Rhodesian Ridgebacks


You Are What You Eat

I have fed different types of foods over the last 18 years. I have fed various types of kibble, and have had good luck with performance dogs fed Fromm, Sport Dog, and Zignature. I like Zignature because none of their recipes contain chicken products. I like Sport dog for the same reason and because they do not have legumes in their recipes. I also have had good success with Fromm's "Four-Star" recipes.  When I do feed a kibble I always rotate recipes every bag and never feed the same thing day in and out. For kibble-fed dogs I occasionally add pumpkin, or sweet potato, banana, eggs, and other vegetables. I always water is down when it's fed because kibble does not have enough moisture for proper digestion. 

I have primarily raw-fed my dogs since about 2006. I rotate my sources frequently. I have feed Stella and Chewy's, Instinct Raw, Blue Ridge Beef, Raw Feeding Miami, Hare Today, We Feed Raw, Canine Kitchen (previously Kaskazini), and Top Quality Dog Food. Typically I intertwine the purchased raw foods with grocery-store bought meat/bone/organs and vegetables/fruit. I also add oats, barley, or quinoa. I have used the Honest kitchen freeze-dried foods, and have found their Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Fish recipe is decent when fed with raw meat.  

No matter what I feed, I always feed puppies Ester-C through and including in adulthood, a quality salmon oil capsule, liquid turmeric, a joint supplement (I like both Springtime Inc "Advanced Hip & Joint" and Super Snouts "Joint Power"). During active performance, I add a quality canned food for extra fat and I supplement with sweet potatoes for an extra boost of easily digestible simple sugars that metabolize faster for energy. I also feed an Astaxanthin supplement and a probiotic (Probios, or Forti-Flora). I try to use supplements that are tested and proven to work.

My personal opinion regarding feeding is that an individual should feed what works for them, and what works for their dog. Dogs are individuals and not all do well on kibble, and not all do well on raw. All I ask is that you learn what works for your dog and do the best you can in terms of nutrition.

Raw Feeding

If you decide to feed your dog a raw diet, please do your research and understand that supplementation and rotation of proteins is critical. Adding vegetables can be beneficial because they contain a lot of really good micronutrients. However, they must be either pulped, steamed/cooked, or frozen as dogs cannot break down plant cell walls. I have never really found dairy to be of any value as any "gut health" benefits it might provide do not withstand the canine digestive tract. I personally don't feel that dairy has a place in the dog diet as most dogs are lactose intolerant. The only dairy exception is goat's milk for whelping bitches or puppies that are being weaned to raw. I stick to proven and tested canine probiotics such as Probios or Forti-Flora for probiotic benefits.