Hettie 12 weeksThere has been a lot of discussion recently on the “correct” food for your dog. Some advocate dry food or kibble, some suggest moist food, whilst some prefer home cooked foods or raw feeding. There is a growing movement towards vegetarian or vegan diets and people sometimes find it distasteful to feed their dog meat, or feel it is unethical to kill one animal to feed to another. Whilst I respect their choice for themselves, I personally feel that as dogs are carnivorous they should have meat or fish in some form in their diet for health reasons.

I personally do not feed moist foods. They are high in “moisture” content which is essentially water, consequently more needs to be fed to give the dog the nutrients it needs. A “mixer” biscuit needs to be added to this food to provide a balanced meal, but just how much is the right amount?

Spirit - sitKibbles vary enormously from brand to brand. The cheaper ones contain the cheapest of cheap foods and often have colourings and flavourings added to make them more palatable. These are not good for the animal and can cause health issues eg allergies and behavioural issues. The more expensive dry foods do not contain additives, many are gluten free and anti allergenic. Always check the ingredients on the pack. The first word in the flavour of the food should always be a protein source, eg Chicken and …, Fish and … etc. Too much protein is bad for an adult dog, but puppies and growing dogs need the extra protein. This is in the food so no additions are necessary it is a balanced diet. In fact, any addition to the dried foods, eg kitchen scraps, sardines or chicken, throw the balance of the food out, so there should not be any extras added to a complete dry food.

FinI do not know a lot about raw feeding, ie raw meat/fish, bones and vegetables. Some swear by it, but my main concern would be bacteria from the raw meat causing salmonella, which is easily passable to humans, and is not healthy for the dog. I would also question the percentage of the ingredients – how do you measure that? Is it by weight or volume? Do they need additions of vitamins, minerals, fish oil etc?

Some advocate lightly cooking the ingredients in the raw feeding diet. Again, I do not know enough about this feeding to be sure that the dog is getting all the vitamins and minerals he needs for healthy growth.

My advice would be to find a good food and stick with it. We always use Burns Fish & Rice for ours, mainly because Fin has so many allergies, beef, chicken, dairy products, maize, yeast, colourings and flavourings to name but a few. He and the others in our pack have always done well on this balanced diet and we can highly recommend it.

…  Anne