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Best Dog Food

My Thoughts on the Dog Food Dilemma

Giving your puppies the best dog food is very important. If you’ve ever lived on a shoestring budget, you know that cheap food just doesn’t make you feel as good as “real food.” Dog food nutrition matters a lot – quality food makes them healthy, strong and happy. You can see a difference in their behavior and even their appearance.

In 2008, some dog food companies fell flat on their faces. The big dog food recall was a reminder that the source of our dogs’ food is a sacred trust. But, go ahead and ask the sellers today, “Is your food healthy?” What do you think they’re going to say? “Is it produced in a clean environment? Who makes the best dog food?” No matter what you ask dog food companies, they’re going to tell you everything is peachy-keen, every time.

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Video: Exposing the Dog Food Industry

(Warning: May kill your appetite)

Website: “Dog Food Secrets” created by Andrew Lewis

Get to the Bottom of the Best Dog Food

Your Dog Doesn’t Eat Buzzwords

It’s a “Premium Way of Life!” It’s “Natural!” It’s “Healthy,” and “Holistic!” You don’t want you dog food to make you best friend fat, better feed him or her something “Organic” or “Lite!” But dog food is just plain garbage anyway, right? Better get the “Human Grade” stuff.

Aren’t you glad the marketers are constantly ready to give you a high-powered paradigm shift to help you think outside of the box and achieve your maximal outcomes? What the heck am I talking about again? Oh right, we’re looking for the best dog food.

Okay, you can stop banging your head off the desk now, I’m done proving my point. The label, and the commercials, are not your friend. It’s up to dog lovers like you and me to cut through this crap and find the best dog food.

What is the best dog food?

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The Best Dog Food is About Nutrition

What does your dog get, exactly, from a good diet? You can check for these things yourself, to get a sense of how good your current dog food choice is for your dog’s nutrition:

  • Healthy skin that heals quickly and smells good
  • A strong, full coat of hair that adapts to the weather and protects against diseases
  • Strong, flexible bones that don’t break or suffer from early aging
  • Good food produces less poop because there’s more nutrition and less waste
  • Overall fewer health problems, meaning lower costs for medical care
  • Lots of energy, a sharp mind, and good stable moods
  • Healthy digestive processes
  • Alert, shining, reflective eyes with no clouding
  • Strong teeth and pink, firm-but-flexible gums
  • Good muscle tone, not flab
  • Happy attitude and a consistent appetite

All this can be yours for the low-low price of… choosing a dog food diet that’s nutritional, and low on junk and filler. ¬†For example, you can visit this link if you’re looking for the best dog food guide.

On the contrary, here’s what happens if your dog food isn’t fit for a dog:

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  • Rancid breath or vomiting after eating
  • Weak immune system, increased risk of illness and infections
  • Liver dysfunction (leading to discoloration in the eyes and skin)
  • Other organ and bone failures
  • Lazy behavior, not interested in playing; or, uncontrollable hyperactivity
  • Intestinal distress, aka frequent diarrhea and nasty dog farts
  • Weak hair that sheds and doesn’t shine
  • Seizures and other symptoms of epilepsy
  • Diabetes. Yes, dogs can get diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Stunted physical development; small/weak bones, poor musculature
  • … and, some things that are even worse than the above.

Good food isn’t like cookies and treats; this stuff is serious. I’m talking about your dog’s well-being.

best dog food

The Dog Food Playing Field

Let’s quickly look at the main options in feeding your dog.

  1. Commercial dog food: This is the standard choice. There are many varieties and many brands, and each company will usually offer a large number of “formulas” for different doggie lifestyles. Comes in various qualities, and varieties of wet, dry, or semi-dry food.
  2. Raw dog food: Our dogs all evolved from wild pack hunters. That means their bodies originally evolved eating freshly-killed meat, and a growing number of people believe this is the best option – raw dog food, aka raw meat and other additives they’d consume in the wild.
  3. Homemade dog food: This option means the dog’s owner prepares food at home just like they would for any other member of the family. The types of food change from household to household, but the bottom line is, you make this kind from scratch.

You can probably imagine, with all these categories of dog food, there are winners and losers to each.

Why is the Bad Commercial Dog Food So Bad?

Is this what healthy dog food looks like?

Don’t worry – below this section of doom and gloom, there’s help.

In order to produce dog food as cheaply as they do, most of the big companies put only the minimum amount of nutritional value into it. So, aside from the nutrition, what’s taking up the rest of the space in that can of wet food or bag of dry food? Well, garbage. Some of it worse than the rest.

Now, let’s be clear: I’m not bashing all commercial dog food here. In fact, without endorsing a specific brand, I’ll just say that I do feed my dogs a commercial food most days, along with some raw supplement to that diet and some homemade dog food receipes.

The problem is that the cheaper your dog food, the more harmful it can be to your dog. I’m afraid I have to go into some gory details now, because without them, there’s no other way to get this point across.

Some of the things that cheap dog food contains, that you didn’t want to know about:

  1. Sickly and diseased animal parts (remember the big media mess over “downer cows?”)
  2. Grains (worthless to your dog) and the pesticides and other chemicals used in growing them
  3. Chemicals used for euthanizing cats and dogs (because the dead cat or dog is in the food too)
  4. Waste products and the unclean “gunk” that gets into the food production machines
  5. Flavoring chemicals, similar to the addictive flavor chemicals used in fast food for humans

So, when you’re considering which dog food to buy, and the choice is between two products, and one is half the price of the other – think of the above, then ask yourself how the cheaper one managed to cut costs so deep.

