Well, I'm certainly keeping the pet food industry well financed. Let's see...at last count I've purchased...hmm...a hell of a lot of money's worth of dog food! The vast majority of which Hadley wouldn't eat...of course. I wish I could donate it to the ASPCA but I'm sure they wouldn't take open bags. Seems a shame not to feed the needy rescue dogs the good food that my spoiled purebred princess won't eat.
So, it's been a week since I put my nutritionist hat on for my fussy puppy and I've learned a lot. I now know what to look for on the ingredients label - both what should be there and what shouldn't. I'm amazed at the garbage that most well known brands turn out to be. And all those unfamiliar names I used to pass by at the local pet supply store now jump out as being the good foods I'd read about. I made a chart (of course I made a chart!) of what brands are worth trying, what I've already purchased and finally, what Hadley's verdict was.
I've been trying to give her new foods several times (just like with a child) and I've done head-to-head taste comparisons. Its' really curious to do a comparison with three different brands, all with almost identical healthy ingredients and all of which smell the same to me. But they certainly don't smell or taste the same to her! A spoonful of each on separate plates resulted in two plates being sniffed, licked and then ignored while the third was quickly eaten.
I've learned that a diet of 25% canned/wet food and 75% dry kibble is best (Hadley would probably prefer those percentages were reversed) so I need a food that's available in both forms and with both being appealing. That seems to not always be the case.
Petco doesn't carry most of the brands I'm researching but, fortunately, a local pet supply store opened just a couple of weeks before we brought Hadley home and they lean towards the holistic and organic on their well-stocked shelves. There are a couple of brands that were on my list to try that this store doesn't carry. I checked a couple of other places in the area but they also didn't carry them and were generally more poorly stocked than the store nearest my apartment. I could order these foods online but I think I will stick with those products that I can quickly and readily purchase and the list is certainly long enough.
I'm still not fully settled on Hadley's new food yet but there are two serious contenders and I'll report back.