We believe dogs should enjoy their food. No
one, not even your dog wishes to eat the same food at every meal. A dog's sense
of smell is vastly superior to our own. A dog's enjoyment of their food comes
primarily from the aroma. Think back to a time when you were sick and your
sense of smell was impaired. You likely did not get much enjoyment of your
food. Now think how cruel it is to feed a dog the same food at every meal when
he has such a sophisticated nose that he can use to appreciate the scent of the
all the ingredients.
Rotating foods every two to three months can
do more then add to our dog's enjoyment of his food, it may help to avoid the
development of allergies. If your dog is
sensitive to food changes, change gradually over one or two weeks. Slowly blend in the new food and replace the
same quantity of the old food each time.
Many believe their dog enjoys his food
because he has been quickly inhaling the same food for years and eats it in
record time. It may be that he is not so much enjoying his food, as much as he is
eating everything as fast as he can because he doesn't know there is not a
shortage of food, or back in the litter he had to eat fast otherwise another
litter mate would come eat what he had.
One dog owner we advised was shocked when her
dog started to eat sensibly after just a couple days. She said the dog had
inhaled its food for 9 years, and jumped all over her with excitement each time
she came home from work. She came to realize that the dog was just frantic for
its evening meal, and that it still loved her, but now its greeting behavior
was more appropriate.
Dogs who eat very rapidly and who ingest air
while eating are at increased risk of developing bloat. (Gastric Torsion / Gastric Dilatation
Bloat is a life-threatening condition in
which a dog?s stomach becomes abnormally inflated as a result of the
accumulation of gases, gastric secretion, or food. Bloat is extremely painful
to dogs, and can be fatal if not treated immediately.
The exact cause of bloat is not known, but it
is believed that there are possibly several contributing factors.
Factors that may contribute to
- Feeding large
meals. Feeding several small meals correlates with a lower risk of bloat.
- Dogs that
have been described as fearful or with a nervous temperament appear to be more
likely to bloat.
Many pet food companies recommend storing dry kibble by placing the
entire bag into an airtight container, without pouring it out. Pouring out the
food exposes it to air which can decrease the foods shelf life and nutritional
value. The food should be stored in a cool dry location.
Feeding your dog poor-quality ingredients can lead to nutrient imbalances. Higher
quality ingredients have higher digestibilities and are nutrient dense.*
Many popular brands of pet food contain ingredients that are of moderate
quality and have lower digestibilities than most premium brands.*
High-quality foods may have an ingredient list that is almost identical to
that of lower quality foods that contain poor-quality ingredients with low
Whether you are feeding a raw, canned,
or dry dog food diet, look for quality ingredients.
Quality foods have at least two identified
sources of meat listed as the first two ingredients. Lower quality food list
corn or carbohydrate by-products in the first few ingredients.
Look for named sources such
as; lamb, turkey, beef, chicken, etc...
Or; lamb meal, turkey meal, beef meal, chicken meal, etc...
Be wary of pet food that lists ingredients in generic
or poultry by-products, or animal
Look for complex carbohydrates from whole grains
Barley, whole oats, brown rice
Lower quality carbohydrates are listed
as; brewer's rice, wheat flour, corn gluten, rice flour,
Avoid Chemical additives
Red No. 3
Red No. 40
Yellow No. 5
Yellow No. 6
Blue No. 1
Blue No. 2
Many dogs are
allergic to foods with chemical preservatives which can lead to excessive
scratching and chronic diarrhea.
is but a small portion of what you need to know about dog food. Please check out
the resources and links below to do your own research and due diligence.
*The Dog Its Behavior, Nutrition, & Health (Second Edition) by Linda P. Case