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Dog food ratings:

Check the expiration date when you purchase the food. BUY SMALL BAGS, the food is fresher plus it gives the dog more variety! 

These are my opinions gathered from my experience over many years of showing, breeding & loving dogs. I am not a veterinarian. If your dog has a health issue, please check with your vet.


Among various high end brands of ‘complete & balanced’ diets there may be quite different levels of nutrients, vitamins & minerals. If you always feed the same food, or different varieties of the same brand, any nutritional deficiencies or excesses in that food will have an effect on your dog over time. This is why I recommend changing BRANDS every time you buy a small new bag of food. Repeatedly feeding the same food can also cause food allergies. Imagine if you ate the exact same meal (only the very best food, of course!) three times a day for weeks, months, even years. This is what we are asking our dogs to do when we never change their food. I change food (brand) every time a bag is empty (usually about once a month). My dogs never have diarrhea or get sick when I introduce a new food; one day the bag is empty, the next day their bowls contain the new food. The more you change dog foods, the stronger the digestive system becomes. If you feed just one type of food all the time, the gut produces a very limited variety of bacteria and digestive enzymes. When you change food often (with every small bag), the gut is healthier because the good bacteria and digestive enzymes become more varied.




I add ProZyme (digestive enzyme) to every single meal.  


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In the morning the dogs get about 1 tsp. of raw pureed veggies over breakfast (The reason for pureeing is that plant walls are made up of cellulose, which dogs cannot digest. The pureeing process crushes the cell walls to allow the nutrients to be absorbed by the dog. Just chopping the veggies is not enough, because this only crushes the cell walls at the cut place, thus leaving the un-pureed parts nutritionally unavailable.) 

I make these veggies every 2-3 weeks by the blenderful, whatever fresh or frozen veggies I have on hand (green beans, carrots, heaping Tbsp. of tomato paste, lima beans, zucchini, yellow squash all usually frozen, and NO PEAS); plus once a month I add some broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, turnip greens or other cruciferous veggies. The veggies are not cooked, they are blended raw/fresh. The mix gets partially thawed in the fridge overnight in the blender, blended in the morning to a puree, divided into 3 bowls (about 1 cup to each bowl); two bowls are re-frozen, one is left in the fridge & lasts about 4-5 days for all the dogs (I cover the bowls with foil paper).

Pureed veggies on the left

IMPORTANT new information about GRAIN-FREE DOG FOODS!

2018 -- In the past few months dogs fed grain-free foods have been DYING from heart failure. Apparently the legumes such as garbanzos/chicpeas, lentils, peas, etc. BLOCK the dog's body from absorbing taurine. Dogs eating these foods develop heart disease. If the heart disease is caught early enough and the food is switched back to 'normal' grain foods, the heart disease can be reversed. 

UC Davis vet interview re: grain-free/heart disease:


Here's a fabulous article on how feeding grain-free exotic foods has been linked to canine heart disease:



For the evening meal the dogs get about 1 tsp. of various high-end canned foods mixed over dinner (always with hot water added so the food is not fed dry--imagine eating a box of crackers without drinking a drop!). A list of canned foods I use is below the list of dry foods. The photo shows their dinner before (left) & after (right) the hot water is added. The green beans (canned with no salt) are for an overweight dog. The brown part is the teaspoon of canned food.




Dinner is also when they are given their NuVet vitamin (1/2 per dog)

This was taken from the Briard breed column June, 2011 AKC Gazette: 
The Value of Kefir:
A 10-month-old Briard with a severe case of hip dysplasia had a TPO (triple pelvic osteotomy--cutting the hip, rotating the acetabulum & inserting a stainless steel plate) performed. When he went in for his 4-week follow-up X-rays, the vet was astounded that the dog had grown as much bone as most dogs produce in 10-12 weeks after surgery. After much discussion, the owners & vet concluded that the rapid regrowth of bone was due to the dog being fed kefir as a treat. At the 8-week post-op X-ray, the dog had completely boned in, even the steel was covered with bone. The vet was so impressed that he told other clients to also give their recovering dogs kefir & these clients had the same results.
[There were no amounts given in the article, sorry! This may be a great addition to any dog's diet, especially if they are having bone issue. My dogs LOVE this stuff! Just a teaspoon or so on their food!!]


