Choosing your puppy’s food can be a daunting task. There are literally hundreds of different brands of dog food on the market. It makes it hard to recommend a specific dog food that your puppy should be on.
Different people swear by different brands of dog food. And different brands work better for certain breeds over others. Keep in mind that dogs are just like individual people – some foods may not agree with your pup and cause allergies or stomach upset. One thing that is safe to say – if you are buying your dog food in a grocery store or major chain like Wal-Mart, you are definitely feeding your dog the wrong stuff.
Always check the ingredient list on the package. Dogs do not readily digest corn, soy or wheat, so if those are the first ingredients on the dog food, or anywhere on the list for that matter – run away. Put the bag down and back away from it. You want as many whole,natural ingredients listed first on the bag as possible, with a meat source being listed first. It is worth it to spend a little time researching the proper food for your dog.
What to Feed Your Pup
It can all be a little confusing and overwhelming when trying to decide which one. An excellent dog food site: Dog Food Analysis can help take out some of the confusion. They have comprehensive ingredient listings as well as analysis and information on the ingredients and their proportions in the food. Ideally, you will want to choose a grain free dog food. Grains are not a natural part of the canine diet.
You may balk at paying more for a high quality four, five or six star food, but generally speaking, you feed less than the lower grade foods, so it’s not as expensive as you may think. The dog foods found in the grocery stores or chain pet stores amount to the equivalent of doggie junk food. Many of those foods not only contain corn,wheat and/or soy as their primary ingredients, but also contain artificial food coloring and sugar! With these foods, you have to feed your dog more to keep him satisfied, therefore you go through more dog food every month. And the more that goes in, the more that comes out and that means more for you to to pick up later.
Though it may be tempting to buy treats for your puppy, make sure any treats you buy are specifically made for puppies. Puppies’ digestive systems are still maturing and are not as tolerant of different foods as adult tummies would be. Stick to training treats and dog biscuits specially made for puppies. If you are looking for training treats, you can even use some of your puppy’s kibble as treats. Don’t be tempted by the vast array of dog treats out there. Once your puppy has grown up, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to introduce those fun treats to him.
About Grocery Store Dog Food
As mentioned earlier, it cannot be stressed enough how bad the dog food is that you get in a grocery store. It may seem easy just to pick up Fido’s food while you’re getting your own, but please don’t. The dog food you get in the grocery stores, major retailers and even some of the large pet store chains are not good foods.
The food is mostly manufactured by subsidiary companies of human food companies. They use the waste products, otherwise known as by-products of the human food industry to make their dog food. By-products are what’s left at the end of the manufacturing process after all of the good nutrients have been stripped from the food. So basically filler. It’s an attempt to squeeze every last dime out of their ingredients. The result is an inferior food that has little nutritional value and is unhealthy for your pet.
This food is often made into fun shapes or dyed in different colors in order to appeal to you, the consumer. The food is also coated with flavorings in order for it to be palatable to your dog. Much of it is preserved with chemicals that aren’t allowed in human food because they are suspected of causing cancer. We also know that dye in our food isn’t good for us and it’s the same thing for your dog.
Don’t be fooled by words such as “Premium”, “Natural”, “Fresh” or “Holistic”. There is nothing redeeming about these foods. Most contain at least one of the Unholy Dog Trinity of corn, wheat and soy as fillers. Dogs cannot digest these grains and they are known to cause allergies, health problems and hyperactivity. Remember to read the label before you buy!
A Note About Vet Food Recommendations
When you walk into your vet’s office, you’ll probably see a wall lined with various types of pet food. And more than likely at some point during your pet’s lifetime, your vet will highly recommend that you put your dog on one of those “prescription” type dog foods. The most common reason is to help slim down doggies who have eaten a few too many treats or scraps from the dinner table.
The problem is these foods contain low quality ingredients that are actually bad for your dog. Many of the first ingredients listed are known to cause allergies and infections. These foods are also full of by-products and low quality fillers with no nutritional value.
Your Vet Makes Money off of Food
Be aware that your vet makes money on selling you this dog food, so they have a vested financial interest in getting you to purchase it. These “prescription” dog foods are only available from vet’s offices and because of that, they are often way over priced. You can find yourself paying more for this low quality dog food than a high quality food. In fact the exact same “Vet Formulations” are often available in pet stores for less money. The only difference is the name and the packaging, but the food is the same. These prescription pet food manufacturers make a ton of money off of unsuspecting pet owners. It’s pretty much criminal what they do.
Ask Questions About Any Recommendations
If your dog has been diagnosed with a condition that requires a special diet, please don’t blindly accept your vet’s recommendation that you purchase their “prescription food”. Ask specifically what it is you need to control, add or eliminate from your dog’s diet to manage her condition, then look for a dog food elsewhere that fits those parameters. It may require a bit of research, but your dog is worth it.
You can look up any food your vet recommends for your dog at Dog Food Analysis. They have broken down the ingredients in almost all brands of dog food. They will also tell you exactly why a particular ingredient is good or bad.
Vet Foods to Avoid:
- Hills Science Diet
- Hills Prescription Diet
- Hills Ideal Balance
Read on >> Switching Your Puppy’s Food