What Is The Best Food To Feed My Dog?

“You are what you eat” goes for dogs too!

Whether dog or human, our diet influences our behavior and our overall physical well-being. Since you feed your dog virtually the same thing each day, this food should be of the highest possible quality. Are the expensive dog foods really worth it?

YES! These dog foods are made with superior ingredients, which give your dog significant benefits. And there are benefits for you, as well.

Consider the difference between eating spinach and taking a vitamin pill, between eating fresh asparagus and canned asparagus or homemade ravioli vs. Chef Boyardee. The difference lies in two areas: 1) processing and 2) bio-availability.

Cooking, taking a raw ingredient and heating it, is a type of processing that immediately removes valuable nutrients from every food. If mere cooking removes nutrients, imagine what “processing” does! The more a food is broken down from its original source, the less nutrition there is in it, thus the need for fillers and “enrichment” with vitamins and minerals.

The original food source is always the one that provides the most “bioavailable” food. This means that the body is doing the processing: receiving “ingredients” it was meant to watch for and turning them into healthy bones and tissue. Fresh, whole foods are always more nutritious than processed ones.

Barking up a slightly different tree, science is finding that there are serious side effects to eating corn and wheat products, especially when refined. These products in dog foods may account for some cases of anxiety, hyperactivity, and skin allergies (including ear infections) among other things.

There are a wide variety of dog foods now available made from human-quality whole foods. They cost a bit more but while they are worth it for the nutritional value alone, an added benefit is that you actually need to feed less–The product’s bioavailability means your dog gets more nutrition from a lesser amount. The bioavailability also means that there is much less waste–what is eaten is used, resulting in firmer, smaller stools. These will be easier to pick up and they are less smelly. But the real benefit is that firmer stools will make the dog’s anal glands work hard, just another example of how proper nutrition affects the whole body.

To make sure you are getting what you pay for, your top-quality dog food should contain:

  • Animal protein as the first 2 ingredients (dogs cannot process soy as protein)
  • Human-grade products
  • Whole vegetables
  • Few carbs, and whole ones (not bran or hulls)

You wouldn’t let your kid live on a fast-food diet; don’t give your dog the equivalent every day!

By Marilyn Marks
Certified Pet Dog Trainer and owner of The Good Dog Spot in Bloomfield.

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