Good dog food and the dog’s name: two of the most important decisions a pet owner needs to make. Their name will last a lifetime and their food will determine how long that is.
I trust that naming your dog was a fun, thoughtful exercise, but most dog owners still seem to be in the dark when it comes to confidently knowing what to feed their furbabies.
Not only is the choice overwhelming, but now there’s so much mystery and hidden truths surrounding the “perfect dog food,” that makes choosing the best options even more challenging.
In this blog, I’m sharing with you the truth about what brands popularly market as the “perfect dog food,” and why variety is king when it comes to feeding dogs.
- Giving one food to your dogs may not be the best for their health.
- Dogs give cues on what they want to eat. Take their cues and use it as a guide on what to feed them.
- Variety is king when it comes to a healthy dog diet.
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Table of Contents:
- The Truth About Good Dog Food That the Pet Food Industry Does Not Want Dog Owners to Know
- Why I Don’t Believe That There’s Only One Good Dog Food For Our Pets
- Best Dog Food: How to Tell If You’re Choosing the Best Food for Your Dogs
- How to Start Incorporating Good Dog Food to Your Dog’s Diet
- The Benefits of Giving The Right Dog Food for Your Dogs
- Conclusion: The Best Dog Food is the One Your Dog Needs at a Given Moment
The Truth About Good Dog Food That the Pet Food Industry Does Not Want Dog Owners to Know
When I was younger, I loved eating spaghetti bolognese that I’d often say “I can eat this everyday!” Spaghetti bolognese looks like a decent daily meal — it has protein, carbs, and delicious tomato sauce. I could probably eat pasta everyday, but can you imagine what could have happened to me if I ate only that?
Just like us, our pets are complex, and every dog comes with unique needs in nutrition.
Here’s the truth: despite the fancy marketing from giant companies, calling a formulated product “the only healthy dog food you will ever need” just doesn’t make sense.
In Reality, There Are BIG Reasons Why a Dog Diet Without Variety Can Affect a Dog’s Health
Every type of dog food has a different nutrient profile, and feeding the same thing continuously can cause a dog to miss out on essential nutrients that are present in other types of food.
Let’s take the raw food diet for dogs, as an example. It has loads of benefits (here’s an article about the benefits of feeding raw dog food) but it’s not always a common choice among pet owners.
A one-food diet can decrease interest in food, making it challenging to get them to eat or to try new foods. Giving a variety not only ensures a diverse nutrient intake, but it also makes mealtime more enjoyable for the dog.
Additionally, dogs becoming overly familiar with ingredients are more prone to intolerances or allergies.
Relying on one option alone can actually be risky.
Why I Don’t Believe That There’s Only One Good Dog Food For Our Pets
Even for someone who loves pizza and pasta, a chicken soup becomes appealing when they’re feeling under the weather.
Bodies are programmed to crave for nutrients — even for dogs!
This is the exact reason why I don’t believe on giving one dog food for your pet their whole life. I believe that for different life stages, there are also different nutrient needs.
The reason we have all kinds of dog food — wet, dry, mixed — and even a dog food diet with just lean, fresh meat is because our dog’s diet needs are complex!
I do understand that having one food option sounds more convenient. But if we want to give a healty dog diet for our beloved pets, giving our dogs nutrion-packed meals based on their needs can make a difference.
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How to Tell If You’re Choosing the Best Food for Your Dogs
Creating a diet for your pet can be a daunting task, but there are several things you can do to become more confident the best dog food you have chosen.
#1 Consult with a Veterinarian
Your veterinarian can provide valuable insight into your dog's nutritional needs based on factors such as their breed, age, weight, and health status. They can also recommend specific brands or types of dog food that may be best for your dog.
#2 Read the Ingredient List
Look for high-quality protein sources, such as meat or fish, listed as the first ingredient. Avoid dog foods that contain a lot of fillers, such as corn or wheat, as these can be difficult for dogs to digest and provide little nutritional value.
You can also consider going for an all-natural meal. Adding natural ingredients like vegetables can bring big health benefits for your dogs.
