Meet Pet Valu’s Nutrition Expert, Dr. Dave Summers

As the nutrition expert for Pet Valu, Dr. Dave Summers educates customers through his articles in Companion magazine. As a nutritionist and also as a pet parent to 5-year-old Bailey, a Shih-Tzu/Pug, pets come first to Dave.

Q: How long have you been working in animal nutrition.

I graduated in 1985 with my PhD in Poultry Nutrition, and have been working as a nutritionist ever since. Currently I develop pet foods for Pet Valu stores and consult on animal nutrition issues.

Q: What process do you recommend for pet parents to choose the right dog or cat food for their unique pet?

With the many very good cat and dog foods available it is hard to make the wrong choice. There is no one food or brand of brands that is right for all pets, I believe in starting with a good food that has health enhancing ingredients and look at your pet to see how they respond to the food. If you notice something in your pet that could be improved, like a shinier coat for example, ask about other foods that may be more effective in meeting your pet’s needs.

Q. What’s the #1 nutritional concern facing pets today? 

The same as with us, being overweight. We have foods to help with; joint health, skin & coat, dental, kidney, heart, allergies, and food sensitivities, if you add up all the cats and dogs with these health problems they will not come close to the number of pets that are overweight.

Q. How do you keep Bailey, your Shih-Tzu/Pug, fit? 

Easy! Bailey stands about 25 cm tall, so a one kilometer walk probably equals four for most dogs. Bailey is also one of those dogs who doesn’t naturally overeat. If she’s not hungry, she will leave the food in her bowl. She loves treats, but 95% of her treats could fit on your finger tip. Treats should be an interaction event, not a food event. Your pet needs (and loves!) the attention, not the extra calories.

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