As part of my studies for a canine behaviour certificate I'm working towards, I had to do choose two dog foods and research the differences between them, plus the advantages & disadvantages of each.
I chose to research two quite different diets – Burns Original Brown Rice & White Fish dried dog food and Nature’s Menu Beef Dinner Complete moist raw dog food. It was interesting to explore the pros and cons of each because some of the reasons weren’t entirely related to what is best for the dog, but also what is easiest for the human feeding them!
On the whole I think they are both good dog food diets and similarly priced – Burns works out slightly cheaper. For ease of use Burn’s dried dog food is much easier to buy from pet shops, obviously easier to feed and has a much lower protein content as well as a better quality of protein than most dried dog foods. That certainly makes it better from a behavioural point of view for pet dogs that really don’t require high energy levels. The alternative Nature’s Menu isn’t so readily available from all pet shops and comes as a frozen block that needs to be defrosted before feeding, so clearly some forward thinking is required when using this diet. But it is obviously a healthier type of diet than all the processing required to produce dried food for our canine friends.
If getting hold of the diet and preparation time and forethought wasn’t an issue then I would suggest that Nature’s Menu or a similar raw food would be the best diet for the majority if not all dogs. Food that has been processed into dry biscuits does not seem likely to be offering our dogs the best quality nutrition available, and the effects of which are likely to be obvious in at least one area of our dog’s health and lifestyle if not more. I have seen that dog’s with poor coat condition visibly improve in just a week or so of switching to this diet, as well as stomach conditions causing loose stools being cleared up too. My biggest concern about this diet had always been that would the higher amount of meat content cause behavioural problems – however it seems to have opposite effect. Dogs seem calmer and more thoughtful when fed this diet, and less likely to get over-excited and out of control. In my opinion there are definitely some big and important benefits to this diet when compared to any dried dog food.
Get in touch if you'd like more information on how the food you feed your dog fuels their behaviour, especially if you'd like help in managing some of the more excitable aspects of their personality! :)