One of the most difficult aspects of sharing your home with a dog is choosing what to feed him. With what feels like a constant stream of pet food recalls makes commercial foods seem less attractive but the debate between how best to prepare a homemade diet makes that decision difficult as well. Do you cook your dog’s food or go raw? Or do you go to the extreme side of the fence and follow the BARF (Bones And Raw Food) diet? And what if you just do not have the time or the ability to cook a homemade diet?
Commercial Dog Food
First off, commercial dog food is a healthy and convenient choice as long as you know a bit about what it is you are buying.
The mammoth dog food manufacturers – Pedigree, Purina, Proctor & Gamble who make Iams and Eukanuba, and Colgate-Palmolive who produce Science Diet and Hill’s – produce more dog food then all the other smaller manufacturers combined. However, if you follow the FDA website on pet food recalls, the frequency with which their foods are recalled is actually quite low when you consider the volume they produce. Recalled dog food more often then not affects smaller manufacturers that may not have the quality control capabilities or procedures of these four top producers.
The big manufacturers also have their own lines of prescription diets – foods developed for specific medical conditions. The research and development of a prescription diet takes big bucks and a lot of time, something the average dog food manufacturer does not have the resources for. How does this affect your happy, healthy pooch? You don’t think that research does not filter down into their regular foods? Think again.
Commercial dog food can be a healthy choice but read labels, learn about fillers and byproducts, and never reach for the cheapest bag of dog food you can find – guaranteed it is going to end up costing you dearly.
Since the melamine contamination pet food recall in March 2007, many people have switched to a homemade diet. Homemade pet food is just like it sounds – meat, grains and vegetables purchased from a grocery store and prepared at home.
These diets have a long list of pros and cons with the most concerning con being balanced nutrition and supplementation. Most humans are incapable of feeding themselves a healthy and well-balanced meal, how do they expect to feed their pet a nutritionally complete diet?
If you feel that a homemade diet is the right choice for you and your pet, talk with a holistic veterinarian. Raw diets are popular but most experts believe the risks of bacterial and viral contamination in feeding your pet raw meat overrides the value of a homemade diet.
Feeding a homemade diet is a major commitment – do your research, read up on the many pros and cons, ask yourself if you have the time and resources to cook two meals a day for your pet, and consider your lifestyle i.e. if you travel a lot with your dog, do you have the means to keep the ingredients or pre-made meals properly chilled for extended periods of time?
Specialty Dog Food
Specialty dog food is the hybrid of commercial pet food and a homemade diet. It is a custom kibble made from a variety of base meats, carbohydrates, vegetables, and supplements the day you place your order and delivered straight to your door within a few days. Convenient as any other kibble on the market but with the advantage of being fresh with next to no preservatives required, no grains or gluten, and sent to you as needed.
How does a specialty dog food work? For example, if you visit the RedMoon Custom Pet Food website, the home page has a choice of creating dog food or cat food. Click on the applicable button. The first thing that is asked is to choose a base formula. To start with, have a look at the old bag of food to find out what your pet is currently eating, i.e. chicken or lamb based food. Does this base seem to be working for them? Choose meat and carb combo that best matches what your pet is currently eating (this can be changed at a later date) and the activity level of your pet. The next page addresses the size of the bag and the individual kibble size. From there the next step is to choose what supplements your pet requires i.e. joint formula for large breeds or arthritic pets or an oral health supplement for dogs prone to bad breath and unhealthy teeth and gums. The last step is the ordering process. You are also able to save you pet’s diet so that reordering is simple and quick.
Specialty dog food takes the guesswork out of choosing a healthy diet for your pet that is fresh, convenient, and developed with your dog’s individual needs in mind. It has the convenience of a kibble with the adaptability of a homemade diet – a perfect package delivered to your door!