How To Choose The Right Dog Food

There are many different factors you need to take into consideration when you’re going to buying the best dog food properly. There are so many brands of best dog food available in the market that makes it extremely difficult to select the brand or food that comes with right balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins to keep them healthy.

All you need is to select the correct dog food that agrees with their digestive system to keep them active for all the time. For you, here we are providing a guide with all essential information which is helpful to keep the dog healthy and active all the day.

Types of Dog Foods:

Not all dogs have the same tastes and their food will vary based on the consistency, and general attributes. In general, there are 7 different types of dog foods available. So, to give your dog a healthy and tasty food, you should know about these types.

Wet Dog Food

Canned dog food (or wet dog food) are sealed in some sort of pouches, cans or other containers to preserve the moisture within them. This dog food comes with a source of hydration, as they contain water in them. These are more flavorful or tasteful than other dog foods. Meat is the main ingredient in this canned dog food and comes in gravy with strong smell and intense flavor. They are more expensive and has less expiration date when once opened due to short shelf life.

Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food or Kibble comes in bags after thorough processing and sprayed with a solution after dried with nutrients and fatty acids. They are rich in aroma or flavor than wet food. The dog has to drink a bowl of water after consuming this kibble. It comes with longer shelf life and makes it convenient to eat and provides teeth and gum health while chewing this food.

Raw Diet Dog Food

The raw dog food includes vegetables, raw meats, fruits and other organic substances and refer it as evolutionary diet (just like paleo diet). It allows the dog to eat in their natural state. There are some negatives while feeding your dog with this raw and uncooked meat why because the bacterial infections and food poisoning will threaten their health.

Grain Free Dog Food

There are no grains like rice, corn, soy, barley and wheat in their food. Although, the grains are non-toxic for your dog but they are not rich as protein source like animal meat. A few types of dogs, especially with sensitive stomachs won’t able to digest and process cellulose.

Vegan Dog Food

This type of food won’t ingest any animal products or its by-products, especially to feed for the dog which has health issues that requires your dog to get a meat – free diet (or any medical reason). The vegan dog food sources its proteins from plant bases like non-animal products, non-meat, soy and beans. Helpful for dogs which are allergies to meat or its by-products.

Puppy Food

Some dog foods are specially made for puppies why because the growing puppies often require extra nutrition for their growth and development. This food won’t harm their sensitive stomach and promotes healthy maintenance. This food has more of fats, calories, and carbs, calcium and anti-oxidants that formulated for their healthy growth.

Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) Dog Food

Dog suffer from food allergies and struggle from digestive issues due to sensitive gastrointestinal. This limited ingredient diet food has restrictive of the major allergy – inducer in dogs like soy, certain meats, eggs, milk and other ingredients causing allergic reaction. The LID allows your dog to grab the same nutrients while preventing the allergic reaction.

How to choose the Best Dog Food?

Feeding the right food for your dog will always keep it healthy and active. So, to serve a healthy and well-balanced food for your loved pets, you have to consider the following things. Also, make sure to consult a professional vet to know all about dog’s nutritional needs before feeding it.

Age:

One has to consider the age of their pet when they want to feed them with right nutrition. In general, there are 3 life stage for dogs – puppy, adults & senior.

  • The puppy needs more of proteins and high calorie count for its growth and to enhance their metabolism.
  • For adult dog, the food contains essential nutrients for overall growth and development (like calcium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and proteins) and also avoid overfeeding them why because they gain weight easily.
  • For senior dogs, it requires food which is less in calories and high in fiber, protein and fatty acids for reducing the problems related to metabolism and promotes its health.

Check with the Label:

One should know why type of dog food they have to buy and for this, they have to read the label on the food pack before purchasing. Here are a few things which you have to check before buying a package food.

  • Product Name – As per FDA, the product name plays an important role in the product quality like beef or chicken formula food for dogs, in which they contain high amount of ingredients in less quantities. So, choose the brands with few ingredients, better processing and more intake of water.
  • Ingredients – The ingredients which are listed on the label will come in the order of their quantity and undesirable ingredients will be mention in the bottom’s part of the label. So, check for the dog’s food which is high quality and free from unwanted fillers.
  • NIHSAD & FDA Approved – This approval make the food as healthy nutritional, well balanced product and also it meets the less health standards, which makes to promote the development and well-being.
  • Grain-Free – Some foods are made using starch specific and potatoes in less quantity to reduce the meat content. So, always prefer to choose grain – free healthy food for your dog.
  • Protein-Rich Food – Choose the dog food which has whole protein ingredients like chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, etc. and avoid food if it contains meat, animal or poultry.

Breed Size:

The dog has to consume well balanced nutrients for its healthy skin and shiny coat, growth, bone development and immune function. One can find the dog foods which are classified by breed specific factors like small dogs, medium dogs and large breed dogs.

  • Small Dog Breed – They weighs in between 10 – 15 pounds and need more fatty nutrients, vitamins, minerals and water from fruits, vegetables, chicken, and whole grains to make their immune system stronger and healthy.
  • Medium – These weighs between 15 – 30 pounds and has a less metabolic system. So, it needs to provide proteins, fatty acids, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to keep them stay active and do their physical activities.
  • Large Breed Dog – The nutritional needs are large (weighs over 30 kg) and has to feed them with huge amounts of high quality natural nutrient dense food that contains fiber, carbs, proteins, minerals and vitamins to keep them active all the day without any health problem but won’t it be over-nutritional food.

