At Unique Pets we believe in offering top quality, healthy dog food options for your pet and we cater for all breeds, large and small. With years of experience behind us we know that providing a quality diet will help your dog stay in prime condition, which means you will both benefit from fewer visits to the vet. We have seen many dogs with a variety of health-related issues – from skin conditions and itching to fussy-eating and bowel problems – all vastly improve once put on a decent diet. And we can usually encourage even the fussiest eaters to get interested in dinner time!
What do dogs eat?
Let’s start with the facts: dogs are carnivores. Dogs have sharp teeth for tearing meat, short digestive tracts to process protein quickly and highly acidic stomachs to breakdown bacteria and bones, which means they can easily process their natural diet of whole prey. Over the years they have evolved as man’s best friend and have learnt to tolerate carbohydrates and vegetables, but they do not require either element in their diet. Whether you choose a raw, wet or dry diet for your dog, we therefore recommend one that follows either the whole prey diet or is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and vegetables. We have scoured the market for you and only stock the best dog food, so please read through this section to understand your options, or better still come and talk to us in our shops at either Aylesbury or Winslow.
The most natural way to feed your dog is to replicate the whole prey diet with raw meat and bones, also known as a BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), in the ratio of 80% meat, 10% bones and 10% offal. Some people like to add vegetables, and you can see the reasons why here. Many manufacturers will also add botanicals and oils for holistic health, but equally you can choose a basic mix and add any supplements yourself to suit your dog.
We have developed our own brand, Unique Raw, to address some specific issues which we are hearing from our customers in store. We follow the 80/10/10 approach and do not add vegetables, herbs or any supplements to our food so that it is suitable for all dogs. Some of our recipes contain only 5% bone for the dogs who find 10% too much, while other recipes contain up to 20% bone for dogs who can tolerate a higher level, and we also have a bone-free mince which can be added to complete meals. We offer a number of chicken-free options, as that is the most common protein allergy for dogs, and our recipes contain 10% heart so they are suitable for cats as well.
We also stock a variety of other raw food brands including Nutriment, Natures Menu, Benyfit, Natural Instinct, Paleo Ridge, We Love Raw, Easy Raw Dog Food, Furry Feasts and Raw Factory. The simplest way to start is to purchase “complete” meals, where the ratios are already calculated for you and all the brands offer their own ready-made complete meals in a variety of handy portions, ranging from 200g to 1.4kg. Alternately, if you would like to try your hand at making your own combinations, particularly if your dog requires a specific diet, bring him in so that we can weigh him and create a personalised meal plan for you. We will advise on how much meat, bones and offal is needed in each meal and help you choose from the selection of free flow minces, chunks of meat, bones and offal.
Although we advocate raw food as being the best for your dog, we understand that there are often reasons why it is not suitable for your hound or lifestyle. In order to ensure that your dog still receives the best quality food, we would recommend a high quality wet food instead. Similar to the complete meals in raw, wet food tins and trays provide your dog with all the goodness he needs, but the food has been processed so that it can be stored in a cupboard and therefore has lost some of the nutrients. The varieties we stock will also include an amount of carbohydrates to act as a filler, but we can advise on grain free options if your dog is intolerant to cereals.
Alternately you can give your dog a high quality dry food, also known as kibble. Like the wet food options, we only stock the best dry foods, many of which follow the whole prey diet and are very low in carbohydrates or vegetable fillers. We can advise on the best options for your dog and the quantity that you should be feeding at each meal. Find out more about how the different types of kibble are made here.
Whichever option of dog food you prefer – raw, wet or dry – we would also recommend some recreational dog snacks such as bones, tendons or dried chews to keep your dog’s teeth in good condition: click here for more information.
To discuss your options further, please bring your dog in store and ask for a personalised meal plan.
Please click on the images below to link to our recommended brands. Don’t just take our word for it, you can check out the nutritional value of most commercial dog food at an independent website: www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk