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It's been a while since I last wrote on dooyoo - a combination of various different things had seen my enthusiasm for the site rapidly decline - but after a much needed break, I'm glad to be back! And whilst I may have been away for some time, there are some things that just never change - and the lights of my life still remain to be my fantastic dogs.
Just incase you've forgotten about them (and don't worry, I won't tell them, they'd be hugely offended) - there's my lovely old bear Benson - an almost seven year old Bernese Mountain Dog who is starting to slow down a bit these days, and has a slightly calmer attitude and outlook on life than he once did, and then there is his 'little sister' Grace, the nuttiest dog I have ever met and is as far from gracious as you could possibly get - she's a four year old Rottweiler and continues to produce enough energy to power a small town.
Just as all is still the same in my world - nothing much has changed with them either. They still remain as tennis ball and frisbee obsessed as ever, they still firmly believe that everybody loves them as much as I do and appreciates being mugged for fuss and frisked for biscuits, and they still remain loyal to their one true love - food! They may not be the most intelligent dogs in the world, nor the most obedient or beautiful (although in my eyes, of course they are!) but if there's one thing they excel at, it's eating!
They love their grub - whether it be edible or absolutely not, whether it's something fresh and gourmet or something festering and rotten, they'll gladly chow it down like it's the first thing they've tasted in six months.
They don't get care what they eat - but fortunately (or unfortunately, as they might think) - I do!
Whilst I am happy to fill my face with Sainsburys Value and have never so much as looked at an ingredients list for my food in my life, I insist on proper nutrition for the dogs, and have the bar set high when it comes to their diets. After all, given all the joy and love they give me, it's the least I can do in return.
For some reason, still unbeknown to me, the likes of Bakers have dominated the dog food market ever since they were launched - and I can't help but wonder, if owners truly knew what was in these foods, then would they still be so keen to offer them up to their dogs? Many of the popular diets such as Pedigree, Bakers and Wagg are full of artificial junk and e-numbers, cheap fillers such as wheat and maize, they have a shockingly low meat content, some contain alleged carcinogenic (cancer causing) additives, and contrary to popular belief - they are actually more expensive than the better quality diets, since you have to feed copious amounts more, given the terrible low-grade ingredients that they contain.
I'm lucky with my dogs in that they do not have any specialist dietary requirements or allergies, and can do well and thrive on whatever diet I offer up to them - I stick with the high quality options, but do rotate brands according to whatever I can find on a good deal at the time - they're my 'bargain bin pups', as my husband likes to call them!
A food I buy again and again is this Fusspot kibble produced by the Barking Heads brand. A British based company, they create a variety of premium quality dry kibble diets for dogs (and cats, under their Meowing Heads brand), and amongst their selection is this salmon and potato kibble, designed for adult dogs aged 1 to 7 years.
As you've probably guessed by the name, the Fusspot variety is their diet aimed at fussy eaters - the fishy salmon flavour tends to be favoured by alot of dogs, and hence quite palatable to picky eaters. Fussiness certainly isn't something I encounter with Grace and Benson, but they adore fish so it's a good choice for them.
Salmon is the first ingredient in the food, accounting for 45% of the total ingredients - which is a far cry from the likes of Bakers and Pedigree, who include a pitiful 4% of the stated meat in their diets - and Barking Heads shuns the use of cheap cereal fillers such as wheat, rice and maize - and instead opts for the use of potato, sweet potato and a small amount of oats as a source of carbohydrates, tomato and seaweed for a variety of vitamins and minerals, and sunflower and salmon oils for a selection of essential fatty and omega acids, which play a vital role in supporting the joints and promotes healthy supple skin and soft shiny coat.
It contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and the food is presented in dry extruded oval shaped kibbles - approximately the size of a five pence piece - which make them suitably sized for all breeds of dogs, except the real biggies - the kibbles are adequate for Grace, but Benson - a big lad at almost 50kg - tends to wolf them down without quite as much chewing as I'd like. The hard, crunchy and slightly abrasive texture of the kibbles also aid dental health - helping to scrap the teeth free of plaque and tartar when crunched through, and the no added sugar formula further assists in promoting good oral health.
Price wise, the food is pretty standard for a premium range kibble - a 12kg bag retails for about £41, although smaller bag sizes are available, and there is even a large 20kg sack available if purchased direct from the manufacturers. I tend to purchase our bags online from VetUK, but it's available from popular pet store Jollyes (although not Pets At Home). The price may seem expensive initially, but when you take into consideration the recommended feeding allowance for a 15kg dog fed on Fusspot is just 200g, whereas the same weight dog would require 350g of Bakers - you can instantly see that Barking Heads is good value for money when compared, - especially considering it's a far superior diet.
Grace and Benson love any food - and Fusspot is no exception. The kibbles do smell very strongly but that just adds enjoyment for the dogs and they always eat their meals with enthusiasm (they'd have you believe they're only fed once in a blue moon, but I fed them twice daily, I promise!).
They have good coats anyway but I always notice a bit more of a mirror like shine to their fur when they've been on Fusspot for a couple of weeks - obviously due to the high salmon content of the food, which is naturally high in omega oils. They have cast iron stomachs - seriously I'm sure they could eat a vat of toxic waste without any side affects - so their digestion is unaffected when eating this food, but due to the easily digestible salmon/potato combo, and very few cereals (just a small amount of oats), it's a good option for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and because it's hypoallergenic, it's a sensible choice for dogs prone to skin irritations and itchiness too. Unlike a lot of the popular dog foods such as Bakers, none of the Barking Heads food, including Fusspot, contain any artificial additives or e-numbers which, just like children, can have an adverse affect on dogs behaviour - so if you've a hyper unruly hound, a change to a natural diet such as Barking Heads Fusspot could certainly help.
If you're looking for a natural, high quality, palatable dry dog food, I'd be happy to highly recommend this kibble to anyone - the ingredients are fantastic, the price is reasonable and the condition of the dogs really speaks for itself when they've been eating it.