As a pet owner, you are supposed to feed the dog with complete and balanced dog food that will help to keep the dog healthy and fit always. You may find it difficult to choose food for your dog as there is no “most healthy dog food” in the market.
You will be presented with an array of food options, all of them might claim to be best but can’t choose one directly without making sure that the food is healthy, affordable, appealing to the pet, and aligned with the nutritional needs of your dog.
Before making a purchase decision, a few key factors are to be taken into account to choose healthy food for the dog.
What Makes Dog Food Good?
Most dog owners feed their dogs with dry kibble or canned wet food. These foods might not seem very appealing to you but they really contain all the nutrients your dog needs to stay fit.
Highly regulated by veterinary specialists, these foods have to undergo rigorous testing to make sure their quality and nutrition values remain intact.
Although meat makes up the majority of a dog’s diet, domestic dogs can extract nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. These can be valuable sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber for a dog’s good health.
So, we can conclude with the statement that high-quality good dog food should include meat, vegetables, grains, and fruit that are appropriate for your dog’s digestive system. It’s not necessary always to feed your dog with commercially processed food, you yourself can prepare meals for your dog following homemade dog food recipes.
Nutrition Values of Good Dog Food
Food that is best for other dogs might be worse for your dog because of not meeting the nutrition requirements of your dog. Although most of the dog food brands that offer commercial dog foods come with at least the minimum nutritional requirements.
Remembers, your dog might not have the exact nutritional requirements. As with humans, dogs require a wide range of nutrients in varying quantities over the course of their lives, you can’t offer food with the same nutritional values to a puppy and an adult dog.
If you are unsure about it, find veterinary manuals online that recommend nutrients for dogs along with the amount of food by weight and age. You also need to take into account the varied needs of same-aged but separate breed dogs.
What Makes Dog Foods Complete and Balanced?
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has provided strict requirements to label a dog food complete and balanced for your pet.
A food, to be complete and balanced, should contain a minimum level of all the nutrients necessary for dogs. It needs to have a minimum amount of crude protein and fat along with the maximum amounts of water and crude fiber.
As there is no exact amount of these components, you can use variations as per the needs of your dog or use the average nutrient profile to evaluate the product. The dog food companies will be more than happy to provide you with the information apart from their website.
Factors To Be Considered While Choosing Dog Food
As discussed earlier, the food requirement for dogs might be unique based on different contexts such as dog breed, age, size, and other factors. To choose the best dog food option, the following factors are to be considered.
#1. If the food is formulated for your dog specification
You may have a small or large breed dog, the first factor is to consider if the food has been formulated specifically for your dog.
#2. Food for Small and Large Breeds:
Large dog breeds are more likely to have musculoskeletal problems than smaller ones, so it is required to have foods with certain nutrients that promote musculoskeletal health.
Small breed dogs on the other hand might choke while having large-sized kibble. You need to study your dog’s specific additional requirements to serve it with the best food.
#3. Food for Puppies:
At different life stages, dogs require varied amounts of nutrition. Puppies’ food needs won’t match with adult dogs as the latter group has its own nutritional consideration.
The best food for puppies depends on their size and breed. Large breed puppies require extra attention to prevent bone and joint problems.
#4. Food for Senior Dogs:
Referred to the dogs aged more than 7, they have their individual nutritional needs. Their food should be based on if the dog is underweight or overweight and also if the dog prefers to have wet food or warm-up food.
#5. Food for Dogs With Special Dietary Needs:
All the dogs don’t have the equal digestive capability, some may have health issues like allergies, sensitive stomachs, and dietary restrictions. Consult your vet before choosing food for your dog with special dietary needs.
#6. Food Formulated for Your Dog’s Size
Dogs can digest food well if specifically formulated for their size. Foods with glucosamine benefit large breed dogs as it helps to maintain healthy joints. On the other hand, small breeds need small, bite-sized kibble.
#7. Think About Your Dog’s Activity Level
Some dog breeds are active in nature and burn more calories than others, they require food based on their activity level. Apart from this, if your dog is an athlete, it needs foods specially designed for athletic dogs. You may have a dog that doesn’t get much exercise, you need to focus on his weight management while choosing food for him.
#8. Pay Attention To Your Dog’s Specific Nutritional Needs
Dogs with sensitive skin or other health issues, need to consider foods for their specific nutritional needs. This can help to stop deteriorating health conditions and recover soon. You can create personalized healthy dog food for your cute pup.
Finding the right food for dogs should be based on the outcomes of the study on your dog.
From the discussion aforementioned, it might be clear to you that a food might be best based on its quality and other aspects but still not good for your dog if the food doesn’t offer solutions for your dog’s specific requirements. We believe this write-up will be much helpful for you to choose the right food for your little friend.
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