The Big Topic Of Food!!

 

I am going to start out by saying that I think a lot of us will have to agree to disagree on this topic. But for the sake of my blog – I thought I should let my followers know what we feed Cooper and why.  This is one of those topics like I mentioned in my previous blog post that can really spark a debate/argument amongst dog lovers. But like everything else, there is more than one way of doing things. Plus, there has been a lot of discussions and debates lately about raw diets, premium dog foods and home cooked meals for dogs so I thought this could be a good time to give my thoughts.

 

It was actually this article that sparked me to really want to post about this topic, because it really angered me. Check out the link http://holisticandorganixpetshoppe.com/top-7-worst-dog-food-brands.html.  The article pretty much says that all premium dog foods are rubbish and are harming our dogs. And it goes on to list all the harmful ingredients in dog foods. Personally, I think this article is rubbish.

We feed Cooper premium dog food. The dry kibble. For chewing and cleaning his teeth we give him carrots, broccoli stems and ice cubes. I have never given Cooper a bone. And for obedience training, we use the dried out liver treats. And when he gets a lot of treats in one day, we will slightly reduce his kibble that night, making sure not to over feed him. Because there are so many mixed opinions out there, and so much information I decided it was time to get to the bottom of it and make sure I am doing what it best for my gorgeous boy. I wanted a more scientific answer on all of this, I wanted information from people who know the proven facts and understand the biology of a dog and how its body works and functions from what it consumes.

I decided to use some resources that I am very lucky to have. I have three friends who are vets and who have all commented on the big fun topic of food. I showed them the above article about how bad premium dog foods are and I asked them about raw diets and what they feed their own dogs. I also mentioned to them that a lot of people suggest that vets push premium dog foods because they make money off it – again another statement I have never agreed with so I wanted some answers. These were the responses I received:

VET NUMBER ONE

I started reading the article and stopped half way – what a load of BS!

Raw diets can cause gastro and dietary deficiencies. Bones can cause obstructions, constipation and gastro. Super premium dry dog food is absolutely the best you can feed – obviously there are some dry foods that aren’t great. Re vets making money – there is very little mark up on pet food! Even in pet stores – we don’t make money off food.

 

 VET NUMBER TWO

Firstly a lot of the information contained in the linked article is rubbish. Yes dogs are carnivores and need a protein based diet but a lot of the stuff they have highlighted in red is not actually bad and I don’t think they have a lot of evidence to prove it. A lot of these diets (i.e Hills, Purina etc) are scientifically tested and balanced diets providing complete nutrition. I personally prefer using home cooked diets as I feel they are more organic/raw/unprocessed (however you want to describe it) and hence healthier however they can be time consuming to make and difficult to balance particularly for a young growing dog. I am not the biggest fan of commercial raw diets like BARF as they contain a risk of carrying bacteria and can cause issues like salmonellosis. And I cannot speak for all vets but those that I know certainly do not make money off the food. Well, to be more accurate they get no incentives for selling the food. Like any item in a shop, if you buy food from a vet shop it will be marked up so there is a profit margin but that is a sale and the vets are not paid per bag sold, the money would go to the clinic owner. I feed my dog a home cooked diet of mince meat, vegies, pasta/rice and raw chicken necks/wings. However as young pup he was on hills puppy large breed food.

 

VET NUMBER THREE

Food is a big topic! People are too narrow minded about food in my opinion. Look at all the people around the world and the huge variety of food they eat, it is not like you can’t be healthy eating authentic cuisine of every nationality (within reason)! Most dogs can survive on just about anything you feed them once they have reached maturity, however higher quality foods tend to agree better with them by firming up their stools, reducing wind and giving better quality coat. Some dogs are very sensitive and can only eat special diets. I like feeding premium brand dog food because you have to feed less (as there are less fillers in them and the protein and fibre is of higher quality) and you know there has been some research behind the brand. It is certainly not killing them! I think people like to feel like they are doing something for their dog and so cooking and putting time and effort into it makes them feel as though it must be better. The science behind the bones and raw food diets is non-existent, it is based on anecdotal evidence and the premice that dogs are still wild animals. Dogs are domesticated, and the only thing raw food ads to the table is more potential for your dog contracting food poisoning. Yes bones cause tooth fractures and constipation. I also give my dogs carrot and broccoli! I also like rawhide bones, however they can also cause a risk of causing problems if the dog swallows the big knot on the end whole (my dog does not do this). In my opinion raw bones can be ok in most dogs but not all, the problem is you don’t know which category your dog falls into until there is a problem! Tooth brushing is the gold standard of dental care. If you have to feed a bone I recommend a large fresh raw marrow bone, and supervising your dog while they eat it, and only leaving it out for about 30-60 minutes a day – back in the fridge after. If they are chewing it into pieces and swalloning them then it must be confiscated! If and when I get my own dog it will be on premium quality food.

After all that I have read, heard and researched my conclusion is that there is nothing wrong with a premium dog food as it will give them an all round balanced diet with quality produce.  So if you do choose to feed your dog, dog food – please make sure it is a premium brand, reputable and comes highly recommended by your vet. There is also nothing wrong  (if you have the time) with a home cooked well balanced diet as this doesn’t contain any processed ingredients and you know exactly what is going in it. But if you do choose to make home cooked meals for your dog, please make sure to do your research and include the necessary and correct quantities of each food group they require.

 

In the end what and how you feed your dog is totally up to you however always be mindful that a dog’s diet can have a great impact on their behaviour, health, coat, lifespan and the list goes on, so it is important to get the balance right.

A balanced diet it key.


NEVER MISS A COOPER AND KIDS POST

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3 replies
  1. Mel Ritterman
    Mel Ritterman says:

    Thanks for the positive feedback Anne! And yes – Cooper is definitely a good looker and getting nice and big. He's 11months now and weighs 32kg! I'm hoping he will still get a little bit bigger.

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Maybe you should ask your vet friends how much training they actually have in canine nutrition and where that training comes from because I think that answer may make you rethink their advice. And they may not be making mega- dollars from selling food but the majority of their business is based on you feeding your dog commercial dog food and the health issues it promotes. Maybe you also could look a little bit further afield in your research than Australia considering all other first world countries are miles ahead of us in canine nutrition and its obvious affect on health. Just saying… at the end of the day he is your dog yo will do what you will and I will do what I do for mine and know how much money I dont have to spend at the vet because of it.

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