Zack’s Article on Nutrition

Dog Training

I’ll never forget the landing of McDonalds in Roswell. As the golden arches crawled up the New Mexico skyline, illuminating our small town with an extra terrestrial presence it seemed as if the world was suddenly on the edge of an exciting gastronomical revolution. Once a month, on Mom’s payday, we were treated to a gourmet banquet of Big Macs & fries. When I was young my brothers and I hauled off lunched bags to school packed with sandwiches made from thick slices of homemade bread which our peers would gladly trade for theirs’ made of Wonderbread. Granola was something that came out of the oven and not the box. Sugar coated cereals? The only time we experienced those delicacies was when our grandparents smuggled them into our house guised as Christmas packages. They were the first to be opened. Sweets were rationed out like gas in the 70s and as a result I never developed a craving for sugar nor have ever experienced the feeling of a cavity or a tooth being drilled….ah yes, I was definitely robbed of my childhood. Why is it that even now I still saunter through flu season without so much of sneeze? The answer is simple. Good nutrition. Thanks mom.

Nutrition is a preventative measure for health problems just as obedience is preventative for behavioral issues. So let’s dish about the dog dish. Conventional dog food was developed in the 50′s and reading the list of ingredients alone would make any man or animal nauseous. Most commercial grade dog foods are made from one or all of the 4 D’s of food groups: Dead, Disease, Dying or Disabled. Basically whatever not fit for human consumption is sent to the factory, thrown into a vat, rendered and through a process known as protrusion spits out a kibble that consists mainly of fillers, by products, supplements and sprayed with flavor enhancers to make it tastier….getting hungry? Many commercial grade foods are the equivalent of feeding your dog a diet of fast food…and while there’s nothing more satisfying than a six pack of Jack-in-the-Box tacos at 3:30am after a night on the town…my morning-after blues are usually due to that junk and not the Margaritas.

Thankfully, many companies are discovering a market that caters to owners who realize the importance of a diet that is nutrient rich and made of clean, quality ingredients that even Mom would eat. And there’s an added benefit…less poop! When selecting food here are some “ingredients” to avoid: chemical preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin), non-specific meat & bone meal, meat by-products or by-product meal, non-specific fish products, cellulose, blood meal. ground corn or wheat, rice & peanut hulls, animal digest, sweeteners/sugars such as beet pulp, fructose and cane molasses. Ingredients to look for are specific wet meats such as fresh chicken, turkey, lamb, herring or their dried counterparts (these are listed as “meal”). Whole grain barley, rice and oats are some good stuff along with natural preservatives like rosemary extract, vitamins A, C, & E.


It’s also important that your dog finds his food palatable so “audition” a few. The Urban Pet carries a vast amount of samples and with over 50 brands of dry, wet, dehydrated and raw pet foods, we will undoubtedly have the perfect match to benefit the health of your pet.