Dog food for young and not so young.

Hello everyone, I chanced upon this site and I’m very glad I did, I looked up Bakers ( which we feed our dogs ) and was horrified to learn how nutritionally bereft it is. My problem now is which food to give our dogs, one being aged 16 years and the other only 17 months, ideally I would like to be able to give them each the same food if this is possible. If anyone can recommend a suitable food I would be very grateful. Thank you.

Hello and welcome to the forum. It is good that you have found the website to be useful. It is possible to source a product that would suit both dogs - normal adult should be OK. However, there are so many on the market that it is not possible for us to pinpoint one.

Have you looked at the filter section on the left hand side of the Dog Food Directory? This is a really useful tool and we can assist you in using it. These are the kind of things you need to know in order to make use of the filters:

Type of food ( wet/dry)
Budget - pence per day.
Availability - e.g. online or purchase in shop. Food sold in supermarkets is usually lower end so look round for a good independent retailer who is interested in what they sell.
Any intolerance in the dogs.
Whether you want grain free or happy to have some grain.

Because your dogs are used to lower quality food you might need to transition to the new one slowly.

Please can you post back with more information/background and we will do what we can to assist you in your search?

Thank you for your prompt reply Dottie, there certainly is a bewildering amount of dog food to choose from. My two dogs are used to dry complete food and are both " Fussy " eaters. The young girl is a cross Jack Russel / poodle weighing 5kg , and my not so young girl is a cross Springer spaniel / border collie weighing 16kg. So as you can see I have both an age difference and a weight difference to consider.

Don’t worry about the age and weight because the principles of selecting a good food are just the same. There is a thread here that might of use.

There are a lot of products so we need to narrow things down a bit. Here’s a starter:

Type of dog - pet
Type of food - dry complete
Food properties - natural and clearly labelled
Rating - move the slider to 4 to 5 stars - you can lower this to 3 or 4 if you wish and it will increase the choice. This would be helpful if you have a budget to stick to.
Avoid ingredients - all red ingredients
Nutrient levels - I set the protein at 15% to 30% and fat 5 to 15% as I thought this would be a suitable step up from the food they are used to having and should suit both dogs. These can be left at their default level if you wish and you would then get more results.

Having just done all this, for me it has returned eight results. Three are cold pressed products which are usually obtained online but would be suitable as they are for all ages. They look expensive but you don’t need to feed so much as the food is quite dense/heavy. There are three Wainwright’s Grain Free versions and these are very easy to obtain at your local Pets at Home. The other two are unknown to me - Ancestral Canine Premium Senior Lite and Nature’s Way Mature and Light.

Tweaking the filters will give you more choice so have a play. Please come back to this thread to let us know how you get on and what you decide. Also, if you find something that takes your fancy and you want to discuss, please let us know.

Thank’s for your input Dottie, I’ll let you know how I get on.

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Thanks Meg, I’ll bear that in mind.

My advice is not to go (immediately) to a four five star rated food but look at a ‘premium’ food with a single protein source if possible. Whatever you choose is going to be a big step up in meat content and therefore if there is an adverse reaction to a single source protein, it will be magnified. Suggestions for ease of buying - Burns, Arden Grange, JWB, Barking Heads all readily available

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Thanks Pegasus, I’ll check them out.

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Useful advice from Pegasus (thank you). Following that advice re lower rated foods, Pets at Home have Wainwright’s (not grain free) and it is their version of James Wellbeloved. Think it might be a bit cheaper but check it out. The 2kg turkey and rice is £7.99p - link. As Pegasus says, best to choose an intermediate product rather than one of the high scoring ones that tend to be high protein. Although I set the rating on the filters to 4-5 stars it didn’t return the high protein products because I reduced the protein and fat sliders. As mentioned, the choice increases when you tweak the filters.
I think you might see a difference in your dog’s after a few weeks - better poo, shinier coats etc.

Tempted to recommend specific foods albeit mindful of a above advice. Bear in mind Burns & JWB have grain ingredients. Not saying that is a bad thing but there are grain free orcold pressed options out there for relatively similar daily feed cost.

My advice is to do a few hours research…even then a dog can take time to adjust & it is possible to select a good food on paper that may not suit your dog(s).

Good Luck

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Thank you everyone for taking the time to generously give your advice. Today I had a long chat with a local independent pet food retailer and I think I’m going to try Acanas adult small for my young girl, and Acanas lean and fit for my not so young girl. I think it’s a shame they don’t sell small sample packs though, it could work out quite expensive finding food my fussy dogs will eat. But, thanks to this site, at least I’m not feeding them Bakers anymore, although I feel very guilty for having done so. Once again, thanks to all.


That is really good news and thank you for updating us. You have made a good choice and coincidentally, I was considering the Light and Fit version for my dogs some time ago. You might need to feed a bit less of this food quantity wise so as mentioned, start the changeover slowly and be sure to weigh it until you are familiar with the amount required to keep your dogs in good health. I find it can take several weeks to determine that. Good luck with the changeover and would like to hear how it goes.

A belated hello and welcome to the forum, I am glad you found something to try and hope you get on well with your chosen food.

Whilst nobody can guarantee your new foods will suit your dogs I will go so far as to say that you seem to have been fiven good advice by your local retailer. Acana is one of but two dried kibbles stocked by my (luckily local) homeopathic vet. Made by champion pet foods it is regarded highly. Acana have a variety of dried kibbles so plenty of choice if you choose to introduce variety later. Orijen is made by same company. Essentially both come from other side of atlantic.

Apparently both produscrs are extruded at a slightly lower temperature than most other dry extruded kibbles - some say less mamipualtion/damage of ingredients & vitamins as a result.

Unless there is a significant tolerance issue I would be gobsmacked if you are not happier feeding this product.

I know that common advice is to gradually introduce new kibbles by adding certain percentages but I have changed kibbles before with little issue. Whatever you decide, As indicated abobe, I would also advise you feed a considerably smaller amount. As well as the dogs having to deal with far higher food quality they will be getting what they prior needed from lesser ammount. However you introduce do perhaps expect some odd dog rear end smells, changes to toileting & looser stools as dogs adjust. Gut flora adjustments can affect things too. Stay with it and be prepared to cut back.

I should also add that you may be suprised to see dogs may not seem so keen onnthe nee food. Bakers has additibes/ingredients that appeal to dogs taste buds…even if some informed feeders might not approve.

Often an oversight but perhaps as good a time as any to also consider how much water you add to your kibble, whether you pre-soak etc. When feeding kibble I prefered to add plenty of water…not be pre-soaking unless dog being fed swallowed without chewing - in which case I would soak to aid digestion & fast forward food breakdown in the dog.

Do keep us posted & let us know how you get on.

Good Luck



Coaster - thank you for the useful information about Acana. I too have changed kibbles over with little or no transition and my dogs have been OK. However, none of them have digestive issues (touch wood) and I have not given a low quality food for many, many years. I suppose the changeover has the potential for problems due to the difference in quality but I am hopeful that all will go well in this case. Good point about the dogs possibly preferring the poorer food - I have heard of dogs turning their noses up at good quality food because they were used to the sugars and additives in their old variety.

My dog is currently very happy on his lamb grain free Wainwrights. If he does start to get fed up, and I want to try some other flavours, how do I go about introducing them? Does it have to be gradual as if it’s a completely different branded food do you think?

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I quite like dog food that has a variety of flavours and in the past I have bought small bags and given different ones in rotation. Never introduced it slowly but mine are fine with most things. As long as the dog isn’t intolerant of the protein source then they should be OK since mostly the rest of the recipe is the same or similar.