With so many brands and types of dog foods on the market, it can be very confusing for many owners to select the best diet for their pet. If you are unsure which food is best for your dog or your dog has special dietary needs, you may want to consult with your veterinarian, but these are some good general guidelines to follow.
Dogs Are Not Strict Carnivores
Marketing and misinformation have led many dog owners to believe that the best diet for their dog is meat only. However, while meat is the largest component of a dog's diet, dogs also gain valuable nutrition from fruits, grains and vegetables. In fact, many dogs even enjoy eating veggies as snacks. High-quality dog food should include meat, grains, vegetables and fruits. If you are concerned about price, look for discounts, such as this Ultimate Pet Nutrition coupon code.
Choose the Right Food for Your Dog's Life Stage
Puppies, adult dogs and senior dogs have different nutritional needs. Some dog foods can be fed to either puppies or adult dogs, but you should read the labels. Some adult dog foods may not have enough calories for puppies and many adult dogs will gain excess weight when fed puppy food. The calorie needs of senior dogs tend to be even lower, so if your dog is getting overweight as he ages, consider switching to a senior formula. If you have a large breed puppy, it is a good idea to purchase a food formulated specifically for large breeds to avoid health issues that can be caused by rapid growth.
Consider Your Dog's Activity Level
Some dog foods are more calorie-dense than others. If you have a very active pooch, you may need a higher calorie food to keep your pet from becoming too thin. If your dog competes in agility, or other sporting events, you will need to be sure that the food you choose can support the physical demands of those sports. On the other hand, if your furry friend mostly lies around on the couch, consider picking a lower calorie food. If you simply feed less, your dog may be hungry all the time. A lower calorie food can keep him satisfied, without putting on extra pounds.
Choose the Right Food for Your Dog's Size
Dog foods come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Your small breed dog may have a hard time chewing big chunks of foods intended for a large dog and your large dog may find attempting to pick up tiny pieces of food extremely frustrating. Most brands of pet food will be labeled for small or large breed dogs.
Check the Label
Look for high-quality sources of protein, vegetables and carbohydrates. Some less expensive brands contain corn as
the first ingredient. While corn is not unhealthy for dogs, it does not have a lot of nutritional value, so it is advisable to look for better sources of nutrition listed among the top ingredients. For most dogs, meat should be the first ingredient on the label. However, grains are also beneficial to dogs, unless they have a severe allergy, which your veterinarian can diagnose.
Wet or Dry
Good quality dog foods can be found in both wet and dry forms. Wet foods more closely resemble a natural diet of animal meat and have the benefit of containing extra moisture, which can help prevent your pet from becoming dehydrated. However, wet foods can be more expensive and inconvenient because they may spoil if left at room temperature for too long after opening. Dry foods provide a pleasing crunchy texture and are shelf-stable. The best option ultimately depends on the preferences of you and your dog.
Selecting the best diet for your dog may seem overwhelming at first. With a little research and some help from your veterinarian, you can find the right foods that work for you and your pet at a price you can afford.
About the Author:
Mia Morales is a loving wife and mother of twins from Colorado. She is a self-described “DIY addict”, and loves to decorate her house and office with her creations. As a mother, Mia is really passionate about health, nutrition, and what she puts in her body. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing with her little dog and kids. Who says moms aren’t superheroes?