I’m not as particular about dog food as many people – what dogs eat does definitely matter, but as a consumer it’s hard to make sense of what the companies are saying and verify many of the claims about quality of ingredients or the quality of the production process. I grew up on a cattle farm where specific feeds were mixed in huge, huge quantities (cows eat a lot!). Sometimes the same combination of ingredients was used for all the animals getting extra grain and at other times the mixture was different for various groups (growing vs adult). At OSU when I was in Animal Sciences classes we learned about nutritional needs of animals (mostly livestock) and the processes/math of creating feeds. I’ve seriously considered finding a way to produce/manufacture dog food – but I have limited time!
Somehow I’m very lucky and my dogs do well on pretty much anything I’ve fed them. I feel bad when I feed less “fancy” brands but I also feel guilty when I feed premium foods without knowing that I actually have a better product. One of our friends loves thinking about dog food and gives recommendations when I ask nicely.
When possible, I like to use kibble to train. When Blaze was young and we obsessively did a lot of training I would find the smallest piece sizes available. Now I like slightly bigger pieces and preferably ones that are less “dog food” smelling (Wellness products definitely smell the best!).
One recommendation that I had to try was this one:
My dog Viktor needs to eat Victor brand dog food – at least for a few weeks!