How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Your Pup
16 April, 2014
When you first get a dog or are in the process of trying to transition your dog to a healthier dog food, it can be tough. With so many different types of food on the market, how do you distinguish what’s best for your dog? At least dogs, rather than cats, are less particular about their dog food and will usually eat all kinds of food. Below are some tips on how to find the best food for your dog.
Ask Your Vet’s Advice
Your dog’s genetics, age, life style and reproductive status all play a role in how much food your dog should eat. Ask your veterinarian to perform a body condition evaluation for your dog and make sure you know the basics too. It’s the best way to make sure your dog’s weight is on-track. It’s even better than the scale. The main point to remember is that you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs.
Familiarize yourself with the labels and ingredients
Next, look at the list of ingredients. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed by weight. Ingredients that contain large amounts of moisture (such as beef, poultry, chicken, or fish) are likely to be at the top of the list because of the moisture content. Ingredients further down the list may offer even more key nutrients such as protein but may weigh less because the water has already been removed for a dry pet food.
Grains are good!
Grains are found in many pet foods and provide an excellent source of carbohydrates. Dogs can easily metabolize these carbohydrates and use them as an energy source. However, some people prefer to avoid grains in their dog’s food. Avoiding grains for those dogs that are allergic to them is a valid choice. However, allergies to other ingredients, including meats, are much more common than allergies to grains.
Gluten allergies rarely effect our pups
While, gluten allergies are common in people and many pet owners choose a gluten-free food for their dog believing that the same is true for the dogs. However, gluten allergies are actually extremely rare in dogs.
Consider the kind of dog that you have
If you have a dog that is a puppy, his or her need will be different than an older dog. There are certain types of food that are geared specifically for puppies that have the right nutrients and vitamins to help your puppy thrive. Conversely, senior dogs need food that have more moisture and fewer calories as they are not as active as puppies. And, senior dogs can always use the moisture of wet food as their needs change and kidneys tend to slow down.
There are also dogs that have a genetic predisposition towards putting on weight. Labradors need to have a high protein, low carb diet as they have weak rear legs and need to keep the weight off.
Each dog is different in their needs
While one dog may thrive eating all wet food, not gain weight and maintain good health, it doesn’t always equate cross the board. Each dog is different in what works for him or her, so look for a high quality food, with a lot of protein, fewer carbohydrates and your dog should thrive.
Tips For Your Dogs At The Dog Park