The Dog food world is a minefield
Premium brand dog foods may cost a premium but what price do you put on the health of your dog. Many People today are switching to a “raw dog food” diet.
The pet food industry is focusing on many Buzzwords commonly heard in the human diet world like ‘gluten free’, ‘hypoallergenic’, ‘organic’, ‘grain free’, ‘raw’ & even vegan dog food. Hoping to attract new customers by playing on the fact that humans will almost do anything to pamper their dogs.
This ever increasing humanisation of pets is resulting in a shrinking gap between pet food and human food. Consumers are becoming more nutritionally aware & health conscious and owners are now reaching out for dog foods carrying the clean eating theme. The packaging on some of this “clean dog food” is actually starting to look like human ready meal packaging as they try to catch the eye of owners.
Does a dog need this fancy food?
A lot of the companies that provide these “clean” foods claim that they have major benefits for the dogs digestive system, body odour, hair, breath and even behaviour. This is mainly due to the fact the foods do not have additives and are high protein. Cheap dog foods with additives and other cheap ingredients have been said to lead to hyperactivity, lack of concentration and general misbehaviour. The more natural dog foods & raw dog food contain real meat instead of meat derivatives and natural ingredients that should be recognisable. Dogs were always fed more natural ingredients before the rise of kibble which meant dogs were healthier and slimmer. Complete raw foods are also available mainly consisting of meat, bone and offal, this must be the closest thing to what dogs would have eaten in the wild.
How can we try the raw dog food diet out?
Here at dogly we have our very own top dog Lord Bentley, he’s a 4 year old working cocker spaniel, but not actually in work, however, he does give us a lot of work! Bentley has eaten many brands of dog food, but always the kibble kind. This makes him an ideal test subject for a trial of some raw food from Nutriment to see what all the fuss is about.
Bentley has been mainly fed on brands like Skinners, Royal Canin, Eukanuba & Millies Wolfheart hes always been a very very hyperactive dog which was normally just put down to him being a cocker spaniel. So can this food calm down Doglys very own Lord Bentley, if the other claims are true his smelly breath should go and even his stools should be better (can a stool be good!)
Bentley has been on the Nutriment food for just over a month, a different flavour each day. He has chicken, turkey and beef & tripe to try, a 500gram tub each day in two sittings. There was no transition period he just gobbled it down for his breakfast and seemed pretty chuffed with it.
The food comes in handy 500gram trays and luckily for Bentley he requires about 500grams in a day so its really easy to portion it up.
- Bentleys breath is totally different still doggy but not so rancid.
- His stools are almost a joy to pick up they are firmer and much smaller with hardly any smell. This is apparently because all the nutrients and goodness in the raw food is completely absorbed by the dogs body meaning there is very little waste.
- The biggest improvement seen was his behaviour, hes calmer now and much more responsive his selective hearing also seems to have diminished. He does still have his moments.
- His hair has actually changed but its difficult to tell as hes always had a kind of afro and the hair looked quite dead. But it seems to have flattened slightly and become darker/ glossier. This maybe some sort of winter coat but time will tell.
The overall opinion on the raw dog food is winner winner chicken dinner! There is the cost implication as it is more expensive than kibble foods. As Bentley requires a whole tub its between £1.50 to £1.80 a day to feed him. The high end Millies wolfheart kibble worked out around 80p a day which is huge difference. Bentley certainly wont be going back to the other kibble brands but may occasionally go back to Millies Wolfheart.
If you want to do your own research on dog foods this website Allaboutdogfood has an excellent tool. You may be suprised at some of the ratings the big brands get!
If you are wanting to try a “raw diet” there is great information at Nutriments website
There’s loads of other food sources that are great for your dog – breedadvisor.com have compiled a great list of things dogs can eat.