The Best White Fish Dog Food (Top 8 Seafood Recipes in 2021)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Whitefish Recipe Overall: Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food
“This limited ingredient formula contains good protein and fat levels that are ideal for all breeds, sizes and ages. It’s a low sodium diet that is loaded with essential heart-friendly fatty acids and Vitamins B6 & B12.”

Best For Dogs with Skin Allergies: Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food
“This is a nutrient-rich dog food formulated to promote lean muscle tone, support healthy coat and skin, and improve your dog’s overall health. It’s 100% poultry-free which makes it ideal for dogs with extra sensitive skin.”

Best Treat With Whitefish: Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats
“Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats has great ingredients and nutrients including high protein and low calories. You can give your pup a little more treat daily without being worried about his calorie in-take.”

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White fish is a versatile piece of fish meat that has many health benefits. It fulfills more than one function in a dog food – it’s a great protein, and it’s also an unrivaled source of healthy fats and oils. It’s packed with B complex vitamins which help fight inflammation in your dog’s body and boost their immune system to fight infections.

It tends to be quite tasty and has fewer reported allergies or intolerances than beef or chicken. While Salmon is a popular seafood choice for some dog owners, it can be an expensive choice of fish. Whitefish is a great alternative with amazing health benefits and a more budget-friendly price.

Product Name
Best Whitefish Recipe Overall
Best for Dogs with Skin Allergies
Best Treat With Whitefish
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Zignature Whitefish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 25lb
Wellness CORE 88414 Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Ocean Whitefish, Herring & Salmon, 26-Pound Bag
Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Meal Recipe Oven-Baked Dog Treats
Rating
Our Rating 91 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
Contains whitefish and whitefish meal - a double dose of a single protein source
Incredibly high levels of Omega fatty acids to maintain well-nourished and healthy skin & coat
High in protein and low in calories providing extra energy without the fear of unnecessary weight gain
Pro 2
Very good protein and fat levels for all breeds, sizes, and ages
Significant amount of taurine, DHA, and Vitamin E for a healthy heart and sharp mind
Packed with premium quality wholesome ingredients filled with fiber to aid in digestion
Best Whitefish Recipe Overall
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Zignature Whitefish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 25lb
Rating
Our Rating 91 / 100
Pro 1
Contains whitefish and whitefish meal - a double dose of a single protein source
Pro 2
Very good protein and fat levels for all breeds, sizes, and ages
Custom Button
Best for Dogs with Skin Allergies
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Wellness CORE 88414 Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Ocean Whitefish, Herring & Salmon, 26-Pound Bag
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Incredibly high levels of Omega fatty acids to maintain well-nourished and healthy skin & coat
Pro 2
Significant amount of taurine, DHA, and Vitamin E for a healthy heart and sharp mind
Custom Button
Best Treat With Whitefish
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Meal Recipe Oven-Baked Dog Treats
Rating
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
High in protein and low in calories providing extra energy without the fear of unnecessary weight gain
Pro 2
Packed with premium quality wholesome ingredients filled with fiber to aid in digestion
Custom Button
Sources researched
33
Sources researched
Customer reviews
21,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
34
Hours spent testing
Products tested
8
Products tested

Best White Fish Dog Food

Here are our top recommendations for the best white fish dog food on the market:

  1. Best White Fish Dog Food Overall: Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food
  2. Best for Dogs with Skin Allergies: Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food
  3. Best Treat With Whitefish: Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats
  4. Best for Joint Health: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
  5. Best Wet Food With Whitefish: Purina Beyond Grain Free Wet Dog Food
  6. Best Low-Protein Food: Wellness Complete Health Dog Food
  7. Best Whitefish Recipe for Seniors: Diamond Naturals Grain Free Dog Food
  8. Best Value for Money: Canidae Grain Free Dog Food

1. Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Best White Fish Dog Food Overall: Balanced low sodium diet with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and a spectrum of vitamins and minerals

Zignature Whitefish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 25lb
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PROS

  • Contains whitefish and whitefish meal – a double dose of a single protein source
  • Very good protein and fat levels for all breeds, sizes, and ages
  • Avoids poultry, potatoes, and other common allergy ingredients
  • The vegetables included have great antioxidant properties and add some fiber

CONS

  • Slightly pricey

This limited ingredient formula uses a single source of protein combined with premium carbohydrates sources which are packed with nutrients, and are quite easy to digest.

The double-dose whitefish in this recipe brings in a total protein content of 29%, enough to support muscle development and supply energy for their daily functions. 14% fat content is metabolized into easy access energy without being too high so as to go to waste or cause weight gain for less active pups. It has a significant amount of taurine which, when paired with low sodium content, can do wonders for your dog’s heart.

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With the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids in this limited ingredient formula, your pooch will see benefits such as a healthier, more shiny coat, supple and moisturized skin, and easier digestion. It’s also slightly higher in fiber than most dog foods which is at 420 calories a cup.

It’s a grain-free dog food, which means it does not contains any artificial ingredients, and also makes sure to avoid common allergens such as chicken by-products and potato, which can sneak into other foods lower down the list. One protein and two carbohydrates sources are all you’ll find in this one, and it completely rounds up his nutrition.

2. Wellness Core Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Best for Dogs with Skin Allergies: Great amount of omega fatty acids and 100% poultry-free formula recommended for extra sensitive dogs

Wellness CORE 88414 Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Ocean Whitefish, Herring & Salmon, 26-Pound Bag
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PROS

  • Multiple fish-based protein sources, contributing to high protein and fat levels
  • Incredibly high levels of Omega fatty acids to maintain well-nourished and healthy skin & coat
  • No hidden poultry ingredients
  • Significant amount of taurine, DHA, and Vitamin E for a healthy heart and sharp mind

CONS

  • One of the more pricey foods

This grain free dog food is recommended for dogs with extra sensitive skin who are particularly sensitive to poultry food ingredients. With 34% protein and 15% fat, it has just the right amount to maintain a lean body mass and muscle tone while providing enough fuel for your dog’s daily activities.  

It’s higher in Omega fatty acid content compared to dog food products in this price range. It’s fortified with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and also contains a small amount of glucosamine and chondroitin, so if you have a breed that tends to suffer from joint complaints, that would be a great addition. It’s also quite a bit higher in fiber than other dog foods, promoting healthy digestion.

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There are three different proteins in this grain free dog food – whitefish, herring meal, and salmon meal, with whitefish as the main ingredient that provides a concentrated dose of protein and healthy fats.

Having three fish sources means plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy and properly nourished. With the addition of extra vitamin E, this dog food will have your dog’s hair and skin feeling soft, supple, and less prone to allergic reactions and itching.

3. Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats

Best Treat With Whitefish: Oven-baked crunchy goodies that are great for your dog’s teeth and gums, high in protein and low in calories 

Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Meal Recipe Oven-Baked Dog Treats
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PROS

  • High in protein and low in calories providing extra energy without the fear of unnecessary weight gain
  • Good Omega fatty acid levels as added supplement for your dog’s regular dog food
  • Packed with premium quality wholesome ingredients filled with fiber to aid in digestion

CONS

  • May have a strong fishy smell

Earthborn Holistic Whitefish Dog Treats are made of good, premium quality ingredients containing a significant amount of protein while containing very few calories. They’re intended as in-between snacks or treats to give your pup when training.

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Great Ingredients & Nutrients 

Whitefish meal is the main ingredient, combined with potatoes, peas, and krill meal. This amazing blend of food ingredients contain Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. Apples, blueberries, cranberries, carrots, and spinach are great fiber and antioxidant sources which help boost your dog’s immune system.

4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food

Best for Joint Health: Specifically formulated with added joint fortifying supplements to help support a large breed dog’s frame

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Fish and Oatmeal 30-lb
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PROS

  • High-quality protein from deboned whitefish which helps build and maintain healthy muscles
  • Contains healthy grains, which are easily digestible
  • High levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for keeping joints strong
  • Contains L-carnitine, which helps manage weight and metabolism

CONS

  • This food is quite low in protein, which may not suit some dogs (but on the other hand, would also be a good option for pups who need a low-protein diet)

This dog food contains whole whitefish, combined with wholesome grains, garden veggies, and antioxidant-rich fruits. It is specifically formulated for large breed dogs which is why you’ll find great amounts of glucosamine, calcium and phosphorus – all intended to support a large dog’s body frame by strengthening the bones and joints.

It also contains proprietary LifeSource Bits which promotes healthy digestion for your pup. 

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Quality Ingredients, Lower In Protein 

The two sources of protein in this dog food are whitefish and Menhaden fish meal – both are great sources of essential fatty acids. Grains often get a bad rap, but this dog food contains high-quality, wholesome ones – oatmeal, barley, and brown rice. These are packed with nutrients and contains no wheat, soy, or corn, which are allergy and indigestion culprits. 

Added Vitamins, Minerals, & Probiotics 

Blue Buffalo has created their own special blend of probiotics and antioxidants. You’ll find smaller, darker kibbles dotted between the regular kibble in your pup’s bowl – these are their LifeSource Bits. The contents of these little health-bombs have been chosen by certified animal nutritionists, so you know there’s a bunch of good stuff in them. 

They’ve also been cold-formed, meaning they have been exposed to as little heat as possible during the manufacturing process. This helps them keep as much nutritional value as they possibly can, adding an extra dose of goodness to every bite your pooch takes.

5. Purina Beyond Grain Free Wet Dog Food

Best Wet Food With Whitefish: Amazing blend of Alaskan Cod and Salmon offering a blast of essential fatty acids for skin & coat health 

Purina Beyond Grain Free Pate Wet Dog Food, Grain Free Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Sweet Potato - (12) 13 oz. Cans
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PROS

  • Alaskan Cod and Salmon combination, both great sources of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Limited ingredient formulation with just 9 simple ingredients to avoid allergens
  • Natural grain-free ingredients that are protein-rich and easy to digest
  • Does not contain low quality food fillers usually found in wet food like carageenan

CONS

  • Contains chicken ingredients, so may not be suitable for all dogs

This canned dog food creates the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in this wet formula with whitefish and salmon as its main protein sources. Both animal protein produce concentrated amounts of amino acids and essential fatty acids which promotes healthy muscle development and well-nourished skin and coat.

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Multiple Protein Sources 

This dog food contains 8% protein, which is pretty average for a wet food. It contains 6 protein sources, of which 3 are fish – ocean whitefish, fish broth, and salmon. Although “fish broth” is a little vague, the rest of the ingredients are good enough quality that we can assume that it’s decent stuff. The other 3 are chicken, liver, and turkey. It hasn’t been specified what kind of liver is in the food, but again, the food is free from by-products so you can guarantee its high quality.

Chelated Minerals For Easy Digestion 

Although wet food is generally more easily digested than dry food anyway, it’s good to see chelated minerals in this whitefish sweet potato flavor combination as these help keep everything flowing smoothly when it comes to digestion.

6. Wellness Complete Health Dog Food

Best Low-Protein Food: Proper nourishment for dogs who are suffering from kidney and liver issues

Wellness Natural Pet Food Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food, Whitefish & Sweet Potato, 30-Pound Bag
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PROS

  • Perfect for dogs on a low-protein diet who have kidney or liver issues
  • Good fat level for a low-protein food to maintain your dog’s fuel for day to day activities
  • Added vitamin A & E which supports vision and brain development
  • Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols to lock in flavor, texture, and nutrients

CONS

  • Slightly lower Omega 3 fatty acids than others
  • Contains potatoes, which may not agree with some pups

If your dog shows signs such as dehydration, lethargy, unexplained weight loss, vomiting, and loss of appetite, they may be suffering from kidney disease. This can only be diagnosed by a vet, and it’s likely that he will recommend a low-protein diet. Kidneys play a very active role in metabolising protein, so a dog food that is lower in protein would be highly recommended for them.

This Complete Health formula has an interesting white fish sweet potato flavor combination which contains 22% protein and 12% fat. These numbers are low enough to take some strain off the kidneys (protein) and high enough to ensure your pooch is well-fueled throughout the day (fat).

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Low Protein, Moderate Fat 

Low-protein foods often come with a rather low fat count. This is okay if you’re dealing with a less active dog who isn’t using much of that fat for energy, but if your pup is still quite energetic but just happens to have kidney problems, you still want a decent amount of fat available for them to use. 

Limited Ingredient Recipe 

For pets who need special diets due to certain health conditions, a dog food with many ingredients can be harder to digest and puts a little more strain on the digestive system. Dog foods with limited ingredient formula helps reduce the amount of work the body has to do, leaving your pup with more energy and less lethargy.

7. Diamond Naturals Grain Free Dog Food

Best Whitefish Recipe for Seniors: Formulated for All Life stages with consideration for aging dogs who need extra immune and digestive support

Diamond Naturals Grain Free Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Fish 28Lb
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PROS

  • Contains DHA, which is great for keeping older pets’ brains sharp
  • Great quality ingredients and fairly limited ingredient
  • Lower in calories than many others, which helps when your older pet is burning fewer calories during their day
  • Good levels of Omega fatty acids

CONS

  • “Fish meal” is a little vague
  • Doesn’t contain glucosamine, so you may need to supplement with chews

This whitefish sweet potato combination from Diamond Naturals, isn’t exactly aimed at seniors, but it’s loaded with nutrients in all the right amounts for an aging pooch. Aside from having just the right amount of AAFCO dog food nutrient recommendations, this grain free dog food is also loaded with supplements that boost the immune system and support brain health.

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DHA To Keep Brains Ticking 

DHA, although usually found in puppy food, is a great brain supplement. As fluffs age, they do so mentally as well as physically, and DHA helps keep their brain in optimal condition. It’s an Omega fatty acid, so you won’t need to worry that it’s some foreign substance in your pet’s food. It’s perfectly healthy and useful. 

Whitefish – sweet potato is an excellent flavor combination with just the right blend of protein and omega 3 fatty acids that helps build the muscle and maintain healthy skin and coat.

8. Canidae Grain Free Dog Food

Best Value for Money: Complete, affordable, and well-balanced dog food with added supplements that support immune, joint, and digestive health

CANIDAE Under The Sun Grain Free Adult Dog Food With Whitefish 23.5lbs
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PROS

  • Limited ingredient but still contains wholesome ingredients
  • Good protein and fat counts for dogs of most life stages
  • No chicken, red meat, or grains

CONS

  • Lower in Omega fatty acids than others
  • A little on the pricey side

This grain free dog food is made from premium quality protein and farm-grown vegetables which creates a well-rounded nutritional profile based on AAFCO dog food nutrient requirements. Whitefish is the only protein in this dog food (in two different forms), and there’s a multitude of good carbs that will provide both slow-burning energy and a dose of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals.

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High-Quality Limited Ingredient 

Whitefish meal and whitefish are the two protein sources in this limited ingredient formula, and the main carbohydrates (as well as fiber) are garbanzo beans, yellow peas, and green peas. Lower down the list we have quite a few other fruits and veg, including pumpkin, butternut, blueberries, apples, carrots, and some herbs such as sage, rosemary, and cinnamon for flavour. 


How to Choose the Best Dog Food with Whitefish

1) Protein (Whitefish) Level & Quality

This is, naturally, an important part of choosing the best dog food with whitefish. Some of these foods will contain whitefish, some have whitefish meal, but all of them should have their whitefish ingredient first on the list, or near the beginning of the list. 

The protein level will depend on what the food is best for – a protein level for seniors will be a little different to that for puppies, as an example. We’ve only reviewed foods that we believe have an appropriate protein count for the pup they’re aimed at, and of course, have whitefish as their main protein source. 

It may be that the dog food contains more than one protein source. This isn’t a problem at all, but whitefish should definitely up near the top of the ingredient list, if not the very first ingredient on the list. 

2) Healthy Carbohydrates

As much as quality protein source is crucial, it’s just as essential that it is backed up by healthy carbohydrates that are easy for your pup’s digestive system to handle. Some breeds are more prone to fussy tummies than others, but no matter what dog you have it’s worth making sure they’re getting good carbs in, as these will be used to give them sustained energy. 

We’re looking at things like fruits, vegetables, and grains that contain no gluten (rice, barley, sorghum, millet, oats and oatmeal). Potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, and chickpeas are often used as the primary carb sources in high-quality foods, and are good things to see on the list. Fruits usually come in lower down, along with some extra veggies, and add a nice dose of antioxidants and vitamins. We’ve made sure only the good quality stuff finds its way onto this list.

3) Omega Fatty Acid Levels

One of the bonuses of having fish as the main protein source is that they’re generally loaded with healthy fats and oils. These do great things for your pup’s skin and coat, keeping them hydrated, moisturised, and soft. 

The level of Omega 3 fatty acids in a dog food depends on the quality of the sources. We’ve made sure all the foods we’ve reviewed here are high in Omega fatty acids, so your pup will get a skin and fur boost as well as some digestive help. 

Many of these foods have extra fat and oil sources added on top of the fish, which is great. As long as they are identified and not labelled vaguely, such as “animal fat”, then it’s good to go.

