which dog food is best?

Hi thank you for the add.
Oh where do I start basically going around in circles about which dog food is best. Don’t want to raw feed but would like to ensure our dogs are getting the best possible food. Our choc lab Holly who is 7 months old has developed an allergy vet said possibly caused by her food (she was fed pedigree puppy and puppy mixer) very long story short she was put on James Wellbeloved fish and rice for 8 weeks with fresh fish and rice to break up the boredom. As I said its a long story but the long and the short is she was weaned off the steroids the vet put her on initially and hey ho her allergy has reappeared she has had skin scrapes all negative tomorrow she is having a skin biopsy so we very much hope we will now find out the cause of her allergy but this has got us thinking about what to feed her on if its not a food allergy hence my question. We also have two ESS which are fed on Chapel Farm dry kibble but this has only been since our lab’s problems as we were worried having read up about feeding tinned food as our ESS’s were fed on Winalot and mixer. We have noticed all three are drinking more since being on the dry food so we are worried about this. Have been looking into options tinned, kibble, raw and it is so confusing and scary what you read. Cost of feeding isn’t a problem we just want them to have the best. Been looking at Chappie tinned as this is apparently good for dogs with allergies. Help would appreciate some guidance sorry for the long post thanks xx

PS user name Jenson Button is because we are fans of JB our ESS boy is named after him lol !!! :slight_smile:

Hello and welcome to the forum,
I think it is normal for dogs to drink more when fed kibble as they are not getting any moisture from their food. It doesn’t matter which kibble I give, my dog will drink much more than when she has her wet or raw food.

RE allergies it is probably best to stick to foods with very few ingredients initially. If your lab seems okay you can try adding ingredients a little at a time and seeing if any start the itch cycle again. The filter on the dog food directory is very handy. You can tick ingredients you want to avoid which will narrow down some foods for you.to try. Hopefully you will be able to find a food to suit all the dogs. If it turns out that it isn’t food that is the problem then you will have lots to choose from. If you want a better food just put search by highest rated into the search filter and it will show you all those foods.

It sounds as if you are having real problems with your Labrador. Finding the trigger factor for allergic reaction is never very easy and it may or may not have something to do with food. At least your vet is onto it and you are having tests done.

In answer to your question about which dog food is best, I can only give general advice because some of the best rated dog foods on here i.e. those that score between 4 and 5 stars, may not actually be suitable for your particular dog. Some of these (particularly kibble) have an awful lot of ingredients in them and it makes it difficult to identify which might be causing the problem.

As Tinyplanets has said, you could use the filters on the Dog Food Directory of this site to narrow down the choice but here are a few pointers which might be helpful:

  • The commonest allergens are said to be chicken (and poultry products) and grains so it might be best to look for food that does not contain these.
  • Consider giving your dog a wet diet. They tend to have fewer ingredients so less to cause problems. Also it eliminates the risk of storage mites that can occur in dry food - dogs can be allergic to these and to their excreta.
  • Choose one protein source and stick to it. Introduce other types gradually so that you can monitor the response.
  • Check out the review of Chappie on the Dog Food Directory of this website and you will see that it is not highly regarded. Probably one to avoid for your Labrador
  • Excessive thirst when using dry food - as Tinyplanets has said, this is normal in kibble fed dogs. Kibble can be soaked for a while before being given and this should reduce the need for the dog to drink so much after Soak some kibble in a clear glass of water and you will see how it expands. It then becomes obvious why the dog is so thirsty.

Although you have discounted a raw diet, you don’t say why. I think that it may be worth thinking about because it is plain and simple - just meat, offal, bone and vegetables. However, some vets don’t approve of it so if yours is one of these you may be put off. There are some great complete raw meals on the market now - again, check out the directory but a few are: Natural Instinct, Nutriment, Natures Menu and Honey’s. All of them have customer service staff that will be able to help you find something suitable. I was recently told that Honey’s will do individual recipes on request.

Please let us know how you get on with your Labrador and if you need any help with the Dog Food Directory filters/settings, please ask.

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The first thing I would look to cut from the food is grains, these are by far the biggest cause of problems in dogs. But its also important to look at lower carbs, around the 25% mark or less, because excess carbs can promote yeast overgrowth, and this is also a big cause if itchyness. Other ingredients can be an issue too, so single source protein is often good to start with, such as a fish only recipe.

Also look at environmental triggers, plug-in air fresheners for example or wash detergents used on dogs bedding or towels.

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Thank you everyone so much for taking the time to reply with lots of ideas and advice. Holly has had her skin biopsy today (and we had her speyed at the same time poor baby is feeling a little sorry for herself) :slight_smile: and our vet also took a blood sample so we should have the results of both within the next 7 days or so. I will let you know what happens and thanks again.