#3 Look for Food Certifications
Refer to certification for products that meet nutritional requirements. Look for dog foods that have been certified to ensure they provide a complete and balanced diet.
#4 Consider your Dog's Preferences
Even if a dog food meets all the nutritional requirements, if your dog doesn't like the taste or texture, they may not eat it. Try different brands or flavors to find one that your dog enjoys.
#5 Monitor your Dog's Health
Keep an eye on your dog's weight, coat condition, and overall health. If you notice any changes, such as weight gain or loss, digestive issues, or a dull coat, it may be time to reconsider your dog's food and consult with your veterinarian.
Additionally, taking these steps and being mindful of your dog's specific needs, you can make an informed decision about the best dog food for your pet.
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How to Start Incorporating Good Dog Food Into Your Dog’s Diet
#1 Be Careful When Introducing New Treats
The best way to introduce new dog food to dogs is to be cautious and avoid abruptly switching from their current food to a new one. Doing the latter can cause digestive upset, such as diarrhea.
Instead, consider conducting a gradual transition by mixing a small amount of the new food with their current food and gradually increasing the amount over a week or two. This will help your dog adjust to the new food and reduce the risk of digestive problems.
#2 Start a New Dog Diet with Small Servings Served as Treats
If you want to test whether your dog likes a new food, you can offer small amounts of treats such as biscuits, wet food, or meat. You can place it on top of their regular food or offer it next to their bowl.
Many dogs love new treats and it can add variety to their diet. However, it's important to ensure that the new food is appropriate for your dog's nutritional needs and doesn't cause any digestive problems. It's always best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog's diet.
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#3 Introduce Different Safe Dog Food Options
One thing you can do is conduct a dog food test using dry food, wet food, and fresh meat to determine which ones your dogs prefer. Although you might already have an idea of the outcome, it would still be an interesting experiment to conduct.
Taking cues from your pet on what to feed him can ensure that you’re giving him food he actually likes.
The Benefits of Giving The Right Dog Food for Your Dogs
Better Nutrient Intake
Your dogs can receive more essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which can help meet their nutritional needs.
A varied diet can help promote healthy digestion and reduce the risk of digestive issues, such as constipation or diarrhea.
Reduced risk of Food Intolerances or Allergies
Feeding dogs different dog food reduce the risk of developing food intolerances or allergies.
Better Dental Health
Some types of food, such as raw bones or hard vegetables, can help promote dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup and strengthening teeth.
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More Enjoyable Mealtimes
Providing dogs with a varied diet can keep their meals exciting and enjoyable, which can increase their appetite and make it easier to get them to eat.
Better Weight Management
A balanced dog diet promotes healthy weight management by providing dogs with the necessary nutrients without excess calories.
Dog obesity comes with major health risks so it’s important to make meals packed with nutrients and not with empty calories.
Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases
Dogs won’t be prone to obesity, heart disease, or diabetes, which can be caused by an unbalanced or inadequate diet.
Conclusion: The Best Dog Food is the One Your Dog Needs at a Given Moment
No marketing stunt can tell you otherwise.
With the help of your trusted vet, you can come up with a complete, complex, and enjoyable food options that’s great for your dog.
Like what I always say: it’s you, dog parent, who will be able to know what’s best for your dog.
Not the promises of a popular dog food brand.
Not the influencers telling you to go for one dog food forever.
It’s you and your dog’s journey to finding the best food that actually is good and delicious for them.
So don’t hesitate to try out new things. Start with small changes because in time, you’ll be in tuned with what your dog really wants and really needs.
Let the food tasting begin! 🎉
~ Doggy Dan 😄
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Thank you for this! I went through your program last year and if I still have access (I need to check) I will make this a priority. Though every dog should be fed as well as is deemed needed to provide the best nutrition, my dog is also my constant companion and psych service dog. His needs, as well as those for my cat (more than 16 yrs old), is paramount. I would also be very interested in what you have to say regarding the proper diet for my elderly cat. I will also be calling my vet immediately for an appt to discuss both. Thank you again.
Janice (the human), Buddy (the dog), and Bobby (the cat)