Top Dog Tips | Top Dog Food Reviews & Dog Food Ratings
Top Dog Tips is a growing pets media website, dedicated to providing the best advice and videos on best dog food brands, interviews with vets on dog nutrition, top dog food reviews and guides on how to read dog food labels, etc.
The ingredients used to make pet food and treats have been in the spotlight since a wide recall in 2007. This recall included dozens of pet food products that were making cats and dogs sick, and a few companion animals were even killed after ingesting toxic ingredients. Now, more than 10 years later, products like Charlee Bear Grain Free Crunch are gaining attention for using limited, natural ingredients.
Inexpensive dog treats are often filled with chemicals, fillers and artificial ingredients. It's important that you read the label and understand exactly what your dog will be eating. You should be able to read and recognize most of the ingredients on the label. If there is an ingredient you don't understand, do a quick Google search to find out what it is.
The purpose of a grain free dog food diet is to mimic your pet's ancestral diet. Because dogs evolved to primarily consume meat (animal based protein), many experts argue that feeding dogs a similar diet will keep them healthier and extend their lifespan.
Grain free dog food and treats are easy to digest, and the high percentage of meat protein and healthy fats, alongside low percentage of carbohydrates and no grains, may improve a dog's performance. In fact, some scientific studies have shown exactly this to be the case.
Keep in mind that a grain-free diet isn’t ideal for all dogs. A few recent studies from the FDA found that grain free diets may cause heart disease in some dogs. It's best to check with your veterinarian to ensure a grain free diet is the best option for your pup. If they agree, Charlee Bear Grain Free Crunch may be a good treat option for your Fido.
Charlee Bear Grain Free Crunch Review
As the name suggests, these dog treats are 100% grain free. They are also free of corn, wheat and soy. There are no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors included in Charlee Bear Grain Free Crunch.
As you can see in my video review above, our dogs are big fans of these treats. Our Lab, Saddie, will eat pretty much anything. She also eats everything very quickly. Sometimes I wonder if she even tastes her treats!
Our Beagle, Molly, is much pickier. She usually prefers soft treats and dehydrated treats made from 100% meat. She also eats everything very slowly. I was happy to see that Molly enjoys Charlee Bear Grain Free Crunch. These treats are crunchy, but she really seems to like the flavor and texture.
Although there is no information on the company's website or the product's packaging stating where the ingredients are sourced, Charlee Bear does manufacture their products in the United States. Grain Free Crunch dog treats are available in 3 varieties:
Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cranberry
Chicken, Pumpkin and Apple
Bacon and Blueberry
We got to sample all three flavors, and our dogs seemed to like every one. Each treat only contains 3 calories, so they are perfect to use for training sessions. The full list of ingredients for each recipe is:
Depending on the flavor that you choose, you can get an 8-ounce bag of Charlee Bear Grain Free Crunch on Amazon for $7.67-$8.73. I think this is a very reasonable price considering the quality of the treats and the amount in each package. They are also a bit cheaper than dog treats made with similar quality ingredients.
TOP #103: How to Transition Dogs to a New Diet - YouTube
From time to time, you’ll need to transition your dog to a new diet. Whether it’s because of a change in age, a health condition or just the fact that you’d like your dog to eat a healthier diet, you need to be sure that you transition your pooch to the new food properly. When done incorrectly, your pet will likely suffer from digestion problems including diarrhea, excessive gas and nausea.
Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, PhD, a nutrition specialist at Petcurean, is a regular guest on my podcast. In this episode, Dr. Adolphe discusses the importance of adding variety into your pet’s diet, how to properly switch from one dog food recipe to another, and what to do if you notice that your pup isn’t adjusting to the diet change accordingly.
Listen to the podcast episode in the video above and subscribe below.
How Much To Feed A Puppy & How Often Should Puppies Eat - YouTube
Planning for your pet's nutrition should begin before you even bring your new companion home. You'll need to decide what type of food you'll be feeding and the brand that you'll be purchasing. This will help you to figure out how much you'll need to budget for your pup's daily meals. In order to make a definitive budget, you'll also need to know how much to feed a puppy.
Feeding puppies can be especially difficult. Puppies are growing rapidly, and they exert a lot of energy throughout the day. Their bodies need extra nutrients to keep up with this high demand.
Learning how much to feed a puppy and how often puppies should eat isn't as difficult as you may think. You will need to know what type and brand of food you'll be feeding before you can determine how much food your puppy will need to eat each day.
Every dog food, whether homemade or a commercial diet, will have different ingredients. This means that every food has a different nutritional composition. The amount that your puppy will need to eat will be based on his age, weight, breed and the nutrient content of the puppy food you're feeding.
How Much to Feed a Puppy and How Often Should Puppies Eat
Once you decide on a puppy food brand, you can do some research to figure out the recommended serving size for your pup. Every commercial pet food sold in the United States must meet the nutrient profiles set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Based on these nutritional guidelines, the company will print the recommended serving size for puppies of different sizes on the packaging. You should also be able to find this information on the company's website.
When you know how much to feed a puppy each day, you can decide how many meals you'll serve daily, which will help you figure out how much food to give at every meal. I recommend serving 3-4 meals per day when your puppy is younger than 6 months old.
Smaller meals are easier to digest. Smaller meals also help to control energy peaks and falls throughout the day. By spreading out the food portions, you'll provide much needed calories throughout the day to boost energy and keep your puppy going strong.
You should keep your puppy on a diet formulated specifically for puppies until he reaches full maturity. Your veterinarian can help you decide when your dog has reached adulthood, but as a general rule of thumb:
small breeds reach maturity at about 10-12 months of age
medium breeds reach maturity at about 12-18 months of age
large breeds reach maturity at about 24 months of age
Once your dog has fully matured, you can transition him to an adult dog food that will meet his nutritional needs. Adult dogs can eat larger meals as well. I recommend feeding 2-3 larger meals per day once your dog has reached full maturity.
Eggs are high in protein and very low in fat. They also contain essential fatty acids and amino acids that your dog needs in his daily diet. This homemade dog food with eggs is a healthy option for most pups, but be sure to check with your veterinarian before switching to a homemade dog food diet.
Making homemade meals for your dog isn't as easy as it may seem. Preparing the food is simple, but making sure the meals are 100% balanced for your dog's unique nutritional needs is much more difficult.
Much like humans, every dog is different. And, every dog has his own unique nutritional needs. These needs vary based on your dog's age, weight, size, breed, activity level, overall health condition and many other variables.
While this homemade dog food with eggs is a nutritional meal, it won't offer balanced nutrition for every dog. I recommend that you discuss this diet with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist before making it your dog's regular dinner. More than likely, they will recommend adding a multi-vitamin or other supplement to make this recipe nutritionally balanced for your dog.
Homemade Dog Food with EggsIngredients
1/2 cup DRY brown rice
3 cups water
2 cups grated sweet potato
4 large carrots (grated)
2 celery stalks (chopped)
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 cups rolled oats
This recipe is made similar to a meatloaf recipe. First, preheat your oven to 400˚F. You'll also need to grease 2 muffin tins to prepare to make this homemade dog food with eggs.
Boil the water and add the rice. Boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the rice for another 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery and eggs (with shells). Mash the ingredients together with your hands until it forms a loaf. Add the oil, oats and rice and mix thoroughly with your hands.
Fill each muffin tin with the mixture. When you've used all of the food, bake the dog food muffins for 45 minutes.
You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also make this recipe in bulk and store the leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can even freeze the raw mixture for baking at a later date.
The recommended serving size for this recipe is about 2 dog food muffins for every 25-30 pounds of body weight. This is just a recommendation. Dogs that are highly active may need more calories than this, while lazier dogs may not need as many.
Are you getting frustrated with your picky pooch? Trying to satisfy a picky eater can be a daunting task. The whole food ingredients in homemade dog food are usually much more tempting than the ingredients found in processed commercial kibble. This homemade dog food for picky dogs may just entice your finicky pup.
There are thousands of dog food options to choose from. Not only do you have the option of different types of food (like kibble and canned foods), but there are also so many different dog food diets available. Your dog can eat raw food, organic food or even a vegan or vegetarian diet.
