Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's in your food bowl little doggie?

Lately I've been reading a lot about doggie nutrition.  Even after all my reading I have to admit that I really don't know much more than I did before.  I've had dogs most of my life, and just pulled a bag of food off the grocery store shelf and that was it as far as feeding the dog(s).  Dog food was just that, dog food.  Little did I know...

Now I have four purebred dogs and after reading many labels and internet articles, as well as a few pages in different books, I realize that dog food off the grocery store shelf will not do.  After trying several brands I had decided to stick with the Eukanuba Dachshund brand.  The dogs liked it, the ingredients label looked good and it had fish oil in it, which Dr. Parker had recommended. My dogs are healthy, beautiful and happy.  But then I started reading all this information about grain free diet and at the same time wanting to get Bentley in shape for the shows.  So after spending some time in the store actually comparing labels, as well as on the internet, I bought a bag of grain free food.  (I can't remember the brand and am too tired to go look, so I'll post it later).  It has salmon, peas, and sweet potatoes as the main ingredients.  Sounds good and healthy to me.  My plan was to mix the two foods half and half.  

Soon Monday while Bentley had his check-up I discussed this plan with the vet.  She thought it made sense but she also explained that wild dogs do eat some grains and that it certainly was not unhealthy for them to have some in their diet.  The only real reason to use only grain free food is if your dog has an allergy or a medical problem such as a gluten intolerance.  She thought Bentley was very healthy and that his coat is also very healthy.  So for now I'm going to mix the two foods together and see how they do.  In addition, I'm still feeding them carrots and small amounts of cheese.  A lady I met at the show last week said that she feeds her dogs a scrambled egg once or twice a week (her dogs were gorgeous!) and I had read that eggs were very healthy for dogs, so I may make myself a scrambled egg one night a week and throw in four more for the pups.

I will have to say that reading the labels and the ingredients was very interesting.  I was surprised, to say the least, at what is in some formulas.  For the most part the protein, fat, and moisture, etc. analysis was very similar on most foods.  But some of the stuff in the ingredients was frightening.  I don't feed myself junky food or additives (ok, I admit that I had a Big Mac on Monday) so I don't want to feed the dogs a food that is primarily corn meal or some additive.  I also have to say that I don't think that price is a factor since some research suggested that the more the food cost the better it was formulated.  I can't agree with that as many moderate priced foods (like the ones I'm using) were very healthy. 

More posts to come on this subject, I'm sure.

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