If you are a dog owner, then you will completely understand how frustrating and hectic it could get to choose the best dog food for your pet.
When you have a pet in your house you actually opt for a big responsibility. They need love, care and proper nutrition for their healthy growth. So whenever it comes to dog food you have to analyze all the prospects before choosing the one for your darling pet.
Of course, the market is filled with a variety of brands and companies claim to offer the best dog food. However, the basic criteria for being the “best” revolves around the three basic features quality, affordability, and appeal.
If you are new in all this, then this piece of writing would be a great help for dog owners to make the right decisions when choosing food for their dogs.
Ingredients of Best Dog Food:
Mostly the dog owners have two options when it comes to feeding their dog, either they can go with the processed kibble or the wet food. Although, we admit that the dog food may not feel appealing to us, however, it contains all the necessary and healthy ingredients that would be essential for your pet.
Moreover, with the recent regulation over animal rights, the companies now take care of all the precautions while making food for the dogs. Not only has this but the food companies also passed their food through a variety of tests under strict veterinary supervision.
However, here the question is what makes a dog food best for your pet? Or what are the ingredients that we may find in the good dog food?
Well, basically the core concept of making a food for dogs is that they are strictly carnivores. So that makes the meat a major ingredient of the dog food, however, this is not it. The dog food also contains the other nutrients like fruits, grains, and vegetables for the complete nutrition.
The inclusion of fruit, vegetables, and grains in the food makes it filled with essential minerals, vitamins, and fibers. The inclusion of these healthy options makes the dog food more appropriate for your pet’s stomach.
Here’s one thing you have to keep in mind that the nutritional requirements of all the dogs are not same and you have to choose the food according to your pet nutritional requirements.
Nowadays the dog food makers formulating the food with the minimum nutritional requirements, however, it is always advisable to choose the food after consulting your dog vet.
One thing you need to understand is that the nutritional requirements of the dogs vary at the various stages of the dog’s life.
How to Get the Best Food for Your Dog?
Well, here are some of the rules that you have to follow while opting for the food for your dog. This will not only benefit your pet, but also ease you to take care of them.
Consider Your Vet:
It is always a healthy option to consult the experts before choosing the food for your pet.
It is a bare fact that dogs cannot describe their nutritional requirements nor do they choose their food. So we need an expert who has the knowledge regarding the nutritional requirements of the dog.
No matter what kind of food you choose for your dog, he will always love you, however, consulting the vet for the best food could make this a less daunting task.
Understanding the Diversity:
As we have discussed above that the food requirements for the dog vary with the different factors and you have to keep all the factors in mind before choosing the right food for your dog.
Even if you choose the right food today for them, their nutritional requirements will change over the period of time, and you have to change the food.
Do Size Matters?
If you are selecting the food for your puppy, then it would be advisable to consider the fact that either he is going to grow into a larger dog or the smaller one. The growth of the large dog species needs special care and nutrition so you have to choose the food accordingly.
Check for Specific Conditions:
If your dog has some kind of health issue or the disease, then the choice of food that is suitable for them may also vary. Take for example that the dog with the kidney disease is often prescribed low protein food.
The Dog Age:
As in the humans, the dogs when aged need special nutrition or special diet to make them feel younger and energetic. If your pet is aged one, then the food you are going to choose should include a higher level of Antioxidants and Glucosamine for fighting the issue of the joints and inflammation.
Check for Canine Obesity:
Although, we admit that treating your dog while training is all part of the game, however, you have to keep in mind that over treating may cause obesity in the canine. This will not only make them less energetic, but also cause the issue of diabetics, joints and blood pressure in the pets.
Monitor Your Dog Physical Activity:
Another most important factor that contributes a lot towards the choice of the best dog food is the amount of physical activity carried on by your dog in a day.
If you have a hyperactive pet, then he needs extra care and food. The reason is simple, the more the body got involved in the physical activity the faster it consumes the stored energy and requires more.
So if your pet is not feeling satisfied or is always hungry, try to switch the food with more nutrients and protein to compensate its hyperactivity.
Most of the time we ignore this extremely crucial point and resultantly our pet start losing its enthusiasm. However, on the contrary, is a lazy one and does like much to play, then the food must be accordingly.
Food with high protein content is a must for the pet, however, we have to take into consideration that the calories or the nutrients required by your pet are directly proportional to the amount of activity it performs on the routine basis.
Beware of the Marketing Trap:
Yes, another highly concerning and yet ignorant point is the marketing tricks apply to the dog feed manufacturers.