How could you possible try all of the options to find a food that will satisfy your canine companion? And, what if your dog gets tired of eating the same old dog food day in and day out? Some picky eaters need a wide variety to keep them interested in eating regular meals.
A homemade dog food diet can help with all of these problems. The flavor-packed ingredients will entice your dog to eat, and you can substitute ingredients when Fido gets tired of eating the same recipe.
This is a slow cooker recipe, which means you don't have to stand around and tend the meal while it's cooking. Slow cooker recipes are great for pet owners who don't think they have enough time to prepare homemade meals for their dog.
Place the water, chicken, carrots, green beans and apple in the slow cooker. Cook the mixture on low for 6 hours. When it's done cooking, immediately add the peas, parsley and coconut oil. The heat from the dog food will warm the final three ingredients.
When this homemade dog food for picky dogs has cooled, you can feed to your pooch. The recommended serving size is about 1/2 cup for every 20 pounds of body weight per serving. This recommendation is for 2 servings per day.
Keep in mind that very active dogs may need more calories than this each day, while lazier dogs may not need as many. To find the exact serving size for your pet, you'll need to consult with a veterinarian or canine nutritionist.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can also make this recipe in bulk, and store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Dog Food Recipe for Congestive Heart Failure - YouTube
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is not a disease, but rather a stage in the development of other canine heart problems. It is especially linked to chronic valve disease. CHF is a term that describes the heart's inability to pump enough blood to other organs and the rest of the body. If your dog suffers from this condition, perhaps this dog food recipe for congestive heart failure would be a good option for him.
It is estimated that the majority of CHF cases are caused by valvular insufficiency. However, there are multiple other causes including cardiomyopathy, narrowing of major blood vessels and rhythm irregularities.
Early symptoms of congestive heart failure in dogs include breathing difficulty, coughing, tiring easily and an increased respiratory rate. As the disease progresses, you may notice these other symptoms: fluid buildup in the abdomen, change in tongue or gum color to a shade of blue, weight loss and/or fainting.
The treatment for congestive heart failure in dogs will depend on the heart problem that is causing it. Typically, a low-sodium diet is recommended to decrease fluid build-up in the abdomen. Your veterinarian may also prescribe a number of medications or recommend surgery to repair your pet's heart.
Dog Food Recipe for Congestive Heart FailureIngredients
2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 lbs. lean ground turkey
14 ounces canned tuna (in water)
1/2 lb. chicken gizzards
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 cup COOKED white rice
1 sweet potato
6 ounces frozen peas
6 ounces frozen cauliflower
6 ounces frozen broccoli
3 tbsp. coconut oil
This dog food recipe for congestive heart failure does involve a good amount of prep work. The first step is to boil the chicken gizzards and eggs (in separate pots) for 10 minutes.
Next, brown the ground beef and ground turkey in a large skillet. Once browned, drain all fat from the meat and rinse the cooked meat thoroughly.
Put the chicken gizzards, eggs, sweet potatoes, peas, cauliflower, broccoli and apple into a food processor. As you'll see in my video, you may need to dice half of the ingredients at once in order to make room for the rest. Once the ingredients are completely diced, pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Add the cooked beef, tuna, cottage cheese, rice and coconut oil to the bowl. You may need to melt the oil slightly in the microwave for easier mixing. Mix all of the ingredients together, and your dog food recipe for congestive heart failure is finished.
The recommended serving size for this recipe is about 1/2 cup for every 20-25 pounds of body weight. This is just a suggested serving. In order to find out the correct portion for your dog's nutritional needs, consult your veterinarian.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. You can also make a larger quantity of this dog food, and store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Sweet potatoes have jumped in popularity over the past decade. We are learning more about their nutritional benefits, and it seems like new sweet potato based recipes are introduced every day. Did you know that dogs can also benefit greatly from the addition of these vegetables into their diet? Try this sweet potato dog food recipe to get you started!
Most dogs love the taste of sweet potato, and these vegetables are very healthy for your canine companion. Sweet potatoes are low in fat and high in dietary fiber. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C and manganese.