4) Added Probiotics, Vitamins, & Minerals

It’s always a good idea to feed your pet a kibble that is not only loaded with premium quality ingredients, but has some extra health-promoting stuff added. All good protein and carbohydrate sources will contain nutrients that are essential to your dog’s wellbeing, but added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics will help even more. 

A guaranteed analysis list will usually show extra vitamins added, and most dog foods that add probiotics will specify it on their packaging. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that keep your pet’s digestive system healthy and running smoothly. Other things that we’ve considered under this category include things like glucosamine and chondroitin, L-carnitine, taurine, and anything else that’s found as extras on the guaranteed analysis list. 


Questions & Answers

Q: What exactly is whitefish?

A: This can be a bit of a confusing one, as “whitefish” doesn’t actually refer to one fish species in particular. It’s more a collective term for a variety of bottom-dwelling fish with white flesh, so while it’s a decent quality fish to see on a dog food label, there could be any number of different species of fish in it.

Whitefish can contain haddock, hake, cod, and pollock, as well as various other species. It is a distinctly separate type of fish from the oily fish types, though, such as salmon. Although it’s slightly less oily, it still contains plenty of good stuff and is a more affordable alternative to salmon, which gives it a thumbs up.

Q: What makes whitefish a better option than other fish?

A: Although whitefish is a fairly general term and it’s hard to tell exactly what species are in it, it’s nevertheless still packed with protein and healthy fats and oils. It’s generally low in saturated fat (the bad kind), and contains vitamins and minerals such as niacin, selenium, and vitamins B6 and B12

It’s also a good option for pets who tend to suffer from food allergies and intolerances. While it can’t be said that there are no dogs who will react badly to it, fish is one of the proteins that has the fewest reported allergies and developed intolerances. Be careful, though – many dog foods that are advertised as whitefish flavour contain sneaky chicken or beef ingredients (such as chicken fat), so you’ll need to check them out before buying if your pooch does have intolerances. 

Whitefish also seems to be particularly tasty to dogs, perhaps because of the variety of different fish it contains. All in all, it’s a healthy, protein and healthy-fat-packed, tasty, and affordable option. While salmon is a super protein source, it can often be quite a bit more pricey than whitefish, so this is a fantastic alternative for those pet parents who want to feed their pooch fish but can’t justify the cost of salmon.

Q: What else should I look for in whit fish dog food?

A: If you’re choosing a whitefish flavoured dog food for your pet, you’ll need to check out some of the other things in the food to make sure you’re getting something healthy, easily digestible and worth the buy. 

Other protein sources in addition to whitefish are totally fine, and should be whole, named animal sources. Whitefish should be the prominent protein, though, but it’s not a problem to have mixed proteins, as long as your pup isn’t sensitive to them. 

Carbohydrates are necessary to give your dog sustained energy throughout the day. They should consist of gluten-free grains (no wheat, corn, or soy here), and fruits and vegetables. Starchy vegetables and legumes are the best kinds as they are fairly slow-burning. These also contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are great health-boosting elements. High levels of Omega fatty acids are also essential. 

Chelated minerals are great to see as they’ll assist your pup with digestion. Depending on your pet’s needs, things like glucosamine, chondroitin, and L-carnitine can be wonderful additions.

Q: What are some benefits of feeding my dog fish instead of other protein sources?

A: Fish is a fantastic protein source as it’s essentially two in one – protein and healthy fats in one little fishy package. This makes it a superb protein option as it requires fewer other ingredients to be added to bring up the protein and fat contents. 

Fish is highly nutritious, flavourful, and on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to food allergies and intolerances. Chicken and beef are two of the most common allergy culprits, so avoiding those can help your pup’s nutrition by quite a bit.

Q: Are there any risks of choosing fish over other meat?

A: Some concerns have been raised about the levels of heavy metals in fish. The good news is that most fish that have any significant levels of heavy metals in them are “long-lived’ fish, such as tuna and swordfish, most of which are not included in the “whitefish” label. 

Short-lived fish (which are found in whitefish) very rarely have any measurable amounts of heavy metals in them, and so wouldn’t present any kind of problem to your pet’s system. Of course, every dog reacts differently, so if you’re switching your pet over to a seafood flavour for the first time, be aware of how he reacts to it. 

Most likely, though, the biggest thing you’ll need to watch out for here is a serious case of fish-breath!

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.