· By Ashlin Cook
You are what you eat - so what are our dogs?
When we were younger our parents would always tell us, "you are what you eat!" in hopes that we would steer clear of the processed snacks, sugary sweets, and fried foods. If they could have controlled all the food that went into our mouths, they probably would have only chosen to feed us fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Well, we do have control of what our dogs eat (other than the terrible things they decide to taste test from the ground at the park). So, why do we choose to feed them processed meats, fillers, and nutrition-less ingredients?
At Winnie Lou, we love our dogs and believe we should feed them only the best. We taste test all of our treats (and actually snack on them regularly). We take one of our dog meals from time to time, throw in a couple extra spices, and heat it up for dinner. If we wouldn't eat it, then we won't feed it to our best furry friends.
Here are a few facts about dog food that might be helpful in your search for a balanced diet for your pooch:
1. Diets higher in protein and lower in wheat and processed grains (as found in most shelf stable commercial pet foods) will result in more energy for your dog and less GI problems.
There are alternatives to wheat and processed grains that are good for your dog. For instance, we do not use wheat or grains in most of our treats (other than rolled oats in two of our treats). We use a flour blend made of garbanzo& fava bean flour, coconut flour, and flax seeds. These provide protein and good fats as opposed to wheat and white flours.
2. Look for "human-grade".
There are regulations around pet food and claiming "human grade" on their packaging and marketing. So, for the most part, if you see it on a package, you can assume that it would be something you could eat. Human-grade claims also require a certain grade of ingredients and cooking facility, making this a good choice for your pet. Other claims like "all natural" are not regulated and are often times mis-used to catch your attention.
3. Keep your dog hydrated.
Generally speaking, dogs need between a half and a full ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. If your dog is active or lives in hot climate, maybe more. Fresh, natural food also keeps dogs more hydrated. Dry kibbles expand in a dog's stomach, which isn't ideal. A good solution? Try adding bone broth or even just water to their dry food so that it expands BEFORE it enters their bellies :)
All of our Winnie Lou meals are freshly made and look just like something you would cook for yourself- from rainbow trout to lentils, sweet potato to green beans, come treat your dog to a meal at one of our events and let him experience what dinner should really taste like.