When I was a child in the 1960s, feeding your dog seemed simple to me. You purchased the food that fit the family budget and supplemented with table scraps.
But feeding the 21st century athletic bird dog is a different story.
Nowadays, there are so many different theories about dog food ingredients and brands, it’s mind boggling. People tend to have strong feelings about what dog food they use and why, so even discussing it is difficult.
I don’t pretend to know as much as I should about all of the theories or all of the different foods, but I do keep an eye on the overall health of my dogs. If their skin, coat, teeth, gums, stools, energy level and accuity all seem healthy, and they are not having medical issues because of their food, I tend to stick with one brand, although I may change formulas within that brand.
For instance, my senior Brittany, Sassy, may need to be taken off kibble and put on a softer food because she is having teeth issues, so I will look at the canned version of what she’s eating to see if one translates to the other. Sassy, retired from hunting and flyball (dog relay racing), has different energy requirements than my other dogs, although she still needs good nutrition. If the canned food isn’t right for her, there are other options like a dehydrated dog food, which is made with human-grade ingredients and is powder reconstituted with water before feeding.
The cost would be comparable to what I pay for her current food.
Sassy also gets probiotics sprayed on her food to aid her digestion.
The joys of aging, right Sassy?
Truly, every dog has different needs that change through the years.
At one point when I had four Brittanys, I had four different formulas of food in the house: Puppy formula for Quincy, prescription formula for liver disorders for Thistle (2011-2018), sensitive skin and stomach formula for Bullet, and weight management formula for Sassy.
As a longtime employee of Bangor Daily News, I have served many roles over the years, but I now have a dream job as Community Editor. I live in Hermon with my four Brittany dogs: Sassy, Bullet, Thistle...
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