Taking proper care of your dog means getting an ID tag, providing ample opportunities for exercise, performing regular grooming, always keeping fresh water available, and of course, feeding it a quality diet. Choosing what to feed your dog is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make for its health.
As a dog owner, you want to buy the best of the best for your canine companion in order to keep them healthy and happy for as long as possible. However, due to the abundance of alternatives, dog owners sometimes stress about which one to choose.
We are here to assist you in navigating these alternatives and selecting the best dog food for your pet. Even though the possibilities seem overwhelming, there are numerous well-formulated solutions available, and you will undoubtedly find something to meet your dog’s demands.
Consider Your Dog’s Age, Breed and Activity Level
When selecting a healthy pet dog food consider your dog’s physical characteristics, temperament, and general health. Puppies and breastfeeding moms require more calories each day than older dogs. Similarly, more active breeds require more calories than couch potato types thus feeding your dog the right sort and amount of food will help avoid health problems caused by obesity.
Although some manufacturers formulate healthy pet dog food based on breed, the majority of them just differentiate between small and big breed formulas. The differences are mostly in the kibble size, so you should choose something that your dog can eat comfortably and securely.
Read the Ingredients
Keep in mind that the label lists components by weight, and meats or meat meals are at the top since they contain a lot of water. Select a food that shows meat or a meat meal as the first component. Dogs are omnivores, and a vegetarian diet should be offered only in extreme cases (such as severe allergies).
“Meat” can refer to an animal’s skeletal muscle as well as tissue from the heart, diaphragm, and oesophagus, among other things. It can also mean fat and gristle, exactly like meat intended for human consumption. “Meat by-product,” on the other hand, refers to the non-meat components of an animal, which can include the lungs, kidneys, brain, blood, bone, and other organs. Hair, horns, teeth, or hooves should NOT be included in by-products evaluated to stringent AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) and FEDIAF (European Pet Food Industry Federation) standards. “Meat meal” refers to any product made from animal tissues.
You’ll also want to make sure that the first component is not a grain, tuber, or vegetable, such as ground corn. The fact that corn (when ground) is digestible does not imply that it has a high nutritional value. Corn has a poor protein level and an underwhelming vitamin and mineral content, and the only reason producers promote it is because it is cheap. Corn is not “bad” for dogs; nonetheless, do not believe advertising that touts its nutritional advantages.
Wet vs Dry Food
The main distinction between wet and dry food is the amount of water in each. While both types of dog food often include the same ingredients, dry is less costly and does not require refrigeration after opening. It also has a longer shelf life than the wet counterpart because of its low moisture content, which goes bad faster and must be refilled often. Wet food, on the other hand, typically contains more fresh ingredients and is available in a variety of tastes and textures to match your dog’s individual needs and preferences.
Understand the Buzzwords on the Packaging
Some companies employ deceptive marketing strategies to make their product appear more desirable to potential consumers, and it’s critical to comprehend the terminology on dog food packaging to avoid spending money on something that isn’t what it claims to be.
If a wet food product states that 90 percent of its total product is made up of protein, this does not account for water content, which can drastically diminish the nutritional value of the meal.
You should also keep an eye on terms like ‘dinner’ in dog feeds, which generally indicate that they are loaded with extra additives that might drastically reduce the product’s total protein level.
Assess If Grain-Free Food Is Right for Your Dog
If you suspect Fido has a food allergy and believe you should switch to a grain-free diet, consult your veterinarian first. Grains are not harmful to dogs unless they have a serious allergy, and very often you can avoid the higher prices that come with these formulations.
Do you have any idea if your dog has a food allergy or intolerance? Excessive licking of the paws, itching, vomiting, or diarrhoea are all symptoms that should be addressed by a veterinarian. Even when an allergy is verified, it is typically the major protein in the dish (such as chicken or beef) that causes it, not the grains. Consider your dog’s needs as an individual before succumbing to the hype—this includes gluten-free dog meals.
Do a Research on Your Brand of Choice
You’ve finally decided on a brand of dog food that you believe your dog would enjoy. Remember it’s also critical to do some research on the company to verify quality control and acceptable ingredient sources. These items are not needed to be included on the label; therefore, it is up to you to offer yourself some peace of mind.