Just like us, our beloved canine companions need high-quality food to lead a long, healthy, and happy life. Different dog breeds have varying sizes, temperaments, and activity levels. This means that they also have different nutritional needs, especially when you consider their age and overall state of health. Moreover, there are numerous brands of commercial dog food out there, and it can be tough to choose the right one for your pet. All the same, what you choose to feed your dog plays a larger role in determining their quality of life. Here are four tips you can use to pick the right food for your dog.
1. Pick a “Complete” Dog Feed
When buying dog food, check to ensure that the packaging refers to the food as “complete”. This is actually a regulated term to indicate that the particular dog food meets all the nutritional requirements for the specified dog breed. You can always use a dog food resource to learn the essential nutrients needed by all dogs. These will be protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and clean water. From there, you can narrow down your options by considering factors such as age, breed, activity, size, and more. You will need to be sure the dog food is made from high-quality ingredients. Moreover, the ingredients should be certified, inspected, and proven fit for pet or human consumption by the USDA or FDA.
2. Understand the Ingredient List
After checking that the dog food is complete, confirm whether the ingredients are right for your dog. To ensure healthy eating for your pet, make sure a good protein source or two are listed. Also, ensure the meal is of a high-quality food mix by checking on the first or second ingredient. In this case, when we talk about a meal, we are referring to an already processed and dehydrated protein. You can also check for a whole and unprocessed protein such as deboned chicken, usually on the first or second spot on the ingredient list.
3. Compare Serving Size and Not Package Weight
Often, it can be tempting to go for the largest bag of dog food, especially if you own several dogs. While doing this will allow you to avoid taking more trips to the store, large quantities don’t guarantee anything special. What matters most is the serving sizes. Most low-serving sizes not only indicate nutritious food, but also signify the food is rich in healthy nutrients. Surprisingly, a smaller dog food bag may even last longer than a larger one. Therefore, when picking dog food, it comes in handy to compare the serving sizes instead of the package’s overall weight.
4. Age and Energy Levels
Most dog foods are made suitable for different life stages of a dog. Some are for puppies, whereas others are made for adult and senior dogs. The ingredients of the dog food may differ, but the nutritional balance is optimized to provide different health benefits to different dog breeds at different ages.
For instance, senior dog foods often include glucosamine, which is effective for joint health. On the other hand, most puppy formulas are packed with plenty of protein to help them grow. Active dogs will definitely need more food compared to less active ones. If your dog is the active type, it makes more sense to get dog food that is highly rich in protein.
Picking the right food for your dog will improve their overall health and enhance their general well-being. It can also help save you money on unnecessary veterinary bills. Hopefully, you will find the above few tips helpful when out there buying dog food.