There are two reasons dogs need special food: to get proper nutrition and to avoid allergens. Allergies are the most common reason dog owners buy special food, but even dogs with allergies need the right kind of nutrition.
Whether your dog is allergic to certain foods or just needs tailored nutrition, it’s not easy to find the right food. Even when you know what your dog needs, you can’t just buy the first case of dog food you find with those ingredients.
You still have to research brand reputation, ingredient quality, and the integrity of the company.
If you’re still looking for the right food, the following options will help you narrow down your search.
Few pet food brands are created by veterinarians with a passion to provide proper nutrition to dogs throughout all stages of their life. Royal Canin is not the only brand with this vision, but it is the only brand that goes to great lengths to cover just about every nutritional need any dog might have. In fact, the company offers a total of 150 pet food formulas.
For example, there are breed-specific formulas that cater to dogs prone to skin conditions. These formulas contain the right balance of vitamins and minerals that support healthy skin.
In addition to providing a vast array of nutritional options, Royal Canin takes the lead in several key areas, including:
- Kibble research. Have you ever heard of kibble research? Most people haven’t. However, the size, shape, texture, and consistency of kibble influences the way your dog eats. Granted, some dogs are like vacuum cleaners and swallow their kibble whole, but for most dogs, texture and density matter.
- Customer satisfaction. Royal Canin wants customers to be satisfied, so they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee – no questions asked.
- Food quality. Most dog food manufacturers use third-party food production plants. Royal Canin uses company-owned facilities that are maintained to high standards. One vet visited a plant in Canada and was so impressed; she said it was cleaner than most restaurant kitchens.
Stella & Chewy
If your dog has multiple food allergies and can only eat one source of protein, Stella & Chewy has some great options. For example, they are one of the only companies that makes a single-source protein food from turkey. Most turkey recipes include chicken or chicken liver, which is off-limits for dogs with a chicken allergy.
Finding a high-quality kibble for a dog with multiple allergies is rough. If your dog is allergic to chicken, eggs, sweet potato, and lamb, you’ll need a single-source protein. Even if your dog can eat beef or buffalo, lamb is often included in beef and red meat recipes. Stella & Chewy does an excellent job of providing single-source protein options with limited ingredients.
Primal Nuggets are freeze-dried, whole-prey meals formed into nuggets. All you do is add some warm water to reconstitute the nugget, and your dog has a whole-prey meal that includes organ meats and bones.
The nuggets come in a variety of flavors, including duck, chicken, turkey, rabbit, beef, venison, lamb, and pork.
Cook fresh meals for your dog
This option isn’t for everyone, but consider cooking their meals if you love to cook and want to spoil your dogs. You can easily cook large batches at once and serve up each meal cold, or heat it gently in a pan to preserve the nutrients.
If you’re going to cook your dog’s meals, be sure to consult with a veterinarian or nutritional expert to ensure you provide the proper nutrition. Most people who cook for their dogs buy frozen veggies and add them to the cooked meat for a few minutes to make them absorb the flavor of the meat.
Your dog’s preferences will be unique, but most dogs love carrots, peas, and leafy greens like kale and romaine lettuce. Some dogs will eat kale and lettuce plain. The key is to find out what your dog likes and don’t force them to eat something they don’t find tasty or they might skip their meals.
Freeze-dried organ meat toppers
If your dog can’t eat freeze-dried whole-prey food, the next best thing is to add freeze-dried organ meat toppers to their meals. There are several popular brands including Vita Essentials and Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers.
Keep searching and experimenting – you’ll find the right food soon
The search for the perfect food can be long, but don’t give up until you’ve tried everything. Once you find a food that works for your dog, you can both rest knowing you’ve finally found the right meal.