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3 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food in 2019

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

These are all good options. In fact, I like to rotate and combine them. Variety is good!

  1. Homemade meal Homemade (cooked or raw). You combine meat, veggies, bone (or bone meal), and other yummies and supplements. If you already know this is what you want to feed, your next decision is raw vs cooked and then on to my homemade recipe.
  2. Commercial RAW. If you want your dog to eat raw, but don't want to prepare the food yourself, you can buy a pre-made raw diet. I highly recommend these foods and use them a lot.

    Instinct Raw frozen dog foodCommercial raw diets come frozen or freeze-dried. You can order them online, or at your pet store you'll find frozen raw food in the freezer section; just defrost and serve. You'll find bags of freeze-dried raw food on a shelf; just add water and serve. I prefer the frozen myself, but both are good.

    See my recommended brands of commercial RAW dog food.

    Commercial raw diets make complete meals by themselves, or you can combine them with whatever you're already feeding. For example, if you absolutely must feed kibble or canned, mixing in some of these frozen or freeze-dried foods will make an overall improvement.

    These raw diets are obviously meant to be fed raw. If you're concerned about the safety of feeding raw, this might reassure you....

    Most frozen or freeze-dried raw foods have been subjected to a safety process to eliminate bacteria.

    The process is called High Pressure Pasteurization. HPP applies extremely high water pressure that kills bad little buggers like e.coli, salmonella, and listeria.

    One company describes it as "putting the squeeze" on pathogens – without destroying vital nutrients as would occur with heating.

    If you're still doubtful, you might start out by very lightly cooking the food. After awhile, you might decide to cook it less, and finally to just serve it raw. That's what I do, with all breeds from Chihuahuas on up to German Shepherds.

  3. NomNomNow dog food Commercial COOKED. If you love the idea of a delicious cooked meal for your dog, but you don't have the time or inclination to cook it.... a company called NomNomNow will cook the food in their state-of-the-art kitchen, supervised by a veterinarian, and deliver it to your door.

    Each cooked meal comes in a sealed packet that contains exactly the amount of homemade food your individual dog needs to eat. Keep a few packets in the fridge, ready to warm and serve, and store the rest in the freezer.

    Read my in-depth review of NomNomNow.

Dry kibble or canned food?

You might be wondering why kibble or canned foods didn't make my list of the best ways to feed your dog healthy food.

Most of us start out feeding kibble or canned. I certainly did. Thirty years ago, I fed kibble to my German Shepherds.

Dry kibble dog foodI couldn't put my finger on why it made me so uneasy to do so, but it did. It just didn't seem to make sense that the food they depended on for their health and vitality consisted of heavily processed, crunchy, boring brown pebbles that clattered and clunked into their food bowls.

It felt like I was feeding a hamster.

I tried adding water and canned food to make it look better. But when I read the ingredients on the can, there was precious little meat and lots of weird stuff I had never seen on a grocery shelf anywhere: beet pulp? corn gluten? That's what dogs should eat?

Made no sense.

My dogs also produced a lot of waste, as though much of the food was going right through them. That wasn't much fun to clean up.

I even wondered if their food might be a contributing factor to their itchy allergies, flaky skin, gunky ears, and softish stools. So I dug into the research.... and discovered that there were much better ways to feed my dogs.

Most importantly, I discovered, to my dismay:

.... that all dry and canned dog foods are heavily cooked/processed, which damages natural nutrients such as vitamins and enzymes. The manufacturer tries to fix that by spraying on synthetic nutrients, but those are harder for a dog to absorb.

.... that most dry and canned foods include poor quality meat and dog-inappropriate ingredients such as corn, soybeans, chickpeas, or potatoes.

.... that far from being "good for a dog's teeth", dry food bits become wedged between the teeth and under the gumline. Those bits are convenient landing spots for bacteria, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

... that dry and canned foods are terribly deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids, putting dogs at high risk for developing allergies and other chronic diseases

.... that because of messy mass production processes, dry and canned diets are prone to contamination, resulting in numerous dog food recalls and the deaths of many beloved dogs.

Read more about dry kibble and canned dog food and you'll see why I was so appalled. That was the end of my dogs eating dry or canned food every day.

I do feed kibble and canned dog food once in a while. For example, when I travel with my dogs and need to stay in a motel.

If you absolutely must feed kibble or canned every day, at least get one of my recommended brands and combine it with one of these frozen or freeze-dried foods.

Or mix in some homemadel food: ground beef or chicken breast (raw or cooked), salmon (cooked), an egg (raw or soft-boiled), vegetables (steamed, or pulverized raw in a food processor), cottage cheese, plain yogurt, and/or bone broth. Read my homemade food article for more ideas.

Feeding real, fresh, whole food will make a huge difference in your dog's future health. That's why a multitude of veterinarians are in full support. World-renowned veterinarian Dr. Martin Goldstein DVM says....

Veterinarian"You can boost your pet's health profoundly by making one simple decision. All you have to do is change his diet from commercial-brand fare to something you may never have imagined giving him – real food."

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
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book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.