Dog Dietary Needs Are Misunderstood

Too Many Dogs Are Indulging in Guilty Pleasures and
Not Following a Balanced Diet

NASHVILLE, Tenn., January 03, 2013 – Most dog owners will agree they have a special bond with their dogs, sharing much of their lives with them, both in everyday activities and special moments. Unfortunately, according to a new survey by the makers of NUTRO® ULTRA™ Food for Dogs, a natural holistic dog food, it appears many dog owners are also sharing some of their unhealthy eating habits with their dogs, which can adversely affect their dog’s health.

Survey Reports Canine Eating Habits

According to the ULTRA™ Brand survey, 30 percent of dogs are not provided any type of set diet by their owners, and more than two thirds (70 percent) find it hard to resist their dog’s “puppy eyes,” and give in to feeding them table scraps, including “people food” such as pizza (30 percent) and potato chips (22 percent). “Like people, dogs require a properly balanced diet to ensure they are receiving all of the nutrients necessary for proper health,” said Preston Buff, Ph.D., PAS, Dipl., Chief Natural Nutrition Officer at The Nutro Company. “Owners may think that sharing a few small scraps from the table with their dog makes for a nice treat and is not a big deal, but those scraps add up and can eventually lead to dog obesity and other related health issues.”

Eating Habits Leading to Dog Obesity

Although owners may think they are doing what their dog wants by giving into their begging, they are not doing what is best for their dog’s health, which is clear when looking at the number of overweight and obese dogs in the country. According to the ULTRA™ Brand survey, almost 80 percent of owners say they consider their dogs to be overweight. This is a problematic trend that has been growing in recent years, according to the Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health 2012 Report, which reports that the prevalence of overweight dogs has increased almost 37 percent since 2007. These statistics are alarming, as obesity in dogs can lead to many of the same health issues as in people, including respiratory problems, arthritis, diabetes and even some cancers. However, unlike people, dogs have no self-control when it comes to their diets, so it is up to dog owners to ensure they are making healthy choices to improve their dog’s health – even when they beg for that delicious slice of pizza. The makers of ULTRA™ Food for Dogs conducted the survey to learn more about dog eating habits and to help raise awareness among dog owners on the importance of proper balance in their dog’s diet.

ULTRA™ Brand Survey Findings*

Unlike people, dogs cannot spend an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill if they indulge in a slice of pizza, so it is imperative dog owners provide the right foods in the right amounts. According to the survey: Only about half (54 percent) of owners say they feed their dog the exact serving size listed on the dog food packaging40 percent of dog owners rarely or never check the ingredients in their dog’s food36 percent of dogs eat dinner when their owners doOnly 29 percent of dogs follow an all-natural, holistic diet

The Right Balance for Dogs

Dogs require the right balance of nutrients to ensure proper digestive health, energy output and continued development. A dog food that is nutrient-dense and loaded with nature’s very best ingredients and high-quality proteins that work together, like ULTRA™ Food for Dogs, can help promote a dog’s health and well-being.ULTRA™ Food for Dogs is a perfect blend of nature’s very best ingredients to optimize your dog’s health.ULTRA™ Food for Dogs is made up of three special blends that deliver specific health benefits for your dog:PROTEIN BLEND of chicken, lamb, and salmon provide a unique and complementary amino acid profile including Omega-3 and linoleic acid to support strong, lean muscles.ANTIOXIDANT BLEND of fruits and vegetables provide a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients for a strong immune system.WHOLE GRAINS AND NATURAL OILS BLEND of whole grains and natural oils provide a variety of fiber types, vitamins, minerals and fatty-acids for a radiant skin & coat.For more information and an infographic that details the survey, please visit* The survey was conducted via telephone with a random sample of 1,000 U.S. men and women, aged 18+, who own a dog(s).

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This post was written by a Nutro Knowledge Network Member and sponsored by the Nutro Company.