Your dog’s health and well being is important to you and your family. Not to mention keeping down the cost of veterinarian bills! So you need to carefully consider the food that you feed your pet. People sometimes just pick the first dog food bag they see at the store. It’s easy to overlook the importance of what you’re feeding your pooch but it is essential to pick the right one.
To keep your pet healthy he needs plenty of fresh water and should be fed good quality food in amounts just right to meet his energy requirements. Always follow the guidelines on the package for recommended feeding amounts.
Selecting The Ideal Food For Your Dog
The first challenge in choosing what to feed your pet is picking one that has overall quality. The term that comes up a lot is human grade. Human grade implies that the food is good enough for us to eat…. Yummy! Many 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.
Major pet food companies try to provide balanced proportions of vitamins and minerals for maximum benefit to your pet. Although you may see that many brands have almost identical labels, a reputable company will provide an explanation for each supplement and how it benefits your dog.
Always read the label to see what proteins, vitamins and minerals are being provided by the food. Try not to use the store brands as they not contain all the nutrition needed to keep your canine healthy.
Studies have shown that the primary ingredient in any food you feed your dog should be meat-based protein, not corn meal, flour or corn gluten meal. According to reviews a better quality dog food results in a healthier coat, fewer digestive problems and firmer stools. Pet-nutrition experts agree that the best dog food is made from human-grade ingredients like meat, whole grains and vegetables. Premium dog food is so important because good nutrition is essential for a long, healthy life.
What Are The Different Diets?
There are many varieties and types of dog food to choose from. The three most popular types are dry, semi-moist and canned products. Check the color of your dog food. Usually food made from natural ingredients will have soft earth tones and contain no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.
A raw dog food diet is becoming more popular. More and more veterinarians recommend feeding with raw food. They feel that this is the best choice and is the healthiest diet for your pooch. After all, you’ve never seen your pet enjoy commercial food the way he enjoys a good meaty bone.
Raw food advocates concede the diet costs more than a traditional diet, but they argue it’s worth it. You may find that locating free natural home made raw food recipes is not easy. Try making a mixture of ground turkey, rice and carrot as your food. Your hound will thank you for it.
If you decide to go the commercial route, try and choose a good premium food since it contains more energy and protein than an economy brand. Unfortunately not all brands contain high quality and natural ingredients, so always check the label. It is best if you seek advice from your vet before deciding which is the best to feed your dog or puppy. He will know your pet’s dietary needs and you will find that veterinary offices and feed stores often carry excellent and natural dog food.
Going Down The Dried Food Route
A good high quality dry dog food will work out to be more economical than the generic brands even though they cost more per pound. The vast majority of dog owners go for dry style food for its convenience and ease of storage. The cheaper versions are made from soybean, corn or rice, while many premium dry foods are made with all-natural, human-grade ingredients.
The All Natural Dog Food Diet
Many natural dog foods contain only fresh, natural and wholesome ingredients for your dog. Not only are the protein ingredients digestible, but the carbohydrates in the food are digestible. This style has 100% nutritional value which is important for healthy strong dogs. Chicken, egg and fish are examples of protein that is provided in this type of food. There are also ingredients that really help the health of your dog’s skin and also your dog’s coat. One of the main draw backs of natural food is that it has a shorter shelf life and may spoil before it is used.
Can Dogs Go Vegetarian?
There are diets specially formulated for dogs that are allergic to wheat, corn, and/or chicken. There are also vegetarian dog foods marketed to owners who do not want their dogs to consume meat products. Most vegetarian foods use soy as a protein source. If your dog has allergies consult your vet before putting him on to a specialized diet.
Overall it’s usually best to let dogs enjoy their own food and not our food, even though they may prefer what we’re eating! Of course you can occasionally feed your dog treats, every dog needs some TLC from time to time!
by David Amos