The typical marketing company doesn’t care at all about the well-being of your dog. That’s up to you..

There are a few researchers who have done excellent work digging behind the scenes to discover the truth about commercial dog food. Some of what they’ve uncovered will disgust and possibly scare you, but the rest of it will help you breathe easy.

One detailed study I’ve reviewed and particularly liked, was written by Andrew Lewis. Lewis found nine brands of dog food that you can feed your dog without worry. I personally like this report because it doesn’t leave you feeling hopeless – anyone can find these nine foods at a store near them, and he walks you through enough of the information so that you will be educated about why you’re choosing one of those nine dog foods.

If buying a dog food is the best thing for your lifestyle, I recommend you stop here, and click this link to head straight to Mr. Lewis’s report: “Dog Food Secrets – Confidential Dog Food Report.” The report itself is either free or quite affordable (depending on when you ask for it) and if it saves you just one veterinarian visit as your dog gets older, it’s worth it. More likely, it will extend your dog’s life by a matter of years.

As I mentioned above, I do feed my dogs a commercial brand. It’s one of the brands recommended by Lewis’s report.

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Raw Dog Food

Whether you kill it yourself and prepare it, or buy it at the grocer’s butchery, or buy a pre-packaged version, raw dog food is considered by many to be the natural choice. It’s becoming more popular to use raw dog food, so I’m going to describe the phenomenon in detail, and let you decide.

The idea behind raw dog food is simple: Dogs have evolved by killing and eating animals in the wild. So, it follows that a dog’s digestive system is best suited for raw meat and bone, raw internal organs, etc. Partially-digested contents from their prey’s stomachs, usually including vegetables and fruits, would round-out the wild dog’s diet.

Because marketers know that some people don’t have a stomach for that concept, they sometimes cast this stuff as “all natural” dog food, focusing on the fact that there are no chemical preservatives, additives and fillers, etc. For the most part, it’s the same thing.

So, to capture the range of this category once again, raw dog food basically includes:

  • The mammals, birds, and fish you shoot or catch yourself, and prepare for your dog to eat.
  • Cheap cuts of meat bought at the butcher, bones and all.
  • Pre-packaged, vacuum-packed raw dog food you can mail-order or find at some pet stores.

Remember that dogs were born to be hunters, which means a variety of food is normal for them. Yogurt contains bacteria that helps digestive health, not only in humans but also in dogs. Eggs are almost pure protein. You might think of vegetables and fruit as “rabbit food,” but in the wild, a rabbit is dog food – stomach and all.

People who advocate raw dog food say that this diet has endless advantages – from longer lives, to better breeding results, to all-around better health and greater strength. People who disagree with this, say that there is increased risk of food-borne illness, and the fact that dog owners aren’t necessarily qualified to be dog nutritionists.

If you’re interested in this style of dog feeding, do your research first. Find a professional breeder, talk to your veterinarian, and see first-hand what the dogs are like after they’re fed on this diet. It may be the “next big thing” in dog nutrition, or it might just be a fad – it’s really too soon to tell.

Homemade Dog Food

Of course, raw dog food and commercial dog food both have one thing in common – you don’t always know where the food came from. You can’t inspect the production environment. Unless you cook it yourself, you’re not in full control, and can’t be 100% sure of what you’re feeding your dog.

Because of this, the homemade dog food option is gaining in popularity. People are learning a variety of dog food recipes and preparing them at home, where they can personally account for the cleanliness and the ingredients.

If you have the time, and if you’re already good at managing a balanced human diet by ensuring all the necessary nutrients are going into your own meals, then this may be a great option for you and your dog. It’s important, however, that you realize that this puts you in full control of your dog’s diet. That means you really have to know what you’re doing – otherwise you can deprive your dogs of things they need, which comes with its own guaranteed health risks over the long term.

If you need some help getting started on this route, there are sites devoted to homemade dog food recipes and helping dog owners learn about the right nutritional balances. One such resource is “,” where you’ll find everything from a library of recipes, to training on how to calculate the right requirements for your dog’s diet.

The Bottom Line

Most people don’t take the time to manage their own nutrition correctly – human life tends to be a matter of “grab what you can,” and we just try to remind ourselves that the diet has to be somewhat-balanced. We try to listen to our bodies and give ourselves what we feel like we’re lacking.

If that sounds like you, then you probably want to stick with a commercial dog food. It’s less time-consuming and doesn’t require you to learn more about your dog’s nutritional needs than you know about your own. For that, you’d be best-served if you picked up the report I mentioned above, at the bottom of the section about commercial dog foods. That way, you can choose the best dog food, one that has been verified by researchers who genuinely care enough about dog health to track down the good and the bad.

commercial dog food

It’s always worth your time to talk to your vet about any change in your dog’s diet, just as it’s best to talk to your own doctor before you adjust your human diet. You may learn that certain brands or formulas contain things that your dog is allergic to, which you might not have thought about before making a purchase.

Also, consider throwing your dog a bone every now and then. It’s not just a tasty treat and a fun toy for them, but the nutrients in those bones are very good for your dog. This alone will add some of the benefits that the raw food lovers are so pleased with.

Taking the matter of dog food safety and nutritional quality seriously, will save you money and heartache – trips to the veterinarian, especially as your dog gets older, will be fewer and farther between if your dog spent his or her life eating well.

Once again, the resource I’ve referenced was:

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Dog Food Secrets
– everything you need to know to get started with a homemade dog food diet, recommendations about the best commercial dog foods, plus information about dog nutritional needs in general. This is good knowledge for anyone who loves their dog and wants to make the most of their health.

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