The ultimate question: What food is best for my dog!?
In a world full of bias, opinions and marketing tricks, responsible dog owners find yourselves constantly sifting through information to try and work out what is the best thing to feed your beloved pet. You will regularly question what you are feeding them and worry whether they are getting all they need! Sound familiar?
We’ve done a bunch of research and years of study to come up with our current conclusions here at Dog Store. We’re also continually questioning, researching and finding out new stuff.
This is what we know so far….
There’s no doubt about it, raw is the way forward. It’s packed full of goodness and proteins that other foods have had diminished in the cooking process. It’s the most natural way for dogs to eat, and they LOVE it.
- When feeding raw, you shouldn’t mix this with cooked foods. Raw and cooked foods digest differently and could upset their tum.
- Raw dog food has gone through a special freeze blasting process to kill any bacteria so there is no worry of salmonella and other illnesses. If you are going to make your own raw food, you need to follow a strict freezing process to ensure it is safe for your dog.
- The healthiest option. We hear of dogs living to 20 years old that have been raw fed! No risk of cancerous carcinogens from cooked meat.
- Majority of dogs think it is delicious.
- Crunchy raw bones can be good for their dental health.
- Tends to be more expensive.
- Requires large freezer space and some prep.
- Not for the squeamish.
- Inconvenient for travelling.
Freeze Dried food is basically raw that has been dried and put into a convenient bag, similar to kibble. This is the second best option to raw as it will still contain all the goodness but without the effort. The only con is that this type of food can be very pricey!
Wet food comes in many forms, and many different qualities.
Generally you do pay for what you get, but there are some cheaper, more reasonable wet foods. We think Butchers isn’t too bad, considering its low price and supermarket setting! If you’re on a budget, that’s what we’d recommend. What you need to consider:
- High Meat Content (avoid “animal derivatives”, preservatives and sugar)
- Vague Ingredients (companies can hide a lot of ingredients this way)
- Convenient & Easy
- Can get some good quality brands
- Not great for dental health as there is no ‘crunch’
- Cooked meats can lose some of their goodness/protein
Dry complete kibble
Dry kibble is the most researched area of ours. The marketing on the front of these bags blows my mind – a terribly poor-quality food can look so healthy from the information on the front. I urge everyone to read the ingredients on the back, before purchasing a new dog kibble.
Kibble is a very convenient way to feed your dog and is often better for dental health as it has the important crunch that will keep the teeth clean. A lot of dogs find kibble boring on its own, so many owners will do a mix of wet and dry. It can be boring because it is cooked at a high temperature to make it sterile (this is law). It means some of the taste is lost. We’ve recently been stocking the range MCKINNELLS which is cooked slowly and at a lower temperature, meaning more taste and goodness is kept.
When buying kibble, Consider:
- High meat content
- Temperature it is cooked at (you might have to call the supplier to get this info)
- Additives and preservatives
- Vague ingredients
- “Various fats” can be anything such as old fast food chip pan oil (yep, really!)
- Ingredient Splitting
- Companies will split ingredients to make them appear lower in percentage even though they are essentially the same thing. For example wheat, and wheat flour.
- Does your dog’s food really need to be ‘grain free’? There’s nothing wrong with a few carbs (good for energy) and only around 10% of dogs are intolerant to grains, but some companies will use excessive amounts of grain as a filler, to make the food cheaper to make.
I hope this information helps a little bit! Check out the ingredients on your dog’s food today and see how it measures up. We all want the best for our dogs right?!
If you want to change over to something more healthy, we are handing out free samples of McKinnells Dry Complete food which you can pick up in store. My dog is on this food – he loves it so much and gives us peace of mind that he’s on a good diet. He has a lot of allergies, so this one really works for us.