Don’t Be a Bad Santa!

Don't be a Bad SantaOnly Bad Santas give their pets foods made with inferior ingredients such as corn, wheat, soy, by-products, BHA/BHT, or propylene glycol.  Don’t be a Bad Santa!  Give your pets the good stuff from Boofy’s Best for Pets.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

The Difference Between Puppy Food and Adult Dog Food

Declan a Great Dane Puppy

Declan, a gorgeous Great Dane puppy, eats an “all life stages” dog food with appropriate calcium and phosphorus levels for growing a large-breed puppy to healthy adulthood.

Q: What is the difference between puppy food and adult dog food?

A.  Pet foods that are marketed in the United States as being “complete and balanced” must meet nutritional standards set by AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials.  AAFCO has defined only two nutrient profiles for dogs: “adult maintenance” (for adult dogs with normal activity levels), and “growth and reproduction” (for puppies and pregnant or lactating females).

The nutrient profile for “growth and reproduction” is more stringent and requires higher minimum levels of protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and chloride.  Foods that have only met the minimum nutrient requirements for “adult maintenance” will be labeled as such.  Foods that have met the minimum nutrient requirements for “growth and reproduction” are considered suitable for all life stages of dogs, and may be labeled either as a “puppy food” suitable for “growth and reproduction,” or as a dog food which is suitable for “all life stages.”

Please note that while a statement of AAFCO compliance indicates a particular food meets the minimum industry standards for nutritional content, it in no way indicates the quality of the ingredients used to make that food.  Carefully review the ingredient panel of any food before you purchase it!

 

[NOTE:  Jeff Smith & Lisa McKitrick of Boofy’s Best for Pets originally answered this question in the “Ask the Pet Pros” section of Albuquerque The Magazine‘s June 2011 issue.]

The Basics of Dog Treats: What, Why, and How Often?

eggie Enjoying a Dog Treat

Our foster dog Reggie enjoys freeze-dried salmon treats as a reward for good behavior.

Q: I’m stumped on how often I should give my dog treats. Should it be regularly or just on special occasions? What kinds of treats are delicious AND healthy for my pups?

A:  Treats are a great way to increase variety in the diet, and to help reinforce good behavior and positive bonding experiences between you and your dog.  To most effectively use treats to positively influence your dog’s behavior, it’s important to observe the “No Free Lunch” rule:  Treats are something your dog must work for and earn.

You can give treats multiple times per day, as long as you keep two things in mind.  First, treats are not calorie free, so be sure to account for treats by reducing the size of your dog’s typical breakfast and dinner meals.  Second, remember that it is important to feed your dog with wholesome food sources that will positively contribute to your dog’s health.  As with your dog’s food, look for treats that are all natural and do not contain cheap fillers, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, propylene glycol, or high amounts of salt and sugar.  Nutritious freeze-dried treats made from 100% meat, poultry or fish are high in protein and low in carbs, and will speak to your dog’s carnivorous nature.  Grain-free biscuits are a good option for dogs that prefer the thrill of a “cookie,” and some dogs are happy to get a fresh baby carrot or green bean as a reward.

 

[NOTE:  Jeff Smith & Lisa McKitrick of Boofy’s Best for Pets originally answered this question in the “Ask the Pet Pros” section of Albuquerque The Magazine‘s July 2011 issue.]