One of the first few questions adopters always ask us – “Which brand or type of dog food should we get for our new dog?” or “Our dog arrived but is not eating well (or not touching the food). Doggie seems like a picky eater – what should I do?”
Here are the facts:
Contrary to what you have experienced with your doggie, most of our dogs were not picky eaters when they lived in Korea. They even fought over food during meal time. When there are 20 or 30+ dogs in a shelter, the reality is that if you do not eat, there will be nothing left. As human beings, we can also relate – going to sleep hungry is not a good feeling. (It is a sad, steep & quick learning curve!) With very limited financial resources at the shelters we work with in Korea, they can only afford a low to mid -grade dog food. This means the nutritional value is not the highest; “taste” is likely not the most exciting for the dogs – eating becomes a means of survival.
Now that you know the background, it is important that your dog switch dog food gradually from its current diet to avoid digestive upset or stomach trouble. As a transition, mix current dog food with new food – over 7 days, gradually decrease the amount of existing food while increasing the amount of the new brand you are introducing. Natural Balance is the brand we most commonly use in Korea and it is available in most local pet stores (or online) – get a small/medium bag for continuity purpose.
New dog food…. if you are a fellow FKD adopter who joined our FB Adopters’ Network, you may have seen the previous posts I shared. Here are the three brands I shared – they are highly rated and my dogs have tried all of them:
|Brand||Reviews||Approx. daily feeding cost for a….|
|20 lbs dog||30 lbs dog||40 lbs dog|
|TLC||Review on TLC||$0.69||$0.96||$1.24|
|Stella & Chewy||Review on Stella & Chewy||$1.00||$1.49||$2.00|
|SMACK||Review on SMACK||$1.40*||$2.10*||$2.80*|
|Based on special FKD adopter special pricing, see below for further info.|
My Personal Experience
My dogs have tried many brands, especially after many trial & errors, own research and conversations with other experienced dog owners, trainers and vets; here are my own findings:
- Paying a premium for dog food like SMACK may seem like a very costly option; however, there are no chemical preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors and no “fillers”. Our dogs eat the same thing daily (aside from the treats we give them) I want to ensure what they are eating is not potentially harmful to them as they get older.
- There is a “pleasant” surprise when your dogs switch to one of these three brands. Their stools will be smaller! What does that mean? It means the food is highly digestible as the food content is actually absorbed into the body to be used for energy, protein and general health maintenance. This in turn means there is less stool volume to deal with (less waste!); so clean-ups are easier, less smelly and messy.
- I mentioned “fillers” – they are commonly used in some leading national pet food brands. For our dogs to digest them, it creates additional stress on their gastro-intestinal system and vital organs. You have probably heard of stories where older dogs suffered from various internal organs failure; these are both heartbreaking and costly experiences. I will do everything in my ability to minimize the chance of that happening to my loved ones.
Yes, I think it depends on everyone’s budget and our own view to consider paying for higher quality food as a form of preventative medicine. And that is why I suggested three brands – each with different price points and pros/cons.
SMACK loves what FKD stands for and feels the work we do is a very worthy cause, therefore, effective immediately, FKD can now offer our fellow adopters special pricing for SMACK! (FKD is not a wholesaler so we are doing a test run at this time. We are only taking orders from our fellow adopters and the process is rather manual. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for orders & arrangements. All sale proceeds less cost will go towards saving more dogs and further our cause.)
|SMACK options (2.5 kg/bag)||Retail price before tax & delivery||FKD price before tax|
|Very Berry Chicken||$87.99||$70|
|Prairie Harvest Pork|
|Other sizes: Sample size 25g bag or Meal variety pack 250g bag are also available. You can use these as treats or meal toppers. Please email me for further details on pricing if you are interested.|
Keep in mind, better food = a healthier dog and less money down the road as your dog ages.
Written by William Yang, Board of Directors