The 12 Best Dog Foods

It is generally agreed raw meat is the ideal food for dogs of all types. Raw meat does not make a dog savage, nor does it give him distemper, worms, or dozens of other ailments that badly informed people claim.

What is the best food to feed my dog?

Here are the best dog foods to feed your dog:

1. Cereal Foods

A basic feed for an adult dog should consist of approximately equal quantities of meat and one of any of the whole grain cereal foods listed. If cooked meat is used, which does not provide much of a chew, it is advisable to use a crunchy cereal food with it, such as the first three on this list.

Dog pellets, dog biscuits, wholemeal rusks; stale wholemeal bread, dog meal, cooked brown rice, flaked maize, barley kernels, cooked oatmeal porridge (good and warming in winter) or any other cooked whole-grain cereal food.

Wholemeal flour is used in some of the recipes below (when the cooking time is short it should be previously baked).

Dogs who suffer from intolerances or allergies should avoid cereals and grains in their diet as they can take longer to digest than other foods.

2. Vegetables

A handful or two of one or more of the following may be added to a meal two or three times a week: green outer leaves from cabbage, spinach, kale or boiled leeks, carrots, parsley, runner beans, broccoli, celery, lettuce. Avoid onion, white potatoes and turnips. Sweet potato and pumpkin are good alternatives to the white potato. If used raw, vegetables should be very finely chopped or liquidized.

3. Stocks

Stocks may be used on their own, they are useful for a dog recovering from an illness, and they are also suitable for moistening dog meals and other dry cereals. Many stocks and broth contain glycine which helps to improve liver function. Salt and other spices and flavorings should not be used.

4. Basic meat stock

Any unwanted raw or cooked bones are suitable for this, as well as cooked or raw skin, gristle, and trimmings of meat, offal, or poultry. Never feed small or brittle bones to your dog, as they are liable to lodge in his throat.

It does not matter if the meat is fatty as excess fat may be skimmed off afterward. Simmer in unsalted water, just over 1-liter water to 450g bones for as long as possible on low heat with the lid on.

Most of the flavor will be extracted from the meat in the first two to three hours of simmering, though more gelatin and calcium will be drawn out of the bones and meat if they are boiled longer.

After cooking, carefully remove all bones and bone chips, best done by straining. Alternatively, you can put the stock through a blender to crush the bones and allow them to mix into the stock. Bones provide much needed calcium to support bone development and strong teeth.

5. Fish Stock

Any discarded fish bones, heads, and skins may be used for this: your fishmongers may be only too happy to get rid of them. Proceed as for the meat stock.

Some dogs struggle to digest fish products, so fish stock should be given in small amounts at first. If your dog does not have any change in his bowel movements, you can slowly increase the amount of fish stock into his meals.

6. Beef and Egg

Any oddments of raw or cooked beef are suitable. Simmer in 1.5cm of stock or broth for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in an egg (which need not be beaten first). Mix well and return to the heat for 3 minutes.

Alternatively, you can dice the beef and crack the raw egg in. Eggs contain are a great source of several nutrients including vitamins, riboflavin, folate, amino and fatty acids, protein and iron. For added calcium, you can crush the eggshell into the dog’s food as well.

7. Hotchpotch

Hotchpotch is traditionally made with mutton, however, lamb is equally nutritionally balanced. Take about 450g of scrag end of lamb and a calf’s foot, both cut in pieces. Place in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover, bring to the boil and simmer for two hours. When almost cool, carefully remove all bones.

8. Liver and Egg

Cut 115g of liver into strips and dip in beaten egg. At the bottom of a greased oven-proof dish, place a slice of stale wholemeal bread. On this lay the strips of the liver and a sliced hard-boiled egg.

Cover with a second slice of bread. Pour over a cup and a half of water or stock mixed with a dessertspoonful of wholemeal flour. Cover and bake in a moderate oven for an hour. This may be served as it is or with just a small amount of extra cereal food.

