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What Is The Best Food for My Dog?

    WHAT IS THE BEST FOOD FOR MY DOG?

 

INTRODUCTION

The question will eventually arise whether you’ve just gotten a new dog, or already own one. “What is the best food for my dog?” This may sound like a simple question, but many people don’t realize the importance of this topic when it comes to their dog’s health. A dog’s diet can greatly affect their health, skin and coat. Dog’s with a poor diet can experience itchy skin, coarse hair, greasy hair, flaky skin and much more. These are just the minor problems. Recently, 400 veterinarians gathered in San Francisco at the Iams Canine Nutritonal Symposium. At this symposium, veterinarians concluded that poor dieted attributed to major health risks such as diabetes, rapid aging, cancer, kidney failure and obesity. We all love our pets, so hopefully this article will inform you on proper nutritional practice to help prevent the above mentioned conditions. Please keep in mind that this article is based on my opinion. Always speak with a veterinarian for any advice regarding your dog.

I want to start by emphasizing again the importance of your dog’s diet. Like humans, a dog’s diet is probably one of the most important factors in preventing disease and illness. The impact of obesity in humans is quite considerable. It has been proven that obesity causes damage to practically every single organ in the human body. This phenomenon also applies to dogs. Obesity in dogs is a very serious problem, and can greatly reduce their life span. However, a healthy diet can help avoid many health issues. Of course, there are times that genetics take over, and certain diseases such as cancer cannot be stopped. Nevertheless, a healthy diet can greatly help, but not guarantee, a healthy dog.


WHAT NOT TO FEED YOUR DOG

So let’s get into what you should be feeding your dog. In general, large commercial dog food brands are horrible in nutritional value. They spend money on tons of commercials and ads that claim that their food is “Nutritionally Balanced” or “Scientifically Formulated” to fool you into thinking that this garbage is actually healthy for your pets. They slap on confusing labels to make you think their food is actually healthy for your dog. However, the sad fact is that many large commercial brand dog foods consist of grain with small amounts of actual meat and carcinogenic fats to make the food more appetizing to your dog. If you could only see how this stuff looks before they form it into kibbles, I guarantee you would not think twice about feeding it to your dog. This type of food only acts as a filler to satiate your dog’s hunger. They provide no nutritional value whatsoever. So now you might be asking, “Why would these large companies put so many grain products into their food if it’s so unhealthy?” The answer is simple. It costs less money.

You can easily spot these types of dog foods by looking at the ingredients. If the first item on the list is CORN or some other sort of grain stay away from this food. Also take note at the “Guaranteed Analysis” section of label. If the protein level is not at least 20% and the fat content are not at least 15%; you might want to find anther brand. Also, never buy any sort of dog food that has food coloring added. One word of caution is that extremely high protein diets, i.e. Protein levels greater than 30% are more suitable for adult dogs and larger breeds. Toy breed dogs should try to stick with protein levels of about 20% to 30%. However, always check with your veterinarian for what is recommended.
 


SO WHAT SHOULD I FEED MY DOG?

Essentially, you want to get your dog on a meat-based diet. This does NOT mean a meat only diet. Remember that you also want to avoid grain-based diets as noted above. Meat based diets are foods that have meat as the MAIN ingredient, along with other added vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E and omega fatty acids that add up for a true balanced diet. To find these types of foods, simply look at the “Ingredients” label and take note of what is listed first. If a meat ingredient is listed first such as chicken, turkey, lamb, venison etc., then it’s a good bet that this food is healthy for your dog. An even better method is to look at all the ingredients to make your final decision. Sometimes, the second or third ingredient can be some form of grain, which will make that food less desirable compared to a brand that has a meat ingredient listed for the first 3 or 4 ingredients per say. Ideally, you want to feed your dog a grainless diet. But again, one word of caution is that extremely high protein diets, i.e. Protein levels greater than 30% are more suitable for adult dogs and larger breeds. Toy breed dogs should try to stick with protein levels of about 20% to 30%. Always check with your veterinarian for what is recommended. It is not natural for canines to consume grains or carbohydrates. Some foods may contain meat as the first few ingredients, along with some fruits, vegetables or eggs further down the list. This is great, as long as the meat is the main ingredient. Next, I will give some recommendations on dog food based on their ingredients. The following recommendations are only my opinion. Always check with your veterinarian for any sort of advice for your dog.
 


MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS:


Below are my personal recommendations for Puppies, Large Breed Dogs, and Small or Toy Breed Dogs. I included several different brands in case certain ones are hard to find at your local pet shop. You probably won’t find all these brands at your local grocery store or even PetCo or Petsmart. I mostly see these brands at small specialty shops. Also keep in mind that these brands are more expensive than your usual commercial brand. This is simply because they use high quality ingredients as opposed to “grain fillers”.

Large Breeds

INNOVA EVO:

Ingredients:
Turkey, Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Egg, Garlic, Apples, Carrots, Tomatoes, Cottage Cheese, Alfalfa Sprouts, Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, Vitamins/Minerals, Viable Naturally Occurring Microorganisms

Guaranteed Analysis
Moisture 10.0 %
Protein 42.0 %
Fat 22.0 %
Fiber 2.5 %

 

INNOVA EVO RED MEAT (RM)
 



Ingredients:
Beef, Beef Meal, Lamb Meal, Potatoes, Egg, Sunflower Oil, Buffalo, Lamb, Venison, Beef Cartilage, Natural Flavors, Herring Oil, Apples, Carrots, Garlic, Tomatoes, Vitamins/Minerals, Cottage Cheese, Dried Chicory Root, Ascorbic Acid, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract

Guaranteed Analysis:
Moisture 10.0 %
Protein 42.0 %
Fat 22.0 %
Fiber 2.5 %

CHAMPION PET FOODS, ORIJEN ADULT

Ingredients:
Fresh chicken meat, chicken meal (low ash), turkey meal, steamed russet potato, fresh-caught Northern Whitefish, chicken fat, fresh whole eggs, salmon meal, salmon and anchovy oils, tapioca, chicken broth, sunflower oil, flaxseed, Atlantic kelp, steamed carrots, spinach, peas and tomatoes, sun-cured alfalfa, apple fiber, psyllium seed, rosemary extract, yeast extract (MOS), glucosamine HCl, cranberries, black currants, chondroitin sulfate.

Guaranteed analysis:
Protein 40.0% (min.)
Fat 16.0% (max.)
Carbohydrate 16.0% (min.)
Moisture 10.0% (max.)
Fiber 3.0% (max.)
Calcium 1.6% (min.)
Phosphorus 1.4% (min.)
Omega-6 2.0% (min.)
Omega-3 0.7% (min.)
Glucosamine 500 mg/kg (min.)
Chondroitin 150 mg/kg (min.)
Microorganisms 40M cfu/kg




Small or Toy Breed Dogs

ARTEMIS FRESH MIX SMALL BREED



Ingredients:
Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with Vitamin E, C and Rosemary Extract), Oatmeal, Dried Eggs, Fish Meal, Natural Flavoring, Canola Oil, Flaxseed, Fresh Potatoes, Fresh Carrots, Fresh Peas, Whole Fresh Apples, Cranberries, Dried Chicory Root (Prebiotics), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Lecithin, Garlic, DL-Methionine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Inositol, Dehydrated Kelp, Chelates of Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Copper and Cobalt, Potassium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sage Extract, Aspergillus Oryzae Fermantation Soulubles (Digestive Enzyme), Enterococcus Faecium and Lactobacillus Acidophilus(Probiotics)

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 29%
Crude Fat (min) 18%
Moisture (max) 10%
Omega 6 (min) 3.6%
Crude Fiber (max) 2.2%
Omega 3 (min) 0.4%



