The Doggy Diet Debate (Help!!!)

Very well trained dog.

So I had done some research on dog foods before bringing our little one home and noticed there was a lot of debate (and almost no agreement) on what is the best food for our canine companions. When I was a kid, you simply picked up a bag of Alpo or whatever at the grocery store and called it a day. Iams and Science Diet came out and they were considered higher end. Well fast forward to now, and I learn that the dog food world has become exponentially more complicated.

When beginning my food research I learn that grain-free kibble seems to be the current standard because it more closely reflects a dog’s ancestral diet. Now, My neighbor’s chihuahua doesn’t much resemble a wolf and it’s pretty hard to imagine her taking down a buffalo, but fine, grain-free it is. I continue the grain-free, not inexpensive food the breeder was feeding her but run out. (Should not have happened, I know, but I am trying to run a family and a business at the same time!) I make a quick run down to our local grocery store, which does not have that brand, but they do have plenty of grain-free choices. But in addition, they’re organic, too! (And even less inexpensive, I might add.)

So Preppy Puppy has her first visit with the holistic veterinarian last Wednesday. The vet asks me to bring the label from the food I am feeding her. I proudly whip out my grain-free, organic label only to be informed that all kibble is completely evil and I’m supposed to be feeding her a raw diet. Oh, and do I have $150 a month to dedicate to feeding my dog? (Seriously?!?) I am sent home with little packets of all natural, grain-free, free-range, human-grade dehydrated food which I am supposed to reconstitute at meal time, a can of holistic formula,¬†grain-free wild salmon, and raw food patties I am supposed to thaw and cut up, all to fill the dietary needs of one 10 pound little puppy. Mind you, she likes to go outside and eat clods of dirt, and I’m pretty sure it’s not human grade dirt!!

Now, I don’t even like to see my own food raw so much, so the patties are still languishing in my freezer. Unfortunately, she went completely berserk for the dehydrated food so we may have to look into getting more of those. But I refuse to feel guilty that I’m not spending copious amounts of time dressing raw chickens for her to consume! I’m so busy playing with her, training her, and cleaning up after her that I don’t even have time right now to cook fabulous meals for my non-furry children. And I can’t break the bank to feed the dog better food than the rest of my family is consuming. But then I hear all sorts of dire warnings (though nothing that’s seems to be scientifically verifiable; the fault of Big Business, they would tell me) about what will happen if I don’t get her diet just right: she’ll be less healthy, less active, she might get cancer…

On the other side, I’m am hearing that some grains are fine for normal, healthy dogs, dogs don’t particularly need loads of variety in their diet, that most of this is simply a marketing campaign coupled with scare tactics, and this is an industry that is riding on the coat tails of the human health food craze, which happens to be huge where I live. But she is at the mercy of whatever I put in her bowl, so it feels like a huge responsibility and now I am beyond confused.


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