Thursday, May 24, 2018

What food is right for my dog?

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Category: Schnauzer Health

001 zoebone

There is no perfect kibble or food or even agreed upon "perfect" food for ALL dogs. Factors that need to be taken into consideration, are breed, activity level, time and money and try to balance between these. For me. I like to use rotating protein sources. I prefer switching out the main protein base every month or two  to keep the dogs interested  and so that they don't build up a tolerance or become allergic to something because there body starts to reject it.  Also now consider starch content, as well as fat content sometimes the lo-fat foods are high in starch or potato base. Again it depends on your dog if this is good diet for them . 


Thats MY personal preference. Some people will tell you have to always feed the same thing, others will tell you to never swap out foods and always gradually switch over. To be honest it really depends on a few factors . I've found that switching from a high grade food to another high grade food we rarely have issues. But when switching from a low grade too to a high grade food we do. Now to  break down the 3 grades of pet foods for me .

 Low grades : How much of this is really marketing, and a flashy website ??

These are the fast foods of the dog world.

They are high in Corn and Grains, and meals, and generally offer poorer quality base nutrients due to the ingredients.

Keep in mind even if corn isn't the first ingredient , start counting how many ingredients are "parts " of corn, some of the labels will trick by weight by breaking down corn into several sections .

If the first ingredient is chicken but whole grain corn, Corn Bran, and corn meal are the next 3 .There is probably more corn then chicken in the food. I do not personally like corn as the primary protein source for dog food. There is lots of mixed messages online and lots of finger pointing. I see my dogs looking better over all when they eat corn free diets. So I will choose to continue avoiding Corn as a main dietary ingredient.


Mid-grades :

This is where I start feeding.

When I get news dogs in from the shelters , I do a gradual switch over, Shelter foods are normally the cheapest or whatever they get donated so that coupled with the stress they go on  a mid-grade and get worked up to a better regular diet.If  they come to me  with  very upset tummies  I do a boiled chicken and rice home cooked mash with some cottage cheese and pumpkin for a few days before gradually switching them to kibbles.


HIGH grade:

There are several other factors that go into dog food selections:

Breed and Breed related illnesses and also the individual Dogs sensitivities.

Take Zoe and Fritz for example:

Miniature schnauzers frequently have several predisposed breed issues. First is it is not recommended to feed most Miniature Schnauzers a diet high in fat, due to the breeds increased risk of gastroenteritis and pancreatitus. Zoe is highly susceptible to these so I try to select Dogfoods that have a fat content that does NOT exceeed 15% with 8-12% being Ideal. although she can manage at up to 18% i do not like feeding her that as it dosn't leave much leeway if she "snacks ".

Fritz was not.

Zoe needs a food that has lower fat content this is often found in senior foods  and the  nonperformance foods. 

Fritz needs a high performance food even though he IS a senior. He still has a very high activity level, and loses weight quickly if his needs aren't met . Fritz has never shown any issues with fat content.

Zoe eats Taste of the wild because it's one that all three can eat, she should be on  Innova lo-fatZoe is also lazy, she will mill around sniff a few things, then is mostly a couch potato.

Because Fritz had a high activity level, and had never had any problems with fat content. He spends a solid hour playing fetch almost daily, over rough terrain. What Fritz does have, is bad back and enlarged heart, which are monitored by his Vet. He is on maintenance pain pills(as needed), bi-monthly Glucosimine shots , and Fish oil tablets.Often I get him the Salmon based petfoods because fish is good for dogs with skin and heart conditions . I don't believe in sticking to just one kibble for extended periods of time. One of the other reasons I liked taste of the wild is that it comes in 3 distinct protein bases , Salmon,Duck, and Bison. It is small Bite, and I personally prefer rotating there Protein base out every few months. Fritz was on EVO, I had added  Merrick BG, and Merrick wild feast to the rotation. Although it has been re-done over the summer and the "new" recipes  have a higher fat content just an FYI if you have sensitive of November 2012 we  again monitored and added  taste of the wild is back in the rotation,  ,since the recall is over and we gave it a few months to settle.*  

After Fritz passed at 17 years in 2013 , we Adopted Boots a Miniture Schnauzer who has Seziures that stem from being fed Beneful by his pervious owners. he is also very high energy ,as of 2015 we are useing  4Health (Salmon) Tractor supply brand, and trying Simply Right Exceed(salmon), from Sams club so far these are a lot of bang for your buck and the quality has been good.*


HIGH grade:

Ultra High Grade:  


home cooked/or home prepared and Commercial Packaged RAW/BARF , we do this as suplimental now since we are raiseing our own livestock. 



suggested reading :

It's best you come to your own conclusions on what best for your dogs, since every animal is different . You should know by careful observation what works in your house.

breed considerations: