Help With Food?
A healthy diet is an important component to a puppy’s overall health. There are many diets on the market, some very good, in our opinion, and others less so. We typically refrain from suggesting a particular food, as we view this as a very personal choice, but we can suggest the Whole Dog Journal (WDJ) and Dog Food Advisor as a wonderful resource for information about top quality foods, as well as a holistic approach to canine care. A subscription to WDJ periodical is a trivial expense in relation to the wealth of information contained in each issue.
There has also been recent research indicating that Grain Free foods are not beneficial for dogs and have been linked to Heart Disease, therefore we do not recommend those foods. There are a few main companies who conduct independent research and quality testing, these brands include: Royal Canin, Hills/Science Diet, Eukanuba/Iams, and Purina.
We have included below (in part) the Whole Dog Journal report on their ‘approved’ dry dog foods for 2012. Please bear in mind this is a guide, and should not be construed as an endorsement. We encourage dog food research. Knowledge is power.
In addition to a good diet, a proper weight should be maintained. A very light layer of fat should be all the more a dog should carry. If the ribs of a dog can’t be felt, by lightly running a hand over his side, he is too heavy. Many dogs (Shelties in particular) are easy keepers, meaning they don’t need to eat a great deal of food to maintain proper weight. It really depends upon the individual dog, but the occasional rib ‘test’ should indicate whether or not the dog is in proper weight.
Here is the list of WDJ's approved dry foods for 2012. Companies with an asterisk (*) were new on the list for that year. • Addiction Foods • Ainsworth Pet Nutrition • Annamaet Pet Foods • Artemis Pet Foods • Bench & Field Pet Foods • Blue Buffalo Company • Breeder's Choice Pet Foods • Burns Pet Health • Canidae Corp • Canine Cavier Pet Foods • Carna4 Inc * • Castor & Pollux Pet Works • Champion Pet Foods • Darford International * • Diamond Pet Products • Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance • Dogswell LLC • Dr. Gary's Best Breed * • Dr. Tim's Pet Food Company • Drs. Foster & Smith • Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Company • Firstmate Pet Foods • Fromm Family Foods • Grandma Mae's Country Naturals * • Hi-Tek Rations * • Horizon Pet Nutrition • Kent Nutrition Group • Lincoln Biotech • Lotus Natural Food • Merrick Pet Care • Midwestern Pet Foods • Mulligan Stew Pet Food • Natura Pet Products • Nature's Variety • Omnipro Pet Foods • Perfect Health Diet Products • Pet Chef Express • Petcurean Pet Nutrition • PetGuard * • Pet Valu • Precise Pet Products • SmartPak Canine • Three Dog Bakery * • Solid Gold Health Products for Pets • Tuffy's Pet Foods • Verus Pet Foods • Vet's Choice * • Wellpet WDJ also included Hallmarks of Quality :
• Lots of animal protein at the top of the ingredient list
• A named animal protein
• An animal protein meal in a supporting role when a fresh meat is the first ingredient • Whole vegetables, fruits, and grains
• A "best-by" date that is at least six months away
And a list of things you don't want:
• Meat by-products or poultry by-products • A generic fat source (e.g., "animal fat")
• Added sweeteners
• Artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives (e.g., BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin)
We also recommend the following website (http://www.dogfoodproject.com) for more detailed information.