Tuesday, December 8, 2009

DOG FOOD... what to feed?? (post 2 of 2)

Ok, someone asked me what I recommend as a good dog food. I thought it was an important question so I figured why not make a post about it so other can chime in.

I am not a dog nutritionist or a vet but I know what my dogs do good on. I know some people think the most expensive dog food in the world or all natural or this or that is the best but to each their own.

I feed my dogs Dad's dog food. It is #1. locally produced in the US. #2. family owned business #3. uses US produced ingredients. It is not by any means the top of the line. However, I have had dogs for 31 years and my parents have had dogs for nearly 70 years and this is what we have always fed them. The dogs have shinny coats, healthy teeth and bright eyes. I have never had a dog with a food allergy including any of my rescue dog get sick on Dad's AND because I do have so many rescue dogs coming and going Dad's seems to be very easy on their stomach. You never know what crap / garbage or lack of food a dog has had prior to coming into my rescue and I have never had a dog with stomach issues at my house.

I even have heard of a few breeders recommending Dad's.

Now Dad's has several varieties of dog food. The one I feed is Bite Size Meal. So, I am only speaking for that one.....

When choosing a dog food you always want the first 2 out of 3 ingredients to be some type of meat. Or if you can get a dog food with 3 out of 3 that is even better. More then likely you are only feed 1, 2 or 3 dogs. You have to remember I feed 4 everyday BUT usually have 6 - 10 extra at my house. Hence Dad's is affordable :-)

Anyway so you really want to see meat as the first few ingredients when feeding your dog. Now sometimes people get Lamb and Rice formula or Chicken and Rice or Chicken and Oatmeal.. if that is the case then those two things should be the first 2 ingredients!

You really want to stay away from soybean meal, ground wheat flour, corn syrup, wheat middlings, sugar..... those type of things
all those things are nothing but fillers. Corn is filler as well but I don't' really think corn is all that bad.. I have never heard of a dog being allergic to corn but I have heard them being allergic to flour and wheat and sugar.

You will notice that the better dog food you feed your dog the less he/she has to use the bathroom.

Someone said to me that there dog poops 5 times a day. They aren't sure how one dog can poop so much. I asked "what are you feeding" Alpo, she said. I told her she is better off feeding shredded news paper. Alpo is nothing more then a bunch of fillers so of course your dog is going to poop more... nothing in the food is of nutritional value. So, think of it this way... you sit down for dinner and eat a BIG bag of Doritos's or you sit down and eat a salad, a steak, corn and some mashed potatoes. Ok, now tell me which one makes you feel like CRAP? Now you know how your dog feels.

It is funny if you google dog food almost every brand you can get the nutritional label except for Alpo. They do not have the nutritional label listed...

Honestly if I had the money the dog food I would feed my dogs would be Natural Choice by Nutru. I really do think that it has best ingredients. But with feeding 20 dogs at any given time that really isn't in my budget!

And a few more helpful things (at least I think they are helpful) to think about:

#1. Do not go with what the label on the bag says to feed your dog. It is probably TOO MUCH FOOD. Remember they want to sell dog food! My rule of thumb is if your dog is too skinny add a little, too fat take a little away until you can find a happy medium. It is important that you can't see a dogs ribs or back bone but they still need to have a waist, if that makes sense.

#2. NEVER EVER EVER FEED people food or soft dog food. VERY BAD! Dogs can not brush their teeth and when you feed soft food to them it gets stuck in their teeth and decays. It then causes a cavity which then gets all infected and they get a gum disease which then gives them a blood disease and which shuts down their liver and kidneys are your dog dies a horrible painful slow death. So, really is feeding your dog a potato chip really worth it?

#3. Milk bones are very good for their teeth. Raw hides are not so great. They are dipped in formaldehyde... yes what the preserve dead bodies with. Do you really want your dog eatting that?

#4. If your dog is over weight cut his/her food in half but to make it so the dog doesn't feel hungry make the other half of his / her normal food green beans. Yes, canned green beans are perfectly fine for a dog and a great diet method :-)

#5. Carrots are a healthy snack for a dog too. Not too many but a piece of a large raw carrot or some small bite sized ones are good for them. And most dogs love carrots.

#6. Remember in the winter your dog is less active so slim down on the food a bit and then increase in the summer when their and your activity level increases!

Well I hope this helped and please feel free to add a comment on what type of food you think is best and why! It is always good to get different points of view.


Carrie said...

Hi there. A good resource to use is Dog Food Analysis. It's independent. http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/

We feed ours TOTW (Taste of the Wild). It's grain-free and is meat-based. It's the only food my dog (an Amercian Bulldog/lab/etc mix) enjoys AND that keeps his coat soft. Otherwise he has a very coarse coat. He has skin issues and grain-free helps with him.

You can see how your personal food choice stacks up ("you" meaning everyone). TOTW is currently in the highest tier for kibble, but it's no more expensive than Natural Balance or Enova or any of those. Actually, we get it at Tractor Supply for cheaper than pet stores! We were surprised that it scored so high.

If a food works, good. If not, trying something better is good. My parents swore by Pedigree, and sometimes I will give the canned stuff as a treat, but just like human food... If it LOOKS like junk food (e.g. Kibbles & Bits is to Twinkies as Raw Diet is to, oh, filet mignon or something) then it probably IS junk food.


House of the Discarded said...

I feed my dog "Fromms" dry mixed with a little can of Merricks. She's 13 years old and can have anything she wants :)


k8_is_great said...

I always feed Wellness. I find it on sale frequently at PetCo. It is meat-based and has berries and other crap that's supposed to be good for the digestive system (no corn etc.) All of the dogs we've had have shiny coats, the vet says their teeth look awesome and their breath smells decent- and their poop not so terrible. (We got hooked on Wellness when we had a cat and the liter box, no matter how often you changed it, smelled up our entire apartment. When we switched, the absence of smell kept me coming back.)

Darlene said...

"You will notice that the better dog food you feed your dog the less he/she has to use the bathroom."

LOL! I wish Lester used the bathroom. He goes outside in the backyard. : )

NoviceLife said...

I feed my dogs Exclusive - the lamb & rice mix. I get compliments all the time from people on how shinny their coats looks; even our vet couldn't stop talking about how nice they looked and how well their weight was. Bonus - the dogs like it AND, as you said Amy, they poop WAY less! My local feed store also has a program for buy 6 bags, get a bag free which is a perk. Amy, thank you as well for the extra tips in this blog - very helpful!

Dog Rescuer said...

Thanks everyone for the helpful comments! It is always nice to hear what works for others.

Princess said...

We feed ours Nutro- the chicken and oatmeal, b/c one of them has a sensitive stomach. Nice, healthy coats, healthy teeth, bright eyes, 2 poos a day. It's on the pricy side, but after switching to try and cut back on our budget once, we decided it was worth the price.

Thanks for the tip on the green beans, Amy! My in-laws had to keep them for six months and my FIL double-fed them by accident the whole time. We're trying to get them back down to normal weight, and that's a great idea.

Maureen said...

Our dogs eat Natural Balance- Sweet Potato and Venison. They were on California Natural for years but our male kept getting ear infections. This is after being on a lamb based kibble for years. Any other food with grain in it made our dogs itchy and miserable. Our one female had clumps of hair falling out when we tried Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice. It did have corn in it. So far with the Natural Balance they have done well. Our cats eat TOTW and some of the canned 9 Lives as well. TOTW for the dogs I think was too rich and caused upset tummies. Afer being on the Ca Natural for so long- I think it's a much blander food. Good so far with the Natural Balance.