Your dog’s health and well-being is important to you and your family. Not to mention keeping down the cost of veterinarian bills! So you need to carefully consider the food that you give your dog. People sometimes just pick the first dog food bag they see at the store. Not the wisest choice. It’s easy to overlook the importance of dog food… but it is essential to pick the right one for your dog.
To keep your dog healthy he ALWAYS needs plenty of fresh water, and should be fed good quality dog food in amounts just right to meet his energy requirements. Always follow the guidelines on the dog food package (or your veterinarians advice) for recommended feeding amounts.
Picking a Dog Food
The first challenge in choosing a dog food is picking one that has overall quality. The term that comes up a lot about dog food is human grade. Human grade implies that the dog food is good enough for us to eat. Many commercial dog foods are made from materials unusable or less desirable for human consumption. Often the meat that is used in dog food is of a poor quality, which is considered unfit for humans to eat.
Major dog food companies try to provide balanced proportions of vitamins and minerals for maximum benefit to your dog. Although you may see that many brands of dog food have almost identical labels, a reputable dog food company will provide an explanation for each supplement and how it benefits your dog.
Always read the label to see what proteins, vitamins and minerals are being provided to your dog. If at all possible don’t use store brand dog food, as they may short change your dog on much needed nutrition.
Studies have shown that the primary ingredient in dog food should be meat-based protein, not corn meal, flour or corn gluten meal. According to reviews a better quality dog food results in a healthier coat, fewer digestive problems and firmer stools. Pet-nutrition experts agree that the best dog food is made from human-grade ingredients like meat, whole grains and vegetables. Premium dog food is so important because good nutrition is essential for a long, healthy life. Believe me…spending extra for a quality food will save you money in the long run!
Types of Dog Food
There are many varieties of dog food to choose from. The three most popular types of dog foods are dry, semi-moist and canned products. Check the color of your dog food. Usually dog food made from natural ingredients will have soft earth tones and contain no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.
Raw Dog Food
Feeding Raw is becoming more popular. Some veterinarians recommend feeding your dog raw dog food. They feel that this is the best choice and is the healthiest food for your dog. After all, you’ve never seen your dog enjoy commercial dog food the way he enjoys a good meaty bone.
Raw food advocates concede the diet costs more than traditional dog food, but they argue it’s worth it.
If you decide to go the commercial route, try and choose a good premium dog food since it contains more energy and protein than an economy brand. Unfortunately not all dog food brands contain high quality and natural ingredients, so always check the label. It is best if you seek advice from your veterinarian before deciding on which dog food to feed your dog or puppy. He will know your dog’s dietary needs and you will find that veterinary offices and feed stores often carry excellent and natural dog food.
All Natural Dog Food
Many natural dog foods contain only fresh, natural and wholesome ingredients for your dog. Not only are the protein ingredients digestible, but the carbohydrates in the dog food are digestible. Natural dog food has 100% nutritional value which is important for healthy strong dogs. Chicken, egg and fish are examples of protein that is provided in natural dog food. There are also ingredients in natural dog food that really help the health of your dog’s skin and also your dog’s coat. One of the main draw backs of natural dog food is that it has a shorter shelf life and may spoil before it is used.
Dried Dog Food
A good high quality dry dog food will work out to be more economical than the generic brands even though they cost more per pound. A vast majority of dog owners go for dry dog food for its convenience and ease of storage. The cheaper dry dog foods are made from soybean, corn or rice, while many premium dry dog foods are made with all-natural, human-grade ingredients.
Vegetarian Dog Foods
There are dog foods specially formulated for dogs that are allergic to wheat, corn, and/or chicken. There are also vegetarian dog foods marketed to owners who do not want their dogs to consume meat products. Most vegetarian dog foods use soy as a protein source. If your dog has allergies consult your vet before putting him on a specialized diet.
Overall it’s usually best to let dogs enjoy dog food and not our food, even though they may prefer what we’re eating! Of course you can feed your dog treats from time to time, every dog needs some TLC from time to time!