Picking the right dog diet foods for your pooch can be tough, especially if you don’t even know where to start with your assessment. Fortunately, dog experts and long-time dog lovers are more than willing to share how they choose the best thing to feed their furbaby.
Consider Your Dog’s Age
Age is one of the most critical factors in deciding the best food for your dog. Consider the life stage they are in – puppy, adult, and senior – because their dietary needs change as they age.
Puppies need more calories and protein than adult and senior dogs to fuel their young bodies and help them develop into healthy adult dogs. Their diet at this age will significantly impact their health and immunity in the future. Puppies have to be fed lots of water, amino acids, protein, minerals, and fatty acids to promote physical growth, bone growth, and cognitive development.
Adult dogs, on the other hand, need to reduce their calorie and protein intake to prevent obesity. They need more nutrients, such as calcium, vitamins, fatty acids, some proteins, and minerals, to boost their growth. It will also help if you train dogs and get them used to exercising with you.
The health condition of senior dogs will factor significantly into choosing what dog training and dog food they should get. There are special formulations for dogs suffering from arthritis, urinary incontinence, hearing or vision loss, and other health problems.
Consult your vet if you need further guidance in handling your pet’s diet, especially if health issues are involved.
2. Understand The Label In Dog Diet Foods
Always look for “complete” food for your dog, instead of “supplemental” ones. For dogs, look for the quality of the protein source. The pet food should also be USDA-Certified good for human consumption to be considered safe. Learn to spot fillers and preservatives, which do not contribute to the nutritional value of the dog food. These include wheat gluten, food dyes, corn, meat and meat meal, MSG, xylitol, farmed salmon, nitrites, soy, rendered fat, and more.
Look for dog foods that passed AAFCO standards. These are foods that the Association of American Feed Control Officials consider as healthy and balanced nutritional pet products.
Choose grain-free food for dogs, too. These contain potatoes instead of grains to complement the meat content.
Products that contain whole protein ingredients are better for dogs. These usually have ingredients such as chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, and more.
3. Look For Minimally Cooked Dog Diet Foods
Dog diet foods that have undergone minimal cooking and use whole-food ingredients ensure maximum nutrition for your pets, as well as optimum taste and digestibility. Gentle cooking is better than a raw diet because it removes the harmful substances while maintaining its healthy nutrients.
4. Find The Right Recipe For Your Pet
Dogs have varying nutritional needs depending on their weight, life stage, level of activity, appetite, and health condition. Be on the lookout for pet food manufacturers that can give you personalized feeding plans while considering your pooch’s nutritional requirements.
5. Check For Allergies
If you notice your dog scratching incessantly, this could be a sign of allergies. Other signs include poor coat quality, itching, redness of the skin, ear infections, and skin infections. Choose dog foods that offer a specialized diet or find one that contains carbohydrates and protein broken down into smaller amounts to improve nutrient absorption and digestion. Ask your vet for assistance if you spot signs of allergies and are left confused as to what dog food to buy.