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What Are WSAVA Guidelines, and Why Do They Matter?

There are more dog food brands on the market than ever before. Some are grain free, others are made from human grade ingredients. Many are marketed as all natural or GMO free. It can be hard to decide which brand of dog food is best for your dog. The good news is that there is an organization called WSAVA that issue some useful guidelines for exactly this sort of situation.

What Is WSAVA?

WSAVA is the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. As such, it's an organization run by veterinary professionals, for veterinary professionals, with the goal of improving the health and well-being of small animals - our pets.

The organization works in 125 countries around the world, and is based in Ontario, Canada.

Their membership tops 200,000 veterinarians from 114 member associations. So there are a lot of very smart, very accomplished scientific minds involved here!

What Are the WSAVA Nutritional Guidelines?

When most people look at dog food, we look at it from the human perspective. We believe that there are certain things that are "better" for us than others. That might mean we avoid grains or gluten, or that we favour a certain kind of protein over another.

But the truth is that while pets share our lives, they're very different to us, biologically. Things that are good for humans are not great for our pets, and vice versa. That's especially true when it comes to nutrition.

In fact, there's a specialized branch of the veterinary profession that is dedicated to the nutritional needs of our four legged friends.

The WSAVA nutritional guidelines were first introduced in 2010, and they are a living document that is frequently reviewed and amended, as new information becomes available. It's available on the WSAVA website here.

It's important to note that the WSAVA guidelines don't recommend one food or another, and they don't "approve" any products. They're just a great reference guide for pet owners, to make sure that the food you choose for your pets is the best for their health. Which doesn't always mean the most expensive or best marketed!


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