If you are like most dog owners, then you must have spent some time looking for the perfect dog food. Although it might seem impossible to find the perfect food to feed your dog, you will find the best brand for your furry friend. The best dog food should keep your dog’s coat shiny, cause no stomach upsets, and keep his eyes clear and bright.
Here is a simple Dog Food Guide that will come in handy when buying food for your dog:
Consider Your Dog’s Reproductive Status, Age, Breed, and Activity
The behavior and physical activities of your dog should guide you when choosing the right dog food. The rule of thumb is that lactating moms and puppies need more calories per day and the older dogs need fewer calories. In the same vein, hyperactive breeds need more calories than couch potato breeds.
The type of food that you choose for your dog will help it to remain in good health and keep him from developing obesity. Some dog food manufacturers make food depending on dog breeds. You also need to choose the right kibble size to ensure that your puppy eats safely and comfortably.
Understand the Buzz Words
The wording on the food packaging will tell you how much protein is inside it. For instance labels such as ‘chicken dog food’ show that the food has 95 percent protein without any water content. When you add water, the protein content comes to about 70 percent.
Foods with the phrase ‘dinner’ usually contain about 25 percent protein. When you see the phrase ‘with’ the food contains 3 percent of the specific ingredient: for instance, ‘with salmon’ means that the food contains 3 percent of salmon. Moreover, you should avoid foods written ‘with beef flavor’ or ‘with chicken flavor’ because they will only contain trace amounts of that protein.
Read the Ingredients
The ingredients on labels are listed based on weight – this means that meat usually top the list due to their high water content. For this reason, you should choose foods with meat as the main ingredient. Unless your dog is allergic to meat, you should always feed him meat. Meat might refer to heart tissue, skeletal muscle, and diaphragm tissue.
When buying dog food, you should ensure that the first ingredient is not grain or vegetables. No matter how digestible these ingredients are, they have a low nutritional value for your dog. In fact, corn has low vitamin, mineral, and protein content. No matter how many advertisements claim that high-grain foods are beneficial for your dog, you should not fall for it.
Decide Whether Grain-free is Right for Your Dog
If you think that your dog is allergic to grains, you should confirm your suspicions by visiting the vet. Unless your dog has severe allergic reactions to grain, it is not bad. Moreover, figuring out whether your dog is allergic to grain will help you to avoid the expense of buying grain-free formulas.
If you want to know whether your dog is allergic or intolerant to certain foods, you should check for the following symptoms:
- Excessive paw licking
Even when you confirm the existence of an allergy, protein is usually the main culprit. This means that you should consider the individual needs of your dog before buying into the gluten-free dog food hype.
The above tips will help you to choose the best food for your dog. However, you still need to conduct your homework. Make sure that you research the manufacturer thoroughly to make sure that there is good ingredient sourcing.