ANIMALS: What would I feed my dog?

Monday, 30 January 2017
As the date to move into our first house draws closer, the more time I am spending wondering if we will ever find that four legged dog friend that will fit in our lifestyle (and that won't make Matt have an asthma attack!). 

I already know where his/hers cage would go, where I'd keep the lead and have pictured our daily routine over and over again. But one thing I am still unsure of is what I would feed it. I had always been bought up with family feeding their dogs the standard dog food but recently my eyes have been opened to the world of raw feeding. The dilemma is since going Vegan - could I do it? 
Indy - Charli's Puppy!!! 
There are so many different options for dogs food to consider; raw feeding, the generic popular brands (which I wouldn't ever feed my dog, heard too many horror stories) and natural dog food. Ultimately I know it's going to be down to the dog that we adopt that will decide, so I've been reading a fair few feeding guides and wanted to share what I had learnt below.

Protein

It's widely know that protein aids growth and repair and it's an important energy source for everyone, not just dogs. In dog food this is usually sourced from meat and fish as it is the most natural and digestible form for canines. However this can be expensive so there are cheaper dog foods with vegetable protein and there are some vegans will choose this over meat sourced protein. 

Fats & Oils

These are important for dogs as not only are they a source of energy but they also keep the dog's skin and coat healthy. I'm part of a dog walking group on Facebook and there are regular discussions around what oils owners feed their dogs. The most popular are omega 3 and 6 and are usually added into the food. 

Fibre

There is some debate around the benefits of fibre in a dogs diet however, it's widely believed that it helps to aid water absorption and prevents diarrhoea. Fibre can also do the opposite and prevent constipation by drawing water into the digestive system.

Minerals

Something which I am already aware of with Bertie and Rocky, each have mineral supplements and a salt lick. In dog food this is often referred to as "ash" apparently because of the way that its nutrient content is measured. Important minerals for dogs include; calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium. 

Vitamins

Again, something I am used to with Rocky in-particular as guinea pigs need additional vitamins. There's a trend for dog food to be cold-pressed now because there is a difficultly in preserving vitamins when you heat food to high temperatures. 

Darlow - Cardiff Dogs Home
As I will be adopting a dog, most likely from Cardiff Dogs Home, a transitional period between foods will be needed. At the home they are fed on very bland food to be on the safe side, unless there are known health issues. It's suggested that you follow the method of a 75:25 split between the old food and the new. Keep it like this for a couple of days, before changing the split to 50:50 then 25:75 old to new.

We are having a huge kitchen so our dog will have their own cupboard and I can't wait. There will be numerous airtight containers of food and treats. Unless we go down the raw feeding route and then it is recommended that you buy a separate freezer!
If you own a dog I'd be really keen to here what you feed it. 

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