What is the Best Dog Food Brand?
Learn how to find the best dog food for your dog. For the purposes of this article we are referring to dry dog food.
Dog owners often ask “What is the best brand of dog food for my dog?”. This is a nearly impossible question to answer for the following reasons, which also impact readers to this article:
- Dog food brands can be different all over the world, many people do not say where they love
- Manufacturers of pet food often change their formula, a brand that is good one year could be bad the next.
- You never know if the person is basing their answer on facts or guess work.
As such it is always better for a dog owner to become educated about ingredients so that they may choose a good pet food for their dog at anytime, in any place, rather than having to rely on asking another person for advice on the best dog food.
When your dog eats a better quality food it gets more nutrition with less food, so it will eat less, and poop less too.
The only way you are going to know if a dog food is really good for your dog is by looking at the ingredient list. All dog foods market themselves as being complete nutrition, but many use cheap filler or ingredients that have been linked to causing health problems. Some countries (including the United States) have fairly low standards in regards to the minimum level of nutrition a dog's food must contain.
Pay attention to the order of ingredients not percentages. A food can say it contains a certain percentage of protein, but if the protein comes from a harder to digest source, or if you have to feed more food to equal the dog's requirement for protein, the percentage is of no help to determine quality. For an extreme example of this read about a theoretical dog food that was made out of old boots.
Below are listed some bad ingredients often used in dog food, those of low quality, or that are cheap filler, some have been linked to health problems in dogs:
- BHT, BHA, cheap preservatives linked to causing health problems.
- Ethoxyquin, a chemical pesticide often not mentioned on the ingredient list because it is hidden in the by-products. Ethoxyquin has been linked to causing health problems and is banned in many parts of the world.
- Another problem with by-products is that they are cheap fillers, they can be any non-meat item, beaks, feet, some feathers, even cancerous tumors and collars.
- Meatmeal, not so much “bad” but it can be an allergy concern since meatmeal can be any slaughtered animal it is not a consistent meat source from bag to bag.
- Beef, Wheat, Corn, Soy, and Pork, are known to be common allergens, often causing hot spots on some dogs.
- Corn Gluten Meal, cheap filler, a waste product.
- Brewers Rice, a cheap filler, a waste product of the brewing industry.
- Food Colorings, this usually indicates poor quality food, the artifical food colorings and dyes are added to pet food to please the consumer and offer no value to the food, additionally some dogs have behavior issues as the result of a reaction to consuming these food coloring dyes (which are often made from tar). You will note that dogs are color blind to red.
If you can find a food that does not contain the above ingredients you are on track to finding a good dog food, to make it the “best” dog food look for indications on the label that the food uses “human grade ingredients”.
It can be hard to find good pet foods but they are out there, some supermarkets are starting to make their own brand name quality pet foods (read the ingredient list for yourself) but generally speaking you have to go to a pet supply store to find better pet foods.
Note as well that large breed puppies and large breed dogs do need food that is formulated for their needs, slowing down their growth as pups, and having ingredients to promote joint health.
Puppies, pregnant, and nursing dogs, should have puppy food, but some food companies make such excellent adult food that these foods work well for pups too.
If you do decide to switch to a different dog food you should do so slowly over a period of 1 to 2 weeks, noting by the feeding guidelines on the side of the bad that with better food you typically feed less. Some dogs are so conditioned to eating unhealthy (junk) dog food that they may be unwilling to eat healthy dog food.
In addition to feeding less food you should have fewer health problems with your dog, and less waste in the back yard.
The past few years the quality of many of the commercial dog food brands has come in to question. Many dog foods contain corn, which is nothing but filler, questionable meat bi-products, chemicals and preservatives. Multiple dog food scares have left owners uncertain on what brands are safe to feed their beloved pets. More and more people are choosing to feed their dogs something different from commercial food. Many people are feeding their dogs a raw diet and loving it. Those who would like an alternative to commercial food but are not quite comfortable with a raw diet, making your own dog food might be a perfect compromise.
