There is a debate out there about what food is better and so I wanted to pen my thoughts and provide some resources for you to consider. I believe that what you feed your dog has an impact on their overall health and well being. You will see it in their coats, muscle tone, shedding (or lack of), smaller poop (meaning they are absorbing more nutrients).
Kibble: Many vets are encouraged (paid even) to promote and sell brands like Hills / Science diet / Purina / Royal Canin – which is why you can usually find these brands on sale at their offices. However, a quick google search will find that all of these brands, and all the other kibble brands have all had recalls due to salmonella This is the list of the 2018 10 worst pet foods: Many of those “safe and recommended brands” are at the top of the list.
If you look at the ingredients on these products above, you will find a lot of fillers and a lot of things you cant pronounce. I don’t know about you and your family, but I don’t like to feed our family a lot of food that is processed and filled with preservatives and additives and fake versions when there are real things available. I know that what we eat makes a difference to our health and well being. I want what is best for my dog as well. Dr Judy Morgan (who is well renowned in the cavalier community – she has several and one that is 19) wrote this about the dangers of corn and other legumes often found in kibble – https://drjudymorgan.com/blogs/blog/deadly-pet-food-ingredient?fbclid=IwAR1tHNJ_ZEspEjg0kWg3yIfFNximTQeKIzJsNoZNVchLPjkJAXPXK97Eg9E
Dr Karen Becker put together her list of recommendations of best and worst foods and does a wonderful job explaining why:
Dr Karen Becker also talks about Raw diets vs kibble here:
One argument I hear about raw feeding is that you will get sick from salmonella. I have RAW fed my dogs for years and never had any issues with salmonella. My dogs all live in my house, on my couches and with our family – we get kisses from them – we have never gotten ill. Dog’s have stronger saliva than we do that is able to break down the enzymes in raw diets. This is why they can eat raw meat and we can not. I use metal bowls for my dogs and wash them in the dishwasher.
Here is a video of some vets talking about their experiences of feeding RAW and the things they saw:
I do know that raw feeding is not in everyone’s budget. They say that there are things that you can do to make your dogs kibble healthier and have done tests on dogs which show that even once or twice a week can make a huge difference.
- Add a probiotic – I love Answers Goats Milk, but there are many powdered probiotic powders on the market also – just please make sure it’s a dog one as dogs have different needs to humans.
- Add digestive enzymes – these come in a powder that you sprinkle over their food – it helps to break down the kibble and helps your dog absorb the nutrients better – it has the added benefit of helping if your dog lets off gas.
- Add a source of Marine created Omega 3 fatty acids – in other words – fish oil. Preferably from a sustainably sourced fish farm, so you don’t get metal toxins from the sea, but whatever you can find it better than nothing.
- Add some fruit and veges to your dog’s meals on occasion – your dog will love some blueberries, strawberries, lightly cooked carrots, lightly cooked sweet potato, banana slices, watermelon. The vitamins and minerals they will add to your dog are so good.
- Add the occasional raw or even cooked meat. You can crack a raw egg over your dogs meal (or if you cant stomach that, cook it first), give them a raw chicken wing (please dont give any cooked bones to a dog), some leftover meat from dinner (just make sure it has no salt or sauces on it). Just give less kibble for that meal.
The other note I would make about food is to change up the protein source for your dog for variety. I am not talking about the brand necessarily, but change from chicken to beef, to lamb and rabbit. This will help your dog stay interested in his or her food, and studies have shown that as long as they didn’t have an allergy to start with, by rotating proteins regularly it helps avoid developing an allergy.