Q: What are the best puppy foods available?

August 30, 2008 | By Veronicatg | 8 answers | Expired: 2706 days ago

Just got a Boston Terrier puppy and was researching dog foods. Thought I was going to choose Canidae until I started reading they are receiving numerous complaints because they changed their formula and many of the dogs are getting sick! Anyone have any advice?

Readers' Answers (8)

Aug 30, 2008

The first thing a pet owner needs to think about is that pet food is a wonderful creation to use the by-products of food made for humans. By-products have many different meanings, but most companies mean that it is the head, organs and feet of an animal. That means that the ingredient called "chicken" can still include other discard parts including rotten, diseased, or deformed parts. The same goes for "beef" and any other meat.

Basically you have 3 different options of food based on price. The expensive holistic type foods which claim to have mostly meat and no animal by-products; expensive premium types that have by-products; and cheap store brands. The holistic types are probably the best healthwise and to get off to a great start. They are the most expensive. Wellness, Natural Balance, Blue, Solid Gold, Halo, etc are holistic. Then there are the premium brands such as Eukanuba, Royal Canin, Nutro, Science Diet, etc. These are usually made of some animal by-products but have more vitamins and other nutrients added to them, which ups the value. Lastly, there are the store brands, such as Alpo, Pedigree, Ol Roy, etc. These have minimal vitamins, lots of by-products, and cheap ingredients like corn that are difficult for animals to digest, and lots of other junk in it that is used as filler. Iams manufactures Eukanuba, which is the same thing except the Eukanuba line has more vitamins and other additives. You could supplement your pet, but it is not necessary if you are feeding a premium or holistic brand. Keep in mind that this company does test on animals in order to back up the claims as far as what each formula promises. All foods meet the minimum standards for complete nutrition for dogs. That means the food has to have a certain amount of crude protein, fat, etc. in it. Realize that a leather shoe has a lot of protein but is not very digestible. These foods are not checked to see just how digestible they are for the dog. However, keep in mind that dog foods are not inspected or monitored by any governing body. Our government just does not have the resources, and they barely have enough to monitor the human grade food supply chain. There is nothing to stop the pet food companies from changing or substituting ingredients in their food and no one is really checking up on them. Since the big scandal with Menu Foods, which supplies the "chicken meal" and other types of "meal" that is used in pet food, there has been more attention given to pet foods in general.

When picking a brand of dog food, read the label carefully and see what fits your budget and try to get the best for your budget.

All dry foods are made the same way. They are cooked down and then extruded into the form of the pieces you see in the bag. This is the same way cereals are made for us. Then, to make it palatable, the dog food "cereal" is then sprayed with a variety of rendered animal fats and other things to make it smell delicious to your dog. After that, the food is superheated to kill all bacteria, mold spores and other toxins. There is controversy over this sterilizing method as the vitamins and other nutrients that are in the food before the superheating are nutritionally void after the process. Some holistic brands do claim that the additives are put in after, which would make them viable when your pet eats it. Why then does a company put in the vitamins only to make them useless? Well, partly because they can claim that the food has the vitamins and other things in it, whether or not those things are still useful to your pet.

Also, if you choose to feed semi-moist or canned dog food, you will need to brush your dog's teeth more often, once a day is probably best. If you choose to feed dry food, you should brush at least a couple times a week. You can also give other things to chew on to help keep the plaque and tartar in check, all of which should be supervised as dogs can and will choke on these chewing devices.

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Aug 31, 2008

Hello! I have a 1 and 1/2 year old Boston and we had SEVERE Diarrhea with her the first 6 months we had her. We tried Blue Buffalo and she was on special vet only wet food. We found a dog food called California Natural Chicken & Rice and it is wonderful! It is ALL natural,no wheat,no corn and she loves it! Her coat looks healthy and shiny and I feel good knowing it is good for her!

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Sep 01, 2008

BellaAmber named 2 very good brands also Nelson, wellness is excellent my 3 are on Verus, merrick is also good just make sure the first ingredient you see is what the food is lamb, chicken, fish Etc, no by-products & no fillers, I have a holistic pet shop near me but pet smart is now starting to bring in some of the holistic brans, usually even is the bad tell you to feed the same amt. as the regular brands you can usually feed 1/2 the amt. my dogs are 2 greyhound and a 100 lb black Lab they are supposed to have 4 cups a day on the Verus the nutrtionist said 1 cup in am & 1 in am I also cook a batch of frozen carrots & string beans & put them in fridg. nuke them to room temp & add to the food low cal health they also get a spoonful of wet food

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