Choosing a commercial dog food is not easy. The commercial dog food market in the United States alone is over $8 billion! If you are looking for a great, healthy dog food there are certain things you have to look out for. A well-rounded option is Blue Buffalo Dog Food which uses whole, natural foods, and real meat! No animal “by-products”, artificial colors, chemical preservatives, or known dog allergens.
Just like us, the easiest way to influence a dog’s overall physical and mental well-being is through the diet. Unfortunately, our dogs can’t tell us in words what kind of food they need, so it’s up to us as responsible pet owners to figure it out. So many of us want to provide the best possible food for our furry friend, and turn to our veterinarian for guidance. The sad fact is that most veterinarian medicine programs have one required nutrition class, and what is taught in the class is dubious at best. Furthermore, many vet practices team up with brands such as Iams, Science Diet, or Purina and recommend those brands to their clients, and get a nice kickback as a bonus.
So where do we turn to get accurate information on dog feeding? For starters, look in your pooch’s mouth. Even the most tiny and innocent looking dogs have some hefty teeth. Their long, pointy teeth (appropriately called canine teeth) prove that they are born meat-eaters. Those teeth evolved to help the dog hold their food so they can tear it apart. I don’t know about you, but grains, fruits, and vegetables, don’t normally require any tearing! Our dogs are natural-born meat eaters, and no matter how we choose to feed them, we should keep this in mind. Without a doubt, the absolute best thing you could feed your dog is a homemade, raw diet, but most of us do not have the time to invest to make ourselves dinner, let alone our dogs. Even if we do feed raw, there are times when we need to have wholesome commercial options ready, for busy days, or for when we are out of town.
A great commercial option in is Blue Buffalo dry dog food. When I first got Oliver, he was just three months old and was already eating Iams puppy food. I didn’t want to disturb his digestive system and after a few months, I gradually switched him over to Blue Buffalo, and I noticed he had a healthier appetite on this food. They offer a standard formula and a wilderness formula (high-protein and grain-free). Another thing many pet owners will like about this food in comparison to some of the other high-quality pet foods is that many national pet supply chains carry it! In fact, it is one of the only natural pet food brands carried by these stores. Let’s take a look at the label:
Most of the ingredients on the label are words we know! Compare this label to whatever you are currently feeding your pooch. The first few ingredients of a food label comprise the bulk of the food. With Blue Buffalo pet food, the base ingredient is deboned chicken. Many other foods use a grain as a base ingredient (ask yourself if wild dogs eat bread!). Also important is the lack of animal by-products. By-products are the parts of animals not fit for human consumption. Also missing are chemicals such as BHA, BHT, and propylene glycol, which have potential toxic effects, and corn, wheat, and soy, which are common allergens to the dog population.
Whenever I buy a dog product, whether it is a food, treat, or toy, I make it a habit to look at the company as a whole. The Blue Buffalo Company started after their dog (named Blue!) was diagnosed with cancer and the family was looking for a natural food, but ended up making one themselves! I also liked that is that all Blue Buffalo pet food is made right here in the US.
This is definitely not the only viable commercial pet food option. Another brand I had success with in the past is food from the Natura pet line. Whenever you evaluate a commercial food keep your eye out for animal by-products, chemicals like BHA, BHT, and propylene glycol, and corn, wheat, and soy. Also be leery of “organic” dog food, “organic” is not regulated by the AAFCO.
Feel free to shoot me a line if you have questions about your dog food!