With so many options out there now how have you chosen to feed your dog?
Dry Complete Foods:
There is a wide range of dry complete dog foods on the market and the quality varies widely. To make sure your dog gets what they need, choose a food specially designed for them and buy the best dog food you can afford. The 'premium' dry foods tend to have the highest quality ingredients. Many are based on chicken and rice or corn. Bakers is a popular low cost choice but is essentially ‘Macdonalds’ for you dog as it contains additives and poor quality ingredients. Instead try feeding Chappie which is similar in cost but better in quality.
Although these foods may appear more expensive to buy, you do not need to feed the large amounts you would with a lower grade food, so many of them actually work out to cost the same, if not less!
Some dogs are not accustomed to complete dry foods but will normally grow to like them with time. If your dog does not seem to like eating dry complete and this is what you wish to feed you can try soaking the food in a little warm water to soften or mix in a little tinned food, gradually reducing the quantity until he is fully weaned and accepts dry complete.
Although dogs love wet foods and meats it can cause upset stomachs and lead to dental disease in the long term. Where possible it is best to stick to a good dry complete food. However when feeding wet food it is important to remember that as with dry foods
Dog Feeding Tips:
- It is better to stick to one variety of good quality dog food and do not add any supplements (unless instructed by your vet), as over supplementing can be harmful to your dog.
- If your dog does not eat all of its meal in one go, you may be offering it too much. Not all dogs eat the amount recommended by the food manufacturers. The right amount should produce firm, dark brown, crinkly stools. If the stools are firm, but get softer towards the end, this is a classic sign of overfeeding.
- Never change your dog's diet abruptly (unless under the direction of your vet). If you want to change its diet, do it gradually over a period of a few days to a week.
- Do not feed your dog before travelling in the car as this can encourage car-sickness, or an hour before or after exercise as this could contribute to a stomach dilation and torsion (also known as bloat) which is a life threatening condition requiring immediate veterinary intervention.
- Medium to large breeds of dogs should be fed from a raised bowl to prevent them from swallowing air while they eat, which can also contribute to bloat. You can buy bowl stands for this purpose. For owners of breeds who are thought to be susceptible to this condition, you should seek advice from your breeder, vet and/or breed club on further precautionary measures.
- Leave your dog in peace while it is eating from its bowl. Taking the bowl away while it is eating causes anxiety, which can lead to food aggression. If you want to be sure that your dog is comfortable with you approaching it during mealtimes, add a little food to the bowl while it is eating, so it sees you as an asset, rather than a threat.
- Never feed your dog from the table or your plate, as this encourages drooling and attention seeking behaviours such as begging and barking.
The Truth on Bakers Dog Food
E320 - has been found to be tumour -producing when fed to rats. In human studies it has been linked with urticaria, angioedema and asthma.
E321 - BANNED for use in food in Japan, Romania, Sweden, and Australia. The US has BANNED it from being used in infant foods. So bad McNasty's have voluntarily eliminated it from their products.
E310 - BANNED from children's foods in the US because it is thought to cause the blood disorder methemoglobinemia.
E172 - BANNED in Germany. E171 - BANNED in Germany.
E132 - Can cause skin sensitivity, a rash similar to nettle rash, itching, nausea, high blood pressure and breathing problems. One of the colours that the Hyperactive Children's Support Group recommends be eliminated from the diet of children. PROHIBITED in Norway.
E102 - TARTRAZINE -A trial on 76 children diagnosed as hyperactive, showed that tartrazine provoked abnormal behaviour patterns in 79% of them.
E110 - Sunset Yellow (E110) has been found to damage kidneys and adrenals when fed to laboratory rats. It has also been found to be carcinogenic when fed to animals.
E104 - One of the colours that the Hyperactive Children's Support Group recommends be eliminated from the diet of children.BANNED in Australia, Japan, Norway and the United States.
E153 -BANNED as a food additive in the United States of America. Suspected as a carcinogenic agent.
And which food contains ALL of these ? ....... Bakers Complete!
For a 25kg Dog Bakers recommends feeding 380g a day
3kg of Bakers Complete Chicken is £7.20 (prices from Pets At Home)
Costing 91p per day to feed.
For a 25kg Dog Arden Grange recommends feeding 309g a day
If you buy 2x 12kg of Arden Grange (1x Chicken, 1x Lamb) its £52.99 (at Swellpets) it will cost you just 68p per day...ALOT cheaper than Bakers...And look at the ingredients of them both:
Cereals, Meat and Animal Derivatives (min. 4% Chicken and min. 4% Fresh Meat In The Soft Moist Kernel), Vegetable Protein Extracts, Oils and Fats, Derivatives Of Vegetable Origin, Various Sugars, Minerals, Yeasts, Vegetables (min. 4% Vegetables In The Green Kernel). + Additives and Colourants.
Chicken meat meal (27%), rice (26%), maize, chicken oil, beet pulp, fresh chicken (5%), chicken digest, yeast, whole dried egg, linseed, fish meal, fish oil, prebiotic FOS, prebiotic MOS, cranberries, yucca extract, glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, nucleotides.
If you are really on a budget, take a look at whichdogfood.co.uk, just type in your dogs breed, age, weight and your budget and foods will come up listed by their star rating...for people on a really tight budget there is "Skinners Field And Trial Hypoallergenic Duck or Salmon and rice" as follows;
Duck and Rice - £22.29p (from vetuk.co.uk) for 15kg;
Free from artificial flavourings, colourants and preservatives. Whole rice (40%), duck meat meal (20%), naked oats, peas, whole linseed, sunflower oil, sugar beet pulp, vitamins and minerals.
Yes it has grains, but far better than Bakers!
For a 25kg dog, Skinners recommend 318g daily.
Costing just 48p a day!!!