Dry or Canned Food:

Choose the type of food your pet likes to consume most (along with its medical or dental conditions and lifestyle requirements) or what your veterinarian suggests. In general, there are 2 main types of foods available in the market – canned wet food or dry food.

  • Wet or Canned Food – Wet food is a good source of hydrated meals and best to feed dogs which won’t drink sufficient amount of water in a day. It is more palatable for dogs and often contain more animal derivatives. It has less calories when compared to dry food and it comes with strong taste and smell that helps for building an appetite in your dog before each meal. The canned food causes dental problems like tooth decay, bad breath and BPA (high levels).
  • Dry Food – While feeding this dry kibble (of different sizes) to your dog will help in dental care like it cleans dirt and bacteria on their teeth and also it is proven to has high nutrients content that eliminate the contaminated fillers. It is easiest, cleanest and convenient way to feed the dog. It is not as messy as wet dog food and easy to measure the desired quantity. It is a long lasting and easy to transport.
  • Combinational Diet – A few dogs loves to eat a combination of dry and wet food or else mix it with some home cooked human food into the mix. This combination diet works well for dogs till your dog is getting the right balance of nutrients.

Food Allergies:

As per various reports, the dog with allergies has to be treated with a specialized diet for a month to enhance their immune responses. There are various reasons for its allergic reaction, even the food sensitivities is one among them. So, make sure to feed the dog with the right and complete nutritional food.

If the dog has thin coat, and skin redness like sensitive skin then you have to choose the right food for your dog and one can do the allergy check in case, if their dog is scratching the body frequently, poor digestion, lactose intolerance and skin or ear infections. Then start feeding your dog with right source of fiber, protein, vitamins and carbohydrates (or special diet food products) to boost its immunological mechanisms.

Expiration Date:

Always check the packing date and manufacturing for each and every food product, including the dog food why because it has certain health limitations of its usage and quality. It should pass the quality standards like BPA – free packing material and nutrition quality materials. In general, foods that come with short shelf life will be consumed faster rather than foods with longer shelf life. Also, take a look and check on the labels like use by date or best before to know about the particular product’s shelf life.

Feeding Time:

Although, there are some types of dog foods that range from organic, meat, raw, high-protein and gluten – free but the sensitive skin, stomach or having digestive problems of the dog are likely to get benefited from the strict schedule for feeding than healthy dogs. So, feeding the right ingredient at the correct time will help to alleviate the problems which are related to age.

You can either buy an automatic pet feeder or set the reminders to keep the food and water as per the schedule based on their dog’s health condition and physical activities to make your dog live healthier and longer life.

Digestibility:

The food which you are feeding for your dog has to be digestible properly and easily. So, feed the right kind of food to your dog to eliminate the weight related diseases like heart problems or arthritis. When once you select the right food then simply set the feeding time to feed the dog. Also, store the remaining food in an airtight container which in turn prevents moist or contamination of the food.

Price / Budget:

It is quite worth investing in a higher quality dog food to maintain proper health of your dog. The quality of the food is inter related to price of the product. In case, if you buy any less expensive brand product then it won’t contain much protein (between 10 to 20%) or any other essential nutrients whereas the high-end dog foods have 40 – 60% proteins. So, choose the best one that suits perfect for your dog. The cheaper dog food brands will tend to use cheap ingredients and fillers that make them as a lower quality product.

Overfeeding:

Overfeeding will always result in various health issues, including overweight. So, avoid feeding your dogs too much without realizing and recognizing when the dog is overweight. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and ensure that you’re feeding the dog with the right amount of food. Different brands will specify the different quantities and you have to check it properly before feeding your dog.

Other Conditions:

Here are some other conditions which you have to keep in mind before purchasing the dog’s food.

  • Environmental Conditions – A few dogs will spend most of their time in outdoors (extremely high temperature or low temperature) in which they need 15% more of energy to regulate and maintain their body temperature. So, feed them food which has more of calories.
  • Health Conditions – If your dog is ill (diarrhea, kidney problems, allergies) then it need more of calories and well – balanced nutritious food to heal and thereby enhance the immune system to alleviate them by diet.
  • Reproduction Stages – The pregnant women should have increased energy needs to sustain their fetus. So, feed the food that is rich in fats, proteins and nutrients that is easily digestible and palatable.
  • Activity Levels – Active dogs need more energy and more calories in their diet. So, check the physical activities of your dog in a day and feed them with all these essential nutrition food and water to keep them healthy and active all the day.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What we have to do when the dog is having food allergies?

In case, if you notice any signs like weight loss, getting hives, throwing up, skin redness, itching, etc. in your dog then you have to immediately consult your vet to determine what is causing the dog to have the allergic reactions. Then find a dog food without any grains why because the grain is the most common food allergy which we find in dogs. Also, simply avoid certain fruits, vegetables and some meat, depending on the dog’s sensitivity.

2. Is feeding raw food a good option for dogs?

Although, it is a good option to feed your dogs with raw food but make sure to ensure that your dog will get more than meat. The amount of raw meat which is typically based on how much the dog weighs. Then simply supplement the food with its fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods that can help to get all the essential nutrients they require.

3. Is canned food or dry food – which one is best?

It depends as per you and your dog wish. The dry and canned wet foods come with similar levels of nutrition. So, it comes down to your preference. The canned food is more expensive and smell stronger than dry food. Or simply mix the wet and dry foods, if your dog loves it.

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