Choosing the Best Food for Your Dog

While we all want the best for our dogs, it can be tough to make sure he’s getting the right food. There are so many choices that the options can be overwhelming for some of us. The makers of Chef’s Best Pet Food want to make your decision easier, so here are some general guidelines to follow when choosing the food that will best meet your dog’s nutritional needs.


What Needs to Be in Your Dog’s Food?

Although you might think the only thing your dog would ever want to eat is meat, that’s actually not the case. They definitely prefer it, but that’s not all they want. Dogs also benefit a great deal from a variety of other nutrients, including vegetables and even certain types of fruit.1

Whatever type of food you choose, whether it’s Chef’s Best Pet Food or anything else, you need to make sure it has enough nutrients for your specific dog. Just like not all people are made the same, different dogs have different needs. And these needs often change throughout the different stages of a dog’s life. For example, puppies need certain nutrients, while adult and older dogs need others.


What’s Real and What’s Not Real?

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so it’s extremely important that you make sure the sources you use to make your decision regarding your dog’s food are legitimate. Look to make sure that any health-related claims are backed by scientific evidence, or from a source such as a veterinarian.

For example, if you look for a food that contains animal byproducts, some of them are good and some are not.2 Some byproducts, such as organs and intestines, are actually more nutritious than the meat taken from an animal’s muscles. On the other hand, many byproducts can be bad, such as hair, hooves and the contents of intestines. Unfortunately, these are sometimes found in dog food.


Reading the Label

When it comes down to making the best choice for your dog, the most important source of information you’ll find is the ingredients label. All brands of dog food must include certain information on the label, such as a list of ingredients, feeding guidelines and others. The name of the product itself can give you a clue as to what’s inside. For example, if the word “beef” is used, that means the product has to be comprised of at least 70 percent beef. But if other terms are used, such as “beef platter” or “beef entrée,” the beef content only has to be 10 percent or more.3

While the ingredients list won’t assure you of the quality of the product, it will let you know what’s in it. This will be a big help if your dog is allergic or has specific dietary needs. The order of ingredients is also significant, because it will give you a general idea of how much of an ingredient is in the food you’re considering. If, for example, turkey is listed first, that means the food contains a greater percentage of turkey than any other ingredient.


Talk to Your Vet

If you are thinking of switching your dog to Chef’s Best Pet Food or another brand, it will be very important that you first talk to your veterinarian. This will be critically important if your dog has any sort of food allergy or has a sensitive stomach. Your vet will be happy to help you narrow your options to the brands that will best fit his needs.

You’ll also want to ask your vet about how much food you should give your dog. It can be hard to tell just by looking whether or not your dog is at a healthy weight, so get a professional opinion whenever you can. Many pet owners unintentionally feed their gods too much, and that can lead to serious problems such as obesity.

The bottom line is that it will be your choice regarding which food you feel is best for your dog. If you do your research and talk to your vet, the chances are very good that whatever decision you ultimately make will be the right one for your beloved companion.






What are the True Probiotics Benefits?

More than likely, you haven’t been able to escape ads for probiotics. They’re everywhere – on TV, radio, newspapers and all over the internet. But what are the true probiotics benefits? How do you separate substance from hype? Let’s take a look at what the science says when it comes to probiotics and certain health issues.


There is a great deal of research that confirms there are true probiotics benefits when it comes to helping reduce the symptoms associated with diarrhea. This is especially the case if you take antibiotics, which not only attack harmful bacteria but eradicate beneficial bacteria as well. As many as 30 percent of people who take antibiotics will develop diarrhea as a result.1

Many studies show that no matter what your age, you can use probiotics to relieve diarrhea symptoms. It appears that the Lactobacillus family of bacteria is particularly effective in relieving discomfort. In some cases, diarrhea caused by a harmful bacterium known as C. difficile can become so severe that it is life threatening. Research shows that the Lactobacillus bacterium can help inhibit the formation of C. difficile in the digestive system.2

Digestive Health

True probiotics products are designed to send beneficial bacteria to the gastrointestinal tract, or “gut” – the small and large intestines, in particular. This is an area where trillions of bacteria reside, some good and some bad. It’s important that we have enough good bacteria in our gut to balance out the bad ones.

Probiotics have been shown to help relieve issues such as bloating and constipation. In one study, people were given two servings of yogurt containing beneficial bacteria each day. After a few weeks of this regimen, the study participants reported a reduction in bloating, as well as increased bowel movements.3

Skin Conditions

One of the most common reasons for itching is a problem known as eczema, which can make skin extremely dry. One study showed that pregnant women could help reduce the chances their babies will be born with this condition. The study involved a group of mothers-to-be who suffered from skin allergies. One part of the group received probiotics for the last two months of pregnancy and the first two months of breastfeeding. Another group received a placebo.

Researchers conducting the study then checked the babies at intervals of six, 12, and 24 months. The babies of women given the probiotics developed eczema at significantly lower rates than the babies born to women given the placebo.4

Upper Respiratory Issues

Researchers analyzed several studies that were conducted to see if there could be a link between probiotic use and a reduced risk of developing colds and other types of upper respiratory infections. They found that in studies that involved the use of probiotics versus placebos, most people who took probiotics suffered fewer colds.5 In another study, researchers gave probiotic-enriched milk to a group of children and gave regular milk to another group. The children who drank milk with probiotics, according to the researchers, were 17 percent less likely to develop an upper or lower respiratory infection.6


Oral Health

Your oral health, or lack of it, can have a major impact on your overall health. For example, diabetes, low birth weight, and other issues have been linked to a lack of proper oral hygiene. Research indicates that the Lactobacillus reuteri bacterium could help reduce tooth decay as well as bad breath.7,8

Feminine Health

Just like the gastrointestinal tract, the vagina is another environment that contains a large number of beneficial and harmful bacteria. Some women experience issues when taking birth control pills or antibiotics, such as urinary tract and yeast infections. Probiotics help balance out the good and bad bacteria, so that the harmful ones can’t take over.9

Infant Health

Colic is a mysterious condition that affects many babies, often leading to uncontrollable crying. It’s not clear what causes colic, but studies indicate that probiotics could help reduce the discomfort that infants with colic experience. One study found that babies breastfed by mothers who took true probiotics cried a little more than three hours less per day than those whose mothers didn’t take probiotics.10

Other Benefits

There are several other studies that indicate probiotics can provide additional health benefits. These include:

  • Helping the body absorb critical nutrients.11
  • Reducing symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.12
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of the immune system.13
Should I Take True Probiotics?

Probiotics are thought to be safe for people who are in generally good health. They might sometimes lead to minor side effects such as gas, but that should be about the extent of any issues. However, people who suffer from severe illnesses (particularly those that affect the small or large intestine) or have compromised immune systems are advised to stay away from probiotics, because they could make some symptoms worse.

Talk to your doctor if you are thinking of trying a regimen of true probiotics to make sure your system will be able to tolerate them. While the chances are very good that you’ll be just fine, it won’t hurt to stay on the safe side.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Numerous studies suggest true probiotics can deliver a wide range of benefits to the body. But it’s important to note that other studies contradict these findings. Anyone thinking that a probiotic product is a magic pill will be disappointed. However, for the vast majority of people, it can be a beneficial addition to an overall health regimen.