Join Date: Nov 2014
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My education about pet food started with a subscription to The Whole Dog Journal. I've been subscribing to this monthly magazine for almost 20 years now and, although they have a definite "natural" bent, I've found them to be very balanced and science-based as well, and perfectly open to "traditional" ideas as an option to consider. I highly recommend it if you are just starting down the road of information about raw diets, holistic health care, positive training, etc. They have a yearly "recommended dog foods" issue that many consider the gold standard for quality dog foods (you have to be a subscriber to see the most recent list, but a Google search should bring up past years' lists). I also highly recommend checking out a website called "Dog Aware" - lots of really good health and nutrition information there!
FWIW I've been feeding my guys raw for about 15 years now. Like Eric, I have chosen to spend the money to purchase commercially prepared raw diets (Bravo, Nature's Variety, Stella and Chewy's, and Primal among others) just to be sure they are balanced. When money gets tight, I'll substitute in a good quality, all natural kibble for some of the raw. I used to use one of the many high-quality grain-free foods before the DCM scare, but I'm feeding some Fromm Gold right now (which has grains) until they figure out what's causing the DCM.
If you are just starting out, you can also start by feeding the best quality kibble you can and adding in some healthy people food in moderation (canned mackerel, lean cooked meats, pureed veggies, eggs, etc.). That Dog Aware site I mentioned has an article about adding fresh food to a kibble diet. Every little bit helps!
For now, I'd say just keep reading and educating yourself. If nothing else, learning to read a dog food label, and knowing what ingredients may not be the best choice for your dog, is a great start!