What To Look For When Evaluating Different Dog Foods

Your dog deserves the best food that you can find. In simple terms, the quality of the pet’s food equates to how healthy the dog is for its entire life. With this fact in mind, it’s time to take a look at the different dog foods found in the marketplace today. There are certain features that you should look for before placing the food in front of your dog.

Main Ingredients

Look at the food’s listed ingredients. Their should be meats that are relatively familiar by name at the beginning of the list. Any chemical descriptions should be near the end of the list or omitted entirely. Although dogs are pets, they still deserve quality ingredients. Beef, chicken, liver, fish and other items might be listed.

Consider grain-free foods so that meat and produce are always the main ingredients. Grains are considered fillers in the dog-food world. Grain-free foods are often more expensive, but the dog eats less volume because it’s so filling.

Food “Description”

Those descriptions on the dog food’s retail packaging are actually precise reflections of the ingredients within. If you want a product that has at least 70 percent chicken, for example, look for descriptions that are simply “chicken.” Fancier terms, including platter or entree, usually mean that only 10 percent of the food is actually meat. “Chicken flavored” descriptions are the most deceptive terms for consumers because this equates to about 3 percent or less of a meat product.

Try to pick the product with the most meat. Filling your dog with a lot of fillers will only impede their health and contribute to weight gain.

Dietary Restrictions

Some dogs might be sensitive to certain foods. In fact, it’s not unheard of for some foods to be outright allergies for Fido. Local pet stores typically carry foods that are specially designed for these issues. Read over the dog-food label to clarify the type of ingredients. The containers usually state that they’re for “sensitive stomachs” or “food allergies.”

Don’t forget that the dog also needs a food designed for its age. Puppy, adult and senior varieties are always good mixtures to choose from as your dog ages.

Breed Considerations

The trend today is matching a dog food to the breed. It’s true that each breed has slightly different needs in comparison to the others. Try these products out, especially if you have a purebred dog. The mixtures should offer the proper nutrients for a dog breed at any age.

If you don’t find dog food that’s specifically designed for your breed, try to match the dog’s dietary needs to the general mixtures. Large breeds tend to have more skeletal issues than smaller dogs so choosing a mixture with bone-rich ingredients for your German shepherd is a good choice.

Real Fruits and Vegetables

Always pick dog food that has real fruits and vegetables within the ingredient list. Sweet potatoes, spinach and apples might be a few of the choices. Although dogs are carnivores, they do require produce as a means to fill out the rest of their nutritional needs. Grains offer some nutrition, but they’re never as good as fruits and vegetables.

Some pet owners prefer to feed their dogs raw produce outside of the everyday food. Be careful with “human” food because some produce doesn’t sit well with each breed.

Feeding Instructions

Always read the label on your new dog food. Each mixture has a slightly different feeding volume. Some products require twice- or thrice-daily feedings. When you follow the instructions on the product, it may or may not be used in a rapid manner. High-quality foods don’t need to be piled up in the dog’s bowl. In contrast, low-quality foods demand volume so that the nutrients can be distributed at a proper ratio.

Be aware that more food volume might increase the calorie intake. You want to strive for a dog food that balances nutrition and healthy calories at the same time.

It may take a few tries to find the proper food that your dog actually likes. Be patient with your pup because there will be a mixture that it likes. At the end of the day, the pup must eat at some point, and you control the quality of the meal.