There is no one best dog food, only what is best for your Weimaraner. And with the sheer number of choices these days, it can be overwhelming to know what to feed. My personal preference is to feed raw and home cooked; I’ve been preparing my own dog food for over a dozen years. I tend to be fairly flexible though, and I do supplement with commercial products and kibble.
So with that said, I’m offering recommendation list that was developed over the past 15 years with my own Weimaraners and dozens of other high performance dogs when I helped run a kennel facility for a professional trainer. (Read: It’s a biased list based on my personal research and experience.)
Home Prepared (Raw and Cooked)
I’m not going to spend time espousing its merits because there is just so much out there written on this topic already. Debbie Browning contributed a great article to this site, Intro to Raw Feeding, and I’ve also shared the way I make dog food. The beauty of home prepared is that once you get comfortable with it, a little research will go a long way. The biggest obstacle here is time. Most people really don’t have the time or the desire to cook for their dogs, and if that’s you….
Commercial (Raw and Cooked and Dehydrated)
There are some great companies out there that make awesome foods. Ones I like are JustFoodForDogs and Stella and Chewy’s. Both use USDA ingredients and are transparent in their practices. Quality like this comes at a price, averaging about $8 a day for an adult active 60 pound Weimaraner.
Here’s the bottom line when it comes to canned food. By nature of the canning process, food can be preserved by canning without using any additives. There’s no reason that you shouldn’t see whole, identifiable foods in the ingredient lists. The more it looks like human food, the better it is. That’s it. Easy!
Dry or Kibble
With the growing popularity of raw, and with more owners being aware of the connection between food and health, choices among the dry food space are getting much better. But what’s best? You gotta understand how to read dog food labels!
Here are my favorites:
Some dogs do well on some brands and not others. They may also do well on the same brand forever and then for some reason suddenly start doing poorly on it. Formula changes or developing allergies can be the culprit. For this reason, I advocate rotating different formulas and different brands.
For Raw or Home Cooked
For those that make their dogs’ food, it’s important to understand what supplementation is necessary. The most important thing to understand is that meat must be supplemented by bones or calcium. (Information on calcium supplementation here.) My Weims get their calcium from bones so I only supplement the seniors with fish oil and Dasuquin. And all dogs get Berte’s Immune Blend (Vitamins E, C and B complex, probiotics, enzymes and l-glutamine).
For Commercial Food
My opinion on this can be summarized with this statement: If commercial food is advertised as “complete and balanced” then why are you supplementing? I don’t do it to give my dogs something “extra.” I do it because I don’t feel that commercial food provides optimum nutrition. Commercial food is processed and processing destroys most vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Storage isn’t kind them either. Berte’s Immune Blend would be a good choice here too.