The healthy trends impacting our diets also carry over to the diets of our four legged friends. For most people, a pet is a beloved family member, not just an animal.

That’s why pet owners look for the same attributes in pet food as they do in the foods they feed their family. Trends in the human diet also manifest into pet foods.

Right now, food trends focus on high protein, natural foods.

Essentially, that’s what the grain free recipes of Member’s Mark™ dog food represent — a healthy change for the better. Member’s Mark Grain Free High Protein Chicken and Vegetable Recipe features real chicken as the first ingredient and is specially formulated to contain 34 percent protein.

Member’s Mark Grain Free Salmon and Pea Recipe features sustainable, wild-caught salmon as the first ingredient. Salmon is a highly digestible protein source and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which promotes healthy vision and brain development.

Instead of wheat, corn, soy or byproducts, we use only premium meat and vegetables with no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. This combination ensures your dog has the quality protein and complex carbohydrates needed to stay energized, healthy and, most of all, happy.

Grain allergies — specifically soy, corn and wheat — are becoming increasingly problematic for many dogs. Research has shown these grains may contribute to digestive problems, skin irritation and inflammation.

Both the Salmon and the new High Protein Chicken recipes come in re-sealable zipper top bags designed to help keep the food fresh. They’ve been formulated to accommodate every size dog, from toy breeds to large dogs. We’ve also updated the packaging on our Member’s Mark pet food to draw more attention to the quality ingredients and help our members make informed decisions when they shop.

 More than six months of research and testing goes into creating a new recipe, including palatability testing to make sure dogs love the taste. All of our Member’s Mark pet foods are made in the USA using quality ingredients.

Any change in your pet’s food should be made gradually. Begin by adding a little of the new food to your pet’s old food, and for the next 7-10 days, gradually increase the amount of new food while decreasing the old.

Avoid feeding these foods to your four-legged family members

  • Chocolate: The methylxanthines in chocolate can harm dogs’ metabolic process. Even a little bit of chocolate, and the darker the worse, can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Garlic: Part of the Allium family, garlic can create anemia in dogs with side effects like pale gums, elevated heart rate, weakness and collapsing.
  • Onions: Toxicity from onions can destroy a dog’s red blood cells.
  • Macadamia nuts: Part of the proteaceae family, macadamia nuts are some of the most poisonous foods for dogs.

Kirsten Meier is the Buyer for Pet Supplies at Sam’s Club. She has been working with the pet industry since 2007 and joined Sam’s Club in February 2016.