We first brought home our tiny bulldog puppy, determined to do everything exactly right. Starting with her food. So we bought her the most expensive dry food in the store and were sure we were making the right decision. Then life kicked in and we couldn’t afford to spend as much on her food. Now it was time to do some research and decide what would be the second best. Turns out after doing some digging, even the crazy expensive dog food wasn’t necessarily what was best for her.
So here is what I found. Giving my pups proper nutrition can not only make them feel their best, it can also extend their lives and limit the amount of money we spend on vet bills. Especially since I single handedly funded my vet’s trip to Hawaii last year. The most interesting thing I found is that proper nutrition for dogs has been found to slow or even reverse cancer symptoms
But what is nutritious?
What can we feed our pets so they can live the best most comfortable lives? Well, there’s actually a lot that goes into choosing food for your pet, such as; cost, quality, availability and convenience. Unfortunately this is usually a pic 2 scenario. Food that has optimal quality and is convenient for you to feed you pet (such as dry foods) may not be readily available, whereas food that is great quality and also available in your area is probably not convenient. But all is not lost, you can find food that works for your lifestyle and is also good for your dog. You just need to know what to look for.
Keep an eye out for foods that use Vitamin C (also listed as citric acid) or Vitamin E as a preservative. Better yet look for foods that contain no preservatives.
Next look out for ingredients to avoid such as corn and wheat gluten. These are empty calories and false protiens that are easily contaminated without detection like in the melamine contamination of 2007. Also avoid Meat and grain meals or by-products. Now normally I would say, “who cares if the dog is eating by-products? They eat their own poo.” However, in this case by-products also mean parts of dead animals that could possibly be diseased or even other dogs and cats euthanized in shelters.
Also avoid BHA and BHT which are known reproductive toxins and have been proven to cause liver and kidney damage.
The last one to specifically avoid is propylene glycol or PG. PG is made with ethylene glycol also known as antifreeze. They say PG is non-toxic and non-absorbent for animals. However eating animal-safe antifreeze is not beneficial either.
Lets get real for a second
I would like to point out that most dogs don’t die from eating low quality dog food the same way that humans don’t die from eating fast food for every meal.
But there is always something better and it can even be affordable. You can make your own dog food and it’s not all that difficult. There are ton’s of resources on how to make dog food all over the web.
A slightly less affordable but much more convenient option are quality food brands that can be found at pet stores such as Instinct. Or Wholesome Homemade. There are plenty of foods to choose from it really just comes down to the good, better, best principle. It’s good to feed your dog no matter what you budget or schedule. Better to feed a quality and convenient dog food. It’s best to feed your dog a raw food, using human grade products designed for their optimal health.
Do you have a favorite Dog food brand? Is there anything else you try to avoid?