Let’s Talk About Doberman Food
Just like humans need proper nutrition to be healthy and happy, so too do our dogs. But the decision on what to feed our dogs can be a confusing one. Grocery stores usually have a whole aisle dedicated to pet food with a large assortment of brands. The fact that there lacks regulations in pet food labeling only makes things harder for consumers. But with the very real concern of contaminated food from bacteria and chemicals, we need to put some effort into educating ourselves for the sake of our pet’s well-being.
This topic is especially close to my heart since I had a beautiful doberman die young of cancer. To this day, I wonder if it was my fault for feeding her a cheap dog food. I didn’t know better back then and there weren’t many options for healthy dog food. Luckily today things are different, we have some good dog food companies and information easily found about of raw food diets. (FYI I’m currently feeding the Acana grain free dog food.)
So what doberman food should we consider?
Ideally we would want to feed our dogs home-made raw meat meals but this is just not practical for most people.
My personal recommendation if you are going to feed a commercial food, is to find a good quality kibble dry food and supplement it with other “real” goodies to ensure your dog is getting a well-rounded, “balanced” diet. It also makes things interesting for your dog.
When looking for a good dog food, you want to avoid kibbles high in grains (corn, flour, etc) and choose one with a meat or meat meal in the first three ingredients. Also, look that the label says “meat” and not ” by-product”. (Do realize that not all by-products are bad. Dogs in the wild would eat most of an animal. It’s the non-digestible stuff that is bad, like hooves or hair.)
I’ll repeat this since it’s the most important thing to consider: You want meat listed in the first 3 ingredients. Dogs are carnivores and need a high protein diet. A To help you compare different dog food brands, you can read our previous post for more tips.
Here are some ideas to boost the nutrition and flavour of a boring dry dog food.
- Add chicken broth or natural gravy to dry kibble. This makes the food more interesting and adds needed moisture content.
- Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.
- Add low-fat plain yogurt or sour cream for probiotics
- Add a teaspoon or two (depending on your dog’s size) of flax seed oil or fish oil to the kibble (omega-3 acids)
- And my dogs favorite, add a can of salmon or sardines in water to the dry kibble. They start whining as soon as I open the can.
As for treats, if you can’t find a product that has organic, human-grade ingredients then try a home-made recipe. Dried liver treats are easy to make and dogs love them. Bake it in the oven and you have a cheap and nutritious dog treat for your doberman. But if you hate cooking, an easy alternative is to give your dog a vegetable or fruit treats like apple slices or green beans. Ideally you want to give protein treats instead of high carb/grain, store-bought cookies.
Instead of raw hides that may have preservatives, are bleached, and have artificial flavours and colors, ask a butcher for marrow or knuckle bones. To kill any surface bacteria, submerge the bones in boiling water for about 30 seconds, just long enough to kill the bacteria. Remember that cooking bones makes them easier to splinter so avoid giving your dog cooked bones. Another good option are Bully Pizzle sticks, these are great to keep dogs busy chewing.
Foods you should avoid include: chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts, grapes/raisins, soy, citrus and the sugar xylitol.
I don’t recommend vegetarian diets for dogs. Dogs are omnivores who favour meat. In the wild, dogs naturally eat meat, bones, vegetables and fruits.You should aim to give your domestic dog the same diet as their wild family relatives eat.
Also don’t worry too much about whether your dog likes his food. Compared to humans, who have about 9000 taste buds, dogs only have about 1700 taste buds. They shouldn’t be picky eaters like we are. But of course, their sense of smell is better than humans, so try to make their food smell interesting, sardines smell great to dogs.
In tomorrow’s post, I’ll provide you with guidelines to find good quality dog food at the store for your doberman.