Best Dog Foods for Your Pet: top ranked holistic
Which Are the Best Dog Foods and Treats for Your Pet?
What are the best dog foods and dog
treats? Let's start with what makes a good dog food. A
good dog food depends on the quality of ingredients and the
nutritional power of the food. It should offer a balanced
diet and the label should state "formulated to meet the
nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrients
Economy Dog Food Versus Premium Dog Food
Most dog foods found in grocery stores tend
to be economy dog foods, which, interestingly, end up costing
more to feed your dog than buying a premium or super-premium
dog food. This is because standard dog foods tend to be lower
in nutrients than premium foods and you have to use more food
to get the same nutritional benefits of a higher priced premium
food. For example, the suggested feeding instructions for
one economy brand said feed approximately 6 cups a day for
a 35-50lb dog. A super-premium food manufacturer recommends
approximately 1 3/4-2 cups per day. So not only are you feeding
your dog three times as much of the standard dog food, which
reduces the cost benefit, with that kind of volume just imagine
the extra poop you will have to clean up!
We looked at super-premium dog foods and
found that they had an average of Crude Protein (Min) 23-27.0%
and Crude Fat (Min) 13-15.0%. Lower end dog foods average
20% crude protein and 8% crude fat.
Economy dog foods usually contain corn meal
as one of the main ingredients (an ok protein source, but
may cause allergies in some dogs), along with chicken or animal
byproducts or rendered meat/poultry. Byproducts are
ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered
animals or poultry and can include heads, feet, necks, viscera.
These tend to be less nutritious but are often used in economy
dog foods because them are much less expensive than whole
turkey, chicken or meat. Rendered is often referred
to as "byproducts meal" and it means cooked and
processed remains of the leftovers in meat and poultry processing.
The blog site for Canidae All-Natural Pet Foods is a good resource for additional information on feeding your dog. The blog promotes responsible pet ownership as well as helpful tips for keeping your dog healthy and happy.
What to Look for in a Dog Food
Look for dog foods that are made from whole
product, such as turkey, chicken and lamb. Also check the
label to make sure the protein source is free of antibiotics,
hormones and pesticides. Chicken fat is an excellent source
of linoleic acid, which helps makes dogs' coats healthy and
shiny. Look for dog foods with chicken fat as the source of
fat. Also look at the fiber content. 3-4% fiber is generally
preferred for solid stools.
Some people even advocate a BARF
diet or Raw Feeding in place
of commercial dog foods.
Have you ever thought about giving Honest Kitchen dehydrated foods a try with your dog? You should. If you have a dog with food allergies,
Force might be just what you are looking for. It is a diet formulated specifically for dogs with allergies who can't handle grains in their diet. Honest Kitchen has six different foods for dogs with different diet needs, including
Keen, a grain free nutritionally balanced blend of 100% raw human grade turkey, dehydrated raw vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. There is no added salt, sugar, artificial preservatives, wheat, corn, soy, beet pulp, dairy or by-products of any kind.
What You Don't Want to Find
in a Dog Food:
poultry or fats
added growth hormones
protein from animals/poultry
fed that were given antibiotics
corn, soy, wheat and eggs may aggravate
or cause allergies
Which are the 10 Best Dry Dog Foods - Top Ranked Holistic
While we are not dog food experts, below
is a list of our top ranked holistic dog foods, listed in
alphabetical order. Note: within the brands there are usually several options such as grain-free, raw, etc:
*Main protein source is natural, antibiotic-
and hormone-free chicken. No animal by-products or rendered
meat or fats. Does contain soy flour and corn gluten meal
How Much Dog Food to Feed?
The amount of dog food to give your pet
varies depending on his size and weight and the brand of food.
Usually with premium and ultra premium foods you need to feed
your dog less than with grocery store brands.
Tip #1: Remember, whichever dog food
you choose, always have a bowl of fresh water available for
Tip #2: Vary your dog's food. Would
you like to eat the same thing every day for your whole life?
Neither does your dog. It is a good idea to vary your dog's
food so he doesn't get tired of it. Further, eating the same
food all the time can contribute to the development of food
allergies. When switching foods, most vetsas well as
dog food companiesrecommend you take about a week to
gradually make the change. Start by adding a small amount
of the new food to the old dog food and gradually increase
the new food and decrease the old one. This helps eliminate
stomach problems (dogs find enough reasons to throw up etc.,
their dog food should not be one of them.)
Tip #3: As much as it may be tempting
when you see that sweet face and those big brown eyes looking
at you, try to avoid feeding your dog people food, especially
rich or fattening foods. It can upset their digestive system
and throw off their nutritional balance, plus it usually leads
to them begging or getting in your way whenever you are in
the kitchen or near food.
Recommended books about dog food and dog nutrition:
Food for Dogs: Homemade Recipes"by
This is a best selling e-book filled with great recipes and
info including healthy dog food recipes for young and old dogs,
natural recipe to keep flea away, gourmet biscuits and treat
recipes and dozens of other recipes for delicious, economical,
healthful dog food. Get free updates to his book and free newsletter.
90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
by Dr. Richard Pitcairn
Dr. Pitcairn has a holistic approach to pet nutrition and natural healing. This book is a classic and a must-have for pet owners. It contains comprehensive info on nutrition and includes a host of recipes, as well as helpful info on a variety of health issues, environmental concerns, vaccines, weight problems, emergencies, pregancy, worms, and much more.
Raw Dog Food: Make It Easy for You and Your Dog
by Carina Beth MacDonald
An excellent resource if you are considering switching your
dog to a raw food diet. This entergaining book explains the
logic behind a raw food diet and how to make the change.