Dog owners work hard to keep their pets healthy and happy. Food plays one of the essential roles in keeping pets healthy and active. Being a pet owner, feeding your pet a well-balanced diet is one of the crucial things in maintaining his health. A nutrient-rich food helps retain your dog’s overall well-being, including dental, joint, skin, and coat health. It strengthens the immune system, improves skin and coat sheen, and maintains the digestive system for optimal health. When it comes to choosing and selecting dog food, owners are in grave confusion due to a lack of proper knowledge about the food.
Most dog owners decide which food to feed their dog based on whether their furry friend likes it or not. This is not necessarily a good idea when choosing the right dog food. After all, if you asked a child to mention what food they liked the most, they would be eager to say french fries, ice cream, or some fast food. But would it be appropriate to give them a diet only of those mentioned foods? It is the same with dogs as well – the food they like may not be the best food for them. But most dogs will eat virtually anything in as much as their owner goes about things the right way with them.
However, we would like to help you make the right choice of food for your pooch.
These steps can guide you to Know How to Find the Best Dog Food for you furry
Know What Is in the Food
The food and animal welfare associations, as well as the food regulatory body, have set up some basic guidelines, which pet food companies need to follow and show it on their food labels.
When the food is made of a single ingredient, it should always contain 95% of that ingredient, excluding water. If the food company label shows a combination of ingredients, the mixture needs to include at least 95% of that mixed food. For example, if a food pack claims to be made solely of fish, make sure the fish makes up 95% of the food, and if it is a mixture of two main contents, the same applies.
Some packs have phrases such as savory, entrée, dinner, and platter – this means that the packaged food should have at least 25% of the showed ingredient. If the product claims with beef, turkey, or cheese, then only 3% of the said ingredient is necessary. Moreover, the food items stating the particular flavors should contain only a traceable amount of that advertised ingredient.
Choose by Ingredients
Whenever choosing pet food, read the ingredients first. You may not be knowing that the ingredients listed are based on their weight. Ingredients with a substantial content of water like chicken, poultry, beef, or fish are likely to make the top of the list. Going further down the list, there are vital ingredients which offer essential nutrients such as protein, but weigh less since the water content has already been removed for making dry pet food.
Never Miss on Glutens and Grains
Numerous pet products contain grains, which form an essential source of carbohydrates. These are good for dogs as it can easily be digested and serve as an energy source. However, some pet parents try to avoid grains in their dog food without any cogent reason. Try to avoid grains for dogs that are allergic is considered essential and viable.
Furthermore, as humans have a gluten allergy, they think that pets too suffer from the same allergy. So, most dog owners look for gluten-free food. On the contrary, the fact is gluten allergy is quite rare in canines.
Look for Quality
Apart from all the factors mentioned earlier, you need to also check for the nutritional evaluation stated on the pack. This statement reads as – “This food is complete and balanced for adult maintenance.”, “This food is balanced and complete for all life stages.” or “The food is complete and balanced for growth and reproduction.”
Dog’s nutritional requirements differ at different life stages, from puppies, adults to seniors. Therefore, you need to choose the food accordingly. Never go behind the big adverts.
Consult your Vet for Advice
What amount, your vet best gives when, which food is right for your pooch- The answers to these. Lifestyle, genetics, age, weight, and reproductive status – all play a significant role when it comes to what your pet should eat. If a pet is undergoing treatment or suffering from a chronic condition like diabetes, then they require special diets, which your vet may recommend. To ensure what should be fed and what not to your dog, it’s always advisable to consult your vet and ask for a dietary plan.
Know the Ratios
It is pertinent to know just how much of “what” should be in the food for dogs is a good and easy way first to examine and determine whether or not the food is the best food for your furry. An easy and most straightforward way to look at it is that your dog’s diet should consist of the following:
• 50% of vegetables
• 40% of meat
• 10% Carbohydrates (or grain)
It means the food that has “corn” as the third ingredient probably isn’t the best food for your pet. You may also don’t want to choose a pet food that promises to be loaded in meat. Dogs need protein, sure, but anything over the 40% mark merely is overloading. And it may mean giving your dog an unnecessary ingredient that may harm him.
Like “corn” must not be listed as third ingredient on the list, meat shouldn’t be the last. Meat should be put as the number one ingredient on the list! The first three ingredients on a quality bag of food for dogs are some animal meat meal, such as beef meal or lamb meal.
Tip: Do not be fooled by seeing and believing that a meat meal is mentioned first on the list, only to be followed up by fillers and by-products. Make sure that the first three ingredients are a meat meal to ensure that you are feeding your dog the best dog food.
Skip the Preservatives
Since preservatives are horrible for the human, it is also horrific for dog health alike. If you want to improve your dog’s health, you need to skip on any dog foods that contain chemical preservatives like BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin. Any foods that are made with the natural preservatives vitamin E and vitamin C are far better choices.
Other factors are:
*Daily activity level
*Overall health condition
If you don’t consider these factors, you may not be able to satisfy your dog’s basic nutritional needs. Some of the well-known names in the commercial pet food industry are Hills Science Diet, Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Eagle Pack, Iams, and Pedigree dog food.
If you plan on choosing between any of these commercial foods, you need to follow the factors below:
Size: The size of your dog is a vital component when deciding the amount of dog food you should be feeding. Many brands, like Royal Canin, list feeding regulations and provide approximate quantities on the package. This serves as a guide and precaution that will assist you in determining the needs of your specific dog.
Breed: Did you know that the specific nutritional requirements of dogs vary according to breed? Some breeds require more dietary elements than others to live a healthy and robust life.
Daily activity level: Dogs having high energy levels require foods that are higher in calories. Calorie dense dog foods are an appropriate choice for show dogs, working dogs, and obedience ring dogs because they expend a lot of energy in their daily activities. Some calorie-dense foods are Hills Science Diet, Iams, Eukanuba, Royal Canin, and Pedigree.
Age: It’s also essential that you choose a dog food that is suitable for your dog’s age. Dogs, just like humans, have different needs as they grow up, this implies you shouldn’t feed a puppy just any regular dog food. You need to give your dog food that is suitable for its sensitive digestive system. If your dog has special needs, then you should probably be much more critical of what he or she eats since the wrong kind of dog food will often cause more harm than good. Even your dog’s age plays a vital role in choosing the right food. Nutritional needs are continually changing, and, with time, different life stages require different dietary needs. Puppies require a protein-rich, high-calorie dog food to assist their rapid growth. Most adult dogs require a well-balanced diet that includes all the necessary nutritional elements. Senior dogs have unique requirements and very different needs. Therefore, it is a big mistake to feed the same type of food to all dogs.
There are so many choices available in pet food isles; it may seem very difficult to choose the right food for your best friend. Hopefully, if you follow these vital factors, they can guide you along your way.