My dogs' health is always a concern for me. Their diets are an integral part of their health and finding the right food for both Glacier and Roscoe has always been a struggle. Ultimately, Mr. K and I would love to raw feed them, but we run into two concerns.
1. The cost. From what I can tell things might be more pricy. Currently, we have estimated we are spending around 75 pounds a month on a commercial, complete wet food called Nature Diet. I think it is a brand exclusive to the UK as I've never seen it in North America when I was doing dog food research before.
2. Our flat is small. Providing a place that could be easily sanitized after meals poses a large problem. There just isn't the room for crates, or even one crate for that matter.
The biggest problem we are finding is that nearly every food we have looked at in the UK has rice in it. I don't know what the obsession with feeding one's dog rice is, but it's everywhere.
Dear dog food manufacturers: dogs don't need rice! Where the crap did they get rice from when they were roaming free?
We had them on Orijen, a food common in North America and actually Canadian made, but whatever they do to it here just does not agree with our boys' systems. While eating Orijen, a high quality dry commercial food, they became stinky, Roscoe's coat started falling out in clumps, their eyes were constantly oozing and Roscoe's ear issues flared up again. Not to mention, we were paying more for poorer results. I had wanted them eating a kibble, even if only at every other meal, to keep their teeth clean, but after those results Orijen was scrapped from the menu. We went back to Nature Diet.
The problem with Nature Diet is that I'm not sure I trust the packaging process, or perhaps the store we are getting it from is not storing it properly, but whatever the reason, ever since switching them back to Nature Diet Roscoe has had slimer, runny poop three times; just randomly. The food doesn't smell bad to me when I dish it out, but he'll start whining at us to take him out. Sometimes he has to go almost immediately after or it will be hours later. This has happened on more than one occasion when Mr. K and I are 100 percent sure he didn't have any treats, bones or eat anything playing off leash. So, it has to be the food. We can't have a guide dog who randomly has diarrhea. Well, no dog with diarrhea is very nice, but Roscoe is expected to go into public places. We can't risk him having an upset tummy and him exploding all over a mall.
Thankfully, he's really good at warning us, but the other morning his warning wasn't enough and I wasn't able to get him out. He pooped all over our foyer floor. Have you ever tried cleaning up runny poop off of a wooden floor? Yuck! It was that time that I had had enough. Before that, his horrible poop was flung at me during a wind storm and ended up caking my jeans. It was the mess on the floor that decided me: we needed a new food.
I spent the greater part of Saturday researching commercial foods. What I really want, if this were a perfect world, my dogs would be eating raw, but meat isn't cheap. So, I researched probably close to ten different brands. Out of those brands, and the dozens of others I dismissed because I already knew they contained rice, I found only two that didn't have rice or grains. These foods are considered to be a part of the BARF diet and contain only a protein source and some fruits and vegetables. It's so expensive though.
Mr. K and I ordered just under what we would normally pay for a month's supply of Nature Diet and are going to see how long it lasts us. There is 18 kilograms of frozen dog food supposedly headed to our flat. My only concern is where we're going to fit it all. Well, I'm also wondering how the boys will take to it, is it going to be more expensive than the Nature Diet and will Roscoe's tummy approve? The brand we're trying out is called "Natural Instinct." I have never heard of it before my incessant researching, but that doesn't mean anything.
If this food fails, I'm not sure what we'll do. Maybe I'll go to the local butcher and see what he can offer us. The only thing is I think his prices might be a bit outrageous. Someone told me that he charges close to ten pounds for a rabbit. Ten pounds! I have two dogs both weighing close to or over seventy LBS. They'd eat one rabbit for a meal between them. I just hope this new food works and one day, when I am rich and famous, we'll be able to raw feed our dogs. Until then, let's hope Natural Instinct (Working Dog Beef/Chicken/Turkey) doesn't break the bank or Roscoe's intestinal tract.