Choosing the right dog food can be confusing. There are a lot of brands, and varieties of each brand. It isn’t just about feeding your dog, it is about how to make sure that you choose the right dog food for YOUR dog. Sometimes you can choose what you think is the perfect dog food based on other peoples dogs, but then you may realize that your dog may have an allergy to an ingredient in that particular dog food. That is something that you will more than likely not know before you choose your dog food.
The different varieties of dog food are based on age, weight, size, breed, amount of exercise your dog gets etc… Then you go on to different flavors, different fillers, and some other important ingredients that some have and some don’t.
One of the ingredients that I know quite a bit about is glucosamine. I know about this one specifically because my Beagle (Shiloh) started favoring one leg and it kept getting worse, so I called the vet and they recommended that I get her a dog food with glucosamine in it. Also they told me to make sure that she wasn’t eating the cat food because that would make her worse (She had been eating the cat food, she wouldn’t eat dog food at all). so I went to my local pet supply store and they helped me choose a new dog food for her. I explained that she would not eat dog food, so they said that maybe she needs a type of food that is closer to the size of cat food. We chose a Chicken and Rice food that were small pieces. She loved it and it didn’t take long before she stopped limping. I cannot find that brand anymore, but found glucosamine tablets that I can give her, because all 3 dogs do not need the glucosamine in their food.
So about those fillers. Generally the fillers used in dog food are corn or rice. The dog food with rice fillers is more expensive but in turn your dog will eat a lot less, and be healthier so its not really costing you more in the long run. Rice fills them faster and they stay full longer because it is more nutritional. Also corn can make them itch, raises their blood sugar and is not easily digested. I just learned about that because my dog had been itching bad and I was told that its because I was feeding her beef dog food. So I switched to chicken, and saw some change, but not enough, so I went back to the pet supply store and asked them about it, and about what kind would be better. That’s when I learned that corn also makes them itch, is not healthy for them and doesn’t fill them up anyway.
I recently found a video talking about rice for dogs ==>Click here<== to watch that video. This will end any confusion if someone has told you that rice isn’t good for your dog. Because believe me everyone will have their opinions, and before you know it, you will think that you can’t feed your dog anything. lol
Now, I know people that cannot give their dogs chicken dog food because they are allergic to chicken. So if you get a dog that itches because of beef and corn, but is allergic to chicken, then I guess you would feed them lamb and rice dog food. As I said it can be very confusing, and then sometimes you think you chose the right one and all of a sudden it isn’t anymore. You don’t want to change your dogs food unnecessarily or frequently because this will make them sick (vomiting and diarrhea). Their stomachs cannot handle changes in food very well. But it is something to look at when you feel maybe the dog food is affecting your dog in a bad way.
Also do your research on brands. Some brands look and sound like they are great but then you find out that they are not healthy for your dog. For instance if you read about some ingredients that are in some dog foods, I am guessing that you probably wouldn’t purchase it.
Always keep up to date with pet food recalls. Sometimes you will be using a brand that is really good, and suddenly it can get recalled. It doesn’t always mean that the brand is bad, it can sometimes just be a batch that somehow got contaminated. The FDA provides an updated list of recalls, just click here to look at that list.
These products are By-Products: Which is diseased tissues, organs etc.. from the remains (not including actual meat) of animals that have been dead and full of maggots before being boiled down to make dog food. Propylene Glycol: This product is found in anti-freeze. It is used in dog food to reduce moisture and bacteria growth. It also reduces bacteria growth in your dog, bacteria that your dog needs such as intestinal bacteria to help digest the food. This can cause health problems for your dog such as intestinal blockage and cancerous lesions in their intestines. Ethoxyquin: This is Herbicide. It is used as a preservative in a lot of dog foods. It is known to cause cancer (liver, stomach, skin, spleen), leukemia, immune deficiency syndrome, blindness, kidney and liver damage. BHT/BHA: BHT (to help reduce food spoilage) can cause cancer for both dogs and humans. BHA (preservative) can cause kidney damage. Corn Syrup/Corn: Can cause weight gain, diabetes, hyperactivity, possible mental behavior problems, corn itself could develop mold or fungus over time which could result in death. ( I have lot more on corn filler above).
So when I discovered that my dog was itching because of beef dog food, I switched to Beneful chicken dog food. About a month after I switched I read that Beneful is not healthy for dogs. Beneful is loaded with by-products, as seen in the ingredients list. Which if you read the paragraph above, you will understand why that is bad. Some of the complaints that I read about this dog food are reports of vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, lethargy, weight loss, seizures, bloat (a life-threatening condition in dogs), liver failure, kidney failure, and death.
Shortly after I found this out, my sister-in-law came to visit and I asked them what they feed their dog because I had read bad things about Beneful. My sister-in-law said that they used to feed their dog Beneful until they had to take her to be kenneled one day and the kennel and vet on duty refused to feed her dog Beneful. She had to purchase a new dog food before she could leave her dog there.
I personally didn’t have any health issues with my dogs from Beneful, but with all of bad things that I read and heard, I stopped feeding it to my dogs. They still itched because of the corn filler though. I am sure that there are a lot more dog foods out there like this, but I talked about this one because this is a specific one that I learned about.
When looking at the ingredients list (the same goes with human food) Whatever comes first on the list is what it has the most of by weight. Now I could explain this to you here or I can send you to a site that I found very helpful and easy to understand when it comes to reading the ingredients and labels on dog food. So to read the article from WebMD just click here.
It is best to limit dog treats. I discovered the hard way that too many treats is a bad thing. 2 reasons, My dog got really fat, and she became so spoiled, expecting a treat every time I turned around. She would literally trip me every time that I got home, crying, jumping, and running around my feet as I was trying to walk into the house.
It has been discovered that most dog treats and food made in China are toxic to your dog. Be careful reading labels too because it may seem like they are made in America but really they are made in China. There is different wording used on labels to trick you. Such as Made in – Manufactured in – Distributed in etc…
It is really much safer, and can be kinda fun to make homemade dog treats. I know when I started doing that, my dogs loved them more than any treat that I ever bought at the store. I just cut down on how many I give them because they got fat (from store bought or homemade). If you don’t have a lot of time to make treats, you can take a day that you do have time, and make a bunch to freeze.
There are lots of recipes out there, but these are a few of my favorites. You can even taste them because it is ingredients that humans can eat too. Just be careful not to break a tooth lol as some of them will be hard, which is what dogs generally like. Of course if you have a dog with weak teeth, you will want to make sure that you make soft treats.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal: 2 cups flour, 1 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup peanut butter, 1 and 1/4 cups hot water. You will need a little additional flour for kneading and rolling if you choose to roll them out. You can just drop them with a spoon, if you don’t want to roll them out and cut them. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, mix dry ingredients together, then mix in peanut butter, then hot water. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes after you roll and cut or spoon drop onto lightly greased baking sheet. Cool completely before serving to dog. These treats will last 1 week at room temp., 3 weeks in the refrigerator, and 6 months in the freezer. These will be hard.
Chicken Flavored Biscuits: (you can make any other meat flavor, such as beef, just change the broth flavor) 1/3 cup chicken broth (I make the broth with bullion), 1 cup flour (will need an additional 1/2 cup for rolling the dough), 1 egg, dash salt. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Roll out, keep adding flour as it will be sticky. After rolled out, cut into shapes and place on greased baking sheet, or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. These should be good for same amount of time as the ones above (If you were to add real meat, they wouldn’t be good for as long).
These 2 recipes are the ones that I use, I haven’t tried others, because my dogs really like these, and they are simple.
I have found another recipe here for peanut butter dog treats, just click on the highlighted text, and it will bring you to the recipe page.
Coconut oil is very good for your dogs in a lot of different ways. Although it may cause dogs stool to loosen, if you notice this feed them a little rice or canned pumpkin. So if you find a recipe that calls for oil, try using coconut oil. It also doesn’t hurt to drizzle a little over their regular dog food. The benefits of coconut oil for your dog include skin health – such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy skin, doggy odor. It moisturizes the dogs skin and makes a nice shiny coat (in food or bath). Helps to eliminate bad doggy breath. Helps to heal cuts, wounds, hot spots, bites, and stings if applied directly. Helps prevent diabetes, yeast infections, thyroid problems, heart disease, helps kennel cough, reduce weight and increase energy. It is also known to help with brain health (Also for humans).
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below, and I will get back to you. Also if you have a good recipe for dog food or treats, please put that in the comments below, and I will add it to this list.