In our culture today, everyone is becoming more aware of the importance of eating healthy and well grown food. Words like, organic and all natural creep into our vocabulary as we talk about our own food, but what about our four legged friends?
I recently attended a dog social at Bark and Fitz where food and treats was the hot topic. It was brought to my attention that the food I was feeding my dogs has a lot of ingredients in it that I can’t even pronounce, let alone understand what they are.
I had never really thought that there could ever be something wrong with pet food until the scandal last year when all of those poor dogs and cats died. It was determined that a rodenticide (rat poison) was used on the wheat gluten that was used to make the food.
When we got Paddington, we put her on Science Diet because that is what my boyfriend’s parents feed their dogs and it said right on it that it is vet recommended. I never thought to read what was actually IN the food.
At the dog social, I was given a free sample of some food called Orijen and on the way home I read what was in it and I understood everything – mostly because what is in it is what we eat; chicken, turkey, salmon, apples, carrots etc. Most importantly, Orijen is a grain free food which means no fillers and definitely no contaminated wheat gluten. It contains 70% veterinary inspected meat, 30% fruit, vegitables and botanicals, and 0% grains. Another great thing is that it is made in Canada and I love supporting Canadian businesses.
When I tried mixing this new food with the old, Paddington picked out the new food and left the rest. That is what sold me – if it’s great for her and she prefers it, I was going to go the extra mile.
Now when I first thought of switching my dog’s food to this healthier option, I thought it would hurt my wallet, when in fact, it turns out to be the same price! Each bag is about $3 more than the Science Diet I was buying at Petsmart, so it’s about 15.99 per 5lb bag, and at Bark and Fitz, every 11th bag is free which ends up bringing the cost right back down to what I was paying for the Science Diet (12.99 per 4.5lb bag) . Bonus.
One other thing I have recently begun giving BOTH dogs is something called Tripett. They go absolutely NUTS over the stuff. It was recommended at the same Bark and Fitz social by Paddington’s best dog friend, Priscilla’s owners. They told me it improved the condition of her coat and kept her skin healthy. Tripett is 100% pure meat taken from high quality human grade sources and is pure and unbleached. There are different flavours such as lamb or beef and it contains partially digested grasses and is rich in so many vitamins and enzymes. They have also added in glucosamine and chondroitin which are both very good for your dog’s joints.
I give the Tripett as a treat when I get home from work every day. They each get a spoonful and they love it. Each large tin is $3.25 at Bark and Fitz and for my two pups, 1 large can usually lasts about one week.
I noticed a difference in Paddington’s coat after the second day of her eating it – her coat got softer. I also find that it is an EXCELLENT way to give medicine or administer suppliments such as glucosamine or tear staining remedies. They do not stop to consider what you’ve mixed in, they just gobble it up. At our house, each dog eats their own spoonful on a plate, then goes and licks the other dog’s plate, then they both lick the floor around the plate, just to make sure they got it all. I feel great giving them something they love while knowing that it doesn’t have anything in it that I don’t know about or understand.
The Tripett may be for you if you have a picky eater. You could mix it with some dry food, or just give it to them alone. The only thing I would caution is that dogs need to chew on hard bits to clean their teeth, so if you only feed soft food, make sure you brush their teeth often. On their website, they do recommend to give the Tripett WITH other dog food.
Another tip – the Tripett smells really really gross, so be sure to have reusable dog food lids on hand if you are not going to give the whole can at once. I bought some lids from Petsmart that were 3 for 3.99 and they have dog faces on them so it will never be mixed up and mistaken as human food.
Back to the dog food, in looking at Orijen’s website, you can tell they have done a lot of research before making their food. Definitely check it out if you have any questions about it. Also, your local pet store that carries this type of food should be able to tell you more about organic and high quality pet foods that will suit your dog. Origen also makes cat food if you are looking to switch your feline friend too.
Note: Bark & Fitz does not carry ANY foods that contain wheat, corn, soy, by-products or artificial colouring, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives. There are other alternatives other than Orijen, just be sure to read the label on your present dog food and check the ingredient list – same goes for treats. Wheat is OK in cookies but anything artificial is a big no no.
If you know of any high quality food you would like to recommend, please feel free to do so in the comments. If possible, please note where to find the food in Ottawa.