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3 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food

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

These 3 options are all good options. In fact, I like to rotate and combine them. Variety is good!

  • Homemade meal Homemade (cooked) or homemade (raw). You combine meat, veggies, bone (or bone meal), and a couple other supplements. If this is what you want to feed, your next decision is raw vs cooked and then on to my homemade recipe.
  • 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. You can also (very lightly) cook these diets.

    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, but both are good.

    See my recommended brands of commercial RAW dog food.

    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 cooking the food very lightly.  After awhile, you might decide to cook it less, and finally to just serve it raw.

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. Forty 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 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 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 produced a lot of waste. 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", bits of kibble become wedged between  the teeth and under  the gumline. These lodged bits become 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.

Now, 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 can 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.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

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