Making your own dog food is quite easy to do and can be done for cheaper than buying a high quality commercial dog food. Homemade food can also be made in large amounts and frozen so you do not need to spend time daily making it. There are many dog food recipes online but it is just as easy to make your own. Be sure the foods you use are safe and that the food consists of 30% starch, 30% vegetable and 40% meat.
For the starch, brown rice, oats or pasta work well.
Vegetables and fruits you can choose from are carrots, squash, pumpkin, cucumber, cauliflower, yams, sweet potatoes, lettuce, beets, peas, parsnips, zucchini, watermelon, other melons, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples (no seeds, they are poisonous), cooked beans.
Lean beef, lamb, skinless chicken, venison, buffalo, elk, moose, musk Ox, turkey, rabbit, duck, boneless fish, cooked eggs, small amounts of beef and chicken liver are all excellent meat choices.
Vegetables/fruits that are not safe to use are spinach, beet greens, chard, onions, garlic, leek, tomato, potato, bell peppers, corn on the cob/corn, grapes, raisins, rhubarb, mushrooms, avocadoes, broccoli and raw beans.
Chicken skin and fat trimming are not healthy and raw fish should be avoided. Tuna sadly contains too much mercury to be safe. Large amounts of Liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity so should never be given.
Nutmeg, sugar, chocolate, nuts, milk, yeast dough, seeds and fruit pits, wheat, baby food, coffee/tea, hops, potato, salt, dairy products, apple seeds, apricot/cherry/peach pits and mustard seeds should never be given.
Calcium is also a vital aspect of your dog’s diet and can by simply added by topping their food each night with some unflavoured no fat yogurt. Yogurt can help dogs keep a balanced digestive tract and can help stop gassiness.
A few points to keep in mind:
Fresh or frozen veggies are best; do not use canned veggies as they have additives.
Dogs have shorter digestive tracts than humans have and cannot digest most vegetables whole or in large chunks. Be sure to mash vegetables up well.
Remember to feed no white coloured/bleached foods. When possible try to avoid wheat too, as it tends to make dogs gassy.
All Fish and Pork should be well cooked.
A canine multivitamin can be added to insure he gets everything he needs.
When preparing homemade dog food, it is best to vary the recipes so that your dog gets an array of nutrients.
Talk to your vet before changing to a homemade diet.
All meat should be lean and not covered in fat.
Feeding a homemade diet does take more work than simply buying a bag of kibble. However, knowing you are doing the best you can to keep your dog healthy is well worth the effort.
Some cat owners will have a strange thing happen at some time or another... their cat will pee on their bed. We all know cats are suppose to urinate in their litter box, but what are the reasons that some don't?
Some of the places that cats will select to urinate, other than their litter box, are on a bed, sofa, towels, laundry, or even carpeting. You will note they seldom pee on the floor. Just to clear things up – we are not referring to “Spraying” or marking behavior which is most often seen in male cats and is characterized by them standing with their rear end facing a (usually) vertical surface. They “shoot” their urine, and typically twitch their tail at this time. This article is about cats who empty their bladder on the bed, towels, and such, rather than "marking territory" with small amounts of urine.
There are basically three reasons why cats pee on the bed, towels, or what have you. One is that they have a reason for not using their litter box (there are many reasons for this), an other is because you have made these sources available to them, and finally it is because these things smell like you. Let us look into these factors further.
Reasons for a Cat Not Using the Litter Box
There are a multitude of reasons cats fail to use their litter box to urinate. They could have a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), they could have a behavioral problem, or somehow you failed to keep the litter clean, locatable, and of the right type of litter. Perhaps another cat is not allowing them to use their litter box, or the door was shut to the room where it is.
There are so many reasons, in fact, that if a cat is having this problem, one should try to determine the source, a link is available here to help finding out the cause of a cats refusal to use the litter box.
Peeing on the floor is not fun, it splatters, and cats know this. They sometimes have the same problem when their litter box gets so low that all the litter is piled up on one side of the box. They know that fabric is absorbent, and will not cause urine to splatter on their legs. When a kitten cannot find a litter box it will look to whatever is available.
