|In my fourteen years in PONS, I have noticed that
the most often asked question that owners puzzle over, is one
which involves PON diet. If anything excites PON lovers, this
issue is among the top five on the list of controversies. Politics
aside, deciding on an appropriate diet may mean the difference
between a happy, healthy, symptom-free (minus vomiting, diarrhea,
itchy skin; reddened, gunky ears; itchy face and chin; compulsive
licking of the paws, etc.) PON and one which is on a life
long regimen of meds, high vet bills, and possibly even re-homing
when an owner's patience and money runs out.
What is the most scientific way to determine which diet is best
for your beloved PON ? There are certain basic principles which
need to be followed in an owners quest for the best possible diet:
* Each owner needs to do his/her own research and think
independently. Following the advice of those who have an agenda
may not necessarily be beneficial to the health of your family PON.
* Consult with your veterinarian and breeder if possible.
Listen to their advice and then exchange information and research
with other PON owners. Consult veterinary reports on the dangers
of following certain diets.
* Your PON'S general health, age, and life style need to be
taken into consideration. If possible, inquire about your
PON's litter mates and parents. Which diets have they followed and
why were they put on specific diets ?
What about your own life style ? Do you have the time and
skills to craft an individual diet or is it necessary to offer
commercial food ?
Once you have established basic principles to guide you along
in your decision, you need to inform your self of the basics of
canine nutrition (by reading up on the subject) and
conducting a comparison of available food on the market. If
you have decided to offer your PON commercial dog food, you need
to be able to intelligently read and understand food labels.
The following link may guide you along with this task:
Although grains are not in themselves, a "bad
ingredient" , it has been noticed that some PONS have reacted
to wheat grains and may benefit from being offered dog foods
that are formulated with non-grain sources of carbohydrates.
Please click on the following link for a partial listing of
grain-free dog foods:
Objective (Scientific) PON owners will appreciate the following
article on Pet Nutrition Principles, which includes a section on
bones (with a link to actual cases of bone obstruction and issues
involving the food value of bones).
The above reference did not discuss the high levels of bacteria
found in raw foods. Please consult:
This page contains:
February 15, 2006, Vol. 228, No. 4, Pages 537-542
Evaluation of bacterial and protozoal contamination of
commercially available raw meat diets for dogs.
In summary, the quest for the best PON diet involves a wide
range of factors, and what works for major forces in the breed,
may not work well for the health and well being of your PON.
Do your own research and try and become an independent thinker.
Many grain-free types of kibble have recently come onto the
market. Google "grain-free" dog food and conduct your
own investigation on levels of protein, perservatives,etc. in
these new types of food.