It’s a question other dog owners asked us; the vets asked us; our family and friends asked us. Of course everyone also has an opinion on the matter! ‘You need to feed him a raw food diet’; ‘He should be on leftovers’; ‘You must feed him grain-free’; ‘You need to feed him xyz brand’. The choices were exhaustive. It felt like there was so much pressure to do the right thing. I am a great believer in that there is no set solution, no one size fits all, both for humans and our animals and you should do what is best for your individual dog.
Me being ever the bargain hunter, when Kubo came home with us I nabbed sample packs and trial packs, I wrote to companies we were interested in and asked to try their food, all in a bid to find out what we should feed our boy and what he preferred.
The vet advised us on several large brands and to always go with a food which has a calorie amount on the bag. I was originally all for feeding him Royal Canin as this is what the cats have always been on, it is recommended by vets and I have never had any issues with it however, Dave became a lot more involved in researching different types of food.
Kubo was hyperactive (isn’t every puppy?!) and Dave had read somewhere that a high carbohydrate diet can cause excess energy. So he began researching foods with a high protein content which is a lot better and we ended up trying a cold pressed food. When we switched to cold pressed Kubo took to it really well. His stools we less frequent, he generally just enjoyed his dinner even more, seemed happy and healthy. His energy levels did also seem to settle though I accept this could have coincided with him just getting a bit older!
What is cold pressed dog food though? I had no idea! It’s something I had never heard of before. It turns out that cold pressing is a relatively recent new method of creating dog food; ingredients are ground, mixed together and then cooked very quickly at a low temperature (normally 40-75 °C) which keeps more of the essential nutrients and creates a more ‘natural’ product. Cold pressed food also releases the nutrients slower, dissolving from the outside which can help to avoid bloating.
We were happy with the food he was on (Orijen) until December last year when we got our Christmas Barky Box. I wrote about it in an earlier post here: Kubo was desperate to get into the box in a way he had never been before and it was all for a Trip Bone by the dog food company Guru. I have never seen him so desperate for a particular treat before even though he is very food orientated.
I began researching the company and instantly fell in love with Guru, their people and their ethos. Kubo’s next delivery of food was 2 big bags of their Surf & Turf food, not to mention some more Trip Bones and their Venison Sausages. First and foremost I must say that the Venison Sausages are the absolute best treat ever according to Kubo. He will listen to us more than he ever had for even one of these and I am happy in the knowledge that they have the best ingredients in them, not like some of the treats on the market – I am surprised by how much junk can be in some things!
Kubo’s love of Trip Bones had not diminished either! He loves them just as much as the first one he had and will try to sneak into the cupboard if we let our guard down to pinch one! It is a great treat for him when he gets one and they certainly keep him quiet for 10 minutes.
But what about the food? Kubo seemed slightly unimpressed at first as according to the feeding instructions, he had less than he would have of other kinds of dry food. Not that this made him hesitate much – he wolfed down his first bowl very happily! I am sure that he was fuller for longer and when I gave him a choice of foods for his next meal, his nose went straight into the Guru bowl!
Ultimately, the food we buy is driven by our dog but I will always have a soft spot for start-up companies and specifically local or UK-based ones. I like to connect with a company and really highly value great customer service, interaction with customers, a friendly tone and values that I align with – all of which I have found in Guru.
I will be honest and say that I like the convenience of dry dog food – wet food smells and is messy and raw food takes so much preparation – but there was always a worry it wouldn’t be the best thing for our dog so I was willing to feed him whatever would be best. I can certainly say that since switching to cold pressed food both us and the dog are happier; Kubo’s stools have smelt less and are better formed which is a huge win for the humans as the picker-uppers! His breath also has been much better and he really is more focussed with his energy – it is not so ‘mad’! One of the big pluses for me is that we can feed him less whilst knowing that he is still getting the right amount so there is a financial saving for us although all this means is that he ends up having more money spent on treats and toys! Despite all of the positives that we have found with cold pressed food, for us my number one favourite thing is how much Kubo loves it. Above all the happiness, welfare and wagging tail of our dog is what matters and Guru ticks all of the boxes – we are proud to be ‘Geeksters’!