Just like we 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 products. The fact that there lacks regulations in pet food labelling 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. So what doberman food should we consider?
Ideally we would want to feed our dogs home-made 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 and supplement it with other “real” goodies to ensure your dog is getting a well-rounded diet. Also consider alternating between dry and canned food. Canned food is usually more nutritious than dry dog food since it contains less preservatives and grain ingredients. When looking for a good dog food, you want to avoid kibbles high in grains (corn, flour,etc) and choose one with a meat in the first three ingredients. Also look for chicken meat instead of chicken by-product for example. 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.
- Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.
- Add full-fat plain yogurt to the dish.
- Add a teaspoon or two (depending on your dogs size) of flaxseed oil or fish oil to the kibble (omega-3 acids)
As for treats, if you can’t find a product that has organic, human-grade ingredients then try a home-made cookie recipe. But if you hate cooking, an easy alternative is to give your dog veggie treats like carrots and green beans. Chopped fruits like pears and apples are another healthy alternative to high carb, poor quality store-bought treats.
Instead of rawhides that may have preservatives, are bleached, 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.
Foods you should avoid include: chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts, grapes/raisins, soy and citrus.
I don’t recommend vegetarian diets for dogs. Dogs are omnivores who favour meat. In the wild, dogs naturally eat meat, bones, vegetables and grains.You should aim to give your domestic dog the same diet as their wild family members eat.
In tommorow’s post I’ll provide you with guidelines to find good quality dog food at the store for your doberman.