The Minefield That Is Dog Food

The breeder recommended a brand called Skinners which is a specialist (dry) food for gun / working dogs. He has never been keen on it from day 1 - but I put it down at first to him settling into his new home with us. Generally he would have a few disinterested mouthfulls at each feed - maybe coming back to it a few times (Id leave it down for about half an hour). Now most dogs Ive known go beserk for their dinner so I thought I might need to rethink his food. I spoke to the breeder who recommeded a little probiotic yogurt mixed with it - that worked for a few days - he bolted it down but then got bored with it again.

Hello and welcome to the forum. Which Skinners variety you are using and what is the age and breed of your dog? Is he in good health? Are you feeding him from the table and giving him treats?

By using the Dog Food Directory you should find the process of choosing a suitable product quite straightforward. There are filters to the left and these help to narrow down the selection. I usually tick ‘clearly labelled’ and ‘no red ingredients’ because the results tend to be the better quality products.

Here is some general advice about selecting a suitable dog food:

  • Decide on the type of food you want to use. Picky eaters usually do better on wet food but it can be more expensive. However, good quality wet food is higher in fat/ protein so you might not have to feed so much.
  • Always look at the ingredients - the meat (protein) source should be named and at the top of the list.
  • Do not feed from the table or give treats.
  • Feed twice a day and always weigh the food accurately. Take uneaten food up after 15 minutes.
  • Activity level of the dog - if the dog is very active, a high fat/protein diet might suit. Conversely, look for something with a more moderate fat/protein if he is not particularly active. Each product in the Dog Food Directory has dials which display the percentages and a low/average/high rating.

There is a thread here that might be useful. Also, there is a lot of information on this website. Please ask if you need help using the Dog Food Directory. Please let us know how you get on and which food you decide to use.


Hello benjamin and welcome to the forum!

Just a couple of thoughts spring to mind, and one is assuming the breeder suggested adding probiotic yoghurt to help your dog accept the kibble - and yes this has worked for a few days - it may simply be that the overall texture of solely kibble is rather dry for him; in which case I’d think about adding a little meat to the kibble just to see if he would then happily eat the food (readily) and of course continue to enjoy his food over the following days.

If he is a young puppy you’d likely be feeding him 3 to 4 times a day, and then gradually over time be reducing his number of meals to (usually) twice a day. With a young puppy, I find it’s wise to be aware of trying to make any changes to diet slowly… and so I’d suggest perhaps adding a teaspoon of meat to his kibble, every other meal, for a few days. And then re-assess how he is eating.


Hi Benjamin

Overall skinners is not an amazing product, breeders tend to recommend brands such as this and ones like chudlys as it’s is what has been used for a long time with working dogs and it is very affordable. However these products are on the lower end of the food quality scale, depending on which specific one you are using the quality varies however it does tend to be packed full of derivatives, cereals, grain and additives which some may think are suitable but rather they are not.

Cereal and grain (rice, barley, wheat. Oats) are used in dog door and cat food to make it more affordable, it is a bulking product, make more of the food at a cheaper price however cereals and grain are not biologically appropriate for these animals, often they have trouble breaking down this product, they suffer with allergic reactions and as it is packed full of these products it removes a lot of the meat and vegetables from the food therefor removing flavour, smell and nutrients. In simple terms dogs are omnivore so simply they should only really have meat, offal, bone, fruit and veg in the diet… anything else is questionable

Regardless of the bread they always do better on a grain free food. It does tend to up slightly in price the higher quality you go but you do have to feed less of it so works out cheaper in the long run. Feeding a food which has a higher meat content (meat, not derivatives or extracts) often increases the dogs appetite meaning they will be more enclined to eat and will obtain more from their food.

Brands I would recommend trying would me
Raw diet (Natures menu, beyfit, nutriment)
Taste of the wild

For the medium quaility (better the skinners)
Barking heads
Lilly’s kitchen

I would recommend orijen personally but obviously price is a factor
If you need advice with food Kennel Gate pet shop is really good for their advice, if you needed help in person and needed showing the foods.

I note the above comments (named retailer also sells Skinners & Chudleys).

In the past I have fed Skinners Field &Trial (F&T) in both salmon & duck. varieties. I agree that there are foods with higher meat content but other aspects of composition price are relevant to these factors.

I later moved on to kibbles without rice & currently feed a raw complete , (not least due to wanting to reduce carb’s on back of advice relevant to my dogs health) . Whilst I accept nutrition & quality are important considerations I feel it only fair to mention that it costs me roughly 3 times the price, (of Skinners), to feed my current choice(s) !

In fairness to Skinners there are foods far worse for the same or considerably more cost to feed per day. When feeding Skinners I struggled to find rice based kibbles that I considered to be of equivalent or superior quality for a similar price.

Like quite a few dog food brand names, the Skinners range is varied. I happily fed F&T albeit I chose to feed their F&T over other products they sell but which have a significantly different composition.

As to the nutritional benefits of rice/grain, there are brand name companies out there who market nutritional benefit from that ingredient…I will stop short of taking issue with rice based kibbles albeit I do not have current plans to re-introduce feeding kibble.

Some pet owners have to stick to a tight budget when purchasing dog food. Of the economy products, it seems to me that Skinners Field and Trial seems one of the better foods. My friend feeds it to her Labradors and they are all well and healthy. She tops them up with protein food whenever she can - usually several times a week.

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In the meantime l agree we need OP to provide info you asked & any useful info before we can usefully assist further…just noticed thread was started 2 months ago so not optimistic.