All dog foods are not the same. Picking the correct dog food for your dog is a more important decision than you realize. The health and well being of your dog is for a large part, dependant on what food you choose for your dog. A healthy dog also keeps down the cost of veterinarian bills! It’s an easy thing to overlook but it really is essential that you choose the right dog food for your dog.
Your dog needs lots of fresh water to keep him healthy and you should feed him a high quality dog food in the amounts needed to meet his energy requirements. You should always follow the guidelines on the dog food package for the recommended feeding amounts, even if your dog wants more!
How to Pick a dog food
First off you need to pick a dog food that is high quality. A term used a lot to indicate a high quality dog food is human grade. This implies that the dog food is good enough for human consumption so it must be a high quality dog food. Many of the lower quality commercial brands are made from materials unusable or less desirable for human consumption. Often the meat that is used in dog food is of a quality considered unfit for humans to eat. This doesn’t mean that the dog food is bad.
The major dog food companies try to provide balanced proportions of minerals and vitamins to maintain the maximum health of your dog. If you look at the labels to determine the quality of the dog food you will notice that many brands of dog food have almost identical labels. Always read the label to see what vitamins, minerals and proteins are in the dog food. A reputable dog food company will be happy to provide an explanation for every supplement and how it is beneficial your dog. Try and avoid the generic dog foods, they may short change your dog on much needed nutritional content.
Premium dog food is important because good nutrition is essential for your dog to lead a long, healthy life. Studies have shown that the main ingredient in dog food should be a meat-based protein, not flour, corn meal, or corn gluten meal. Pet-nutrition experts agree that the best dog food is made from human-grade ingredients like meat, whole grains and vegetables and according to studies a higher quality dog food results in fewer digestive problems, firmer stools and a healthier coat.
Different Types of dog food
There are many different types of dog food to choose from. Three of the most popular are dry, semi-moist and canned products. Dog foods made from natural ingredients tend to have soft earth tones and contains no preservative, artificial colors and flavors. So be sure to check the color of the dog food.
Raw dog food is gaining in popularity. More and more veterinarians recommend feeding your dog with raw dog food. They feel that this is the best choice and is the healthiest food for your dog. Have you ever seen your dog enjoy commercial dog food the way he enjoys a good fresh meaty bone.
People who feed their dog raw food concede the diet costs more than traditional dog food, but they argue it’s worth it in the long run. It is difficult to find free natural home made dog food recipes so try making a mixture of ground turkey, rice and carrot as your own dog food. It’s good for your dog and he will really enjoy it.
If making your own dog food seems like a lot of work then you will probably go the commercial route. Try and choose a good premium dog food since it contains more energy and protein than an economy brand and if you add in vet bills it may turn out cheaper in the long run. As mentioned earlier not all dog food brands use high quality natural ingredients, so always check the label and contact the manufacturer for anything you’re not clear on. Ideally you should seek advice from your veterinarian before deciding on a dog food to feed your dog or puppy. Your vet will know your dog’s dietary needs and give you excellent advice. The vet’s office and various feed stores often carry excellent dog food.
Natural Dog Food
Most natural dog food carries 100% of the nutritional value for your dog which is important for healthy strong dogs. Natural dog foods contain only fresh, natural and wholesome ingredients such as chicken, eggs and fish. Not only are these protein ingredients digestible, but the carbohydrates in the dog food are also digestible. These are also the ingredients that really help with the health of your dog’s coat and also your dog’s skin. Be aware though that the biggest draw back of natural dog food is that it has a shorter shelf life and may spoil before it is used.
Dry Dog Food
The majority of dog owners choose dry dog food for its convenience and ease of storage. Pick a good high quality dry dog food as it will work out to be more economical than the generic brands even though it costs more per pound. The cheaper dry dog foods are made from soybean, corn or rice, while many of the premium dry dog foods are made with all-natural, human-grade ingredients.
Vegetarian dog foods
Most of the vegetarian dog foods use soy as the main protein source. Vegetarian dog foods are usually bought by owners who do not want their dogs to consume meat products. There are however vegetarian dog foods that are specially formulated for dogs that have allergies. These allergies include wheat, corn, and/or chicken. Consult your vet if your dog has allergies and needs to be on a specially formulated diet.
Last of all I would like to suggest, you can always supplement your dog food with rice. Rice is cheap, healthy, filling, and most dogs love it. You will find that many commercial dog foods use rice in their products. So it’s usually best to let dogs enjoy dog food and not human food, even though they clearly adore and want what we’re eating! Of course you can feed your dog treats from time to time, he clearly deserves it!!!