Dog Food Logic: Making Smart Decisions for Your Dog

“Dog Food Logic: Making Smart Decisions for Your Dog in an Age of Too Many Choices,” by Linda Case. Dogwise Publishing. $19.95.

Case serves up the Full Meal Deal here while recognizing Fido’s food menu is accented with a plethora of options and plenty of confusion. In other words, more isn’t always best.

From label claims of all types to cognitive traps and logical fallacies, the overriding message throughout is that you must be proactive on your dog’s behalf when selecting pet food. Dog Food Logic

She says, “We must train ourselves to pay close attention to what is proven and known via science and to ignore marketing ploys, unsupported health claims, and downright misleading statements, all of which may be made by pet-food companies, by Joe next door who happens to know a lot about dogs, and by bloggers, dog-food ‘experts’ and other dog gurus who insist they have all of the answers that you may need for your dog’s nutritional health.

“. . . Read label claims (especially health claims) with a highly critical eye. Demand safe foods. Seek foods that include quality ingredients and be willing to pay for them. It’s not necessarily going to be easy and may take some sleuthing, but this is all about your dog’s health, not about choosing a flavor of jam in a market that is overrun with jam brands and flavors.”

Case holds no punches when discussing the “pet-food quagmire.”

“The goal,” she emphasizes, “remains to help you to differentiate between those choices that are supported by evidence and those that reflect mere marketing hype and advertising ploys designed to sell more food.”

Who or what to believe? “A single study (or article or blog) should never be used as irrefutable proof of a given nutritional claim,” the author emphasizes. And be wary of everything you read on the internet, since many writers’ expertise is suspect.

Case cites recommended search engines and peer-reviewed journals with strong credibility plus caveats and questions to pose surrounding any study. These include: who conducted or funded the study; how many animals were included in the research; were the results replicated by other researchers.

While arguing we are in the midst of a paradigm shift that affects how we think about commercial pet foods and how best to feed our dogs with offerings from an industry dominated by five giant corporations, Case says animal nutritionists “have generally done a poor job of educating dog lovers regarding exactly what we do know about dog (and cat) nutrition.”

“Dog Food Logic” reading should be a homework assignment for every responsible dog owner. It represents a wide-ranging tableau of food for thought and plenty of rich nourishment accented effectively with charts and graphs.