Our dogs are more than just pets, they are family members. As such, we want what’s best for them, especially when it comes to what they eat. Good dog food should provide your pup with plenty of energy and not cause digestive system upsets. Moreover, you will know that you have chosen the right food when your dog’s eyes are clear and bright and his coat is shiny. Before you head to the pet store to find the best food for your dog, you need to conduct plenty of research.
Here are some tips that will help you choose the best food for your dog:
Read the Ingredients
When making important pet decisions such as choosing a food for your beagle, you should always check the ingredients first. Dog food labels list their ingredients based on weight. This means that any food containing meat will have it listed first due to the high-water content.
Avoid dog foods that have a vegetable or tuber as the first ingredient listed. Such foods do not have a high nutritional value for your dog. And speaking of vegetables, dogs are omnivores; you should not try to feed them a vegetarian diet without consulting your vet.
Consider the Dog’s Breed, Age, and Activity
When looking for the best food for your dog, you should consider your dog’s behavior, physical characteristics, and health. Senior pets need fewer calories a day while pups and nursing dogs need more. In the same vein, couch potato dog breeds require fewer calories than hyperactive dog breeds. You should choose the right food for your dog to avoid underfeeding or obesity.
Do Homework on Different Brands
Once you pick out several brands that you think your pup will love, you should research the manufacturers. Conducting research on the manufacturer is important because you need to know the ingredient sourcing and quality control. Since such things are not always on the label, you can give yourself some peace of mind by conducting your own research.
In addition, if the product packaging does not answer all your questions, you should get in touch with a company representative. If their product is high quality, the company will be willing to cooperate and answer any questions you may have.
Consider the Nutritional Adequacy
The nutritional adequacy statement, which is usually on the back or side of the package, will tell you things such as ‘provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages’. Looking at this information will let you know whether the food is right for your dog’s particular life stage. For instance, if the dog food provides a balanced and complete nutrition for adult dogs, you might not need to buy anything else.
Decide between Grain and Grain-free Food
Like humans, dogs can have food allergies. One of the most common of which is grains. Symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, excessive paw licking, and scratching can all be signs of food allergy, but the only way to tell for sure is to schedule a visit with your vet.
If it turns out your dog is allergic to grains, you will need to buy grain-free foods. Otherwise, you should not buy into the gluten-free dog food fad before consulting a vet.
Unless your dog has a severe allergy, grains are not usually bad for dogs. And even if he or she does have a food allergy, the main protein is the likely culprit not the grain.
Buying dog food might seem straightforward but it actually is not. There is a lot to consider including your dog’s nutritional needs, possible food allergies, and even the ingredients in the food. So when it comes to buying the best food for your dog, considering the individual needs of your dog is the smartest approach.