Help! What do I feed my dogs?

I have two dogs my first is an 8 year old siberian husky and we really have to watch what she eats if she has anything other than chicken it gives her diarrhea. She is also sick a lot and not really into eating. She had a cancerous lump removed 2 years ago but as far as we are aware she’s cancer free now. She’s currently on pedigree chicken and rice. She’s also had baker’s in the past.
Our second is a 9 week old chihuahua pup. Which at the moment is having tinned dog food mixed with beta puppy food. This is what the breeder gave us.
I know a lot of people are now choosing to go raw but I think I’d find it difficult and I’m not sure it would be right for my husky. So I’ve looked at dry dog food and I’m now aware the food they are currently on is shit and bad for them. I’ve looked at a few different brands like lily’s kitchen, millies wolfhart, aatu, canagan, akela and eden but now it’s which one do I try. I know that grains are bad and none of the above have grains but now I’m confused by the meat and vegetables percentage. Are they better on one that contains 80% meat and 20% vegetables & herbs or does it not make much of a difference? I just want the best for my dogs but without going raw. I don’t mind about the cost as long as it’s worth it and if at all possible could I get one bag that can feed both?
Any help will be much appreciated.

Hi. Pedigree Rice and Chicken contains Poultry Meal and Meat and Bone Meal so if your Husky is intolerant of anything but Chicken, this food will be aggravating her. It may be that she is intolerant of some of the other ingredients though such as Corn and Corn Gluten. If this is the case, then you could try any of the foods you have mentioned, although I would suggest that you try a fish based one first as this seems to settle many dogs with poor digestion. Some of the foods are suitable for puppies and adult dogs - I know Eden is and I am sure others are, but as you have two such different breeds, you will have to manage amounts and exercise carefully.
Another food that may well suit both is Gentle Cold Pressed - it contains Chicken, Duck and Herring as the meat sources and although it contains Brown Rice I have seen many dogs do really well on it. Even tiny dogs seem to manage the Kibble (which is pellet like - almost like a pony nut). I have had chihuahua’s happily eating it in the shop, much to their owners suprise, having had them on small bite kibble previously. You only feed 1% of body weight (I think this might be the same with Eden, MWH and others you mention too) so it is easier for sensitive digestive systems to manage and can be wet down easily for a puppy or a sick dog.
If you do want to try a food that is solely chicken based, Barking Heads Tender Loving Care, Simpsons Sensitive Chicken and Potato and Laughing Dog Baked Chicken Grain free are good options but are not all Life Stage and only between 45% - 60% chicken. An 80/20 that I know is single protein Chicken is the Aatu Chicken. It is the most expensive but may be a good place to start if you are sure that her intolerances are meat based, although it is not all life stage as far as I know.
Hope this helps - all the companies you mention are very helpful, so you could ring them and they will talk you through your options.
Good Luck.

Fiona has given some good advice there. Grains are coming in for a bad press right now but this website differentiates between good and not so good ones in that brown rice and oats have some nutritional value and digestibility for the dog.

As Fiona has said, the cold pressed Gentle might be worth looking at in view of your dog’s problems. It would also be suitable for your Chihuahua. If you are interested in this sort of product, there is a thread on them here.

Fish is often suitable for dogs with a sensitive digestion and if you are minded to try this, using the Dog Food Directory Filters you can narrow it down to fish only products. Remember that some of these higher rated foods (the 80/20 of which you speak) are for all life stages, meaning that you can feed it to both dogs.

Going back to the Dog Food Directory, you can use the Filters at the left side of the screen to select those features that you are looking for in your dogs’ food. It’s a great way of narrowing it down so that you are not so overwhelmed with the sheer number of products.

I have tried lots of different foods with my spaniel on the road to finding a decent feeding regime (luckily she is not a fussy eater!); like you I had no idea dog foods could be so variable in quality.

I tend to use Aatu, Akela and Barking Heads (all varieties) and I think they are all great quality - Akela is the least expensive but it does have a variety of protein sources in the original so might not be suitable if your dog is sensitive to particular meats. Aatu is expensive but it’s a really good quality single protein food and actually you don’t need that much of it so it’s really not a huge cost, and as the others have pointed out it’s for all life stages so would be ok for your pup too.

When I first started my dog on 80/20 foods it took a bit to get the amounts right - too much causes runny stools which could be mistaken for a problem with digestion or the food not agreeing with the dog when really it’s just too much food for the gut to absorb. Eventually we got it right but I’ve never paid so much attention to my dog’s stools!

Good luck with whichever you decide!

It’s so confusing. We went to pets at home on Sunday which I think confused things more. I was looking at the foods that contained 80% meat 20% veg and herbs thinking I should get one but then when we were in pets at home there were a few foods that said they were good for sensitive dogs like barking heads and one called wainwright’s. I’d also seen canagan in my local countrywide which I’ve seen people recommend on Facebook. Wainwright’s have all the icon’s on the review on here and 4 star’s but it contains rice, is rice OK or do I need something that’s literally meat and veg?

Not fed Barking Heads but I have used Wainwright’s Grain Free which does not (of course) contain rice. There are four flavours - fish, lamb, rabbit and turkey. The carbohydrate source is sweet potato and the product scores well on this website so I think that might be a good choice.

Have also used Canagan and again, that too scores well on here and would be worth a try. It’s a good product but my dogs put a bit of weight when I fed it to them, despite giving well below the recommended daily allowance. However, don’t take a lot of notice of that because they tend to easily gain weight, being speyed bitches. Because it is high quality, as has been said before, it may need to be given in smaller amounts. I recall that the Country Game version is multiple meat source though so you might be better with the fish or chicken version or Wainwright’s Grain Free because they are all single.

The best thing about Wainwright’s is that you can easily get a small bag and try it - you haven’t lost a lot of money if it is not suitable. It’s probably a fair bit cheaper too.

Thank you all. I think I’m going to try wainwright’s or canagan as I can get small bags in either and I don’t have to buy online.

I feed one tin of natures menu per day and then supplement it with wainwrights lamb kibble as I can’t afford to feed more than one tin of natures menu per day…I haven’t fed wainwrights grain free but the lamb definitely keeps his poop firm and he is content on that.

Single source protein foods were mentioned above. Just to point out that Akela Fish Feast can be considered single source as it’s fish only. There is also a duck recipe coming out soon that will be the first completely single species meat recipe (others include oils etc from elsewhere).