A healthy diet is immensely important to your dogs well being and life. You have several options when it comes to diet:
- Raw diet
- Kibble or canned food
- Homemade cooked food
At Dynamic Dogs, we often recommend a raw diet. You can read an article by our trainer here. But we know this is not the choice for everyone. Below you will also find information on quality kibble dog food. Dynamic Dogs carries ACANA brand www.Championpetfoods.com dry and canned foods.
If you choose to feed a commercial dog food, it’s important to choose the right one. Here are some brands we recommend
- Orijen, Acana, one of the best kibble pet foods available, grain-free
- Taste of the Wild
- Wellness CORE
- Nature’s Variety Instinct
Not every dog will do well on the same food, and you may have to switch a few times to find a food that your dog does well on. There are plenty of “super-premium” brands to choose from, and they are sold at boutiques and specialty stores.
Here are some additional healthy brands of dog food:
- California Naturals, also good for dogs with allergies, limited ingredients
- Innova, makers of grain-free EVO
- Honest Kitchen dehydrated
What makes a dog food good or bad?
Well, there are different grades to pet food. At the low end, there are “economy” or “grocery store brands.” They commonly contain a lot of fillers, cheap grains, by-products, and lower grade proteins. A dog should not have corn in their diet, but a lot of pet foods contain corn because it is a cheap filler. They can also contain preservatives and added food coloring, all which are toxins for your pet’s system. Think of all the “junk” leftover food products that are not fit for humans to eat– that’s what ends up in cheap brands of dog food! A few of the cheap brands are Pedigree, Gravy Train, Beneful, Kibbles N’ Bits, Ol’ Roy, Mighty Dog, Purina Dog Chow, some store brands, and Purina One. Because these foods are not as nutritionally dense, your pet will require larger amounts- which translates to more waste to pick up.
Next, you have “mid-grade to premium” pet foods, which are commonly the brand names people recognize, like IAMS, Eukanuba, Nutro Max, Nutro Natural Choice, Nature’s Recipe, Royal Canin, Purina Pro Plan (Purina’s top-of-the-line food), Diamond, Cesar, Bil Jac, Rachel Ray Nutrish, and Science Diet. Some are not as bad as others, yet these still contain many grains and fillers, and are not the most nutritious for your pet. They use protein sources from vegetables like soy instead of from meat. These foods are not necessarily cheap price-wise, but keep in mind you are also paying for their advertising and the dog-related things they sponsor. According to www.dogfoodadvisor.com, Science Diet is a “1 Star” dog food, out of 5 stars, containing corn and even ground peanut shells. We do not recommend any of these foods listed. If cost is a concern, try Costco’s food Kirkland brand or Nature’s Domain, they are decent mid-quality, contain no corn or wheat, and are much cheaper than these name brands.
The best choice is a “specialty” or “super-premium” brand. These pet foods often contain human-grade ingredients, additional holistic supplements, healthier whole grains (quinoa, rye, brown rice, oats) or no grains at all, and high quality proteins. Because these foods are highly digestible, your dog will require less. They do not use unnatural preservatives or artificial colors. The companies may have higher standards of quality control and may source their ingredients from better places.
An alternative to feeding raw or commercial dog food is to cook it yourself. You will know exactly what is in your pets food. However, it does require careful planning.
Some examples of ingredients:
- Protein: Ground turkey or beef
- Grains: Brown Rice, quinoa, oatmeal, these are whole grains
- Vegetables: carrots, peas, squash, kale
- Supplements: Bone meal, multivitamin powder (such as Balance IT), probiotics/enzymes for digestion
Avoid onions, nuts, sugary foods, salt, or any ingredients that are not safe for dogs to consume. Before starting a homemade diet, do your research to make sure the feeding plan is nutritionally complete. We recommend you find recipes or get a book that has been approved by a nutritionist or vet.