Tag Archives: Food

Finding Healthy Dog Food – What Every Dog Owner Must Know

When you are in a place where you are looking at the dog food aisle, you might find yourself wondering whether there is any difference between the different brands. The truth is that dog food runs the gamut between high quality health food and food that is dangerously low in nutritional content. The health that your dog enjoys is going to be directly affected by the food he eats, and if you are in a place where you want to keep your dog healthy, it is time to look for the healthiest food for your dog that you can afford. Learn a little more about dog food and how to find the kind that is best going to suit your dog.

Remember that dogs of different ages need different kinds of food. A puppy will need food that is fairly high in fat and calories so that he can accommodate his fast growth, while a dog that is in his prime will need food that is a little leaner. Dogs that lead sedentary lifestyles need different food from dogs that work every day, and older dogs need food that is higher in nutritional content. Think about how old your dog is and what kind of activity he engages in on a daily basis. What kind of needs does he have? If you are a little puzzled by the choices, ask your veterinarian to help you make a decision.

When you are purchasing food for your dog, make sure that the meat content occurs very promptly in the ingredient list. Some people like to make sure that three of the first five ingredients should contain protein, whether that is chicken meal, lamb meal or beef meal. Stay away from foods that are too high in corn, corn meal, or wheat. Many dogs are allergic to grains and when they are used as a filler to create more dog food for less money, your dog can suffer for it. Also, remember that even if the first listed ingredient is protein based, this does not always mean that it is a good thing, especially if there are several different varieties of grain filler that will overwhelm it.

There are some people out there who have decided to make their own dog food. There are many different recipes out there and you will find that as long as you stick to a rough proportion of 40 percent meat, 50 percent vegetables, and 10 percent filler, you will be in a great place to move forward. When you want to make sure that your dog is getting the best, sometimes you have to do it yourself. You can also consult with your veterinarian if you are hesitant.

One great tip for feeding your dog in general involves switching him over slowly. No matter how good the dog food is for your dog, a sudden switch can be rough on him. Mixing the new food in with the old food slowly will be much easier on his digestive system, and you should remember to start slow. It can take a month or more to get him completely switched over, but you can be sure that this can help him deal with the change.

Myths About a Raw Dog Food Diet

Introduction

There is much controversy that surrounds a raw dog food diet. Experts on forums and most veterinarians will warn you that there are serious health consequences and the risks of bacterial infections when serving your dog raw food recipes.

But are these warnings valid?

Myth #1 – Risk of bacterial infection from raw food

One of the most persistent myths about raw food diets is the danger of bacteria such as salmonella and E. Coli. But let’s face it, dog’s routinely eat items that would send any human to the emergency room: garbage, other dogs’ stools, roadkill. For goodness sakes, they spend an inordinate amount of time licking their own behinds!

Here as in many other misconceptions about canine nutrition, we confuse a dog’s digestive and immunity system with our own. The truth is that dogs have powerful stomachs and a digestive system that can handle much more bacteria than we can. In addition, their immune systems are built in such a way that bacteria does not impact them in the same way.

Expert veterinarian and noted author, Dr. Richard Pitcairn comments in his book on canine nutrition that in the 15 years of recommending raw dog food diets to his clients, he has never encountered a case of E. coli or salmonella.

The folks over at Leerburg Kennels, who know a thing or two about breeding dogs and whose dogs are used in law enforcement and competition, have been feeding their dogs raw food diets for over 45 years. Again, nary a whisper about salmonella infections.

Veterinarians and dog nutrition

The truth is that most veterinarians have little training in canine nutrition. If they did, they would stop recommending commercial pet food which consists primarily of grains. This type of food is extremely difficult for your dog to digest, leads to a host of allergies for many dogs and is responsible for over-eating, diabetes, weight gain, and numerous other problems.

Indeed, the information that vets receive in school is often funded by pet food companies and may even be supplied by pet food representatives as part of the curriculum. In addition, many veterinarians receive kickbacks and make a profit by retailing dog foods.

Myth #2 – Dogs will choke on bones

Another fairly widespread misconception about a raw food diet is that your dog will choke on the bones given in raw food recipes.

Uncooked bones, the kind that form part of raw meaty bone (RBM), are soft and are easily bent, chewed and digested.

A typical raw dog food serving for a 50 lbs dog would be 1- 1 1/2 cups of chicken necks or backs, for example. You could also go with pork ribs or turkey necks instead. If that isn’t one of the easiest dishes to prepare, I don’t know what is.

IMPORTANT: Certainly, COOKED bones are a different story. Indeed, these should NEVER be given to your dog. Cooked bones become brittle and can easily splinter causing injury or death. But a raw meaty bone is not the same as a cooked bone.

As a last resort if you are still not comfortable with giving your dog a bone, you can grind them. The important aspect is that RMBs are rich in calcium and fatty acids thus, you will not have to supplement these things in your dog’s diet.