Feeding the liver should be restricted to once or twice per week in small quantities. This is because the liver is high in vitamin A. Dogs consuming too much liver can suffer from an overdose of vitamin A, causing bone deformities, stomach upset, muscle weakness and weight loss.

9. Brains

Chop the brains up fairly small and mix with a beaten raw egg and enough wholemeal flour to cause them to adhere together. Mix well. For large breed dogs, cut the brain into bigger pieces.

10. Fish Heads

Boil the fish heads in enough water to cover them until the liquor forms a jelly when cooled. Allow to cool to blood heat and remove all bones. Some dogs suffer diarrhea after eating fish, so be mindful to keep an eye on your dog after giving them fish for the first time.

11. Cottage Cheese and Meat

Cottage cheese, which is low in fat, is a good protein food. If your dog likes it. Try mixing 1 or 2 tablespoons with his meat ration, especially if it is a meat or canned food he is not particularly fond of, the cheese may add some interest for him.

Cottage cheese also contains calcium and probiotics, which help to maintain a healthy digestive system. Cottage cheese is particularly beneficial as a supplement for puppies who need the added calcium as their bones and teeth develop.

12. Canned Dog Foods

Mix a can of dog food (one with a high meat content) with an equal quantity of dog meal. Suitable leftovers may be added, and (especially for young dogs or small breeds) the meal may be moistened with stock or broth.

How to feed a dog properly

The meat should be cut into fairly small chunks and may be supplemented with proprietary biscuits and foods, table scraps (excluding white bread, potatoes, and sweets), milk, spinach, and any other wholesome dog food.

One meal a day for an adult dog is adequate, though it may be preferred to give two, a light morning meal and a more substantial evening meal which will encourage him to settle down for the night. Small breeds of dogs are certainly better fed twice a day.

A dog’s meals must be given at regular times so that a firm pattern is established right from the start.

It is better not to feed your dog at the same time as the family: if he starts to associate human mealtimes with food for himself he will only be a nuisance. Never encourage him to beg at the table. Apart from getting in the way, he will only be fed all the wrong things.

The important rules in dog feeding are cleanliness and regularity. It is bad to feed an animal after strenuous exercise when he is overheated and tired. Allow a half-hour rest so that he will be in a condition to digest his food properly.

It is wise to let one person only be responsible for a dog, and this is the person who should give him all his meals.

How to feed an overweight dog

An overweight dog often means an incorrectly fed dog. Incorrect feeding can mean expensive feeding.

To show people just how expensive they may be feeding their pets, the veterinary surgeon has formulated a feeding plan by which a miniature dachshund, smaller cocker spaniel, or a fox terrier can be nutritiously fed for $0.5 a day.

For $0.75 a day a kelpie, bigger beagle, smaller boxer or smaller samoyed can be nutritiously fed, and for $1 a day a dog the size of a labrador or German shepherd.

If a dog is overweight it is almost certainly because he is being given too much carbohydrate or fat, for which a dog does not have an enormous requirement. If such foods are reduced, or even practically eliminated from the diet, then the body will convert stored fat into energy and so lose weight.

Exercise accelerates the process of breaking down fat reserves, providing the nice healthy appetite worked up is not satisfied by a further gluttonous intake of stodgy food.

In some cases, obesity in dogs is not the result of any great abuse of food but simply a matter of heredity or even illness.

When embarking on the thankless task of slimming your fat dog, first make sure that the source of the problem is not ill-health. Then gradually increase the protein content of the diet and start to supply energy giving foods only sparingly.

It is wrong suddenly to enforce a crash diet; reduction must be gradual and accompanied by an improvement in quality. It is important to ensure that the animal is otherwise in good health before you start depriving him of food. Over a period of several weeks, a change should be noticeable.

If the revised diet is maintained, this change ought to be permanent. Because the dog’s digestive system is different from ours, working more slowly he does not need as many meals as we do.

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