**This conversation is sponsored by Purina and Dr. Evan Antin. All opinions are my own.** #ad
I don’t do many interviews with people or ‘stars’ anymore. I used to love them, I did, but I just don’t have the time to sit and chat anymore. However, I do make exceptions. Especially when it comes to the health and love of my dogs. As you know, I have 4 dogs. All rescues. All part of my family. All important pets in my life that I can not imagine not having. So when I was asked to participate in a YouTube Live with Dr. Evan Antin, also known as the World’s Hottest Vet, about my pet’s nutrition, I cleared my schedule.
If you want to know who Dr. Evan Antin is, just check out his Instagram account. With over One Million followers, he is as popular as they come. More importantly, however, as I learned, educating people about nutrition for their dogs is very important to him. Here are some tips that I learned from him during the interview.
Tip #1: Understand the importance of a healthy and balanced diet.
Quality diet and nutrition is essential to helping pets live long, healthy lives. However, many pet owners are not aware of what this consists of and look to the latest human and pet food trends to help them make decisions about their pet’s food. The truth is, pets aren’t humans, and so there’s a lot more that goes into choosing pet food from individual pet needs to finding quality food with the right ingredients. Speak to your veterinarian to determine the best nutritional approach for your pet.
Tip #2: Do your research on ingredients.
The most important aspect of pet food is whether it provides a complete and balanced nutrition for pets. Pet owners should have a good understanding of the ingredients used in their pets’ food – such as grains and by-products – and the benefits they bring. For example:
- Grains: Dogs aren’t wolves, they’re omnivores.[i] This means they’ll need a vegetable-based or a lower-protein diet as part of a complete and balanced diet. Research has shown that grains deliver more complete nutrition than the ingredients typically used to substitute for grains.
- By-products: Many pet food manufacturers use high-quality by-products – such as beef, chicken or pork that may include hearts, livers, kidneys, lungs and spleens. Cats and dogs in the wild typically eat these organs first because they are highly palatable and nutrient-dense.
- Raw: Some people believe pets should eat a raw food diet because it’s allegedly more like what they would eat in the wild. However, raw pet food may not provide all the nutrients pets need and can contain dangerous bacteria when food safety regulations aren’t met.
Natural and organic: Although pet foods labeled as natural, organic and/or holistic are increasingly popular, the use of these terms can
- be misleading or confusing. Natural and organic foods are not necessarily healthier than conventional foods.
Tip #3: Check the quality and safety of pet food.
Eight in 10 (81%) pet owners either have reached out or want to reach out to a source of information about their pet’s food, but 41% of those who want to reach out don’t know where to look for this information. Pet owners should research the quality and safety standards of their pet food and know who makes it, where it’s made, the steps taken to ensure the quality and safety of their food, and if their food meets or exceeds FDA and AAFCO standards. They can do this by contacting or checking their pet food manufacturer’s website or speaking to their veterinarian for recommendations.
Tip #4: Avoid giving out table scraps.
The great foods we enjoy at our table, especially around the holidays, contain a lot of oils and fats that can lead to health problems in our pets such as diarrhea, vomiting and pancreatitis. Additionally, there are several people foods that are highly toxic to dogs like onions and garlic. My advice is to stick to foods and treats that are made specifically for your pet.
To learn more about nutrition, quality and the safety of pet food, please visit, www.purina.com/nutrition.
When he’s not traveling to the most exotic places on the planet to work with wildlife, Dr. Evan Antin is a veterinarian at the Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital outside Los Angeles, California. In 2014 and 2016, he was named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Veterinarian” alive and is currently People Magazine’s Pet Vet. Dr. Antin received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Colorado, and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. He lives in Agora Hills, California with his fiancée, his dog, Henry, his cat, Willy, his savannah monitor lizard, mangrove snake and an assortment of tropical freshwater fish.