Choosing what to feed your beloved dog is so confusing. We have to think about cost, nutritional value and allergies and there are so many different types of food on the market including dry food, wet food, home made, complete foods, food suppliments, organic, insect food, Raw food. Its a bit of a minefield. These foods vary in their claims and I was given conflicting advice from vets, pets shops and my breeder. So I decided to go and research myself to find the right food for me and for my dog, Teddy. I am not a nutritional specialist but I wanted to share my findings and offer some impartial recommendations.
Just because a food is on the shelves doesn't mean it is good for your dog, likewise for us eating chocolate or cornflakes everyday wouldn't be healthy, however nice they are!
All dogs need a healthy diet of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins and below are three options that I feel fulfil this. However my preferred choice is Raw feeding.
I have cost each option based on Teddy who is a 10kg active dog.
I am not a fan of dry food as it tends to be bulked up with carbohydrates or gains which dogs don't actually need and can cause health issues. However, if I had to feed a dry food, Orijen would be the one I would choose because it has two sources of protein which is fresh or air dried. It also contains meat, fish, offal and bone. All of which is a must for a canine diet.
11.4kg - £76.99
This works out to be £1.01 per day based on a 10kg active dog.
I would recommend Forthglade for wet food. It has a high meat content and you can feed your dog a varity of different proteins on different days of the week or mix them. You can also add this to dry food. Its grain free and has the addition of added vegtables and herbs.
16 150g trays - £10.50
This works out to be £1.75 per day based
on a 10kg active dog.
Raw Feeding (BARF)
I chose raw feeding for Teddy, it can be a bit scary at first but now I couldn't recommend highly enough.
Raw food is made up of 80% muscle meat, 10% offal and 10% bone then you can add fruit and veg if you wish. This can be made up yourself or buy complete meals (I buy complete meals) I would recommend joining the BARF UK Facebook
One of the main benefits of a raw food diet over traditional kibble is the fact that the nutrients in the food are more readily available. The cooking process used to create kibble exposes the raw ingredients to extremely high temperature which destroys a significant portion of the nutrients and natural enzymes contained in the ingredients. A raw food diet has not been cooked, so the original nutrient content of the ingredients is retained. The nutritional integrity of a raw food diet provide many benefits for dogs, including the following:
Healthy/Regular Digestion: Dogs have fairly short digestive systems which limits their ability to digest fibrous plant foods. A raw food diet for dogs is largely meat-based, however, so it is easy for your dog to digest. Because less energy is wasted digesting plant materials, your dog’s digestive system will work more smoothly and more regularly – this also results in fewer, firmer less smelly stools.
Cleaner Teeth: An estimated ¾ of dogs will suffer some degree of periodontal disease by the time they reach 3 years of age. Kibbled foods provide some limited dental benefits by helping to scrape plaque off the surface of your dog’s teeth, but the process of chewing raw meats and raw bones is much more beneficial for this purpose. The chewing process also massages your dog’s gums, increasing circulation.
Shinier Coat: A diet that consists of fresh, natural foods will provide your dog with the nutrients he needs to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. Essential fatty acids are the key to optimal skin and coat health and these ingredients are abundant in a raw food diet.
Relief from Food Allergies/Sensitivities: The more dogs are exposed to potential allergens like corn, wheat, and soy ingredients, the more likely they are to develop a reaction. Raw food diets are typically grain-free and gluten-free which significantly reduces the risk for allergic reactions. The high nutritional value of a raw food diet for dogs may also help to resolve issues with environmental allergies.
Cost - This is based on a supplier I use but can be much cheaper if you DIY
We love Raw - complete meals x10 150g patties and natures menu free flow tripe - £1.50 per day based on a 10kg active dog.
In the end, it is completely up to you what you choose to feed your dog. Because your dog’s diet has a direct impact on his wellbeing, choose a diet that provides for his nutritional needs in a healthy, wholesome way. A raw food diet is a great way to ensure that your dog gets the nutrients he needs from quality, natural sources. If you would like any more information about Raw feeding, I would be happy to help!