Being a certified professional dog trainer I am often asked in my Ventura dog training classes as well as from private dog training clients “What should I feed my dog?” Although I am always happy to share my personal opinion about what I feed Poncho (’cause ya know I have one), I only do so as a health conscious critical thinking dog mom. And as much as I’d love to give these fine folks my advice on what they should or shouldn’t feed their dog, I feel it would not be an appropriate component of my dog training services. Why not? Basically because:
- I am a professional dog trainer, I am not a veterinarian.
- I have studied the art and science of dog behavior and training, not the professional field of canine nutrition.
- I feel it would be outside my scope of practice to provide such information. There are too many factors that go into evaluating our own diet let alone another species.
Fortunately, I am able to make my own decisions as to what and when I eat, and where I get it from. In regards to choosing foods for my sidekick Poncho I certainly have my own preferences and opinions, but as a responsible dog guardian and certified professional dog trainer I also know that dogs are different than humans in nutritional requirements. Yes, we should be mindful that our canine companions are individuals in what he or she likes, just like us, however, I feel it’s also best to keep anthropomorphism at bay when it comes to what we feed our dogs.
When it comes to dog foods, dog diets, dog nutrition and what is good/bad/better it seems there are as many opinions as there are dogs. Similar to the world of diets and nutrition for humans, it appears everywhere you go there’s copious amounts of information on this topic for our domestic dogs. From qualified veterinarians specializing in canine nutrition to our friendly dog loving neighbors, everyone has an opinion. But how do you sort through it all? What where and who is the best resource?
Well, after hearing a myriad of controversial viewpoints over the years I thought why not take the time to hunt down some data that I could share with inquisitive dog guardians and their inquisitive canines! This way, I’d be able to provide easy access to valid resources and links when students asked. Mind you, this does not mean I am going to begin teaching dog training workshops on canine nutrition. Not at all. I will still continue to direct folks to their dog’s own health care provider. My goal is to provide dog owners with answers from those who are authorities in the field of canine nutrition about what their dogs should or shouldn’t eat.
So how did I go about acquiring this information? I queried top canine nutrition experts who work professionally in the area of nutrition for dogs. I was thrilled that I received such a wonderful response, especially since my list of questions was quite extensive. (I’m inquisitive too you know). So please help me in welcoming this panel of experts to the inquisitive canine blog:
- Audrey Harvey BVSc (Hons)
- Jean Hofve, DVM
- Phillip Raclyn, DVM CVA
- Dr. Laura Duclos, PhD
- Patrick Mahaney VMD, CVA
Follow-up posts in this series will include Q&A with each expert, so if you want to receive the next installment in our canine nutrition series, I encourage you to subscribe via RSS or direct email to ensure you receive follow-up posts. (Just head to our inquisitive canine blog homepage and choose your method of delivery).
The folks who have so generously taken the time to respond are quite knowledgeable and a true asset in the area of canine health and nutrition. I hope you find the information I’ve provided in this series of posts as intriguing and thought provoking as Poncho and I have.