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What's the best food for your dog? It's a question that only you can answer - because you are the only one who is in a position to gauge, on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis, how your dog responds to what you feed him. That said, we can give you some tips to guide you into the right section of your local pet supply store - that is, past the lowest-cost, lowest-quality foods; past the higher-cost but still low-quality posers; and into the area where the top-quality foods are found. Take note: They are expensive, perhaps prohibitively so, especially for families with several large dogs to feed. But you can't expect to pay hamburger prices for filet mignon, and it's the quality (and thus price) of the ingredients that set the top-quality foods apart. Dry food is not the healthiest diet for your dog. If you want to provide the very best, most natural diet possible for your dog, you'd feed a well-researched, home-prepared diet comprised of fresh foods. Or, next best, a well-formulated, commercially made frozen raw or dehydrated diet. Next best would be a top-quality wet food; even poor quality wet foods usually contain a higher percentage of animal protein (and a much lower percentage of grain) than good dry foods. Of all of these forms of dog food, kibble is probably the least natural for the dog. But its popularity is mainly based on three factors: It is relatively stable and therefore very convenient for the owner to buy, store, and feed. It's usually less expensive, calorie for calorie, than other forms of food with comparative ingredients. And most dogs do fine on a dry food diet.
Finding a top-quality dog food is not impossible if you know what nutritional ingredients to look for. Whole Dog Journal reports on the best canned dog food available in pet stores - how to pick commercial dog food that meets your dogs' dietary requirements, and which ingredients indicate a low- or high-quality pet food. Here is everything the pet food industry doesn't want you to know! No can of commercial dog food is going to be perfect for every dog, but to ensure your dog receives a proper balance of nutrients, the one you feed should meet the Whole Dog criteria. Your goal in selecting a food is to find the one with the most animal-specific proteins, whole food ingredients, and the least artificial additives.
Whole Dog Journal readers have learned how to identify the best commercial foods when they shop for their dogs. But whether you feed dry kibble or canned food, even the best commercial diets can be improved with the addition of appropriate fresh foods. Keep the following things in mind when adding fresh foods to your dog's diet.
What kind of dog food is best? Is canned food healthier than kibble? Does a homemade dog food diet require as much work as it appears to? Whole Dog Journal developed a very comprehensive pros and cons chart for various dog food options you may be considering. Remember: no one dog food is best for all dogs! Consider your dog's lifestyle and needs and use this chart to help you decide what kind of food your dog should eat.
Caring guardians of companion canines often wonder whether one form of commercially prepared food – kibble or canned – is better than the other. The truth is, both types of food have relative advantages and disadvantages in terms of palatability, digestibility, and necessity for preservatives or other chemical additives. While they generally meet the same chemical composition standards in terms of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, these types of food provide very different nutritional value.
What is digestibility and why does it matter? Digestibility reflects a food's ability to deliver essential nutrients to the dog who eats it. This ultimately affects not only defecation quantity and quality (how much your dog poops and how the poop looks and smells), and a dog's propensity for flatulence (no explanation needed), but more importantly, a dog's long-term health and wellness. The graphic on this page summarizes how digestibility is measured using feeding trials with dogs.
Whole Dog Journal steers away from providing dog guardians with step-by-step recipes for dog food, raw or cooked. We can share expert dog companions' personal protocols for feeding their dogs home-prepared, but quickly you will realize not only that the perfect dog food recipe does not exist, but that in order for your dog to receive all necessary nutrients, you really need many recipes that include many different whole food ingredients.
Wet dog food, a.k.a. “canned” dog food, is not nearly as popular as dry food. The total sales figure for dry pet food in the U.S. last year (more than $12.7 billion) was more than 21/2 times that of wet pet food (almost $4.8 billion). I understand the reasons for this, but wish it wasn’t so. Canned food is actually a much healthier diet for dogs than kibble.
Canned dog foods represent only about 15% of the overall pet food market. Why don’t more people feed their dogs canned food? It has a lot going for it: -Dogs love it! The high palatability of canned food is due to a number of factors, including a high inclusion of meat, high fat content (usually), […]
There are hundreds of brands and flavors of dog food out there. You can find them everywhere, from the corner convenience store to the members-only warehouse center to the hard-to-find health food store for pets. And by golly, you’ve tried what seems like all of them! Yet you’re still not sure which are the best ones for your dog. On the other hand, your dog seems to have a definite opinion about it, and really prefers one of the less expensive grocery store brands. That’s great, you think, he loves the food and he’s saving me money! But is he? Is your dog’s preference for a particular food a good indication of the quality of the food?
You know you’ve been feeding raw for a long time when it no longer seems like a radical, ground-breaking, or – ubiquitous adjective for beginners – scary way to feed. When I started feeding raw – a dozen years and three generations of Rhodesian Ridgebacks ago – it was the Middle Ages of raw feeding. Ian Billinghurst’s Feed Your Dog a Bone was the hard-to-find illuminated manuscript (the lax editing could have stood some sprucing up by Benedictine monks), and everyone used the unfortunate acronym BARF, which stood for “bones and raw food” (or, later, the loftier-sounding “biologically appropriate raw food”). No commercial raw diets were available, and new converts dutifully ordered their Maverick sausage grinders over the Internet. The instruction booklet said the table-top grinder couldn’t be used on any bones harder than chicken necks or wings, but everyone ignored that.
Feeding a raw dog food diet to your dog is quite simple, especially once you have a system in place. Though like anything else new, it can seem very complicated when first starting out. These sample dog food diets should be helpful to dog caretakers who are considering feeding a raw diet. Even those who have been doing it for a while may learn some new tricks to make the process of finding, preparing, and storing home prepared dog food simpler.