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Monday, January 28, 2013

Dog food: The endless discussion

Not wanting to delay a new post, here it is!

Today I wanted to talk a bit about dog food.

Originally we hadn't thought much about dog food until we visited a dutch breeder, who was a raw food fan. So we (or well, better said Joost) started investigating what was the fuss about.

I guess it is hard to make a post on this subject and be neutral about the "battle" of kibble vs raw food.. But I would like to share with you our process of choosing what we feed Tjido and why :)

First I guess we didn't really like the idea of food full of artificial stuff, I mean I try to avoid those in my daily meals as well. So that's how we decided we should try more natural stuff, and it seemed logical.

We didn't go for raw meat directly, since I thought it was a bit exagerated. Our local pet-shop owner recommended the brand Greenheart-Premiums, which is kibble but made of high quality ingredients. It is baked in an oven and was originally made by a man who had sled pulling huskies and felt that all the commercial food was crappy.

Joost got more excited with the raw food and its good reviews around dog owners: shinier coats, healthier skin, cleaner teeth and smaller stool. So after a debate we decided to go half/half. The reason why is because I was scared that if we only give him raw food (which Tjido finds DELICIOUS) he will not eat kibble anymore. And this would be annoying if he has to stay somewhere or we go on vacation. (Today I don't think this is an issue, he is totally food driven, so he'll eat whatever is on his plate) 

Funnily enough, while writing this post Joost randomly found an article in Nature about how dogs, through domestication, were able to digest starch, and therefore do not have to be fed "like wolves". (For those interested: The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a strach-rich diet, Axelsson A. et al., 2013, Nature 11837) And of course the other fact, that raw food just "recently" came to the market, while kibble and other types of food (by this I mean,  before kibble people gave the leftovers to the dog) have been around for a really long time. 

In the end I would say that if you are interested in what you feed your dog, check out different websites and people's experiences. But of course we also benefit of the fact that Icelandic Sheepdogs are a small-medium size dog. Our neighbors have a Bernese Mountain Dog and they can't afford the expensive raw food, this is of course something to take in account. Therefore remember to be realistic about your situation and dont' get pushed by other people/breeders/vets opinion (they tend to be quite pushy at times).

Let me know what you think about this subject!

Tip: if you go for the fresh meat, remember to buy a special tupperwear where you always put the meat to defrost in the fridge a night before. And wash the dog's dish as well :)

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