Picking the right dog food for your pet can be a daunting task! Just walking into a pet store and gazing up and down countless aisles of food can give a pet owner the “heebie-jeebies”. That’s probably why most people pick one food and stick with it. It’s just too hard for the lay person to know which food is best.Knowing that a friend, relative, or neighbor feeds one type of food, or looking at a healthy coat in an active dog at a dog park may sway anyone to pick the same brand or type. In reality each individual dog may fare better with one type or another of dog food. As the saying goes, “one man’s meat may be another man’s poison.” In the case of pets that means that certain ingredients are tolerated better by different dogs.
Heavy dogs need less fat and less carboydrates in the diet. That translates to leaner pieces of chicken or beef that you are sharing, and less of those carbohydrate laden biscuits. The extra fat and extra carbs just add extra calories that they need to burn off! I always remind my clients to feed baby carrots, small pieces of lean meat, chicken jerky, freeze dried raw fish or other veggies and fruit or high protein/ low fat treats.
Allergic or itchy dogs need a limited ingredient diet that does not include common allergens like wheat, beef, barley, and chicken. Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance, Merricks, Fromms, Halo, and Evanger have a great assrtment of “grain free” limited diet dog foods that may help dogs with chronic itchiness, ear infections, or diarrhea (stomach upset and seizures too.) Good choices for the allergic type are salmon/sweet potato, rabbit/ potato, duck/potato, and venison/ potato.
I’ve always tried to feed my dogs a combination of quality dog food, healthy human food, healthy omega oils, raw food, and homecooked dog food. I pick foods with a higher protein and lower carb percentage ( protein>30%, carbohydrates< 40%, dry food and protein> 8%, carbohydrates< 10% canned food) and avoid wheat, barley, and beef.(Some dogs are allergic to chicken and tolerate beef!) I add fish oil and sardines frequently along with my own home cooking! I usually feed canned food, raw food, and home cooked food because I think moisture in food is real important and helps prevent medical problems.
For more information on the best dog food for your dog , check out Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet.