“What do you feed your dog?” is probably the third most common question that people ask me after “What’s your dog’s name”? and “How old is your dog”?
The reason for this is simple. Dogs are family and we are constantly thinking about their well being. What we feed our pets makes an impact on their health, growth and longevity.
With so many different types of dog foods in the market today, the average dog owner can get very confused. Do I choose a raw diet or a commercial, prepacked one. Do I choose the wet food or dry food option? Is grain-free better or does my dog need some grains in his or her diet? The questions can be never ending.
Here are a few things I keep in mind before feeding my dog anything (food and treats):
- Reading the label so that I know what goes into it – if the ingredients aren’t human-grade, it’s not fit for my dog either
- Saying no to chemicals and preservatives unless they are natural preservatives required to keep the food fresh
- Major portion of the food must be meat (or vegetables). Say no to meat bi-products especially if the meat is not named in the label
- If I opt for a diet with grain, I don’t tolerate low quality grains like corn or wheat and I choose whole grains over processed grains
- Research, research and more research! I read a lot of reviews, company information and pet blogs before choosing something new for Leo
I would have loved to serve Leo home-made meals or get him raw food all the time because that’s the only option that allows me to control every single ingredient that does into his diet. However, being a vegetarian, handling and storing meat is a real big problem for me. I have tried doing it for Leo because I love him so much but it’s just too hard to do every day. That’s why I chose the dry food option.
I have found that there are many pros to dry food:
- It is easy to handle – this is perfect for vegans and vegetarians who don’t like touching or seeing raw meat. Dry food gives us the illusion of no meat and it works!
- Storage isn’t a big problem with dry food – large quantities can be stored in an airtight container for longer times, thus reducing the number of your store visits as well as staying fresh and yummy for your dog.
- There are many dry food brands in the market today and they use different kinds of meat as well so you can mix and match flavors to keep your pup engaged. Always remember to get good healthy meats though.
- The cost is comparatively low so if you are on a budget, like me, you’ll be happy. Just remember not to feed your pup cheap big store brands like Ol Roy etc. – these can be harmful for your dog’s health and lead to shorter life spans.
- If your pet is on a diet, then dry food allows you to correctly measure the recommended quantity for your furry friend and helps prevent overeating.
- There are known dental benefits since dry food is more hard and rough in texture. A little teeth cleaning happens every time your dog eats his food
Provide your dog with a clean supply of water so that he or she doesn’t get dehydrated after feeding time. And I cannot stress this enough – read the ingredients, do your research, talk to experts and make sure that you aren’t choosing brands that use dead and diseases animals, meat bi-products, low quality grain as fillers and fill the food with chemicals, artificial preservatives and unnecessary fat and calories.
When you find a great dry food, stick to it. However, if you think that dry food is too boring, unhealthy or hard for your pup to swallow, you can choose the wet food option. It is also great if you have a lot of space to store them and the money to buy them because it isn’t cheap. Choosing the right brand is important once again – read, research and review.
Wet food closely resembles real food found in the wild so your pup will enjoy it more. That’s why I treat Leo with some wet food every few weeks because that’s all I can really afford and more importantly, that’s how frequently I want to see real meat, being a vegetarian (I’ve beat this to death, haven’t I?).
The important thing to note is that you buy a dog food that fits your dog’s needs & your lifestyle. Not all dogs have the same needs – it depends on their breed, size, age and health problems. Not all owners are the same – it depends on your income, dietary choices and beliefs.
If you still think that your dog isn’t getting all the necessary nutrients, you can buy quality meal toppers. This will ensure your dog’s well-being and enhance his eating experience.
Taste of the Wild has really worked out for me and I see myself sticking to it for a very long time. I have used both their dry and wet food options and they’ve never given me a reason to complain. I buy it on Amazon from a trusted seller and it comes to me on time, every month.