Before we begin, I would like to say everyone has their own opinion on what is and is not good to feed their JRT. I am in no way proposing that your way is wrong, and that my way is right. I am simply presenting some facts, and various alternatives out there. Do with them what you will, as long as you are keeping your JRT's best interest in mind, then all will be fine.
There are various opinions on "dog food" vs "real food". There are those that are against one totally, and ones that seem to feel that we are, in our choices, doing irreparable harm to our JRT's.
I have my own opinions, and experience with this subject, and I will share that information at the end of this article. I would like to first present the facts from each side, so that you may form your own educated opinion.
Canned vs Dry
The battle still rages on about the use of each type of food. Each one has its supporters and detractors. Many veterinarians have even weighed into the conversation, with cited medical reasons that might make each type of food good or bad.
One particular area that most all agree on is the content of grains in the forms of corn, wheat, and soybeans are not good. These ingredients, in large quantities in dry food can cause a multitude of health problems and complications. Problems can include, but not be limited to:
Excessive Shedding and/or Dandruff
Loose Stools or Diarrhea
Gassiness and Flatulence
Itchy skin with Excessive Chewing and Rubbing
Also keep in mind that the grain that is used in dry dog food is what is deemed as not suitable for human consumption. So, not only is it not a good ingredient for your JRT to begin with, but it is ruled as not fit for you. Do you really like the thought of that? I know I don't.
Canned food has its cons as well.
All the commercials you see show the ingredients as being delicious and savory. What they do not tell you is that meat, as the grain in dry food, is considered not suitable for human consumption. And, if that is not bad enough, the source of that meat may very well could be from a diseased, disabled, dying, or already dead animal, when it arrived for slaughter. It would never pass USDA regulations for humans, so they process it for your companion. All I can say is YUCK!
Also factor in that, as with our food, anything an animal was fed while living is passed on to your JRT. That includes all the inoculations they received, such as heavy use of antibiotics, to prevent disease and heavy use of growth hormones. After ingesting meats containing these medicines long enough, it will have a definite adverse affect on your JRT.
As if all that is not enough to turn you against canned food, the one thing that you need to keep in mind is that studies have shown that feeding canned food to your JRT will increase the problem of a picky eater. Once you have a picky eater, you pretty much have one for life. So, if you can prevent the development of this to begin with, then both you and your JRT will have lower stress levels when it comes meal time.
The Greasy Fat
Make sure you are incorporating plenty of fats into your JRT's diet. They need fat, to an extent, in their diet for their overall health. Your JRT needs it for metabolism, energy, nutrient transportation, cell integrity, strong immunity, and for a healthy, shiny coat.
The best fats for your JRT are saturated fats, which come primarily from animal sources. Although unsaturated fats, obtained through plant sources, are good for your JRT as well, the saturated fats provide more sources of energy for your JRT than the carbohydrate fats.
The two most important fats your JRT needs are the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. If you chose to supplement your JRT's diet with a form of oil, the best is an oil from a natural animal source such as fish oil No matter what type of oil or fat you chose to feed your JRT, it is essential that the label reads that it is free from heavy metals, PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls) and other contaniments. Avoid cooked fats, such as grease, and remember that a little bit will go a long way.
Now, by real foods I am not saying all "people" food. In this context real food is being used to mean unprocessed, such as dry and wet dog food are. Mainly, what is meant by real food is lean meat, and some vegetables....no grains. Cooked fresh meat, from a lean animal source, provides most of the nutrition that your JRT needs for growth, energy, and all around health. Adding in select vegetables with this diet will give them the added nutrients they need.
If you are so inclined, there are also an assortment of homemade dog food recipes that may be found by searching on the Internet. Although these do take time to make, in the long run, they are more healthy and nutritious for your JRT than anything you may find in a store bought brand.
My JRT girls are going on fourteen years old. From the time they were seven months old, they have been on an oatmeal breakfast and baked chicken breast with green beans for dinner diet. They have never had to take any vitamins or additional supplements, and their only health problems are the usual for their breed and age...back problems. Their vet has always said they were healthy and appeared well, so he did not see a problem with their diet. So, real food was definitely the way to go, as far as I am concerned. They are happy, healthy, living proof of that.
So, it is up to you to decide what you feel is the best choice for your JRT. The best method for doing this is to experiment with all types of food, and see which works best for you and your JRT. The important thing is that your JRT lives a long, healthy life.