What to look for:
- *A meat product as the first ingredient
- AAFCO certification
- Probiotics– great for digestion and preventing digestive issues,( including bloating and bad gas)
- Natural preservatives Vitamin C and E (or Tocopherol)
- If pup shows stomach sensitivities then try to buy a grain-free dog food. Dogs in the wild eat mostly meat with some fruits/vegetables, they are carnivoresprimarily
- If choosing grains- whole grains: brown rice, barley, oats
- Some fruits and vegetables listed in ingredients are very beneficial
- Omega oils are real good for a shiny coat and preventing coat and skin conditions and good for brain and heart
- Calcium: minimum of 1% for puppies
- Glucosamine to aid in proper ear crop standing
- What to avoid if possible:
- Corn (corn meal, corn by product), soy, wheat or low-quality carb fillers (these are common allergens) can cause bloating and other issues-Some peoples dogs don’t seem to be bothered by them
- Avoid foods with artificial dyes or colors and flavors, these are usually listed as a dye number
- Avoid preservatives, they have been shown to cause health problems, BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin
*Some choose to feed raw diet which is very healthy (ensure dog is eating adequate enough calories per day) Note: Make sure you read up fully on a healthy variety of whole raw foods and rinse them well to make sure they don’t have extra bacteria on them.
Dog food ratings by ingredients purity and nutritional needs:
- http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/ – Very detailed and informative on all dog food brands.
- http://www.petfoodratings.org/ – Not as detailed and informative as above.
- http://www.consumersearch.com/dog-food/reviews –This site gives rating of the various dog food rating advisors. It also lists highest rated dogfoods and why.
Example of medium priced healthy ingredients puppy food:
Each bag of 4health dog food formula provides species specific probiotics to specifically aid digestion & modulate the immune system of canines.
No Corn No Wheat No Soy
______wet & dry formulas have minimal ingredients that may cause allergic reactions and upset stomachs in pets. By removing corn, wheat and soy from their pet’s diet, owners that choose ____ notice an improvement in their pet’s coat, stool consistency, teeth, weight, and overall health.
Lamb, Lamb Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice, Peas, Egg Product, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Tomato Pomace, Oatmeal, Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Ocean Fish Meal, Salmon Oil (Source Of Dha), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Spinach, Cranberries, Rosemary Extract, Parsley Flake, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Reuteri Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid.
Crude Protein (min) 27.0%
Crude Fat (min) 15.0%
Crude Fiber (max) 4.5%
Moisture (max) 10.0%
Phosphorus (min) 1.2%
Phosphorus (min) 1.0%
Zinc (min) 150 mg/kg
Selenium (min) 0.3 mg/kg
Vitamin E (min) 150 IU/kg
L-Carnitine (min) 30 mg/kg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids (min) 2.2%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (min) 0.3%
DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) 0.05%
Total Microorganisms (min) 1,000,000 CFU/lb (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium animalis, Lactobacillus reuteri)
Metabolizable Energy (ME) 3,656 kcal/kg (342 kcal/cup).
Weight – Daily Amount (6-12 wks/3-4 m/5-7 m/8-12 m/Adult)
3-5lb: 1 – 1.3c/.75 – 1.25c/2/3 – .75c/.5 – .6c/.3 – 1/2c
5-10lb: 1.3 – 2.25c/1.25 – 2c/.75 – 1.3c/2/3 – 1c/.5 – .75c
10-20lb: 2.25 – 3.5c/2 – 3c/1.3 – 2.25c/1 – 1-3/4c/.75 – 1.5c
20-30lb: 3.5 – 4.6c/3 – 4c/2.25 – 3c/1.75 – 2.3c/1.5 – 2c
30-40lb: 4.6 – 5.6c/4 – 5c/3 – 3.5c/2.3 – 2-3/4c/2 – 2.5c
40-60lb: */5 – 6.5c/3.5 – 4.6c/2.75 – 3.6c/2.5 – 3.5c
60-80lb: */6.5 – 7-3/4c/4.6 – 5.5c/3.6 – 4.5c/3.5 – 4c
80-100lb: */*/5.5 – 6.5c/4.5 – 5.25c/4 – 4.75c
100-120lb: */*/6.5 – 7c/5.25 – 5-3/4c/4.75 – 5.25c
120-140lb: */*/7 – 8c/5.75 – 6.5c/5.25 – 6c
140-160lb: */*/8 – 8-3/4c/6.5 – 7c/6 – 6.5c
For pregnant or nursing adult dogs, we recommend free-choice feeding.
Which brand of dog food?
There are a lot of great brands of dog food and many different opinions. You can look at your budget, do your research, look at ingredients, read reviews, and monitor puppy’s tummy for bloating issues and stool to determine the best type for your new furry family member.
4 Health, Eukanuba, IAMS, Science Diet( the last 3 having some corn by product ingredients!) are a medium priced range clean ingredients dog food for people on average budgets. (around $36-45 a bag) 4 star ratings.
