In some dog-enthusiast circles, discussing what you feed your dogs can be about as volatile as discussions on politics or religion. Some people have some very strong opinions about what dogs should be fed. My philosophy is that we should feed our dogs the best diet that we can afford in both budget and time. You can find a wide variety of opinions about what the “best” diet would be for your dog.

As with our own diets, it takes some effort to do our own research. But overall, just as with our own diets, whole fresh foods are best. The more processing that is done and the less whole the ingredients, the less healthful a food will generally be. And, despite what slick marketing might tell you, dogs really do not need grains. If your food does contain grains they should at least be whole grains.

I strongly encourage everyone to really understand what they are actually feeding their dogs (and not blindly trusting an “authority” figure, because many of them haven’t actually done their research!) Some dog food companies (especially the large corporations) do a great job and spend a lot of money on marketing. They would have you believe that their commercially prepared foods are the absolute highest standard diet you could possibly feed your dog. They want to scare you into thinking you could not possibly prepare your own dog’s diet and keep him or her alive! (And yet, many of you manage to raise healthy children without feeding them “kibble” every day for their entire lives. Go figure.) A large marketing budget does not equate to a better diet or to better quality ingredients.

If you have not done any research previously on dog foods and how to evaluate them, here are a couple of good places to start: