What Kind Of Food Should Your Dog Eat?

9 12 2008

I am asked this question all the time, and it is a question that can be argued about til the end of time.  You may recall a Spike Says where I made some broad suggestions.  The only thing I can say for sure is that it should not come from your table.  As far as dog food, we have all had the same experiences from our trusted vet.  Every time you visit their office, they will recommend a certain brand to their clients.  Lucky for those of you that want lighter wallets, they don’t push the cheap stuff.

While I have heard good and bad things about every brand of dog food, I can suggest that you shop for a “premium” brand food with as few artificial colors.  Shades of brown are best.  These premium brand dog foods generally have a price tag that is higher than grocery store brands.  However, there are certain advantages to when your dog eats a premium food.  Although the price tag may be higher, your dog will eat less of the food, costing you less in the long term.  This is because there are less “fillers” in premium dog foods.  Fillers are all that junk that they add in so your dog has to eat more food in order to be satisfied.  When he eats them, guess where all of those fillers end up?  They end up in pile after pile all over your yard.  I have heard that Royal Canin’s breed-targeted foods do a pretty good providing some additives to assist in fighting that breed’s genetic maladies and to make him healthier.

When it comes to puppies, this question takes on a different meaning, since puppies can have very sensitive stomachs. Ask the shelter, rescue, foster, or breeder what kind of food the puppy has been eating, and if it is a good, premium brand food and is agreeing with the pup, there is no reason to change it.  I heard a saying once, “If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!”  I can also strongly recommend that you get your puppy eating dry food as soon as you can.  Eating dry food helps to clean the teeth and push out the particles trapped between the teeth.  For the most part, puppies should remain on a food designed for puppies for their first year.  Sometimes, a vet will move a pup to adult food early depending on the situation.

If you have a vet already, I am sure that they will suggest a certain food.  If you are not already on a premium dog food plan, go with what they suggest.  If you are on a food plan already, discuss it with your vet.  Since he or she will be treating your puppy a lot over the next several months, there may be a specific reason why he wants your pup on a particular type of food.



3 responses

14 12 2008

Kudos for discussing such an important and confusing topic.
Ask 10 people, you will get 10 answers. With that said, here is my results.
I have been researching dog food for many years.
Here are the key points:
1. Vets only get a few hours of nutrition training in vet school during their entire 4 years. Often those nutrition sessions are presented by a sales rep from a pet food company such as Purina. So do you want to ask them for nutrition guidance?
Hills and Science Diet are poor quality dog food. Why do the vets recommend them? Because they sell them and make money on them. Not much, but I guess they need the extra income.
2. Dry may be needed for some dogs, but it is far from natural. Show me a ‘kibble’ tree in nature, and I will switch my dogs. Not only are the ingredients questionable, but what about the lack of water content. Food without natural water content is NOT food.
3. You are correct about ‘fillers.’ Grains are not natural food for dogs/cats. oat, rice, corn, wheat are not to be consumed in any way. Most cookies, treats, snacks, and dry kibble contain grains and should be avoided. Many grain free alternatives are now starting to emerge, but there are other ingredients of concern.
4. Raw diet (BARF) is the ideal diet for dogs/cats. We have started many dogs since six weeks old and never looked back. The proof is in the pudding. No diarrhea ever, no skin allergies, more energy, less fleas, clean teeth, clean ears, no anal gland problems, its clearly the answer. Even during and after the melamine dog food scare, people who were doing raw ignored the issue and just kept on feeding raw, because the problem didn’t exist when feeding raw. No grain, no gluten, no melamine!
If you saw Oprah shortly after the dog food recall, she had a holistic vet display a list of ideal food and #1 on the list was raw. #2 was cooked meat, and #7 was dry kibble.
Good luck!

14 12 2008
Anne Good

I feed my two chihuahuas Haro out of the can and Newman’s Own for the dry stuff.

8 01 2009
Why Will My Dog Not Poop Outside In The Snow? « Ask Spike Online

[…] the house for a potty spot and place it in the spot where they want the dog to potty outside.  I have talked before about examining the food you give your dog, and this is something you may want to think about for this issue.  If he is eating a less than […]

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