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What's Your Dog Eating?

Recently I have had a few customers asking me about food for their dogs. There is so much choice around and everyone has different opinions. Is the cheaper stuff bad for my dog? Is dry good? Is a raw diet hard and expensive? How often should I feed them? Having completed a dog nutritional course I have found this very informative and helps when it comes to offering advice.

My answer is simple - Do what is best for your dog and you!!

As with everything there are pros and cons. Cheap and cheerful can sometimes mean you have to sacrifice quality. The expensive brands can be hard to maintain. Raw diet can be overwhelming and seem like hassle. I am going to suggest some branded foods as well Nelson's top choice.

When dealing with behavioural issues my first question is what food is the dog on? People don't realise that food can impact the dogs behaviour, due to some foods containing fillers and low quality meat.

When we first rescued Nelson he was on the wrong food for such a young dog. So with the vet we did a diet change (this should be done gradually when introducing new foods). It took over 6 months to find the correct balance for him, we tried many brands and options but finally he settled on a raw diet.



This is the easiest way to get a raw, complete meal for your dog. When we cooked we just add a few extras carrots, peas, potatoes. When doing chicken, we stripe down the bones and use them in boiling water to make a stock. Chicken is his fav but of course he does love a roast beef as well ( no onions of course).

Nelson highly recommends The Croft roast, they are very dog friendly & Chef Lee is always happy to pack up any left overs for him.

Raw Diet - We use frozen raw meat and then add some veg (Carrots, Pumpkin, Kale, Sweet Potato are all super foods for dogs)

Raw dog food is the diet your dog is anatomically designed to eat and digest, and the diet a dog would naturally select if given the choice. A raw diet is designed to give a dog exactly the nutrition they need. There are a few variations of raw dog food diets which range from pure meat recipes to complete meat and vegetable mixes, but these meals contain only pure ingredients that you would find in nature, with no added grains, fillers or additives. However, when defrosting they can smell unpleasant which can put people off.

Complete Food - These are just as good for your pets. The food has everything nutritionally. It comes prepacked good for travel and storing. We use Forthglade for Nelson, they have a wide range of wet, dry and treats. For a dog food to be labelled 'complete', it must meet regulations laid down by the European Pet Food Industry (FEDIAF). These regulations define the levels of all the vital nutrients a dog needs, with the word 'complete' indicating that no supplementary foods will be required. A dog can stay fit and healthy by eating that complete food alone.

Dry/Mixers - Dog foods such as mixer biscuits, for example, are 'incomplete' as they need to be combined with other foods (usually meat) to deliver all the nutrients your dog needs. You can get complete dry food. People like dry food as they can leave it out and it doesn't spoil. For this to happen some dry, mixers (even wet food) can contain Artificial Preservatives and colouring to make it look more appealing. Try to avoid these 2 ingredients.


Now this is a strange one as apparently dogs have a natural intolerance to dairy!!!! I know right?

However I know a lot of dogs (Nelson included) who love cheese and milk.

Some may have difficulty digesting milk. Some lactose intolerant dogs have trouble drinking milk, but can handle dairy products like cheese and plain yogurt

As you can see I have given a brief idea about the choices out there, with a few pros and cons. There is no hard and fast rule. If your dog likes home cooking and you are able to make them food, while avoiding the foods that are dangerous for them, great. If you like the convenience of being about to open a tin or pouch of shop brought, also great.

TIPS - Avoid dog food with "meal" rendered fat. They can also be a potential source of Salmonella and toxins, which are also unsafe for your pet. Rendered ingredients are considered unfit for human consumption. A good rule of thumb: If you’re not allowed to eat it, you might not want to give it to your pet either!

FOODS TO AVOID - Bones, onions, chocolate, alcohol, blue cheese, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, mouldy foods, sweets/sugar (large quantities), Xylitol,


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