My dogs were always on a combination of Kibble and Wet food. Usually I went with Fromm sweet potato and duck kibble, and merrick wet food (they have hilarious and awesome flavours, like "wingaling" and "thanksgiving dinner"). I felt like I was giving my dogs food they really LOVED... and they did. They gobbled it up in seconds flat. But I noticed their poo was always soft, bordering runny. And when I started dog walking, I noticed theirs just wasn't as healthy as some of the other doggy doodoos I was picking up.
Side note - how awesome is my job?
As weird and gross it is to talk about, poo is a huge indicator of health.. in humans and dogs. If a human had borderline diarrhea every day, they would go to the doctor and change something. So I decided to change my dog's diet as a first step. There was a huge raw food craze going around, and I had boarded several dogs on a raw diet. What I noticed was that their poo was SO SMALL. SO DRY. SO BEAUTIFUL (well.... for poo). I took this as an indication that they were absorbing so much of the food they were intaking, that there was very little waste left over. Compared to my dogs who had mega waste... I thought, why not. And switched them to big country raw.
I would be lying if I said they didn't LOVE it. They were getting to eat RAW MEAT. I am sure they felt like their badass wolf ancestors. And they very quickly had bowel movements that were dry and looked healthy... but, overall, I didn't like the results for one main reason: bad breath. Frankie literally began stinking up rooms because his breath was so terrible. He never had this issue before. After talking with Anita, and doing googling, I realized it was because raw food doesn't scrape or help clean their teeth.. so he had a build up of nastiness in his mouth.
With humans, mouth health is one of the ways to determine overall health. I am sure the same can be said for dogs. I decided to put them both back on kibble.
So anyway. Frankie is 4.5, Sadie is almost 3... and it took me THAT long to figure out their perfect diet. They are having great responses with the vet as well, Frankie is FINALLY shedding some weight. I found their correct diet through trial and error, which I don't totally suggest. Vets exist for a reason, and you can definitely consult them.
It's a dog's world.. It really really is.