A healthy dog is a happy dog and the food your dog eats is the foundation of their health. Because of this, it’s really important that you’re feeding your dog the most nutritious food with the highest quality ingredients. Dogs with tummy or allergy issues do NOT need to be put on that gross food that Vet’s seem to be describing more and more. Have you looked at the ingredients of those so called Vet referred brands? Things like corn gluten meal, soy, chicken or meat by products? It drives me nuts to hear about dogs that have been placed on this junk food without so much as a single question posed to pup parents about what their dog is eating or questions to the Vets about whether they read the ingredients on these so called science based diets. One holistic vet recently said, those foods are like a human eating Frito’s and McDonalds every day and then waking up to realize they have heart disease... Read on to find out how to get to the heart of what is ailing your pup - and keep Vet bills to a minimum.
What to Avoid
don’t need to jump to the very expensive option of “testing”! Avoid dog food brands that use “chicken meal” or “chicken bowel flour.” While some higher end dog food brands use meal which they make by eliminating the water in the protein before processing, the truth is that chicken by products are just that - the things that end up on the slaughterhouse floor not meant for human consumption. And yes, chicken bowel can be part of the by-products…. A lot of brands use the guts, bowels, and cartilage of a chicken, ground them down into a powder, use that powder in the dog food, and advertise it as chicken. Unless it is USDA approved chicken-meat (see below), avoid it all together (frankly we would avoid chicken until you find out what is really bothering your pup). Those other ingredients to avoid are chickpeas, legumes, or sweet potatoes - as they create yeast in your pup and are used to boost protein instead of it coming from meat. It’s a bit like human food being advertised as real fruit when a fruit snack really has one of its first ingredients as sugar! Definitely not the healthiest choice!
Is it Farmable?
The best dog-food brands will always use the best meat, and the best meat is always directly sourced, where the brand either overlooks the farm or has direct contact with the farmer. Think organic, free-range meats, where the meat hasn’t been factory farmed. Factory farmed meat - especially when it reaches the dog-food brands, is often riddled with disease or made with the scraps that no one (not even a dog) wants. Many brands use dead, diseased or dying animals which is why Phenobarbital - which has killed dogs - has been found in some of these foods. A general rule of thumb is that if the brand doesn’t talk about
where they source the meat from, it probably isn’t
great for your dog.
USDA Grade Meat Inspected?
One basic rule that will greatly ensure that your dog is getting the nutrition they need, is checking whether the meat used in the dog food is USDA Grade inspected and approved. Opt for brands that use meat that would be suitable to eat yourself. This will automatically ensure that the meat is disease free and not made completely out of scraps like (gross!) bowels. Any meat that is suitable for people will be packed with more nutritional value and help your dog be as happy and healthy as possible!
Does your dog’s food include veggies?
Dogs are omnivores which mean that some fruits and veggies are important to their overall diet. Some fantastic dog-food brands will combine the meat with produce for a balanced diet. Once again, just ensure that the brand isn’t mostly produce or grains (it should not be the first ingredient!). If you are feeding your dog food that doesn’t include any fruit or vegetables, try using fresh produce.. Carrots, cucumbers, parsley, celery, blueberries, apples, are all foods that can and should be added to your pup’s daily meal. Make a batch for the week, keep in a bowl in the fridge and grab a handful to add to its food. Remember - make sure they are organic. Non-organic fruits and veggies are filled with RoundUp - so you might as well be feeding your pup straight chemicals. It's really bad for you too - so go organic!
The best types of dog food, from best to worst
With all of these tips, it can still be difficult to know which type of dog food is best for your pup. We’ve ranked the following types of food from best to worst, as we know sometimes the very best food isn’t practical (like if you’re travelling and don’t have access to a refrigerator). Follow this list, and check out the food section of our store for the best products on the market.
Good kibble (human grade meats, no unhealthy ingredients)
The Worst: all those “science based” foods, the ones that spend a lot of money on advertising, anything with colored ingredients - they use dye which is bad for you, bad for dogs and is included just to make you think that the food is “good”! Anything that’s in the grocery store you can generally put in the toss pile….
You can also mix good foods. For those that find frozen raw too expensive, add some sliders to good kibble for a more balanced diet. Frozen, freeze dried or air dried raw also contain important organ meat, bone and veggies. Make sure the ingredients are also Non GMO and organic. Better food has higher protein content so you feed your pup less. It will heal its tummy, and
help you to deal with allergy issues. We also believe your pup needs a good
probiotic and vitamins and for seasonal allergies - bovine colostrum, and
Colorado Hemp Honey. You have many options to heal your pup naturally -
we have helped many clients avoid constant vet visits and remove harmful
drugs from their diet simply by changing foods and adding in appropriate
supplements. Your dog will be happier and so will your wallet!
Balance and Variety
The best diet for your beloved dog will be the one that has plenty of variety and balance, meaning you shouldn’t feed your dog the same protein all the time. These rules apply to treats as well - opt for healthy treats - your dog will absolutely love them! Coupled with plenty of exercise and supplements, your dog is sure to thrive! For more tips, check out the rest of our articles!