Not anything to do with Dog training online today. I want to know what you think are the ten best Dog foods. I will get to my top 10 Dog foods in a little while. First I want to talk a little about what we feed our Dogs, why we do it, and the buzz of late over ensuring that we give them a balanced diet.
Anyone who reads this Dog blog on occasion (subscribe to get each new post via the easy ways to the right) knows that I am a firm advocate of raw meaty bones for Dogs.
I still get comments and emails talking about the fact that people who have fed their Dogs have been killed or had to have operations. Upon further enquiry about the bones for Dogs that they gave them it is always the same reply. It was a cooked bone! Never, under any circumstances, give a Dog a cooked bone. They can block their intestines, pierce them, splinter in to tiny shards that can kill them and are so brittle that you are asking for trouble.
Raw meaty bones are completely different. They are easily digested and are a fantastic way to clean Dog’s teeth.
The Advantages Of Raw Bones For Dogs
A few weeks or a month or so ago we had gone through a phase of no raw bones for the Dogs. Jet-ski the youngest one started to get bad breath and I could see discoloring on all the three girls’ teeth. This was the first time in two years that the older ones had ever had anything but perfectly white teeth.
Raw bones perform so many tasks of given as regular as possible.
- They clean your Dogs teeth and will stop expensive teeth cleaning or extraction in later years.
- They completely eliminate bad Dogs breath. Clean teeth equals clean breath. If you don’t believe me then do this. If your Dog has bad breath then give it a RAW bone every day for a week. It’s bad breath will be gone.
- Less stools to clean up. Rather than the brown mush so many Dogs produce if we feed strictly bones for a few days then the stools are really infrequent, almost white, and much smaller. This is a known fact if you feed Dogs raw bones. THey do not need an equivalent weight in bones as they do in Dog food. They can be fed less, they absorb so much more of what they are given and the stools are compact, small, and do not smell any where near as bad.
- Raw bones clean through a Dogs colon and keep the Dogs anal glands emptied. Many Dogs scoot along the floor before their glands need emptying. This involves a smelly visit to the vets or a smelly time at home if you are brave enough. Raw bones will keep the glands emptied and healthy.
There are loads more benefits to raw meaty bones but these are some of the most important.
Many people have asked where to buy raw bones for Dogs. Either ask in your supermarket but much better is to support your local butchers. Start buying some meat from your butchers and keep their store running. At the same time ask about some bones for your Dog. Regular custom will probably see you getting them very cheaply if not free. You can’t get better than free Dog food.
The Myth Of Dog Foods And Balanced Diets
Many people make homemade Dog food and those that do often obsess over giving their Dogs a balanced diet. Those of us that buy ready made Dog food never really consider this. We assume that the ratios are perfect. The objection to making homemade Dog food or feeding raw bones to Dogs is often based on the fact that people assume they will make their Dog unhealthy by not giving them the exact ratios of vitamins, minerals, proteins or Carbs.
I say nonsense. Do you eat a perfect diet? No, you don’t. Neither do I.
Next time you buy your dried Dog food that is magically perfect for your Dog as well as all other Dogs take a look at the other supposedly best Dog foods in the store. They will all have different ratios but will all be touted as the perfect mix.
Dogs, by nature, will gorge on whatever is available. The grassy contents of a herbivores stomach, a pile of dead chickens, fruit etc.
When we go walking our Dogs jump up at trees to eat cherries, at the moment they are in to eating blackberries straight of the wild bushes that are all over the place. They are opportunists and will naturally eat what is available.
Do you think that by only giving them raw bones for a few days is going to make them more or less healthy? What do you think will effect a Dogs life more?
An infected and rotted mouth full of decaying teeth or a few days of total enjoyment as they munch through some health giving bones?
I think we put way too much emphasis on finding that perfect ratio of food. As long as things are kept in a general balance you really don’t need to become so obsessive about it.
Why We Buy Dog Food
I am as guilty of it as everyone else.
Partly we have been indoctrinated to assume the only way we can give a balanced diet to our Dogs is to buy a ready made Dog food. I feed a dried food to my Dogs because of the convenience. They have bones quite often as a meal and other times it is a brand called Brokaton.
It is inexpensive at 11 euros for a 20kg sack and lasts a good few weeks. I have looked at the so-called better Dog foods and the ratios are all over the place for them so I picked a middle ground and I am happy with it. Some Dogs need specific foods I know, but unless they have a real dietary problem or need, do you think you need to spend the crazy prices some people do for Dog food?
The reason many of us feed ready made Dog foods is simply because we don’t want the chore of making it for them and we worry we may get ir wrong.
