Earlier this month we were sent some cans of Hills Ideal Balance Dog Food from our friends at PetShopBowl to try out with our dog, Shortie. (For those of you who haven't read about Shortie yet, I introduced him to all my readers in the following blog post).
Shortie is a good dog and isn't an overly fussy eater; although he does have his favourites and it is pretty obvious when he likes something; an empty, licked clean bowl says it all! Although our cats do prefer it when he is a little picky as they will steal a few bites should he decide he's had enough...
Normally Shortie is fed twice a day, once around breakfast time and once in the early evening. He has a similar sized bowl of food each time, usually a mixture of dry and wet food; the majority of which is dry. (As he's an older dog, having more dry dog food helps to keep his teeth in a reasonable condition... at least that's the theory! The wet food is there mostly to encourage him to eat the dry food as he's usually a little reluctant to tuck in without it!)
The food we were sent was the "Tender Chicken and Vegetables" flavour of Hill's Ideal balance. This is a complete dog food and can be fed as is and doesn’t need to be mixed with dry food. However for Shortie we decided to keep feeding him a mix of wet and dry, with the Ideal balance replacing his regular wet food selection.
The can has a welcome "ring-pull" for easy opening. It's a simple and common thing, but the number of canned products of animal food that still don't do this and force you to use a can-opener (and often the same one you use for your regular "human food") is surprising. On opening the can you are greeted with a smell which isn't unlike that of chicken soup. (And is quite pleasant!)
Dishing out a portion into his bowl and you see a mixture of meat and vegetables in a gravy style sauce. The vegetables are very obvious and identifiable as carrots and peas. It also looked like it had barley in it, but looking on the ingredients it looks like this is probably brown rice. The meat is largely cubed and pink (despite the flavour, the meat is actually a mix of chicken and pork) and there is plenty of it.
All in all the appearance is good and pleasing to the eye, not that Shortie cares about that. Before letting him eat he has a handful of dry food mixed in.
He has been trialling Hill's Ideal Balance for the past few weeks. His reaction to his first bowl was to polish it off! I think the bowl was cleaner at the end of it than before the food was put in it! (This of course annoyed the cats who had hoped to sneak a few nibbles while no-one was looking!)
Subsequent meals have been similar; when he eats he more often than not leaves a clean bowl. Like I said at the beginning of this, it is obvious when Shortie likes something - and it is obvious that this has quickly become a favourite of his. For a dog Shortie's size it's recommended for him to have one and a half cans a day; but as he's fed a mix of wet and dry food a can lasts between one and two days - or up to four meals worth!
As a dog owner I have to praise the appearance, smell and composition of the food. It looks and smells like a quality product and one I'd be happy to recommend to other dog owners.