Nutrition

Quality food is essential for the continued good health of an Italian Greyhound. Some owners have found that IGs have a fondness for both cooked and raw veggies. These include green beans, peas, and carrots. (*A word of warning... NEVER give any dog onion or chocolate as these foods can be harmful. Onion has been known to trigger severe anemic reactions in dogs.) Small amounts of garlic can be a good additive. Some people think it repels fleas! Parsley (in very small amounts) can help with digestive upsets. An occasional table scrap mixed in with the food will not hurt but make sure that this food is not high in salt or sugar. Cooking sauces are usually high in both salt and sugar. The end result could be an accident - all over the house!

Here are some tips in the selection of pet foods:

All indredients listed on the dog food must be listed in descending order of weight. "Guaranteed Analysis" refers to fact that the minimum or maximum amounts shown are determined by a laboratory and NOT by feeding studies. If there is a statement to the effect that the food has been tested according to AAFCO feeding standard - this means that an actual feeding study has been done. The difference between these two terms is very real and should be carefully considered. The nutritional performance of a pet food can only be accurately determined in feeding studies and not by a laboratory.

Additives: There are nutritional additives which include vitamin supplements (which may have been lost during processing the food). There are preservatives such as sorbic acid, potassium sorbate (these are found in semi-moist foods to prevent spoilage) BHA or BHT which contain ethoxyquin (which some suspect of being a carcinogen) to prevent spoilage. Artificial flavors are sometimes added to make the taste more appealing to dogs and artifical color to make it more appealing to humans.

Pet food labels:

Beef Flavor means the flavor must come from "beef", "beef bonemeal", or other source of beef. This does NOT mean that the main ingredient is beef. It only means that the source of "flavor" is from beef!

Beef Dinner means 10 % beef must be in the product (and that isn't much!).

Beef Dog Food means that this product contains at least 70% beef and the word "beef" would be the first ingredient on the ingredient list.

100% Beef means that the total content of the product is beef and nothing else.

I always encourage people to look and read the dog food labels. Corn as a number one ingredient is NOT (in my opinion) recommended. Dogs cannot process corn and extract very few nutrients from its ingestion. While dogs can "survive" on these type of foods it doesn't necessarily mean that they will "thrive".

Another thing to keep in mind is that you usually get what you pay for... the more expensive, better food simply spells better health for the dog. It also means that money may not have to be spent for frequent vet trips. However, do keep in mind that more expensive doesn't ALWAYS mean better. There is no substitute for studying the ingredients!