Proper and balanced diet is one of the basic needs of a dog. Good nutrition helps your dog stay healthy and strong. There are hundreds of dog foods, so choosing the best one can be inconvenient. There is a conflicting opinion about dog nutrition, because it varies among breeders, veterinarians, trainers and dog owners.
The point is that even experts do not always agree on the best dog food. Why? There is no simple answer. Ultimately, you will need to decide which foods are best for your dog. First, you need to consider things like food type, quality and budget. But if you are a beginner, we have prepared a few tips to help you learn how to choose dog food. So let’s go!
one. Check for by-products or grains
Meat and chicken offal always enjoy an undeserved reputation. This is greatly facilitated by companies that claim that “real meat” or “real chicken” is better. The term “by-product” refers to ground parts of animal carcasses; this also includes the bones and organs of the corpse. However, they are very nutritious and you need to check out some of these brands. In addition, cornmeal and cereals are common ingredients in commercial dog food, which veterinary experts say is possible. Although a gluten-free diet is modern for humans, animals like dogs are rarely sensitive to gluten. However, if your dog is allergic to certain foods, consult your veterinarian.
2. Whole meat
If you want to pamper your dog, go for whole meat. This meat is usually called beef, lamb, salmon, chicken, etc. It can also be read as “whole chicken” or “fresh chicken”. This premium meat is most likely human. However, an important difference with whole meat is that it can contain up to 65 percent moisture before cooking.
In contrast, meat meal removes moisture before being processed into cereals. Simply put, this means that whole meat contains fewer nutrients than meat meal. Choose dog food where the first five ingredients contain at least three sources of meat. Lastly, avoid foods with ingredients that are legally labeled as “human-friendly,” as this is not FDA-approved.
3 Is grain-free ideal for your dog?
If you want to switch to a grain-free diet because you suspect your dog has a food allergy, visit your veterinarian first. Grains are good for dogs if your dog does not have strong energy. In many cases, you can avoid the high cost of these formulas. But how do I check if my dog has a food allergy or intolerance? A few signs to look out for include excessive paw licking, vomiting, scratching, or diarrhea. Be sure to contact your veterinarian to help you find the answers. In many cases, allergies are caused by basic proteins (such as beef or chicken), not cereals.
four. Dry or wet?
When buying dog food, you can opt for dry or wet dog food – some brands also offer dehydrated food. The advantage of dry food is that it does not need cooling after opening. In addition, it can be relatively cheaper compared to wet canned food. Both dry and wet dog food contain similar ingredients. However, wet foods can contain large amounts of animal by-products and fresh protein. Dehydrated food is expensive and of high quality. This is because it needs to be mixed with water to rehydrate in food.
five. Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners
Sugar should never be consumed. In addition, you should avoid corn syrup, cane molasses, sucrose, sorbitol, glucose or xylitol, among others. These ingredients are used to make dog food tastier. They add excess calories that are unnecessary and have no nutritional value. In addition, sugar can lead to obesity, nervousness and hyperactivity in your dog.
6. Consider your dog’s activity level
If you have a dog that exercises or competes, it will burn more calories than a dog whose only exercise is a leisurely walk. A dog athlete will benefit from nutritious foods formulated for sport dogs. Conversely, if your dog is not exercising enough, you may need dog food for weight control to maintain his physical condition.
Remember to serve your dog the right portions of food. While it seems appropriate to leave food for your dog all day, he can potentially overeat. Be sure to check the label on your dog’s food to find the right portion sizes for their weight. By following the tips above, you are well on your way to buying the best dog food. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian first.