Smells Like You
Your bed, your towels, your dirty laundry on the floor, these things all smell like you. Of course people will try saying that your cat is marking your stuff as its own, but really we do not know what the cat is thinking when it urinates on your bed or clothing. Many theories exist, including that they use this as a way of stating their anger with you, but this is really just guess work. The fact is your cat does not pee on you (hopefully), just your soft stuff, so perhaps your cat thinks of this in a familiar sort of way.
What Can be Done to Prevent, or End, the Problem of a Cat Peeing on your Stuff
Assuming again that the cat is spayed or neutered, and is not spraying... and assuming the cat is not suffering from any kind of urinary tract infect, diabetes, and so forth, there are some things we can do. First amend the problem as mentioned in the link also mentioned above relating to why it cats fail to use the litter box in the first place.
Keep bedroom doors shut and/or keep clothing picked up or in a hamper (with a lid). Try spending a few minutes every day with the cat, patting it, or giving it treats. Keep the home as stress free as possible (do not allow kids to chase your cats). If you must, shut the cat up in the room where the litter box is located at night (with food and water of course), or when you are away, thus reinforcing it to use the litter box, but only if you have filled it with the correct litter, and it is placed in an appropriate spot to begin with (not next to a laundry machine or furnace).
Be aware that cats do not understand discipline for this problem. Rubbing the cats nose in “it” will not help, and may only add to the stress and confusion the cat is experiencing – thus making the problem worse.
Please read the link on why cats fail to use their litter box as this is the start to the problem of them using your bed, towels, and so forth, as a litter option.
The nose is a vital part of the cat’s ability to perceive his surroundings. His sense of smell is often remarkable as he can smell all sorts of scents. His sense of smell however, may get affected due to several illnesses caused by viruses, pollens and bacteria. Some of these may manifest with symptoms of a runny nose, sneezing and fever. It is important for cat owners to isolate their sick cat from other pets in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Owners are also encouraged to bring their cat to the vet for evaluation.
But can a cat get a runny nose cold from being too cold? How do cats cope with this cold? These are just some of the more common questions that cat owners pose regarding the health of their pet cat when the cat is exposed to cold weather or especially during winter.
During Cold Weather
When the cat is exposed to cold temperatures during cold weather, the nose of the feline becomes dry. This usually results in the drying of the nose’s sensitive membrane which blocks irritants that cause colds. When the sensitive membrane is unable to block off pollens, bacteria and viruses from passing into the respiratory system of the cat, the feline becomes more susceptible to infection that usually results in a runny nose.
The most prominent sign of cat nasal infection is the presence of a thick mucus coming out from the cat’s nose. Other symptoms of cat colds include heavy breathing, lethargy, sneezing, and breathing through its mouth. Runny nose among cats is characterized by a watery discharge from the nose for a few hours, which in such case, the cat should be brought to a veterinarian. The discharge may also turn yellow and this is often associated with a bacterial infection.
When the cat sneezes for several hours and then the sneezing suddenly stops, then it may be because of an irritation in the nose. When the cat grabs its nose and sneezes hard, then something may have been stuck in its nose. If the cat sneezes and has sniffles for a whole day, then it may have a respiratory infection.
It is recommended that cats with colds are brought to a veterinarian given the complex nasal passages of the feline. Veterinarians usually advise cat owners to increase air humidity using a vaporizer particularly in a small space to help in liquifying the nasal discharge. A humidifier can also help stop nasal irritation.
Veterinarians also will prescribe antibiotics to help the feline avoid certain bacterial infections, allowing its body to fight to resist the viral infection that caused the cold. Veterinarians will also look into the symptoms and its eating behavior.
So can a cat get a runny nose cold from being too cold? The answer is yes. It is therefore best to take measures to avoid exposing the cat for prolonged periods in cold weather. Many owners opt to keep their pets indoor during these conditions.