Following are some of the dry dog foods I feed (including the variety I use) along with their web sites; in no particular order. Yes, these foods are more expensive than grocery store brands. You will pay more each month, but feeding low quality foods will increase your vet bills in the long run to much more than the extra cost of high quality foods when the body breaks down from poor nutrition.  Protein/fat levels are in parentheses. I avoid all foods with pork, peas & canola oil (many of these can be found online):


First Mate Dog Food, Classic High Performance



Timberwolf Organics

Wild & Natural Dry  (36/18 protein/fat—too high for adults, fine for pups or if mixed with other food)Lamb With Apples Dry (28/18 protein/fat)The other varieties in this brand are too low in protein for a Chi, I do not use them. 



Royal Canin Mini Puppy 33 (33/20)  (NOT the Chihuahua formula, that formula, as well as most others, has SOY--BAD for dogs)

The Aging Care 27 formula (27/16) also contains NO soy. 800-582-6687   Petco, Petsmart


Avoderm Small Breed Puppy 


Nutri  found it at a dog show, WONDERFUL food!!!

above photo: Glitter smiling (Dazzle x Sizzle)
Farmina Dog Food

Precise Puppy  (29/19 protein/fat) 




Dog Lover's Gold (26/18)  


Premium Edge Puppy  (29/18)

(If adults are getting fat on Puppy, use Premium Edge adult Chicken & Rice)  800-977-8797



Sport Dog Food Elite Beef (30/18)

Canned foods:

Merrick, Evangers, Spotís Stew, Canine Caviar, Wellness (so-so), Innova, Newman's Own, Evo, Holistic Select, some Solid Gold, etc. I use a variety--chicken, turkey, very occasionally beef, venison, some lamb, never pork.


This is not canned, but I use it as bait in the ring or occasionally over dinner, the dogs LOVE it! Natual Balance Dog Food Rolls (NOT the dry food!) I use the turkey.

Petco or:

Chocolate Havanese

Fresh cooked:  Fresh Pet rolls, in it's own refrigerated case in some grocery stores. I use it as a topping instead of canned OCCASIONALLY (it has a lot of garlic, too much is not good, acts like onions on the blood). I use the Puppy one. Can be frozen into smaller portions in a Ziploc., check the store locator

866-789-FRESH (3737)



Remember, healthy dogs take vitamins, too!!

When you bring a new puppy or adult home, it is very important for the dog to drink water during the first few days before it is used to your routine. Often they forget to drink enough or get busy with all the excitement or don't know where the water bowl is during the adjustment time. When they don't drink enough, they get constipated, when they get constipated, they can become toxic and go 'down' very quickly.  This is another reason to add hot water over their kibble meals (completely cover the kibble) along with a teaspoon of canned food, pureed veggies, scrambled eggs, or other topping to make a gravy.

Please use stainless steel or ceramic or glass for food and water dishes. Plastic and aluminum change the chemical balance and react with the food and can cause a loss of pigment on the nose of some dogs. The plastic used to make dog dishes is not food grade like that made for human use.

Havanese puppy

For dogs with IBD, HGE, severe food allergies, chronic digestive issues, etc, I thought I'd pass this on. Warning, this is gross. There is an article in the Feb. 2018 Whole Dog Journal about fecal transplants. It has helped many humans with C. diff colitis become totally cured. Now some vets are using it with dogs. Dr. Jean Dodds has studied it & recommends it. You can google 'FMT Therapy for dogs.' The article says some vets have used FMT for (dog) liver failure, kidney failure, allergies, Addison's, Cushing's, MRSA, IBD, etc. Here are some web sites and and and the Dr. Jean Dodds article: (there was no 'www' or '.com' in the article)


All content & photographs copyrighted 2004 to 2018 Liz Moore. All rights reserved.