A while ago, I wrote a post about how I feed my puppies. I think it is time to address how I feed my adult dogs.
For my young, healthy adult dogs and my older dogs without dietary restrictions, my base diet is a canned food. I purchase canned foods labeled “complete and balanced” and “96% meat.” I always look for foods that only contain one protein source per can. I try to avoid carrageenan and guar gum as stabilizers, preferring agar, which I think is a better prebiotic. I typically buy by the case, and I try to make sure I have at least 2 different foods that each dog can eat, which means I’m usually buying four cases at a time.
As with the puppies, I try to use whole cans at each meal. Unfortunately, I often end up with someone whose bowl is going to be calorically deficient, so I have to have either a high-protein kibble (I buy 4 lb bags, usually Instinct or Nature’s Logic) an air-dried jerky style food (Ziwi Peak, Zeal, Only Natural Pets), or a freeze dried rehydratable food (all meat like Primal, Liberty or Rawbble, or meat and veggie like The Honest Kitchen or Spot Farms) to make up extra calories.
For my older dogs and my inflammatory bowel brigade, my cart looks a little different. My base diet for them is almost always a raw food, usually Primal, Tucker’s, or Bones & Co. I do commit the blasphemy of gently cooking the patties for my dogs. Their slow cookers are broken — I figure they need the extra help with digestion. Any extra calories are typically either a freeze dried chunk or meat chip food. I try to avoid vegetative matter for these guys.
All of my dogs go to training classes. (We sometimes even practice at home!) Training, of course, means food, so just like with the puppies I have a constant supply of special foods to pull from. I’ll usually use a combination of meat chips with freeze dried chunks and carry a small bag of chopped cheese or a sausage-style treat like Happy Howie’s. When more of my treats are complete and balanced, it’s easier to cut back on meals if waistlines start to increase and ribs disappear…