I am not a veterinarian, nor a canine nutritionist and I would never claim to be any kind of expert when it comes to dog food but that doesn't mean I shouldn't think about what I'm feeding my dog.

Today we put a significant amount of thought into what we put into our mouths and into the mouths of our children but not a great deal of thought is put into our pets' mouths. So think about it like this, you know it's not a good idea to feed your kids stuff with loads of artificial flavours and colourings so use the same rule for your dog. If you feed a child Haribo and Irn-Bru you will expect a hyper child and the same can be said for feeding your dog colourful foods like Bakers.

And don't be fooled by those clever marketing folk, just because it says it's a "complete food" doesn't mean it's well balanced. Just because it says it doesn't have artificial flavouring doesn't mean it doesn't have artificial colouring. It pays to do a bit of research and to try different things. When I first got my dog Pippa, the biggest problem I had was finding something she would actually eat...I know a picky dog - who knew such things existed?... so I did a bit of reading on the internet and found a great site for comparing dog foods along the way. I looked at wet foods, complete foods and even raw. Once I had an idea of what I wanted to feed Pippa I started ordering samples until we found something she liked. The difference a decent dog food made to her coat, concentration, energy levels and dare I say it - poop - was significant.

Finally, if you are concerned that choosing a "good" dog food is going to be more expensive than a supermarket bought food, you might be surprised. There are some really good foods out there that don't cost the earth and some really terrible ones that do. Ultimately, if you find that your budget is tight you can at still compare the cheapest to make sure you're getting the best bounce per ounce.

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