Monday, June 6, 2011

How I Feed My Pets

By Diane Matsuura, CANIDAE Customer Service Rep

Every day, many customer service conversations at CANIDAE revolve around dogs and cats: what to feed, how to feed, how much to feed, how to get a picky eater to eat, etc. A question I am frequently asked is “What formula of CANIDAE/FELIDAE do you feed your dogs/cats?” I currently share my home with three Labrador Retrievers and three cats. I have fed every formula that CANIDAE makes at one time or another to my pets, and they have all thrived on each variety. One of the great advantages the CANIDAE Natural Pet Food line offers is a wide range of formula choices to suit most dogs and cats. One formula isn’t necessarily better than another, but just a different choice.  All products are made with the same high quality ingredients and balanced nutrition.

I thought I would share what works for me and my pet family. Anyone owned by cats knows that if a cat doesn’t like a particular food, no matter how much we want them to eat a certain brand or formula, you can’t make them eat it. That being said, most cats really like the taste of FELIDAE.  I keep one bowl filled up with the FELIDAE Cat and Kitten formula, and one filled with the Grain Free pureSEA. The next month, I will offer the Chicken and Rice and the Grain Free pureELEMENTS.

Canned food is offered in the morning for breakfast and I rotate the different formulas.  With three cats and assorted “guests” stopping by the front porch for a meal, they have a choice for which formula interests them that day. Yes, my cats have the freedom to be inside or outside, and I have identical food bowls inside as well.  I don’t believe the type of bowl matters that much to my cats, but I use dishwasher safe low plastic bowls for kibble, small flat saucers for canned food and low sided large glazed ceramic crocks for water.

The Labradors are easy. Since Labradors are not usually considered picky eaters and are a breed known for their love of food, formula choice is simple. Labradors tend to gain weight easily, so I have to be careful of the calories they consume and always measure their food for each meal.  The CANIDAE feeding guideline amounts listed on the bag and calorie counts are based on an 8oz standard measuring scoop. Measuring food is the key to knowing how much you are feeding at each meal and makes it easier to know how much food to decrease or increase depending on the dog. 

I feed my senior girl “Bindi” the CANIDAE PLATINUM® formula for Seniors and Overweight Dogs, because she is both a senior and unfortunately always a little on the “plump” side. She can’t help it; it’s in her Labrador genes. When CANIDAE introduced the Grain Free ALS (now called pureELEMENTS) several years ago, I fed that to “Breezie” as she was my current show dog, and she did very well on that formula. When “Hailey” was adopted as a puppy, the Grain Free ALS was too rich for her, so she was fed the CANIDAE All Life Stages formula. But my current favorite is our new Single Grain Protein Plus. Breezie and Hailey love it and are doing well on it – great skin and coats and they are maintaining their proper weight and firm stools.  

I feed the dogs twice a day, breakfast and dinner, and everyone eats at the same time from their own bowls. I prefer stainless steel bowls with a rubber bottom that prevents noise and sliding on the floor, and they are easy to clean and unbreakable. Labs like to pick up empty food bowls and use them as toys if not picked up right away after meals. Dogs are creatures of habit, and each dog has their own place along the floor in front of the counter where they wait for their food. Bowls go down in the same order every meal – Bindi first, then Hailey, and then Breezie. I’ll stand close by to make sure Hailey doesn’t help herself to Bindi’s bowl. Bindi eats the slowest and Hailey the quickest.

I do add warm water to the kibble in each bowl and several times a week I split one can of food among the girls and add it to the kibble. I don’t feed canned food every day, but use it as a special treat. I give a whole CANIDAE Snap Biscuit® treat to the girls for a midday snack or a “welcome home” treat when I get home from work. Water bowls are kept outside for obvious reasons; if you own Labs, you know what I am talking about.  Labs love water – they love to drink it, play in it, drip it all over your floors and come up on your lap after they’ve had a big drink of water and “share the love” with you.

This feeding routine has worked for me and my pets for years. Every family has a different routine that works for them, and I would love to hear how you feed CANIDAE and FELIDAE to your pet family.


  1. Great article on feeding routines for pets. I have four dogs (3 small - two Norwich Terriers and a Bichon Frise, and one extra large Airedale. I have used Canidae All Life Stages for all of them. I would be interested in trying different Canidae foods, but am afraid that sampling different items would possibly cause gastric problems, introducing different foods (even though the brand is the same.) We feed morning and evening, too and measure. Our female Norwich is hyper and never seems to gain weight. We feed all the small dogs the same amount. Being picky is not a problem, as they all wolf down the food. I have purchased the plastic bowls designed to slow down consumption, but they make little difference, as they all still eat like there's no tomorrow. I think Canidae is the best dog food available.

  2. We definitely have to try that food! We have at least one picky eater in our brood.

  3. Sure sounds like Canidae is a great food to feed. If only there was somewhere closer to buy the food. It is an hour's drive for us. But it sure sounds like your doggies and kitties like the food. Take care and have a great day.

  4. Hi--appreciated this article. I have three dogs: a female rottie who inhales her food, and a border collie and a queensland mix. I feed Canidae kibble twice a day and often mix in a little chicken breast, cottage cheese, and canned. (Only my picky eater queensland gets canned mixed in) The dog trainer I worked with, like you, suggested adding water to the kibble. I understand the rationale, but wonder if it doesn't stick to their teeth more than the dry and maybe contribute to teeth problems down the line? I've always wondered about this--any ideas? I really enjoy the frequent articles--thanks for your help!

  5. Don't worry about your dogs eating too fast and not chewing their food. The stomach acid will take care of breaking down the kibble just fine. Adding water to the food will not make the food so soft that it will stick to their teeth, but if you can brush their teeth if needed. You only have to brush the outside surfaces of the teeth as the tounge takes care of the inside surfaces. I have enjoyed reading all the comments. Keep it up.

  6. Marg - I would check online, sells Canidae and with a prime account the shipping would be free. I know there are also a few online pet stores that will set up a shipping schedule for you so it will come to you automatically. Your pets are worth it!


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