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Boulder Buffet For Dogs or Confusion? One Choice for Fido, A Million Choices for US!


The dog food isle is filled with options. The grocery store has many feet of shelf space devoted to dog food options. A large store devoted to pets like Petsmart has many more times the number of options to feed your pampered pup. We all want to feed our four-legged friend the finest food we can find, and yet we do not want to waste money on hype or on unnecessary good advertising. So what’s a chef to do?

First, what IS a GOOD dog food? In Boulder especially, we are VERY conscious of what we feed ourselves and what we feed our pets. Some are firm believers in raw diets. I am NOT suggesting that these recommendations are the only approaches to a having a healthy happy canine. It is what I would call a generally conservative approach, “main stream” in many ways. Boulder is NOT mainstream. I suspect that our attitudes towards what we feed our pets influences how they do with specific choices. If we are feeding Fido food the we think is foul, smells bad, and we have to force ourselves to feed Fido the specific food, I strongly suspect that the attitude WILL impact both how much the pet likes the food as well as how well Fido does with specific foods. We KNOW that they are very sensitive to our moods, tones of voice, and more.

No, you don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive dog food for your pet to ensure their health and happiness. The best dog food for your pet should meet their specific nutritional needs, which can vary based on their age, breed, weight, health, and activity level. It’s more important to look for high-quality ingredients and the right balance of nutrients rather than focusing solely on price. That having been said, here are some specific things to consider when reading the assorted labels to select a great food for your pup. If you have any questions about your dog’s specific dietary needs, rely upon you veterinarian instead of solely making your purchase decisions based upon the “healthy looking label.”

Here are some specifics you CAN look for on the dog food label. keep in mind that some are firm believers in feeding their dog the same diet that they are eating. While this sounds fine on the surface consider that many dog foods are healthier than many human diets which include sugar, white flour, and more which a healthy dog and a healthy person can likely do without.

Here are a few tips for choosing a good dog food:

  • Look for the AAFCO statement: Dog food that meets the nutritional guidelines established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is typically a good choice.
  • Check the ingredients: A good quality dog food will list a source of protein (like chicken, beef, or fish) as the first ingredient.
  • Consider your dog’s specific needs: Some dogs may need special diets due to health issues like allergies, sensitivity to grains, or other dietary restrictions.
  • Consult your veterinarian: Your vet can provide personalized advice based on your dog’s health and nutritional requirements.

By considering these factors, you can find a dog food that is both nutritious and budget-friendly.

But do you HAVE to read every label on the shelf? To give a little more specific guidance, here is a list of specific brands generally held in high regard with ingredients that support those widely held opinions. Here are seven brands that meet this list of criteria.

There are several dog food brands that are highly regarded for their quality ingredients and nutritional profiles. Here are seven options that generally meet the criteria of having high-quality ingredients, adhering to AAFCO standards, and which cater to specific dietary needs:

  1. Blue Buffalo: Known for using real meat as the first ingredient and including a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals specifically chosen by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists. Blue Buffalo is held in high regard in Boulder, a County with very high standards for what we eat and for what we feed our pets.
  2. Orijen: Features high-protein, low-carbohydrate, and grain-free formulas with various fresh, whole animal ingredients that mirror the diet dogs would eat in the wild.
  3. Wellness Core: A grain-free brand that focuses on a protein-rich diet and is fortified with antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals, designed to support overall health.
  4. Taste of the Wild: Uses real meat as the first ingredient and offers grain-free recipes to mimic a natural diet high in protein.
  5. Canidae: Offers a variety of formulas for different life stages and dietary needs, including grain-free options, and uses wholesome ingredients without fillers.
  6. Royal Canin: Provides breed-specific and veterinary diet options tailored to the specific nutritional needs of various dog breeds and health issues.
  7. Hill’s Science Diet: Often recommended by veterinarians, it offers clinically proven nutrition that can support the specific health needs of dogs, including options for sensitive stomachs, weight management, and skin health.

Of course this is not an exclusive list. It is a list of some of many excellent brands. Our pets have a wonderful habit of outliving most animals of the same type, whether it is cats, dogs or turtles? What is our secret? it’s hard to narrow that down to one or two dog food ingredients. I can speculate that our pets’ longevity is aided by feeding them one of the highest quality foods. For dogs, we do mix in some of what we are eating. The most important factor is probably the love and attention we heap on our pets. Phlash, our red-eared slider turtle, was born in 1959. Knock on wood he has lived so far about twice as long as a typical life expectancy for these fascinating fellows. His tank is in a high-traffic area of the house, as is Layla’s bird cage. They both get far more attention in these locations than they would otherwise. I strongly suspect that the action around them is simply a part of the world, keeping it more interesting, stimulating, and longevity-positive.

How Much Dog Food Is TOO Much? Free-Feeding and Dogs Do Not Usually Mix Well In My Experience.

When choosing a dog food, always consider your dog’s individual needs and preferences, and consult your veterinarian to ensure that you’re providing the best possible nutrition.Pay attention to your dog’s weight. While some animals can “free-feed,” my personal experience with dogs is that it works better to measure the amount of food for each meal. Just as with humans, sudden changes in weight are causes for concern, as well as gradual loss or gain in weight. Also note that the highly recommended food generally contain large amounts of protein.

Have a great time interacting with your pet and they will have a great time interacting with you.

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge is Power!


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