(Watch for part II, best kibble for sensitive puppies, coming soon.)
This post is dedicated to a lovely lady who loves her dog (& who follows this blog). This particular pup has a very sensitive tummy. Once again, another nutrition-uneducated veterinarian shoved prescription food at the poor doggie-dear (that stuff is so horrible, it is never recommended by those who understand basic canine nutrition). This poor dog and owner settled on Blue Buffalo, which isn’t a great food at all. In fact, Blue Buffalo, the limited ingredient variety, scores only barely “average” in quality and nutrition (3.5 out of 5) as per the Dog Food Advisor, and is not recommended. Even worse is the price. It is as expensive as a 5 star food! (I do not personally recommend any of the Blue Buffalo foods.)
I am always asked what dog food I recommend, and what I use, personally. Well I do wean all our puppies onto a combination of real food and canned dog food and kibble. I choose to rotate my selections, to give the pups the best variety possible, and stave off unnecessary sensitivies. Variety is important. This subject deserves its own post (and I intend to give it just that). I feed my adults real food as well as offering dog food and with them I rotate my selections as well. I always choose high quality foods, however.
Some Ingredients to Avoid
Many dogs are turning up with quite serious food intolerances. A food allergy is different from food intolerance. Intolerances can be quite dangerous for small puppies due to the risk of dehydration.
More and more owners are being advised to feed “limited ingredient” diets, often with a single source of protein per meal. This seems to make perfect, logical sense to me. If a dog ate a meal (say, caught a rabbit) he certainly wouldn’t also be eating some rendered beef and a bit of chicken fat and some fish meal as well, now would he?
Of course we feed our dogs all kinds of stuff they most certainly would never eat in the wild, but still we recognize that it is best to stick with the most natural model as possible (without including the gaps in nutrition and inconsistent feedings of nature).
Why these Ingredients?
1. Chicken (use with caution)
- Chicken just seems to be bothering a lot of dogs. I can’t say why, but speculation in the dog nutrition world suggests that it is simply because it is what is in everything (since it is so cheap) and when the dogs’ systems become sensitized to all the other garbage, chicken just gets roped together with the others and the gut needs something completely new and different.
- Is avoiding chicken unnecessary in a dog that hasn’t shown any intolerance? No, it isn’t, however I highly recommend feeding it as a sole source of protein very infrequently and keeping its inclusion in commercially prepared foods minimal. Fresh, real chicken is a different story entirely.
- There are plenty of other options and most of them are far healthier, especially when you consider how our factory-farmed chickens are raised.
2. Wheat (use with extreme caution)
- Wheat is causing a lot of problems in dogs. That is most likely because dogs aren’t ever supposed to eat wheat.
- Really. Not ever.
- If your dog isn’t having food intolerance or an allergy due to wheat or wheat gluten then it isn’t a horrible ingredient (if it is whole wheat and a small part of the diet).
- This food, like chicken, is one to pay attention to, but it isn’t on the banned list (yet).
3. Corn (banned-do not use)
- Another grain that a dog would never eat, and certainly not in the dried and ground up flour (and therefore intensely concentrated) form that is found in dog food.
- The crops in the US for animal feed are all GMO foods which are literally drenched in Round Up (a pesticide) and can’t die despite the poison raining down on them due to the laboratory-inserted genes
- It is kind of creepy; knowing you’re eating food grown with chemical fertilizers and Round-Up rain. What ever happened to rich soil with lots of organic matter and fresh, clean rain (made of water) and lots of sunshine?
- There are a myriad of concerns with corn, too many to put in this post, so this one will have to have its own space for explanation. Suffice it to say that corn is bad and shouldn’t be fed to your dog at all (and I don’t recommend you eat any but the fresh variety, either).
Wet Food is Better
- First it does not over-tax the kidneys by having a lot of sodium and being dry.
- The puppy will get more water and the water will stay with him longer (it doesn’t flush straight through like water does when you drink it directly, it takes longer to process and can increase its usefulness in the body).
- The moist food has way less carbohydrate and a lot more meat because it doesn’t have to be dry and shelf stable.
- The soft food will not slice up or injure tender puppy mouths and cause infection or sensitivity that puts the puppy “off his food” until it heals.
