Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What to feed?

It'sa pretty sad when dog food manufacturers have to post special web pages promising that their feeds won't kill your pet.

In the wake of the recent massive pet food recall, a lot of people who have been feeding commercial food are now rethinking their dogs' diet. The food I feed has not been on any recall lists (yet) and the manufacturer promises (cross their hearts!) that it's not going to kill my dogs, but I've lost trust anyway. Even though the food doesn't contain any of the suspect ingredients (which, according to this article, are protein products that include wheat gluten, rice gluten, rice protein, rice protein concentrate, corn gluten, corn gluten meal, corn by-products, soy protein, soy gluten proteins, and mung bean protein) and is manufactured in the US, the one thing they DON'T say is exactly where their ingredients come from. After reading this article in the New York Times the other day I'm much more suspicious of imported ingredients (in my own food as well as that of my dogs), particularly those from China. I'm switching to a food that is (the manufacturer says) made entirely of domestic ingredients and contains none of the things that we now know to be problematic.

I'm still considering alternatives to commercial food, although I'm not ready to try a raw or BARF diet, for more reasons than I feel like going into (but this article sums up a few of them). I must add that I know several people whose dogs are doing well on partly-to-mostly raw diets, so I don't dismiss them out-of-hand. I actually looked into it when I thought Mr. Gomez had a food allergy (I'm convinced it was an environmental allergy of some sort and, thankfully, it hasn't flared up in about seven months). But I think a raw diet would be a last resort in an attempt to address a specific problem.

I am, however, considering supplementing a commercial food with some home-cooked food, so I was very interested to read this article about home-cooking for dogs in today's Washington Post. I'm far too lazy to cook regularly for myself, much less for my dogs, so I would keep feeding a trustworthy (I hope!) commercial food most days, with healthy home-cooked meals once or twice a week for variety of nutrients. Well, it's a plan, at least! If it's successful and interesting, maybe I'll report back on it now and then.

Now if only there were a diet that would make me a consistent agility handler ...

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