Updated: Mar 19, 2021
I think one of the most confusing issues when you have a dog is what to feed your dog.
There are many schools of thought, and many variables too.
Personally, I think home cooked or raw are best foods you could give your dogs, its plain logic, the less messed around the food the better.
I eat very little processed food myself so why should my dogs?
I am very aware many people would say they don’t have time to cook for their dogs, in which case I would look for the highest quality food you can afford, and I would give a mixture of wet and dry.
There are some great websites where they score all brands of dog foods and you can put in your financial limits against what you want.
I always encourage people to be aware and do their own research, and to read the list of ingredients on the packet, in my world its simple, lots of protein, no grain, no ingredients with chemical names, and not too many ingredients, some brands add lots of herbs and supplements, from my experience these can cause a reaction, I prefer to add anything I feel my dogs might need myself.
Reading labels will tell you everything, look out for things like a protein being the first ingredient, but second is white rice and third brown rice, making rice the number one ingredient, misleading, many food labels are.
Many vets sell food, sadly and surprisingly these foods generally score the lowest on review sites, probably because they are chemically made rather than from fresh ingredients.
Vets will also say you need to feed kibble for dogs teeth, kibble is a new invention, dogs teeth were just fine without eating kibble, and good natural dog chews will do a great job cleaning the teeth.
So, as I said raw or cooked are the best in my mind, but I recommend buying prepared frozen raw food as this will have been frozen to a very low temperature to kill any bacteria in the meat, and raw food is surprisingly well priced.
I cook for my dogs, they get a mixture of some dry, some raw and home cooked.
I just cook minced meat of different protein sources with sweet potato and green veg, it’s certainly their favorite and very inexpensive. You can also have cooked food delivered to your home.
In the shop we get many people worried that they give their dogs ‘human food’ I don’t get it, there is no difference between chicken we eat, or they eat, unless it’s the scarps that are left at the abattoir…. and I would rather my dogs never ate those. So, scraps from the table as long as not covered in rich sauces and salt are fine.
Ideally if you can vary you dogs diet, mixing flavours and types of food, dogs are sentient beings the same dry food day in day out must be so dull…. just imagine if you were fed the same kibble day in day out!
I spoke to a local vet recently, he said he is starting a small trial as the dogs he sees the least, are the dogs that are either raw fed or have home cooked food, they don’t get sick as much, and they live longer, heart-warming to hear a vet say this!
I would also advise for a happy dog, give them choices, we sell some great brands of dog food, and we sample them for people, I always advise to put out a bowl for each food and see what your dog likes, its fun, and so good to give your dog choices.
So, in conclusion I hope this doesn’t confuse more, but gives you more freedom in what you feed your dog.
I am constantly learning, my small dog Boo gave me a lesson recently, I used to mix some kibble in with her cooked food, she was eating sporadically, someone came to look after the dogs for me when I went away, she gave Boo her food in two separate bowls…. she eats both now, separately…. whatever next!!
I do appreciate that some dogs have sensitive stomachs and the challenge is to find food that doesn’t upset them….raw often helps.
Just remember its what works for you and your dog, but do try to make it interesting for your dog.