“What is the best food to feed a dog?”
Every day vets are asked that concern by dog owners. It’s a genuine question because the majority of dog owners want to feed the very best to their furry pals. Health begins with proper nutrition, regardless of price or benefit of acquisition.
Please understand that the whole discussion on this page associates with healthy dogs without any kidney, thyroid, food allergic reaction or other irregular conditions. Also, the material of this page is my opinion relating to the “best” dry dog food and how to determine what you believe is “best” to feed dogs.
A huge reason why it i is strictly an opinion, there is no single response to the concern “What is the best diet to feed a dog?” Or if there is an answer it is, “It depends”.
Vet Recommended Food for Your Dog
Over the past 37 years I have been examining dogs and cats in my practices I have made it a point to ask the owner “What diet are you feeding?” I have gotten all sorts of responses but in every case I relate the owner’s action to what I am seeing in the patient. And throughout the years my recommendations regarding what to feed have actually changed.
Originally I took the animal food producer’s statements as fact– that an assortment of “Complete and Balanced” animal foods were perfectly nourishing since that phrasing was not legally permitted on animal food labels unless feeding trials showed its veracity. I ultimately discovered I was mistaken in the belief that any “Complete and Balanced” dog food was proper to feed.
It remained in 1978 that I had an awakening. A variety of customers were presenting dogs to me that had coarse hair coats and slightly greasy and flaky skin; and often these dogs (and cats!) had chronic itchy skin, locations, ear infections and appeared overweight.
So, they were over-caloried but under-nourished. Their calorie intake was up however the food they were taking in merely– no matter that the animal food label indicated “Complete and Balanced”– was not supplying a correct nutrient spectrum to the dog. In some cases I would merely state that some fat supplements “might help”. I was a follower in those “Complete and Balanced” diets. One of the factors I couldn’t see what was going on relating to these dogs with bad health signals connecting to diets was that a few of the “Complete and Balanced” diets were resulting in well nourished dogs, partially since the owners were feeding table scraps too.
I’ll jump ahead a bit and inform you the defining component that separated the good “Complete and Balanced” diets from the bad ones was this: The bad diets were based upon corn– significance, corn was noted as the first ingredient in the component list on the label– and the great diets were based on chicken or some other meat source– lamb, beef.
I was always instructed, and found out in the couple of nutrition courses in veterinary school (nutrition is far better covered in veterinary school nowadays) that an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in a dog’s diet would cause health catastrophes. This applies today, too.
I was advised that “given that meat is high in phosphorus and lower in calcium, excessive meat is not good for dogs over long periods of time”. (Many individuals still puzzle the disastrous all meat diets with meat-based diets; one is bad the other is ideal.) Grain-based diets for dogs, and even more so for cats, do not make nutritional sense which was exactly why I was seeing those patients with the dry and flaky, in some cases greasy skin and coarse hair coats. They were consuming “Complete and Balanced” grain-based diets with absolutely nothing else added. Why add anything when it is “Complete and Balanced” currently?
Further confirmation came when I saw another litter owned by a local Bloodhound breeder. This fellow seemed to me to be peaceful and a healthy ten-year-old dog with a glossy coat.
When I ‘d ask him what he was feeding his dogs we would enter our yearly nutritional discussion and I ‘d keep warning him about the home-made recipe and all that meat he had been feeding his dogs for many years.
Amusing thing was, his dogs were amongst the very best I had actually ever seen. All his litters, and adult dogs, were robust, had perfect skin and coats even at 6 weeks of age, and never needed to come in for skin problems, skeletal dysfunction, gastrointestinal issues or oral health problems. This breeder was sending his pups all over the nation and there I was attempting to tell him to be cautious about “feeding excessive meat” and I ‘d speak about such things as “a ‘Complete and Balanced’ industrial dog food would be best, make sure you do not get skeletal problems”. I questioned why I felt rather silly advising him because I truthfully thought his dogs were in optimum health.
The response pertained to me, finally, by itself. It seeped into my consciousness after years of seeing a pattern. The secret to the healthy dogs’ diets was that they were taking in a diet based upon meat and the poor doers were eating diets based upon grain such as corn!
