Neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring


I am extremely fussy about my dogs food. I cook for them but also supplement their diet with dry food (for behavioural rather than nutritional reasons) . But because it needs to meet so many of my requirements I’ve only managed to find three dry food producers who made it to my shortlist. The food needs to be grain-free because I don’t want any fillers (rice, maize, other cheap carbs sources)-not because I believe dogs can’t eat grains at all. The meat must be good quality. The fruit, veg and herbs need to be varied and their presence in the food justified. The food needs to be made locally with ecological considerations. So, I asked my dogs to test Fish for Dogs dry food (one of the three shortlisted). They do samples, so I ordered all available ones.


Alas, none of the samples got eaten. Lily had a sniff and decided it wasn’t for her. Brian picked some up but spat it out and left it on the floor for me to take care of. Every single sample got rejected in the same fashion, even the fish jerky was only consumed reluctantly by Brian after having been tossed in the air a few times. Shame, because it seems to be good, healthy and good value for money.


Good quality food is often less attractive to dogs as it’s not artificially scented and has no sugars (which dogs crave, like people), but this one was definitely a fail for my dogs. They like fish cooked by me, so I’m not too bothered. And the wrapping was very popular!

All the wrappings got thoroughly mauled, actually.


Brian, as always, carried on chewing them so long that Lily got bored.


So, even though I still believe it is a good choice I will stick to Eden Holistic Pet Food. And cooking, which is, in my opinion, the best way to provide the highest quality meat, vegetables, fruit and herbs for my dogs. It’s also cheaper if you make friends with your butcher, buy odd cuts (less popular and more nutritious), plan ahead to waste nothing and find new ways of supplying your larder (friends who hunt, Asian shops, online retailers of odd cuts/offal, growing herbs at home and vegetables in your garden).



19 thoughts on “Neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring

  1. Lol! Will look out for Eden food at Kennelgate actually. Mum warms the dry kibbles in the microwave, just enough to “wake” the scent. All cats are supposed to love Whiskas-mine don’t. Just as well actually since it’s not one of the better foods…great post!

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    1. Thank you 🙂 The problem is, I have too many boxes to tick. Most good quality dry food is fine for dogs (better than bad quality home made) but I don’t really want their salmon to be flown over from Canada, apples from New Zealand and pigs ears from China. Big corporations also pay a lot for marketing and it makes their food more expensive than the same (or better) quality food produced by a relatively unknown, local producer. Though, to be honest, I’d rather pay a lot if there was a reason (like, they support cruelty-free farming or animal shelters). I overthink things (might have mentioned it before) 🙂

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      1. Lol! But I also think it’s worth paying a little extra for a clear conscience…reducing food miles and supporting the local community etc. That way you are hopefully getting better quality produce…there’s nothing wrong with over thinking when it comes to your animals’ welfare-think I may have said that before too…: )

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    1. They like the cooked food, but I’m sure the dry option (if they could choose themselves) would be the cheapest, supermarket quality food full of preservatives and artificial flavourings. Kind of McDonald’s for dogs 🙂

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      1. Same with my cats -they actively dislike the expensive, high quality Science Diet food with which we replace their usual food during Passover. Fortunately, it’s only 8 days every year that they have to suffer, and I suffer looking at them hardly eating.

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      2. my cats like expensive food-for a week, then they decide it’s horrible so we need to get something else, Ulysses doesn’t like cooked food apart from fish, Charlie hates fish but loves chicken livers and beef…cats are difficult, they really are (and I’m simple, so I have a blog about dogs!) 🙂

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      3. With me! I am the main chief cat in this house! And as you know by living with your cats, sometimes cats pretend to lose when it serves their purpose to make others think that they won. Cats are clever and sometimes devious.

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  2. I cooked for Sally, which extended her life by a year when all the experts were wearing their coffin faces. We lost her Saturday night, and while I would have naturally preferred that she live another three or four decades, I have to admit that the Borrowed Year was an exceptional one. It’s all thanks to Puppy Soup–chicken in bone broth with veggies that provide the mineral/nutrient profile dogs need. (She did leave the peas until the very last, but she ate them.)

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  3. Hello Alex! We were looking for your post about cooking for Lily and Brian, but we couldn’t find it. Could you post the link or post some more of how you cook for your Woofies? We ask because our Human Mommy has started cooking for us and it is the best thing ever! Last night we had a mixture of organic chicken, quinoa, carrot puree, giblet puree, and finely crushed eggshells. We really want to encourage Human Mommy on her quest to becoming a canine chef. Any advice or recipes you could share would be much appreciated. Woofs and Wags, Cosmo and Stella

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      1. Hah! My cats do whatever they want 🙂 What I cook is high in protein, so it won’t harm them, Charlie loves chicken livers, so he always eats a bit from dogs’ bowls before he eats his own. And he never touches any veg…The cats will always get more protein/fat and less veg, but the principle is similar (so it’s easy to use what I cook for everyone as I don’t add any grains, the seeds are added to the dogs’ bowl anyway). My cats are quite fussy, but offal and fish are always a hit with them 🙂

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