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Recently we seem to be getting a lot of questions about dog food and how to choose or improve diet. People want to make sure they are doing the best they can for their dogs. I admire that. We’re the first to admit that we’re not experts, but we do know things you shouldn’t be doing and we know things you can be doing better.
For example, the hard core raw food advocates believe all dogs should be fed raw, while most veterinarians believe they shouldn’t.
There are dog foods that run the gamut from the bargain basement foods that are full of by-products, fillers and other indigestible ingredients, to very high quality, balanced, pure, healthy foods that may be cost prohibitive for many families.
That depends on a number of factors, including your budget and your lifestyle.
Educating yourself on a nutritionally balanced homemade raw or cooked diet and then having the time to always prepare the food is best for your dog because you know exactly what he’s eating. But it’s also time consuming and you have to make sure you know what you are doing to ensure your dog gets the nutrients he needs.
Another great alternative for high quality food is commercially prepared raw or cooked food. In Central Florida, there’s Rick’s Dog Deli if you’re interested in a certified, prepared, high quality, balanced, breed specific or therapeutic meal plan for your dog.
Commercially prepared frozen raw foods are available at any one of the many holistic pet food stores in Central Florida. However, these options may be too expensive for many people.
If kibble is what you feed, I’m sure you already know there are more options out there than most people care to know about. There are websites like the Dog Food Advisor that rate all types of commercially produced dog foods. This is a great source of information, however, looking through all this information and trying to figure out what’s best for your dog can be a daunting task.
We’re lucky in Central Florida to have an abundance of boutique, holistic pet food stores with knowledgeable staff who can help us decipher the labels and figure out what’s best for our dogs. Businesses like Pookie’s in Winter Park, various Woof Gang Bakeries, Gracie’s of Winter Garden, Louise’s in Lake Mary, Planet and Magic Pet, and more all carry better to high quality foods and can advise you on what may be good options based on your dog, your lifestyle and your budget.
There’s an interesting article I ran across by Dr. Karen Becker, a holistic veterinarian, that I think is worth reading. It talks about the importance of a proper diet, and ranks food choices from best to worst. I was surprised at how she ranked some foods but it makes sense.
Do the best you can for your dog by educating yourself on how to keep your dog healthy, starting with nutrition.