Finding the right diet for your dog

Updated:

ORLANDO, Fla. - Buying the right food for your dogs can be overwhelming because there are so many to choose from.

In Vanessa Welch's series, "Baylor’s Boot Camp," we are helping you get your dogs in shape, and this week we are going to help you understand the best food to buy your furry family member.

Baylor was reluctant to get on the scale this week. Now I know why; he gained back the two pounds he lost last week.  He missed a day of boot camp and we caught him eating scraps again from my son's high chair.

"Its calories in and calories out," said Sherri Cappabianca of Barking Dog Fitness. "The more you put in the more you put on."

Cappabianca said the quality of your pet's food is extremely important for health and weight loss.

But there are so many choices and shopping for pet food can be overwhelming. Veterinarian Erin Holder tells her clients to try to stay away from grocery store food.

Holder has studied pet nutrition for 10 years and said most commercial dog food contains dangerous fillers and byproducts that are hard to digest.

Holder said you never want to buy food that contains artificial flavors, preservatives, byproducts or corn.

Protein should always be the first ingredient listed on your dog’s food.

She recommends whole foods and sends her clients to Rick's Dog Deli on Corrine Drive in Orlando. They use human-grade food, the same food you would buy at any restaurant in town or at Publix.

Manager Charlie Guns said it's easy for dogs to digest and clears up all kinds of health problems caused by commercial dog food.

"The most common complaint is skin irritations. We can clear that up through diet alone. Eyes and ears clear up yeast infections and so on."

Holder said you pay a little more to feed your dog better quality food, but in the long run you won’t have to visit your vet as often.   

Winston, an overweight shiba inu-beagle mix we introduced you to last week, started swimming at Barking Dog Fitness but hasn't lost any weight yet. He will, and we'll be cheering him on, said Welch.

The folks at Barking Dog Fitness are having Winston’s parents log everything he eats to see if they are feeding him more than they realize.

I am going to start Baylor on Rick's Dog Deli food later this week to see if it helps slim him down. We will keep you posted.

LINKS: Ricksdogdeli.com | Dogfoodadvisor.com