Choosing Your Dog's Food

Choosing Your Dog's Food

It's no surprise Texas ranked in the top 10 states for putting their pet's health first. And, a happy and healthy pup starts with what they eat.

Your dog deserves a diet that nourishes them, fills them with energy, and suits their stage in life. Wondering if your current pet food is up to snuff?

Check out this handy checklist and topper cheat sheet to ensure you're serving up the absolute best for your pup 🐾

Northwest Naturals Raw Dog Food Variety of Proteins

#1 Start with a base

A "base" is a complete and balanced diet and should be the bulk of your dog's diet, if not all of it. Foods like Kibble (or Dry Food), Wet Food (or Canned), Raw Food, Freeze-Dried Raw, Gently Cooked, and Air-Dried are all base foods.

But like your unique pup, none of these foods are made equally! Base foods vary in caloric content, ingredients, and protein sources. So, where should you start?

Your dog's base should be:

1️⃣ High in protein - at least 20%

  • We prefer "named" meats such as Beef, Pork, Duck, Venison, Turkey, Bison, Salmon, or Chicken.

2️⃣ Complete with healthy fats

  • We're fans of Chicken Fat, Flax Seed, Safflower, Sunflower, Grapeseed, Fish or Salmon Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Soybean Oil

3️⃣ Balanced with vitamins & minerals

  • Vitamins: Vitamin A, B Vitamins (biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12), Vitamin D, Vitamin E

  • Minerals: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Chlorine, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Selenium, Iodine

4️⃣ High in moisture content - 10% or above

  • Most kibbles don't include enough moisture when fed alone. Adding water or broth is essential.

5️⃣ Avoid nonsense ingredients

  • Their food should be free of fillers, by-products, and corn.

    #2 Add variety

    Does your current food offer a variety of animal proteins like Beef, Chicken, Pork, or Fish? Unless your pup is allergic to a specific protein a good rule of thumb is to rotate proteins in their diet.

    Did you know 15% of dogs are allergic to chicken or fowl proteins?

    Rotating animal proteins promotes immunity! It also benefits their overall health by giving them a blend of protein specific superfoods, like omega-3s found in fish.

    No need to buy multiple bags at once (though your dog might say otherwise). Simply rotate to a different protein when your pet has finished the previous protein.

    If your current base food/brand does not offer many options, don't worry. Simply "top" their base food! A topper like Wet Food, Frozen Raw Food, Freeze-dried Raw, or Gently Cooked will have a good mix of available proteins.

    Tomlinson's Pro Tip: A topper like Raw Food, Freeze-dried Raw, or Gently Cooked will help with digestion and skin & coat health.

    Dog Food Formulas from Nulo pet Food

    #3 Match their life stage

    Do you have a puppy? Large breed dog? Senior? A pup a bit on the chunky side? It's easier than ever to find a food that matches their life stage and nutritional needs.

    Feeding based on their life stage addresses different feeding amounts, levels of caloric content, and ingredients. In the end, this will save you money and the mental math of adjusting their feeding amount based on their age or weight.

    #4 Nourish & Support

    Remember, a base food is their starting point 🤌  And, no two dogs have the same nutritional needs. So while base foods are complete and balanced, they may lack the nutritional boost from superfoods to help them thrive.

    Support your dog's health by pinpointing your dog's individual needs and adding a supplement! Keep those tails waggin' with a little extra love in their bowl.

    We've made it easy, here is our cheat sheet:

    Joint Health:

    Supports the resiliency of joints and connective tissues and reduces inflammation. Recommended for senior pets, large breeds, and dogs predisposed to issues.

    Liquid Health Glucosamine & Chondroitin
    Raw Food
    LubrisynHA/ Hyaluronic Acid


    Perfect for pups with a sensitive stomach or prescribed a limited-ingredient diet.

    Bone Broth
    Yogurt - Unsweetened
    Cottage Cheese
    Wet Food
    Pumpkin - Unsweetened
    Sweet Potato
    Goat's Milk or Kefir


    Mixing in whole produce adds fiber, antioxidants, and pre and probiotics to their meal. 

    Sweet Potato
    Supplements Chews

    Coat Health + Itchy Skin:

    Adding just one of these items can promote a shiner coat and soothe itchy skin:

    Goat's Milk or Kefir
    High-Quality Raw Food Topper
    Salmon Skins/Oil
    Omega-3 Oil
    Local Fresh Egg

    Heart & Brain Health:

    These additions promote a healthy heart, brain wellness, and optimal wellness.

    Cod Skins
    Salmon Skins/Oil
    Omega-3 Oil
    Green Lipped Mussels
    Fish Stock
    Coconut Oil

    Calming Aids: 

    Proven to soothe and calm your anxious pet. 

    CBD/Hemp Oil

    Dog Border Collie laying in the yard with their tongue out

    Your pup is all set ✨

    You've got the main meal down – that's a big 'ole check. Mixin' in different proteins for that immunity-building goodness? You betcha, check! And those toppers sprinkled with superfoods? Oh, check-a-roo!

    Your fur kiddo will be diggin' into a feast that's tailored for their happy, healthy selves.

    But hold on, partner, picking the right brand for your dog can be a bit like roaming the wild west. No frets – we've rustled up all the nitty-gritty on choosing the best dog food brand for your best friend! We've done the legwork, so y'all don't have to. Dive into the deets on picking out the right food brand here!

    We're here for you!

    Tomlinson's is your go-to pet supply store for natural, healthy pet products in Austin and the Central Texas region. Come shop in-store and we will help you create the perfect diet specifically for your dog or cat!

    Visit our shop full of products sold through team members trained in animal nutrition.


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