- Wet food is better for your dog’s teeth than dry kibble. Until you read my post explaining the why behind this, you’ll just have to trust me. But really, it is better.
So I have compiled a list of dog foods for this lovely lady and her sensitive doggie. I hope this list helps her as well as anyone else with a sensitive puppy (or any puppy since all these foods are phenomenal).
I have personally read, researched and carefully evaluated over a hundred types of canned foods and freeze-dried foods to compile this list. You can feel comfortable feeding any one of these foods as they are all top of the line and are foods that I would personally feed my dogs.
None of the foods below contain chicken, wheat or corn. This ensures comfortable digestion for the many dogs with sensitive tummies. Only a few of these foods contain grains, and even then it is whole grain brown rice or milled flax seeds (although flax isn’t technically a grain), and so forth.
So without further ado here is my list of commercial puppy foods that I whole heartedly recommend to all puppies and especially those with sensitive tummies. I have read the Dog Food Advisor reviews for every single one of these foods (links below to dog food advisor) but I have gone further and looked up the ingredient list for every single food “flavor” or variation in this list, as well as researched where the foods is manufactured, the quality of the facilities as well as the quality and sourcing of their ingredients. Only companies that answered emails in open and honest ways are listed. All these foods are associated with high reviews in customer satisfaction as well.
Best Wet Puppy Foods Limited Ingredient & Chicken-free
1) By Nature 95% Meat (Canned)
- Turkey and Bacon variety
2) Great Life Essentials (Canned)
- Peking Duck
- Baby Back Ribs
- Frontier Buffalo
- Beef Wellington
- Irish Lamb Stew
- Alaskan Wild Salmon
- Turkey and Shrimp Breakfast in Broth
4) Merrick Classic Grain Free Dog Food (Canned)
- Brauts-N-Tots All Breeds
- Wild Buffalo Grill All Breeds
- Cowboy Cookout All Breeds
- French Country Cafe All Breeds
- Venison Holiday Stew All Breeds
- Mediterranean Banquet All Breeds
- Cowboy Cookout Toy and Small Breeds
5) Nature’s Variety Instinct (Canned)
- Duck Formula
- Duck Formula
- Lamb Formula
- Rabbit Formula
- Venison Formula
- Tiki Hilo Luau Ahi Tuna
- Tiki Pipeline Luau Ahi Tuna
- Tiki Hapuna Luau Ahi Tuna
- Tiki Tonga Luau Sardine Cutlets
- Tiki North Shore Luau Wild Salmon
7) Wellness Core Dog Food (Canned)
- Wellness Core Salmon, Whitefish and Herring
- Wellness Turkey Stew
- Wellness Lamb and Beef Stew
- Wellness Beef Stew Grain Free
- Wellness Venison and Salmon Stew
- Wellness Turkey and Duck Stew Grain Free
- Weruva Kobe Master
- Weruva Kobe Gyro
- Weruva Kurobuta Hero
11) ZiwiPeak Daily Dog Cuisine (Canned)
- ZiwiPeak Daily Dog Cuisine Lamb
- ZiwiPeak Daily Dog Cuisine Venison
- ZiwiPeak Daily Dog Cuisine Rabbit and Lamb
- ZiwiPeak Daily Dog Cuisine Venison and Fish
You’re bound to find at least one that is within your price range and your dog enjoys! Good luck and I hope you find a food that your doggie adores (and your wallet adores, too)
And, of course, I urge anyone reading this to consider adding fresh, real foods to your dog’s diet on a daily basis, as that is the very best way to feed your dog.
Happy eating, doggie friends
Great post sharing quality alternatives for our dogs. A simple change to a food with higher quality ingredients can change our pet’s demeanor completely.
The recipes you provided are very good for dog diet. They are rich in protein which makes their fur shiny and carbohydrates that make them active and energetic. I do not believe that pre-made dog food is the only food for dogs that will provide them all the nutrients they need. What I believe is that we can provide them nutrients better than pre-made dog foods can provide because we get to choose what ingredients we put on it, we know that they are fresh and free from preservatives. What we do not know is the ingredients included in pre-made dog food and the chemicals used along the process. These ingredients will definitely harm our pets so we should never feed them pre-made dog foods.