Dog Healthy Diet Vs. Best Dog Food
Inning accordance with family pet industry specialist Dave Geier of Geier Enterprises, Highlands Ranch, CO, “Pet food companies invest over $100 million each year in research and advancement. This includes both basic research into brand-new and better formulations as well as the protocols to confirm their effectiveness.”
All this continuous research and development bodes well for dog owners since the more we understand the better we end up being at looking after the dogs and puppies in our lives. Geier goes on to say that, “The ingredients in some high-end pet foods have never been much better.”
I have actually observed that today’s meat-based diets are far exceptional to what was commercially offered years earlier. Dog owners are finally comprehending the requirement for meat and poultry products as a foundation for superior nutrition for dogs. And the myth about “all that protein causing kidney damage” has finally gone the way of such sayings as milk triggering worms and ear cropping preventing ear infections. If you have to understand more about the fact that dietary protein does not harm the kidneys, read this.
Therefore, one of the specifications you need to know when you are aiming to identify the best dog food to feed your pet is this: Is the diet meat-based or grain-based? The meat-based diets are the best option. (Remember, we’re talking about typical dogs, not those with heart, thyroid or other irregularities.)
I choose chicken as the first (primary) component when I suggest a dog food due to the fact that I have seen many dogs on chicken-based diets that remained in truly exceptional health. Lamb, turkey, fish, beef and venison all are good options, too, however subtle dietary variations in amino acid spectrum and the fat composition contributed by the “meat” may be various when these protein sources are compared with chicken. That’s simply my opinion; don’t stop feeding a lamb and rice diet if your dog looks and acts excellent!
Veterinary nutrition professional Dan Carey is a co-author of an excellent text called Canine and Feline Nutrition, and various other released posts that all dog owners and breeders ought to read. He works in Research and Development at The Iams Company. He believes highly that dogs need to be fed effectively well before any breeding activities start.
“The bitch must be at or within five percent of her perfect body weight. Excess weight is associated with increased complications and excess weight in the last third of pregnancy is related to over-sized puppies. Her fatty acid status must be stabilized by feeding a diet which contains correct amounts and ratios of fats. If she has actually had previous litters, each successive litter places a dietary drain on her. One of the nutrient types that are depleted are fats. If the bitch is fed a diet without a well balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats (5; 1), her own fat index will go down on succeeding litters.”
Nursing dogs need a greater calorie consumption of correctly well balanced food. So, what’s the best dog food to feed your dog? The response is it depends. In reality, there appears to be no single dog food that is the best for all dogs and all young puppies. So what should you search for in a high quality dog food?
How to Choose the Healthiest Dog Food Produced by Pet Food Companies
Here’s what I suggest to my customers: Look at the dog food labels. In the GUARANTEED ANALYSIS look for the Protein content to be a minimum of 30 percent, the Fat to be at least 18 percent, preservatives to be via Vitamin E and/or C and search for Omega Fatty Acid to be present. Supplements can be hazardous, particularly calcium supplementation to a pregnant bitch. If an excellent quality dog food is being fed no unique supplementation ought to be required. If a supplement is required to make the dog appearance or feel better or whelp much healthier puppies, you need to rather alter the food.
Maximum nutrition demands that protein, fat, carb and micronutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and enzymes remain in balance with each other. Therein lies the risk of a breeder supplementing a currently properly developed diet!
Recall Geier’s statement about all that research that’s gone into the food’s formulation. How are you to know what supplement to add and in what quantity to “enhance” the foods’ worth? Should you be adding entire foods such as eggs, home cheese, or meat to the dog’s diet?
Once again, if a high quality, highly digestible business dog food is fed that fulfills the formerly pointed out portions of nutrients, adding table food may undo some of the balance and amounts of nutrients being fed to the dog.
So beware and self-critical about supplementing a dog’s diet in the hope of improving an already well balanced, scientifically developed formula.
In conclusion: I recommend that a dog owner take a look at the dog food label. Take a look at the component list and a meat such as chicken should be listed as the first component. Take a look at the guaranteed analysis to see that the protein level is at 30 percent or more. The fat material must be at 18 percent or more. And if there is a rather large spectrum of components such as omega fats and vitamin E, that’s good, too. There ought to be NO FOOD COLORING!
If you discover a couple of diets that meet this criteria, and there are quite a few from which to select, you just may have the confidence that you are feeding the best dog food you can get.