People ask us every day, “what is the best food for puppies?” Or, they don’t ask at all, they tell us that they will “just feed what I feed the dog/cat that they already have”.
This is our opinion on what is the best food for puppies and older dogs.
1- Never feed the big brand names you find at Publix, or in many big box stores;
Those are the WORST quality food on the market.
2- There is no “perfect food.” The only question is, “What is the best food for my individual pet?”
3- As a rule, look at the ingredient list on the back of a food bag, things are listed in order based on the quantity of that ingredient in the food. The first 3-5 ingredients listed should be a recognizable form of (meat) protein, such as” i.e. Beef Heart, Lamb, Turkey, Turkey liver, Turkey Gizzard, Duck with ground bone, etc. Then move to vegetables and fruit such as pumpkin seed, organic cranberries, organic spinach, organic broccoli, organic beets, organic carrots, etc.
The above list of ingredients was copied right off the bag of Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Patties, which we carry at The Noble Paw.
If the ingredients on your pet’s bag of food read like the ingredient list above, you can be sure you are feeding a quality diet. Imagine how good that is for your pet! We do not need to be nutritionists to recognize a good quality ingredient panel.
Pets who eat a quality diet similar to the above WILL LIVE LONGER! They will have fewer veterinary bills throughout their lives!
Does the food you feed your pet have an ingredient list that looks like this? Whole Grain Corn, Chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, barley, egg & chicken flavor, ground rice, chicken, poultry and pork digest, mono & dicalcium phosphate. This ingredient list was taken right off the bag of one of the most popular, and largest-selling pet food brands in the USA.
The comparison above is the best way for us to show you that the best food for puppies and all of your pets is a high-quality diet, with nutritious ingredients. There are such huge differences in what is in the bags of food regardless of what the advertisers and the front of the bag indicate.
If you have a very large pet, and a wholesome diet such as the above feels financially prohibitive, you can top the kibble you serve with a prepared raw diet from Stella & Chewy’s or Dr. Marty’s Freeze Dried Food.
With a typical dog and cat food kibble, little actual nutrition remains after the high-heat process and extrusion method, so flavor enhancers and synthetic nutrients are added back to replace what has been lost. Different types of acrylamide and other carcinogens are created in this process that could be detrimental to your dog/cat’s long-term health.
*When we talk about a “Raw” diet, it is not unprepared, or raw like you would purchase from the meat dept in the food store. Most of the prepared raw diets on the market today are processed using pressure and your pet cannot get salmonella and similar types of bacterial issues from an unprepared raw diet.
Why is it important to feed your pet high-quality food?
It’s important because one definite way any pet owner can affect the longevity and quality of their pets’ life is by providing the highest quality food they can. The quality of the food you feed makes a direct difference in your pet’s health. Quality is the keyword, quality of the ingredients that go into the pet food you feed. High-quality food is the best food for puppies.
The old saying “You are what you eat” applies to our pets in the same ways as it does for us. Better quality foods made with better quality ingredients provide a better quality of life. The result is fewer skin conditions, less itching, fewer ear infections, shinier coats, less inflammatory bowel disease, better muscling and muscle tone, stronger bones, more energy, better temperament, and other immediate physical benefits of better nutrition. Dogs are happier and feel better overall.
Better nutrition provides an overall boost in the immune system and improved health over the long term with less stress on the pet’s organs. The kidneys and liver have to work very hard to remove toxins such as chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and other non-supportive elements of the pet’s food out of their body.
At the same time, their body is working so hard to remove these, they are working from a sometimes malnourished state because the food they’re eating is full of fillers or by-products that make them feel full but do not provide the nourishment needed for a healthy body. When the body’s not healthy, the mind is distracted by not feeling well and the spirit of the pet can be compromised because it just does not feel as well as it could or should.
What makes the food of high quality?
Feeding a higher quality food leads to a longer and healthier life for most pets, with lower veterinarian bills. When you feed the best food for puppies when they are young, the cost of the higher quality food over the life of the pet will be offset by lower veterinarian bills and reduced risk of health issues that are a result of improper nutrition.
Higher quality foods are foods that contain meat. There’s usually a carbohydrate source in the higher quality or premium foods, but minimal grains. The best high-quality or premium foods and best food for puppies contain human-grade ingredients, all-natural Omega 3 & Omega 6 fatty acids.
What you want to avoid is corn, wheat, and soy components that are often used as fillers and sometimes allergenic. There should be no by-products, no fillers, no chemical preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors.
With higher quality food, the pet gets better nutrition through better digestibility; which means he’s getting more and better quality of what the body can use. It’s important to know the difference between digestible protein and crude protein. Lower-quality foods may add crude protein such as chicken beaks, cow hooves, goat hair, any and all sources of protein but not necessarily digestible protein. This means it passes through the stool with no nutritional benefit to the pet. This type of food is not the best food for puppies! Meat sources of protein versus cereal grain sources of protein are also important as dogs and cats are carnivores with a digestive system geared toward meat, not corn, wheat, or soy.
Some less expensive or lower quality brands will add sugar or artificial flavorings to make their food more palatable. With higher quality pet foods palatability is better, they taste good naturally; reducing the number of artificial chemicals or inappropriate ingredients such as sweeteners for the body to process.
There is no one type or brand of food that’s best for all pets or is the best food for puppies. Each pet’s age, medical condition (diabetic, epileptic, arthritis, cancer, pregnant), immune system (allergies, hot spots, itching, weepy eyes), and lifestyle (a working dog, or competitively active sports dog versus a family pet) needs to be considered in the selection of the type of food to provide.
Depending on your pet it is important to talk with your veterinarian if your pet has pre-existing medical issues. However, unfortunately, most Veterinarians have limited dietary training and most still stand behind the food companies who taught them the limited nutritional information they did receive in college, Royal Canin or Hills Science Diet.
There are many more high-quality foods available today than ten years ago, primarily because of consumer demand by the pet-owning public based on their overall increased awareness of the effect of food on their pets’ life. And the research owners have done on the best food for puppies.
When cost is a concern, we can consider that the more digestible the food is the less volume of food you feed, so the bag of food at the higher cost will last longer. The more palatable the food the less waste you have, so there’s less thrown out because the pet didn’t eat it. A healthier pet results in lower veterinarian costs. Increased longevity and quality of life are priceless.
Is it really worth the expense?
Our recommendation to pet owners is to read the labels and feed the highest quality food you can comfortably afford. If you cannot afford to feed just the food you would prefer, by reading the labels and getting away from preservatives, by-products, chemicals, and fillers you can make life just a little bit better for your pets.
Please do not negate the benefit of adding a quality “topper” if you still feed kibble, of course, getting in some quality nutrition is better than no quality nutrition.
At The Noble Paw, we stock and carry only quality nutrition in our retail store. We have chosen our food lines in an attempt to appeal both nutritionally, as well as to accommodate different price points with the best quality at that price.
Even though we are a “boutique” our food and pet supplies are not high priced. You will not find less expensive alternatives in the “big box stores.” Most of our retail products are priced at, or below, the national brand stores, even if we have to sacrifice our margins. We believe that our relationship with you and your family just begins when you take your pet home, and we hope to have a mutually successful relationship long into the future and hope to be your go-to resource for all your pet supplies, grooming needs, treats, and overall pet support!
Did you know natural chews for puppies and dogs are very important for great health in your pets? Go read this article now to find out how.