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All pet professionals agree that providing optimal nutrition is essential for our pets' health and wellness. Nutrition is also an aspect of animals' lives over which we exert a large measure of control. As a result, the responsibility of selecting the best pet food tends to lie heavily upon our minds. More so today than ever before, guardians are seeking the holy grail of pet nutrition - that particular feeding philosophy, ingredient, or nutrient that will guarantee Fido's long-life, peak health, and performance success. This search is complicated by an apparently endless list of choices. Should I feed a commercial or homemade food, provide cooked or raw, grains or no-grains? Specific nutrients and ingredients must also be studied. Does my cat need additional omega-3 fatty acids; will my senior dog feel better if his food contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate; will a probiotic reduce GI stress in my agility dog? The quagmire thickens with the recent explosion of niche pet food companies and legitimate concerns regarding food safety. Although there are no simple answers, we do have nutritional science to guide us on this quest. This presentation will place pet food selection under the sharp knife of scientific scrutiny and will use an evidence-based approach to evaluate the efficacy and safety of popular dog and cat feeding practices. Although it cannot provide that elusive nutritional holy grail, this information will help attendees to separate fact from fiction and to make well-informed feeding choices for their dogs and cats.