There are a million Dog food recipes to make at home on the Internet so there really is little to worry about. If you are concerned about what goes in to Dog food why not start making your own. We worry way too much about giving them a perfect diet.
On to what this post is all about.
The 10 Best Dog Foods
I would really like for you to give your 10 best Dog foods in the comment section so feel free to leave what you think are the best Dog foods. Here is what mine are:
- RAW MEATY BONES
- Raw chicken, including necks, wings, the whole carcass etc
- Kitchen scraps
- Any suitable dried Dog food
- Olive oil
- Free fruits
- Fish (raw)
- Eggs (raw)
- Left over kitchen stock (liquid from boiling cabbage etc)
- Any food we would otherwise throw out
I know that is not what you were expecting. You were expecting a list of the top then best Dog foods to look more like a list of the best Dog food brands. I really think that these brands are often overrated.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that in some cases certain breeds have very strict dietary requirements, but most Dogs can, and more importantly will, eat anything.
Do you throw boiled water that cooked potatoes away, Do you throw away slightly gone off fruit away. Do you, in fact throw any food away?
Dogs have completely different constitutions to us. They can happily eat food that would make us extremely, and violently, ill.
They work in a totally different manner to us and are built to eat food that is well past its best and raw meat with no ill effects.
Don’t think of your Dog as anything like you. Their dietary needs are different and they can eat so much more than we can.
How To Expand What Your Dog Eats
You may decide to implement what I have talked about here. If you do think that just feeding your favorite brand of Dog food day in and day out is not ideal and you can see the adverse consequences of such a restricted diet then here are a few pointers:
- Introduce changes slowly. A Dog only ever fed one type of food will take a while to adjust.
- Choose some good quality hard bones to start such as Beef bones from the leg. These are hard to chew, kepe the Dogs occupied for hours, and will be the best at cleaning their teeth and stopping that bad Dog breath.
- Start adding the water you cook food in to the Dog food rather than just running it under the tap. You should make a conscious effort to add water to any pot or pan you have cooked in to gather up all the nutrient rich bits and pieces left over after cooking.
- Replace expensive Dog treats with something you make yourself or buy a big bag of chicken wings. They will thank you for it no end.
The key is to start changing your Dogs boring and unfulfilling diet slowly. We still give dried food every day but they also get bones. If spoiled food does not go on the compost heap the Dogs get, and love, it.
Every time we make eggs or fry something or boil something the remains are scraped out and stored ready to be given to the Dogs at the appropriate time
Never give scraps to the Dogs unless it is their meal times. You don’t want begging Dogs. If your Dog does beg now then chances are it is because you have given it scraps at inappropriate times.
If they do not know what the food you are making tastes like then they won’t beg for it. Simple.
And The Best Dog Food Is…..
Obviously for me it is Raw bones. They don’t get hem as much as I would like but they are a large part of their diet. their coats will gleam, their teeth will be dazzling, they won’t poo as much and they will stay out of your way for hours every day munching away.
Try this slowly if you think that maybe just regular Dog food may not be the perfect way to go. I thank you.
my dog cici loves raw bones and scraps, however, they give her the runs… she is a dalmatian mix (with american pit bull terrier)… I used to buy raw meat medallions, but they are expensive, and the raw bones and scraps are inexpensive and sometimes even free… but am concerned about the effects…
This really applies to springer spaniels as they are so hyperactive, what you feed them really impacts the behavior of the dog.
If she gets the runs try just giving her really hard bones where she will be mostly just cleaning her teeth with the gnawing action but won’t be ingesting much of the bone at one time. It may work.
Thanks. I think certain foods will always effect how much energy the Dogs have. The great thing about feeding bones is that it keeps them occupied for so long.
Brilliant article. I agree 100%. Raw natural food mainly meat and bones is what a dog’s digestive system is designed for. A dog on this diet will live a long healthy life protected by a strong immune system.
I’ve fed my Great Danes raw for almost 10 years.
Celia, if you give your dog a couple of meals mainly consisting of raw chicken wings the stool should firm up.
If your dog gets the runs,something is triggering this. Add one thing at the time and watch the stool.
thanks. Raw will definitely keep them healthy and long-lived.
Thanks for the comment for Celia, I am sure it will be of help.
Have to admit I was hoping for a list of dog food brands. I think you made a very good point though with your actual list. What it comes down to is that most of the foods are overrated. They are what they are.
My dog gets the runs with meat and has a shiny coat with raw bones. She will always have a raw bone in her mouth. Yum 🙂
I figured that would be what most people were expecting. Apart from special cases I do think that most Dog foods, like you, are overrated.
