Health & Medical

How to: Choose and Feed Dry Dog Food

[Update: Mama no longer feeds me kibbles. You can read my raw diet posts here and here to see what I am eating now]

My favourite topic of all time is food! Like all Singaporeans, I am a foodie and also a fruitie at heart 😉 Mama lets me try most of the fruits she eats, as long as it passes her Gooooo-gle test. My favourite fruits are apple, banana, durian (cheers to bad breath!) and coconut! As for my regular meals, mama feeds me dry kibbles because they clean my teeth and are super convenient.

Merrick Grain-free Real Duck + Sweet Potato Dry FoodTo find the perfect dry kibbles for me, mama spent hours on her silver machine (again -_-). She checked all the reputable brands and their INDIVIDUAL ingredients; and as if she couldn’t trust herself, their ratings and reviews online! What emerged as the winner in the end was Merrick Grain-Free Real Duck + Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food. I must say she made a pretty good choice. I enjoy the food very much and it doesn’t give me any problems, such as skin allergies 🙂

Some of my doggie friends aren’t as lucky to have such a researcher as their parents. So I asked mama for a few tips to help others make fast but good dry food decisions. She says we have to look out for the following criteria:

1. Premium Dog Food Brands

Choose good dog food brands, such as Merrick, Blue Buffalo, K9, Solid Gold, Orijen, Pronature and Wellness Core. They might be more expensive but giving us premium meals could save you much more in the long term!

2. Grain-free, Wheat-free and No Cheap Fillers 

The new age theory seems to be that grains are bad for dogs. Clever brands quickly rushed to produce grain-free food and made sure that it is made known clearly on the pack so people wouldn’t miss it! It is important for dog parents to know that grains, especially whole grains can be beneficial to our health but they were widely used by many dog brands as cheap replacements of real meat to boost protein percentage. Hence, the bad name! This brings us to the next point:

3. First Three Ingredients on the List

Even if you are not as obsessed as mama in reading the ingredients list, always check the first three ingredients of the food you are considering. They should be forms of protein, not fillers or by-products. The first three ingredients of my food is Deboned Duck, Turkey Meal and Salmon Meal, which gives me loads of protein and omega 3! However, dog parents also need to note that their furkids might be allergic to certain foods. Every dog is different, just like humans! So if your dog gets an allergic reaction (skin problems, diarrhea etc.), try to eliminate potential sources to pin point the exact cause. So far, I am not allergic to any meats, but fruits like watermelon and cucumber give me diarrhea 🙁

4. Reviews by Credible Sources

If you knew mama, you would know that she will never settle for second best. Her favourite website to check for dog food ratings and ingredients is DogFoodAdvisor. Don’t think it will be a surprise if I told you that my dog food is 5 stars!

Got the food! But how much should I feed my dog?

Mama feeds me thrice a day to aid my digestion. I also get a smaller peak in my energy level with lesser food amount per meal. That’s her way of keeping me obedient throughout the day. Scheming mama! Mama follows the instructions on my dog food pack because I am not that active a dog. She recommends her friends to use this calculator if their dog is active or exercises a lot. By the way, 1 cup of dry dog food is equivalent to 8 oz or 226.796 grams. Inexperienced Mama got this free measuring cup from a pet shop that measures 100 grams instead and underfed me for a few weeks! Worst period of my life so don’t do that to your pup!

Diet Rotation: Should I keep switching dog foods?

Mama is currently feeding me two different kibbles – Merrick grain-free and Finest Fish4Puppies kibbles. Some people recommend changing dog food once in a while because even the best food might not have all the nutrients that a dog needs for long-term health and wellness. Changing dog food could involve changing the flavour or brand. It’s entirely up to dog parents to experiment and test out what works best for their furkids!

Hope all this information is helpful to all dog parents out there. Feel free to leave your tips and advice here as well 🙂

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Latte is the happy Westie behind Vanillapup, a website for dog lovers. Discover latest products and services, dog-friendly hangouts, helpful tips and advice, and exclusive perks.


  1. Bernard A. Baker

    October 1, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    A dog’s food is just as important to them as a human’s food is to us. It gives them all the sustenance, nourishment and energy that they need to keep bounding around and wagging that tail.

  2. MufflesTheWestie

    September 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I used to eat kibble by Orijen but I changed to raw meat and vegetables because it helps with my digestion and has more nutrients in it:) I only eat lamb because it is the most suitable for us, chicken is bad for us because it makes our skin have problems!

    • vanillapup

      September 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm

      Yea mama never let me try chicken! I don’t know what it tastes like but I guess it’s for the better 🙂 Your parents really love you to make the effort to prepare raw meals!

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