Like carrots, these veggies are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A when processed by your dog's body. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for proper growth, muscle strength and vision. They can also help soothe an upset stomach.
Sweet Potato Dog Food RecipeIngredients
6 cups water
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup lentils
3 sweet potatoes (chopped)
3 cups peanut butter
1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. flaxseed oil
250 mg. cranberry extract
Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add the chopped potatoes, lentils, rice and quinoa. Chop the sweet potatoes into appropriately sized pieces for your dog. You will notice that I the pieces I cut are quite large, because this food is for our 75-pound Labrador. If you have a small breed, you'll need much smaller pieces.
Boil the ingredients listed above for 20 minutes. Then, reduce the heat and allow the sweet potato dog food recipe to simmer for 45 minutes. Finally, add the vinegar, peanut butter, flaxseed oil and cranberry extract.
Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly. The heat from the dog food will help to melt the peanut butter, and it should be very easy to mix completely.
Once the dog food has cooled, you can feed it to your pup. The recommended serving size is about 1/2 cup for every 20 pounds of body weight per serving. This recommendation is for 2 servings per day.
Let's say your dog weighs 60 pounds. He should be eating about 1.5 cups of food in the morning and 1.5 cups in the evening. If you'd like to feed multiple smaller meals per day, take the total amount of food your dog needs per day and divide into 3-4 smaller portions.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. You can also make this recipe in bulk and store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Pet Plate Fresh Dog Food Delivery Review - YouTube
Have you been looking around for a new diet for your dog? Many pet owners are hearing about all of the recent pet food recalls and pet food products being linked to serious illnesses in dogs. If you're worried about the quality of your dog's meals, fresh food (like Pet Plate) is one of the healthiest options available.
The best way to provide your dog with fresh food is to make his meals yourself. When prepared and balanced properly, homemade food is quite possibly the healthiest pet food choice. But, most pet parents don't have the time to prepare home cooked meals for their furry family members.
If you want the benefits of feeding your dog fresh, whole food recipes without the hassle of researching and cooking, fresh dog food delivery may be just what you need. Pet Plate is a new company in the pet food market. They deliver balanced, pre-portioned, fresh meals for your pet right to your doorstep.
Pet Plate Fresh Dog Food Delivery Review
The first thing that piqued my interest about Pet Plate food is the fact that it is formulated by a licensed veterinarian who is also a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. Those are impressive credentials, and it makes me happy to know that the food I feed my dogs is prepared by someone with specific training in canine nutrition.
Pet Plate dog food is made with human-grade ingredients. It does not include any artificial ingredients. The company uses only USDA-approved meat and fresh produce in their recipes. The company also makes this dog food in the United States in a USDA-certified facility.
As you will see in my video review above, this pre-cooked dog food comes in pre-portioned containers. The containers are 100% recyclable, and the serving size recommendations are clearly listed on each container.
Pet Plate Fresh Dog Food is nutritionally balanced for your dog's needs. When you subscribe for delivery you'll need to answer a questionnaire about your pet. They formulate the food based on your dog's age, weight, breed and other factors.
This dog food meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.
Pet Plate dog food is available in beef, chicken, lamb and turkey varieties. At the time of this review, there are no vegan/vegetarian options. Also, this dog food is NOT organic.
It's no surprise that fresh dog food is an extremely healthy option. When products are made with high quality ingredients, they are usually more expensive. In the case of Pet Plate dog food, this is definitely true.
The price you pay will vary depending on the size of your dog and the amount of food he'll need to eat each day. The company shares these average costs as a guideline to help you budget:
$2.50-$4.75 per day for a small breed
$6.00-$8.00 per day for a medium breed
$9.00-$13.00 per day for a large breed
$16.00-$19.00 per day for an extra-large breed
Pet Plate Fresh Dog Food is flash frozen before shipping to lock in freshness. This means that the food is frozen when you receive it. Once thawed, you must use the food within 7 days. If you leave it frozen, it will keep for up to 12 months.
