What is in your dog’s food bowl? Do you really know what she is getting at mealtime? It is not only the amount of food you give your dog, but the nutritional value that help keep your dog at a good and healthy weight. Last week I said I would have a four part series on keeping your dog at an ideal, healthy weight. Food is the second part.
What is in your dogs food bowl?
Just a reminder, we are not dog nutrition specialists or veterinarians. We speak of what we have learned over time. We recommend you consult with your veterinarian if you have questions about the proper food and diet for your pup.
Do you really know what your dog is eating and what she needs? As we see it, there are three types of food, kibble, a step up from kibble, but not raw, and raw. We will take a brief look at these options today.
Kibble – The most common dog food.
Everyone knows about kibble. It is easy to feed, easy to find, and most dogs will eat it and like it. Did you know not all kibble is created equally? There are cheap varieties loaded with filler, flavoring and low nutritional value, lots of meat meal is found in almost all kibble, you can choose grain free, weight loss, senior food, puppy food, the list goes on and on. Before switching to a special variety of kibble, check with your veterinarian to see if it is the right for your dog.
Rule number one when feeding your pup – don’t feed her the amount stated on the bag. Most of the time the amounts given are way too much food for most dogs. The amount your dog needs depends on the nutritional value of the kibble, your dogs breed, age, and activity level. The super cheap brands may suggest eight cups a day while a good quality kibble suggests just two cups. If you are unsure how much to feed your dog, check with your veterinarian. Don’t forget to factor in the amount you will need to feed when calculating the cost of the food.
Remember one important rule of the paw: output is a sign of the nutritional value of what your dog is eating. In a super healthy diet, your dog may only do her business one or two times a day. Poor nutritional dog foods will send your dog to do her business five, six or more times a day. Not only does a dog need less of a high quality food, but the body uses the nutrients and doesn’t have much to give back as output.
A step up from basic kibble.
Mom fed dogs kibble for years and years and years. It wasn’t until she started blogging that she started to learn about other options. In time she switched her pups from an average kibble all the way up to a real premium kibble. At this point, she was considering feeding raw, but wasn’t ready to make the leap. Two years ago Mom switched us to Dr Harvey’s Canine Health. The basis comes in the bag, she adds the oil and protein. We loved it immediately!
At first she cooked the proteins slightly but it was so much work. Keeping up with having enough meat on hand for the three of us cooked was a real chore. A while back, she switched to adding the protein raw to our food and we love it so much! Still, it is a lot of work keeping a stock of meat in the freezer, and making all our meals every three days.
We love Dr Harveys and highly recommend it for any dogs, but with multiple larger dogs, it is a lot of work. The cost is more than kibble, but well worth it.
Feeding your dog raw.
Finally our food journey has landed in the raw category. There was no way Mom was going to prepare raw food for us all on her own. It is way too much work, and she has no idea how to even go about it. Luckily we found out about a raw diet that is sold locally. Mom and I went to Woody’s Pet Food Deli to check it out. They were so helpful in explaining how everything works, it is just the cat’s pajamas! We are now phasing out Dr Harveys and switching to an all raw diet. Whenever I even get a whiff of a container of the food, I get a goofy face because it makes me so happy!
Once again, we will have to tinker around with the proper amount of food we each need. The nice lady gave us a rough idea on how much we will each need, but Mom will monitor our weight to make sure no one’s furs start feeling tight. This is a complete raw diet (meat, bones, organs, everything), all pre-ground for us and sold by weight. We will be buying it in bulk because the three of us do need a lot of food. If you are considering a raw diet, see if there is such a place in your area. All Mom has to do is defrost and scoop the meals into our bowls, easy as can be!
Final thoughts on what is in your dogs food bowl.
- Feed accurately. One cup means one level cup, not a heaping cup.
- Try weighing the food instead of measuring it for more accuracy.
- Always have plenty of fresh water on hand for your pup.
- Your adult dog should be eating one or two meals a day at set mealtimes. Don’t leave food out for her to munch on all day.
- Know what is in your dog’s food bowl as far as nutrition vs fillers.
- Compare prices. The cost of cheap food may look good on the outside, but when you calculate in the large portions, a better food may be the better value.
Stay tuned next Tuesday for my take on treats for your pup!
My GBGV Life is happy, so we’re joining Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday!