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Al's Dog Training Tips

What are you feeding?

Howdy friends! It’s Al the Dog Trainer!

Welcome to Al’s Dog Training Tips. Today’s date is Thursday, January 14th, 2021. The topic I’ve chosen for today is “What are you feeding?”

A common question I get is: “Hey Al, what in the world are you feeding your dogs?”  I’m really trying to be careful with this question, because obviously you guys are listening to this flash briefing and it’s about dog training. However, I also feed dogs food. I’ve been doing that for nearly16 years. 

Nutrition is something that is really important to me personally. I am not an expert, but I do have a lot of practical experience. So today is maybe just a little bit more of an observation. 

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.I don’t mind the carbs coming from some potatoes and I don’t mind the carbs  coming from 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 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 do is bust out my calculator and I figure out the percentage of carbohydrates inside the food. This is really important to me. I don’t like the carbohydrates to  go higher than 35%. Unfortunately when you read a label of dog food, it does not tell you the percentage of carbohydrates. Now, I do some math to kind of figure it out.  I’ve been told by several people that it’s an imperfect way of measuring the carbs. I think it’s still somewhat useful to get an idea of what that number is. 

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

Well, those are my guidelines for selecting dog food. The food that I’m currently feeding Gabby is a food by the name of 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. 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 Happy training, happy eating! Have a great day!

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