I often get asked what I feed my dogs so I thought I would write a blog post about it. First let me start off by saying that proper nutrition is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for the health and longevity of your dog. Many health issues are rooted in bad nutrition and putting your dog on good, high quality food makes a world of difference.
Currently I am feeding my dogs and 50/50 split of kibble and raw food diets. I feed them kibble for their morning meal and raw for their evening meal. I like to feed the kibble and raw separately because there is research that says kibble and raw food digest at different rates so it is best to feed one type of food at a time (I've also heard that it is really not a big deal to mix the two but I prefer to feed separately).
I feed GRAIN FREE kibble that uses high quality ingredients but won't break the bank. I am a huge fan of Open Farm, which is an ethically sourced and raised kibble that you can feel great about buying. I do spend a bit more on this kibble but I think it is important to use my buying power to support a company with good morals and that is environmentally conscious. Since my dogs don't have allergies or sensitive stomachs, I like to rotate the formulas with each bag I buy. This is called a "rotation diet". You can learn a lot about it with a quick google search, but essentially it is good for them to get their nutrition from a variety of protein sources since there isn't one perfect food that will meet their every nutritional need.
Before I found Open Farm, I fed my dogs Nulo. This kibble is a little less expensive but gives you a bang for your buck when it comes to quality. It has animal protein at the top of their ingredient list and it also doesn't have a bunch of fillers such as white potato, corn, or tapioca. They even have a limited ingredient formula that is great for dogs with allergies!
When it comes to raw, I keep it simple! I am not spending hours in the kitchen formulating complicated recipes for my pups. I get Primal Pet Food complete frozen patties. There is no mixing required...just defrost and feed. Just make sure to feed out of metal bowls and wash them with warm soapy water after each meal. Also refrain from face licks right after they eat.
If you want to save some money you could buy your own meat or get prepackaged ground meat and then mix it with a base (Honest Kitchen makes a good one). DO NOT just feed them meat. They are omnivores, not carnivores and need a complete and balanced meal.
DO NOT OVERFEED YOUR DOG!! You can give your dog the best food out there but if they are overweight then they are not as healthy as they should be. You are shortening your dog's life by letting them be overweight. I know it can be hard for us humans to put down the cookie but our dogs are dependent on us for food. Therefore there is NO EXCUSE for having an overweight dog. Just because the bag of kibble is telling you to feed a certain amount, doesn't mean it is set in stone. That is just a guide to give you an idea of how much to feed and it is usually more than your dog should actually be eating (because the more they eat the more bags of food you need to buy). Each dog is an individual and requires a custom amount of food based on their body condition. I make sure to keep an eye on my dogs and change their food amounts accordingly. If I notice that they are getting a little "fluffy" I will cut back a little on their food. If they are looking a little slim or had a particularly active day, I will give them a little more. Don't be afraid to periodically adjust the amount your dog is eating. Also keep in mind that the chews and treats you give them have calories too. I will often cut back on dinner if I used a lot of training treats earlier that day.
I hope that this was helpful for some of you. I am passionate about good nutrition so don't hesitate to contact me with questions about your dog's current diet and ways to improve it.