NUTRITION / WELLNESS PRINCIPLES
Choosing dog food is normally done instantly. Having spent a 30 year career in Marketing and Sales, we have NEVER before been part of an industry that, with the backing of E.U. regulation, goes to such lengths to operate with such a lack of Integrity. On top of that, We also base our decisions on a tweet length piece of unverified information (especially when it is backed by a BIG BRAND where we misplace our trust. We further compound this with our human nature which prefers outcomes today whilst denying the consequences that inevitably still arise "tomorrow". (obesity and smoking comes to mind). This situation of which we are all guilty has been summarised as "Faulty Thinking"
"It took a friend of mine, whom I trusted implicitly, to reveal the following quote by Mark Twain before I actually opened my mind to learn the essential dog food realities about which I was in denial.
Those words were:
"It is far easier to dupe an individual than to actually persuade them, they have been duped"
Anon. - Canine Nutritionist
Fortunately for our dogs, most of us have started to invest the extra effort it takes to do better (maybe not for ourselves but) for our dogs at least!.
My business partner and I started this business because of our grasp of how deep the love of dogs can be by us humans. It was our desire to create Dog Food Recipes that do everything possible to ensure canine longevity and the quality of Life derived from food regardless of cost of ingredients and recipes..There are two factors, by which to assess Dog Food Brands as far as their Nutrition is concerned, 1) Cost and 2) Recipes / Ingredients. The choice is obviously yours as to the balance of which best meets your dog's and your needs.
Faced with the dilemma above myself, I searched the web for a good food and found that EVERY food I came across said it was great in one way or another. There were a lot that re-emphasised their claims reassuring unwary consumers of their "Honesty" (a red flag to me!).
What follows is the summary of what it took me over 12 months to assimilate. It is much more detailed than a tweet might be but remains as concise as I can make it. In the end it comes down to your individual choice should you feel the quality of life of your beloved dog is worth the extra effort required to assess properly what you feed it. The limit we set ourselves is to try and make everyone's choice as well informed as we can.
I spent a substantial amount of time on a number of nutrition forums and learned that the only agreed way to assess cost is using the TRUE cost rather than the prices presented.
2) Nutrition, Recipes, Ingredients
I went further with regards to Nutrition and was advised not to fall for the claims on Front Labels made by even the most expensive Brands. I was told to hunt out the "Constituents" on the rear label to get closer to the truth. Research reveals that doing this and acting on what you discover has been rewarded with improved animal well-being, quality of Life and an average 5% increase in lifespan.
I have endeavoured below to offer the benefit of my efforts by summarising the most important guidelines I uncovered as far as your dog's Nutrition is concerned.
We recognise that he usual position is that whilst new owners are open minded to learn about dog food
PRODUCT QUALITY / VALUE:
So how to judge? Well it comes down to Cost and Ingredients (Ratios as well as quality of ingredients). What follows are the facts we are aware of and the principles under which we develop our recipes.
- The only TRUE measure is: COST PER DAY
a) Sack cost divided by sack weight = cost per kg
b) Cost per kg times daily amount for your dog’s weight = cost per day
INGREDIENTS / RECIPE
- The only TRUE measure is: COMPOSITION
N.B. Ingredients on sacks are (by law) listed in order of descending magnitude - So compare ours to your existing food on the order or level or %age (if not concealed) of each ingredient below - FYI: The items below are listed firstly by the most expensive / best for your dog's well-being, then, in the order of descending cost for brands to include in their feeds.
- “NAMED” FRESH MEAT e.g. Chicken
- “NAMED” MEAT MEAL / DRIED MEAT / Protein (in constituents rather than analysis)
- “Re-hydrated” meat or “from” a named meat / meal – (The latest way to claim higher meat levels)
- Generic Meals e.g. “Poultry Meal” / “Meat Meal” / “Animal Meal”
- Corn, Maize, Wheat, Barley
- “NAMED” Meat Derivatives
- “Animal Derivatives”
- “Vegetable Derivatives”
Using the above, anyone can judge for themselves the wellness benefit versus the cost per day of any food.
ONLY AFTER SCRUTINISING ALL the 140 brands in the UK did we formulate our food to be the "Recipe of Choice" for Wellness, balanced by the cost per day to use it.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND OPINIONS
I am going to provide all further information on an ongoing updated basis under our searchable key word FAQ s tab. The first question we answer is how to search the FAQs... Then as I am presented with a question I will record it and answer it there onwards.
Essentially and in the broadest terms your dog needs:
Fats are what provides the 'fuel' your dog needs to be able to keep up with family life. Good fats, and essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6, are vital for healthy skin and coat condition and they also provide insulation and protection for the internal organs. Fats also improve the taste of food – so a little bit goes a long way in making sure you dog enjoys his meals!!
Believe it or not dogs are classified as omnivores - and although they don’t have a necessary requirement for carbohydrates in their diet, carbohydrates are an important source of energy for dogs and go a long way to help support overall gut health.
Dogs need these too, although in small amounts through the diet, to help maintain growth, normal vision, a healthy skin and coat, wound healing and normal functioning of the nervous system. In fact vitamins are also involved in practically every chemical reaction leveling a dogs body for the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
As well as vitamins. minerals, such as calcium and phosphorous, are essential for strong, healthy teeth and bones and are important to have in sufficient and balanced proportions through a dogs diet. These minerals are particularly important the health and happiness of growing puppies. Other minerals that are important in a dogs diet are sodium, chloride, magnesium and potassium, as well as zinc, copper and iron.
Moist or 'wet' foods
Like us, our family friends actually prefer their meals fresh! So try to keep open cans, foil trays or pouches covered and refrigerated, for up to, but no longer than, 24 hours. At feeding time make sure the you serve the food is at room temperature because the more he can smell it, the better he can taste it!
Complete dry foods
Whilst they might not seem like it to you, dry kibble foods are actually very popular with dogs as they contain the right balance of nutrients and a crunchy texture to help keep teeth healthy,.They’re more concentrated with nutrients than moist foods, so only small servings are needed. Careful though. it pays to check the pack to make sure you’re buying a ‘complete’ dry food rather than a pack of treats. If you decide, for one reason or another, to change your dogs food either from wet to dry or even changing between different brands, make sure you introduce the new food gradually over a seven to ten day period .. it helps avoid any form of tummy upsets.
What not to feed
I know it feels like you are doing a really nice thing for your dog, if you regularly prepare your dog's meals from table scraps or specially purchased meat, be careful. These meals are often too high in protein and are not rich enough in other important nutrients and minerals, like calcium. This could lead to your dog not getting everything he needs and becoming malnourished. Don’t forget, some common human foods such as chocolate, rhubarb, onions, spinach, beetroot, and grapes are poisonous to dogs!