Diet & Nutrition

How to Feed Your Dog

There is no "one right way" to feed your dog.  Period.

Like humans, individual dogs can have different nutritional needs.  Even in the same family, one dog can thrive on Food-A while the 2nd dog eating the same thing in the same household has constant GI issues or chronic skin conditions.

This is the modern world we live in.  Humans and canines alike have drifted far away from the diets we evolved eating over hundreds of thousands of years.  It’s only been in the last 60-70 years that most dogs in this country are being fed highly processed commercial dog foods containing ingredients that canines never ate before.  Ever.  (And in terms of evolutionary history, 60 years is the blink-of-an-eye.)

It’s the most popular question I get — “What’s the best food to feed my dog?"

Canine nutrition is an absolutely huge subject with a lot of opposing opinions on EVERYTHING — just like with human food.  You need to educate yourself, experiment with your dog to find out what works best for him, and in the end, you have to do what you think is right for you, your budget and your lifestyle.

Here’s how to start:

#1 - Don't feed the same food month after month.  Your dog NEEDS variety.

#2 - It's not enough to just switch varieties within a company -- SWITCH BRANDS too. 

#3 - The easiest way to get a variety is to simply buy a different HIGH-QUALITY dog food every time you need a new supply.

#4 - The easiest way to find new high-quality dog food is to get some advice from someone who really knows dog food.

#5 - For those people who want to learn more about dog food -- or anything else about dogs in general -- subscribe to The Whole Dog Journal (WDJ).

#6 - Here's an excellent short article about the necessity to switch foods and brands often.

#7 - How do I determine whether my dog is "doing well" on a food?

#8 - How to read Dog Food Labels

Things to keep in mind: Aside from the actual ingredients list, everything else you read on the bag comes from a marketing team whose job it is to make this food sound so good to humans that you’d want to serve it at your own table. :) All their claims are anywhere from useless to misleading.  It’s their job to sell whatever is in the bag.  Unfortunately there is no government oversight on this… unless they are claiming their food cures cancer.  :)

#9 - What do I feed my own dogs?