I know the cost is a lot more than most pet owners can afford, but the company also has a ‘Topper Plan' available if you want to use their fresh food as a topper for your pup's kibble. Pet Plate also offers a 50% discount on your first box and free shipping. Unfortunately, they do not offer trial packs at this time.
Itchy skin can be caused by a number of reasons. Environmental allergies and a poor diet are two of the most common variables that cause dog's to suffer with itchy, dry skin. The problem could be cured by switching your dog to a homemade dog food for itchy skin, but only your veterinarian can tell you for sure.
It's very important to seek the advice of your veterinarian if your dog can't stop scratching. You won't be able to stop the itching until you find the source of the problem. If your dog has an infestation of fleas, a skin condition (like mange) or is allergic to something in his environment, switching his food won't make a difference.
If your veterinarian agrees that the itching is caused by dietary problems, they may want to perform an allergy test on your pet. When you find out what ingredients your pup is allergic to, you can create recipes or purchase a commercial food that does not include that ingredient.
If the problem is poor nutrition, this homemade dog food for itchy skin may help. It is made with limited ingredients and an uncommon protein source to reduce the chance of food sensitivities.
Homemade Dog Food for Itchy Skin RecipeIngredients
2 pounds ground turkey
1 large sweet potato (chopped)
1 medium carrot (chopped)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 cups water
Sauté the ground turkey in the coconut oil in a medium size sauce pan. You can chop the sweet potato and carrot while the turkey is cooking. When the meat is thoroughly cooked, add the chopped sweet potato, carrot and water to the pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Then, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer the recipe for about 20 minutes. Stir in the frozen peas and let the homemade dog food for itchy skin sit until it's completely cooled.
The heat will warm the peas. Once the recipe is completely cool you can serve it to your pup. The recommended serving size is about 1/2 cup for every 20-25 pounds of body weight. This recommendation is for 2 servings per day.
Your veterinarian can help you adjust the serving size to the right portion for your pet. Active dogs will require more calories than lazier pups. Your dog's weight, age and health condition will also affect the amount of food he will need each day.
Boxers are a fun-loving and energetic dog breed that make great family pets. This breed's muscular build and high energy level make them a challenge to feed. For this reason, it's important to talk to your veterinarian or a trained canine nutritionist about homemade dog food for Boxers.
The Boxer is a large breed, with females averaging 55-65 pounds and males weighing in at an average of 60-70 pounds. They have a lean, muscular body and are a brachycephalic breed. This means that they have a shortened facial structure, giving these dogs a “smushed” face.
These dogs can suffer from Brachycephalic Syndrome, which can cause a myriad of anatomical issues. Problems linked to this syndrome include dental problems, an elongated soft palate and narrowed nostrils (stenotic nares).
Sadly, due to over-breeding and inbreeding, there are a lot of common health conditions found in Boxers. Some of these conditions can be seen in puppies, while others are adult onset. This is one of the reasons that it's so important to stay on top of your dog's nutrition throughout every stage of his life.
Homemade Dog Food for Boxers RecipeIngredients
1 pound beef tips
1/4 cup skinless tomatoes
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup spinach
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp. coconut oil
This is a very easy recipe to prepare. All you have to do is cook the beef in a frying pan until it is cooked completely through. I used canned spinach, but if you prefer to use fresh you'll need to steam it before adding it to the recipe. I also melt the coconut oil in the microwave to make it easier to mix in.
Now that you've prepared the beef and spinach, all you have to do is mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Stir until the homemade dog food for Boxers is thoroughly combined.
Remember, it's important to discuss any diet changes with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist – especially if you're switching from commercial kibble to a homemade diet.
The expert you work with will evaluate your dog to assist you in choosing the right serving size for your pup. It is also likely that they will recommend adding supplements or a multi-vitamin to the recipe to meet your dog's unique nutritional needs.
As a guideline, I recommend feeding about 1/2 cup for every 20-25 pounds of body weight per serving. This recommendation is for 2 servings per day. If you'd like to feed 3 or 4 meals per day, just adjust the serving size accordingly.
You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for about 5 days. If you'd like to make this recipe in bulk, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let it thaw completely before serving to your Boxer.