Thoughts on Dog Food

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.

Published by Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson is well known for her distance handling skills, and she has been traveling the country and teaching seminars for 20+ years. She has traveled around the world to Australia, Japan, Netherlands, England, Switzerland and the Philippines teaching all levels of agility, with nearly all dog breeds. Amanda focuses on teaching teamwork as well as how to create a strong connection between dog and handler. She works with all styles of handling, from running with your dog to distance handling. Amanda tailors each training session, large or small, to the dog and handler to help bring out the best in the team. Her training techniques consist of a large amounts of targeting, food rewards, and toy rewards. Creating a fun learning environment for the dog encourages a fast, fun, and motivated dog in the agility ring. Amanda uses a combination of Upper Body Cues, Lower Body Cues, and Verbal Cues. This system was derived from the natural cues that most dogs read and pick up quickly. Handlers are taught how to use all of these cues, together, to create a customized handling system that can be tailored to their unique dog. All of these techniques have resulted in Amanda earning numerous titles with her dogs including the MOD SQUAD award, Purple Achievement Cup, and over 40 NADAC Championship titles. She has won the NADAC Championships multiple times, including winning the Super Stakes and Starter Stakes division. She has also been Top Bonus Dog, Top Purple Dog, and Top Dog of the Year several times in NADAC.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Dog Food

  1. 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.


  2. 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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: