Don’t Panic! Spotting Misinformation Before Changing Your Dog’s Food

Updated: 5/15/20242-4 minutes
brown dog eating from a red food bowl

Many dog owners worry when they hear rumors about dog food safety. But before you make a sudden switch, take a deep breath, and follow these tips to avoid misinformation and keep your pup healthy.

The Internet: A Double-Edged Sword

The internet offers a wealth of information, but it can also be a breeding ground for misinformation, especially on social media. Unintentionally shared opinions or biased sources can make it seem like certain foods are dangerous, even if it’s not true. Dog nutrition needs to be science based, and when false information is shared over and over, dog owners believe it must be true.

Check the Facts Before Changing Your Dog’s Food

Here's how to be a savvy pet parent and find reliable information: 

  • Source Check: Who wrote the information? Are they a pet expert such as a veterinarian, or a credentialed nutritionist, or are they someone with a personal interest in selling a specific product? 
  • Credentials Matter: Look for authors with qualifications in animal nutrition
  • Science-Based Sources: Reputable information is backed by research and includes scientific references you can check. 
  • Contact the Manufacturer: When you contact the manufacturer, they can answer questions and address concerns.

Reliable Resources for Dog Owners

  • Food & Drug Administration: FDA - regulates pet food in the US. Their website has helpful articles about pet food, provides resources, and the latest recall information. 
  • American Association of Feed Control: AAFCO – sets standards for pet food in the US. Their consumer page has resources to help understand how to read labels, select pet food, understand ingredient lists, and advice on what to do if your pet is sick. 

When Should You See a Vet?

While occasional vomiting or diarrhea isn’t necessarily cause for immediate alarm, consult your veterinarian if your dog’s digestive issues persist or are accompanied by other clinical signs: 

  • Blood in vomit 
  • Blood in diarrhea 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Loss of weight 
  • Lethargy or depression 
  • Pain or discomfort 
  • Unproductive retching (they seem to be trying to vomit but nothing comes up)

Here are some resources to help answer questions: 

Remember, changing your dog’s food should be a gradual process, ideally over a 7 to 10 day period. You can also reach out to your veterinarian for guidance. Don’t panic based on online rumors. By being a critical thinker and utilizing reliable resources, you can make informed decisions to keep happy and healthy.

For more expert tips on dog food, explore our other dog feeding articles.  

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