Some of you may have seen the SPA (and hence DRC) appeal for tinned dog food. Usually the refuge dogs are given a complete all-in-one dried food (or kibble, as it is also called), but some of the oldies or those with sore teeth find it easier to eat wet food, and it is for them that this appeal is being made.
Most refuges, including the SPA, feed their dogs on kibble for several reasons. Firstly it is far more convenient, as it is lighter to store and easier to transport round the terrain. However that is not the only reason by any means. A good quality kibble (which we use) is less prone to bacterial contamination when compared to tins, and it has the benefit of cleaning the dogs’ teeth as it is chewed.
When dogs are adopted we recommend that people stick to feeding kibble, as any dietary change can have an effect on a dog’s digestion, albeit temporary. Even a change from one brand of kibble to another can have an effect.
Both kibble and tins can be full of horrible additives, and it is important to check ingredients. Dogs prone to skin disorders are said to do better on food that avoids beef and/ or cereals, and there is a breath-taking number of brands to choose from, ranging hugely in price.
Many would argue that the best diet for a dog is raw food, (a mixture of raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables) and many people I know cook for their dogs or give them leftovers. Personally I do not do so and it would be impossible at refuges, but the benefits of such diets are said to be numerous, including healthier skin, cleaner teeth, higher energy levels, smaller stools and shinier coats.
So what do you think? What do you feed your dog and why?
Regardless of your feelings on the matter, please think of the SPA oldies and donate a tin or two, even if you would never ever give it to your own dogs!