|Offering Support and Training
for You and Your Dog
|What is the best dog food to feed?
Trying to figure out what to feed your dog can be
quite challenging. There are so many choices,
you don't know where to start. And just when you
think you've got it figured out, you'll hear or read
something that makes you start all over. Plus the
constant recalls of dog food and treats makes the
decision even harder. The bottom line is you
need to find a food that works for you and your
dog, whether it be a raw food diet, homemade
diet, dry food or canned food.
|If you decide on dry and/or canned food, a quality food will have superior sources of protein which are
whole, fresh meats or single-source meat meal (for example, chicken meal rather than poultry meal). The
meat source should be one of the first two ingredients, or, better yet, would be two meat sources among the
top three ingredients (say, chicken and chicken meal). Be aware that any meats that say whole, contain a lot
of water. So if a list of ingredients begins with whole chicken, followed by three or more grains and no other
meat proteins, it likely has way more grain than meat. Meat is the most natural source of protein for dogs, and
contains the amino acids important to their health. Look for whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables and other
foods. As a general rule, I recommend rice over corn or wheat. A quality food will also have added digestive
enzymes and probiotics (such as lactobacillus). What you want to stay away from is meat by-products, animal
fat, sweeteners, and artificial preservatives and colors.
|Premium brand dog foods.
The Whole Dog Journal has 60 dry dog foods on their "approved" list for 2018. Below are 21 that you should
be able to find at your local pet foods store.
Acana / Orijen
BENCH & FIELD
Castor & Pollux Organix
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Nature's Variety / Instinct / Prairie
Stella and Chewy's
Taste of the Wild
|If you decide on a raw food diet for your dog, be sure to do the research.
Wolf Creek Ranch, is an excellent website that can give you more information.
|Let's talk about those recalls. The constant recalls of pet foods and treats
certainly cause a lot of panic and scare some people away from buying any
manufactured dog food. But it isn't the premium brands that have the tainted
ingredients, it is the lower quality foods manufactured at plants that buy from
questionable sources. I firmly believe the reputable dog food companies have
high standards and good testing of their products and the foods they produce
are safe for our dogs.
|How do you decide between raw food or cooked? I hear arguments for
both sides. The pro for feeding your dog raw meat and vegetables is that the
raw food is a more natural diet and therefore more nutritious. However, the
cons are many: there is the possibility of you and/or your dog becoming ill from
the bacteria and chemicals that are not killed off by cooking the food. The
prepared frozen raw food is rather pricey. And although it may be less
expensive to make yourself, you need to know what you are doing and add all
the right vitamins and minerals. My opinion is unless your dog needs the extra
boost a raw food diet might provide, there is no need to feed raw.
|DOG FOOD ADVISOR
The Dog Food Advisor is an excellent source of information on what ingredients to look for in a dog
food. It explains which ingredients are good to have in your dog's food, which are not good, and why.