Dog Food: What’s the Best Canine Diet Choice?

February 4, 2010 · Posted in Service Dogs 
doggie chef

Nutrition is such an important issue for us and our dogs. I have been reading Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live and as I contemplate my own dietary choices, I can’t help but be concerned with Whistle’s diet. Whistle has been eating the same commercial, traditional dog food that he’s eaten his whole life. And although I don’t think it’s the worst food in the world, I also don’t think it is necessarily the best food that he should be eating.

As I’ve shared before, I’ve tried all kinds of diets with my retired service dog, Morgan. But due to his severe allergies, the only food he has been able to tolerate is a prescriptive rabbit and potato dry food. I can also give him potatoes as treats. He gets low salt potato chips, French fries, sweet potato fries, tater tots, etc. And, boy does he love them.

Whistle, on the other hand, has not exhibited any dietary restrictions. But Whistle will be turning five on April 1. From my experiences, age five has always been a big turning point for my service dogs. It’s when they have really reached their peaks as adult dogs. And, it is after age five that they started developing some minor health concerns.

I want to be as proactive and preventative as I possibly can for Whistle’s health. And I feel the first step toward preventive health care is his diet.

There are so many foods out there that claim to be healthy and/or organic but I am so nervous about switching his food. I am afraid he will develop digestive issues like my previous service dogs.

I guess I just need to study about the nutrients that Whistle requires to be a healthy canine. Years ago I took Morgan to a holistic vet who put him on a raw diet. Although he loved the food, I honestly felt like it was not a good choice for him. His allergies escalated and his digestive problems seemed to worsen.

Every time I purchase another bag of Whistle’s traditional dog food, I tell myself, “This is the last bag I am buying because I am going to change his diet.” Whistle and I have been together for three years now and I am sorry to say, he’s still on that same food!

I recently bought another bag of that dog food and this time, I bought an even larger bag. I consciously purchased the larger bag and I said to myself, “I am getting the larger bag because it will give me a few more weeks to figure out Whistle’s new diet strategy.”

Help! I would love to hear what you are feeding your dog and how you switched his or her diet in the past. Whistle and I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and/or suggestions!


3 Responses to “Dog Food: What’s the Best Canine Diet Choice?”

  1. Omar on February 5th, 2010 9:22 pm

    Regarding your retired service dog. You really don’t need a prescription for the type of diet he needs. There’s a dog food brand called Natural Balance, which is sold at large chains, it’s great for allergies. They have several different protein sources and single carbohydrate source. For example, one of them is potato and fish, potato and chicken, potato and venison, and a couple others. It’s a lot cheaper than prescription and has a lot better ingredients too.

  2. Marcie on February 7th, 2010 7:34 pm

    Thanks for your suggestion Omar. I actually tried Natural Balance and Morgan was allergic to it also. He has extremely severe allergies and the only food that has worked so far is a rabbit and potato that I purchase with a prescription.

  3. Science Plan on February 20th, 2010 3:22 am

    Found this accidently. A number of good points – the importance of GOOD dog food is too often ignored and this post includes a lot of interest. It can really affect their mood and training. Can’t wait to future posts. Am planning to put my thoughts down in a similar blog.

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