Post # 32
We feed prey-model raw now.
We used to feed kibble. Here’s a short list of rules I came up with for choosing dog kibble:
- High meat content.
This is first and foremost. Dogs are carnivores, carnivores eat meat.
Preferably at least 2-3 out of the top 5 ingredients be meat or meat meal (first ingredient must be!). Don’t confuse “meal” with “byproducts”. Meal is simply the meat with the water weight removed. So for example, on the ingredient list, “chicken meal” is actually more quantity of chicken than “chicken”.
A dog should never be on a vegan diet. And the only time a vegetarian diet should be considered is if the dog has severe allergies and all normal and exotic protein options have been exhausted. Most kibbles are chicken, lamb, duck, or beef; but you can find exotic proteins like pheasant and kangaroo as well. Also worthy of mention is that there is a different between cooked and raw proteins, if your dog has allergies to a cooked/processed meat, it may not have a reaction to the same protein as raw meat.
- Higher quality grains, such as barley, brown rice, and oatmeal. No wheat or corn.
Or an alternative starch/carbohydrate such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.
Dogs have absolutely no need for carbs and starches. The reason these things are included in dog kibble is because a starch is required to have “kibble”, it holds the pieces of food together, else it would be “crumbles”.
- No byproducts.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with dogs eating the things included in “by products” (organs, bones, feet, etc), the problem is that the term “byproducts” is a catch-all. You have no idea exactly what the byproducts are.
- Minimal fillers.
Fillers are things like brewers rice, beet pulp, etc.; used to bulk up the food but add no benefit to either the dog’s health or the manufacturing process.
- No carcinogenic preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin).
- No artificial colorings such as the Red, Blue, and Yellow dyes.
Your dog doesn’t care what color the food is, dyes are only added to make it look pleasing to the human buying it. And dyes have been linked to hyperactivity and health problems.
- No added sugars (sugar, corn syrup).
Dogs don’t need these. These are only included to make crappy food more palatable to the dog.
- No mystery meats (meats identified only as “meat” or “poultry”.)
Your dogs’ food should always tell you exactly what type of meat you are feeding.
Dog Food Analysis has reviews on many different types of dog food, and the ratings are pretty much in-line with the rules I listed above. I recommend sticking to the 4, 5, and 6 star foods.
And good site to research dog food ingredients is Dog Food Project.
Post # 34
We feed our Marley Blue! I used to feed him Kibbles and Bits but once when I was pouring his food, I noticed all these hairs all over the food. After researching online, I learned it was animal hair from animal by products! Gross!! I wanted to go with an all natural food. Since eating it his hair is so smooth and he loves it.
Post # 35
Royal Canin adult indoor small dog in this house and nothing else. It’s a high enough quality food I feel good about it and more importantly it doesn’t upset his stomach. I swear it’s the darndest thing, the stupid dog can eat dirt and just about anything really and be fine but I accidentally gave him the SAME food, just the puppy version once, and he was puking all day. I think it’s that anything super high in protein upsets him, I read that’s the case with some Maltese, but I’m not sure. At any rate I’ve been very careful to never change his food even the littlest bit since.
Sounds like some of the dogs here eat better than I do haha. Wish someone would feed ME duck every day!
Post # 36
We feed our puppy the Costco Brand – Nature’s Domain. Just yesterday, the vet comment how healthy our puppy looked and how great his coat was and asked what we fed him. I definitely recommend Costco.
Post # 37
@SunDevil805: That’s what we feed our dog too. When we got him from the shelter, they gave us a list of the best foods to feed him, and it was between Blue Buffalo and the Nature’s Domain.
Post # 38
We feed our little one Blue Small Breed Puppy. In a few months we’ll have to switch her to an adult food though. I think we’ll stick with Blue, but we’ve also been looking at Royal Canin Shih-Tzu.
Post # 39
I don’t think anyone here has suggested Apex. It’s grain free and cheaper than Blue Buffalo, but I believe of the same quality. See if you can find it.
Post # 40
Also check out:
We feed Blue Buffalo as well, usually the lamb/rice or fish/sweet potato. We like to mix in the Blue Wilderness food into their diet, usually the duck one. Both our dogs love it and have been on it since we got them as puppies (they are now 2 1/2 and 3 years old).
Post # 41
We feed our dog Orijen, but one of my closest friends feeds all 4 of her dogs Blue Buffalo and really loves it.
Post # 42
I just wanted to chime in to say that with higher quality foods, dogs need less, especially if you’re switching from a weight control food which gives more bulk with fewer calories… Also, I find that feeding guidelines tend to be a lot more than my dog needs (she’s ~75lbs and she only eats 2cups a day vs the bag suggested 3-3 1/2 and she gets out a lot).
By the way, we’ve tried a lot of different foods for our dog, but Wellness Whitefish and Sweet Potato works best for her…
Post # 43
I feed my boys Earthborn Hollistic Great Plains Feast. It has bison in it. The dog food advisory gave it 5 stars and this company has never had a recall. Our boys love it and are very healthy on it.
Post # 44
My loki loves Merrick foods. He used to eat Grammy’s Pot Pie, but now it’s just their chicken, pea & sweet potato. He also gets a dash of olive oil which stopped all itching and has given him a really nice coat.
Post # 45
@abbyful: Dogs are in fact omnivores, not carnivores. Cats are carnivores.
I am an RVT (registered veterinary technician) and all these people saying they feed Blue Buffalo or some kind of hollistic food makes me want to pull my hair out.
FYI there is actually very little regulation into what goes on dog/cat food bags. Hollistic means NOTHING.
Basic rule of thumb…. you get what you pay for and if you see lots of commercials for your food (kibbles and bits, blue buffalo etc) they are putting their money into advertising NOT into making the food.
Look for an AAFCO statement on your dogs food, don’t pay too much attention to ‘what the first ingredient is’. It’s listed by weight, and most companies will list the WET weight of food and then dehydrate it.
Best possible foods to feed your pet are from your veterinary clinic. Hill’s, Royal Canin, Medical.
Those companies do food trials. As in, they actually feed their diets to animals, study them etc.
Anybody and their brother can make a ‘dog food’ and sell it. Seriously. It could be friggin Fruit Loops and you could slap ‘dog food’ on the label. If you want an AAFCO statement you have to actually do some studies and prove that your food is good.
That all being said, there are diets available for every budget (vet clinic-pet store-grocery store) so just do your homework and don’t base your shopping on misleading, IDIOTIC commercials.
Post # 46
@mrshollinger: Earthborn holistic does not advertise as they out their money into the food. This food is high quality and is way better ingredient wise than Hill’s. don’t appreciate the insinuation that I’m an idiot taken in by advertising. I spent weeks comparing food and picking the best quality. Buy food from a vet is A rip off. It over priced and low quality.