The Food Diaries
The topic of food is an interesting one when it comes to dogs. I guess much like humans really, there are so many ways and so many things that you can feed your beloved pups and we've been on quite the journey over the past year or so. Now I must warn you there will be talk about sick and poop in this post so if those aren't things that you appreciate then I wouldn't continue reading.
PICKING WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU AND COST
When we first got Josie we decided that we were going to feed her a dry kibble diet as I knew that she could still get everything that she needed from it and it was the easiest option at the time. As a first-time dog owner [I've lived with a dog but she wasn't my total responsibility] it seemed the most straightforward thing to get her started and then we could move her onto other things if it seemed right. She's generally always been fed on biscuits and they've suited her fine, however, something we have learned that to feed them only on biscuits you need to pay more to get a higher quality biscuit, which seems obvious. But dog food companies are very, very good at marketing cheaper biscuits to make them seem like they're brilliant and they're not. Reading ingredients and using websites to help you decipher the list of ingredients is key.
When we got the opportunity to try raw food we were interested, it's something that I'd heard about but really was a little clueless about the entire thing. We've tried out a couple of companies now, obviously Poppy's Picnic and also Butternut Box and we've had the most success with Poppy's Picnic [this post is not sponsored] and from weighing up the price options it seems cheaper than the price of the biscuits that we would need to feed Josie in order for her to be healthy and have good bowel movements. Not only has it improved the quality of her poops but it's made her incredibly shiny too, we've never had so many compliments on the condition of her as when we fed her raw. It's easy to pick up whatever is in Tesco but realistically it wasn't doing our dog any favours and it also seemed to make her incredibly hyperactive. Of course, she is older now and doesn't have that puppy energy. But there is a big difference as cheap biscuits are well, just full of filler to pad out the bags and Josie couldn't digest it at all.
When it comes to feeding the dogs I just think about the same way as I do when feeding myself, I really struggle with my stomach so stay away from food that makes me poorly so why wouldn't I do the same for the dogs? It is more of an expense and I understand it's not something that everybody can do but if you can then I really recommend either higher quality biscuits or raw. A raw diet is something you can do yourself and I'm sure there is a plethora of advice online on how to do it. It might seem kinda gross [as a vegetarian raw meat isn't something I love looking at] but ultimately it's the best for Josie and it's something I'm so interested in continuing to do as well as start Edie on it too.
BISCUITS WE LOVE
Although we try and feed Josie raw we aren't right now and as we haven't for most of her life we've certainly learned a thing or two about what biscuits work her and what don't. Of course, this is down to your dog and there is a lot of trial and error involved. Hounds are known for being fussy and not touching their food but when it's something Josie actually likes she wolfs it down.
No-GOS FOR US
- James Wellbeloved [Josie just didn't like it, a lot of people love this stuff]
- Arden Grange [it kinda works and it kinda doesn't]
- Lily's Kitchen
- Burgess [sadly not the easiest to get hold of]
RAW & Gently Cooked FOOD WE LOVE
Whilst Josie does enjoy her biscuits it's nothing compared to how much she enjoys eating raw and that is what we've found to work just that bit better for her. Like I said, we've not tried feeding Josie raw from scratch ourselves so I cannot comment on how easy that is but there are now companies that you can buy from that make it really easy. So far we've tried;
This was our first experience with something other than biscuits and it started off a little uneasy as Josie had just been spayed so her stomach wasn't wonderful anyway. We also noticed a big drop in her energy and we're pretty certain this was down to the fact it was 'real' food and not full of cereals that she couldn't digest and her being spayed too. Due to the quality of the food, her poops were minuscule in comparison to what they once were and it freaked us out at first. Turns out that is how much should come of her instead of mountains of ice cream looking poop. The food from BB is a combination of meat and vegetables and Josie loved it, now I know more about how this type of food works and the effect it can have with your dog I would certainly use this company again. However, it is pretty expensive we found at nearly £60 a month for just one dog.
You might have guessed from these images that we're big fans of this brand. They are much closer to what most people would consider a raw diet as it's all meat and bones and it what seems to have suited us the best and it's the closest thing we've found matches price wise to a biscuit diet, infact I do believe it might be ever so slightly cheaper. They make it really easy with the way that they package up the food although the big downside to this is that it's a lot of plastic which doesn't please the part of me that is so desperate to cut down on how much plastic I use.
Something I see a lot of hound owners talk about is that either their dogs won't touch their biscuits and that isn't something we've ever really struggled with until Josie was in season which is to be expected. They both absolutely wolf down their food at meal times and neither of them are particularly sensitive to anything, Josie appears to have a very hardy stomach and Edie's a little more sensitive but as she's still so young it's not too much of a worry. I know this isn't the story for many hound owners so whenever it comes to anything food related you have to find what works for you and your dog.