Three Qualities of an Ideal Dog Food

There are several thousand commercially available dog foods to choose from in the United States alone. Almost every one of these contains long lists of ingredients and hard to understand “guaranteed analysis” and imprecise feeding recommendations. Unfortunately, this plethora of information and food choices can cause pet owners to become confused about how to choose a good food for their pet. Inst... »

Dog Food Labels Suck- Part 2

In our last post, we discussed the problems with using the feeding instructions on dog food labels. Following these can easily result in over-feeding. Today we will examine the monetary cost of overfeeding your dog. We will use the example that we used in Part 1 of this series. We had a 60 lb. inactive Dalmatian who was being fed 3 Cans per day of Canidae Grain Free @ 416 kcals per can. This dog w... »

Why Dog Food Labels Suck – Part 1

I often wonder why we have such a massive canine/pet obesity problem in this country. Is it because we don’t care about the health and well being of our dogs and would prefer that they live shorter lives? I don’t think so (MV notwithstanding)! Is it because we don’t care about the extra money we pay for food, medicine, vet visits and surgeries due to having overweight dogs? No wa... »

Feeding a Senior Dog: Seven Functional Foods

Like humans, as a dog ages, their body will be less able to fight off disease and recover from daily physical and mental stress. As a result, it is crucial that a senior dog is fed a healthy and functional diet, so that they will live a long and high quality life. From a macro perspective, most normal senior dogs should be fed less carbohydrates and more protein than the typical ‘senior diet’... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Protein Part 3

Evaluating the protein in a dog food requires a multi-faceted approach. Besides looking for named meat and fish as the primary protein source, one must also watch for other added protein sources that, while helping increase the total protein content of the dog food, might not be really species appropriate. A dog’s carnivorous nature means that animal and fish proteins should dominate the rec... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Protein Part 2

I have previously discussed protein and how specific, named proteins (e.g. Chicken) should be fed to a dog instead of non-specific proteins (e.g. Poultry). Yet, there are more ways to scrutinize protein sources in dog foods besides this rule of thumb. Proteins in dog food, whether specifically named proteins or non-specifically named proteins, can show up on the ingredient list in different ‘forms... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Vitamins & Minerals

Commercially available dog foods will typically contain long lists of ingredients. In fact, the average dog food contains over 40 different ingredients in a single recipe. One of the reasons that dog foods contain so many ingredients is due to the fact that they are generally formulated to be “complete and balanced”. Complete and balanced simply means that the food contains all of the essential nu... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Coloring

One of the most senseless ingredient functions in dog food is coloring. Dog food color can be enhanced in many ways, but when ingredients are added specifically to add color while adding no nutritional value, then those ingredients are at best, useless and at worst, harmful. Why Colorings are Added to Dog Food In order to determine the value of adding coloring to dog food, we must first look at wh... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Sweeteners

Like in the case for humans, a dog’s taste buds allow them to taste sweetness. And for many dogs, some sweetness is considered to be a good thing when it comes to their foods. Pet food manufacturers are well aware of this fact, and in an attempt to improve palatability, will often include ingredients that are meant to sweeten the flavor of the food. Although dogs will taste and appreciate sw... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Preservatives

Preservatives are, unfortunately, a critical component in most pet foods, especially the dry variety. A bag of dog food might not actually be purchased and opened by the consumer for 6-9 months or longer due to the industry’s long (slow) supply chain. As a result, dog foods must have relatively long shelf lives, often exceeding a year. The upshot of all of this is that dog foods, and in part... »

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