DEMYSTIFYING DOG FOOD

I’m writing today’s blog post with one objective: To provide you with the information you need in order to make good food choices for your dog. You’ll read about the different types of dog food, ingredients and cost considerations. In addition, you’ll get links to good resources for further reading.

Three Considerations

To keep things simple, the process of choosing the right dog food boils down to three basic considerations:

  • Several food types. Because there are many types of dog food – dry, wet, semi-dry and raw – there is yet more to think about.
  • The ingredients. Our biggest concern should be that the appropriate nutritional ingredients are present in the food we choose for our dogs.
  • Cost considerations. The cost of food is a factor for many, who do not have an unlimited budget for pet-care. Yet, it is a mistake to buy-by-price, because;
  1. A budget dog food, contrary to the loose claims of quality that adorn the packaging, is unlikely to provide proper nutrition.
  2. On the other end of the scale, paying a high price, while indicating the likelihood of quality ingredients, is not a guarantee of good nutrition.

Primer on Dog Food Types

Wet dog food has a high moisture content. Therefore the actual nutritional ingredients are diluted, requiring that you give a larger quantity of wet food to your dog to give him or her the nourishment they need.

Dry dog food inherently carries two advantages compared to wet and semi moist foods. Its ingredients being dried, they are more concentrated, and therefore provide more nutrition ounce for ounce than the other types. The second benefit of dry dog food, is that the kibbles have a scrubbing affect on dogs’ teeth as they crunch them up. This property helps reduce the tartar buildup on the teeth.

Semi moist dog food usually lacks the quality of nutrition your dog needs. In addition it tends to contain significant sweetening; a fact that renders the food unsuitable for all but treat purposes. It is not appropriate as a staple of your dog’s diet.

Raw dog food: If done right, I personally have little doubt that this is the very best way to go, nutrition-wise for your dog. But starting with raw food takes effort, and the diet can get expensive. In addition you’ll need commitment and determination to succeed with a raw dog food diet. You’ll need to:

  • Understand what constitutes a nutritionally balanced raw diet.
  • Become educated on basic safety precautions.
  • Have the courage of your convictions, since half the “doggy” people in your life including your vet – may be vehement in their opposition to raw food! Such opposition, however well-intentioned can arise more from ignorance or false indoctrination than fact.

Useful Resources

We’ve written quite a lot about food at German Shepherd Place. If you’d like to get a more in-depth understanding on many of the above-mentioned topics, click the appropriate link below:

Food for Your German Shepherd:                 http://germanshepherdplace.com/?p=2539

Understanding the Ingredient Label:               http://germanshepherdplace.com/?p=194

Toxic Things to Keep from Your Dog:            http://germanshepherdplace.com/?p=182

Raw Diets for Dogs:                                       http://germanshepherdplace.com/?p=812

Puppy Feeding Primer:                                   http://germanshepherdplace.com/?p=1919

Supplements for Your Dog?                           http://germanshepherdplace.com/?p=1956

Is Olive Oil Good for Your Dog?:                   http://germanshepherdplace.com/?p=2142

Virgin Coconut Oil and Your Dog:                  http://germanshepherdplace.com/?p=1808

Here now is one of my favorite websites for sound guidance for dog owners: www.DogFoodAdvisor.com. This is the work of Mike Sagman, a practicing dentist who devotes his free time to reviewing dog food. He’s done some 800 reviews, representing about 3,500 commercial products!  Each food he scrutinizes gets a ranking – between one and five stars.

I hope you’ve found some things of value in this blog post. I’d enjoy hearing from you and can be reached by writing me, Mark Mulock, at contact@GermanShepherdPlace.com.

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