I’ve had dogs all my life and fed nothing but dry dog food. After reading all the posts on this site..my head is swirling around. I am getting a bichon/Shitzu mix, 5 lb puppy, 9 wks old. I always thought wet food was bad for the teeth.. I have budget constraints as well. Can I have your opinions on what is best and what dog food would be good. I just bought nutro ultra dry. Thanks for you input…
I’m sure you have noticed that dry doesn’t really keep teeth clean, so if that’s the only reason for feeding it then take a pass. Balanced raw is best. It has fresh specie appropriate food sources. After that, freeze dried, then dehydrated, because they are less processed and are usually a good source of meat proteins. Next would be canned, it is heat damaged but it has appropriate moisture and it is less processed than kibble and less starch than kibble. Last is kibble which is high in carbs and very processed.
For dental health, try brushing and raw meaty bones.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
What is your budget? Unfortunately – while healthier, as Patty pointed out – most dry food alternatives (dehydrated, freeze-dried, canned and raw) are much more expensive than dry dog food. If it’s not possible to feed an entirely raw, dehydrated, freeze-dried or canned diet you can “top” the kibble with these foods or alternate (i.e. raw for breakfast and dry for dinner). Healthy leftovers like lean meat, steamed veggies, eggs or plain yogurt are also a cheap way to dress up kibble and boost the species-appropriateness – just keep the addition of unbalanced toppers to 20% or less of the meal. Unfortunately dehydrated, freeze-dried and commercial raw foods would probably be off the table for someone on a budget but there are some quality budget friendly canned foods. Walmart sells a food called Pure Balance which is rated 5 stars and costs $1 per can, Tractor Supply sells a food called 4Health which is rated 4.5 stars and costs $0.99 per can and Costco sells a canned food called Kirkland Cuts & Gravy which costs $0.79 per can. Home cooked and homemade raw can be done fairly cheaply – but homemade diets do take some research. I agree with Patty about the lack of dental benefits with dry food as well – it’s just a myth that dry food cleans the teeth. The only way to assure dental health is to brush your dog’s teeth regularly or have regular dental cleanings at your vet. Raw bones can aid in dental health to a certain degree, but they’re no substitution for teeth brushing.
Thanks to all…how about raw eggs?
I give raw cage free eggs(my own) a couple times a week and I also give them with the whites lightly cooked a couple times a week, sometimes I just hand them a whole hardboiled egg as a snack.
Great….one last question…I think I’ll try the kibble of Pure Balance, a small bag…and a can (the cans are so large..), then find a decent raw, or dehydrated food, to alternate…any suggestions? I guess I’ll get bones at the butcher..I love this site!
If you want easy, Darwin’s, Aunt Jenny’s, and Answers for complete frozen raw foods foods. Or you can get The Honest Kitchen Preference or Steve Brown’s See Spot Live Longer dinner mixes and add your own fresh meat to them. This is a really easy way to get started feeding raw. Or if you want to do the work of learning about what to add to balance your dogs meals, you can order several different meats from Hare Today.
darwins sounds great…but 105.00 for how many months..? Confused
Raw isn’t cheap, unless you make it your self. Depending on how much your dog needs that could last you as little as 40 days or as much as 80 days.
Why not feed a variety of raw, kibble & dehydrated?
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