South Lake Tahoe select a variety of good canned foods and mix them into the kibble diet.   Be sure to make appropriate adjustments to the quantity.   Ask your local pet store expert about the de-hydrated, freeze-dried, and raw foods.   You can sample the varieties to either be mixed with the kibble or become the primary diets.

You will see large differences in the pets appearance, it will smell better, and it is likely the dog will feel better.   The ultimate goal is to have a happy healthy pet, and the additional benefit is a longer life with less trips to the doctor.