Specialty Pet Training.com copyright 2008
The Diet: Health is Key to Happiness

A high quality food can solve many small issues that most dog owners think are normal for their dogs, such as pacing, paw chewing, allergies, itching, scratching, ear infections, yeast infections and stool volume/firmness. Most of those behaviors are due to a poor diet that is high in grains, soy, fillers and glutens.

Some behavior problems are also a result of poor diet— coprophagia, hyper-activity, insatiable attitude toward food, grumpiness, some aggression and all sorts of health problems. Large breed puppies should stay away from diets high in calcium which can lead to crippling hip and joint problems.


1. Corn is one of the harder grains for dogs to digest. Corn, corn meal: Corn a not a good dog food ingredient.
2. Soy products, wheat and other 'Glutens' are also hard on the Canine internals.
3. Peas, beet pulp are also on the less than desirable list for our tail-wagging friends.
4. Avoid products preserved with Ethoxyquin - Ethoxyquin is considered a carcinogen. Ethoxyquin is sometimes used as a preservative.
5. Avoid foods with BHA, BHT preservatives. Dogs do not need chemical preservatives. Chemical preservatives have been linked to many health issues in dogs.
6. Avoid any products that use unidentified (Generic references) “meat”, “animal” or “poultry” products in their foods.
7. Avoid those products that make prolific use of grain fragments (Rice flour, brewer’s rice)
8. Avoid raw FAT (named fat E.G. Chicken Fat) anywhere in the first eight ingredients.
9. Avoid grains that are only mentioned in “bran”, “milled” or “fragments” form.
10. Avoid any form of grain by-products.
11. Avoid products that mention the same content multiple times in different forms (called splitting).
12. Dogs do not need artificial coloring.

OUR FOOD RECOMMENDATIONS: (In no particular order)



  • Bark Avenue - Colleyville Blvd.
  • Three Dog Bakery: 1251 E. Southlake Blvd, Suite 323
  • Petco stores are now selling MOST brands
  • PetsMart carries some foods but not as many as Petco
  • The Cat Connection: Addison (Spring Valley & Inwood)
  • Metropet Services: Local home-delivery service for all of DFW (www.metropetservices.com)
  • The Dog Lofts: Flower Mound (Gerault & 3040)
  • Main Street Feed Store: Grapevine (Main Street)
  • City Pet Supply: 2 Dallas locations ([1] Oak Lawn Ave; [2] Royal & Preston )
  • Pet Supplies Plus: Dallas (Mockingbird & Abrams) Plano (15th & Custer) Lewisville (Round Grove Rd)
  • Prestige Pets: Grand Prairie (Carrier Parkway)
  • Keller Feed Store: Keller (North Main)
  • Marshall Grain : Grapevine(William D Tate)


Meat/Animal meal
is an animal feedstuff (rendered meats) from unspecified animals and is produced by recycling animal by-products, deemed by the FDA as not fit for human consumption. Such byproducts are considered to be inferior quality. 1 – Because of inconsistency between batches and 2 – because they are allowed to include meat trimmings, inedible parts and organs, fetuses and/or certain condemned carcasses from dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals. This includes road kill, farm animals and yes, dogs and cats collected from veterinarians. Because their source is not always slaughtered animals – meat/animal meal and meat/animal byproduct meal are frequently highly contaminated with bacteria.1

Animal fat and Poultry Fat added to dog feed is most often rendered fat, used restaurant grease, or other oils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans. “Fat blenders” or rendering companies pick up this used grease and mix the different types of fat together, stabilize them with powerful “mixed tocopherols” to retard further spoilage and then sell the blended products to pet food companies and other end users. Although the tocopherols are a natural preservative, what they are preserving is far from natural. These fats are sprayed directly onto extruded kibbles and pellets to make an otherwise bland or distasteful product palatable.2

Chicken Meal as well as 'meals' from other “specified animals” such as beef, lamb, duck, etc. is quality sources of protein containing the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio require for a balanced diet. It consists of meat and skin and may not contain feathers, heads, feet, entrails, etc. A quality food should contain a specified meal such as chicken meal as well as some fresh meat such as chicken. 3

Chicken Fat (preserved and mixed with tocopherols) is highly digestible, very palatable and an energy-dense nutritional ingredient when natural preserves with tocopherols (vitamin E). Dogs need a certain amount of fats and oils in their diet, mostly for skin and coat health, but also for proper brain development and other critical processes in the body. Fat is also important for reproductive efficiency, kidney function and the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. It also services are a metabolic source of water so a hard working dog, or a dog living in a desert climate, is less likely to get dehydrated when fed diet rich in quality fat. As with chicken meal, fast should be specifically names (such as chicken fat)( to be of nutritional value. 4

Grains, vegetables and fruits in a dog’s diet, although technically classified as carnivores (meat eaters) dogs are actually considered to be opportunistic carnivorous scavengers. Although meat should be the primary protein source in their diet, dogs have evolved to make full use of high-quality grains as well as certain fruits and vegetables. Consider that during the winder months, wild dogs can’t always gain easy access to animal sources of protein so their systems have adapted accordingly. When properly processed vegetables, fruits and grains such as wheat and rice are fully digestible and make an excellent supplementary energy source to a meat-based diet. Always look for human-quality wheat and fine ground oats and rice. 5

Q1: Where can I find good dog food?
A1: Probably not at your local Mega-Mart or grocery store. Find specialty stores, or even shop online. PetCo® and Pet Smart® are in our area, they carry a fair selection. The local proprietary mom and pop pet shop is probably your best bet.

Q2: Is there a right way to switch foods?
Mix the old and the new. Increasing the ratio of new food as you wean off of the old food. Five or six transitional meals should ease even the more delicate tummies to the new food.

Q3: Once I have found my new food, I am done right?
No way, variety is important for several reasons. One food will not have all of the vitamins and nutrients that your furry friend requires. Find four or five foods that you companion likes and rotate through them. Always keep your eyes open for new formulas, changes, new lines, etc.

Q4: What changes should I look for in my dog after a change in diet?
Bowel movements should be regular. The stool should be firm without being hard. Skin and fur should be soft and have a nice sheen to its appearance. Not oily like an adolescent teen, but a little shine is good. Also, the frequency and amount of bowel movements can be an indicator as well. If your pet is leaving a larger stool behind, that may indicate that little of the meal is being absorbed by your pets system, it is passing through.

Q5: After changing dog foods, we noticed our four legged friend doesn't smell the same. Her scent is now more agreeable. Why?
A5: Don't know why, however, will speculate that the oils absorbed through the food and excreted through your four-legged friends fur are more agreeable to all parties involved.
I recommend the foods listed above because they do not contain any of those ingredients and are more wholesome, natural and nutritious.

1,2 Animal Protection Institute
3 Dog Food Project.com – Better products
4 Dog Food Project.com – Fat
5 Three Dog Bakery