I’m writing this blog because I want to address the huge increase in the number of dog food brands on the market. It’s crazy. Which brand is the best? Furthermore, what type of dog food within that brand is the best? There’s raw, freeze dried, dehydrated, canned, home cooked and of course kibble. Where do you begin to pick which works best for your dog? As dog owners, we need to know which dog food is the healthiest, promoting the longevity of our dog’s life because we want our dogs to be around with us for as long as possible. Yet, there’s little to no research that has been done to guide us in the right direction.
Having little to no information on the effect of different types of dog foods on canine health frustrates me beyond belief. I’ve talked to numerous professionals about this issue and each person believes so strongly in a certain type of diet, but all of their answers are different. So what do I do? I’ve tried the home cooked route for my dogs and put a lot of effort, time, and money into creating a recipe I thought would work, but still something wasn’t right. I assumed that if I put healthy, organic ingredients into my dog’s food that it would be the best for them, but it’s not that simple. It’s more than what ingredients go into a recipe that makes a food healthy and sufficient for your dog. There’s factors such as the amount of protein, vitamins and nutrients, fat, and whether or not a dog can actually digest a food and break it down in a way that allows them to use it. This takes trial and error, food testing, and more trial and error and I didn’t have the time or resources to do that at the time.
There have been so many new dog food brands and types of food for dogs that all boast about being the best. When many of the foods out there are saying something along the lines of using only cage free chicken, free range cows, no animal meals, single ingredient, home-cooked, etc. it’s hard to make a decision. It has become a marketing game. And to make it even harder, at the end of the day no one can really say that their food is truly the best for our dogs because there’s no research on it. Trust me, I’ve searched the internet, library, and asked veterinarians for their input and have come up short of an answer with research to back it up.
My conclusion and advice is to pick a food that keeps it moderately simple. Read the ingredients. If you don’t know what something is, look it up. If you don’t recognize a majority of the ingredients listed it’s probably not the best. And most importantly, observe your dog. Does she seem healthy? Is her poop healthy? Is her coat and skin healthy? Is she displaying redness or licking her paws constantly? How is her energy level? Does she get excited to eat when you put the food down in front of her? All these questions will help steer you in the right direction because if there’s something a little off with your dog it’s often times diet related. If you have any knowledge or insight on what type of food is best, comment below! I would love to hear what you think and which food has worked for your dog.