Just a few minutes ago, CBS The Early Show had a piece on the dangers of what is in your dog food. Their veterinary correspondent, Dr.Debbye Turner pointed out the importance of feeding premium dog food.
This echos what I have written in previous posts...FEEDING INFERIOR DOG FOOD WILL COST YOU MORE IN THE LONG RUN!
Diabetes, kidney failure, hotspots,behavior issues ( yes, I have personally seen behavior issues corrected with a diet change),bone and joint problems,allergies,...the list goes on and on with problems associated with the wrong diet. The expression, "You are what you eat" rings particularly true in the canine world.
Unfortunately, there is no one perfect food.The best foods vary from breed to breed,family bloodlines and individuals.As a general rule, if you bought your dog from a reputable breeder, whatever food the breeders dogs are flourishing on, so will your dog. There are of course, always exceptions.If you went for the adoption option, choosing the right food becomes more difficult.Of course, you will use common sense to judge a good food. The weight, coat condition and amount of stool from your dog are all things to consider when deciding which is the right diet.But that takes months to determine.
For starters, find out the food of choice for dog show exhibitors of your breed ( or the dominant breed visible in your mixed breed dog).This is as simple as attending a local dog show and asking.You will get different answers but the majority of your breed exhibitors will be feeding the same food. As an example, I was at a show last year where every Cavalier King Charles Spaniel exhibitor fed Eagle Pack dog food.
I have had Champions shown on the gamut of diets.For example, Puff was shown to his wins on the B.A.R.F. diet, bones and raw foods(see some dogs raised on the diet and for add'l links http://www.suntripsamoyeds.com/rawdiet.html).
But on the other extreme, I owned and exhibited a top winning Saluki, Champion Hastens' Sarasouix Beckonwind, on a commercial grocery store food called Come n' Get It,while the rest of my dogs were on a Holistic diet. See her shiny coat?I admit she got supplemented with kelp, slippery elm powder,alfalfa,lactobacillus,and top quality raw meats.
At the time I fed this, it was a wheat free, heavy on the soy based dog food and Souixsie had wheat allergies.Technically, it was not wheat that she was allergic to, but the fungicide residue on the wheat grain in dog food.I have found this to be the case in many dogs.
I now feed only organic dog food,period.Not all Natural,not Holistic, only Organic. I will never go back to feeding anything but organic. I see improvement in all areas when compared to other diets.Plus, you have to reason that freeing up the body from dealing with hormones, pesticides and antibiotics has to relieve stress on the internal organs. Puff looks and acts years younger on an organic diet.It is however, expensive.Hot Kitchen has come out recently with a new mostly organic diet for dog owners on a budget.It is called Keen.http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/products/keen.shtml
If you go to their web site you can order samples,I like that. Check it out.