What food do I buy?
If you are like me, you struggle with which dog food to choose. I want the best for my four legged friends, as I'm sure you do as well. We always seemed to have one or two that had sensitive stomachs and had ongoing issues. We tried several different brands over the years in a quest to find something that would work and keep the pooches happy but nothing seemed to work. There are literally hundreds of options to choose from and they all claim that theirs is the best.
We spent a lot of money on expensive grain free, gluten free & supposed allergy friendly brands. Sometimes it would make a temporary improvement but ultimately never worked in the long run. Uggh! So frustrating!!
A few years back we made a trip to UVA in Blacksburg, VA for some routine tests on one of our dogs. After speaking with the vet there, she brought up a few questions regarding food that we were feeding. We had a lengthy discussion about it. It was then that I learned that a grain free diet can actually be detrimental to their health. It turns out that when they remove grains from the dog food formulas and replace it with legumes, it creates a nutritional deficiency and canine heart disease known as taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy. So, in an effort to do a good thing it is actually possible to create a life threatening condition in the dogs. Yikes! Definitely NOT what we were going for!!
She recommended finding a dog food that would be good for all life stages. She recommended finding one with a 30% protein/ 20% fat content. It would simplify feeding time as everyone would be getting the same thing. The days of trying to remember who gets what would be a thing of the past. Yay! So, my research phase began...
In order to work for us, the food would need to meet certain criteria:
1. Cost. Would it be affordable?
2. Nutrition. Would it provide a balanced diet? Would it be applicable to all life stages- puppy through senior?
3. Availability. Can I find it locally?
There are so many choices out there, the task seemed daunting! Little by little I narrowed down the choices and crossed certain ones of the list. After weeks of researching (yes, weeks! I like to dabble in overkill, lol) I made my choice...
And the winner is...
Victor Dog High Pro Plus! So, as a leap of faith, we placed our first order from our local feed store and started to gradually transition them over. To our amazement, the dogs that previously had digestive issues cleared up!! After several months we began to notice that their coats had the most beautiful shine we've ever seen, their energy levels are perfect and they absolutely LOVE it!
It absolutely meets all of the requirements we were looking for:
1. Cost: It costs more per bag, so upfront it seems more expensive but actually they need to eat less volume. the bag lasts longer, so it absolutely averages out to be the same or less than we were spending before.
2. Nutrition. The ingredients are top notch and include all of the vitamins and minerals as well. We feed it to ALL of the dogs and puppies here- pregnant and nursing moms, puppies and adults. The amount is just adjusted based on their life stage and size.
3. Availability. To my surprise, our local feed distributor is able to get it for us. It is a special order but they actually get it for us now in 50# bags.
Based on the results we have seen, this is the best company out there. They received an A+ rating from Dog Food Advisor. Victor has not had any recalls on their food and they use only premium ingredients. Their dog foods are free from corn, wheat, soy and gluten as well as artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. They are a small company from Texas and use local ingredients when they can and the majority of their products are GMO free as well.
We have nothing but wonderful things to say about this company and highly recommend them! They have several different formulations to meet your needs.
Large breed puppies have to be monitored with their growth rates. Their nutritional requirements are much higher during the first year than later on in life. Read this informative article here to learn more.