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Researching Puppy Food

by Hawke published Jan 11, 2021 07:15 AM, last modified Jan 11, 2021 07:19 AM
Now that we have a new puppy, I need to research the best practices to provide the healthiest environment for our new pet.

See the posting about the "History of Pets in Our Family", for background.

I lot has changed over the decades. There are a gazzillion foods available now, and many different training styles. I try to be always open to learning new things, especially based on good science (not the fad crap that is so popular these days), based on quality research.

Here are some notes to myself at least, on trying to find the right puppy food. This will be updated periodically as I discover more over time.

I have allergies, that is one of the reasons for choosing a poodle. Neither of us wants a "drop kick dog". We want "a real dog" of decent size.

So we agreed on a standard poodle. Katy has had a number of pets over the years, but they have generally been rescues and adoptions, not from puppy-hood. So this will be mostly a newer experience for her. 


Here are some notes about what to look for in food.


"most important steps in figuring out the best dog food is through the
ingredient list"

"noting the first three are the most critical."

"generally do best on a protein-rich, meat-based diet"

"Next, analyze what type of meat is within"... "specifically name the
type of meat, like beef, chicken, or lamb"

NOTE: "meat, bone meal or meat byproducts could come from any animal.
Similarly, “poultry meal” signals any bird," Be wary of these generic

Avoid: dyes, sugar, high salt content (preservative), especially avoid
"as well as other solvents and preservatives like propylene glycol, BHA,
BHT and ethoxyquin."

" buzzwords like “natural” aren’t regulated"

"there are some solid takeaways you get with an “organic” label. With that tag, your dog food is certified to be free of antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides and preservatives. And per the certification, its ingredients can’t be genetically engineered, grown in chemical fertilizer or irradiated."

the amount of water in wet food might make it an unwise investment, and instead recommends you go with dry food. One benefit to dry food (or kibble)...Freeman argues the amount of water in wet food might make it an unwise investment, and instead recommends you go with dry food. One benefit to dry food (or kibble), she notes, .... bags of dry food also tend to be more affordable compared to the other options."

"However... kibble typically includes less meat and often includes some sort of grain, legume, or potato. If you go with kibble,... topping the dry food with a bit of canned food, meat from home, or other toppers.".

"The FDA opened an investigation in 2018 to examine a potential link between grain-free diets and a heart condition called canine dilated cardiomyopathy. Existing research is based on a small sample size, may be breed-specific and there may be other factors involved" ... "Overall, there needs to be more research done, and unfortunately this has affected many good-quality dog foods.".

some experts argue "While ingredients are important, what you really want to determine is whether the food contains the nutrients your dog needs to be healthy, not necessarily if it does or does not contain grains".

"look for the nutrition adequacy statement."..." the FDA considers "one of the most important aspects of a dog or cat food label""

"If you feed your dog dry food"...recommends adding a topper to expand the range of nutrients you’re feeding them. You can do this at home by adding a cooked egg, canned sardines in water, sautéed dark leafy greens, blueberries or pumpkin, as a few examples. You can also purchase freeze-dried raw “topper,” which are pieces of traditional and organ meats that you mix in with their kibble"