The best food for dogs contains all the healthy nutrients and vitamins your dog needs during its varied stages in life. It should help your dog’s growth, support and feed strong bones and muscles and supply enough energy according to your dog’s body weight.
Dog foods should contain natural ingredients without harmful allergens or chemicals. They should have a well-balanced quantity of :
These components must be meeting the nutritional requirements of the dog’s size and breed, it’s age and lifestyle. The quality of the ingredients contained by the dog’s food is of utmost importance to maintain a dog's general health and wellbeing.
A dog’s dietary need requires a good amount of protein that comes from meat, along fibers from grains and vegetables. Thus dogs belong to the omnivorous species, meaning that they can eat all plant-based and meat-based meals.
Before being domesticated and during history, before the 1700s dogs’ diets consisted mostly of raw food. Dogs were kept for the protection of humans, farm animals, the household as well as companions and for hunting.
A dog can be fed with:
Some foods are toxic for dogs and can lead to poisoning. Ingesting certain components found in these ingredients lead to unpleasant side effects that can become very quick health damaging unless treated immediately by a vet.
The dog market food has grown rapidly with advertising being seen everywhere: in shops, on billboards by the roads, in media and online and all of it backed by vets as well. It’s no wonder that sometimes dog owners can get confused and overwhelmed by it all especially if their pet is a new addition to their household.
Dog owners can choose from:
This is commonly packed in bags and is the most used type of dog feed. It contains a mixture of meat, fibres, starches and vegetables. Its moisture is reduced at 6-10%. Storage and feeding is easy and convenient as it can last for long periods of time whilst opened. It costs less than other types of dog meals and is beneficial to maintain a good dental health.
Contains mostly meat ingredients, thus having more fat and proteins and less carbohydrates. Its moisture is around 60-90% depending on the producer. The risen level of moisture makes it necessary to feed a bigger quantity to your dog. Thus, it can be proven as a costly option, nevertheless necessary to add in a dog’s diet.
This type of food comes in smaller packages and it requires storage in a cold place. It’s very convenient as it’s easy to dose your dog’s meal time and can be taken when spending time outdoors (storage should be in a cold place).
Made with organic grown ingredients, can be more expensive as all organic foods tend to be due to the specific way they are grown. It can be found as dry food, canned or small treats.
Specially produced for overweight dogs, it has a low energy density with increased protein and fibre content. This type of food should be discussed with a vet before starting a dog diet.
It’s aimed at dogs that need to start a low fat diet at the vet’s recommendation. This type of food has a formula that aids digestion, includes probiotics and has a lower fibre content. It can be wet or dry.
These can be used for praise during training or at home. Also, they are good for on the go snacking due to their convenient packaging in small pouches or packets. These treats consist of funny shaped dog biscuits, chewy bites, strips of dried meat or sticks.
Probably, the most important for dog owners, is to feed their pets the right type of food for the dogs’ life stage.
Puppies need more energy and have a higher nutritional need to help them grow. A higher calcium content is also needed to support their bone growth. They need to be fed puppy meals until around 12 months when puppies can switch to adult food. Some producers alo developed meals for junior dogs.
Older dogs,over 7 years old, need senior dog food with a higher protein content, lower calories and less carbs.
The dog’s size is a must in taking into consideration the choice of food. To help with this, there are specialized pet shops or online review websites giving information on the best dog food choice for your dog.
Different breeds might have varied dietary needs. You will then have to check for either small breed foods or larger dog breeds meals.
A raising number of pet owners prefer to feed their animal companions home made food. Knowing the food types a dog is allowed to have is essential. It is also important to check the nutritional values and make sure a healthy balance is maintained to support the dog’s needs at all times.
Recipes with friendly dog food ingredients can be found online and in dog cookbooks in book shops or on Amazon’s website.
This highly depends on your dog’s age, size and lifestyle.
On the food packaging there is always guidance on the quantity of each feed according to your dog’s weight.
A vet can discuss with you the best options in terms of your dog’s feeding time, especially if the dog needs to follow a diet.
Puppies need their daily feeding quantity spread over the day in small quantities. As they grow, the meals can be reduced at 3 times per day and after 6 months will be fed twice a day.
There should be formed a routine for feeding (morning and evening) and uneaten food disposed of.
Water should remain available for your dog at all times during the day.
Choosing the best dog food for your pet amongst the hundreds of brands available can be confusing and challenging. There isn’t a way to know which is the healthiest brand of dog food, however, by reading the ingredients’ content on the label, checking reviews from other dog owners and discussing with dog health specialists, will certainly help you decide on the best feeding alternatives to suit your dog’s needs.
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