dog food troubles
so i dont know whether anyone else feels this way, but the pet food market is insanely confusing! i have never been satisfied 100% with any food that im feeding Emma. and there are so many controversial topics, like wet food versus dry, grain free versus grains, homecooked and raw!!! ive read countless articles on each of the benefits and i still find myself having a hard time finding something that im happy with. Emma seems to eat anything at this point (she used to be picky). right now i give her wellness small breed heathy weight and taste of the wild southwest canyon. HELP!! i dont know what to do, i feel like wellness has more vitamins and minerals, but i like that taste of the wild has different protein sources and usually higher protein. or is wet food better? i dont know, if any one can give me specific foods (kibble or wet) that they use and really love !!!!!??
oh and by the way, i just started adding fish oil (salmon) to her food
Oh, the endless debate with no real "right" answers... :yikes
In my opinion, based on research and advice from various sources, I think a high-quality dry kibble supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables is the best way to go. Dry kibble is better than wet since wet is mostly made of water. Dry kibble also is better for the teeth since it helps to clean as they eat.
As for Grain-free or not, I still have no clue! I think as long as they are "healthy" grains (i.e. brown rice, barley, potates), and are not an extremely prominent ingredient on the list, then it should be fine.
Having said that though, I just switched my girls to Orijen which is a grain-free formula. I rotate days between the 6 Fish and Chicken Adult. I decided to go with orijen since, in my area, it is the highest quality food that is available. It is made in Canada with human grade meats and although it is also the most expensive available, I really do think it is the best on the market. I used to feed Fromm four star but their forumla has TINY pieces, which are basically swallowed and not chewed therefore have no teeth cleaning benefits and they eat it quicker. If you feed grain-free though you will have to cut down a bit on the quantity.
I used to supplement with salmon oil as well, but now that I'm feeding the orijen 6 fish I think theyre getting enough.
Both Wellness & Taste of the Wild are quality brands though, but I have to ask why are you feeding the "healthy weight" formula? Is she overweight? Generally healthy-weight versions just have more carbs. Personally when my dog needed to lose weight I just cut down on the quantity and increase the exercise.
Good luck, let us know what you end up going with :)
well yes actually, she just lost 2 pounds! she weighs 15.9 pounds and is very small framed haha. im trying to keep her lean because she has CM so its better for her to not be carrying extra weight. also im trying to keep her lean to keep her heart healthy. before i had her on a "diet", i was only feeding her a total of 1/2 cup a day, 1/4 cup each meal. i felt bad for her cause she was constantly starving and licking her bowl. the wellness healthy weight also has 29% protein which is pretty high for a weight managment food so i liked that aspect of it. shes pretty active and high energy, so it confuses me that she eats so little and still isnt as thin as i would expect. she hardly ever gets any treats. :/
Lots of opinions, lots of approaches. :) I've got a lot of links around this issue in the Library section, I think in the Caring for your Cavalier or maybe in the Health section...
Just a quick note -- it is a bit misleading to believe wet food is mostly just water and therefore dry food is better or better value. Kibble is mostly just the ingredients that allow it to hold its shape and be extruded -- not anything of much nutritional value. With kibble, most nutritional value has to be supplemented back in as it gets lost from the 'real' ingredients that are used. Wet food is mostly moisture simply because it is real food (just like we humans are mostly water... :) ) and hasn't been baked or dried.. But wet dog food varies enormously in quality as does dry.
The main thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to only feed a wet food, a dog needs something to also help clean and exercise teeth and jaws -- healthy chews, raw bones for those who feel comfortable giving raw bones (never cooked!) etc.
PS I would make sure she is at a healthy weight with your vet -- you don;t want her to be underweight.
Cavaliers like a lot of dogs will always appear hungry but it doesn't mean they are starving. :thmbsup: One key reason so many get so fat is people think they are starving and give them lots of treats or overfeed! from experience I can tell you a cavalier with access to a large bag of food will eat happily eat itself sick! So people should never give 'what the dog wants' or free-feed, but carefully controlled portions. :D
I could not agree less with that comment. One of the reasons that canned (wet) food is better is because it has moisture in it. Dry food is the junk food of the pet food industry. It is overloaded with carbohydrates like corn or wheat or other grains, simply to enable it to bind together better in the bag, and certainly not because such carbs are good for the dogs.
Originally Posted by cpell009
Dogs, like humans, need a lot of moisture in their foods -- like 70% -- and don't assume that when a dog eats dry food it will have enough sense to switch back and forth between the food bowl and the water bowl.
I dont necessarily believe that to be true. Like human food, for dogs there are high quality foods and low quality ones. No high end dry kibble has any corn or wheat, and in fact many are available grain-free made with human grade meats.
Originally Posted by RodRussell
The main reason I am personally against wet food is due to its effect on the teeth. But like Karlin said, if you are sure to give lots of bones and brush frequently, then a high quality wet food would be fine. My dogs drink plenty of water on their own, I dont think either has any dehydration issues. Plus I feed fruits and veggies which have high moisture content.
Please name a few "high end" kibbles.
Originally Posted by cpell009
What negative effect do you believe "wet" food has on teeth?
Originally Posted by cpell009
i havn't acutally read the entire thread..just skimmed a few posts.
However..for my cats ..my vet has said that the wet food is better because it is less processed. (obviously still procssed) but...the body has to work less to break it down..and as a result the wet food has been mor damaging to the kidneys.
i found this out..when our maxie got sick with kidney failure..and i tried absolutly everything to get food into him..i caved and bought the wet food..which had just been a very rare treat. maxie never made it..we lost him to the kidney failure. but meeko..wet food has become an INSISTANT..infact he has pretty much stopped eating dry al together (could be due to his teeth..at 16 theyre not in great shape)
anyways.. wet food is now a staple in our house.
however..when maggie comes home.. the breeder has them on Acana puppy food..and doing my research have been told that this is pretty high quality stuff. i will probably keep her on it for a while..and then do the math and see if its cheaper to put her on stuff we get at the vet..as the pet insurance im going to go with will pay for half the vet food.