The number one question I get as a dog breeder is, “what should I feed my dog?” This is an excellent question, and perhaps one of the most important ones pet owners should ask themselves. It’s no secret there are tons of different kinds of dog foods, brands, and diets to choose from and not all are beneficial to your furry friend. With so many to choose from, doggy Diets can range from raw, semi-cooked, cooked, dry food, wet food, and a combination of any of the above. Although each diet has both pros and cons, there is a diet that I have concluded is the best for my pets in which I get both a good bang for my buck, and nutritional value that keeps my French Bulldogs healthy and problem free. That diet is the dry dog food diet. This is probably the most affordable, and with the right combination of dog food and mixed in supplements this doggy diet can contribute to your canines overall health and longevity of life. But what makes a good dry dog food? Well, there are a few key factors I look at before deciding which dog food to use such as ingredients, supplements, and pellet size. By taking these few things into consideration, pet owners are sure to find the best food for their best friend.
So exactly what type of ingredients are in Dog foods? Common ingredients found in most dry dog foods are chicken, chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain corn, flaxseed, B vitamins supplements, and D3 supplements to name a few. There are many more ingredients that are found in dry dog foods particular to the food’s brand and manufacturer. Although these ingredients may provide a certain level of nutrition for your pet, I tend to look for more organic ingredients that can be found naturally in the wild such as apples, carrots, broccoli, cranberries, and green peas. Another really great ingredient to look for is fish. Some of the best fish for canines are the shorter life fish such as salmon, ocean whitefish, herring, and flounder. Pet owners should stay away from the long life fish such as tuna and swordfish as these longer living fish can have a higher concentration of metals, such as mercury, in their meat. This can be harmful to your pet in the long run. An informative article on fish consumption for pets can be found on the AKC website. Many of these natural ingredients mentioned can provide essential nutrition without all the additives and junk from some of the more processed foods. After all, if I wouldn’t eat it I most certainly wouldn’t feed it to my pet.
Changing dog foods can sometimes be a hassle, especially if your pet has a low stomach tolerance or if your doggy doesn’t like change at all. So if your dog food is lacking in specific ingredients it may be easier to add supplements either directly to the food, or give them as treats and snacks in between meals. Activa dog food is great about adding in supplements to the dry food compound. With every purchase you can add up to two supplements that will be mixed in for free. Most of their supplements help boost energy, immune system health, gut health and digestion, reduce inflammation, and increase lean muscle. The downside is this food can only be found at Pet Barn. You can read more about this food on the Pet Barn website. More common dog foods that can found in several retail stores across the US are Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet. These are excellent choices as well. I personally use a mixture of Hill’s Science Diet and Activa high protein for my pets without any issues. You can find out more about Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet on their websites here and here respectively. If you decide to change their diet and experience resistance from your pets, try feeding your furry toddler a small portion of boiled chicken for a couple of days before switching completely. This will help the digestion process and can help clean out the gut.
Keep in mind that too many supplements can actually be harmful to your pet and complicate how your dog digests the food. Be sure to mix in only what’s needed and in small percentages. The pellet size of your chosen dog food can also aid, or complicate the digestion process as well. Especially if your pet is a gobbler, or a fast eater. There are many products such as special food bowls that will slow and control your pet’s eating. However choosing a dry food with a relatively smaller or medium sized pellet will help prevent choking and help aid digestion. Especially in the smaller breeds like French Bulldogs. Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet both provide a good size pellet for toy breeds and medium size dogs. Protein and other healthy supplements mixed into these foods are a great combination.
As with anything, a little bit of research can go a long way. Be sure to do your due diligence and help your pets live a long, healthy life. The more years you get with them, the happier you both will be.