Nutrition

What should I feed my dog?

There is endless choice as to how you feed your dog, which makes choosing the right food challenging. In addition the market is less regulated than human foodstuffs, and some packaging may not even tell you what is in the food. We advise that the best option is to feed a good quality, complete dry dog biscuit. You should also always have unlimited fresh water available.

Why is a quality, complete dry food best for my dog?

These ranges are good quality, complete and balanced; supplying all of your pets needs to keep them healthy. Dry biscuits are easy to store and use without mess. Biscuits encourage chewing so are better for your pets teeth. Dry diets are also better value for money than wet diets.

Why does Stow vets recommend MiPet and Royal Canin?

MiPet food is made by Golden Acres Pet Foods, who make over half the quality pet foods in the UK. Royal Canin food is made by Waltham, who has been researching pet nutrition for over 50 years. As we stock food for these suppliers, we can provide discounts on these products for you.

Which of the recommended diets should I use?

If your pet is healthy, you should choose the diet for your pet’s life stage. If your pet is unwell, we may advise using a diet specially formulated to help with that particular condition.

How much should I feed my dog?

It is very important to feed your pet the right amount for them. Being overweight has been shown to reduce your dog’s life expectancy by two years. Start with the feeding guideline on the bag and monitor your pet’s weight and condition. All dogs are individuals so you may need to change the amount you are feeding to keep your dog in the best possible condition.

Which foods should I not feed my dog?

Low quality

We do not recommend feeding low quality foods. Just like human food, you will generally get what you pay for. Particularly avoid foods which are sold loose as they need to be sealed to maintain freshness, vitamin and mineral content. It is also best to avoid foods which contain high levels of colourings. The colours in these foods attract our attention, but dogs do not mind what colour their food is. Foods with lots of flavourings are also better avoided, particularly as if they pass undigested, this may encourage the dog to eat their own faeces.

Raw food

Our dogs have been domesticated for over 30,000 years, so they no longer need to be fed like a wild wolf. Much as they may enjoy hunting their own wildlife they should not be allowed to do so, and scavenging carcasses can make your dog unwell and should be avoided. Feeding raw animal products is not like a wolf eating prey, as it is not fresh and not balanced. As it is not freshly killed, there is a significant risk of food poisoning, for your dog and for you preparing the food. Feeding a balanced diet is not possible as a wild wolf would eat the entire carcass including entrails, which is not the same as feeding meat and bones.

Bones

Cooked bones or the bones of birds readily splinter and can cause damage to the gut. Raw bones carry the risk of food poisoning and tooth damage. Safe chew toys, which can be filled with safe treats, are better.

Poisonous food

Remember all animals are different so even if it is safe for you to eat, it may harm your pet. For example chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, caffeine, avocado and macadamia nuts can all make your pet seriously unwell.

How would joining Healthy Pet Club help with feeding?

Our Healthy Pet Club gives you a significant discount on the cost of the MiPet or Royal Canin food.