Every day veterinarians are asked that question by dog owners. It’s a sincere question because most dog owners want to feed the very best to their furry friends. Good health begins with proper nutrition, regardless of price or convenience of acquisition.
Deciding on the type of dog food you provide is one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your puppy or older dog. Dog food nutrition directly influences every aspect of your dog’s life. Things like how puppies grow, their behavior habits, health, overall well-being and appearance are all closely connected to the nutrition we provide – it’s a big responsibility.
With all the recent publicity and concern with the dog food recall of 2008 the spotlight has been aimed fairly and squarely at the big commercial dog food companies. Us dog lovers are finally becoming more aware and educated about providing wholesome, nutritionally balanced meals for our dogs. So where do we start in our search to find the best dog food? What are our options, and who can we trust or even believe?
Choosing the best dog food can be an overwhelming decision – but why does it have to be so hard? I know from personal experience it can be difficult to see through all of the conflicting views, hype, marketing tactics and secrecy surrounding the dog food industry. After years of experimenting with different dog foods and lots of research I have reached an unfortunate conclusion. I feel that the vast majority of the big commercial dog food companies are far more focussed on extracting the money from our pockets rather than the health and wellbeing of our precious dogs.
So when I set out to determine the best dog food available my main focus was always the health, vitality and longevity of my dogs – I want my dogs to thrive. I hope this article will help you to determine the very best puppy food for your dogs and make your feeding decision clearer.
A wholesome well balanced dog food diet promotes: Healthy skin and coat, strong well developed bones, bright clear eyes, firmer stools (and less of them), well defined muscle tone, quality of life and longevity, healthy teeth and gums, fewer trips to your Vet, no bad odor, fewer digestive problems, energy, vitality, fewer behavior problems and over-all health.
What Are The Choices – What Should We Feed Our Dogs?
1. Commercial Dog Food: This includes the packaged foods you find at your local supermarket, pet store or veterinarian. Commercial dog food is available in dry, semi dry and wet (canned).
- Royal Canin offers dry foods formulated for specific dog breeds. This can be helpful if your breed has unique health problems. For boxers, Royal Canin includes ingredients to protect heart function.
- Eukanuba offers a meals with added nutrients, such as glucosamine and Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, to protect larger dogs’ joints.
- Avoderm Natural– This oven-baked food is formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
- Pinnacle Holistic– This dry food is made with trout and sweet potatoes, eliminating common allergens such as corn, wheat and soy.
- Innova– With ingredients such as herring oil, pumpkin and carrots, Innova embraces the concept of holistic food for pets.
- Solid Gold has been manufacturing holistic pet food for more than 30 years. Bison and salmon are the main ingredients in this food for large-breed puppies.
- Wellness– This dry food is made with ingredients fit for human consumption and additives to help avoid common health problems among dogs. Probiotics also are added to aid in digestion.
- Blue Buffalo– This premium food for dogs includes Omega 6 fatty acids and glucosamine for joint health.
- Science Diet offers dogs meals with real meat instead of relying on byproducts as its main ingredient. This food is available in chicken and brown rice and lamb and brown rice.
- Canidae includes human-grade meats and reduces fillers to help your dog shed unnecessary pounds.