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The quest for a better dog food

Poor Quality Dry Kibble Guilt

I went to the store last weekend to buy another bag of dog food.  I’ve always known that Iams is not the highest quality food, but it keeps Trooper fed and as far as I can tell, healthy.  Sometimes it bothers me that I feed him kibble that contains a lot of fillers and poor quality meat ‘products’, and in the past I’ve assuaged my guilt by telling myself that spending an arm and a leg on dog food just isn’t reasonable.  This past weekend, however, I was overwhelmed by the desire to give Trooper something better.  Considering that the dog food quest is no longer to remove an allergen but to provide Trooper with better nutrition, I figured I would be able to find something in a jiffy.

Dry Kibble Options

Trooper has been fed a variety of dog food brands  – Canidae, Science Diet, Natural Balance, Solid Gold – but I’ve always returned to the more budget friendly Iams.  Now that I was on the path to finding Trooper a better dog food, I turned to the higher quality foods to see what the switch-over would entail.  Boy was I in for a surprise!  The nicer dog food cost roughly twice the price of the Iams.  “Alright,” I said to myself, “Take a deep breath and think about this…If you are going to buy a fancy dog food, don’t freak out about the prices, maybe you should read reviews first.”  With that thought in mind, I went home and started doing research.

I thought that reading reviews and ingredient lists would quickly and easily indicate the correct dog food brand for Trooper.  Wrongo…There are so many to read about, that it became overwhelming and nothing stood out.  I found one site that provided a plethora of information and did it in two helpful formats – listing dog food by brand and by rating (1 star, 2 star, etc).  That way you can search for the food you currently feed your dog and read about its quality or you can pick a food from a star category that aligns with what you can spend.

While the site was informative and useful, I did not find myself inspired by any particular brand of food.  My goal was to find the best quality dog food that had an appropriate price tag.  I did another quick google search and ended up on an Amazon Customer Discussion discussing the best quality, yet affordable, dog food.  I was completely enlightened after reading that one person fed their dog a homemade raw diet that was cheaper and obviously better quality.  Hmmmmm, what an idea, no?

Raw food diets

If you recall from the allergy post,
Trooper spent a few years on the raw diet.  But that particular variety consisted of packaged, ground-up food (BARF diet), as opposed to creating your own meals at home (BARF diet at home).  After further research, I found a third option:  Raw Meaty Bones (not BARF diet). Ding, ding ding!  I think I found a winner and here’s why:

I’m still a novice at understanding the dietary needs of my canine companion, but I agree with the premise of the Raw Meaty Bones (RMB) diet that dogs are carnivores and do not need the extra components that are in the BARF diet.  You can find some great information at this RMB site.  I posted a few other links on the Resources page that direct to sites that discuss myths about the RMB diet, how to transition your pet to a RMB diet, what and how much to feed and a ton of other information.  After reading all about it and doing a quick and dirty cost analysis, I decided to give it a try!  Results of cost analysis and Trooper response coming soon.