One of the most common reasons people give for their choice of dog food is because the dog “will eat it” or “likes” it. But this is a very bad idea.
Frankly, this is the worst way to choose a dog food – and you could be harming your dog’s health by doing so.
Your response to this is likely to be one of the following:
“Well my dog is fussy – and it has to eat something or it will starve”
“How could the food I use be harming my dog?”
“How do I get my dog to eat something then if it just downright refuses?”
However, there is a simple answer to each of these, which I will cover here. But firstly, why is it such a bad idea to only feed a dog what it “wants” to eat?
Simply put, many dog foods contain poor ingredients that can harm your dog over the short and long term. The include grain wastes, cereals and all sorts of by-products to name just a few. They are a cheap form of bulk that, if you served to a dog in their raw form, you would see just how unappetizing and inedible the stuff actually is. So to make this palatable to the dog, manufacturers use flavorings that can cause all sorts of health problems, both short term and long term.
The food is, in reality, “junk food” for dogs.
If you find this hard to believe, consider human “junk” food. Would you feed your children a constant diet of burgers, fries, chocolate bars and sugary drinks and expect them to stay healthy? Even if they told you they were the foods they wanted to eat and that they preferred them to vegetables and fruit? “Junk” food is perfectly legal (and some claim to be healthy) but you certainly now that it’s harmful in anything other than small doses.
You probably wouldn’t have too much of a discussion about it with your children and you wouldn’t allow them to only eat junk food. You know what is good for them and they will do what you tell them.
So why aren’t people the same with their pets? Why do people get more concerned when their dog seems to be fussier than their children? It all comes down to the ‘myths’ which pet food companies spend vast amounts of money to perpetrate.
When you are considering what food to feed your dog, remember the following:
1) Most dogs are not fussy (yes, that includes yours!). If a dog is being offered a decent food, there is no reason why it should not be palatable and enjoyable to them. Fussy dogs are the result of the attitude and behavior of the owner! We have proven this to be the case with literally dozens of dogs.
2) A dog will not starve itself if food is offered. Dogs are natural scavengers and will (like every other creature on the planet) eat virtually anything to survive. If your dog is going for days about eating it is because you are sending it confusing messages about eating. However, eventually (if you don’t give in first!) it is going to eat.
3) The best way to ensure your dog is going to he happy and healthy is to food it a good food. And the only way to tell a good food? Look at the ingredients. Don’t look at the front of the bag, look on the back! Go for a food that has a high meat content, where a named meat is the first stated ingredient, preferably in meal form. Avoid foods with any by-products, wheat, beef, cereals – and of course anything artificial.
If your dog is showing any fussy behavior it’s almost certainly going to be something in your approach to feeding, not the food itself.
Be aware too that poor food is one of the major causes of skin problems and allergies. It really pays to feed your a dog a good food – even if it protests!