I have a new puppy name Skippy, a half bred Lab and “askal” term for roaming dogs here in the streets of the Philippines. Because life is hard in he third world, we can’t afford to buy her dog food. But Skippy enjoys leftover food like rice and even vegetables. She looks healthy still. By they way, she’s turning three now.
I read the other day that it’s dangerous to feed certain kinds of raw fish to dogs, because it contains a parasite that can be fatal & usually isn’t detected in time to save the dog. I’m pretty sure it was salmon, not sure if other types have it too.
I know some people these days are concerned with where our (& dogs’) food comes from…in the case of meat, how farms & factories treat the livestock before it ends up on your plate. There are also concerns about regulations (or lack thereof) for dog food manufacturers & what really ends up in that bag or can of food. Some pet food companies also work with labs where animals are kept in horrible conditions & treated very cruelly.
There are now many more options for organic & cruelty-free brands you can buy…but then as you said above, there is great debate over whether these foods are nutritionally balanced. I tried cooking for one of my dogs who has several food allergies…she ended up with an overload of protein in her system that almost damaged her kidneys & sent her triglycerides (doggy cholesterol) through the roof! She’s now on prescription food (which I hate, but her health is better). I’m slowly trying to switch her to a better food, while monitoring her so her health stays good.
One of the better commercial foods I’ve found is Natural Balance. I’m also thinking of trying Wellness &/or Sojourner (they make a dry mix you can add to your own meat). I asked my vet about them & she wasn’t sure they were fully balanced so she just said to add a multi vitamin (like Pet Tabs).
My dogs get dry Natural Balance mixed with vegetables (green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini). Sometimes I add the ‘juice’ from the veggies to the dry food. They also get fish oil capsules every day (omega 3).
Can you tell me please is it safe to give mashed carrots added to dry food
also a little rice;
My little dog is sick and is refusing to eat;
I am going to give him COOKED fresh salmon a little with rice and his dried food for his heart from the Vet.What veg can a dog have added to his food.
He is starting to have water retension and is on fluid pills to get rid of the water but is making it difficult on the kidneys.
Today the vet said that i must force him to eat to take his medicine and to put a little suger in his drinking water; that was why i was asking for the carrots as it has sugar in them .
Patricia carrots are fine as far as I am aware. You can give him peas, brocolli and celery etc. Many people use a blender to get the vegetables really fine as it can be hard for them to digest as Dogs are not normally big vegetable eaters. If he is not eating becasue he is unwell we find that adding something like chicken stock is always a help. Rice and fish or rice and chicken is a good choice.
You may also like to add some boiled eggs now and then as Dogs seem to really like that. Cut up chicken is always a big favorite.
I hope he gets better soon.
All the best
thanks, really hard bones such as? someone gave her a ham bone and I let her gnaw to get the meat but before I knew it, she had eaten half the bone, too… raw chicken wings? not sure I would feel comfortable giving her that… I’ve read that they can choke on small bones such as chicken bones… yes, I am a bit neurotic AND also cautious…
Hi Celia Sue,
Hard bones like beef leg are great. Lots of marrow but hard to eat the actual bone so perfect for cleaning their teeth. Never, ever, cooked bones though. It is tough deciding to give them bones but there are so many horror stories with bought food as well, but I know it is a difficult decision. Try hard beef bones (raw). They do a fantastic job of stopping bad dog breath and clean their teeth amazingly well.
Thanks for the clarification… I think beef leg bones from Whole foods or other ‘natural’ type markets will work for me and cici… cici says Woof Woof, thanks in dog language… 🙂 did you check out my famous dog at our blog, celiasue.wordpress.com? she’s becoming quite known by the pupparazzi… 🙂
We posted an article on the top dog food brands a few days ago on our blog: Dog Blog. We also believe that the raw diet is the best, but for some people who do not have the time to research raw food, they can find some of the premium quality dry dog food to keep their dogs healthy.
Gave my dog a t-bone from a steak (cooked) and he swallowed part of the bone, about 2″ long, found it in his stool with a jagged edge on it and he had blood in his stool and the runs. Would love to feed him raw bones, he is a 118 pound Alaskan Malamute and will eat anything. I am concerned that he would swallow the bone if he is unable to chew it. I feed him Innova Evo at the moment with some green beans(no salt).
James, they should never have cooked bones, those are the dangerous ones. Raw ones are great and our Dogs never really eat anything too big, rather they chew on them, but with a giant beastie like that I can see it could get expensive unless you have a kind butcher.