Look, you have to understand this that they have to sell the product and for that, they use all the points. However, it is your responsibility to not fall for their tricks and consider your pet nutrition requirement and then decide the food for him.
Most of the companies, manufacturing dog food, market the products by the dog’s breed. However, you have to keep this in mind that no matter from which breeds your pet belongs, the food required by him does not depend on that.
In fact, there is a variety of factors you have to consider and most of them we have discussed so far.
Take Care of Protein Intake:
As we have discussed that protein intake is very crucial for your dog nutrition. So, we have to take very good care that the dog food we are feeding to our pet is comprised mainly of protein. Another important thing that you need to keep in mind is to read the label of the dog food.
If you are buying dog food from a well-reputed company then they would clearly mention the source of protein including meat, beef or others. However, if the label only said liver, heart or have a more generic name like poultry you must know that the ingredient in the food is of low quality.
Being a pet owner it is your responsibility to take care of the fact that the food that you are providing to your beloved pet is free of germs, bacteria, and other poor quality ingredients.
“Should You Feed Your Dog High Protein?”
Avoid Artificial Flavors and Sweeteners:
So here comes another major concern, most of the time companies manufacturing low-quality dog food tend to add sweeteners in the food to make it more appetizing.
However, here you have to remain cognizant of the fact that these artificial sweeteners are just the source of calories and it may cease variety of health issues in your pet. Not only does this, but because of these artificial flavors and sweeteners, you dog nutrition not completed.
So the next time you go for buying food for your darling pet, look for the artificial ingredients and their quantity in the overall food.
Do Not Be Generous:
As we have discussed to not to be too generous while offering treats to your pet the rule goes for the table scraps. If you are giving away all the table scraps to your dog it may be causing various issues.
Although, we admit that it is a general belief that treats and the table scraps fill the gaps between the dog food, however, you have to keep this in mind that a good dog food is filled with all the necessary ingredients and nutrition, so if you are giving your pet something extra than that, then you are causing major nutritional imbalance in the pets.
However, if you have no other option than treating, then choose the healthy food option as the treat.
Homemade Dog Food:
Homemade food offers the dog owner’s option to customize the food according to the nutritional requirements of the pet.
However, it would be highly recommended to consult your vet before making food at home for your pet. As the minor alteration in the food may cause serious deficiencies or health issues in your canine.
Raw Dog Food:
Although the proponents of the raw food may be very convincing to feed the dogs with soothing that they would eat in the wild environment. However, the raw bones and meat pose various health issues. There is a heavy chance of getting the raw food-borne disease with the consumption.
Reading the Dog Food Label:
Of course, being educated is one of the most convenient methods to separate the good from the bad. However, this may not as easy and convenient as it seems. At most of the time, the labels are tough to read because of the small print and mishandling of bags.
Moreover, one of the biggest issues while reading the dog food bag is that they could prove to be quite misleading.
However, even then if you are going to read the label for the ingredient and nutritional information then here are the seven informational pieces that you must have to watch while reading the label.
- Name of the product;
- Product’s net weight;
- Manufacturer address;
- Guaranty analysis;
- Ingredient information;
- Feeding guidelines;
- Nutritional adequacy.
We will discuss only the most important.
Name of the Product:
The name of the products is of utmost importance. As from the name you can have the guess as what would be the quantity of the main ingredients in the product.
Take the example of Beef, if the product name contains the term beef only, then it means the product contains meat as 70% of the product. However, if the same product termed beef dinner or the beef entrée, then it means that the beef only makes up a small fraction of the overall food.
The ingredients in the labeled bag could also be misleading as the quantity described in the label might be tricky.
Again, let have the example of meat in the dog food. You have to keep in mind that the whole meat contains a large amount of water in it, so when the meat is processed, the quantity of overall meat in the dog food reduced significantly. While on the other hand, the meat meal may sound a bit off road or unappealing to us, but it does contain the high quantity of meat in it.
Similarly, when we talk about corns, the companies might divide the single ingredient into a variety of ingredients like flaked corn, kibbled corn, and ground corn. So even though the quantity of each category might seem very less, the overall quantity of corn would be high.
So when you are reading the label of the dog food for the identification of the ingredients you have to keep in mind the quality of the ingredients as well.
However, even if the label does not tell you about the quality of ingredients being used in the food, they do tell the type of ingredient. It is of utmost importance if your dog has certain health issues or allergies.
A Complete Food:
Often you came across the line “complete and balance” on the dog food label. However, here we want to inform you that it may be a complete marketing stunt by the dog food company.
