I am a food snob, at least when it comes to Inara. From day one of getting her, she was fed quality food. And then I switched her to raw for a while. “Raw what?” you may be asking. Raw meat and bones. Sounds gross, but the benefits of feeding this natural diet are phenomenal. Click here for an excellent overview of how to feed raw. Unfortunately that became too cost-prohibitive, so I switched back to kibble.
Not long after that all those pet food recalls began happening. Fortunately I was feeding high-end food (Merrick) and none of their foods were recalled. It’s such a travesty that it takes beloved family pets dying to make people aware of what they are feeding, what is actually in those crap foods that are so cheap to buy. Cheap now, yes, but in the long run? Possibly obesity, possibly higher vet bills, possibly cancer, possibly early death. I know, I know, your family always fed Alpo to the family dog and he lived a ripe old life. Good chance that was sheer luck.
It’s critical that you learn how to read the ingredients label on your dog’s food. If, like me, that is way over your head, I highly recommend this site: Dog Food Analysis. It rates foods on a 0-6 star basis. Inara is currently eating Wellness Core – a 6 star food. It’s expensive, I won’t lie – $55 for a bag. But because she eats such a small amount (1.5 cups/day) a bag lasts me about 6 weeks. That’s about 70 cents a day.
The higher-quality food you feed, the less you have to feed because it’s not packed with fillers. A side benefit of eating less, is pooping less. One of my girlfriends feeds Ol Roy to her dogs (J, you know who you are!), and holy hell let me tell you about how much they poop. It takes two hands to pick it up. Ga-ross! I can pick up almost 3 piles of Inara’s poops in one hand.
I also feed a couple supplements just to aid in Inara’s long-term health. She gets 1000mg of salmon oil with breakfast, and a multi-vitamin in the evening that has glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM (sulfur). All of those supplements aid in joint, skin and coat health. I get them from GNC – so much cheaper than buying stuff made specifically for dogs!
All I ask is that you really take a look at what you are feeding your dog. As I said above, it may be more expensive up front to buy good food, but it’s cheaper in the long run.