We advise our Guardian Homes & owners NOT to post requests for dog-feeding advice on Facebook. Most of the people you'll find on forums aren't veterinary experts; they frequently suggest low-rated diets just because someone else did and they do not thoroughly investigate animal nutrition.
This post will provide insights into the food we feed our dogs and the options we suggest to our clients, such as kibble, fresh, and raw diets. Although we do not discuss the diets available at many veterinary offices, we advise you to also look into those alternatives. We advise using Dog Food Advisor to look up any food before trying it. You might be shocked by what you learn about some of the most popular and pricey brands that veterinarians recommend. For us to suggest a food, it must have a rating of 4.5 or above, have at least 30% protein, and be mostly composed of real meat. Oh, and our dogs have to love it!
We are extremely cautious and selective about what we feed our dogs, but please keep in mind that we are not veterinarians. We discuss this with our vets. We converse with other breeders. We examine labels. We research dog food. We are aware that appropriate nutrition is the cornerstone of healthy animals when breeding dogs, and we have observed firsthand which products are most effective with Cavaliers. Also, we are aware that every dog and its owner are unique. As long as people are doing their best for their dogs, we don't judge their feeding choices. We advise owners to consider the following options.
KIBBLE - Although kibble only makes up a small portion of our dog's diet, the majority of owners prefer to use it as their dog's main source of nourishment. We advise you to add home-cooked and/or raw foods to your dog's diet if possible. It's crucial to pick the best kibble you can buy if you only want to feed kibble. Due to recalls, poor nutritional content, and low-quality proteins, kibble frequently has a bad rap, yet certain varieties are better than others. Depending on where you choose to purchase, these are our recommendations:
OPTIONS ON PAWTREE: We were requested by PawTree to sample their kibble on our dogs and have had a positive experience with this brand. We have discovered that their claims—reduced food, lesser poop, and healthier dogs—are accurate, and our dogs love their products. We alternate feeding formulae such as Salmon & Sweet Potato, Chicken & Oatmeal, and Whitefish & Brown Rice. We really adore their superfood seasonings and raw treats (for that selective eater in the pack). Free shipping is available on these products when you sign up for their PawClub and create an EZ-Ship!
OPTIONS ON CHEWY.COM
1. Instinct Original Small Breed Dog Food (Grain Free) - This grain-free choice contains chicken, chickpeas, chicken meal, & tapioca among its first five components. Only dogs who need a grain-free choice should use this, in our opinion. Comprises 39 percent protein.
2. Diamond Naturals Small Breed - This grain-free option contains the following as its first four ingredients: chicken, cracked pearled barley, chicken meal & ground white rice. Protein makes up about 30% of it.
OPTIONS ON AMAZON.COM
1. Nulo Freestyle Small Breed (Grain Free) - This grain-free choice has a salmon meal, deboned salmon, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, and salmon meal as its first four ingredients. This recipe contains chicken; therefore, dogs with chicken allergies should avoid it. 34% of this kibble is protein.
2. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed - Salmon meal, chicken meal & oats make up the first four elements of the grain-free Small Breed option. Protein may be found in this food. 31% of this kibble is protein.
HOME COOKED - Numerous new dog owners are unclear about the distinction between "home-cooked," which simply entails making your dog's food at home from ingredients like vegetables and carbs, and "raw feeding," which is based on food that is not cooked. It's simple to get confused. For instance, we'll include a recipe for puppy loaf (below) that may be consumed raw or cooked and hence fits into both categories.
Although we do provide home-cooked meals for our dogs, we also learn from our owners that preparing meals that are truly nutritionally balanced may be time-consuming, more expensive, and stressful (to ensure that your dog receives all the necessary nutrients). Some of our favorite recipes may be found on Food.com and Damn Delicious. We frequently supplement our dogs' usual food with grilled, dried chicken or boiled eggs.
Fortunately, today's dogs can access "home-cooked" meals delivered to your house. Many cost less than you may think. Currently, our dogs ADORE Ollie. This is a fantastic solution for dogs with allergies that require a diet with few ingredients.
RAW FEEDING - This is a contentious and hot topic. Many supporters of raw feeding believe that anything other than raw is not acceptable. Meanwhile, novice dog owners find raw feeding to be difficult, time-consuming, and frequently contrary to their veterinarian's advice. We advise you to contact Dt. Judy Morgan, if you're interested in raw feeding a Cavalier or a Cavalier-hybrid. Her puppy loaf recipe is an excellent way to start with raw feeding.
Using freeze-dried & frozen raw foods, which are sold by stores and at your neighborhood specialty dog food store, is another excellent way to get started with raw nutrition. When we travel, we rely on freeze-dried raw food; we also wish to supplement with it and carefully introduce raw to a new dog. These products offer raw advantages without requiring you to grind, cut, measure, or mix the ingredients yourself! Here are some ideas to get you started with feeding your dogs raw meat:
OPTIONS ON CHEWY.COM
1. Primal Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food - This brand has a wide variety of tastes and is simple to prepare. To serve, simply rehydrate the nuggets with water or bone broth.
2. Instinct Frozen Raw Bites (Grain Free Options) - Also offered in patties. Another reliable company that offers a wide range of tastes. This alternative is grain-free and has 85% meat & organs. They must be thawed before serving if they are frozen, but they do so fast.
Options ON AMAZON.COM: Please take note that we don't buy frozen goods from Amazon. Thus this just refers to their freeze-dried options.
1. Stella and Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties - We have found that not all flavors of the brand we use for travel are of the same quality, so we advise choosing Chicken, Venison Blend, or Rabbit if possible.
2. Vital Essentials Beef Entree Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food - This excellent beef-only, the grain-free choice is fantastic (If your dog is sensitive to chicken). We do not advise using this as your dog's primary food source.
Finally, let's reiterate that diet is crucial to your dog's health. Try a few different items to watch how their coat, skin & energy vary. And don't be afraid to experiment. Depending on your dog, schedule, and spending capacity, dog food is ultimately a matter of personal preference. Never surrender that decision to a stranger who has little to no understanding of any of those elements, and always bring up any nutritional concerns with your veterinarian first.
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