Various animal welfare organizations now force the dog food companies to make the food actually complete and balanced in all aspects.
Contact the Manufacturer:
Another step that you can take while choosing the best dog food for your pet is that you can directly contact the food manufacturer and ask them regarding the ingredients.
A company with a good faith in heart will definitely answer all of your queries and issues. You can either directly approach the company or you can go to their website to seek the necessary information.
In either way, you must have few questions in mind to understand your dog dietary requirements. For the queries, you can search the Internet and then ask the same queries from the companies.
“How to Read a Dog Food Label?”
Variety of Dog Food for the Variant Dog Sizes:
We all love our pets, no matter what size they are, they are lovable and loyal and that’s what makes them the most significant part of our lives.
If you are confused regarding the choice among a variety of dog food options, then the best way to solve the issue is to dog nutritional requirements.
If you have a dog breed of smaller size, then their nutritional requirements would be a lot different from the ones with large size.
Large Dog Breed:
As far as the large dog breed is concerned, they mostly have the musculoskeletal issues so it would be mandatory for the food to contain ingredients that improve their musculoskeletal health and also provide them with enough energy to rock all day.
Small Breed Dogs:
On the other hand, if the dogs with small breed are concerned, they have different nutritional requirements. So it would be better to consult with your vet before making any choice regarding the food.
Food for Puppies:
We have already put a lot of stress on the fact that the nutritional requirements of the dogs vary with the age.
The nutritional requirements of the puppies are quite different from the adult once or the aged ones. There is a large market out there claiming to offer the right food choice according to the age of your dog.
The food requirements for the puppies may vary by the fact that whether your puppy would grow into a large breed or the smaller one.
For the puppies with the large size breed, the ingredients would include something for maintaining the health of the joints and bone. As the large breeds are mostly the ones with the bones and the joints issues.
However, there are also some breeds which would eat food labeled as “for all dog stages”. At the end of the day, it all depends on the breed of dog that you have as a pet.
Dog with Special Dietary Needs:
If you have the canine with some special dietary requirements, then the nutritional requirements would be all different, even for the dogs of the same breed. The dogs may develop certain kind of allergies, conditions and dietary restrictions.
However, here we would like to tell that feeding the dog with the certain dietary requirements is a tricky job. All you can do is to consult your vet for the detail nutritional requirements and to know more about the canine condition to handle in the best way.
Dry Dog Food VS. Wet Dog Food:
The dog food is available in two most common form, dry and wet dog food. There are certain handling benefits associated with the dry food which make it an owners’ favorite. The dry food need not save in the refrigerator and also highly affordable and widely available.
Benefits of Dry Dog Food:
Some of the benefits that are associated with the dry dog food are as follows:
- It is a highly cost-effective method to feed your dog healthy food.
- It does not need any storing facilities as you can keep it out, which makes it convenient to store.
- It contains 90% dry ingredient and only has 10% water.
- Dry food is the combination of various nutrients, including meat, grain, vegetable etc. all these things are combined and then cooked in a specific manner which makes the food highly digestive.
- Cooking the ingredients to make the dry dog food also removes the toxins from the foods and make the food healthy for the canine to take.
- Dry dog food has a long shelf life, which makes them easy to store in large quantities for emergencies.
Benefits of Wet Dog Food:
Although the wet dog food is slightly expensive than the dry dog food, however, it offers the complete alternative. If you are searching for the benefits of the wet dog food for your canine then here are some of them listed below:
- Wet dog food is more toothsome as compared to the dry food. So if your pet is a picky eater, then the wet food is the best choice for him.
- The quantity of the ingredients in the wet dog food may vary from the dry food, however, the ingredients would always be the same.
- Wet food is the rich source of fresh meat, fish, and poultry and by-products of the animals.
- Wet food also contains more protein from the grains in the more textured form.
- Although the canned wet dog food has the longest shelf life, however, once it got opened you have to keep it in the refrigerator.
“Wet or Dry Food – Which is Better for My Dog?”
Being the owner, you know what food would be the best for your dog. As you are the one who got to look after your pet all the time.
If your canine is perfectly healthy, produce healthy and firm stool and active then he is doing just fine. On the other hand, your veterinarian is the ultimate source of help in case of an issue.
Consult the health of your pet with the vet on the regular basis. As the veterinarian is the one who knows a lot more than you about your pet and knows what kind of nutrition and care he required.
So what are you waiting for? Choose yours and consult with a vet today.