Well Fed His Whole Life

david - Posted on 02 December 2010

Your golden retriever is one of your best friends, as the old but true proverb says, and he is also completely dependent on you for his food. Most areas do not have the wild animal population for your dog to chase down their own food, and in any case, without a pack, a dog’s most effective tactics are cut off. For this reason, you want to find food that will not only keep your dog alive, but will also keep him well fed for his whole life, too.

Dry dog kibble has a lot to recommend it, as long as you pick the right kind. The cheap varieties at the store are tempting, because they are so cheap. Unfortunately, with dog food, you generally get what you pay for. Although your dog doesn’t need some kind of caviar diet made for the pets of rich folks, you should still steer clear of the cheap types of dog kibble.

These are rather like trying to have a person try to survive on a diet of nothing but puffed corn snacks – they may taste all right, but they offer very few calories each (meaning you need to eat a lot of them to keep your body running) and they are not a well-rounded diet – they lack many kinds of vital nutrition, and it is possible to become malnourished eating them, though not necessarily starved, since there is a difference.

With cheap kibble, your dog will need to eat more because they are getting little nutrition from food that is mostly glorified sawdust of some kind. They will also need to go to the bathroom a lot. They will probably always be hungry and you will not end up saving much money on the dry dog food, since you will need to feed them a lot of it.

Find a good, protein-rich kibble, preferably without gluten (many dogs have allergies to corn and similar products, just like people, and may develop either vomiting or skin rashes, or both), and made with no preservatives, if possible. Dog food will “keep” even without preservatives for some time, and you can freeze excess if desired. The cost will not be much greater because much smaller portions will give equal – or better – nourishment.

Canned food tends to dirty dog’s teeth rather than cleaning it as kibble does. However, if you brush your dog’s teeth daily, then this will not be as much of a problem. Canned food is often good for old dogs who have trouble chewing, since it is moist, soft, and fairly nutritious.