WELLNESS SUPER5MIX CHICKEN



Ingredients:
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Rice Bran (from brown rice), Rye Flour, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of vitamin E), Whitefish, Tomatoes (natural source of lycopene), Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed, Ground Millet, Carrots, Apples, Spinach, Blueberries, Sweet Potatoes, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate (a chelated source of zinc), Iron Proteinate (a chelated source of iron), Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate (a chelated source of copper), Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate (a chelated source of manganese), Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Choline Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Pyrodoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin K Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement], Chicory Root Extract, Glucosamine-HCl, Chondroitin Sulfate, Garlic, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein, minimum 22%
Crude Fat, minimum 12%
Moisture, maximum 11%
Crude Fiber, maximum 3%



INNOVA ADULT DOG FOOD DRY



Ingredients:
Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Potatoes, Natural Flavors, Ground White Rice, Chicken Fat, Herring, Apples, Carrots, Cottage Cheese, Sunflower Oil, Alfalfa Sprouts, Egg, Garlic, Taurine, Vitamins/Minerals, Viable Naturally Occurring Microorganisms

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 24%
Crude Fat (min) 14%
Moisture (max) 10%
Crude Fiber (max) 3%


Puppies

ORIJEN PUPPY



Ingredients:
Fresh chicken meat, chicken meal (low ash), turkey meal, steamed russet potato, fresh-caught Northern Whitefish, chicken fat, fresh whole eggs, salmon meal, salmon and anchovy oils, tapioca, chicken broth, sunflower oil, flaxseed, Atlantic kelp, steamed carrots, spinach, peas and tomatoes, sun-cured alfalfa, apple fiber, psyllium seed, rosemary extract, yeast extract (MOS), glucosamine HCl, cranberries, black currants, L-carnitine, chondroitin sulfate..

Guaranteed Analysis:
Protein 40.0%
Fat 20.0%
Carbohydrate 16.0%
Moisture 10.0%
Fiber 2.5%
Calcium 1.6%
Phosphorus 1.4%
Omega-6 3.0%
Omega-3 1.0%
Glucosamine 500 mg/kg
Chondroitin 150 mg/kg
Microorganisms 40M cfu/kg

 

INNOVA PUPPY FOOD




Ingredients:
Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Cottage Cheese, Tomatoes, Sunflower Oil, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Flaxseed, Potatoes, Herring, Apples, Carrots, Alfalfa Sprouts, Egg, Garlic, Chicory Root Extract, Taurine, Vitamins/Minerals, Viable Naturally Occurring Microorganisms

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 26%
Crude Fat (min) 12%
Moisture (max) 10%
Crude Fiber (max) 3.5%

WELLNESS SUPER5MIX PUPPY FOOD



Ingredients:
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Salmon Meal (natural source of DHA-Docosahexaneoic acid), Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of vitamin E), Ground Brown Rice, Tomato Pomace, Rice Bran (from brown rice), Tomatoes (natural source of Lycopene), Natural Chicken Flavor, Rye Flour, Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Ground Millet, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein Not Less Than 28.0%
Crude Fat Not Less Than 17.0%
Crude Fiber Not More Than 5.0%
Moisture Not More Than 11.0%
Calcium Not Less Than 1.30%
Vitamin E Not Less Than 150 IU/kg
Omega 6 Fatty Acids Not Less Than 3.0%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Not Less Than 1.0%
Beta Carotene* Not Less Than 5 mg/kg
DHA* Not Less Than 0.13%
Lycopene* Not Less Than 0.25 mg/kg
Taurine* Not Less Than 0.09%
 

I hope you've learned something about proper nutrition for your dog.  Believe me, the extra money for premium dog food is definitely worth the price.  Imagine the costs of vet bills if your dog were to come down with an illness or disease because they had a poor diet.  Thanks for reading and feel free to email me with any questions.

Mike Hsiao

info@swankpets.com
 

 

This article was published on Sunday 18 March, 2007.
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