A Rant About Pet Food

The Rant

Honestly, I’m tired. I’m tired of thinking we’ve finally figured out a good diet for Nix, only to find out that the kibbles we’ve chosen are not so great as I thought they were. I’m tired of writing a post, praising the food, and then realising it may not be so good after all. I’m tired of not really knowing what’s good for her. I’m tired of companies with loose morals, who are only worried about making a profit, instead of worrying about establishing a trust with their customers. I know companies are not NGO’s, but it’s important to build trust with the people who are giving you their money. I’m tired of not being able to trust organisations such as AAFCO or the NRC, which provide pet feeding guidelines, as they both have their own sponsors or interests to take care of.

Kibble aplenty! Sorry about the quality of the photo; but this is the amount of kibble we had at one point.

I’m writing this post after having done some research for another post on Nix’s current diet. The post was almost completed, but I decided to run some Google searches on pet feeding guidelines. One thing led to another, and I eventually reached the conclusion that perhaps Nix’s food isn’t so great after all.

The main thing that I found out is that if you want to feed the best food to your dog, what you have to do is to prepare his meals yourself. This is the only way to know quite precisely what’s in his food and the quality of the ingredients. You can find plenty of dog recipe books online. Not so long ago I reviewed Feed Your Best Friend Better (click here for the review), but an Amazon search shows plenty of other results.

Nix’s Diet

Unfortunately, I don’t feel confident or comfortable cooking for Nix, although I own Feed Your Best Friend Better. So she eats kibble which we more or less trust (although I have my reservations) or that has worked for her. Here is what she eats regularly:

  • Acana Pacific Pilchard / Acana Pacifica: We started with Acana Pacific Pilchard because it has fewer ingredients and Nix has a sensitive stomach. However, we switched to Acana Pacifica when the pet store where we buy her food didn’t have the large bag of Pacific Pilchard in stock (and we all know how much more expensive smaller bags are). She tolerated the change very well.
  • Advance Diabetes Colitis: After the last diarrhoea bout, we started feeding her this kibble and she recovered really quickly. She’s been doing well since, and after a while we started feeding this combined with Acana. She’s older now, so maybe she doesn’t need this food anymore, but for the time being I’d rather feed this, as it works, than something else.
One of the first times we ordered Acana Pacific Pilchard. Nix was quite interested…

From time to time, we also give her small pieces of bread, she eats a small can of tuna once a week, and during the summer we gave her both melon and watermelon, which she loved. She also seems to like banana, so we might also feed it to her more regularly.

Transitioning and Learning More

I believe that one of the ways in which you could transition to a home-cooked diet is by initially combining kibble and home-cooked food, and gradually increasing the amount of home-cooked food and decreasing the amount of kibble. What I think is important is to do your research and check your sources. You can also opt for feeding half kibble and half home-cooked meal for the daily recommended amount for your dog.

Remember that some foods can be toxic and poisonous for dogs, so check the image below (credit to Lili Chin) which you can download and print. You can also print and read about the top 10 superfoods for dogs (you can find the poster below as well). Finally, if you wish to know more about the pet food industry, you can watch the film Pet Fooled, which we reviewed here.

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