Dogs are our best friends and we want nothing but the best for them. They are always there for us and always happy to see us. Their selfless love and loyalty go beyond humans’. This is why many people say we don’t deserve dogs. It goes without saying that dogs immensely enrich our lives and that they make us feel loved and truly happy. However, can we say that we do the same for them? People often wonder if their pets are having a good life. In that manner, one of the key aspects is health. Just like many organisms’, dogs’ health is largely dependent on the quality of the food they eat. This is why we should give special attention to the food we buy for our pets. Proper research should be done and we’re here to give you a few pointers on the subject.
Consider age, activity and breed
Your dog has different needs depending on age, activities and the character itself. For instance, puppies need more calories since they are in development. They need vitamins, proteins and fibres in order to grow strong and healthy. Lactating dogs also need a lot of calories as they need to produce milk for their young ones. However, older dogs no longer need that daily calorie amount. There is also a difference between the needs of active dog breeds and idle ones. If the nature of your dog’s breed is energetic, they would require more energy and therefore, more caloric food.
Learn the language of dog food packaging
The way the labels on your puppy’s food are written indicate the percentage of the food contained in their food. For instance, if the title says something like “Beef dog food” or “Chicken food for dogs”, that means that the percentage of the beef or chicken contained in the food is about 70 after it gets mixed with water. If the word “dinner” is in the title, that means the food has about 25 percent of protein. This is why buying dog supplies online makes it easier for you to investigate the real quality of the food you buy.
Grains or no grains?
Generally, you shouldn’t refrain from grained food. Grains are not bad for dogs and grained food is more affordable, so it’s a kind of a win-win situation. However, some dogs are allergic to grains and if you suspect it may be the case with your dog too, consider taking them to the vet and checking up. Excessive licking of paws, vomiting, scratching and diarrhoea can be the signs of your dog being allergic or intolerant to grains.
Read between the lines
The order in which the ingredients are listed is actually very important and not at all random. The list starts with the ingredient with the highest water content. This is why it’s advised to buy food that has meat listed first on the package. Dogs are omnivores and they need a lot of meat on a daily basis.
Nutritional adequacy statement
Unless you are an expert in the field, you can find the selection of dog food a bit overwhelming. It’s difficult to decide on which brand to pick when you have absolutely no information about the differences in quality. One tip is to make sure the food you buy has a nutritional adequacy certificate. A simple statement such as “Provides sufficient nutrients for daily intake” or anything stating the food is good will suffice. You can look for an AAFCO statement on the back of the package. Their standards are high enough to assure you your dog is getting high-quality meals.
Of course, the food choice shouldn’t be only yours. Regardless of the supreme quality, you may have selected for your pet, there’s always a chance that your dog won’t like it. So, only after you check with your bud should you make the final decision when it comes to the food brand. Once you make your choice, you can do some additional research on the brand just for your own peace of mind. You can visit the brand’s website and see how they do business. It can also be useful to brush through the forums and see what other dog owners have to say about the brand.
Basically, you can make the process of choosing dog food quite simple or extremely complicated. The steps we provided are not mandatory. However, it’s nice to know what you’re reading when you read the labels and be somewhat familiar with how it all works. We all want the best for our pets and if your doggy already has a favourite brand, you can just check for the certificate and take a look at the ingredients and their ratio. You may find the results satisfactory, which is great. On the other hand, if you find out the food is of bad quality, be happy that you’ve been given a chance to improve the quality of your doggy’s life.