As it’s fair to say that athletes pay strict attention to the food they eat in order to maintain their body at peak performance, why would we not assume the same holds true for our Gordon Setters? Now, before you start hyperventilating because you’ve got a kennel full of dogs and you think I’m about to tell you to shop for meat and organic veggies to prepare your own home-cooked meals, take a deep breath – that’s not where we’re headed today. (But some of you should also know that I totally respect those with the dedication to do that!)
What I do want to say is, what you put in your dog’s mouth is going to make or break her, from weight, to fertility, to coat quality, your dog will only be as good as the food she eats. Not only do our Gordon Setters deserve that we feed them well, they will also perform better when we make the right choices. And to make the right choices we need to look at more than price when choosing food, we must take some time to learn the ingredients that went into the food and if it’s a complete and balanced diet.
Reading dog food labels to understand the ingredients used to be a difficult, long and tedious task. Standing in the pet food aisle for hours on end, turning over bags of food to read the small print while going from one brand to another sucked. Frankly, you could be there so long the store owner grew suspicious of you, and before you knew it a clerk was patting you on the shoulder asking if they could help, when what they really intended was to show you out the door because they believed you were homeless and hanging out in the store to stay warm.
I’ve compiled some links to make it easier to find good articles that will help you understand more about what goes into making a dog food and how to choose the right one. You could start here for some helpful information How to Choose the Right Dog Food.
Then go to The Dog Food Adviser to find free ratings and rankings that include the ingredients in nearly every brand of dog food. Another source of information on feeding your dog can be found at the Dog Food Project.
And then, best of all there are online pet food companies who will ship food on a regularly scheduled basis right to you door, no need to hit the pet food store on your way home from work, did I mention that I love this? I use Pet Flow because I pay the same price as my local big box pet stores but no sales tax or shipping charges so I actually save a bit of money. There are dozens of companies out there if you’re looking for this service.
I’m hoping some other breeder/exhibitors will chime in to add their two cents about feeding. We all have our favorites and have found some wonderful products that are fabulous for our Gordon. We’d love to hear from you and hope you’ll leave a comment below!