Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Word On Diet

What should we feed our dogs? That is definitely one of the most controversial and confusing topics today. The market is flooded with dog food products and the media hosts a war between proponents of different feeding philosophies.

To find some common ground, I suggest we start with something we can all agree on. Cheap dog kibble you can find at your grocery store is probably not the best diet choice for your dog. Simply because it is designed with price as the main factor. A dog can survive on it, but can it sustain him for a long healthy life? Not likely.

With that out of the way, what other choices are being recommended to us? There are the highly promoted veterinary diet foods. There is a large number of natural and holistic food products. There are proponents of home-made food, cooked or raw.

Diet is an important issue. Quality diet is the difference between a healthy vital life and a life hampered by disease.

We all want what is best for our dogs. But how do we know what it is when the experts cannot agree on any one thing? Well, I guess at least they care enough to have opinions about it.

I'll tell you how bad this gets. The other day I was talking to a friend in the dog park, and she mentioned that she spends one day a week preparing her dog's food. I asked her what she feeds, and instead of just telling me, she answered that I wouldn't agree with it.

Turns out she's feeding a raw diet. She tried feeding couple of the recommended veterinary diet formulas, but her dog wasn't doing well on either of them. She decided to switch to a raw diet. It seems that all the problems are gone and her dog is thriving on it. When I asked her why she was determined that I would not agree with it, she said that most people don't. Well, her dog clearly does.

After trying to weed through all the trends myself, here is a conclusion I came to. I believe that the closer the food is to it's original form, the better it is for my dog. And I believe that the closer the food is to what a dog would eat in the wild, the better it is for my dog. Most importantly though, I believe in making up your own mind. Whatever you feed your dog, do so because you believe in it.

I believe that making your own dog food, whether raw or cooked is great, if done with dog nutritional requirements in mind. I also believe that many of the natural dog food products out there are quite good.

After much consideration, and keeping her health condition in mind, Jasmine gets a home-cooked diet based on Hilary's blend. She's been on it for over a year now, and it seems to be working really well for her.

What do you feed your dog and why?

Jana

Further reading:
Readers Respond: What Do You Feed Your Dog and Why?

Do you know of any tips for saving money on pet food?

6 comments

  1. Jana,

    I feed my dog a raw diet. I don't know why your friend would think that you would not agree with that. It is the most natural you can get. I don't make my own, I buy Steve's from Whole Foods. It is the best and my dog loves it.

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  2. Hi! Thank you for reading and commenting.
    I think the reason is that often people do make you feel that you're trying to kill your dog if you're not feeding what they are.

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  3. I have been thinking about changing my dog's eating habits-I just buy the store bought food. I've read articles on natural food and wondered if they would go less or if fleas wouldn't bother them as much.

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  4. Hi! Thank you for reading and commenting. I think you should definitely switch to higher quality food. Besides other health benefits, quality food definitely helps the immune system. It makes the immune system stronger as well as it helps dealing with allergies. Do you know for sure he has fleas, or is he just scratching a lot? Probiotics also help improve immune responses. How much exposure to fleas does you dog have? There are also products that help to keep the fleas off. This is one example http://naturalchemistry.com/pet-products/products/list

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  5. I havent seen any fleas but we did have fleas bad last summer. I'm going to check out the fleas product list-thanks and I will be switching!

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  6. Quite frequently dogs itch because of allergy issues. More often than not these are food ingredient allergies. If you're going to try getting different food, try one with unique protein and carbohydrate ingredients. Fish and sweet potatoes for example. Some of the most common dog food allergens are chicken and corn. If the problem persist, you might want to try spot allergy blood test to see what ingredient is causing a problem. Novel ingredients free of preservatives often solve the problem though.

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