One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is “What do you feed your dog?” I cannot cook and if you follow my blog, you know that the Food Network wanted me to be on their television show, Worst Cooks in America. I turned it down because I didn’t want to leave my dog (and spouse BOL) for such a long period of time. The best dog food to feed a dog is the one that works best for you. Read on.
I feed my dog, Dexter, a combination of The Honest Kitchen Embark dog food, mixed with Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl, and I add some fresh cooked meat to it a few times a week.
The Honest Kitchen is dehydrated, raw, human-grade pet food. Founded by Lucy and Charlie Postins in 2002, The Honest Kitchen is what I feed my own dog. I allow Dexter to eat this dog food because it is a human-grade food.
Here’s a video that outlines the routine of how we feed what we feed and how easy it is even for this dog mom who can’t cook to save herself:
Human Grade vs. Feed Grade Pet Foods: Which one does your dog eat? If you can’t answer that, be sure to read our article about it by clicking on the link.
In a nutshell:
Human grade refers to a finished product that is deemed legally suitable, safe, and FDA-approved for consumption by a human.
Feed grade refers to the quality of a finished product which is not suitable for consumption by humans according to FDA standards. It is only legally allowed to be served to animals because of the ingredients it contains or how it has been processed. Further, it may include by-products, chemicals, fillers, and parts from “4D” meats: animals which are dying, diseased, disabled, or deceased. (re-read that last sentence very carefully. Did you shudder as we did?)
Made with human-grade ingredients does NOT mean a finished product is actually legally, human grade. An ingredient might start off being fit for people to eat it, but once it is shipped to a pet food plant and processed according to regulations for feed grade products, the term “human grade” can no longer apply. By true definition, that ingredient is not human grade.
Quite the dose of reality, isn’t it?
In looking for a dog food to feed in general, some of the qualities important to me include:
- No artificial ingredients or preservatives: I want it as fresh as possible without having to cook it myself
- Nutritious and good for my dog
- Human grade
- He likes the taste of it and I can rotate flavors if desired without causing digestive upset
- Made with recognizable ingredients, words I can pronounce, made with human grade ingredients that are not from rendering plants or some of the nasty places Dr. Mahaney spoke of in his discussion
- I am not as concerned with price of food if I know I am feeding quality because I either pay now or pay later in costly medical bills due to an inferior grade of food.
- No ingredients from China.
Veg-to-Bowl is a grain-free dog food pre-mix made with nine different vegetables that when mixed with protein and oil makes a complete all-natural dog food for dogs. My dog has a pretty healthy appetite (translate: Cockers are never filled up). As such, I wanted something I could add in and fill him up. Vegetables are not my dog’s thing. I hear of people who give their dogs carrots or green beans and am so jealous. Dexter turns his nose up unless it’s Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl mix. Veg-to-Bowl is so very easy to make and I use it as a filler. If I ever want to switch foods up, I can do that by using this mix with a protein and oil. That’s it: How easy!
Cooked Organic Meat
I top my dog’s meal off with some cooked organic meat. This is not required, but I do it for variety. I also like to mix proteins up. My last dog died from complications of irritable bowel disease, which I wrote a 5-part series about. Irritable Bowel Disease was confirmed with endoscopy and colonoscopy at a veterinary university. My well- researched belief and dog mom’s inner sense is that the IBD was brought on by chicken jerky treats fed to her at the time.
Vitamins and supplements are part of the daily rituals for millions of people, but should dogs take them? Yes, sometimes, especially if they help a present issue and/or can keep others from developing. We give our dog 5 different things daily, but there are reasons for each, as indicated in the quick video below. Read my interview with Dr. Patrick Mahaney about vitamins and supplements in dogs here.
Next week, I will be visiting all of these brands face to face and Dexter will be going nose to nose with them. I will show you next week what treats my dog eats and why I occasionally allow him to eat kibble as part of his dog game play.
QUESTION: What type of food(s) do you feed your dog?
Note: I am not receiving compensation to say these things. We are sharing what works for us. We cannot guarantee results for your pet and always check with your dog’s vet or nutritionist for any specific questions. I will be meeting these folks next week and will be bringing back some goodies and things to share!