There are a few higher priced with 5 star ratings: Wellness, Orijen, Holistic, Blue wilderness, Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild, Merrick, Nutro, Acana, Blue Buffalo, etc. ($55-$75 a bag)
Introducing new dog food brands
Try to follow guidelines on healthy choice dog foods. Some pups develop temporary loose stools when a new dog food is introduced. That should clear within a few days or so if the new dog food sets well with pup’s digestive system. If it doesn’t clear up or he continues to have a lot of gas or bloating or loose stools, then try another brand of dog food.
Note: Adding fiber like pumpkin puree can help alleviate constipation (stools too dry and firm) and diarrhea. Probiotics can benefit the digestive system greatly.
Feeding Schedule for puppy
Up to 6 months of age– Feed 3 times a day, as much as puppy wants within around 10 minutes or so, depending on the pup. Some pups are not over eaters and nibble on some here and there; they can have access to food all day. It all depends on your pups eating style. Average amount – suggested amount on the label adjusting to pups activity level and weight gain type.
After 6 months– Two times a day, as much as he wants, also within a limited time period or suggested amount on label. This also depends on your pup’s size and exercise level.
Water access– If potty training or crate training in the house, you do not want to give him free access to water. He will drink and potty every 15 minutes. Give water breaks and potty breaks within 15-30 minutes after. The same applies to feeding; within 15-30 minutes after, pup will have to relieve himself and first thing in the morning and before bedtime. Crate training, scheduled feeding and watering times and being consistent with potty breaks outside are important.
Some pups have ravenous appetites and you will have to monitor their feeding; other pups are finicky and will suffer the nutritional loss as a consequence. For picky eaters or for those who seem to have a higher metabolism and aren’t gaining proper weight, I recommend the following:
- Feed higher calorie (performance ) dry kibble
- Add healthy fats, i.e., olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil- 1 teaspoon in every meal
- Add Greek whole fat (unflavored, unsweetened) yogurt– 1 heaping TASP per meal
- Add mini bites organ meats and whole meats (cooked or slightly raw)
- Add soft dog food from the same brand of hard kibble- Half a can per feeding
High metabolism, slow weight gainers
- High performance/high calorie dog food (higher content of proteins and fats)
- Adding natural fats and protein meats to pups diet.
- Greek whole fat unsweetened yogurt (1 heaping TASP per meal
- Add healthy fats, i.e., olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil- 1 teaspoon in every meal
There are good natural supplements for dogs on the market; many can be beneficial to your dog’s health. Real food added to the hard kibble like baked varieties of meat pieces, eggs, pumpkin, beans, Greek yogurt, sweet potatoes, healthy fats, bone broth, etc. There are many different calming herbs and holistic or healthy natural food supplements to meet certain needs to assist your dog’s health and longevity.
*Raw Diet or a partial raw diet as an addition to dry kibble- Highly nutritious, raw bone is softer soft and doesn’t splinter like some types of cooked bones can. I slightly cook mine because of parasites but deworming once a year should help with that possibility)
- Raw turkey chicken duck or lamb necks
- Organ meats, Livers (not too many because they are the bodies filters)
- Chicken, beef, lamb, venison, rabbit, fish (esp. with skins), chunks or ground
- Some raw fruits and vegetables ( approved for safety in dog consumption)
There are alternative natural medicines that work great! Antifungals, antibacterials, antivirals, dewormers, deflea- for skin issues, heart and immune support, joint support. I’ve used many for myself, family, friends and my furry family members with great results and no side effects or short to long term damage. I highly recommend supplements. Everyone’s pets are being bombarded with immune suppressing chemicals, i.e., monthly heart guard and flea treatment, immunizations, especially during ear cropping and quick growth stage of the puppy’s life.
*Puppies’ immune systems aren’t fully developed yet; therefore they are more susceptible to intolerances possibly producing allergies, skin issues and even Demodectic puppy mange if immune systems are oppressed long enough without vital nutrients to help strengthen it. Our pups, especially in America, are being pumped full of foreign substances at a very young age (first 6 months especially) and need immune boosting assistance. You’re welcome to ask me for further detail.
Gut health– prebiotics, probiotics (esp if taking an antibiotic which kills healthy bacteria!!!), digestive enzymes, pumpkin
Immune boosters– Antioxidants, vitamin C, multi vitamin supplement, medicinal mushrooms, Olive leaf, Echinacea, prebiotics and probiotics (esp during immune suppressing times).
Skin and fur health– fish oil, coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin E, ACV (apple cider vinegar-raw unfiltered with mother)
Heart health– CoQ10 enzyme, carnitine, Hawthorne Berry, (certain other amino acids), healthy fats listed above
Joint health and ear standing assistance – glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, vitamin C, omega 3 oils
Do your research and decide for yourself what your furry family member may benefit further from. J
Some of my favorite Nutritional supplements I’ve purchased:
Cardio health support- powder in capsule form & chewable form
Nutritional support & immune support– (good for growing puppy, senior, immune compromised & right after vaccinations or any chemical meds.)