I am always looking for and learning about new information to allow me to better care for my pets.
I like many others, was deeply disturbed by several massive pet food recalls but I was certainly not surprised. Many of the "top" brand dog foods are overcooked which destroys precious nutrients, and are preserved with chemicals like Ethoxyquin, and/or BHA/BHT. As well, the majority of kibble ranges from 40-70% digestibility. Which in essence means that your pet is only absorbing (at the very best!) 70% of what it is taking in...leaving a whopping 30% of unabsorbed waste....
Armed with this information I searched around to find what I felt was a "good food" that was cooked at a lower temperature and free of these preservatives. I switched to a Holistic Brand dog food, which eliminated my preservative issue but was hard on my bank account!
I have now switched over to a natural raw diet (which includes various animal protein sources such as beef, venison, chicken, raw goat milk, yoghurt, lamb, tripe, veggies, etc.) on the advice of a fellow breeder who has been feeding this way for over 30 years. Her dogs are healthy happy dogs that are thriving, love their food, and are in excellent weight, excel in the show ring and field and have incredible soft and shiny coats!
In the five years my dogs have been on this diet, which is 97-99% digestible human grade meat and bone, my dogs have less fecal output, reduced doggie breath, and it has contributed significantly to cleaning their teeth The best part of this (aside from the overall health benefits of a nutrient rich diet) is that it is now costing less than half of what it was costing me to feed my dogs that “better quality” kibble.
I have also raised sixteen puppies on a species appropriate raw food diet, all were incredibly healthy and virile puppies who have been given clean bills of health by their respective veterinarians.
I as well as their new homes, receive comments all the time about how healthy and happy they look, which I am certain their diet has played a large role in. Species appropriate raw feeding provides optimal nutrition for your dog, but be aware that it does not replace adequate veterinary care. I encourage you no matter what route that you go, to RESEARCH as much as possible. There are many internet groups and websites (please see the links page) devoted to this topic. Your pets health is in your hands. Do the research required to make an informed decision for yourself and your animals. They will thank you.