Throughout all my years with dogs I am pretty sure I have fed everything under the sun. Budget kibble, high end kibble, commercial raw, dehydrated, DIY cooked, and raw, grain, grain free, and combinations of all the above.
I compete in agility with all my dogs, and over the years I have found that for them, including some type of grain helps with their physical and mental performance, so I tend to always include that with whatever variation I am feeding.
My choice in what type of food I feed has generally depended on how my dogs do on it, and the price. Those have always been my driving factors when choosing food. The past few years I have been very driven towards feeding as close to “fresh” or “raw” as I can. Mostly pushed by others on social media. So I have been feeding dehydrated and freeze dried foods, primarily Grandma Lucys and Honest Kitchen base mix and then adding my own protein. When I travel I moved toward their complete foods so I am not packing raw meat with me.
And this has been well and good, my dogs have been looking good on this, and performing well.
But over this past year, another factor that has now come into play is my own mental health. And this has now become a pretty big factor in choosing my style of dog food (commercial, DIY, etc)
When I found myself one day dreading making up my dogs food, or needing to go buy more meat, I knew I needed to change something.
I am still feeding a rotation of food, primarily a complete food and when I feel like it, I will make some DIY for a base mix, or one of my balanced recipes. But I do not force myself any more, and I let myself be okay with giving them kibble one night. I buy what works for me financially that month, and what works for me mentally. If finances are good, but I know I am busy and having a rough month or week, I am buying something easy. If I am feeling good and I want to meal prep, or do a base mix and money allows, I will do it.
I feel something that is not talked about when it comes to feeding dogs and everything that it entails, is our own mental health. There is NOTHING wrong with feeding kibble because that is what you can do, even if you “have” the money for raw or whatever the current “best thing to feed your dog is” but you don’t have the mental space for it. I think that is something that needs to be taken into consideration.
Because giving your dog the “best” but you are slowly suffering because of it, is not doing your dog any favors, or yourself.
3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Dog Food”
If I changed my dogs food that often then I would be cleaning up after them all the time. Manny does not make changes easy without either having diarrhea or vomiting. I have to make every change in their diet in very small increments.
Not sure there is a “best”. I also have fed raw and home cooked and various kinds of kibble. Now I feed a rotation of premium kibble and it is plenty expensive but easy to use.
Cut yourself some slack — you dogs can’t enjoy life with you if you are too (tired/stressed/busy/…) to play with them.
Barb & various BC’s and Belgians