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Al's Dog Training Tips

What Are You Feeding?

Today’s topic is: What are you feeding?

A common question I get is: “Hey Al, what in the world are you feeding your dogs?”  Nutrition is essential to me personally. I do have a lot of practical experience. So today is maybe just a little bit more of an observation. 

The Ingredient List

When I’m purchasing a bag of dog food, I turn over the bag, and I always start with the ingredient list. Specifically the first three to five items. Those should give information about the protein source in the food, for example, chicken, beef, or salmon. Then I look for a healthy source of fat, like fish oil, salmon oil, or sardines. 

Next, I look at the carbs, and that can be a little tricky. Some dogs are on a grain-free diet, and I support that for the most part. That said, I don’t mind the carbs coming from some grains or potatoes or peas. What I do mind is if the carbs are at the top of the ingredient list. The next thing that I look for is a ton of colorful fruits and vegetables. Rather than seeing a list of vitamins and chemicals, I actually want to see the names of the fruits and vegetables. 

Next, I want to see a good list of probiotics. I want to see the included bacteria that really help support the dog’s gut health. Those are really the main things that I’m looking for. 

The next thing that I take out my calculator, and I figure out the percentage of carbohydrates inside the food. This is really important to me. I’m not too fond of carbohydrates to go higher than 35%. Unfortunately, when you read a dog food label, it does not tell you the percentage of carbohydrates. I do some math to kind of figure it out.  Several people have told me that it’s an imperfect way of measuring carbs. I think it’s still somewhat useful to get an idea of what that number is. 

Puppies Needs

DHA is an Omega 3 fatty acid responsible for the joints and the formation of brain cells. If you have puppies right now, I will encourage you to look at that label and see the percentage of DHA. And if your bag of dog food says 0.5%, you have to start doing something today to increase that.  I would encourage you to get some sardines and start including them in the food. The one downside of having a really high DHA daily is that you run the dog’s risk of having an upset stomach. 

Gabby’s Food

Well, those are my guidelines for selecting dog food. The food that I’m currently feeding Gabby is a food named Orijen, and the formula she is on is called “Tundra.”  You can google the ingredient list. It is pretty spectacular. 

If you guys have any questions about dog food, I’d love to talk to you about it. I’ve been involved with performance dogs for quite some time, and they have to eat like athletes.

If you have questions, feel free to send a text message to my tip line. That number is 832-734-5189. You can also go to my YouTube Channel for more tips or find them right here on my website

Happy Training!

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