If you are a pet lover like me then you want to do everything you can to keep your pets healthy and happy for life. I have been in rescue for about 13 years and have learned a lot about the best foods, supplements, treats and bones through trial and error. About 13 years ago we started feeding our dachshunds Fromms because we were told it would reduce the amount of dog poop and it was a better quality food with less fillers. Over the years we have tried a couple other brands upon recommendations just to see how they would do. One brand of food increased their drinking and urinating so much I had to pull them off of it. We ended up back on Fromms. The one change we did make a few years ago was to move to the grain free Fromms. With four dogs it can be expensive but it’s worth it and we try to buy it on chewy.com because they offer some discounts and specials.
No one in our family eats gluten and we are very minimal grain eaters (occasional rice or popcorn as long as its non GMO) and I didn’t want my pets eating that stuff either. People comment on how young my 17 year old dachshund, my 13 year old basset and my 13 year old dachshund look and I attribute it to regular walks, bone broth, omega 3’s and good food. Of course it wouldn’t be fair if I left out how silky my 2 year old basset’s fur is either. I put bone broth and omega 3 supplements in their bowls every day and they get grain free treats (TJ Maxx carries grain free dog treats for 50-75% off the retail price) in the morning and usually nothing else unless I am cooking a pastured chicken and share the scraps with them.
The general rule for pet food is pretty much the same as it is for people. Avoid unnatural fillers like grains and minimize other things that dogs wouldn’t eat in the wild. Home made bone broth is wonderful for dogs joints and the omegas are protective for their brains and fur. I started the omegas for brain health many years ago and now, with slight dementia my 17 year old dachshund may have a few issues but I am absolutely sure that it has helped her to not decline as rapidly.
As far as bones are concerned I only use the hollow bones that can be filled with grain free wet dog food. I buy them locally at Petco but they can be purchased on Amazon. I then use a grain free quality wet dog food (one that isn’t in gravy)and I stuff them with the food and freeze them. This gives them something to do to stimulate their brains and I don’t have to worry about them choking on raw hides. Many bones can splinter and be a choking hazard and these I don’t have that issue with. I also use deer antlers for chewing which are great for cleaning their teeth.
Cat nutrition has the same general guidelines. Low fillers and good quality. I no longer have a cat but when I did he had developed diabetes from a weight issue he had prior to me adopting him. After researching diets for cats with diabetes, I told the vet I was going to take him off of the Science Diet Diabetes cat food (which was full of sugar spiking grains!) and create a grain free plan for him. My vet at the time, who knew me well just shook his head and said (with a slight smirk) “Ok Carmen let me know how it goes.” I bought a gluccometer and pricked his ear and his blood sugar AFTER a month of grain free eating was 95. Normal. We took him off insulin but sadly and not long after we found out he had developed feline leukemia. We didn’t know until it was too late, so he was put to sleep peacefully at home.
Fromms isn’t the only quality brand of food it’s just what we have had the best luck with. Here are a few more options that I would trust.
Fromms Grain free options found here
Orijen (the seafood one is what caused drinking issues so I would avoid that flavor) found here
Castor and Pollux found here
Grain free cat food options found here
In summary, don’t feed your pets anything less than the best quality and avoid things that can promote disease (like inflammatory grains, sugars and fillers). They will enjoy eating real food just like we do!
Licks n Sniffs,